Reading Reviews for The Lake
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MrsJaydeMalfoy Quest

6th May 2016:
I found myself with a few, unexpected free minutes and thought I'd try to squeeze in one more review on one of your lesser-reviewed stories!

And AGAIN, Kevin, WOW! *Clicks favorite button*

I don't even know how to begin to review this. I'm just a puddle of awe and amazement sitting in a chair staring at the computer screen with wide eyes. Once again, you've tackled something SO original, so unheard of, and made it into one of the best stories I've ever read.

I've never before read something about the Giant Squid, or how he came to be the Giant Squid, so again, kudos on originality, and I LOVE THIS. This is my headcanon for how the Giant Squid came to be in the Black Lake and rescue Hogwarts students now. Even if JKR releases some kind of statement about it later, NOPE. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED.

I just... GAH! Kevin stop being so awesome! (Okay actually no, please don't!) :P

Something I've noticed about your writing across all three pieces I've read today is the flow and readability. On short pieces like this one, but also longer pieces like Schrodinger's Cat, your words just pulled me in and kept me glued to the screen, eagerly awaiting more. It's like I started reading and it was over all too soon. That's proof of how exciting and addictive your writing is - it flows so perfectly!

I wish I had more, intelligent words to write here about this, but honestly I'm just flabberghasted and speechless, I can't even form proper sentences right now. Just... this is just AMAZING, Kevin. I really hope you realize how talented you are!

Author's Response: Howdy once more!

The true credit for birthing this has to go to Jill (1917farmgirl). When I was puzzling over what to write her for the Gift-It (because I CANNOT write her faves, Fred and George) she (jokingly I think TBH) said to write her a Giant Squid origin story. Me being me, I took it super seriously and here we are :P

This was a unique story for me in terms of timeframe too, but it was really fun to get into the ancient period where people can't just go wherever because they don't KNOW wherever, where people don't think they've just all of life figured out, and where there can be a more forthright element of spirituality (IMO anyway).

While I felt strongly about who Galan was, that last element was so important because I wanted to meld that spirituality with magic, indeed as a possible source for it, while also leaving open the idea that maybe he's just doing magic thinking it's spiritual. But the bottom line is he actually doesn't KNOW he's doing magic really until he starts transforming at the end and even then isn't quite certain. He's a leader of men, a rescuer, a warrior. And so he does what has to be done.

Thanks so much for your kind words! Once again, I hope you're well and I really appreciate your kindness in R&R-ing these!

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Review #2, by TreacleTart Quest

4th May 2016:
Hey Kevin!

I'm here to leave you a review for the Sitewide Hot Seat Reviews!

This was a really unique story to say the least. I don't think I've ever read an origins story for the Giant Squid, so this was definitely a first.

I liked that the motivation of Galan was to save his troops from the Grindylows and that he sacrificed his human life to do so. There's also something really cool about him remaining there for ages and saving people who get tossed into the water. I actually wrote a one-shot about Dennis Creevey seeing Hogwarts for the first time, falling into the lake, and being fished out by the Giant Squid (although I named her Bessie), but this folklore fits in nicely with it.

Definitely on first read through I kept going, where's the magic? But after reading your author's note and then doing a second read through, I can see it a little bit. It has me almost wondering if Galan did some sort of untrained animagus transformation and then got stuck.

Anyway, I think this was a really cool little one-shot.


Author's Response: Howdy Kaitlin! Deep apologies for the delay in responding, but I've finally made it.

This story came out of rather hilarious session of me whining on Skype that I didn't know what to write for Jill or Tanya and when Jill (halfway-jokingly) referenced an origin story for the Giant Squid, naturally, I HAD to go there.

As I was winding my way toward OF for Camp NaNo, I was wanted a more original, harder break from tradition, closely-hewing FF and this worked well.

Galan's magic! there's always been this interesting divide to me between magic and religion, even among fans with the whole "Merlin" business in situations where many would say "God" today despite all the possible religious symbolism of the entire story and so in some measure I wanted to do something with that here and tried to start with the premise that neither Galan, nor his mother realized they were CAPABLE of magic and thus were not wand-wielders breaking out incantations, but that their performance of it could be read in a couple of ways with the invocation of a deity. First, it can be viewed (hopefully) as those invocations actually permitting him to access those abilities which he would otherwise be incapable of. Second, it can be read as both mistaking what comes after the invocations as acts of a deity when in fact they are unknowing manifestations of their own magical ability. I don't endorse either view as far as the story goes, but hopefully that makes sense.

