|Reviews for The New Skin|
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 31 . 7/17/2015
Ooh, this was a really compelling chapter and I have /thoughts/!
Loved Snape's sarcastic nature coming through when he remarks on how Dick "kindly extracted" his blood to soak the dirty socks in and leave as bait in the forest. Really makes you wonder exactly what spell Dick used to do the extracting, too, haha.
I thought you did a really nice job in this chapter of integrating the summary/description of Snape's latest nightmare - the trapped bird dream that prompted his decision to go get the bag out of the bait and keep it on his person - into the body of the chapter. I know I commented a few chapters ago on the structure of opening chapters with nightmare sequences starting to get repetitive, and this is exactly how I was hoping you would break the mold - still incorporating the dreams with all their significance, but not doing it in such a rigid format each time. (Snape's paranoia about the bag was great, too, and clearly warranted given that it paid off a very short time later.)
I got really excited about your depiction of the modifications Snape made to the Wolfsbane Potion variant he was working on - yay for thorough descriptions merging potioneering with chemistry! I was really amused by Dick's insistence later in the chapter that Snape publish his current results instead of waiting until he'd also made a single dose last through multiple months. Priorities!
Another thing that amused me was this entire paragraph: [Bloody hell, what was pocket in Portuguese? The only thing I could seem to remember were swears. I said all of them. The skin made a convulsive movement against me and drew me in up to my shoulder. I closed my eyes and tried to picture my Portuguese textbook. Chapter 7: Let's Go Shopping! Estes sapatos estao apertados. No! That wasn't right!] The "I said all of them" quip about only being able to remember swearwords was perfect and fitting, and the juxtaposition of the ridiculousness of "Let's Go Shopping!" (especially when compared to the translated meaning of the Portuguese quote that you provide in the author's note at the bottom) with the horrifying thing happening was fantastic comedic timing.
Fantastic attention to detail with the "J. Williams" paper and Snape making the connection that the library clerk was the person whom the skin had been made from - it's really nice to see you bridging the gaps between the different settings within the story. You did a nice job showing Snape's default reaction to trauma, too, in the paragraph in which he starts dwelling on all the reasons why he got lucky and could have gotten himself killed, then tries to bury the thoughts. So much repression so very typical of your Snape. I would have liked to see a /little/ more of an emotional reaction from him, but I'll live.
Interesting worldviews from Snape at two particular moments toward the end of the chapter: first the sentiment that [Whether he believed it or not was less important than if he would play along] when he needs Mata to agree not to tell anyone about the skin, which was interesting, and then Snape's reaction that Mata saving his life was "another debt," which was in-character and suitably Slytherin but also very sad.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 30 . 7/17/2015
So definitely my favorite line in this chapter was [It was made of some kind of soft skin, all sewed shut. There was one small hard lump inside along with something light and rustling. I thought of fluttering bird wings and a broken concertina.] Loved the throwback to Fawkes's song and Snape's descriptions of nearly dying and then being healed in the first couple of chapters - nice attention to detail here!
I'm only a little disappointed that Tepora's proposed solution for how to rid Snape of the skin is just to eat what's in the bag, which seems a little anticlimactic given how skins are supposed to be near impossible to defeat and all of the buildup and destruction that the skin has caused thus far. Fire tells me that the resolution with the skin was really satisfying to read, though, so I'm holding out for that scene when it comes!
Snape's character was spot on during his horrified reaction to having to lead a song and to the vomiting and hallucinations that Tepora's drink induced in him. I thought the descriptions of the hallucinations of his former friends maybe a little more unclear than would have worked best, but hey, he was clearly really out of it, so I'll give you credit there for making the fuzziness of the descriptions parallel the fuzziness of his consciousness at the time. Lily dragging James along by the ear was like the greatest thing of my life, too.
