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Reading Reviews for The Way Out of the Maze
  
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by dreamgazer220 The Way Out of the Maze

3rd April 2016:
Chiara! Why is this the first thing I've ever read of yours?? Shame on me!!

Okay, so I read Kristin's "Shine" before reading this, and both pieces are just so wonderful. You guys did a really great job with writing together.

Onto our review swap!

So I loved this, of course. The flow was really great, and I loved how you started and ended it in second person. I thought it was a really original and powerful way to open the piece, and it was just. So. Good.

The flow was a little confusing at first, but once I figured it out, I loved it. I loved seeing bits and pieces of Ariadne's past, and how she met Theseus, and her relationship with Sarah and Zach and their struggles on believing Harry and Dumbledore and the rumors about You-Know-Who.

This, though, was by far my favorite line of the entire piece: "But the thing about angels is, when they fall they often turn into devils." It just transitioned everything so nicely, and you did a great job of showing the switch to Theseus' abusive nature. And I loved that Zach was there to protect her from at all, and that even if they admitted that they were too scared to fight, at least they had each other. ♥

This was so wonderful! Great job!

Love Jill

Author's Response: Heya, Jill! Welcome to my AP!!!

It's always so lovely when people come here after reading Shine! I'm so very proud of the work Kristin and I did together! It's been a wonderful experience, and her help was really incredibly precious! I love that girl!!!

So, the second pov opening and closing was actually Kristin's idea (meaning she did it in Shine and I loved it and thought it would be cool to do the same. Also to give both stories a similar feeling). Glad you liked it, anyway!

I loved to explore Ari's character, her past, her friendships, her anxiety and fears, her doubts... I think it would be quite natural for people to try to deny Voldemort's return (we always want to ignore realities that can hurt or scare us, don't we?) A person like Ariadne especially wouldn't want to think about such darkness growing around her...

That line! You're not the first one to pick it out as particularly significant (and I must confess that I love it too!) Poor Ariadne, she had no idea what she was getting herself into... A luck Zach was there to save her!

I'm so glad you liked this! Thank you so much for all this awesome review!!!

Many, many hugs!
Chiara


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Review #2, by victoria_anne The Way Out of the Maze

20th March 2016:
Hello my love!

Okay so I read Shine a couple of days ago - how could I not come check out your half?! I am honestly fascinated with how the two of you wrote Zacharias, I love how you've described him as a hero, even when the world didn't see it that way. Of course, after reading your piece, I see him even more as a hero!

I love how you describe Ari's anxiety throughout the whole piece. It's not in your face but it's enough that we get a sense of her character, and as someone who has experience with anxiety, I think it was handled very well and was enough for me to feel her fear as well!

And Theseus! What a dreamy name and dreamy person! Terrible that he turned out like he did, poor Ari :( it was so sad that her experience with him only built on her anxiety when the Death Eaters came.

This (and Shine) is the first set of companion pieces I've read, and I have to say, I'm deeply impressed! It really adds to the reading experience and I've enjoyed reading both your stories very much :)

I just want to finish by pulling this out: "But the thing about angels is, when they fall they often turn into devils." Ah. Maze. Ing. You give me chills, gurl.

Love Bianca x

Author's Response: Hello again, my sweet Bianca!

Aww... You don't know how much I love it when people come here after reading Shine! Kristin is an extraordinary writer, and I feel so lucky to have worked with her! This story really wouldn't have been the same without her help (it wouldn't have existed, probably, since she had the idea of Zach and Ari in the first place...)

We've always seen Zacharias through Harry's eyes, and we know that Harry can be a bit biased in his judgement... We wanted to show a different side to Zach, making him a hero, even if in a non-standard way. I'm glad you found it fascinating!!! :D

I honestly love Ariadne. She is so fragile, but also strong in her own way. I'm so glad to hear that you found I handled her anxiety well, clear but not overdone.

As for Theseus... Yes, he seemed wonderful in the beginning... Poor Ari, indeed... :( Fortunately, Zach was looking out for her, right?

Writing with another person is really a fascinating experience (especially if the other person is someone as brilliant as Kristin)! You should definitely try it, if you get the chance! It's incredibly rewarding!

People love that sentence for some reason... *whistling* No, I'm not bragging, not at all... (btw, I love your puns, you know that, don't you?)

