I found it offensive the Threesome and you talking about God. You wrote well but immaturely.
I found it offensive the Threesome and you talking about God. You wrote well but immaturely.
Author's Response: Oh no! D: I am very very sorry if you found that scene with the Death Eaters and the girl offensive. I truly didn't mean to offend anyone and I'm so sorry if it came across that way. I was merely trying to convey the depth of immorality and sadism the Death Eaters were able to drop to, and I was also trying to convey Regulus's absolute disgust and shock at those actions. I tried to write that scene and deal with such a terrible topic in a mature way, and I also meant to make it graphic enough to disgust readers, but not so graphic as to offend them personally. Again I'm very sorry if I offended you and i probably should have put a warning at the top of the chapter.
Also, you were offended about Regulus's view of God? If you don't mind saying, how so? Thanks for the review; I like to hear everyone's opinion about my story, even if it is negative. :)
Okay, I just tried to submit this review about five times, and it kept cutting off at the second paragraph. I realised it was my own error, so my apologies if MNFF emails you with every review :) Anyway...
Maddy, this is a brilliant chapter. Once again, I was immersed in your characterisation and knack for painting a really vivid image of what’s going on for your readers. I’m often in awe of your writing; the light and colour motif through this chapter was especially nice to see.
I have to comment on the first scene with Voldemort in this chapter. Honestly, it took my breath away. I’m not normally as engrossed into a story as I was with this particular point in yours. His voice was power, poison, clarity. This line is absolutely brilliant; it captures Voldemort perfectly. I’m mostly amazed at how well you’ve written him. In most fics that involve Voldemort, the reader can’t help but feel removed from the story simply because of the poor characterisation of him. Not once was I removed from this chapter because of characterisation issues. There’s no reason to suggest the way you’ve written him isn’t entirely canon. You are lost – I offer you guidance. You are weak – I offer you power. You hover on the brink of death – I offer you immortality. You’ve summed up his character really well simply in his own dialogue.
The initiation scene was something I was eager to see from you. I myself would never have braved it, but you’ve done it surprisingly well. I like that you kept it simple and avoided some extravagant scene that would ultimately be over the top. No theatrics. No pain. From this I got the impression that you’d read an initiation scene in a fic before, and this was your attempt to avoid a stereotype. Regardless of this being true or not, I think it was a good choice to write this the way you have. Personally, some pain wouldn’t have been too bad to see, but I guess that if we’re taking Voldemort’s character into consideration, he wouldn’t have wanted to inflict paint on his new followers for fear of scaring them off too early. So, all-in-all, good job for this scene.
Elise is an interesting character – a Death Eater who appears to have a little bit of a heart. We’ve never really seen this in Jo’s world, aside from Regulus himself (and Snape, I guess). She’s practical, cut-throat, and I think these are qualities a female Death Eater would need to have. I think – and this is entirely personal opinion – that she kind of changes the circumstance a bit. She and Regulus seem to be getting fairly close as friends, and I wonder, had this friendship been a part of ‘canon’, if Regulus would still have been as uncomfortable being a Death Eater as he was. So, because of this, I’m a bit on the fence about her being a good character for this story. I hope that makes sense...
I loved the scenes involving Adele in this chapter. She’s an excellent character, and allows us to see a softer side of Regulus, but then eventually a darker side. He’s willing to abandon his friendship with her to remain on his parents’ good side. I closed my mouth when I realised who I would inevitably sound like. From this I get the feeling the main reason he’s able to cut himself off from Adele is because of his desperate need to be someone different from his brother; after all, Sirius would never have ended his friendships for his parents.
I quit liked the Bible reference. I must have taken a wrong turn, or perhaps dozed off, somewhere between sunlight and Noah’s ark and the colour of rainbows. This is cute, and I love its continuation of your colour motif. It’s a really good device to use for a story so intense; it allows a sense of consistency and comfort for your readers. Also, I like how you had Voldemort discuss how religion has failed humanity. This, and the ‘Muggle Bible’ reference, gives this story another layer which your audience can attach itself to; you’re connecting the two worlds really well.
The only nitpick I managed to find was: “But Sirius, what about you–” I think there should be a question mark before the quotation mark.