Funke's dialogue seemed a little bit off in this chapter, as a general note. I guess that sort of doubly works as a compliment to how distinctive you've made her voice throughout this story, which overall has really impressed me - I just didn't really feel like it came through as well as it has previously in this particular chapter.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 29 . 7/16/2015
I didn't enjoy this chapter as much as some of the others lately just because it seemed more like filler than like something that was vital to plot progression or in fact moved the plot along much at all. I did appreciate the descriptions of the Oi's way of life - the discussion of gender roles and how they fit in with Uli's relationship to the Oi as interesting, and it was cool seeing Snape puzzle out how the Oi's particular brand of spell-casting works while trying to learn how to conjure flies from the children. (And I was really entertained by seeing him trying to bargain with the kids and ending up settling on giving them three-quarters of his eyeglasses. Such a Slytherin! And it was funny that he was doing it with such young kids, too.) However, it would have been nice to see the world-building details integrated more into plot progression like with the original mission of getting information from Tepora about how to defeat the skin, since as it was the chapter felt sort of - unnecessary? Cool worldbuilding, but could have been worked more smoothly in alongside plot movement to make it more engaging.
| farunjin's.feather chapter 34 . 7/16/2015
I could totally see Snape being that one professor you never want to get a reference from, because he will be completely honest to the point of detriment and lose the purpose of being a reference. It was interesting to see Snape’s avoidance in his words described as a game, and shows again how little he understands about social cue and emotional reactions of others. I think Uli is being too kind and accommodating to Snape. I get that she is trying to be less blunt and give him space, but at the same time Snape needs to make some changes as well because he is somewhat enabled by her the last couple of chapters.
With the line ‘’but one look at the press of the people…back to lab’ should be rephrased by taking out the ‘and,’ otherwise it comes off a little fragmented and clunky. It was nice though to see Snape give his RA’s some time off after the event, and was a lesson that some people actually like to have fun unlike him. I really appreciated that you described Snape’s project not going as well and had errors, because this is the reality of research. Especially the part about one of the subjects not following the directions, god does that frustratingly happen more often than not. Dick had a very good point about the larger, commercialized companies getting all of the credit because this sadly reflects the nature of clinical research.
The conversation about the references was great, because it showed how Snape is always looking for perfection and if he does not see it in others, he already has a negative viewpoint and will only focus on that. I bet he has never written a positive reference for anyone in his life, period. Dick seems to understand the nature of references, and although it is not completely honest, you really have to overinflate your student’s abilities to get him/her a job position. He also had a good point about being ‘flawless,’ was more about how little mistakes you make rather than meeting some unattainable notion of perfection. ‘Or to translate, everyone knows what a f-ing bastard I am’ killed me. You did a good job of conveying that Snape needs to realize he needs to let this part of his old life go as well, because Snape’s recommendations as Dick pointed out cannot be Cyril’s recommendations.
Good ending with Uli and I am hoping things work out for the two of them. I miss the fun banter the two of them had when they were together and hope the resolution is favorable.
| farunjin's.feather chapter 33 . 7/16/2015
I got excited when I saw the title ‘Results,’ because then I was thinking: my god, perhaps Snape is finally going to get some good results after all of these months of hard work. I was kind of surprised with Snape’s tone towards Dick, because he normally of course does not like sharing things, but seemed to be an overreaction to a question that needed an answer. However, the other half of me can see Snape is probably very impacted by the event, and needs time alone to process it. I think Dick should have pressed the issue more, because the thing I liked about Dick’s character growth is that he stopped letting Snape get away with not being open and honest with others, and this part seemed like a tad bit of a character regression.
I loved the part where you described the research- that is language to my ears! I think as I have mentioned before that you have done a great job of describing research in the sense it is relatable and understandable to everyone. But a question: why didn’t you mention the grouping of the subjects earlier? This is something that would have been determined before experimentation started, so I would suggest moving this piece of information to an earlier chapter and lightly touch on it here again to remind the reader. The contrast between Dick and Snape was great- you really highlighted that Dick sees research as being rewarding for simply finishing the job, whereas Snape was so hung up on the fact it wasn’t significant. Dick had very good points about it being a preliminary trial and not causing major side effects- to me this screams clinical research trial.