Much love,
Chiara


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Review #3, by Jayna The Way Out of the Maze

28th December 2015:
Hello Chiara! First off, I hope you are having a wonderful season and I wish you a fantastic New Year! I had been meaning to read this, especially after it won first place in the write together challenge (congrats by the way!), so I'm glad I finally got a chance to get around to reading it!

Okay, so the first thing I have to say, before anything else, is thank you so much for making Zach younger than Ariadne! I rarely ever see things where the younger brother protects the older sister because apparently everybody thinks that you have to be older to be a protector.

Next, you did a phenomenal job on this. I haven't read the counterpart yet, but even as a stand-alone this was just a wonderful read. The angst was so poignant and relatable and you put a ton of deep, beautiful one-liners in here. I think my favorite was probably "But the thing about angels is, when they fall they often turn into devils." It was obviously a foreshadow, but such a beautiful foreshadow.

I also really liked all your descriptions. I feel like this could have been a movie that I just watched because I can clearly remember how each scene looked in my head. I especially loved your description of the maze at the beginning. Personally, I love small spaces and I feel safer when I'm in a small closet or wedged between two people or something, but for a second there, you had my heart speeding up and the walls closing in on me.

Last, I know this doesn't really matter a whole ton, but I think the names you picked were impeccable. They just go with Zacharias so well and it's always a little fun to see some unique names in stories, especially when you have an odd name yourself.

Overall, you did a really great job, and having read some of your earlier stuff, I think you have definitely improved a lot since A Black Christmas! Your imagery was perfect and you managed to put a whole new spin on Zacharias Smith, introduce and characterize two OC's, develop a plot, and make your story go with another! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season, happy New Year, and have a wonderful time on the Hot Seat, you definitely deserve it Chiara!

-Jayna

Author's Response: Hi, Jayna!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I really hope you're having a wonderful holiday season as well!!!

And, aww... Thank you so much! Kristin and I weren't expecting it at all, considering it was already a miracle thatwe completed the story in time... nearly...

I suppose older siblings feel they have a duty to protect the younger ones (I'm an only child, so I don't really know, but I suppose it works that way) Still, I think there is no reason for a younger sibling to not be protective of their older ones as well, especially if the older sibling is a fragile person like Ariadne. I'm happy you enjoyed that aspect. :)

You absolutely have to go read Kristin's part as well! It's from Zach pov and it focuses more on how the war affected him. And Kristin did an absolute amazing job!!! It's good to know that this worked well even as a stand alone! And I must admit that I'm quite proud of that sentence in particular! :)

Descriptions are really hard for me, so it's great to know that you liked them. I'm not claustrophobic either. I'm more agoraphobic. I suffer in very crowded places. I'm glad I managed to make you feel Ariadne's panic anyway.

Ahahah! Well, the name Ariadne was Kristin's idea. She wanted to play with the A-Z initials for the two siblings. And it was also Kristin's idea to insert the maze theme as a reference to Ariadne's mith. I chose Theseus, because it linked to the mith as well, and because I liked it! :D

I'm so happy you enjoyed the story! And that you feel my writing has improved. (It certainly has, but I really have to thank Kristin for how this story turned out! She really helped me a lot, with the grammar, and the flow, and just about all aspects of the writing! This story wouldn't have been the same without her!)

Thank you so much for this gorgeous review!!!
All my love and hugs,
Chiara


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Review #4, by LadyL8 The Way Out of the Maze

18th December 2015:
Hello Chiara.

Iím sorry for taking so long to get here. Iíve had the worst three months of my life. My exam was moved forward, I got sick with a throat infection, my father was hospitalized and had to go through three operations and now Iím sick again with the flu. But better late than never, right? :)

So with the collab entries Iíve review after the categories in the judging point system, but since this is a one-shot thatís linked to another, I think Iíll actually just leave my thoughts and comments and just ramble on like crazy. And then maybe bring attention to the categories I feel fit the most for an entry like this, but I wonít tell you the score because that would reveal the winner before Iíve announced who it is. Iím also just going to say right now that Iím reading this before Iíve read Kristinís part, but Iíll come back and re-read it after Iíve read hers, because I want to make sure Iíve read it in both possible orders.