The final scene had me all excited too, wondering if Sirius was going to end up hospitalised. I found myself smiling at the fact that Lily showed up. Unexpected, but appreciated.
My favourite chapter so far. I’m excited to see where you go next.
Author's Response: WOW. Thank you profusely for another amazing review!!
First of all, thank you about my characterization of Voldemort. I really tried hard to convey him as someone almost frighteningly charming when he wants to be. I tired to keep the scenes with Voldemort in them to a minimum in this fic because overusing him, in my opinion, takes away his ability to frighten. He always has to remain slightly unpredictable, enigmatic, to retain his scariness. I'll be interested in your opinion of how I characterized him in chapter five, when that comes about -- I struggled a lot more with keeping him in chracter in that chapter.
Agh, the initiation scene. That was one of the last scenes I wrote for the story, just because I was dreading writing something large and extravagant. Every Death Eater initiation scene I've ever read has been a painfully extravagant affair, and I've been guilty of write the exact same kind of initiation myself. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, persay, it can be pulled off well, but I decided with this one to go against the cliche of some crazy, sacrificial rites type of thing. In a way, I think that something clean-cut and simple like the initiation I wrote sort of would be scary in its own way; if you're expecting something completely mental and cult-like, I think you'd be bound to feel, as Regulus did, cheated or somehow tricked, like you missed something along the way. And I think that's how Voldemort would want his recruits to feel. ;)
What you said about Elise does make sense. I think you're right, that her presence does make Regulus a little bit more comfortable at first. At this point in the story, he feels pretty comfortable being a Death Eater. Not much has really deterred him yet, and he believes that not everyone there is a horrible person. In a way, that was the reason he probably joined in the first place. I think, as the story progresses and he begins to realize what these people stand for, he'll become sufficently uncomfortable, with or without Elise's presence.
Yep, I think most of what Regulus does in the early chapters of this story is a desperate attempt to differentiate himself from his brother, who is completely overpowering, whether he means to be or not. And ironically, Regulus's actions in later chapters stem from a desperate attempt to make himself more similar to his brother. Right now, I don't think he knows what he really wants to be like.
I'm a huge fan of the religious allusions, as you've clearly noticed lol. I always thought of this whole story as sort of a manic-depressive attempt to bring everything, all of it, together: science and religion, Muggles and Wizards, good and evil. Kind of lofty aspirations, I guess, and I'm not sure I pulled it off in the end. Thanks for that nitpick, I'll change that.
I'm happy this was your favorite chapter so far; unexpected, but thanks. I can't wait to see what you think of the next one. :D Thanks, and I mean, really, THANKS for being such an amazing reader and reviewer. You really inspire me!
I’m back for chapter three! Finally. Lol. Before I get into the actual chapter, I just have to comment on the title. I really love it; it sounds great and the allusion fits perfectly. Now, that said, let’s get to the actual body of the chapter.
As the chapter plays on, the reader can really see the significance of the title, of Sirius and Regulus, Cain and Abel. You did a great job of making it known but not abundantly obvious. The relationship between the brothers at this time is debatable, but the dynamics you show are further strengthened by the allusion, particularly Regulus’ reactions to any mention of his brother.
The fight at the end was just beautiful. Not for what it was, but for what it represented, how it was written, what it really meant. In this scene, as well as the one Regulus and Elise witnessed, you really show your knack for understanding and portraying serious mob mentality. It was beautifully written. I think that last between Regulus and Sirius, that last Cain and Abel, was my favorite bit of the chapter because it symbolized so much and had so much power. “I used to suspect I was better than you. Now I know it.” My mouth fell open. I’m not even kidding. That line is so perfect.
The set-up in the beginning was great; I liked that you had everyone else as well as Regulus use a Portkey to get there. This line: Evidently, Voldemort liked to have everyone under tight control. not only shows your insight into Voldemort, but it shows your insight into Regulus as well. The ‘evidently’ that begins the sentence says a lot for just word, and I can almost hear the way Reg would say it.
Nevertheless, I breathed a sigh of relief. Normal people in a normal room. No formalities, no chanting, no animal or human sacrifices like I had half expected.