Question: was the P value set at 0.05? I mean, it is kind of frowned upon, but Snape could always adjust the P value to make it significant. ;)
Again, the publication part was well-executed and showed how Snape is so worried about having things being perfect that he fails to see to the ironic significance of his research. “In research if you don’t publish, you don’t get press,” was a line that stood out to me because Snape fails to see how research is a business and if you don’t reach out to others, your research will go nowhere quickly. Where you have the line ‘By Monday…not productive,” you could actually combine these to make the flow stronger. The banter with the RA’s was great- it was awesome to see them so excited about the results. But, of course cynical Snape was all “lol, it isn’t really significant why are you excited.’
“Would you look at that, he is smiling” was the best line of the chapter, and I laughed so hard when I read this. I also liked the comment Snape made afterwards about how his RA’s knew him too well and no longer could use barking to order them around.
The best scene, however, was when Snape was telling Mata to stop smoking, because it showed how much he cared about Mata even though he probably would never admit it out loud. It was not just about how failing this would make Snape feel, but rather an act of doing the right thing and being there for his students just like he was during Hogwarts.
The nightmare was interesting, but I don’t feel it was fully fleshed out. Some very good ideas are in there, but a little more description and contextual information would make it stronger. In all honestly, I’m not sure it is even needed in this chapter. I’m glad Uli confronted Snape and hit the nail on the head as to why things were not going that great between them and also what needed to be changed if their relationship was going to last. The ‘sixth sense my Slytherins developed to not bother me’ was a great line. The temper seems to have really built up lately, and is a good way to show how Snape is almost at the breaking point when it comes to not sharing his feelings. The ending was interesting with the donors and was way different than I expected with Dick sharing how many donors people had scared away rather than fully chastising his actions.
“But Cyril, I have complete confidence in your ability to piss people off.” Pure gold
| farunjin's.feather chapter 32 . 7/15/2015
Nice opening lines with the parallel between making the potion work and holding off of the skin- both present the issue of replication, expect for one is not desired to be replicated. I want to know why Avery created the skin- what was his motivation, was he forced, etc. This is one of the most compelling parts of the story and I cannot wait until you reveal it. The lines where you have “I would have…I only have…I would need” could be combined to increase the flow- it came a little choppy and mechanical. I laughed out loud at “watching Slytherin girls play dumb to try and get extra help…” I really like when you incorporate these sort of anecdotes when Snape was teaching at Hogwarts, and this sort of information are the things I wished Rowling expanded upon.
The banter between teenage girl Snape and Avery was interesting, and goes to show no matter what his form, Snape knows how to get into people’s minds and manipulate the situation. The skin part was very creepy and well-executed in the fact Snape seems to have found perhaps a resolution to getting the skin out of his trail, and has a lot of implications if it actually reaches Avery. It would certainly be poetic justice, but I am not entirely convinced Avery is the main person behind this and rather is a lackey being forced or told to do this for whatever reason.
The comment where Snape pokes fun at Yanks drinking waterbottles too much was good, and scary to think since this story is set in 1998, and we clearly are way worse than we were almost 20 years ago. I liked the line where Snape reflects on Avery at the beach and shows a slight hesitation in his plans. My only recommendation would be to expand on this idea because this concept has come up a lot for Snape in regards to feeling guilt and regret, and I feel in this situation he would probably felt more conflicted about this situation than portrayed, even though Avery threatened his life multiple times.
The scene after the skin attacks Avery was very conflicting for me. On one hand, I was happy Snape finally got justice and could relax about the skin, especially since Avery had taken away someone’s life unjustly. On the other hand, having to enter a room with someone dead would never be a nice thing to deal with, so I liked how you described Snape hesitating to look at Avery. The reflection on the value of human life was poignant during this scene, and Snape’s reaction after the event fit well. A suggestion would be to expand on the part where he says “The thought of being touched made me feel ill.” Surely he must have felt major emotions rise to the surface after that event and I am surprised he moved on so quickly.