Iíll start with the first paragraph. Itís really intriguing. I like that you just give us a lot of questions right away, cause that really makes us want to read the story to find some of the answers. Iím curious who this ďheĒ is and why heís considered a coward by some. Itís just a really clever way of starting the story. So I can only say good job with that! Also, I have to applaud you for that second paragraph as well. I really love getting description early on in the story, because I feel like that helps set the scene, and your description in that paragraph is just flawless. Iím extremely claustrophobic, and you almost made me feel that panic I always feel in confined spaces just through reading that - you just captured that feeling so well :)

I love that you guys did something completely different from what everyone else have done. Youíve taken a canon character and added a OC sibling, and use this relationship between these two characters to explain a canon event - Zacharias not helping in the final battle. And Iím sure many would consider him a coward for that, but I feel like - and you really get message across as well - heroes come in many different shapes and forms. Sometimes being heroic is saving others life, other times it can be equally heroic to run for your life or hide. In traumatic situation is just about surviving, and Zacharias is a true hero if you ask me. He does what Iíd do - he protects his sister.

Itís difficult to create a bond when you have two characters that we are not already familiar with. You really need to make us feel like we know these characters and that their bond seems real and that weíre in on it in a way. I felt like you did that really well, and I really loved your characterisation. Not just of the siblings, but also of Theseus. He was so dominating, that I actually felt scared from the first time we met him. Something was just really off there, all the alarms went off, and the way it developed so subtly to actual, physical violence was just terrifying, but unfortunately so realistic.

Youíve taken on a serious and sensitive theme. Some of the other entries have done the same, and youíve all just managed to do it so well. I feel like this is probably one of your best stories Chiara, maybe even the best one youíve ever written. Itís just the way you capture the feelings, make us feel like weíre as scared as Ariadne (I love that name by the way) and as angry as Zacharias when he discovers the truth. It feels like weíre their sibling too, weíre as scared and worried for her as he is, and thatís just so impressive to do.

Iím so glad and honored you two decided to participate in this challenge, and Iím so glad you wrote this part Chiara. Itís a really good part, and I canít wait to read Kristinís part now, because Iím sure sheís written a part that is just as good as yours. Also, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year!

Lots of Love

Lotte

PS: The results should be up this weekend. Look out for a blog post :)

Author's Response: Lotte!!!
Don't you dare apologize for the lateness! By the way, I'm so sorry about all your troubles... Hope your dad is fine now... *hug*

I love your rambling! :) And I'm very excited and curious to know your final verdict! Let me tell you, however this goes, it was a great challenge!!!

I'm glad you liked the first paragraph. It was actually Kristin's idea in the first place, but I liked for the two pieces to have a similar structure, and I must say that I'm quite happy with how it worked! :)
And I'm so glad you liked the dream sequence too, and that the description of claustrophobia was so convincing. Thank you so much for all your compliments!

Once again, the first idea for the plot was Kristin's (I love that girl... she's amazing...) We wanted to show a different side to Zacharias, and of course we really wanted to show that sometimes you can be a hero even if you choose not to fight. He put his family first, and that's a really Hufflepuff thing to do, isn't it?

I'm so glad you felt I did a good job with the characterization, both of the siblings and of Theseus. I must confess, I was a bit scared of broaching the domestic violence subject, but I just knew that was Ariadne's story (does it make sense?) Anyway, I'm so glad you feel that I managed to approach the topic well.

Oh, thank you! *blushing* I must say, I'm quite happy with how the story turned out in the end. And I know I have to thank Kristin, because we really helped each other a lot to make our stories... shine.
By the way, I read the review you left for her as well, and I loved this sentence:
"I√ʬĬôm so glad I got to read this because you two really brought out the best in each other" It's really true, and just what I was trying to say.

Thank you for the amazing challenge and for this absolutely wonderful review! A wonderful Christmas and happy new year to you as well!!!

All my love,
Chiara.


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Review #5, by cherry_pop94 The Way Out of the Maze

11th November 2015:
Hello Chiara!

Iíve already had the pleasure of reading Kristenís story, so it seemed only right that I read this one too! They work EXCELLENTLY as companion pieces.

Ariadne is such a beautiful name. And I adore the relationship she has with Zach. Theyíre just so close and kind to each other. I love how much he takes care of her, even though sheís the older sister, itís great to see that he can still take care of her. Sheís very vulnerable, but thereís immense strength in her, I think.

The bit where she questions Harry and Dumbledoreís story about Voldemort being back is really well done. I think the book vilifies people who didnít believe Harry, but Ariadneís reasoning is perfectly sound. She knows that Voldemort coming back is the logical explanation, but having grown up in the wizard world, she knows what that means and thatís just not something she wants to accept. Itís denial, yes, but I think we can all see why. Theyíre all terrified!

