Reading Reviews for The Brightest Star
  
13 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Amicus the littlest king

25th October 2013:
Beautifully written, a real indulgence read.

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Review #2, by M the littlest king

29th September 2012:
This is a tragic and wonderful story.

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Review #3, by tangledconstellations the littlest king

1st September 2012:
Hey, lovely,

Indeed I did stick around til the end, and I'm super glad I did. This was beautiful, through and through. I love Regulus, and I've always been really timid about reading him on this site just in case the writer doesn't quite get him right. I don't like to see him tangled in love stories or portrayed as childish or anything. But, I honestly believe that you have made him the Regulus that sits and lives in my mind every time I read the series or think about them. Really, truly. Thank you ♥ this was wonderful. You made him numb and cold but somehow angry, too, and completely consumed by his thoughts, and just everything about him was amazing. He was so low throughout this, feeling insignificant, yet this whole piece shouts of sparks and wholesomeness and one hundred things I can't quite explain. It was just entirely completely mesmerising and so, so inspirational ♥ again, thank you. You should be so proud of this piece ♥

Laura x

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Review #4, by hdawg the littlest king

20th August 2012:
GUBBY GUBBY GUBBY! (fire fire fire!) I've been creating your own war chant, I think it's fantastic. This fic has been on my list for a while but I kept spelling your name wrong when I searched you so it's taken me ages to find it :( I'm sorry, but I'm here now!

"This is not the boy's story./It is a story of the boy." This, I love. Kind of reminds me of '500 Days of Summer'...which I also, coincidentally, love. Five house points to you.

I just adore the way that you talk about Regulus and Sirius as if they are stars, as if their fate is predetermined because of who they are, their names and their family. I've never thought of their names as overly symbolic before, but wowzers, how I have missed something!

The narrator is just perfect as well - removed, cold, distant, but there. It suits the Black family well. And the brotherly relations between them, I guess I'd thought about it, but not like this. That Sirius not only changed his own fate by becoming a Gryffindor, but also Regulus', because now he had to prove himself even though he is still in the shadow of "the brightest star".

"And he, a lone, scrawny lion with a skull spitting serpent on his forearm." This just pulls at my heart, and I don't think I really need to explain myself. It's just so...sad. I know, what a rubbish word to describe it, but it really does break my heart that he is like this - that he can't be himself.

This bit was kind of a small ray of light in this: "She's with her Prince Transfiguring". U so witty!

Bellatrix -"She's the Amazon Star, a warrior, third brightest in Orion. It's funny because she's one of three sisters. Also, because war is a great big orchestrated elaborate stunt. She will probably die for that shit." Reading this is like reading the stars and making me understand things that have been staring me in the face for years. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention in such a poetic way, and yet with just the right amount of swearing for it to really be a teenage boy ;)

"Firstly, more importantly, it is the Mark./Secondly, it's Evans' eyes." Is he...no he can't be. He can't actually be feeling something towards her, can he? Wow. This is a revelation. Wow.

"There are shades of grey in every story, in his especially, but there is still a spectrum. He is on one side, his brother is on the other." and then there's Christian Gale in his red room of paiiin! Sorry, I had to get it in there. That book just makes me shudder in revulsion.

"Never mind that nothing, nothing can escape the pull of a black hole. Not light. And definitely not green." Honestly, you make me so jealous. It's these lines, these tiny paragraphs that make me squirm in envy. You are amazing ♥ Teach me how to write like you!

"If he killed her before anyone else got to her-before Bella-he could spare her misery, torture, dishonor." And once more, you have broken me. Honestly, I want to write more in this review but it is heartbreaking, knowing where it's going to inevitably end. You are a genius and a fiend, coming up and writing this, and torturing me with these complicated feelings I am feeling.

But the way he contemplates killing them is just...awful. Because he's not cold. He's a boy, and yet he has to think about this, about killing his brother who people thought was his twin. You know just how to put the knife in and twist it so that it hurts the most, don't you? ;(

"It is not so surprising that Leo's brightest star would forget that the Earth is still a part of the universe he drools over./Earthly creatures. Like... flowers, for example." You are killing me with symbolism. I am reading into this in hopefully the ways you want me to, and it is not only enlightening, but also makes me feel so hopeless.

"Don't. Don't talk about him to me."/He's not, in a small way./He's talking about himself." How is it you can shock me, play with my emotions, pick me up and set me back on my feet, and then knock me down again with me not seeing any of this coming?! You are truly fantastic. You not only twist the canon, but you present it in new ways, adding new meanings and dimensions to it, and making it not only fit your purposes, but also making it feel even more real. I bow down to you. You are just so...phenomenal. And I mean it, seriously.