The game analogy was very interesting- and reflects the nature of how Voldemort saw killing. He seemed to feel killing was a game and didn’t think about how others would be harmed by death, which is what I first thought of when reading the last few lines of the chapter. “We have to play to the very end [even- typo] if it kills us.” That line was so powerful- you really cannot ever escape the Death Eaters, the venom will come and find out eventually. Nice job!
| farunjin's.feather chapter 31 . 7/15/2015
The first part was very descriptive and I thought you did a good job of discussing the background while subtly discussing the struggles Snape was having as they were leaving the area. Early in the chapter there is a missing comma: “a frenzied two hours sorting, drying and repacking,” just a tiny typo but not a huge deal obviously. Same thing with sauerkraut a few lines later. I was very shocked by Dick’s behavior at the beginning because he is such the happy, uplifting one and after leaving the rainforest was as pissy as Snape- that was a very interesting character change to observe.
There is a line where you talk about ‘the jewelry box…I had been carrying it.’ Since it is the same thought these sentences could be combined to increase the flow to the start of the paragraph. The dark bird dream was very interesting, because it once again the image is coming back to Snape and clearly is symbolic in some way. What on earth is kappa water? I have never heard of that, but it sure sounds interesting. It was, however, good to see that Snape has made serious progress on his project and has a way more cohesive plan going on – I think you have done a great job of describing the scientific progress without being too technical and boring readers.
That skin part was super creepy but I didn’t understand this line: “..but there was nothing to get purchase against it.” Did you mean perhaps ‘nothing to push against it? Just seemed very odd and out of nowhere given the context of the situation. Whoa at the clerk at the library being the dead person transformed into the skin- very well done! Not random enough to be an odd choice, yet not common to where the reader would realize how obvious so and so was the skin. This part was very intriguing because now we know someone was tracking down Snape’s moves when he was in Boston.
Good call on Dick’s part to call it a practical joke instead of making a big deal out of it and potentially scaring the crap out of people. Agreed with Snape that it wasn’t a very convincing claim, given the way Mata was terrified over it. Just my personal opinion, but I think there should have been a scene break after the skin was captured to better transition from the event to Dick and Snape talking about Snape’s lab work. I would have been interested to see further discussion with Mata and people outside of the lab reacting to seeing the thing. Or even better, Grossman butting in as usual and trying to refute Dick’s claims. At the very least a paragraph break would have been better to enhance the flow- it was a little jarring.
Publication? That would be cool to see Snape get some recognition out of this, and Dick made a great point that the results do not have to be perfect, and Snape needs to let go of that idea. “It is perfect for what it does” is an amazing way to describe the research and publication process! Nice to see Uli come in after all of that- maybe they will go get a drink because Snape certainly needs it!
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 28 . 7/15/2015
How would it work exactly when Snape mutters to himself "behind" the Silencio charm? Does that just mean he winds up mouthing it?
This grammar seems wonky: [We began to have to look out for rocks as well as sandbanks, even at one tricky spot Grossman and myself at the prow pushing off from the surrounding boulders with boathooks as Uli steered and Dick bellowed directions.]
I appreciate Snape's voice coming through when he belabors traveling with "goddamn herbologists" taking too long, and then Dick's statement that "we're herbologists. You have to expect us to herbologize." I still have the same general issues with his character, where I don't feel completely convinced by how quickly he adopted Snape under his wing, but I am feeling really appreciative of all his funny quips in the last few chapters especially.
Snape's personality also came through nicely with his morbid interest in killing flies to waste time while waiting for the others, which strongly reminded me of the Pensieve memory in the Spinner's End house - wasn't he shooting flies at the ceiling with his wand or something like that in it? His freaked-out reaction to the dermatobia hominis was very in-character as well.
Funke pushing Snape's hammock so that it would rock him to sleep I thought was a very tender moment demonstrating more about her caring personality than it did necessarily about the relationship, since it wasn't especially intimate.
