Reviews For If I Had a Heart

Name: sunshine_locks (Signed) · Date: 18 May 2019 09:18 PM · [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

Hi Kris! Here for our review swap! 


Damn, what happened? Why did her mother die?


Hm. The way the father reacts somehow makes me think that the main character has possibly killed the mother. I understand that sometimes someone’s death can make you numb, but I feel like the thought process would be a little bit more chaotic as you try to process you loved one’s death. I don’t know. 


It’s actually so sad that her parents are absent from the main character’s life so often. I find that having parental figures actually helps so much in just, well, figuring out life. 


This whole situation makes me wonder why she was chosen for the prophecy, or why she’s so special. Clearly, the prophecy has had its toll and whatever happens isn’t worth the pain she goes through. 


An intrinsic affinity for killing? That sounds... quite psychopathic, and that’s not a word I’ll ever use lightly. 


Reading the next few paragraphs, it definitely sounds like the character is psychopathic. It makes me uncomfortable just how much she acts like a predator preying. 


Selene... Selene needs help. Maybe she didn’t kill her mother, but she most definitely was instrumental in killing her father. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a situation of bad parenting backfire so fantastically. Or maybe not. 


Either way, this was indeed a very haunting work of fiction. In TAOBN, Selene doesn’t impress me as the type of person that she is in this story. 


Thanks for writing my dude.

Name: adorably cute (Signed) · Date: 04 May 2019 03:54 PM · [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

Hey Kris! Here for our swap!


I don't think I've ever mentioned this before but I love how descriptive your writing is! This is so well done. There are two separate moments in time in this and I can vividly picture both of them both. The detail in both of these is amazing and I love how well you've put these two moments together.


And speaking of, WOW! This is kind of crazy! It's a really interesting concept here, about the father being so caught up in a prophecy that he's willing to keep his daughter home from Hogwarts and basically train her to be a killer so that she can one day save his life. 


Selene is SO COLD in this and you do it so well! The last few lines are so powerful "each year I remeber and each year I feel nothing" and you did such a great job of building this whole thing up to that. I think a lot of times endings like that can feel jarring because they're so abrupt but this was perfect! It felt like the natural conclusion to all this reflection and this memory coming together. It was kind of haunting, when you thought back to everything that happened to her growing up. Great work, Kris!


Name: victoria_anne (Signed) · Date: 18 Apr 2019 10:07 AM · [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

Hi Kristina! Here with your requested review! Let's see if I dream about this later tonight, because I dreamed about you after I read your Drastoria story but I didn't tell you that... I'm telling you now, please don't think I'm weird, it wasn't creepy, I swear :P


Wow, what a beautiful sentence. You are so fantastic with words. I just want to sink into your stories! 


I'm instantly intrigued by your main character. I had a little scan of the story information and I'm assuming she's your original character, which means I want to get to know her and see what you have in store. You also said she was hard to write, so that makes me more interested to see why. So far, she doesn't seem like a nice person, but I'm still interested to learn more about her!


So she's absolutely terrifying. She's cold and ruthless, and though I can see that she's been raised this way--to fight and completely isolated from others--it doesn't completely explain why she is the way she is. I wonder if it's just the way she is. It's interesting because she's an incredibly strong character, but not necessarily a good one. It definitely makes for a great read!


Okay, wow. So this is definitely a story where you need to read the entire thing to appreciate, and now that I've done that, I'm blown away (though I expected nothing less from you!) I absolutely feel empathy for Selene now. It's almost like she only existed to her parents to eventually save her father, who is in a really dangerous profession. She was never loved, it seems, and robbed of a childhood. I'm actually glad she walked away from her father, because now she's free to live her own life.


This piece was truly amazing! The language was absolutely gorgeous--I see ice and blood as an aesthetic for this story. Very dark but very enjoyable. You should be very proud of this piece!

Author's Response:

omg wow bianca you made me tear up a little bit :oooo it's not creepy or weird at all but it's very flattering and warm&fuzzy-on-the-inside inducing *_*


yes, selene zhang is an OC who first appeared in the art of being nonchalant (where she randomly suggests killing some people :P) and then made casual appearances in some of my other oneshots but this is pretty much standalone - an origin story. i've always wanted to try my hand at writing a sociopath, or something close to it anyway. i'm not quite sure why but i once read a fanfic that made two of my fav characters from the fandom sociopaths and it was awesome (in a way that it made the story better, especially the ending where one of the characters didn't sacrifice herself needlessly as opposed to canon) so it was inspiring i guess (they didn't kill people at least!) (it was a fanfic for battlestar galactica, idk how familiar you are with that...)


