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Reading Reviews for Ill met in Darkness
4 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Unicorn_Charm Ill met in death

17th May 2016:
Hi Andrew! I'm here with your review I promised! :)

Wow. Ok. So at the beginning of this I was like, "who in the world is Voldemort talking to?? Who would he be giving this much information to??" Then as I continued, and things became clearer, I audibly gasped. Not only was I shocked at who he was speaking with, but I was so, so impressed with the true brilliance of this and how original of an idea this was. It's such a cool way of showing how Voldemort gave the instructions to the diary. I love it!

I also wrote a story for this challenge, so I totally get how difficult it is. You don't realize how heavily you rely on description until you try to write without it. This, I thought, was amazing. Just with the dialogue only, I was still able to paint a very clear picture in my head of what was happening and the dark atomsphere of the piece. Their words alone provided enough description that I was left feeling uneasy the entire time. You did a fantastic job with this challenge!

I thought Voldemort was so wonderfully in character. I definitely suited his nature to not even let his Horcrux know how many he had managed to make. Voldemort does not trust anyone, and here we see that he doesn't even trust a part of himself. That little detail alone made him feel so much like the man we know from canon. Really excellent job there.

I also enjoyed how cocky and arrogant we wrote the young Tom Riddle/Horcrux. Also very much like we saw in CoS. You have a very great handle on him as a man and as a boy. It's very impressive.

Overall I thought this was just great. The dialogue was chilling, the idea was super original and the whole thing was so interesting to read. I'm so glad that I had the chance to read this. It was so, so well done!

Thanks for sharing and good luck in the challenge!!

xoxo Meg

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Review #2, by UnluckyStar57 Ill met in death

9th May 2016:
Hey Andrew! I'm here for the May BvB!

Wow, this is a really interesting experiment in dialogue-only prose! It's been a while since I've written a BvB review, so I'll try to do it justice.

The concept that you created for this story is really original and intriguing. I didn't understand it at first, but as I read further down the page, everything started to get clearer. Voldemort+Young Tom Riddle Horcrux=Ultimate Strategy Meeting? Whoa! That's an idea that could take thousands of words to cover, and you managed to write it in just over 1000!

Oh my goodness, I loved how Voldemort and Tom complimented each other. That was a bit of dark humor in the midst of what was arguably a scary situation. And of course, Voldemort is so vain that he calls on his handsomest Horcrux to talk to. :D

A question: Why did Voldemort keep saying "Avada Kedavra" before Tom came into the light? I was a little confused about why he would use the Killing Curse on a Muggle that was already dead, but I might have missed something there.

It's really cool to get Voldemort's perspective on all of this stuff. I'm guessing that this is taking place sometime before Harry's first year, or maybe during his first year? Either way, it's very clear by the dialogue where Voldemort is in his journey to become the Most Evil Wizard Ever. I wonder if Quirrel could hear him and was offended?

Wow, but their conversation was so intense! Not only does Voldemort have all these loyal Death Eaters, but he also has a past self that is unfailingly loyal! It's really incredible that you chose to zero in on the diary Horcrux's strategic position in the hands of Lucius, and later, at Hogwarts, because things can really get messed up with an inside man (and they sure did!). I love how you've expanded on this part of canon, because it's not something I'm normally inclined to think about.

I wonder who the Muggle was that he killed to get the spell to work? And why he chose to kill a Muggle instead of a wizard? Those questions are probably better left mysteries, but I'm curious anyway!

Also, I can't say enough how impressed I am that this story is completely dialogue-based! Despite the difficult subject matter, your dialogue was easy to follow and I could imagine the scene pretty well as I read. There are tons of unanswered questions in this story, but that's definitely part of the mystery and horror inherent in the story. I know you love descriptions (and honestly, who doesn't?!), but you did an amazing job with this story! You should definitely experiment with dialogue more often!

Great job!


Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review.

Yes, it was deliberately cryptic to begin with. I meant it to become clearer and clearer as it went on until you realised exactly who it was and just whom he was meeting. Ultimate strategy meeting, precisely. I envision Voldemort thinking exactly along those lines, that in his embodied horcrux he has the ultimate in followers/servants: someone who has the same goals he has and who can be trusted (far more than he is willing to trust anybody else).

