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Reading Reviews for Always
  
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Sectumsempra7 Epilogue

5th January 2016:
OMG, your story was so good! I was literally hooked on reading it once I started. It's very interesting how you made an alternate line of events where Snape saved Lily instead of relying on Dumbledore. It was quite tragic how Moody, Shacklebolt, Sirius and McGonagall were killed a short while after James.

Dumbledore defeated Voldemort, but he still would eventually come back, wouldn't he? He has all those Horcruxes remaining.

It is nice how you've included characters without a big role in the books, like Augustus Rookwood and Barty Crouch Sr.

That was a good cliffhanger you have left at the end of the epilogue.

Anyway, you've written an amazing story. Keep writing. :-)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for that review, it made my day :D

Creating and following this alternate line of events was, probably, among the things I had the most fun with while I was writing. Trying to figure out how one change (Snape saving Lily) would lead to another, then to another etc. was absurdly fun for me.

Killing certain characters was something I wanted to include at any cost in this story. I firmly believe that when one is writing about such type of conflicts, there has to be victims and collateral damage.

As to Voldemort and the Horcruxes... well, yes, I don't see the point of trying to be shy - the story is an AU, but everything BEFORE Snape saved Lily has happened in the same way it happened in canon. So, yes, Voldemort still has the Horcruxes. Problem is, none of our heroes know it yet... though Dumbledore has his suspicions.

Thank you for the kind words, my friend. And no worries, I am already working on the sequel of this story, though I can't promise when exactly will I start publishing it - I generally want to have a lot of chapters done before I begin publishing so I won't have to worry whether an update is late on a weekly basis.


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Review #2, by The Basilisk Chapter 1

21st December 2015:
Greetingsss and Sssalutationsss!

I do love Severus Snape, we have the ability to see eye-to-eye, and that is truly a wonderful stepping stone in any friendship. Furthermore, I think that you've done a brilliant job with his characterization -- his personality, due to his complexity as a character, can be difficult to capture at times, but I do believe that you've done him great justice.

There's a great sense of urgency as Snape attempts to figure out who the Potters' secret keeper could be, and I think it's hitting what the mood should be right on the mark. He's frantic, and it's perfect!

Fantastic first chapter, and that last line was a wonderful hook into the next chapter.

Sssincerely,
The Basilisk

Author's Response: Thank you for the review!

Severus is a complex character, that's very true... but for some reason I didn't have a great difficulty imagining his mindset in order to write his POV. As the story progresses, we get to see it through the eyes of a few other characters as well, and they were harder for me to capture than Snape was. He actually was the one character who, for a lack of a better term, "wrote himself"; with that in mind, he is a troubled and self-loathing individual... and even if that makes him a great character and an interesting protagonist, sometimes being inside his mindset is a bit too much. Not that I'm complaining, I'm happy with how he turned out and that you liked it!

Glad that I've hooked you for the next chapter! Hope you have a good time reading :)

Thanks for the review again, my scaly friend :D


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Review #3, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter 1

20th December 2015:
Merry Christmas. Here is a gift for the Ravenclaw gift exchange.

I do love the character of Severus Snape. He is the quintessential villain. He's a horrible person and treats Harry terribly, but he is in fact, ultimately fighting the same war as Harry, just in a completely different way. He has so much depth and has flaws layered upon flaws. This is what makes him such an interesting character to explore.

In this piece, you can really feel his regret. He didn't know at the time what the ultimate outcome would be for telling Voldemort the prophesy, but now he realises that's it could very well end Lily's life. It may not be from his wand, but he has as good as murdered her.

His emotions are very raw and soul consuming and you depict this very well. One sentence I particularly like was this one "For a brief, pathetic moment his heart had the insolence to hope. But then his mind reeled back, engulfed by a sea of black desperation." But it is just one of many beautifully crafted sentences that show his state of mind. You can really feel him screaming at himself and trying to find away to save her when it seems like there is not hope at all. Towards the end he seems to get more of a handle of himself and can start to coherently think out a possible way to save her.