selene is definitely not what you'd call a nice person but to an extent she's a product of her upbringing - there was no way for her to end up a normal, mentally completely healthy person with the prophecy that basically condemned her, but at the same time she was obviously from the start...cold and emotionless and her upbringing just emphasized that aspect of her personality. and it was fun to explore that - i'm not a fan of prophecies or fate, i always like to think that our actions aren't predetermined, so playing with the prophecy and having the knowledge of it cause the unfullfilment was sort of mind bending but lots of fun :P


thank you for another lovely and awesome and amazing review <3

Name: Rumpelstiltskin (Signed) · Date: 15 Apr 2019 02:28 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

Hey, kris! I'm here to rep some Team Silver love for the April EvS!


I'm not overly familiar with Selene, but I feel like I'm in the right place, as there's some backstory for her in here. I wonder if she was in shock during her mother's death, or if she simply didn't feel -- the way her father regards her (as well as the tone of her own thoughts) about the matter makes me lean towards the latter. I suppose with her mother's consistent absence and lack of involvement in Selene's life would make her less empathetic at the time of her death -- mother is only a word unless the involvement and affection are present, at least to a child. 


Selene's early life sounds less-than opportune. Her father being a Hit Wizard, her mother not around (and then dying), and having the weight placed on her shoulders that she would -- somehow, someday -- be the one to save her father. And her father knew about it, which made her childhood far less than normal while he conditioned and trained her for the future. It sounds like she was forced to grow up far too quickly. Her father's selfishness in wanting to save himself deprived her of the childhood she should have had, which is an absolute shame, and I think it may have fuelled her fascination with the macabre. 


I think the most striking bit about this is (not only that fascination with killing and the macabre but) the fact that she restrained herself from killing her father's attacker and fulfilling the prophecy. She was able to see the strings cut from her father's control if she let him die, so she did. It's a huge grey area when it comes to morality. On one hand, by not killing her father's attacker, she may have inadvertently have been responsible for his death (especially since she knew she could save him). On the other hand, she wasn't the one who actually killed him, and his death gave her freedom. 


I love this character (Selene) -- she's twisted and dark, and moreover has the potential to be dangerous if her ambitions were to go unchecked. 


Lovely job! O/


Name: ReillyJade (Signed) · Date: 21 Mar 2019 10:04 PM · [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

Hi, Kris! I'm here with your requested review!


This was eerie and unsettling, and while not the type of story I typically read, I very much enjoyed it. Your writing itself is hauntingly beautiful. You've given your main character, as steadfast and cold as she is, this strange vulnerability that makes me truly feel for her. She really isn't a character I should like, and though she  likely doesn't want my sympathy, she nevertheless has it. She's clearly a product of her environment, at least in part; her mother's regular absence and her father's obsession with who she "should" become obviously didn't help her emotional growth. I think, given a more loving environment, she would not have grown to be so cold and heartless. She seems to even know it herself, seeing as she makes the suggestion that seers should shut up. There's definitely a bit of blame there.


I do wonder if the prophecy would have come true if the father had just... not trained her. If he hadn't interfered, so to speak, and gone out of his way to make it come true, maybe it actually would have. I don't know. Regardless, this was a great exploration of what knowing the future can do to a person's mind, and is a prime example of why I would never want to know my future if I was given the opportunity.


Although... maybe the prophecy did come true in a way? Perhaps letting him die was a way of saving him from himself? Saving him from his manic obsession? Or perhaps I'm overthinking this. Wouldn't be the first time lol.


This was an excellent, thought-provoking piece. Well done!




Author's Response:

hey reilly! thank you so much for this wonderful review - i really enjoyed reading your thoughts :D


you're definitely right in thinking selene blames the seers, blames her parents, maybe not fully conscious of what she's doing after all these years but she definitely resents the whole prophecy and what it did to her. in a sort of emotionless way, but it's still resentment. i had a hard time writing her character, especially from her POV - she (very) briefly appears in my other oneshots and in my WIP but there, it's always through someone else's eyes so it's easier than getting into the emotionless mindest (sociopathic? :o )and writing as her...so i'm happy that i managed to write her in a way that you feel sympathy for her even though obviously, she's not a very great person.


all the thoughts you have about the prophecy have always fascinated me and i wanted to explore it a little bit in this story - i've always wondered how people would react to knowin their future, especially if the prophecy was sort of...unclear or imprecise. how it could drive people to fulfill it and other to not fulfill it. how it could be stopped...or it wouldn't because stopping it would only result in a different possible interpretation of the original prophecy :D so it was fun to write this in such a way that it could provoke similar thoughts in other people - it's very cool that you noticed it *_*



Name: Lacey Black (Signed) · Date: 26 Feb 2019 05:53 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

So I started reading this, thinking to my self one thing and it turned out completely the opposite.  This is not a bad thing FYI, I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked how dark Selene is and how she describes herself as emotionless. I feel that there was certain freedom, like she said in her final thought, in how she allowed him to die. taking hold of her own future instead of allowing the prophecy to control her life forever, truly a very strong and powerful moment.