Yeah, I liked the thought of that. Voldemort has many sins and I do believe that vanity is one of the strongest ones (behind false pride, of course). I think that it would be a big love fest if he were ever to meet himself.

Part of the pitfalls of having no allowable explanation is that one must rely upon what a character would believably say; it is one this story falls into upon occasion. As the horcrux is materialising, before Voldemort can see exactly who/what it is, he senses another presence. As he is standing over the body of a Muggleborn at the time, his nature tends towards eliminating a potential witness. That is what he is meant to be doing, hence his repeated, 'who is it' and 'show yourself' along with the killing curses he throws in the supposed interloper's direction.

Because I cannot reinforce what the characters say with exposition and description, then clues that are given out in only one place may be missed or obscure. It is meant to be taking place long before Harry's first year, actually it takes place in Harry's literal first year. That is what is meant by Voldemort's reference to what Severus has told him - meaning to imply, what Snape told him about the overheard prophecy.

That's the point of this Horcrux, and it's one of the reasons it worries Dumbledore so much when he finds it. It is unheard of to use a horcrux in such a way, as a weapon, to be used and brought into the light. It implies, as Dumbledore realises, that there must be more than one to keep their maker safe. But the potential of the destructive power of a second Voldemort running around at the first Voldemort's bidding is truly awful to contemplate.

The dying person is not meant to be a Muggle, but rather a Muggleborn, hence Voldemort's use of the expression, Mudblood.

So thank you for your kind words and even kinder praise. I'm so glad that it was in the end easy to follow - though I do believe the italicised half of the conversation helped. But that is acceptable, I believe, being as one half of the conversation is by a disembodied spirit. And one of the wonderful aspects of having it dialogue based, is that the reader is left to imagine a lot of the horrors of the piece themselves.

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Review #3, by PaulaTheProkaryote Ill met in death

26th April 2016:
Hello! I'm here for BvB.

I also love descriptors. Ones that go on for days and days, but I think given the lack of them, it was still a remarkably great story!

Maybe I'm weak, but if someone was torturing me I think I'd be more than happy to slip into unconsciousness. I don't really think it's something to be easily controlled either. It's a realistic reaction and I'm glad you added it in.

At first I couldn't figure out who in the world Voldemort was talking to, but I finally figured it out when Tom talks about being dormant and feeling weaker. Of course! It needed Ginny to be on the brink of death to be as powerful, so that makes perfect sense.

Just know that I'm dying with laughter at their reunion: "Yes, I was always handsome, but you … you are magnificent." Really, Tom? Really. Narcissist. It's just one giant love fest of power and evilness. I think that's very in character with what we know.

I really liked the bit about Lucius Malfoy and his libraries and money because it makes a lot of sense. He'd have to find out somewhere and obviously Dumbledore wasn't going to tell him. He couldn't very well go asking around much either, that'd be absurd and incredibly suspicious.

It's funny to me that Voldemort can't even seem to trust himself. He wasn't willing to tell his younger self in horcrux form how many he had made. It reminds me of all of his trust issues. The only person he seems to trust in the world is Severus, and even then not entirely.

I hate the "poor fool's mind" because Ginny wasn't a poor fool, just an innocent, vulnerable girl. I keep thinking about how the horcrux drained Harry, Ron, and Hermione so much in DH, what must carrying this awful one that kept possessing her do to her?

Why do you think that Voldemort only made that one horcrux like the diary? None of the other ones had nearly as much power. Maybe because it's quite literally the embodiment of him? Maybe because it was his first horcrux and they became progressively weaker with each shattering of his soul?

“Everything goes as planned. I am the true master of death and life. Nothing shall stand in my way once I deal with the matter that Severus has brought to my attention." I mean, I hate to be the one to break it to him...things aren't going to go exactly as planned.

I'm assuming that the last bit about what Snape had alerted him to would be the prophecy. I like the tie in there. I also really like how hopeful Voldemort is. It's to the point of naivety that he thinks he's truly the master of death. All great things must come to an end!

Overall, I think you did a fabulous job telling this story in just dialogue. It was a refreshing style to read and kept me guessing. I'm glad you managed to persevere despite originally being put off by the challenge! I think you handled the obstacles incredibly well!

Author's Response: This is an excellent review, thanks so much.

