I think you finished this a couple of years ago so I hope you have the 5th year coming along. I hope Alex gets back into school, Charmbridge. I was kind of disappointed with Alex's relationship with Torvald--that it seemed to end. I was getting to like Torvald. Maybe Brian will be her beau for the summer. I think Alex has treated the men in her life a little unfairly but you do have to take those men in hand and tell them what to do. Can't wait for your next book. You really put a lot into these stories.
Wow!! You really outdid yourself in this chapter. I hope Alex's face isn't cut up too badly. She is such a strong young woman. This was one time Alex was happy to see her aunt.
It looks like all is lost. I should've known that it wouldn't be that easy to get rid of the baby monster without repercussions. Who will rescue her? This is a good time for her dad to show up.
That's a very interesting idea--to fool the monster baby mummy away. I wonder if Alex will get to visit the Grannies. They sound fascinating. I think there's often truth in the old stories. Those stories are there for a reason.
Oh no, don't tell me that little mummy thing is in Larkin Mills. I snickered when Livia couldn't do some of the things that Alex could. If you don't use it you lose it. It was great that Alex had a place to practice but something tells me she won't have that place anymore.
I think Alex has accomplished so much in the time she's been at Charmbridge. I've always thought that Julia comes off as being naïve and a little too proper for my taste. The best thing is that Alex seems to be able to hold her temper.
WOW!! That's about all I can say about this chapter. I was so excited I started to read backwards. Those stars are not easy to deal with. Great work on this chapter.
The dance sounded like a lot of fun. Is Alex really talking about sex? You make it sound like she is but then you might come up with something else innocent that they could do together. Too bad for Sonja and Stuart. I hope it's not that creepy little mummy baby running around in the woods.
I loved this chapter. I think it's adorable that Alex has found a "boyfriend." I think I mentioned Torvald as a possibility a while back in an earlier review. I'll have to go back and look. I can't wait until they go to the dance together. I'm glad you put a little romance into this series:D
So, Claudia was cursed to not have any children and then had to raise her pureblood sister? Whoever said that it sucks to be Claudia was right. David is so sweet. I'm happy he and Alex went to the dance together.
I'm glad Alex got to visit with her father. Maybe she learned something. Hard to tell if he's always telling the truth though. She made an interesting observation in that she found it harder to lie to a teacher she respected. Isn't that how it goes. I hope she gets her hair back to normal.
Alex seems old beyond her years. Wise also. She's just stubborn and doesn't seem to believe that the adults are out to protect her. Of course if she listened to the adults she wouldn't have as much fun.
In all honesty, there are parts of your stories that I don't like. They're well written but outright frightening. I hate to think of a young girl going through some of the things Alex has to go through. I must add that I enjoyed this past part of this story. It was exciting and interesting and I feel like I learned something.
I think this is Alex's worst night ever. If she can do something to John at this point she has my utmost respect. She's so tired I don't even know how she's thinking straight.
You keep throwing us one surprise after another. The werewolf situation does raise further questions. Why did John have that Hogan marked on his map? Who killed Yuhzhee Redhorse? Why was she killed?
That was interesting and exciting. I love and hate the rattlesnake. I don't care for snakes and have a healthy respect for rattlesnakes. They are all over out here. Ironic that Henry mentioned the Lands Below. Alex might just have a map to show him.
I did not expect a Navaho Auror. I did think it was strange that someone was there besides John M. or one of his gang. I can't wait to find out what happens to Alex now. Does the Auror know John and what he's doing? Wouldn't it be funny if John were an undercover Auror?
I guess Alex can take care of herself. I didn't even think about unlocking a motel room with magic and spending the night. I'm more worried about her finding John M.
I know I haven't read for a long time. I must have gotten busy and stopped reading for a while or stopped reading long chapters. I didn't forget about Alex though. You'd think people would keep a better eye on her. It's not like she hasn't gotten herself in danger before. How tragic it was for her to meet her mother.
