Reviews for Holly Evans and the Spiral Path
RudyHenkel chapter 50 . 9/21/2011
Wow. I don't know what to say...

I just discovered this story about... 3 days ago; and what a gripping 3 days it has been. You took a handful of cliches, and worked a wonder from them.

Despite your later misgivings, I think your choice of the journal format was very wise; it prevented you from falling into the all-too-common fanfiction trap of giving so much detail that the story slowed to a crawl; seeing the snapshots as we did kept things moving in a very important way.

It seems the continuation of this story is unfinished, and likely to remain that way. A mixed blessing for me, really; while I would be delighted to read more from you, this world... it's hard to continue reading. I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel for Holly, and it's emotionally crushing.

Thank you, so much, for creating such a gripping alt-verse, and breathing life into it. Holly is flesh and blood on the page, and you're to be thoroughly congratulated for that.

I hope you don't stop writing, regardless of what it is.
timunderwood9 chapter 50 . 9/16/2011
Good story, interesting concept, different, a reasonable handle on the whole dark edgy with lesbian sex vibe. Burnt out character, the scenes in this chapter especially with Dumbledore were good, etc.

However I should note your editing and outlining completely fell apart. I don't know why, this tends to happen a lot, sort of like you had detailed plans for the first 100-150k or so of words, and then just kept writing increasingly long chapters after you got past that point.

Methods of Rationality and Perfect Lionheart's story are of this length and manage to avoid that failing, and Vox Corporis is as bloated, but the bloat is spread evenly throughout and doesn't get worse.

Basically I'm saying your writing is quite good as fan fiction goes, but it would be a good idea with future stories to spend several hours every hundred thousand words or so figuring out exactly where you really want to go, how to manage the pacing, and how to not stick every idea in.

Of course my annoyance is completely my fault, I can't stop reading something once I've started.

It would have been more badass in a dark edgy way if Holly had actually lost her tongue, and therefore all future magic would have to be silent. Except she gets good enough at it...

The planned out four year arc was interesting, I rather liked you having Hermione thrown out of her house, but by that point the story had become too large and unfocused for you to really drag the emotional potential of that scene out. Or maybe something happens in the tangents. Which structurally is a clever idea.

Core aspect of what I think was good in the story is everything you managed to drag her through. I do think though around the key shift in the structure of the story, where we find out Harry and Holly are the same, I think at that point you sort of drop the ball (at least if we exclude the tangents) on managing the relationship with Hermione. Maybe I wasn't reading closely enough but my understanding of what was going on in the relationship at that point occurred purely on a formal level, not a visceral one. Also again we have the character who dominated the story becoming a smallish side character, whose sole real importance (which in a way I suppose it always was) related to how thinking about her affected Holly.

This is a sort of problem you certainly aren't the only author to fail with, and its a point I'm sure you are as aware of as I am, that characterization sucks in fan fiction usually (though you are no doubt more aware than I am of how hard it is to do, though my experiments so far having produced less than 5k worth of material are indicative). Still I think, eh there ought to have been some better way to deemphasize the H/Hr relationship, and then to manage the shift to its long term dynamic with Hermione being in second tier of importance.

Eh oh well, I'm expecting too much, and the fact this is a meaningful criticism indicates you did far better than a lot of stories. The most recent really long story I read before this was The Price of Being Noble, where I got annoyed near the end by all of the characters being indistinguishable protagonist blobs, which really didn't happen here. Though part of the reason was the edginess.
timunderwood9 chapter 28 . 9/15/2011
Ummm, am I missing something but weren't the Celts and Iberians kind of in different parts of Europe? Or maybe they held a border at the furthest expanses, my memory of barbarian preRoman barbarian kingdoms is very old and sketchy.
timunderwood9 chapter 23 . 9/15/2011
That is a good solution, but if you completely break Holly and Hermione's relationship (ie to the not friends point, the not lovers point I could deal with) I'll stop reading. Probably.
timunderwood9 chapter 19 . 9/15/2011
And clearly no relationship to John of Gaunt, Edward III third son, and progenitor of the Lancastrian dynasty.