Thaddeus is so scary. And the scariest part of it as that Ariadne thought he was her guardian angel. He turned on her, he hurt her and thatís terrifying because she never thought he could do that. This is a very real description of what domestic violence is like, I think. Ariadne loves him and he always says that he loves her too, but heís horrible towards her.

And Zach! Oh my heart. Iíve already said this on Kristenís story, I think, but what heís done is incredibly brave. To face all the criticisms of people around him for having seemingly shown cowardice at the battle, to watch as his sister, who he always looked up to, breaks down, to always be there for her. Itís noble, itís brave, itís loyal. Basically, he is a Hufflepuff through and through. I cannot imagine anyone who exemplifies the house better.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story Chiara and for a great swap!

Stefanie

Author's Response: Hi, Stefanie!
Oh, I'm so glad you picked this one and that you enjoyed it!!! I'm even more happy that you read "Shine" too and felt the two stories work well with as a pair! Writing with Kristin has been so great! :)

It is a beautiful name, isn't it? That was Kristin's idea, and she's also the one who suggested the maze theme, as a reference to Ariadne's mith (Theseus was named according to the mith, too, but I did choose that one. :P)

She is very vulnerable. But she has more strenght than she realizes, too. And I think she's really lucky to have a brother like Zach. They really are very close and care a lot for each other.

I'm glad you liked that bit. I agree with you. In the books we always see things through Harry's eyes and it's only natural for him being angry because people don't believe him, especially after everything that he's been through. But I think it's understandable for people to want to deny Voldemort's return. I believe a lot of people shared Ariadne's point of view on the matter.

She had no idea when she first started her relationship with Theseus where this would lead. She believed he would protect her, give her security, instead she found in him the exact opposite. It's really scary!

Yes, Zach is a true Hufflepuff, loyal to his family and doing what he feels is right, even if it makes him look like a coward in the eyes of the people around him. We wanted to show a different side of him, and I'm glad we managed it! :)

Thank you so, so, so much for this amazing review and for swapping with me (I loved reading your story, by the way)!

All my love,
Chiara


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Review #6, by Alarte Ascendare The Way Out of the Maze

28th October 2015:
Aw. This story is really really sweet!

You've grasped the concept of domestic violence perfectly. This exactly is the mentality of an abused girlfriend/wife and that is exactly how it starts. With alcohol or jealousy. The psychology and characterization on this were spot on.

Job well done there!

Your characterization of the three characters were exemplary. The love between the siblings, their connection and emotions were amazingly done. Even the whole "falling for a bad boy" thing was done amazingly. He tricked her, even though unintentionally and she was too addicted to remove herself from it.

There is only one complaint. Some words have changed tense, and there are very minor typos. But if you edit it once it'll all be gone!

Overall, this story is amazing. I love how you began it. It kept me glued to the screen. Your flow was good and your phrases too.

Keep up the good work!

(Here for the review swap)

Author's Response: Hello!
Oh, thank you! I'm so happy you found this sweet!!! :)

This is great to hear, because I was really scared by the theme... Everyone keep saying that I did a good job writing domestic violence, so I suppose I'll start to believe it...

I'm so glad that you found the dynamics between the two siblings well done, and that Ariadne falling for Theseus worked too!

I'm planning an edit of all of my stories, I've already asked a few people for help (I'm not a native speaker, which doesn't help my grammar...)

Thank you so much for all your kind words and for the swap!

Much love,
Chiara


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Review #7, by Aphoride The Way Out of the Maze

25th October 2015:
Hey there, Chiara! Dropping by for our review swap! :)

This is a really lovely, really sad one-shot. I love how, though, there's this lovely thread of friendship and sibling companionship and so on throughout it all - it's not something you see very often in fic and I love that there's something of an emphasis on that in this :)

Speaking of that, the way you did Ariadne and Zach's relationship was so great, as well as their individual characterisations - they were both such rounded characters, and so different, too, and I loved how you showed us a different side to Zach, being a cheeky, happy kid - it was so great! :)

Your writing in this was so lovely, too - your descriptions are so beautiful and give this lovely, dreamy quality to the story, especially the beginning with Theseus, and how much Ariadne loved him. The emotion really seeped through so beautifully. I also really liked how the progression of their relationship was so natural, if terrifying, through the whole thing - none of it felt weird or strange for the people, you know? It fitted, and you could sort of see it evolving as the characters did. It was scary, but so well done.