Wowzers. Gubby that was breathtaking. I have no words to describe how you left me feelings - jealousy does not even describe one-tenth of what I am feeling. You use words so easily, with so much grace and eloquence, that everything you write is so alive with feelings and emotions just works its way into the reader. Not only this, but the descriptions, the symbolism, the narrator, they are all perfect. They speak volumes in themselves.

I am so glad this was recommended to me. I aspire to write like you and I just thank you.

Lots of love, from your friend,
Hannah ♥ ♥ ♥

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Review #5, by shadowycorner the littlest king

30th July 2012:
Hello Gubby :)

I've been gone from all these sites and the fandom for so long, and today randomly I felt I needed to at least read something, since I probably can't write anymore, and naturally I checked out your page and read the first fic I saw. It was wonderful. Your usual deep and inspiring writing.

I love the simplicity of the scenes, the fantastic insight into Regulus' soul. Throwing Lily in was also new to me, I also liked the allusion to Snape. And did I mentione how great it was to read your writing again ? :) You just have this magical way with words and you write beautifully when it comes to souls and emotions and darkness within.

I wish I could write something else, like I used to, but I'm not as wordy as I used to be. Still, though, I loved reading this and it's great to know you're still out there and writing, because you're one of the most talented people I had the opportunity of knowing. Keep writing and being awesome. I hope you're well and doing good, hopefully we'll talk again in the future. :)

Love and miss you!

Elizabeth

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Review #6, by deluminator the littlest king

30th July 2012:
This one-shot is something else. I have not read anything quite like it in a while. It is thoroughly engaging from the very beginning and right until the very end. And the inclusion of the symbolism throughout was fascinating.

Regulus Arcturus Black. He is, sadly, both underused and misused in fan fiction but I think you explored his character well. Really brilliant job, he is neither saintly nor malevolent, he is who he is.

I hope this review will make sense. Perhaps I should have kept it short and simple and just told you I really enjoyed reading this fic. It is an incredible piece of writing.

Author's Response: Oh, wow, thank you so much! I was trying to do a style like you'd see on lj, but I think it got too... well, I don't know what happened, but it got away from me a bit, but yay that it's special and engaging! Regulus is certainly underused and misused in fic, but he seems to be experiencing a comeback (although he never really was here, tbh), and people are taking an interest in him! I'm so happy that you think I did it well, though, because he is so difficult to get right, and I think that to portray anyone effectively, one has to avoid extremes like saintly or malevolent. Characters are who they are~ I do think you made sense and I'm so so happy that you left such a lovely review. Thank you ever so much!

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Review #7, by academica the littlest king

22nd July 2012:
Hi! I'm here with your requested review! Side note - I'm also working on a story where Regulus and Lily have a connection, so I was interested to see yours!

This really blew me away. I love your intricate web of metaphors and watching them intermingle with one another. At times it felt a tad heavy-handed, like you were forcing some of that repetition, but for the most part, it was nice to see you make continual references to the stars, the flower, the serpent, the light and dark, and everything else. It seems like you took small interactions between living humans and transformed them into their higher cosmic meanings, their overall themes. To me, that's what a one-shot is for, and I think you executed it very well here.

I liked the halting style of the piece, too. For me, it seemed to reduce the effect of the length, because it kept the flow going. I liked getting the little observations about the House Points and watching each vignette crash into the next. I, like Regulus was asked to put together the puzzle, and like Regulus, I don't feel like I ever really made sense of it all. To me, that's exactly how I should feel.

As for Regulus himself, I think you did him well. I have a tendency to make him a bit too kind, I think, to balance out Sirius's bitterness, but I like the little battle of the wills I see between them here. I like how he has trouble sorting out his feelings for Lily, and how he compares himself to Snape and torments her with those thoughts. He's dark, and yet innocent at the same time, and I can clearly see the contrasts he drew between himself and the other characters, especially the other boys who were vying for her affection and his own family members (particularly his view of Bellatrix).

Your other characters were very good as well - like I said, I like Sirius, and I think you did a good job exposing Snape's weaknesses under his veneer, simultaneously pulling out a few of Regulus's, too. I like that it isn't James leading his interactions with Lily, but that we can see her impurities there.

Your imagery was gorgeous, especially the description of the cosmos at the beginning. I love one-shots chock full of metaphor and imagery! Overall, I think you should be proud of this one.