[Shit, he told me to relax, and then he told me to let my guard down. How the hell was I supposed to relax if I didn't have my guard up? It was ridiculous.] - Oh, man. This is another one of those punchers you keep including that so poignantly demonstrate the extent of Snape's emotional baggage. The whole description of how he assumes that what he needs to do is basically the Occlumency he practiced as a double agent, and his assumption that relaxing and letting your guard down are totally binary and incompatible, and his response to Dick that he feels safest when alone, not when with friends - yeah.
["You're getting off easy," said Grossman. "I had to explain the American electoral college last year. It didn't go over well."] - Ha, love this!
All of the descriptions of the Oi's culture throughout the chapter were really fascinating, and I appreciate how well thought out they all were. The stories were especially interesting - the jaguar legend and the story of why so many of the Oi people are wizards. LOVE the twist that Tepora is a Muggle, and I'm really really interested to see where you go with that and what he's able to contribute.
| farunjin's.feather chapter 30 . 7/14/2015
I think you did a good job in this chapter of conveying Snape’s other aversion- change! The nuances you described with his frustrations of eating the fish with his bare hands and hopefully not burning them, worrying about how many hands were on the gourds, and roast meat being a little greasy are subtle yet effective ways to show he still has a long way to go in regards to being more open-minded. The tales you have made up for this tribe are hilarious because of their non-sensical and morbid nature- that for one I actually agree with Snape on. The part where you “about the spirits of the dead…about a network of rivers” I suggest a little rewording simply because the ‘…’ aren’t really necessary and disrupt the flow of the story. A summary sentence could easily hit all of those points, otherwise this framing comes out of nowhere and doesn’t really serve the purpose of the context.
The part where Snape is worried about having to sing was pretty funny too, because it nailed my suspicions I had about the Oi earlier in the story: they love death a little too much and poke fun at it. However, I was very intrigued by the part where Snape talks about having to drag his ‘dad home from the pubs’ which kind of makes me wonder if his dad had some sort of alcohol issue or was very distant from his family. Both, in my opinion, could really explain some of Snape’s behaviors. I haven’t read the prequel to this, so I am curious to know whether this was ever addressed or not. I think Snape based on his comments is used to people abandoning him and feeling as if they are better off without him- which is a huge reason he acts the way he does!
That little paragraph, to me, explained the most about Snape’s character compared to the all of the events and people he has encountered. I read it several times because I found it so telling and personal, which are things that make Snape very uncomfortable. Then his struggle over whether to be upset with his dad or not for wanting to happy for a few hours was very emotionally complex because it shows there are so many layers to Snape’s reactions. It was nice though to see Snape be able to let go of the past for a second and sing, even if it clearly is not his most favorite thing in the world to do. Canutsipem’s explanation for what he thought the song meant was hilarious!
Finally got back to the skin issue, sadly I almost forgot about it as much as the characters did. I laughed at Dick’s casual reaction to Snape throwing up and being concerned about what would happen next- he simply shrugged it off and said been there, done that. The concept of having Snape in a half-dream was very interesting, especially since it showed characters that he had a variety of relationships with. The part where he said ‘I always knew who wore the trousers’ was pretty funny and totally inappropriate for the situation. The angst was well-executed as Snape becomes hesitant that Tepora could help him and yet in the end it appears that Tepora might have figured something out? Seems promising and interested to see how it plays out.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 27 . 7/14/2015
I really liked your explanation of why Apparition and broom travel are difficult in the rainforest to explain why Muggle means of travel are the ones most commonly used there. Great attention to detail as always. Tepora and the Oi also sound like a really intriguing aspect of your world construct; I've really enjoyed seeing you build American wizarding society, so seeing how you incorporate magic into what sounds like a tribal environment should be really interesting as well. (On a related note, I love this: [Dick laughed. "No one cares about the Statute out here. Half the locals are from tribes designated as 'integrated Statute-exempt societies' anyway. Ministry officials never set foot in the rainforest. They just don't care."])
