Hello once more!
The only good news about my delay seems to be that Chapter 3 is up so I can tie up all my comments for you as I enjoy the read!
I liked that we got to see a more invigorated Albus in this part. He still isn't terribly socially invested, but we can really see here that he IS capable of genuine excitement and that the anti-social component of his personality is just that - a component - rather than him simply being disengaged and apathetic. I did find the Scorpius injection a tad rapid though. He's been described pretty dispassionately up until this chapter, where Albus is suddenly having twinges and thinking about his attractiveness. It's certainly possible that I missed something, but it felt like it really just leapt up on us.
I know you were concerned about the Quidditch description, but I don't think you really need to be. There are a variety of ways to write Quidditch and I've tackled a lot of them in the old HPFF House Cup Collab involving sports, but the announcer is a classic and honestly, I think the works the best if your MC isn't involved in the match - heck, sometimes even if they are. You gave Montague personality in her commentary - a definite positive - but if there is anything I'd look back at with her it's maybe varying her phrasing and the way she describes runs of play a bit, particularly at interception points.
All in all, I think you have a really great start to the story and I'm glad I got the chance to read it, even if it came way later than you deserved. Keep on keeping on!
I have returned to follow-up on the Chapter 1 review with a stop here in Chapter 2!
This was another positive segment of the story. Though we got a few more characters added in again, the number was significantly smaller and we were able to get some additional background on existing people and relationships that I think sets the story up well for future character progression. It was also nice to see that you managed to keep up the light tone of the piece without losing authenticity when it came to Albus's general personality.
Speaking of, in what I'm assuming is deliberate, I thought you did a good job of showing reasons Albus is the way he is. Though it was a eensy bit heavy-handed at times (I wasn't a big fan of this particular parenthetical, though it's not about Albus alone, so just by way of example: "they were distinctly different, and usually at least one would have a positive outlook on the subject of discussion"). Regardless, you make it pretty clear that it's not all on the world that Albus is anti-social - he reads a lot into things and for someone concerned about being prejudged, makes some prejudgments of his own. I think it's a believable flaw and welcome addition to him.
Returning to Diana, right now she just seems like a strong personality. That said, she's walking a line for me. I do feel like there have been a couple of scenes already where characters whose heads we AREN'T in (Rory, Jess, Sanjay, etc.) seem to come across less well-fleshed out and in Rory's case, even a tad bland.
I'm having a blast with the story though and I look forward to reading the next chapter!
I'm only a decade late with this (and the other) reviews I owe you from my thread. Alas, I have arrived for this, the first of what I expect will be many awesome chapters to come.
I really enjoyed this as introductions go. I thought it set the hook for one of what will (I expect) be one of the main tensions of the story nicely, giving enough background to create that interest in the reader, but keeping it mysterious enough to maintain said interest. It was an added bonus that you supplied a REASON for this particular mystery where so many others (myself included) are just...vague. :p
With the characters themselves, I did think there were a lot of them. While I definitely understand introducing the whole quintet (and thought that was handled well), it seemed like on the train we got an awful lot of names. It's the right setting to do so obviously, the volume just felt a bit high to me. I do like the characterizations thus far as well. Albus definitely reads as anti-social, and while it gets thrust at us a bit in the very beginning, I don't think it's overbearingly so as the chapter progresses. Diana I'll need to read more to answer on.
The part I enjoyed the most I think was the writing of the interactions between the characters though. You definitely have a knack for making those infused with personality, but also remaining comfortable and believable. Peppering in shorter descriptions to facilitate that also does a good job of keeping the balance with dialogue better. I usually don't like longer chapters, but the way you write this critical piece makes this an easy read.
More on the Puffly-ness and Diana a bit later! But keep up the good work!
Hey Isobel! Here for your requested review!
What a chapter! I rather enjoyed the Platform 9 3/4 scene at the beginning. You do a great job setting up the characters and their personalities. I feel like you have Harry and Ginny spot on. James is such a bratty older brother--and I love him for it. Lily is the sassy little sister. And Albus... he's so observant and reserved, and I really, really enjoy your charactertization of him.
