|Reviews for Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above|
| Alex chapter 38 . 3/13/2019
First off, I’m obsessed with these novels. Seriously. It terrifies me that it’s been a seven year gap between this book and AQAWA, which according to your livejournal is now being beta’Ed. These works are so much more than fanfiction-they’re real novels that I’ve been drawn into and have become so important to me, just like the HP books. These novels are works of art, and I want to thank you so much for writing them, and to remind you how important they are for your readers. I can’t imagine waiting another 7 years between installments, or never knowing what happens to Alexandra. Just trying to imagine that breaks my brain a little bit. You are a magnificent writer, and the world you have created is so real, the characters so vivid, the plot so compelling that I think Alexandra Quick puts Harry Potter to shame in some ways. I hope you never, ever stop writing.
Secondly, wow the ending was such a punch in the gut! I’ve been breathlessly rooting and hoping for Larry/Alex and when it finally seemed like it might go down that route, what happened to Larry broke my heart. And Alex’s own ending this time! I don’t want to put spoilers in the reviews but WOW. What a gut wrenching place to leave things. I still can’t wait to see where Alex goes from here, or how she works her way out of this one.
Your writing is phenomenal. I’ve been glued to my screen and my computer. Please keep writing these stories, and please come back soon. I’ve never felt this way about a fanfiction before-it isn’t a fanfiction at all, but a series of novels that are dear to my heart. Thank you.
| Litha Dangero chapter 39 . 3/10/2019
I read your AQ series a few years ago and really loved it. And after seeing the group reread on the AQ reddit I wanted to join along. But I was too impatient to do it 5 chapters at a time and just read it all instead! I’m not big on leaving reviews, since I’m no writer and don’t have any criticism to offer. But I wanted to tell you I enjoyed it the first time and the second. I look forward to when you release the fifth book! Thank you for sharing.
| Arno chapter 39 . 2/6/2019
I just finished all 4 books and it has been quite a ride.
Thank you very much for writing and most of all sharing this wonderful story. I can barely wait for the next one, it really can't come too soon. I feel confident in saying that this mudt the best fanfiction around. I always look for fanfiction that are actual stories and not just shallow whish-fullfilling fanservice, but never in my wildest dream would I have dreamt of someone just writing their own (amazing) series of full-fledged novels!
I'd like to do something in return, but the only thing I can think of is leaving a thank you and a review, so I guess I'll do just that. (On that note, do you have a patreon or something like that?)
So, here are my pros:
-respect for the source material: it's incredible how you manage to respect the pre-established rules of the HP-world while introducing original, exciting stuff that fits right in
-new stuff: Powers, The Lands Below and Beyond, Doggerel Verse, that dark Indian Nemesis-thingy (like seriously, this is creepier than Dementors and that's saying something; I REALLY hope they'll make a return), sevenmile-boots, Hags, Native-American magic and all the stuff I can't think of right now or will mention later
-Poetry: I dunno, every time a rhyme shows up I'm happy; there's not enough poetry or lyrics in popular media; and some of them really made an impression on me: "Troublesome argues, Troublesome pleads, Troublesome thinks reality will bend to her needs." Damn. there's just something mysterious and mesmerizing about it
-politics: I really enjoy american take on a political system, all the different communities especially because they relay a scope that I didn't really feel much back in HP and they offer diversity in character's backgrounds and they give wizarding USA a rich culture; an exciting, different, new place for another story in the wizarding world
-the thorn family: the expansive thorn family with its current seven (sniff) children make a really cool family constellation and Alex's siblings so far have all been interesting
-plot twists/reveals: journey is homocidal?! alex is the daughter of a dark wizard!? Max is a sibling?! Siblings exist!? The lands below and beyond, holy shit! And of course the entire claudia and hecate affair. I just can't, I can handle only so much sudden excitement. You have a knack for making reveals like these
-the pritchards: i like them, they're funny, endearing, mature and just great. The image of one of them being scandalised and fanning her face with her hand still makes me chuckle