Also, you dealt with the subject matter so well. It's such a heavy topic, and so difficult to do and do well, but you really did - it was solemn and heavy, and so happy in the beginning, but you did the change so well, and made it so clear that it was such a toxic situation to be in, but also that it's not always easy to get out of, which I also appreciated a lot.

This is a really, really great one-shot - you should be super proud of it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey, Aph!
Oh, wow! Thank you so much! *blushing*

I felt so unsure about the theme and the way I wrote it... so it's such a relief you felt I did it well! :)

The first idea for the story (creating a sister for Zach and of depicting him in a different light) came from Kristin, actually! In her piece she focuses on his character and on how the war affected him (and obviously on his love for Ari). You know... if you're interested in getting a look... :P

Anyway, it's great to hear that you felt their relationship and their individual characterizations were done well! :D They are pretty different, but really love each other! I love to write siblings, must be because I don't have any and I really wish I did...

I'm also glad you liked the description, because it's something I really struggle with! And the progression of Ariadne and Theseus' relationship as well! It is pretty terrifying...

Thank you so so so much for this absolutely amazing review!!! I'm so thrilled you enjoyed the story so much!!!

Lots of love, hugs and kisses!
Chiara


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Review #8, by princesslily_36 The Way Out of the Maze

22nd October 2015:
Heya! Here for the review swap!!

I thought I'll review your most recent story :)

It's super refreshing to read about OCs, because it gives a lot more scope for out of the box thinking. It was nice to read about someone else's though process post voldy's return, through DH.

Towards the end, your words were so powerful! Domestic abuse is a powerful social issue, and you've described it just as heart wrenching as it is. And the part about Zach saving her, I just welled up. I mean, what else are families for. I know it's a little weird, but I do understand why she found it diffucult to leave. Most abusees don't just leave. That's why its such a pressing problem.

It also gave a completely different view of the Zach we know from the books - an idiot nonetheless - was portrayed as a savior here. It was really nice to see this side of him.

Anyhoo, it was a damn well written chapter, and I'll bookmark the companian peice to take a look tomorrow!

There's just one thing. Here, "her Ravenclaw all-brainy big sister" shouldn't it be 'his'as we're talking about Zach? That confused me a little. Apart from this, everything else was perfect.

Great Work!

Ysh

Author's Response: Hi!
Thank you so much again for the swap!!! :)

I'm really glad you enjoyed reading Ari's thought process. She was an interesting character to work with.

I'm just so glad you found my words powerful, and that you think I did a good job writing about domestic abuse (I was really scared about it...) Sadly, women often find it hard to get out of these situations. Ariadne was lucky to have her brother looking out for her.

The idea of writing Zacharias under a different light actually came from Kristin. This story wouldn't exist if it wasn't for her. I'm very happy you're going to check out her piece as well! I'm sure you'll enjoy it!!! :)

Of course it was meant to be "his"... Ops... I'll go fix that, thanks for pointing it out!

Thank you so much for all the appreciative comments and the wonderful review!!!
All my love, hugs and kisses!
Chiara


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Review #9, by Peeves The Way Out of the Maze

15th October 2015:
hiya Chiara,
Peeves here, come to spread Halloween cheer.

The way you write is so emotional, it had me feeling so tense that I crashed into a wall instead of sliding through it. Imagine - a poltergeist crashing into a wall...

I usually like stories about emotional turmoil and confusion, but abuse makes me really mad with anger. Every child knows it - you don't hit women. (Or anyone for that matter.) Sure, you may pull their hair on occasion or throw pieces of chalk at them, or even chase them through the corridors (hey, I'm a poltergeist), but you never cause them physical pain.

The tension and the helplessness of that girl made me feel really useless. I wanted to yell at her to get out of there that first time Theseus started yelling. People don't change. Like Umbridge, she'll stay the same boring, good for nothing piece of dragon dung she's always been. Even a herd of centaurs couldn't change her.
I'm getting distracted again, sorry.

This is a very well-written piece and I may just have to go have a look at the companion piece.
Meanwhile, enjoy the festivities - it's HALLOWEEN!

Author's Response: Hello Peeves!
I'm very happy you decided to visit! (Also, sorry for the late reply... It's been a crazy week...)