Nice job! I hope this review is helpful :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hi Amanda! SO SORRY for the late response (lots of things coalescing, didn't have much time for online stuffs, blown away by awesome review, etc), but I'm here now so ahem: I have seen your Regulus-Lily story around, but I didn't want to read it for fear that your Regulus would influence mine. So that's why I requested from you (and of course because you are famous for being awesome).

And aaah! I'm so glad you liked it, although I agree it was probably heavy-handed in parts, which I did want to avoid. I found once I tried to make the repetition of the images work, they just kept coming back, and the lines at the ends of each sections had to all sort of be these end-all-be-all type lines, because that was the style I was going for. I did struggle to do that and to keep the callbacks going, so thank you for the comment. Again, I'm so glad you liked it overall! Perhaps it's just my own particularity, but whenever I see names with special meanings, such as those of the Black family, I can't help but think of them in terms of what they were named for, and the juxtaposition of what they turn out to be versus what fate or destiny or serendipity would have them be. Some fall nicely into this pattern, like canon Lily, and some don't precisely, like Sirius and Regulus.

I'm glad the fic didn't feel too long, either, as that is inevitably a fear I have when I do monster one-shots. The halting style of the piece and the short sections are intertwined to me, as I was going for that livejournal-style story, but also, I think anything more flowing and 'complex' would be too much considering the subject matter is already heightened and a little ridiculous (I say with affection).

Heh, I think I always have a tendency to make Sirius very bitter and still very connected to his family, as much as he repudiates the connection, to Regulus especially. And I give Regulus a lot of credit, too, for sorting out his emotions and his connections to people, too; I might not be very kind to him, but I think he's kind too (though I think it's buried in there and it's something he hesitates/is not encouraged to let out). So -- yes! The dark and innocence at the same time, the very self-aware perception of where he and everyone else fits into what he thinks is The Grand Scheme of Things.

I'm glad you liked the others too, as well, especially as we didn't see much of them. Especially Snape, who I belatedly realize I should have included more, at least given an actual appearance. I think Regulus' ruminations on Snape and his relationship with Lily could have used some... conflict? I guess? But yes, his reflections on Snape certainly pull out Regulus' weaknesses too. And I do hate perfect pure Lily, so I thought that moment with James would be nice for the reader and for Regulus to see.

Basically: AHH thank you so much for such a wonderful review! Certainly it's very helpful/confirmed what I feared, so thank you! (Sorry again that my response is so very late).


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Review #8, by Cleopatraa the littlest king

18th July 2012:
Your summary just lured me in I knew I had to read this when I read it and also it´s about Regulus a character I absolutely adore. And I`m absolutely glad I read this I was utterly captivated by the entire story. Wow! I just love your Regulus ( and the whole story to be honest)I didn´t even notice how long this actually was you know. The story was so well written that I´d easily would have read an extra 8000 or 80. It´s tooo bad the story wasn´t any longer.

Author's Response: Heh the summary was kind of a last-minute thing (relevant line needed! -search- FOUND!), but I'm ecstatic that it worked! Regulus seems super underappreciated in fanon, though he seems to be making a comeback these days, which is wonderful. And eee yay! That is my goal when I write longer fics, to not make them seem to drag on forever. But aah I never expect people to want more, so that is awfully flattering. Thank you again so very much for reviewing!

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Review #9, by Aiedail the littlest king

12th July 2012:
dp upi lmpe qgT TIY ee siubf ri nw? giw si qiesa--

forgot how to talk for a second, sorry. ahem. okay, go. no, wait, one more irrelevant and maybe not entirely ENglish thing to say: i was reading something the other day and you may have seen it, I don't know, but it's about how scientists found amino acids in the heart of a supernovae that make it smell like raspberries and rum? and taste like it, too. that kept popping up in my head, i think, no i don't know why, while i was reading this. well, no, probably i do know why: because like that strange and almost, i don't know, unholy fact, this accordioned story made me look at things differently, and sort of peeled open regulus, peeled open hogwarts and even the way that we use language...this sounded like a song or poem and some parts I had to read out loud. Of course this also smacks of your characteristic intelligence and sardonic sense of humor, and i can imagine you smiling ironically writing this, particularly the first paragraph. that whole paragraph is like an ironic smile.

GUBBY. first of all. the idea of the lion star as a part of a constellation. something i've always thought was interesting that you touched on here, so, so well, is that constellations are completely human. there's nothing about a constellation that exists beyond our ability to see them. stars aren't actually connected. but we're so driven by the patterns we see in things, and regulus is so driven by those patterns, by his self-identification with the lion in a snake den, and he accepts his role as one star in a constellation, so he's never his own man. UHASKJDHLKASDJHFLASDKF this story. it's a bit of a trip because, wow, here is a flower and a star having a face-off in front of a lake--but also, you've made everything make perfect sense inside of this world. I got a distinct feeling from this, too, like I felt like I was in a dark place with stars around, and I think I felt like I was really in this seething, boiling body of desire and derision, and this glowing, pulsing narration is punctuated by little comments which have feelers and pull in all the paragraphs around them TO EAT THEM, because yes, that's what is happening--the little comments command the paragraphs, as you have made regulus--one star in a constellation--command the other stars.