-Antagonists: i really liked those that were relatable. Journey, who wasn't evil but who let his cowardice get the better of him. Darla, whose actions were immoral but who just tragically and desperately wanted to prevent the death of her little sister. The werewolves who cant be held responsible for their actions. However, the generous ones (although interesting from a lore perspective and simply exotic) just kinda seem like evil little shits. John Manuelito's threat felt very real though and he gained kind of a presence in his scenes to the end, eventhough he's unrelatable he and alex had an interesting dynamic. I hope the main villain (presumably Hucksteen) and alex will habe an interedting dynamic too
-the Grimms: the Grimm triplets are awesome. Such distinct personalities and interesting relations to each other. Hecate's story in perspective to alex is tragically touching. Diana and Lilith make interesting and mysterious antagonists-allies to alex. Also they and Abraham remind me of the Peverells and Death? Plus they have abilities, positions of Power, animorphagi and cool Names going for them, which is always nice. Especially the Names; 'Grimm' already sounds Badass, them being each named after a fury is dope and then Greek godesses! Holy Guacamole! (except "Lilith", which is mildly infuriating) I hope they'll get more central roles and screentime (pagetime?) in future titles.
-familiars: i feel like they and their behaviour often symbolises their masters? Reminds me of demons from "His Dark Materials" which is cool
-climaxes: the lands below, the land beyond most of all, and the show down with Manualito and that really scary, really awesome Nemesis-Thingy were all intrigueing and great.
And here come my cons as well as mixed stuff:
-alex: i like her, i think she makes a good protag. Being deeply flawed (hella stubborn) , extremely talented and good-hearted makes for an interesting combination. However, she's sometimes REALLY frustrating to read. Like her entire way of dealing with the Claudia-revelation or her giving in to impulses and not having herself under control and most of all that that almost constant feeling that she's not reaching her full potential or trying to. I hope her expulsion, the seven-year-itch, conspiracy and quest for restoring hecate's memories will have been wake-up calls and motivations that will lead her to new hights, feats and maturity.
-overarching plot: conspiracy, seven-year itch and memory-restoration quest as well as the Hucksteen/Confederation vs. Thorn/Dark Convention war are all interesting and intrigueing, but I can't really see how they're all gonna converge which worries me. The war seems like the biggest thing but alex is barely really involved and if Huckstean is gonna be the big bad villain then i feel like he lacks a strong connection or history with the protagonnist to be a worthy final villain. But, I guess I'll see how all that plays out and i have faith you'll amaze us all with it.
-romance: the romance has been...a bit out of place? It wasn't particularily bad or something but a bit strange non the less. And now that Brian is the mai love interest, I'm not sure how he's gonna fit in with the story and likewise where the romance is going
-alex's homies: the pritchards have been talked about. But I'm a bit disappointed in Anna and David, they're so close to Alex yet they hardly participated in the main events of the books at all. Anna at least has a nice dynamic with contrasting personality to Alex. And she offers a window to the ongoing politics through her father. Though she's not much of a duellist, which seems like a problem? But most of all David seems like an abundant character. Though I might be expecting the protag's best friends to be her constant companions just bcause that's the case in HP. So this probably isn't even really worth a mention
-Narrative structure: this is my biggest problem, wasn't sure what to call this. What I mean is sometimes an epilogue after a climax just kinda awkwardly floats into the next (and often final) climax. Like, there's no real breather after the tension and suddenly shit's hitting the fan again, this time harder than ever. The second climax is still excellent and doesn't really suffer, but the in-between section is kinda weird and I always felt like it just kinda randomly drags on for no reason. Example: tension rises to the highest point (not of the book, but of the current arc) when Alex saves Angelique's Jarvey and gets tortured by Manuelito and saved by Max. The emotional climax of the arc follows suite with max revealing his being alex's brother. With the start of the epilogue tension's steadily decreasing again in the form of them haveing some talk's on the matter. So far so good. But then the focus shifts on the two spending time together and getting to know each other and it feels a bit...off. it feels like exposition and/or rising action of the next arc, but tension isn't really rising nor is there a new plotthread for the arc. And suddenly alex and Max are in the lands below with the final arc/climax. That in-between time of them spending time after the epilogue/falling tension of the last aec doesn't really build tension and awkwardly drags on. At least to me, your transitions from the end of one arc to the start of the new feel a little weird to read.
