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Review:Jeff Colwin says:
Right, now that I've got that very Peter-like admiration out of my system, I'll move on to the actual review.
I read the entire thing in close to an hour and I'm just so addicted already, it's not even funny. There's so many things remarkable about this story, both glaringly obvious, and so easy to take for granted, so I'm going to list them out one by one.
First, and perhaps the most blindingly obvious, is how gorgeous your characterization is. You've portrayed nearly every character so flawlessly that I can barely contain the flood of praise I'm about to dole out. I'm not so sure about how convincing Marlene is as such an airhead, especially after how selfless she came off in first year, but it seems like just a phase, and you're doing it realistically enough. Another thing which struck me as a bit off was that incident when James told Lily that there was no point in fighting a losing battle, because that doesn't sound like James AT ALL. James is the kind of guy who never gives up and never backs down, something which came across really strongly in his pursuit of Lily in Hogwarts.
But apart from that. Oh, sweet Merlin.
I wish I could list out all the moments where I just went, "That sounds EXACTLY like her/him!" Everything about each character's lives affected them so realistically. James with his incredible upbringing, and his goofiness and lightness and idealism and grit. Sirius with his abusive background, and his strong walls of recklessness and courage hiding his wounds and incredible empathy. Remus with his innate goodness and desire to let no one hurt like he did, and his instinct to comfort and nurture. Peter, with his complexity of thought, his indecision, his hero-worshipping and his desire to belong. Lily, with her fierce sense of right and wrong and her equally fierce loyalty, two things which constantly grapple with each other during her friendship with Snape. (At this point I'd also like to commend how you didn't just make her a goody two-shoes, but a far more complex individual with the exact kind of flaws which only James would truly understand, but the kind of qualities that would make both him and Snape fall in love with her. I especially loved the moment in the hospital wing when James sees right through her guilt and tells her to make sure her decisions are worth it.) Snape is especially gorgeously written, with his jealously, and unquenchable curiosity, and his bitterness and indecision coming through very clearly.
The support characters are amazing too, and really well fleshed out- Mary with her Muggleborn background, Dorcas and her dead father and newly discovered brother, and Marlene with her sincerity and enthusiasm. And did I mention Adhara? God, I LOVE Adhara. She's absolutely, heartbreakingly, incredibly written. I can't even express how well I've connected to her and what a great job you've done of making me fall in love with her character. When she took that Bludger for James, when she followed Dorcas to the Flumes' house, when she rescued Sirius at the party and kissed him, when she got cursed by her brother- every moment of hers in this story is just perfectly written. It's breathtaking.
It's not just the characters either. It's their interactions as well. You've got their dynamics down so well- the Marauders and their fierce protectiveness and loyalty and sense of adventure, Remus and Lily's mutual respect and kindness, Snape and Lily's fluctuating friendship, James and Lily's erratic relationship, the observant and supportive group dynamic among the girls, and the rivalry and hatred between the Marauders and Snape- all of it comes across so well it feels like I'm right there with them.
Something not so obviously fantastic, about this story, however, is the pace. You've gone through nearly three years in 20 chapters, covering the major events but not making it seem too detailed, not getting caught up in immediate aftermaths but somehow portraying the consequences in subsequent events so effectively, its really very commendable. I've tried to write stories like these before, and always got so caught up in mundane details and effects of minor parts of the storyline that I never make any progress, or touched upon every event so lightly that I never had any meat left in my story anymore and the ending made no sense. You're maintaining an incredible pace with your story, but doing a really great job of getting everything across at the same time, and I really hope you can keep it up.
Lastly, I really love that you're sticking so close to the original version of events as far as possible. Everything is so chock-full of references, and you've incorporated so many details that most people would have forgotten, and its really nice for super-fans like me to see them included in the story.
Wow, this has been a really long review. I hope you appreciate the feedback, and update soon! But I'd also like you to know that I'd rather you update later and give it your best than update sooner and give it half of what you could have. Take all the time you need, and I'll still be your fan :)
Jeff

Author's Response: Jeff! your review made my day, week, month, Year!!! I can't believe the amazing feedback, and honestly, I was feeling a bit out of touch with this story but your review kind of brought back my passion! I'm halfway done with the next chapter, it's getting done slowly but steadily (grad school is no fun, I'll tell you that!)

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