I'm glad I made you feel so many emotions! Well... not about the crashing part... you aren't hurt, are you? Do poltergeists feIel pain or...? Oh, whatever... I'm sorry...

I agree. Things like this shouldn't happen. Sadly they do happen every day, though... :(
Ahahah! Hope you didn't give poor Ari a too hard time when she was at school, did you? :P

Theseus was so horrible. She should've run away that first time, but unfortunately she didn't realize the danger back then... People do change sometime, but abusive people hardly ever do (and I totally agree with you about Umbridge, that woman makes me cringe with anger!)

Thank you so much for stopping by and for the lovely review! And happy Halloween!!! :)

Much love (no hugs, sorry... it would be awkward...)
Chiara


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Review #10, by TreacleTart The Way Out of the Maze

15th October 2015:
Hi Chiara,

I'm here for the first of our review swaps!

I considered reading this story the last time we did a swap, but since I saw it was for your collaboration piece I wasn't sure in what order it should be read.

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting piece. You did a great job of covering a large portion of Ariadne's life. We see her meet her first love, some of her time in school, her relationship with her brother, the deterioration of her love, and how the war is affecting her. That's a lot going on and I thought you handled it really well. It was easy to follow what was going on and it didn't really feel rushed or anything.

I really enjoyed Ari's relationship with her brother. In cannon, Zacharias is sort of a pompous prat that nobody likes, so it was really nice to see him through someone else's eyes. The ending was so sad and yet so sweet. The vulnerability you allow us to see in Zach is very nice.

I felt really sorry for Ari and how her relationship ended. It can be so easy to get dragged into a dysfunctional relationship without ever meaning to and sometimes it can be really hard to leave. I thought you did a good job of showing how the abuse started and how they ended up in this dangerous cycle. It felt very authentic to how abusive relationships normally work.

I'm so glad that Zacharias saved Ari from the abuse. He really seemed courageous and you could really tell where his D.A. training had come into play. I hate to think of what might've happened if he hadn't have been there.

My only little bit of critique is to be careful with the tense of your words. I noticed occasionally that you switched them up a bit. It was very minor and only in a small amount of places though.

ie: and then Ariadne bursted into tears - Ariadne burst into tears

All in all, I thought this was a lovely piece. You did a great job of making me care about an OC in a very short amount of time, which is something that's really hard to do.

Good job!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin!
Finally here to answer your reviews!!! :)

Oh, well... The two stories work just fine as stand-alones, even if I think reading Kristin's first might be better since she introduces Ariadne but focuses more on Zach and works with more recognizable characters and setting. (It's totally worth a read, btw, if you are interested)

It's good to know that the storyline was easy to follow. Cohesiveness was something I really struggle with writing this. Kristin's help was precious to achieve it!!!

I'm so happy you liked the two siblings' relationship! Once again, the basic idea came from Kristin (I love that girl!) I would never have imagined to write a story on Zacharias, especially one in which he is a good character. I enjoyed writing him in a different light, though.

I'm glad the abusive relationship worked. I was so scared about it, I feared I got it all wrong... so knowing that it felt authentic is a huge relief!

Zacharias is a good brother! And the DA training really helped him there! I'm glad he arrived at the right moment too! :)

Thank you for pointing that out, I'll go back to check! And, urgh, irregular verbs...

Thank you so much! I'm so happy I made you feel attached to Ari!!! Thank you for the swap and the amazing review!!!

All my love, as always!
Chiara


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Review #11, by The Basilisk The Way Out of the Maze

13th October 2015:
Hello, It is I, The Basilisk, come here to review. Hiss Hiss.

I really, really liked reading this. I rarely see brother-sissster relationships explored in fan fiction, it happens but seldom, so I'm glad you took this plot concept and went along with it. Seeing the relationship between Zacharias and his sister was very sweet. It was written very well, and the emotions came through beautifully throughout.

The part about the domestic violence was terrible. It was sad to read poor Ari being treated like that by what she'd thought was her true love or her guardian angel. But it was also realistic - as that is what happens a lot of times in RL too. The way you portrayed her thoughts and emotions on the matter, her inability to leave, her confusion, it was spot on. I was glad her brother 'saved' her in the end.

Over all, thisss was a really beautiful little one-shot that I liked reading. Your characterisations, plot, descriptions, and narrative were very good. You touched my cold centuries old snake-y heart with this. Definitely worth slithering out of my Chamber to read this!

10/10
Great job!