And at the same time I'm deriving some understanding of Regulus from this idea of his name...there's this sparse, absolutely stunning line: "They haven’t even seen the star; they wouldn’t know where to look." And it makes me keep rethinking things, so I encounter each statement, each section of this piece in a rolling state of mind, starting at Regulus as one star and then, Regulus is a star and then no, he's a mass with gravity and a heart, and a sharp brain that sometimes hurts him, and such a lovely sense of ironic humor, and so he keeps putting himself in another dimension so that he's one star in a constellation...

And this line: There is still a heart inside him, whether he is a lion or a serpent. ALL THE FEELS, GUBBY, ALL OF THEM. Regulus has this special self-awareness which, at the same time, is also a strange kind of blindness. He's made up his mind about who he is, which is the realest self: because nobody is born into anything, everyone is always choosing to continue the loop or to break it, and a choice is a choice. But at the same time, this same self-awareness is making him blind to certain things, like what is outside of himself, or, I guess, what possibilities haven't converged with him, yet.

He likes the threshold, the division, the point of divergence. He needs it to be there. There are shades of grey in every story, in his especially, but there is still a spectrum. I can't--there's nothing I could say to make that look more beautiful than it is. So I'm just going to point out that I love this line.

And how can I begin to address your concern for characterization? if the length of the one-shot, in this case length extremely earned, and wholly deserved, is not enough to convince you that you have managed to tap into the spirit and turmoil of a character and made him into a glassy, restless, touched-by-starlight blessed-and-cursed human. You've made him a star and we're going to watch him die and love and want and need until millennia, and centuries after he already has. You've made me see his death, at eighteen, all over again but also, not really, because I'm looking at it for the first time because now I know who Regulus is.

You've said twice in this story that it's just another one, and maybe it is, and maybe all stories are amazing, and philosophical mash-ups of austerity and fever, but also, maybe they're not, and maybe some stars are really the brightest in their constellations and aren't just compared to the others on empty grounds. Maybe some are the brightest, do you know what I mean?

Even if you don't, I'm right. You don't have to be wrong, but I'm right. And I'm Lily. So doubly so.

I can't end this in any semblance of a proper way, or any way at all. So here is the end. I'm still a little bit--no, a large bit--in awe.

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Review #10, by TenthWeasley the littlest king

9th July 2012:
Hello -- here with your requested review, Gubby!

I'd like to start out this review just by informing you of a glaring error in your request, because you seem to have actually filled out something next to 'Areas of Concern.' And I can't for the life of me figure out why, because this. This. Words don't even begin to spell out how utterly captivated I was by the entire thing, eight thousands words or no. It never felt like an odyssey of reading; it all flowed together so well, and had a bit of a lilting, lyrical quality that is one of my favorite things to read, especially when it's pulled off well.

I love your Regulus. It can be put as simply as that, although I will expound upon it a bit. :) You've managed to turn this minor character, one JKR more or less included as a plot device, into someone I was drawn to know more about. You sanded no rough edges away -- he is who he is -- and that, I think, made me love him all the more; you didn't paint him as a hero, as anybody particularly worth revering, but he is a Slytherin, a Death Eater, a normal sixteen-year-old. Well, no, normal isn't the word. Maybe 'human' works better.

And pairing him with Lily! I'd never have guessed it -- and yet, halfway through, it was already starting to feel right. I said this in a review to Susan (which is in my mind because I just read her response to it today), and I think it's an apt thing to say here, as well: You write real. In Susan's case, she wrote real love, not a fantasy version; here, it is real almost-love. This is a story that's more than likely been played out far, far more often in history than happy-ever-after stories people seem intent on writing. I love realism; I adored it here.

My very favorite thing about this, though (and you'll have to forgive me for not quoting favorite bits -- I feel like it's all my favorite, because it's all linked, tied together) was the repetition of all the symbolic images. The star, the serpent, the lion, the dog, the flower. You've tapped into a little-used technique of JK's in that her characters, many of them, do not have the names they do by accident. You've done the name thing better than anything else I've read here, exploring the subtleties, the meanings, the subtext. I can't tell you how amazed I am that you took the time to do your research in that manner; it added so much to your story, and every time a new mention of a symbol cropped up, I grew more impressed.