And the Giant Squid transformation! I actually wasn't thinking of the animagus view (weirdly enough), but in fusing the above alternate readings together, I actually imagined the idea being that whether by a deity shaping the result of his magic or by "ancient magic" of a similar sort to Lily's loving sacrifice for Harry, Galan "traded" his humanity for the continued humanity and survival of his troops, but in a manner that allowed him to still live in a sort of recognition of his sacrifice. Hopefully that makes sense too.

OR...everyone can just read it as an odd, sort of unique, action/adventure story! HUZZAH SIMPLICITY!

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Review #3, by Secret Cupid! Quest

15th February 2016:
Hello Lover boy!

What an amazing story!!! That was so original and different, I haven't read many stories like this around here and tht was very refreshing.

Everything about it : the format, the narrative and descriptive aspects, the vocabuary used, the characters created ... was brilliantly done and gave this fairy taly aspect you wished to create.

I felt like I was right there with Gallant during this ordeal. It felt like I was reading one of those books I used to read as a child, dreaming of becoming a knight!! You really did a wonderful job with this story and the feel you managed to create, it was one of the most interesting story I've have the chance to read in a while!

I hope you had a lovely day full of love :)

Author's Response: Howdy Mystery girl (?)!

Thank you so much for your kind words. When I wrote this I was a little paranoid that "original and different" was just going to come across as exceedingly odd, but I'm glad you thought it worked! Your thoughts on the effectiveness of the narrative and description in particular were really gratifying to read because I don't feel those are always the strongest aspects of my writing!

Thanks again and I hope you had an excellent Valentine's Day too!

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Review #4, by 1917farmgirl Quest

30th January 2016:
THAT WAS AWESOME! I love it!! I love history and I love legends and this was just super cool!

You, my friend, are amazing at painting a picture with words! I could see and feel and hear every bit of the story happening. The drenching rain, the creepy, creepy voices. It gave me chills. And I loved the old-style language you used, in Galan's pleas to the gods.

Seriously, why are you thinking this is a weird story? It's incredibly creative! This is my headcanon for the Giant Squid now! Totally and forever!

Ah, I don't know how to tell you how much I like this story. So moody and old feeling and just the kind of thing I love. Thanks so much! You are the best friend ever!

Now you know we will all be demanding more adventures of Galan/Giant Squid in the future, right?

Author's Response: I'm finally getting to respond (sorry), but I'm glad you enjoyed it! As you know I was worried it was just...odd...and though I've tried to place WHY, I don't really have an answer for it, other than it was quite different from most anything I've written before.

I actually kind of like Galan, so who knows what else I might try to write about him in his pre-Giant Squid days at some point, but I'm really glad too that you find the whole transformation thing believable enough to be a headcanon!

Thanks for R&R-ing and for being such an amazing friend yourself!

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Review #5, by Bardic Magic Quest

30th January 2016:
Nicely done, Kevin! or Coimbhain, in Gaelic...not sure what it is in Pictish. ;)

As you mentioned in your author's notes, I did have the Giant Squid part figured out (and the grindylows), but you got me with the geography.

The name Galan and the reference to the Seven Kingdoms led me to Ireland. Wales was out, because Galan didn't have any double consonants, "Y's" or "W's" in it. :) Then, in your notes you mentioned he was from 2nd Century CE Northern Scotland. I had to google the Irish tuatha to realize there weren't enough (only 5) in that time period.

I liken (just my view, here) Galan's ability to a cleric in D&D: calls upon his deity for the power to use magic...sometimes performing magic that wasn't his intent, but ended up being the deity's intent.(Been there, done that.)

I must say, though, it wasn't as weird as I was expecting (hoping?). Does that say something about me? LOL!

Just a note...check your punctuation. I think there may have been some editing which left a word out, here and there, but the punctuation stayed. I'll have to reread it to give you specific examples.

Other than that, kudos namesake! Excellent story.

Author's Response: Howdy Kevin!

I'm glad you were able to figure out the Giant Squid bit - as you know I was quite worried this thing was just going to be very odd, period.

Originally I intended to pepper in Gaelic actually, but my research revealed that the Picts had their own sort of hybrid tongue and I wasn't going to attempt that so I just stuck with the modern and made the reference at the end.

As far as the cleric comparison, I definitely see where you're coming from (having played a lot of D&D-based computer games, though not the actual game itself (tabletop or LARP - yet). I wanted him to model more after the Sorcerer class from BGII, but injected the prayer bit as: (1) Picts are believed to have been spiritual, but probably polytheistic and/or animalistic and (2) I wanted to present his inner magic as something that he wasn't necessarily aware he was capable of. So he cracked it up to spirituality, but in reality it was his own magic, if that makes any sense.

Thanks for the notes on punctuation. I'm horrible about editing/proofing, but if I ever get back round to doing so to all my stories (probably when I go into finally editing the finished product of Evolution), I'll take a look!

Thanks for the R&R!

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