Hiss Hiss,
The Basilisk

Author's Response: Oh, wow!
Thank you so much!
I'm so honoured you decided to slither here (hope you didn't kill anyone on the way, though...)

I'm very happy you liked the siblings' relationship! I love to write siblings (might be because I'm an only child and I missed having a sibling so much...) Anyway, if you enjoyed Zach and Ari, you really should slither to marauderfan page and read her companion story for this! It's totally worth a visit, trust me! :)

It's a great relief to know that the domestic violence part worked! I was so scared writing about such a touchy and difficult subject... I'm glad Zach saved her in the end, too!

I suppose if I managed to move you I did a good job! Thank you so much for the beautiful, unexpected review and for all the appreciative comments!!!

All my love,
Chiara


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Review #12, by MuggleMaybe The Way Out of the Maze

4th October 2015:
Hi Chiara! I'm here for the swap :)

I really liked this! I believe there are many different ways to be a hero, and I love that you've taken Zach and shown how he is a hero for Ariadne, the person who needs him most.

The structure you chose is interesting and works well. You've sort of sandwiched the memories between the Battle of Hogwarts parts, so it's like we start with a question, and then you gradually reveal the answer as the memories unfold.

Ariadne is refreshingly normal. She's a good person, but she's scared when it makes sense to be scared and uncertain when it makes sense to be uncertain. It's a very honest characterization.

Theseus. WHAT a jerk!!! I'm SO glad Zach joined the DA so he was able to beat him and get rid of him, and keep his sister safe. Go Zach! (I've got to admit - I never thought I'd say that, haha.)

The writing is lovely. This line was particularly impressive:
"But the thing about angels is, when they fall they often turn into devils."
So good, Chiara!

I did catch one mistake - I think "dismissingly" in the third section is supposed to be "dismissively." ;)

I really, liked reading about Ariadne so much - I think she would make a great MC for a longer piece if you ever wanted to write one!

lots of love!
Renee

Author's Response: Hi, Renee! :)

Oh, thank you! I'm so happy you liked this story! It's quite different from everything else I've done, so it's good to know that it worked well!

Actually, the idea of Zacharias being a hero was Kristin's. If you get the chance, you should go read her story! It focuses on Zach and the war and I think it's really amazing! (But I might be partial... :P)

I do enjoy non linear narration. Glad you found the structure worked well! :)

I'm also glad that you liked Ariadne's character! It's good to know that she came out as a normal person and someone you can identify with. She is quite a fragile girl, but we can't all be strong and brave all the time, right?

Theseus is horrible! I'm honestly not sure why I decided to write about such a complex and touchy subject as violence on women... Anyway he's the most awful character I've ever written!

It is good Zach took part in the DA!!! Don't worry, I would never have expected to cheer for him either! Once again, it's all Kristin's fault!!!

That line is my favourite, too! I'm very happy you liked the writing!

Oh... Didn't know it was a mistake... I'll have to add it to my list of mispelled words... ;)

Aww... It's so great to hear it! I do love Ari! Who knows, I might do that! :)

Thank you so much for the absolutely stunning review! It made my day!
Much, much love!
Chiara


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Review #13, by Rumpelstiltskin The Way Out of the Maze

3rd October 2015:
Hey there :)!

Wow, that's some stunning imagery at the beginning! Your word choice to set the tone and mood (angst), like "cold...dark...narrow...empty...abandoned...lost, etc." was excellent. It got me ready for the whole story.

I love that you throw the reader right into the middle of chaos and action when this opens, partially because action is my *favorite*. What I loved even more was that you built my anticipation to just about the point that I'd expect the major conflict or beginning of resolution, and then you hop backwards. That I really love.

If I hadn't read the beginning, my initial reaction to Ari meeting Theseus for the first time would have been much different. I would have taken those butterflies in her stomach, the way his description was given through her perspective, and the easiness of their conversation as a wonderful potential love interest! However, after setting a mood like that at the beginning, my initial thought was "oh no, no Ari, don't do it", with that feeling of dread weighing in on me. Yelling at the computer monitor never works when I'm trying to tell the characters not to do something ;).

And then, the transition into the easiness of normality was so natural that I almost forgot where this story was headed. I love the playful interactions between Ari and Zach, as well as with her friends. Everything just feels so normal.

Not to mention, her slow burning romance with Theseus was amazing. By the way, this is some great foreshadowing here, "But the thing about angels is, when they fall they often turn into devils."