I want to comment that overall I am extremely impressed with how you write main characters.  Your mains are so different than the typical run of the mill characters, I love it!

I can't wait to read more of your work!



Name: godslayer (Signed) · Date: 24 Feb 2019 11:06 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

is it acceptable to leave you 200 lines of keyboard smashing? asking for a friend (me) because good lord my wig is orbiting jupiter right now. every single time you write something it's launched further and further away because holy smokes i am blown away by your skill and sheer mastery of the english language

"Seven words that would mark my childhood."

i don't normally get like, physical goosebumps from reading but somehow, soMEHOW you have achieved that response. 


Selene's indifference towards life itself, her hatred of the prophecy, her knowing how to solve the puzzle but NOT .. it just gives such a beautiful insight into her character. in fact this entire piece just gives so much perspective into her and I LOVE IT. 


and excuse me





- love emily

Name: Aphoride (Signed) · Date: 22 Feb 2019 04:13 PM · [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

Hey Kris! Dropping by for our review swap! :) 


So I love a good dark/horror story and I know how good you are at writing them - your whole Sinister series is so so good - so I just had to stop by this one! And, honestly, it's so so much more of the same. 


You have this way of writing dark/horror stories which is just... amazing. It works so so well, and I'm not even really sure what it is. You write these short sentences and this sort of vague setting - we're not told where she is, other than Iceland, what's around her, what she looks like or is wearing, how old she is... anything other than that she's in Iceland - but still, there's such a sense of who she is beyond what she looks like and everything else, and you create such a strong atmosphere. 


There's this real sense throughout all of it, of danger - of the fact that something's not right, that she's dangerous and psychopathic. It reminds me of Killing Eve, in a way, and of Hannibal: this kind of calm, detached dangerousness, where she doesn't really feel the way other people do, she doesn't really connect to the world the way other people do. It's all apprehension and tension; there's a kind of nervousness and alarm throughout your writing which is so so good. But, despite that, the actual scenes of violence - where she kills the wolf and drags it home; when her father is killed in the fight in the house - never feel too much, yk? They're equally as... emotionless (for lack of a better word) as the rest of it: there's this same detached kind of air about how she considers things, how she hunts and waits and just sort of sees what happens. It's super creepy but it's exactly how it should be. 


I lovelovelove the prophecy aspect to it as well. It's so creepy and so abusive, really, and it speaks to a huge obsessive paranoia on her dad's part - to assume that she'll save him physically, that he'll be in danger and she'll need to kill someone? What kind of person assumes that about their child and trains them for it, like moulding a child soldier? Eeesh. But it makes so much sense: that this idea of prophecy, of fate can overpower people and make them do things that perhaps they wouldn't otherwise do. That people can get obsessed with avoiding them or fulfilling them and end up just making things worse. 


Ahhhh this is such a great story - and I honestly have no idea how you managed to get so much in, so much emotion and character and everything, when it's only like 1.5k or so? You have a real gift for writing, and it really, really shows. 


Laura xx

Name: Oregonian (Signed) · Date: 16 Feb 2019 08:06 PM · [Report This]
Story:If I Had a Heart Chapter: me and the devil, walking side by side

What a tragic main character, from a tragic family.  Both parents are unable to give their daughter what she needs to grow up whole.  A mother absent most of the time and dying (the ultimate absence) when her daughter is ten years old.  A father who becomes obsessed by a prophecy that his daughter will save his life and subsequently fixates on training her to fulfill that role.  The result: an emotionally starved child who has never learned to express, or even feel, emotion.


The story needs to be read over again two or three times to pick up all the clues and references.  Seemingly random statements early in the story gain meaning from information given later in the story.


What happens to this child -- the loss of the ability to feel or express emotion -- happens to children in real life also, although in this story of the Harry Potter world, the inciting incident is a prophecy, which is generally not the inciting incident in our world.  Still, a loveless, emotionless childhood can lead to an adulthood similarly stunted.


There are interesting implications about prophecy in the wizarding world.  In this case, the prophecy "The child shall save its father's life," was the direct cause of the child's not saving her father's life.  I have addressed the uncertain workings of prophecy in my own writing.  Interesting questions.  A good story.

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