Reviewer: bountybitch
Date: 08/02/13 16:35
Chapter: Chapter 1

biutiful

Reviewer: foreverAmuggle
Date: 08/21/12 2:07
Chapter: Chapter 1

Wow...
Was not expecting that...

Reviewer: The owl
Date: 08/08/12 20:07
Chapter: Chapter 1

Hi Hannah,

I have to admit that I don’t often read such very dark stories, but I couldn’t help but be drawn into this one. I think it was the mention of a sleepwalking potion that first got me curious (an inspired idea from Jess) along with the Killers quote in the title. It’s far too long since I last heard that song! However, while those things initially piqued my curiosity, it was your prose that captivated me once I started reading.

The opening was expertly done. The first line of dialogue was so mysterious, but you didn’t make the reader wait too long for an explanation. I thought this was a strength of the story throughout: you gave out just enough information to keep the plot moving and keep everything making sense, without ever losing the sense of intrigue. What I mean, I think, is that you paced it all really well. I also liked the balance you struck between using dialogue and using Oliver’s thoughts to tell the story. It stopped the piece from becoming too introspective.

I also thought that the way you wrote Oliver’s thoughts flowed really naturally. A lot had happened in the run up to this scene, but you avoided info-dumping at any point. I think it worked so well for me because you mixed Oliver’s memories with his current emotions, linking smoothly between the two with phrases like, “He tried to ignore the insistent memories…” I much prefer using that sort of structure to having huge flashback sections.

You conveyed Oliver’s emotions so strongly throughout. I’ve no idea how I’d feel in a situation like this, never having been through anything remotely comparable, but I found that I understood him exactly. Even when he said that horrible line to Katie about Cameron, I didn’t find it too much because I could understand how hurt he was. To me, that says a lot about the strength of your characterisation. It’s very hard to imagine the Oliver we saw in canon acting so cruelly, but it didn’t seem out of character. In canon, we see him go through a lot of emotional extremes in connection to Quidditch; it makes sense that he’d handle this badly, too.

I think your Katie worked equally well. You presented a strong contrast between how she is in the now of the story, and how she was before Cameron’s death. There was a similar contrast between her looks -- the “angelic” hair for example -- and her actions. I like how that contradiction reflected Oliver’s confusion at her behaviour, but I also found that it made me more aware of the depths of her grief. The enormity of the change she had gone through reflected the enormity of her loss and made it even more painful to read about.

Of course, the most painful thing in this fic was the ending. Oliver felt enough guilt for Cameron’s death, and he is now culpable for Katie’s too, even if he didn’t exactly murder her. The last sentence was so chilling. Comparing her hair to “sea anemones” almost dehumanized her -- in death, she has lost the essence of herself. Oliver may be alive, but I felt like the same thing had happened to him. After all that he had been through -- all of the guilt and anger and bitterness -- he couldn’t be the same person any more.

For me, another strong feature of this story was the setting. The moody rocky-beach-at-dawn scene fitted the mood of the story really well, and heightened the emotions of it all. There was some really gorgeous imagery in there. My favourite bits were, “the anger still kept bubbling, spilling out of him as if from a mortal wound”, and, “Life and fire flared in Katie's dark, hollow eyes, like the red glow of the sun breaking the horizon behind her”. In the first, the mention of mortality foreshadows the ending in a very chilling manner, and the second, for me, is a brilliant example of emotions heightened by setting. The simile makes her seem wild and out of control -- primeval, almost. There were many, many other gorgeous lines “ far too many for me to mention them all.

This fic made very hard reading for me, but, in an odd way, it was worth it simply because of the quality of your writing. While I was almost completely lost in the emotion and darkness of the story, there was a very small part of my mind that couldn’t help but be blown away by your skill throughout. I can hardly say that this made an enjoyable read, but I loved it anyway. You crammed so much into so few words and every single word counted. I am very impressed.

~Sophie

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather
Date: 02/25/12 21:14
Chapter: Chapter 1

Hello, Hannah!

This story was interesting for me. As someone who has never really experienced anything even close to what the characters were feeling, I had a hard time relating to the story, but at the same time, I felt a sick feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, almost like I knew that this story would end the way it did, without having noticed the character death warning at the beginning. I think it was because everything that was described in the story was dark. Phrases such as “heavy with the promise of dawn”, “murky predawn chill”, and the stinging water all create a very cold, dark, and hopeless atmosphere, which I felt really helped focus on the tone of the narrative, and really foreshadowed Katie’s death, as death is cold, dark, and hopeless.

I think that your characterisation of Oliver was really quite good. I think that having Oliver show extreme emotions was spot on, as from canon, we see Oliver as a passionate person who does show extremeness, especially when it comes to losing. I think that the one line that really stuck out to me in terms of Oliver was that he “doesn’t do losing”. I think that this is really key in your characterisation, because Oliver has never really coped well with losing, as seen when he spent hours in the shower in PoA.

I couldn’t help but feel all of Oliver’s guilt throughout the story. I think that the fact that he will now take the blame for two deaths is absolutely heartbreaking, especially since both were accidents. With Katie, it seemed to be that he really was only trying to defend himself, and didn’t mean to kill her, but, in that moment, we already see that he thinks himself a murderer, and I found myself feeling guilty with him, though I find him innocent. I think that you really show emotion in this story, causing the reader to inadvertently emphasise, which is interesting, and definitely effective.

One thing that really struck me as odd was your use of Marcus Flint. For some reason, I cannot really see Katie sleeping with him, not so much because of the old rivalries, but more because he is just so icky. I could understand why she would do it, and I think he really is the only one who would get Oliver so riled up, but at the same time, I do think that Katie would have been a little more disgusted with the fact that she slept with someone who so resembled a troll and was a real jerk than she gave off.

What I think is really interesting is how you chose to depict the moments before dawn. I saw that the prompt was sunrise, but yet the way you employed the time of night/early morning was quite interesting. Dawn has classically been associated with new beginnings, like spring, but yet you chose to end something at dawn, so it is not a new beginning, but rather an end, which is traditionally associated with night or fall. As I was reading, it really stuck out to me that it ended as a new day unfolded, but yet it worked, as you continually described the morning as cold, dark, and chilling.

Finally, in terms of organisation, I really appreciated how you opened the story with dialogue. For me, having someone say something and then describe what’s going on makes for a stronger opening. I am more willing to read through description if I know that there will be some sort of reaction to what the character has said. The dialogue serves to pull me through the times of little action, because I want to know why Katie is hard to find, and how she will react to it. Furthermore, I thought that your description was rather nicely done and very complete. I was given a full picture of the scene, with all corners of the canvas painted, instead of having one landmark and nothing else.

Overall, I thought that this was an excellent snapshot into the devastation that Oliver’s life has become, and I think that your ability to cause the reader to feel all of the emotions when they have never experienced anything close to this really makes this story sparkle.

Maple

Reviewer: ljlove
Date: 08/08/11 20:30
Chapter: Chapter 1

this is so terrible! don't get me wrong you did a great job writing it but katie and oliver are my favorite favorite pairing! it makes me so sad to think that this is what could happen to them! you really did a great job with it but oh so depressing!

-El

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