You're writing is beautiful and this piece flows really well. There is wonderful imagery and it felt like I was there with Severus watching as he tormented himself and I was also taken right into his head to see his inner thoughts.

Jacqui

Author's Response: Thanks for the gift, Jacqui :D

So you think Snape is the quintessential villain? That's a very interesting perspective, even though it's practically the complete opposite of my personal opinion. But that shows you just what a complicated character he is - two people can have two vastly different opinions about him... but they can both be right at the same time.
To me, and by the by, this is the opinion I had long before I wrote this story, ever since the novels were finished and we found out his true allegiance and motivations, he is the quintessential tragic hero, somewhat corrupted by his flaws and yet seeking some sort of a redemption. And at the same time, he is an utter asshole :D If that's not awesome, I don't know what is :D

Getting into his head in order to describe his emotions throughout the story was relatively easy, he is, at his core, a logical person with strong emotions (just tries to hide them a lot). A hope I've done him justice. As the story progresses, it gets inside the minds of a few other characters as well.

Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter :)


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Review #4, by TreacleTart Chapter 1

19th December 2015:
Advent Calendar - Day 17

Hi there!

I saw your story listed in one of the recommendation threads on the forums, so I thought I'd head over here and check it out!

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Severus (as I think a lot of people do). In cannon, he's such a miserable, mean person, but he also moves mountains and inevitably dies to save Harry in honor of Lily Potter. There's something about that that makes it impossible for me to completely write him off as a bad person.

In this first chapter, it sticks pretty close with what's going on in cannon, but the shell of the story says that this will be AU and that Snape will attempt to save Lily. I honestly can't wait to see what you change and how it affects the story.

I thought you did a great job of capturing the essence of Snape's behavior in this. He definitely has the self-loathing that we see in cannon, but instead of wallowing in it, he finally decides to do something about it. I sort of always wondered why Snape decided to solely trust Dumbledore. He never trusted anyone else that way, so it seems like a logical conclusion that he might actually want to ensure that Lily was safe.

Your writing in this was lovely too. You did wonderful work with your description and it left me able to really see Snape sitting alone on a floor in a dark room, sobbing and being angry with himself for betraying his love. It made the story feel very rich.

Now I do always try to leave at least a tiny bit of cc in my stories, so here it goes...

I didn't notice much in the way of errors, but I did catch two sentences that were a little bit awkward.

there was no point to continue living. – in continuing to live

wouldn't risk the prophecy progeny to be anywhere – either “allow the prophecy progeny…” or “progeny being anywhere…”

All in all, I thought this was a really strong start to your story and I'm definitely interested in reading more. I hope to be back soon for the next chapter! Good job! And welcome to HPFF!

Happy Holidays.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hey, Kaitlin.

Thank you for the review and the kind words!

I can definitely agree with your assessment on Snape. He is a complicated person, really, so it's very hard to make a definitive description. Like you say, he's generally a miserable bastard and a bully... but also capable of amazing dedication and personal loyalty. I like characters like that, complicated and not happy-go-lucky, so I wouldn't say I personally have a love/hate relationship with him... but I completely understand it when people do.

The self-loathing is important part of his personality... but let me tell you, after spending roughly a third of this long story inside his head, trying to write in his POV and voice, I was a bit tired of his self-loathing :D

The first chapter is more or less within the boundaries of canon, at least at the beginning. Soon after that the whole thing becomes completely AU. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. Though I'm personally interested in these types of stories, but a fair warning - if you intend to continue reading, you might as well throw any future canon events out of the window. That's actually an interesting dichotomy between the reader and the writer here - I honestly have no idea how this story reads (other than seeing people's opinions, of course) but writing it, I felt like I'm following a collapsing domino. One small change leads to another, leads to a bigger one, leads to an even bigger one, and so on, until by the end it's completely AU. It was very interesting to write, I hope it's interesting to read too.

Awkward word choices and odd sentences are present within the story, that's true. I try to do my best when I write, but English is not my native language and I didn't use a beta when I wrote and published the story, so a few mistakes are bound to creep up. I usually notice them only after I upload a chapter too >:O

Again, thank you for the lovely review. And despite being new to HPFF, I like this place a lot already :)

Happy Holidays to you too!