Not by that much. I wouldn't have dreamt of putting my phone down and discontinue my reading.
So, I hope my chaotic rambling of a review will be interesting or even helpful and not annoying or something like that.
Thanks again for the gift that is Alexandra Quick Series. I'm looking forward to book 5.
| Guest chapter 20 . 1/29/2019
Holy plot twist, batman.
| WormwoodSand chapter 32 . 1/25/2019
Yep I still don't have a LJ account so I'm still doing this here. Just read your latest post, and totally agree with your assessment of JK's worldbuilding. I've also decided to just ignore new "canon" as it comes out, unless it's something that's actually interesting (for example, I've been playing the mobile game, Hogwarts Mystery, and I'm really really enjoying it, so I do headcanon a lot of what happens in there). I vastly prefer your take on the American wizarding world over the Ilvermorny fiasco anyway. Super glad to hear that the editing is coming along relatively well, and that art of Larry looks AMAZING. Seriously, PROPS to whoever made that, oh my GOD. I think I may have physically gasped when I saw it.
| WormwoodSand chapter 33 . 12/13/2018
OKAY pretty weird to do this here but I'm not on LiveJournal and slipping into your PMs just feels a little too forward, so it'll have to do. I just saw that you've finished the first draft of book 5 and I should NOT have read that at midnight, because now I'm HYPED and I probably won't be able to sleep. Like of course I understand that it's only the first draft and there's still lots of work to be done, all in your own time as always, but just knowing that it definitely exists, that it's definitely coming? Well, it's a bright spark in a dark time, plain and simple. I also couldn't help but notice Larry's name in the wordcloud, dude I'm ECSTATIC that Garbage Boy will return somehow! And we'll get a proper look at the Ozarkers! And Alex will get a new wand (I know a wandlore blog on Tumblr that I really like, I've already asked them to analyse babygirl's old one, and you can BET YOUR ASS I'll be sending in the new one's stats as soon as I read them)! Now that she's fifteen going on sixteen, will she finally be a bit smarter and wiser (as if lol)? The family secrets! The weird magic! The shenanigans! The drama! Oh man I am having good dreams tonight I just know it. Not gonna lie, ever since I finished book four I've had the occasional AQ dream...yeah. Long story short, I'm excited!
| Finneas Grey chapter 39 . 11/6/2018
I love your work and can hardly wait to see more. I've joined your LiveJournal feed and am really excited for more. thank you for writing.
| D Shuler chapter 39 . 9/9/2018
I am not sure where to start, but I do know I should say thank you. I really have enjoyed the Alexandra Quick series so far, and I will be adding reviews to the other three books in the days to come. This is probably one of the few books/series that has truly captured my attention and taken me into a world outside of my own.
This book was different from the last three for me because I felt that the major climax/event in the books was not at the end. We got some really important pieces of information at the end, but the big adventure/thrilling moments came when alex was in the India territories for me. I think that this was very refreshing for me because it gave me more to chew on after it happened and still gave use a solid cut off at the end of the book. I did not expect this to happen and I was overjoyed that I had ten chapters left when alex returned to Charmbridge. The writing throughout the book was great in my opinion. I personally would like to know more about the other characters in the book, but I am not sure what is instore for the next book, but I am excited and hopeful that we might see it soon. All in all I have loved this series so far.
| Chocolate Cake Lover chapter 39 . 8/3/2018
AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I was wrong in my review for the first book, I don't have patience for the fifth one.