I was a little bit thrown off by the way you introduced the idea that Snape and Dick are going to head to meet Tepora using dialogue, though. It wasn't immediately apparent that the opening scene followed so quickly from the closing scene of the previous chapter, and I actually jumped to the assumption that they had already left for the rainforest and was really thrown off when Dick started talking about Snape staying in Arkham for the time being. Usually I'm a big fan of in media res presentation of information, but in this case I found it unclear what the setting was early on - maybe a few sentences or a paragraph showing the room they were in or whatever would help?
[And what if this was it; if I didn't come back from this trip? Then the project would never be finished. I would leave a legacy of nothing but death and wreckage behind me.] - This threw me off at first glance, but I actually really like how much this develops Snape in just a few words. My first thought was that this was odd because shouldn't he already be proud of having taken his potions mastery exams and helped the students that he did while he was a professor, but in retrospect, of course Snape's going to blame himself and think that all he did for Hogwarts was create death and pain, and that says something very tragic about his character that he feels more ashamed or disgusted than anything with what came of the time he spent there.
I'm surprised Dick was okay with Funke and Benji coming along on the expedition. Wouldn't he manage to arrange it so that Snape would have privacy for this? It seems risky to bring others along given the circumstances and given that Snape doesn't want them to know what he's really seeking help for.
| farunjin's.feather chapter 29 . 7/14/2015
I liked how the women in the tribe seem to have a highly influential role, they are vital to the well-being of the tribe and treated far greater than producing children, which is nice to see. The dynamic of segregation was very interesting and drew for me several parallels to what happened over in Hogwarts. Snape wondering if Uli would want to stay there was a subtle way to remind the reader that perhaps he worries about losing her more than he is willing to admit to himself. The part where Snape wonders about they were going to fish and ‘sticking Grossman’s feet in the water’ was funny and is typical Snape using Grossman as his punching bag. The part where Snape says ‘there, nothing….waited for the sap’ I recommend combining into a sentence because the flow is kind of awkward.
The part where Snape is trying to bargain for the glasses was entertaining as well, because once again Snape cannot simply relax and let go of a pair of glasses that really serve nothing more than being an accessory to his new identity. Cool to see the exchange and the Oi kids being amused by the prospect of glasses. Grossman tries to point out how Snape made the kids’ day but instead Snape was so focused on having an advantage through bargaining that he couldn’t let his guard down fully and just have some fun. The line where Snape is describing Viti’s attempts of making a buzzing sound with “Then he stopped….wincing in concentration” has a bunch of commas that easily could be condensed by clustering ideas together in the sentences. Another example is near the end where you say “I found it a bit unnerving. They kept smiling at me,” are thoughts that easily could be combined to enhance the flow.
The use of the fly sound was a really cool way to get Snape to do the uncomfortable, and something that directly opposed the feeling of spells. He was right in the sense that spells are highly verbal, but with the task of the fly sound it actually required a lot of non-verbal cues that Snape was not used to. This was a great way to show perhaps using magic a lot makes the wand a crutch and can take any natural instincts, which is what the Oi do for a lot of their preservation tactics. I’m not sure if you intended to frame this parallel or not, but part of the reason I suspect the Oi are uncomfortable with modern wizards is simply not the magic itself but rather they are out of touch with natural instincts and nature. The wizarding world would rather produce results instantaneously, whereas with the Oi there is more of a process to things.
Best part of the chapter: Snape’s continued aversion (or denial!) towards making friends.
| farunjin's.feather chapter 28 . 7/13/2015
Very good description in this chapter- I could easily envision the scene and the interactions with the Oi tribe. Even the food was very descriptive and made sense given the context. This chapter has also done a good job of portraying Snape’s PTSD, which is something I should have commented on earlier. The night sweats, nightmares, paranoia, anger, and illogical thinking at times really reflect someone who has undergone a traumatic event. You have made it realistic without taking away from the personal growth of the character, which is a very hard thing to do.