Author's Response: Hi - glad you're still reading and enjoying. Thanks for the review!
Well damn! I've been hopping about your stories and blog just reading everything for the last couple of weeks. The Alexandra Quick series was read in one long, incredibly unproductive weekend. :)
I admit to liking fanfictions like AQ which only includes the world/universe of the series it is inspired by, but uses original characters and plots - creating a fresh storyline in a familiar world, so to speak. Yours is the first really decent one I've read so far though, and I agree with other reviews that your writing and plot/character management, especially the AQ series, is easily publishing standard (if that's the correct phrase). Perhaps more so than a lot of well known books on the shelves today. However I agree with your view that publishing AQ would cause it to lose too much of it's character as a story. The HP fandom needs some quality stories that aren't just romance and little else.
Anyway, I dislike leaving a completely useless review, so I'll just sum up some points that make AQ better than other stories in my eyes, and some points to improve on:
-The attention to detail. Especially on the plot and sub-plots. This is what makes AQ one of those stories which I can re-read multiple times and find something new each time, including subtle jokes which only a few authors bother to put in.
-Character development and detail. I didn't quite realize how much effort you put into this until reading your blog, but I admire the complex natures of the characters, and how they shift almost unnoticed over time. Another aspect of this is the skill of the characters, especially Alexandra herself. Almost all HPFF authors give their protagonists sudden bursts of previously untapped power and wisdom near the beginning of their story, but Alexandra's abilities, asides from her raw magical prowess, are actually well earned through arduous lengths of training and perseverance, spread fairly well throughout the books so far. I'm a little skeptical of how she almost managed to get the better of the auror Henry Tsotsie, but hey.
-Dead end subplots. This is something authors rarely have the courage to do - the amount of effort and "storytime" that went into the time turner red herring was remarkable. It might have irritated some readers, but it gave the story an additional level of realism, and bought it sharply back down to earth again with a much needed jolt.
-Binomial nomenclature. Yeah I know, it's not much of a con, but I'm currently doing a biology degree and have a habit for nitpicking. In the chapter "Without A Wand", Alexandra refers to Nigel as a storeria dekayi - using the Latin name of the species of grass snake Nigel belongs to. While you correctly wrote it in italics, binomial nomenclature dictates the genus name is always capitalized, so in this case it would be Storeria dekayi instead, even if written in the middle of a sentence. Just a little mistake, but thought you should know.
-Portkeys. I'm sure inconsistencies with magic have been pointed out in every other review, I haven't checked. I admit it must be difficult creating an entirely new culture while trying to stick to a pre-determined structure of magic, which would affect said culture. With this in mind I'll glaze over smaller inconsistencies and ones that can easily be explained, and go straight to the one that bugs me the most. Dumbledore could create a portkey with a single spell, in the space of a few seconds. His specialty is transfiguration, not artificing, and while he may have spent ages learning how to make a portkey that quickly it is highly unlikely. Portkeys in HP are considered fairly common and easy to manufacture, even if their use is regulated by the Ministry. Therefore I find it a little difficult to believe that they would be so expensive in America, and artificers spend ages sweating over their creation, if they were used so readily and easily (such as the quidditch world cup in book 4, for example).
I'm sure given more time I could come up with some more constructive(ish) criticism, but this review is long enough. Good luck writing book 5! Are you ever going to release the name, or just cruelly tease us until the book is finally complete? :P
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the thoughtful review! I will keep the binomial nomenclature in mind for the future - I didn't think to check a style guide on that item. The issue with Portkeys is actually not something anyone else has brought up. You make a fair point. My reason for making Portkeys somewhat difficult to create is that otherwise, it would be fairly easy to cross vast distances (the U.S./Confederation being considerably larger than the UK) which would have a major impact both on American wizarding culture and on my plots. The problem of introducing quick and easy teleportation into a society has been covered by such authors as Larry Niven. That said, yeah, it's kind of hand-wavey. And to answer your last question: I will announce it eventually, but I'll probably tease folks a bit more. ;)