"It had only been an episode..." -- Ah yes, that's the classic thought process. I can definitely see how this can happen, where the victim would make excuses towards their abuser, but I can't help but yell at the monitor again.

I was even rooting Zach on ("kick his butt, Zach")!

And then, we end up back at the beginning! Brilliant! I love the bond between brother and sister and this, and I really think you've done a spectacular job!

(I also apologize, I'm a very slow reviewer :( !)

Anyway, thanks for the swap -- this story was great! It will definitely be going into my October recommendations! I'll also have to stop over to Kristen's page to see her companion to this!

Wonderful job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!
Oh, wow! This review! Thank you so much!

I'm so thrilled about your response, since it is the first feedback I'm getting on this story! (Well, apart from Kristin... but she's partial...)

Oh, I'm glad you liked the description at the beginning, that the images of the dream worked to set the mood. That's what I was aiming to!

Oh, wow! I'm happy the transition worked that way! And that I managed to build up the anticipation like that! It's really great to hear!

Erm, no... Yelling at your computer hardly ever works... I perfectly get the feeling... It did sound like the perfect blossoming romance, didn't it? Unfortunately, we know where this is heading...

I'm glad you liked her interactions with her brother and friends. I wanted to show her insecurities, but also to give her some normality, like you said. I'm glad it worked for the pace! :)

I must admit that I'm quite proud of that line! Glad you liked the foreshadowing!

That's the way it works, isn't it? Poor Ari, I feel so bad for her...

Ahahah! Yes, go Zach!!! I used to dislike him so much, and now he's my new hero... This is all Kristin's fault, by the way... :P

Glad that you loved the bond between the two siblings. And the story in general, really. It's very encouraging and reassuring, so thank you so much again!

And yes, absolutely go read Kristin's piece! It focuses more on Zach and the war and it's really an amazing read!!!

Thank you so much for the swap and the lovely review!
Much love,
Chiara


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Review #14, by marauderfan The Way Out of the Maze

21st September 2015:
♥ ♥ Hi! I'm so glad to see this story here so I can review it and favourite it and tell you once again how much I loved it!

I've read that opening section like 6 times now and each time I'm still impressed by the writing style and how well you managed to convey Ariadne's state of mind and how the stress of the war is affecting her. Your descriptions are lovely and I really appreciated the maze theme as it links to the myth behind her name! :D

You also show Zacharias in such a sympathetic light and it's really neat to see him in that sense, from the point of view of someone who cares about him and appreciates him, rather than from Harry's POV as Harry didn't like him. It's funny, because he's just as annoying (like when he's teasing Ariadne about her future wedding), but seeing him from this point of view it's kind of endearing rather than obnoxious, so great job making me like a dislikeable character haha.

I also think you did a really good job showing the harsh reality of abusive relationships and how people end up staying in them and just how harmful they are - but how she doesn't notice as the abusive aspect creeps up on her gradually. I am so glad she got out of that one.

You also tied your story together really well with the themes of escape, and I know the choppiness of having multiple segments was something we were both working on a lot and so I just wanted to let you know that it came together cohesively and the theme is clear, with her trying to escape the relationship and the war but feeling powerless in regards to both things. It worked out really well!

This is an awesome story. It was so great working with you! :D I would probably still be in my writing slump and not have written anything for months if not for this collab :P Plus it was just really fun writing with you and exceeding all of our expectations! 10 points to Team Unreliability!


Love,
Kristin

Author's Response: KRISTIN!!!
Did I mention that I love you? Yes, I think I did... A couple of times... :P

I think I work at my best with dream sequences and mazes... Should I ask myself some questions? Anyway, I'm so glad the description in that scene came out well! And that you liked it so much!!! And, well... the maze thing was your idea, so... :P

Ahahah! It's great to know that it worked that way! Zacharias through Ariadne's eyes surely is much more likeable, even if he's still a bit of a prat!

I must admit that aspect scared me a lot! For some reason I'm not sure about, I felt that should be what happened to her, but it was really difficult to write such a harsh reality without really knowing that much about it... Yes, fortunately she got out of it!!!

Oh, good!!! I'm so happy it worked out in the end!!! Thank you for your suggestions, they were really precious for making the story more cohesive and the escaping theme more clear!!!

Horray for Team Unreliability!!! You know how much I enjoyed working with you as well, you're awesome!!!

Tons, mountains, oceans of love!
Chiara


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