I really thought that I couldn't write a story like this at all, but then I had an idea and it just wouldn't go away. Descriptors, I love them, but it's not just them, I also like to put in the speaker's expressions and gestures as well.

Yes I think unconsciousness would be a natural reaction to severe torture, but not to Voldemort - he is the sort to be ever scornful of normal human weaknesses of others.

I knew it would be confusing at first, but I thought that my audience wondering just who the second party was, would be half the fun of it. It's so obvious by the end, that you can go back and re-read it in that light. It's only a thousand words, so I think it can stand a re-read. And it's logical that the horcrux Voldemort gains more strength as the wizard it's draining its life-force from becomes weaker.

Oh yeah, as I said in one of my other responses, it would be just a big lovefest if the two of them met. I can just imagine it, 'you're so evil,' 'no you're so evil.'

Thank you, I thought the bit about Malfoy was logical too. It always strikes me from the books, though it is reading a bit into it, that Malfoy was probably the most well-heeled of Voldemort's followers. We know the Lestranges were rich, from their vaults, but I always got the impression that that was due to robbery and mis-deeds. So the Malfoys would have old riches - like a well stocked library - that no one else would have.

Yes, trust. The only person Voldemort would trust is himself, and even then, as we see here, not even that. It harks back, for me, to the reasons why he is doing all of this - his basic 'fear of the dark' as Dumbledore put it. But it's also the fact that he doesn't know what might happen to the horcrux; who's hands it might fall into. If he gives it information that must be kept a secret, that information could be extracted by a powerful third party. It is him more being cautious with this, than a pure demonstration of his lack of trust.

Yes Ginny isn't a 'poor fool', not to us anyway, but to Voldemort, everyone else is a fool to him. He even calls Dumbledore a fool at one point.

All of those could be factors of why the diary is the way it is, but the biggest reason is the one from the books. It's obvious to me, but I couldn't put it in the story - no explanations remember *sigh*. Dumbledore says it in OotP, when he first found the diary after the events of CoS; it was the first evidence he had that Voldemort had made any horcruxes, but it was so unusual because it was obviously designed as a weapon, to be used. Most horcruxes are designed to be hidden and thus preserve the life of the maker. This was the first, unsettling, clue that Dumbledore had that Tom Riddle must have made more than one on his path to becoming Voldemort.

Yes, Voldemort, such is hubris.

You are correct, the last bit does indeed tie the whole into the story that we know at that point - his newfound knowledge that Snape provided him of the prophecy.

Thank you so much for your words. Not only didn't I want to write it, I was quite worried that what I had eventually written would come across as incomprehensible.

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Review #4, by TheEmotionalTeaspoon Ill met in death

28th March 2016:
Wow, this was really interesting to read, I think you did a great job! I'll admit I was struggling to figure out exactly what was going on at first, but I think that was part of the fun of it, especially as it become clearer and clearer.

The overall tone was really on point as well, despite the fact you weren't allowed to describe anything. I think in places it even worked to your advantage as I imagined a pretty creepy setting just as a result of the situation at hand.

“Yes you did, of course you did. Your dreams are large, your dreams are magnificent. You envisioned exactly this.” -I really liked this line, it definitely seems like something he would say, and it sort of paints a picture of his visions and passion for the dystopia he wants to create. Although of course he'd consider it a utopia.

Anyway, overall I was really impressed with this, well done!

- Kate :)

Author's Response: Thanks for this lovely review, my first on this story.

I'm glad you found it interesting, that's one of the things that attracted me to it in the first place. What if these two met, how would they get on?

Yes, you are quite correct. That was meant to be half the fun of it, not knowing exactly who was who. It was meant to be very obvious by the end, so that you could go back and see exactly what was happening the second time you read it. It's only short, it can stand a second read.

The first section did suffer in the comprehension part by not having any description, but it was meant to be slightly opaque. The title had that secondary meaning after all, that the audience was in the dark as well and had to sort out what exactly was going on. But in the second section, the lack of description, as you say, worked in my favour. It could be anywhere: it could be somewhere truly creepy; or somewhere mundane that is made to be horrific by the events that have occurred.

It's what I thought would happen, he is such a selfish self-centred person, that it would just be a big love fest between the two. Along the lines of - "You're so evil." "No, you're so evil."

Thanks for the vote of confidence, I didn't know how I'd go when I first wrote this, so your words of encouragement have been excellent.

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