Reviews For Scheherazade
Reviewer: epiphany212
Date: 06/11/12 19:50
Chapter: Chapter 1

This story captured me from the start and held me, in breathless anticipation, until the end. Bravo, dear author, bravo!

What absolutely killed me were the physical descriptions of Susan and Theo. You have an immensely strong hold on the 3D dimensions in which your characters are moving, and your 2D descriptions of their physical proximity and interactions with each other allow the reader to completely envision this scene as well as interpret the emotions attached to it. The starting lines of this story are a physical description of hot breath released onto a bare chest, of how they lie together curled around each other. This serves to throw the reader into your story headfirst. And lines like, "There is silence for so long that Theodore could almost believe Susan has fallen into sleep. Her breathing is rhythmic and deep, but there is a tension in the arm that wraps across his chest and in the length of her body pressed against his that is a long way from sleep" show rather than tell this couple's familiarity with each other, demonstrating their sensitivity to each other which implies attraction, and dare I say it, love.

I also enjoyed the symbolism you used throughout the story, namely the metaphor of the porcelain doll in Susan’s story as well as Theodore’s allusion to the story of Scheherezade. That adds an artistic flair to the Romeo-and-Juliet-esque plot of this one-shot. With both of these symbols, however, I feel you could have pulled them even farther into your story. For example, you begin the dialogue”which is the catalyst for the turning point in your plot, i.e. the point at which this romance turns into a breakup”with Theo’s reference to Scheherezade. For me, you could really flesh out that allusion and make it an active theme/symbol in this story by referring to it again in some oblique way at the end of all the dialogue. Something like Susan saying, "A story to save my life tonight, but I have no more stories to share with you, Theo" before they fall asleep. That line is a tad dramatic, I realize, but something along those lines would, for me, bring the story full circle, especially as the one-shot is titled after that literary character.

With the porcelain doll metaphor, I struggled with the metaphor in a technical way”magic should be able to repair porcelain. A more detailed explanation of why the magic failed in this instance (perhaps she could repair the limbs, but you would always see the seam of where the repair had been made, a scar) would resolve my lack of understanding. And tying that explanation further into the metaphor of Theo and Susan’s (for example, Hannah would love him and that would heal him, but in the daylight, you could see the scar, i.e. a reference back to one of Susan’s initial lines, that everything changes in daylight… he might kill her in battle the next day.)

All in all, I want to reiterate the initial reaction with which I started this story. You captured me from the beginning and held me on tenterhooks the whole way through. There is no question in my mind that you are a capable writer”your narrative talent shows the whole way through this story”and my criticisms are just little nitpicks that will strengthen an already emotive story. Write on! :)

Reviewer: xxbabewithbrainsxx
Date: 11/20/11 11:27
Chapter: Chapter 1

Hi Hannah :)

 

I must say, I was surprised that this only had one review (though that review is a lovely one and I definitely agree with everything Katrina said). It certainly deserves more, and I hope that in time, you receive the recognition you deserve, because this was a lovely and moving one-shot.

 

Scheherazade is a story that has always intrigued and, I will admit, frightened me. I thought you put a wonderful spin on it, making it original and yours, and I especially liked the characters you chose to be Scheherazade and the king — Theo and Susan. I could not have picked better characters myself. The thing with Theo is that he is one of the quieter Slytherins, which means you can go two ways: either he is more evil than he lets on, or less. I think it really worked using Theo as the king, and your characterisation of him was an interesting interpretation that is a believable one.

 

I really liked the use of present tense in this piece. It added to the sense of urgency, how they don't want it to be dawn, and given Susan narrates the tale in past tense, it really worked. Stylistically, this story is faultless, and I loved the lyrical description too. It fit the prompt of “darkness” nicely, and I thought the juxtaposition with dark and light was really interesting, particularly with the actual darkness of the sky, and the metaphor of the darkness within Theo. I also thought the imagery added to the chemistry between Susan and Theo, and this was particularly important because with rarepairs, the chemistry is essential. Needless to say, this pairing, and this story, could have been canon for me.

 

I thought the way Susan told the story of their relationship was a brilliant way of illustrating their backstories, but without making it an infodump. It was really touching, actually, that Susan was the little girl who liked broken things, and I think this is how you made Scheherazade your own, by adding details such as this. It was really effective in making me feel quite sorry for Susan, especially when she told Theo how she fell in love with a broken man — him. And given how short the piece is, I'm really impressed with how not once was I left confused or overloaded with information, but at the same time, you really nailed the characters and the emotions in the story.

 

At the same time, I loved how you maintained the sensuality as well, which helped in making the pairing believable and added to the couple’s chemistry. It was subtle; in fact, the subtlety of the whole story was one of the most impressive things about it.

 

Finally, the ending was a fitting one, because while it was different from the ending of Scheherazade, it was emotional. I could really feel for Theo, which I think is a big accomplishment on your part given how broken a man he is. Also, in a way, the story ended on a similar note to the original tale: Theo spared Susan’s life, so the resolution was the same, and it was a moving one, at that.

 

This was an excellent story, Hannah, and it really is an injustice that it doesn’t have as many reviews as it deserves.

 

~Soraya~

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 08/03/11 22:19
Chapter: Chapter 1

I'm not quite sure why this story doesn't have any reviews. It's very well written and the connection to Scheherazade worked really well. Have you written a Susan/Theodore before and this is a sort of 'follow-up'? I can't remember. Anyway.

I loved the opening line - in fact, all the dialogue was excellently done. It was so believable and so effective - I could really imagine this scene.

Susan's story worked really well, obviously with the idea of Scheherazade, but also in your story. I loved the idea of her as a child who always wanted to fix broken things and thought that she grew out of it, until she fell in love with Theodore. I think that idea is beautiful.

This story really made me want to know more about their relationship - well at least, how you imagine their relationship, because this little fragment was so interesting and well written. Having said that, it works well as a piece by itself, I would just love to know more.

You incorporated the idea of darkness really well - both the physical darkness of night and the "darkness within".

Great story.

~Katrina

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