Aspects of Albus' personality really comes out in gentle waves, and I think of him as being rather a gentle--yet strong--person. His entourage of friends helps this happen. Sometimes, it gets a little confusing when so many characters are introduced to us at once, especially aboard the Hogwarts Express. But you tactfully introduce this quintet a little bit at a time, and you've given them such distinctive traits in a shortened time span, so it's rather easy to keep track of it. And everyone is such a Hufflepuff; I love it! I also like how the media is making a big deal about Al's sexuality (none of their business, and I'm so glad his family seems to be so supportive of him), but to his friends, it's not that big of a deal. Don't get me wrong, one's sexuality is a large part of their identity, but Al seems to be the person who quietly owns it and continues to strive to live his life in peace. Not everyone is cut out for that. Also... I like how Scorpius is NOT in this group of people. Your take on Next Gen is really interesting!
You wanted to know my thoughts on Diana, and I love her. She's such a firecracker! Especially facing the paprazzi like that. And her cheekiness with Harry Potter. And I totally ship her with James. I think they'd get into some great hysterics--and torture poor Albus in an endearing way. And I could tell straight away that she's so caring towards her friends. I love how she provides food and I knew she kept people's food preferences in mind before you even mentioned it. She's such a wonderful person! My favorite bit is the way she talks to her cat.
Or maybe the way she speaks to Harry. Gah, she's so funny, it's hard to pick!
Going back to Diana's affinity for Minnie, I love the little side quips in parentheses. They are so funny, reveal a lot about the characters, and add to the flow of the story.
As for not starting this fic conventially in September, this works really, really well. This kiss happened on New Year's Eve. You jump right into the plot, instead of having the first half of the school year be build up. As a reader, I'm already interested with your characters (see my comments above about characterizing so many people in a short space), and you already have an inciting incident (the kiss and the media's obsession over it and Albus trying to avoid the limelight), that right now, I want to get more into the plot. That being said, I'm looking forward to the next installment! Great work!
Just dropping by to leave you a review!
I love a good angsty Albus story. I feel like there’s so much potential with the Potter children to explore how their fathers fame could make life difficult. It’s interesting that Albus is almost always siezed upon as the one who would struggle. I wonder why that is? Perhaps because his name leaves him with massive shoes to fill.
I really enjoyed the way you defined the Hufflepuffs in this. It’s not so much bubbliness or overt kindness as loyalty and consideration. It’s a much more realistic portrayal, imo.
I had a good laugh at the part about Albus talking to someone long enough to snog them. That’s a great description of his character. Clearly, he’s not just media shy, but shy in general.
All in all, I thought this was a good start. You’ve set up the dynamic between the friends, the family, and the media. There’s intrigue with this mysterious guy. Everything I think you need to grab the readers attention.
I GOT SO HAPPY WHEN I SAW A NEW STORY OF YOURS IN THE QUEUE AND THEN I REALISED IT WAS THE STORY YOU TEASED ABOUT ON TWITTER AND I NEED MORE. LIKE. ASAP.
And that is not a lie.
Because you had me cracking up at various points in the story, made me want to know more about every character and why they all ended up in Hufflepuff (because I got serious dorm 2.6a vibes here and if that is not a compliment coming from me, I don't know what is). I want to know what the story is behind Lily's heels. There are so many questions you left me with I can't even remember them all because it was so good and I need more and god I am rambling but excuse me for that because its like 00.20 am right now.
The notion of Albus not complaining about his name because of the Adam and Eve thing. A cat named Minnie. The fact that Rita Skeeter itself is at it again is hilarious enough on it's own. People being more afraid of the mention of Hermione than they are of Harry. The relatability of Albus just flinging his cloak just about everything because that is so so me (I still haven't refound a shirt of mine because of it.). The fact that people flee at the mention of a Howler from Ginny. It's just all so brilliant and so so good and the fact that James and Gryffindor got clobbered as revenge just... I wish I could've seen that because it must've been absolutely glorious to watch.
Aside from that. Diana had me stitching up many a time, especially because she was heard because she was seen and has no trouble with using magic when not allowed and bending the agreements for her own sake and honestly why is she not a Slytherin but this is even more fun honestly. God, I can go ramble on and on about this. (So when are you uploading again?).
Just, such a great job, Isobel, and I truly, truly missed your writing!