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Review #5, by ProfessorMinnie Epilogue

16th December 2015:
Wow. That was really really good, and for your first time as well! You're making me jealous. I did notice, however, that Lily and Snape just seemed to settle into their old crush rather... quickly. Too quickly, I think. Two weeks after her husband dies and she's already rethinking ever leaving Snape behind? Now, granted, you probably couldn't show a more realistic, very slow reconciliation between the two of them, but I thought it was lovely the way you portrayed them. I think you will guess my next beef...

YOU KILLED MCGONAGALL?! WHYY!

I mean, she was so awesome, flying like a big shot, killing Death Eaters... and then she dies. It gutted me when I read that. Absolutely devastated me, more so than Dumbledore's canon death because unlike you, JK drove the point that "Hey dudes and dudettes, Dumby's dead" to death.

-What happened to Sirius' wand? Did it stay in the courtroom?
-What made you decide to let the Dementors Kiss the Longbottoms?
-And just how was Voldemort able to conjure food? That goes against Gamp's Third Law of Elemental Transfiguration!
-Is Bellatrix dead?
-Will you explain how Grindelwald survived in Nurmengard?

Overall, it was very good, well executed, and had minimal issues with word choice or grammar. I took off one star for the death of McGonagall.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Professor!

Let me answer some of your points. I'll start with the one I think would be of most importance to you.

I killed McGonagall for a couple of reasons, actually. One was the fact that by the time I wrote the final battle, I already knew I would be doing a sequel and so I knew that I would need a lot of the characters that took part of the battle for it. Which meant that Lily, Snape, Dumbledore and Narcissa couldn't be killed because I couldn't do the sequel without any of them. Which didn't leave me with a lot of options.
One option was Lupin but I felt that I've put him through enough over the course of the story by having him lose his best friends, and then to add salt to the wound by killing him felt like I would be overdoing it; and I managed to find a nice role for him in the sequel too.
Another option was to actually don't kill any of the "good guys" during the battle but considering how many characters I had already killed, I felt it would be a bit flat if nobody paid the ultimate price during the finale.
And so the only option left was McGonagall. You see, this is where I saw the drawbacks of writing a story without having a detailed plain beforehand. I mean, I always knew the general direction in which the story was going to, but a lot of the details and the smaller plot points came to me on the spot as I wrote. If I had known when I started that I would kill Minerva at the end, I actually would have made the effort to give her a bigger role in the story so the blow would be worse for the reader.
And yes, I realize this is evil :D I also learned my lesson, and I'm taking a lot more time with the "pre-production" of the sequel, trying to figure out almost everything beforehand.

To Lily and Snape and whether their relationship was repaired too fast... maybe. I actually thought it was slow, to be honest, considering that initially, when I started the story, I actually wanted to make it a full romance (back then the story would have taken longer than two weeks, though the events would have been largely the same). She didn't want to leave him behind... but that didn't mean that she forgot James, just that she had seen enough death and had lost enough of her dearest people. I do intend to take my time with them during the sequel... and they will have a lot of other problems too.

- Sirius' wand... I assume the Death Eaters took it and destroyed it after they took Snape captive. I don't intend for it to be of importance in the future.
- I let the dementors kiss the Longbottoms because I'm a sadistic arse. That, and I actually love Neville's arc in the novels - how he starts out as a timid and a kinda stupid clumsy little boy, but he grows up to be a fine and strong young man. But for that to work, he needs the upbringing he had within the books, with his overbearing grandma.
- The food... this is why I need to reread the books, I guess. Consider it a mistake on my part, or that Voldemort is that good that he managed to somehow circumvent the third law. Whatever works better, I admit it's a mistake as I actually had no idea about that.
- Bellatrix is dead.
- Grindelwald survived because he was enormously powerful and even Nurmengard couldn't make him expire quick. He's a little more than a squib now, though, and he'll have to rely mainly on his sharp, cunning mind.

Word choice and grammar are hard. I'm not a native English speaker and even though I dare say I speak it well, sometimes the odd mistake slips up. Thanks again for the review, Prof :)


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