I'm on a Shakespeare kick so I went through the whole history of the War of Roses so I would recognize the context in his history plays.
timunderwood9 chapter 9 . 9/15/2011
Deep questions. Clearly *someone* is reading Holly's diary.

Is it Snape?

Is there a real Harry Potter? I Snape Holly's father?

Who is Holly's father?

Snape seeems to know everything Holly knows, which indicates Snape had access to the information in the diary.

There also frankly seems to be another issue here, which suggests Holly hasn't thought through her use of the diary (I don't know if this will become relevant later in the story or not) it seems kind of implausible that someone as smart and careful as Holly would just tell all of her secrets to an enchanted diary when she has absolutely know way of knowing who is actually on the other end of it.
timunderwood9 chapter 3 . 9/15/2011
Its a semi standard fanon cliche that *obviously* the Flamels weren't going to just let Dumbledore control and then destroy their means of immortality. I'm curious to see if you end up going that direction.
Magic Kirby chapter 50 . 8/17/2011
A story shouldn't be written where I feel more for Holly's first love than the one that she eventually marries, in fact I felt sorry for Holly that she was marring Natalia because it seems like a sex based relationship with fake "I love you"s flying around. There was a reason I kept on reading after Holly and Hermione broke up and that is because you can write a very decent story but please just next time don't get lazy half way through and ruin most of your great work...
Magic Kirby chapter 40 . 8/17/2011
heh this is now the fifth fanfiction ive read that takes ideas from the fourth year from The Lie I Lived. Great fanfic that one. Anyway im still holding out on tne h/hr paring and i mean HOLLY/hermione not harry/hermione because i can see you doing that just to piss me off... it would almost be as bad as harry/tonks in the end seeing how rushed tonks character was. Anyway im still reading this story so i have to give you props for writing it.
Magic Kirby chapter 25 . 8/17/2011
I have to say the only reason I am still reading this is because it is completed and you have 25 chapters to lure me into accepting what happened, I still get that sadness feeling in my stomach when I think about what happened before holly and hermione broke it off. Its actually quite ironic because harry/tonks is my favorite paring in harry potter fanfiction and right now I find my self hating it, well good luck with the next 25 chapters and I hope your writing style can effect me as much as it has been doing.
Kasanra chapter 12 . 8/16/2011
This chapter was AWESOME! After I'm done with this story, I'm going to check out you other one's.
Kasanra chapter 10 . 8/16/2011
MH: Oh, Holly it was awful! There I was hanging around the u-bend when that flame-haired trollop with the wandering eyes comes rushing in here and chucks a book through me! That sordid little twat should be strung up by her pigtails and spun until she spews out what little value her still breathing corpse carries in this rotting world!

HE: Ginny threw a book at you?

-

I LOVE how HE knew it was Ginny just from that.
Kasanra chapter 9 . 8/16/2011
What a sister thing to do! LOL! Threaten her little brother then tell him goodnight. "With love, Holly"
wordhammer chapter 50 . 7/26/2011
The last few reviews gave me a giggle for all the attention to detail that people exhibit. I'd like to answer a few for them and for others.

Wolf550 is exactly right- Greek shouldn't be part of the Romance language group, nor should Roma- what should be is Romanian, and curse my lack of research for mistaking the two. Later editing will correct this.

Anon reviewer 'Z'- the ToS prohibit stories form being primarily chat or script style. Mine is not. If that's your primary complaint with this work, "I can only assume that you have not been paying attention!"

Anon reviewer 'anon'- (wish I could spoiler this) It's not an Americanism on my part. In this 'verse, Lily chose to have Harry circumcised (no doubt to James' horror) as a cleanliness issue. It should be pointed out that her 'first' was Snape, who in this world has a Jewish father and was Bar-Mitzvah'd...

Tonks fairly clearly points out that the only circumicised guys she's been with were East-European, so I think I'll claim the high ground on this one.

Thanks to all of you for caring enough to point out your concerns. Writers improve with your kind of input!
Anon chapter 25 . 7/26/2011
Good chapter, but one classic cringeworthy mistake stood out - circumcision is not the norm in Britain, or really any part of Europe. I see this done over and over again in pretty much all fics involving a penis, and this particular americanism gets old real quick.
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