I died laughing when Snape was talking about his troubles of walking in the forest and the biggest struggle he apparently had was ‘was travelling with goddamn herbologists.’ Glad to see he hasn’t lost his prejudice against them! He had a point though about them slowing down the pace and taking time to notice unnecessary things. There is an error with the line “examine…collect it,’ as there should be a comma right before the ‘collect it’ part of the sentence. Dick’s comment of “now, now…you have to expect us to herbologize….we’ll get there” was hilarious! He clearly as shown in this story could not be bothered on set timelines, which is something that drives him nuts.
The banter between Grossman and Snape has also been one of the most enjoyable things about this story- they both light into each other in a humorous way and move on. Nice to see that they can keep some sort of relationship without killing one another. The paranoia Snape had over the bugs certainly drove his PTSD further, as he almost snapped at Dick to kill the bug as if a new skin was growing. Snape’s anxiety over the bug being attached and trying to grow on him, however, was well justified. God, and he really had the nerve to ask Snape to be open with people- Dick what are you thinking? XD
Where the lines “That was all…two figures rushed…Dick held on,” are really fragmented sentences that disrupt that flow, and I would suggest making one or two sentences with them. The part where he says “…when I craned my head” should go at the front of the sentence since Snape has to crane his head first before he is physically able to see anything.
Interesting to see Snape become nervous about addressing the Oi people when he has faced much worse scrutiny at Hogwarts, and of course the one thing he cannot do is relax- mentally psyching himself out by overthinking I feel. The comment he made about ‘having friends that he could let his guard down’ sums up Snape’s fear of vulnerability and I am glad you incorporated this into the chapter. I loved that Canutsipem didn’t think Snape was really smart because that is a great way to really piss Snape off since being smart is something he highly values. Poor Snape was getting worst treatment than you would expect in the TSA line, and really you did a good job of highlighting that he also is not a fan of physical touch.
That mythology (assuming it is made up?) story was very sad, and definitely reflects the nature of the jungle. I appreciated that you gave the Oi tribe some background and culture, which made the interactions way more realistic. Very cool to see that you incorporated actual tribes into the story, I was not sure if that was the case until I read your author’s note.
Okay, so after reading Snape’s Muggle comment it contradicts his attitude in Ch. 17, which is that he didn’t want for Muggle-Wizarding prejudice, but here he is clearly prejudiced against Muggles by believing they aren’t capable of helping him. Personally it would make more sense if these concepts are switched around, because now it would make more sense if it he had more faith in Muggles. I think the execution would be stronger if it showed Snape struggling a bit with the Muggle situation rather than already being skeptical.
Very creative and interesting chapter!
| farunjin's.feather chapter 27 . 7/13/2015
I laughed at the banter between Dick and Snape, especially the part where Snape says in response to the trees probably wanting to kill him that ‘Well, I plan to write them out of the will, the ungrateful brats.” Probably should change ‘the’ to ‘those’ to be more grammatically correct. I liked the concept of going to a healer because once again Snape is going to be exposed to something he would probably turn his nose up on if he wasn’t forced to otherwise. Should also be a comment after ‘revenge’ in the stopping revenge line. I loved Snape’s immediate skepticism of the idea, which totally fits his personality and of course Dick was the positive one who kept telling him to go for it.
The thing about ‘it is the best opportunity for you see the rainforest’ is a tad bit hard to sell to the RA’s because everyone is aware that Snape doesn’t enjoy being in the rainforest, so would they actually believe this? I think Snape should have responded here by showing doubt in the way the RA’s would react- I would bet serious money that Grossman would respond and have a say in that. He has not had to go to the rainforest to do his research, so again I am not entirely convinced the lab would believe this. To make it work though, the next chapter should include a scene where Dick tells the lab and they don’t believe him at first and then he makes up a weirder lie that gets them to believe it.
The reaction Uli had to Snape coming back was very emotionally charged, and showed the consequences of his actions. Snape has shown to not fully understand the emotional nature of humans, and hopefully now this will be the point where he finally gets it. I thought he came off as self-centered to be honest, and was kind of surprised he just wanted to end things like that. However, the part with the RA’s I liked, and showed how suspicious Snape still is and his inability to calm down shows how he cannot compartmentalize things. Not sure what you meant by ‘looking at the winter’ at the end of the conversation between Snape and Uli. Glad to see they are trying to work things out on a realistic level.