To stop myself from just gushing, there were a few things I wasn't a fan of throughout the books including; Shirtliffe's obsession with getting Alexandra into the wizard hitler's youth. Honestly Shirtliffe (and related, but not as a result, the JROC stuff wasn't to my taste) in general I didn't like very much, I think I warmed up to Mr. Grue more by the fourth book.
Everyone's fuse seemed to be just a little too short, I get Alex can be vexing but it seemed like most conversations made it two sentences before someone was losing their temper.
There's, what I found to be, an excellent buildup to a compelling and likeable romance but I get the impression also that it wasn't intended. It's just going to be such a shame for me when after 7 of slow burn romance there's no payoff and Anna gets killed because Alex dose something stupid (please let her live to book 7 at least), or something. This is 100% a problem with me though. But with even Archie giving us lines like "your girlfriend from California" I can't help but feel a little teased, what with Anna winning the shipping polls.
Oh, and worst of all, Alex has no interest in Naruto. I can kind of get it because I was the same at her age but still, here's hoping that her expulsion gets some sense into her and she binges it.
I hadn't realised during the first review that there was a map locating Larkin Mills already lol. The family tree would also have been a nice find if it still existed, but it looks like it got deleted or something?
I'm slow and reading the last couple of chapters on a weird sleep schedule to boot so I'm doubting whether I should be thinking Alex paid of her... debt? to the Generous Ones with the Nemesis spirit technically, or would she have had to send it to the lands beyond, or was I assuming too much value of the gift of some dark magic abomination and Alex was just being snarky?
The optimistic side of me wants to assume the when Alex has lived a full life and is reflecting on it she'll realise that the stars above were being hyperbolic with the lose everything she loves thing was actually just her temporarily feeling expulsed from the wizarding world.
all that said I'll gush a little, I loved Alex, I loved her trip to Dinetah, I loved Anna, I loved all the Pritchards, Max was kind of a cunt but still a great character, same for the Grimms and daddy Thorn, and tbh so many major and minor characters, I loved all the lore you added, I loved Alex's mom being a cat, I loved Darla, I loved Honey, I loved Charlie and just so many things about these, really enjoyed the reading and looking forward to 10 or 20 years from now when you finish them :P
| Guest chapter 1 . 7/5/2018
I’m so sad you haven’t come out with the next book yet. I’m rereading these and know I’m getting close to the end :(
| Nick2 chapter 39 . 7/5/2018
Shoutout to Recent Reader, from the reviews page. I enjoyed reading your comment/reviews, and I completely agree with much of what you said and your general opinion on things, but most of all, yes, I too think the Larry/Alex route is kind of obvious(to me) at this point, and I'm very much a shipper.
I just hope the author actually goes through with it after teasing.
I also am an aspiring writer, though in my case the problem is much greater, as I'm not even a native English-speaker, and I hope to one day write in English. Not that I can't, but my prose is not perfect(ahem, not even close). Seeing what a masterpiece(yes, I agree there too) AQ is, however, assumming that Inverarity isn't just a pseudonym of Rowling herself, or of some other famous author that just got too enamored with HP's world but wanted to write this story too much and couldn't help themselves, gives me great heart in that mission.
I will await the fifth book patiently, except to say that it will definitely be one of the highlights on my calendar, right up there with something like the next GoT season/book, or the next great thing that hasn't even emerged in the Aether yet. Wish you all the best, and thank you for this marvelous, marvelous series. You give us fans more joy than you can possibly know, writing about AQ with such talented undervalued prose and imagination. Smooth sailing ahead!
| Nick chapter 39 . 7/5/2018
I hope we get to see much more of Alexandra and her father together now that she is expelled from Charmbridge. I am aware that you have already written most of the fifth book by now, but if I'm not mistaken, you said somewhere that it's ok to tell you what we'd like to see. I think the series is perfect of course, I enjoy them as much as I did HP the first time I read it many years ago and I look forward to whatever AQ's story will turn out to be, but this is more of a personal wish.