Ha. This is a great line. I like it because it made me laugh, but also because it shows a bit of apprehension on Reg’s part, which is great characterization. While we’re on the subject of him, I also like the attention you gave to Regulus’ intelligence. We know that Sirius was a very smart wizard, and I think that Reg could have been as well, especially given that he entered Voldemort’s circle of followers at an unheard of age. That, of course, begs the question of why, and I think you’ve given a very believable answer.
“In a world of anarchy, let me be your king. In a world which holds nothing sacred . . . let me be your God.”
Though JKR never did it as explicitly as this (that I can remember, anyway) I really loved this. This sentence is the embodiment of Voldemort, and it really shows the power he held, the power to persuade and instill belief. This whole scene really brings light to what Voldemort really was – a cult leader. The Death Eaters were his people, and together they were a cult. You can see that clearly in the scene you wrote, and, just like a cult, it is easy to see how someone can get sucked right in. This idea is even further exemplified just a little farther down, in these two sentences: It struck me as the kind of voice that would alter something small inside of me, seemingly insubstantial to the whole. But it would burrow deeper, unnoticed, and uproot morals like weeds, cast off foundations like cheap overcoats. The smiles only make it that much more powerful, and they provide great visual imagery for Voldemort burrowing into the hearts on the people. The mention of weeds was especially powerful and vivid.
I like the way you portray relationships as well. The relationship between Sirius and Regulus I’ve always talked about, but I also mean the relationship between Regulus and Adele, Regulus and his parents. The way he speaks and acts around each displays the dynamics, and I think you show it well. The jealous and anger inside Regulus was so intense, and, for me, reminiscent of his brother. I don’t know if that is what you were going for, but I liked it nonetheless. Having Sirius break up the kiss, rather than Regulus, was a good touch, and added, yet again, to the Cain and Abel allusion you set up.
Also, Elise and what she said about the Death Eaters and her reasons for being there. It shows a different side of that circle and also adds to what I said before about it being a cult following. I like that you show that not all the Death Eaters were sadists like Bella, but that not all of them were not as well. Regulus wasn’t the only one uncomfortable with the Muggle torturing. There was a balance, which you showed, and I liked that.
Lastly, the quote at the end. Very, very fitting, and good choice. It completed the chapter and left the reader with a certain sense of unsettlement. Overall, very, very well-done.
GAH. When is the next chapter coming up? I can’t wait! Lol.
Author's Response: Omg another EPIC review from Nikki! :D It made my life, as usual!!! Thank you. Thanks also, about the chapter title; I love archetypical stories like Cain and Abel. With this fic, I'm sort of trying to get the reader to wonder which brother is ultimately Cain and which is ultimately Abel, because it could go either way at times, couldn't it? Cain killed Abel, because Abel won his father's approval... now that sounds a little like Sirius, no? But Abel was the better, the more moral, of the two brothers, and that sounds like Sirius too. Both brothers end up dead, but who killed who, really?
The reason I made Regulus genius status is because if you really think about it, about Reg's whole situation, you realize that something about him must have been extraordinary. It took Dumbledore twenty years to discover Voldemort's horcrux secret, and the man was a damn prodigy in every way you can think of XD. How did Regulus discover Voldemort's secret in a year or less, at the age of 17-18 no less, and manage to steal a horcrux, AND manage to keep all of it a secret even after his death? Seems extraordinary to me, and so I made him a genius to explain it... some of it, at least. ;)
Thanks, about my similes. Thanks it makes me happy majorly. :D I always thought of Voldemort being a cult leader at heart... some mixture between the Nazis and the KKK, small time fanaticism coupled with big time power, and what a scary combination that would be. Cults interest me a whole lot, being a psych major and all. The whole mentality is terrifying, and catching, I think, as I tried to demonstrate with Regulus here. The quote at the end comes from one of my favorite novels, Grendel by John Gardner... I adore that book to pieces for its style mostly, some of the best writing I've ever found anywhere. I'd recommend it to you, I'm sure you'd appreciate it! :D Thanks for this great review, I always enjoy them so much... oh and expect a review for Chapter 1 of Poppy Seeds soon cause I can't wait to read it. :)