The Crabbe information was interesting, and confirms my suspicions that Dick keeps tabs on things in England, which is funny considering you would think Snape would be more interested in those he cared about. The sentence that starts with “Yet there I was…first aid and hammock” is all over the place content wise and doesn’t flow too well- I would suggest breaking it down into two sentences. The Oi concept sounds really promising as well and I am interested to see where you take it.
Overall a very interesting chapter and looking forward to seeing what you have in store with the Oi healer.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 26 . 7/13/2015
I really liked the once again surreal aspect to Snape's dream where he transposed Dumbledore's words ("Severus, please...") onto Dick's image at his desk, and then your throwback to the dream when Snape sees Dick in his office, is momentarily panic-struck when he flashes back to the previous night and half-expects Dick to say those words, and then is relieved when he doesn't. It's a small detail but did a lot to capture how constant and ever-present Snape's paranoia is. There were a few other moments in this chapter that had that same effect for me: Snape's shortness of breath when he saw the negatives and recalled the very first scene of the first chapter when he was in another place (I'm still wondering what exactly was going on there, so I'm glad you referred back to it and haven't just forgotten it happened!) was very indicative of trauma because people without trauma wouldn't start hyperventilating at something as commonplace and minor as looking at negatives; Snape's panic here - [Oh god, Vince burned and I couldn't get him out, he burned.] - also neatly called back to Snape's lingering guilt and upset over Crabbe's death, and I liked that you had watching someone else burn immediately trigger a flashback there, which I thought was a realistic way to portray Snape's mind.
Really nice writing in the train station where Snape reflected, [The tunnel gaped in front of me. I stepped into the darkness. Usually, the second time down any path feels faster. But then I felt like time had slowed, stopped, and began to run backwards. I finally stood outside the metal door, wondering what beast was waiting for me inside. / The beasts were all in the past, of course, except that the past was following me now. I stood in the room for a long time, staring at the blackened circle on the floor.] Also, I'm wondering who exactly the skin man was... his hair color reminds me of Barty Crouch Jr., but that can't be right.
Favorite lines for this chapter both came from Dick for a change. Loving his clever comebacks and wit in this chapter!
["You're not going to propose, are you?" / "Not unless you have a very handsome dowry."]
["Make sure my RAs have been working and not mucking around." / "All right, I'll have a shout at them for you. Chin up!"]
["You just made that up!" / "Well, that is one of the perks of being lab director; you get to make up the rules."]
| NeoMiniTails chapter 3 . 7/12/2015
Onto chapter three's review:
This was an interesting chapter for me. Snape getting the news about how it all went down and the hurt that he felt in reading the list of all those who lost their life in the battle against Voldemort.
For me, the final scene was the most interesting. Out of everything in this chapter, it was his interaction with Minerva and finding out that Harry had revealed Snape's true nature to Voldemort and his dread that he felt in knowing this. It really shows the fearsome nature of the "Dark Lord" seeing as despite him being dead, he's still quite afraid.
Like the previous chapter, I found that the first person narrative to be a bit hard for me to keep up with... Snape seems just a bit OOC. There's something off in the way things are said that doesn't feel quite right... and it takes me out of the story. In no way is the story badly written, but that is an issue.
My suggestion, if you write something similar later on, is to get a beta-reader who is there simply for characterization and narrative. It'll make a big difference. You have almost everything else down but that one thing.
Here are a few nitpicks:
In a few days (comma) I would probably be strong enough to apparate the seven miles to Boston,
I ran across several rabbits on my way back to Battery Terrill (no comma needed, splice-you could maybe delete "and then" and use a semi-colon) and then there were mussels and probably fish and crabs as well.
Perhaps (comma) he was right.
At the moment (comma) I could only affect two of the changes I needed:
Thanks for writing,
Until Next Time,