I want to see Alexandra reconcile with her father, at least formally, even if she is to remain skeptical about him and not completely follow in his foot-steps or agree with everything he does. But I think the fact that Abraham Thorn seems to be one of the most powerful wizards in the world is such a wasted opportunity from Alexandra's point of view, given her grand ambitions. She has so much to learn from him and it would only be right if she got to meet and fight alongside(perhaps) the renowned Thorn Circle, given that she was their Secret-Keeper all of those years. I think a lot of readers would welcome such a plot. I for one am very excited at the idea.
But as I said. I am very grateful to you for providing such an amazing story within Rowling's wizarding universe and will accept it however it may continue, of course.
I like AQ more than HP as a main character, and in any case, the thing I treasure the most about HP is the magic, it's laws and how it's described. The Alexandra Quick series, even though has most of nothing to do with HP beyond that, is certainly the best Harry Potter "fan fic" in the world, readers who dislike the main character's temperament notwithstanding.
| Stalin's Pipe Organs chapter 39 . 7/2/2018
It was an absolute pleasure reading the Alexandra Quick series. Thank you for that. My favorite scene was at the end of book two when Max and Alexandra enter the lands below. The spookiness and eeriness of that scene... and the sudden twist at the end when Max dies... It was perfect and hit me like a freight train!
I have been reading fanfiction for over a decade and this is truly one of the great works.
| sophopera chapter 39 . 5/27/2018
I binge-read the entire series (so far) over the last couple of days and absolutely loved it! The plot is very thought out and I like how even the small details are connected to the larger story as a whole. I sincerely hope that you continue the series, I can't wait to read more about Alexandra's troublesome ways in book five :)
| WormwoodSand chapter 34 . 4/3/2018
(PART 6 - FINAL)
Their interactions in the woods were some of my absolute favourite things to read. I felt like there was a subtle yet profound change in the way he talked to her. He was still teasing and trying to rile her up, but I felt no real animosity there, not like in previous books. Part of this could be just that he's getting older and more mature, but I of course like to think that he's slowly changing his opinion of her. The way he reacted to her seeing the Nemesis was downright civil by his standards, and he walked back all the way to the infirmary? One book ago he wouldn't have done that. "Shut up, David" and "Shut up, Ethan" at the same time was also gold, and shows that he wasn't interested in starting a fight, while we'd expect him to want exactly that. And the way he came back to save her from Nigel and then made an asshole excuse for it? That was just cute? Maybe he was trying to repay a debt again, for how she helped him with Mary, but whatever. The conversation before the Nemesis attack also felt much more mellow to me, at least from his side. The teasing way he asked for a light was so fun, and I was surprised he wasn't more pissed off about her burning his fingers. And he came after her to help with the Nemesis, what a lad. You could argue it's just common decency to help someone in that situation, but it's just typical that it happened to be him, hmmm? He's sustained some serious damage though, and Alex has finally screwed up enough to be expelled. Wonder what he thinks about all that. Unfortunately for me though, Alex's opinion of him seems virtually unchanged since book 1 lol. Oh well. She's a stubborn one, and the two of them still have a loooong way to go. Probably another reason why I'm obsessed with them.
So now that I've poured my heart and soul out, there's nothing left for me to do but wait as patiently as I can for the next instalment. Alex will need to get a new wand! A symbolic new start perhaps, a break with the past? Will she have to find a new magic school to attend? Is there a way to get around her promise and save her life? What school will Abraham attack next? And WHO STUNNED HER IN THE HALLWAY WHEN SHE WAS TRYING TO USE THE TIME-TURNER? I am absolutely bursting with anticipation, but I vow to be patient and understanding. You've written such an epic already, and I can't even begin to imagine the trials of writing. Best of luck to you, and thank you again for this wonderful, wonderful story. You've gained an adoring fan.