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Reading Reviews for The Mad Squad
  
2 Reviews Found

Review #1, by NPE Chapter One

15th January 2016:
Hi there, Elderflowers here, sorry for the delay, but I am here with your requested review.

I try and be more detailed on requested reviews such as these. Not to say my review swap comments are lazy, but they tend to be more of a search for positives in each other stories, almost a reassurance to keep writing. I will try and be as analytical as I can on review requests.

Right, well there is a lot to like here, and I should start with the good stuff.

First of all, the premise. Yes - terrific. I am exhausted by the Dramiones, What-Ifs and post-Battle of Hogwarts tales about Harry's kids.

Not that they are all bad.

Moody is a fascinating character and I think your first line is excellent.

"Alastor Moody stepped foot in the Ministry of Magic for the first time. And immediately decided that he didn稚 like it"."

Sweet and to the point - like Moody, what's not to like? :)

Additionally I really enjoyed these aspects:

Transfiguration battles - wonderful. JKR gives details of them in a few of the books, but because her focus is on Harry, whom is a great person and the perfect antidote to Voldemort, but not an exceptional talent like say, Dumbledore or Moody, we don't get to see magic like this.

It is really well described and punctuated, too. You get a very clear idea of what is going on for sure.

Plot through dialogue - I love plot explained through dialogue, I think it is easily the most interesting way to develop storylines and reveal character.

But it is pretty tricky t do, it is much easier to reveal it through twists or character actions.

Thankfully, for the most part, as I admire your conviction, you pulled it off for the most part.

All your characters have credible, distinct voices and none of the speaking sounds wooden.

The suggestion of the wider world - WW2, foreign relations, notions of justice, wider fears (censorship - for instance) are brought in bvery confidently.

It is always good to see these issues touched upon in relation to the fantasy. Apart from the issues with WW2, which weren't really made clear to me, I still don't get why they couldn't have covertly attacked Grindelwald in a muggle war, I liked the use of them.

Though I do get that WW2 would probably have affected wizards and wizard relations in some way.

As for the overall story, there are positives that go alongside labelled features. Chief among them the characterisation of the ministry, the suggestion of the emergence of women and the depiction of the tests was all really fascinating.

It is properly original in my view.

There is some CC I can think of.

Firstly, the last line isn't brilliant. Sorry. That sounds harsh. What I mean is it is too obviously an ominous benchmark about Moody. I cringed when I read it.

The truth is, the abilities or success of Moody, particularly in murky times like this would be very hard to determine, and I can't see how a man like Lynch would make such a bold statement.

I know you correctly set Moody up as a bit of a wonderkid, but if you are about to give him missions of that danger, I don't see why you'd butter him with praise like Lynch did at the end. He'd be a cocky, careless Auror if he was given that much commendation so early.

As much as I respect the way you brought in chess, I don't think that they would kick out Lyons (sorry if I misread it) just for losing a chess match. I know it is all to do with determining logic, and processes of thinking, but I think if someone showed that skill at 18, she wouldn't be dismissed.

There are other plot elements I didn't buy quite fully and thus read more like MacGuffins. I don't get why the Auror department would be officious and form-loving enough to need 3 to take the test.

Furthermore, would the Auror Department, otherwise characterised brilliantly with lynch be moral absolutists?

I don't think so. Now, they may not have killed Death Eaters frivolously, I remember that line in the books about Moody always taking people alive, but they were pragmatists, whom had to make murky decisions in people's best interests. The Ministry has always been a morally dubious organisation, it is one of the reasons for the two Wizarding Wars later on. The fact it was an uncontrollable monolith that stirred resentment and caused fractures in Wizarding Society.

That said, I accept it is perfectly possible that before then, they may have been honour obsessed and with such moral backbone, so I probably need to have a think about my critique there...as it shows a god contrast between the Ministry then and the Ministry of later Potter books.

I accept it could be a case that I don't agree with their moral position. If so, my bad.

In terms of writing critiques, I really like you writing style. It flows really elegantly, and the actual structure of the chapter and its arc is excellent. I definitely want to keep on reading, that is for sure.

I do think at times it hits a few cliches, but they don't damage the story. It is very readable and engrossing for the most part.

Definitely keep up the writing, this is really good for the most part,

Best,

Nick/Elderflowers/NPE

Author's Response: Hi Elderflowers!

Sorry I took so long to reply, I've been out for a while. Also, quick warning, whenever I used any sort of punctuation mark in this response a weird bunch of different A's appear. Be warned!

Firstly, thank you for all the suggestions, they aテδづつ决e all extremely helpful!

In regards to the ww2 part, I had it in my head while writing that the ministry of magic and muggle minister have some agreement/treaty kind of thing set in stone that operations like these must be declared, but I forgot to mention this in the chapter. I'テδづつ冤l definitely sort that out in chapter 2!

And yeah, it was probably too soon to put the last line in. I just figured that it fit in better here rather than later on, as there really wouldn'テδづつ冲 be much need or occasion for the line later on, so rather than just scrap the line altogether, I threw it in at the end, because I really wanted the line to be in the story somewhere.

As for Lyons and the chess game, I probably didn't explain that part properly, but she definitely hasn't been dismissed. I'll clear that up in the next chapter for sure.

As for the differences between the Ministry of Magic I'テδづつ况e described, and the Ministry of Magic in the books, this was intentional, as it actually plays a huge part in the plot. It ties in with the first line where Alastor "テδづつ彿mmediately decided he didnテδεつεδづつ「テδεつづδづつテδεつづδづつ冲 like it."テδづつ The Auror Department needing an exact amount of people to take the test, all the self-righteous and pretentious people in the Ministry, and Alastor's pondering over why the Auror Department isn't achieving anything, it all comes together to form a Ministry that Alastor doesn'テδづつ冲 like in the slightest, and so as the story progresses this will continuously be stressed until a very significant part of the plot is reached.

Thanks for all the critique; it was helpful, informative, and reassuring at the same time!

Thanks!


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Review #2, by velajune Chapter One

10th January 2016:
Hi Nico,

First off, your summary, I thought needed a bit more punch. I知 commenting about the summary because it is part of the story. I did love the last two lines except, 鉄omeone like talented 18 years old, fresh out of Hogwarts, Alastor Moody is an incomplete sentence. It is nice alone, so I would just add a main clause. For example, you can use, 典hat someone is talented 18 year old, fresh out of Howarts, Alastor Moody. The main clause is 典hat someone is talented 18 year old Alastor Moody. With your previous sentence, simply starting with 都omeone doesn稚 attach the idea anywhere. It痴 just a collection of floating words, if you will. Using 鍍hat immediately refers to the sentence before it.

Everything in the story was easy to understand and I found no grammar issues that stuck out to me. Unfortunately though, I did find the delivery of the story to be a bit boring. Everything seemed very straightforward sort of like: Alastor did this. Then he did that. Some variety would really help the story pop because you did everything else pretty well. And I like the idea and your choice of main character. Adding variety will also help you build Alastor痴 character without being straightforward by saying Alastor is brilliant. He is amazing.

It was only a tough read because of that issue. So, try varieties in your delivery/ sentence structures and possibly verbs. I would love to reread this again if you make any changes because there痴 great potential!!!

June

Author's Response: Hi!

I hadn't realized there was a grammatical error in the summary, but I do notice it now that you pointed it out, so I fixed that right away!

I did feel that the chapter was somewhat lackluster, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Adding more variety to the word choices in the chapter sounds like a great idea, so I'll get right onto that! Reading back on it, I really see what you mean about how monotonous the delivery can get, so that's a great help.

Thanks for the review, it was really helpful!


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