Is this the thing you worked on all those times, the story that just kept growing and growing? I need to keep more on top of your writing (she admitted with no small feeling of guilt); this was so, so lovely. I'm really quite sorry for that nearly-nonsensical mass of rambles up there, but you should have expected it, you know, asking me to review this. I've still got this lovely, sort-of-warm-but-not-quite feeling bobbing about in me, part empathetic towards Regulus, part adrift. If that makes any sense at all, and I really don't think it does, reading it over, but my brain's basically melted.

Seriously one of the best one-shots I've read in a long, long time. Thank you so much for requesting this! ♥

Author's Response: AHH I AM SO SORRY ABOUT THE RESPONSE DELAY. You know how I am about these things D: And of course rl was not cooperating with me when I did want to respond, so I've left it this long and I'm sorry and :3

Although let me assure you of this: that whole paragraph is /utterly unfair/. Actually the whole review is utterly unfair. Do you know what this level of praise does to my ego?! But I'm going to clamp down on it, and instead tell you how absurdly humbled I am by this review. I really have no words. (... okay that's a lie, since I have to respond to the rest of it. But, you know).

I agree that Regulus is more or less a plot device, albeit I tend to lean more heavily to 'more', because there's obviously a whole lot of stuff about family dynamics and loyalties and etc buried into the fact of his existence and his relationship with his brother. I think he is more human than Death Eater or tragic hero too (I love how you phrased those few sentences btw), and it's those characters that intrigue me more than anything. Give me an antihero, give me someone struggling with themselves, over an out-and-out villain or hero any day.

I've had Regulus/Lily in the back of my head for a long time, but never really did anything with it until now. I could never do an out and out romance between them, but again, it's the in-between phases of a relationship between two people that intrigue me more than the defined spaces we see explored all the time. I wouldn't call it realism because in its own way it's just as romanticized -- Regulus romanticizes her, of course, in some way or another for their whole acquaintance -- but eee, thank you so much.

Oh lawdy, the repetition of the imagery was probably what I was most worried about. It's what the style is built on and I really didn't want it to be overkill, but :333 So ecstatic that you liked it and that it actually worked! It's true that JKR's names were not given by chance, but at the same time, I look at that style of naming and wonder, 'isn't that a bit obvious?' She makes it work because in many ways, HP is still a children's series and the obvious, while hidden in name meanings that most of the readership doesn't think much of, is what makes the layering of the narrative. And you know what I'm like about naming, how absurdly neurotic I get, so I couldn't let how very convenient the names are, or let any of the fic characters forget their roles as their names dictate them. (... that made zero sense but ahem, moving on).

Err, yes, I believe so! But I swear, don't feel guilty, there's not much to find when it comes to my writing of late. It means everything to me that you stopped by at all. Because I absolutely do not deserve this wonderful review, and have no right to expect something like it, and just... ack. Thank you. Thank you for loving Regulus and the fic and the review and ugh you are too much. -squish-


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Review #11, by Jess the Enthusiast the littlest king

30th June 2012:
Oh I love this! It's beautifully written - like poetry - and I love the way you painted Regulus's character. I've always found him and his note to the Dark Lord very fascinating and what you did with him was spectacular! And I loved his connection with Lily; I really enjoyed reading all of those scenes. And all of the sections with the lion and the serpent were beautifully written; I especially liked when you linked him to the stars, to the sky.
Really fantastic oneshot! Great job! 10/10 :D

Author's Response: Eee, thank you! I was kind of going for /less/ of a poetic feel, actually, but I was going for an lj-esque lyrical quality so I'm glad. Regulus always seems super under-appreciated in fandom, and I don't quite know why because there's so much there to work with. Like I said in the note, at first I wanted this to be more about Regulus' connection with Lily, but the fic exploded and... well, eight thousand words later, here we are. Thank you again for such a lovely review! So glad you enjoyed it.

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Review #12, by PhoenixPulse the littlest king

10th June 2012:
When I first saw how long it was, I was really hesitant about reading it, but I gave it a shot anyway. I do not regret. This was so beautifully written and I cannot express how much I am fond for your writing style. I have never read something so...beautiful! When I finished, I honestly saw Regulus in a brand new light. You made me actually love him, which is strange, but you really did make that possible. 10/10! Thank you so much for such an amazing read.

Author's Response: Haha I don't blame you, I tend to be an extraordinarily lazy reader, but I'm so happy you gave it a shot and enjoyed it. The style was an experiment for me in trying to evoke something you'd see on livejournal, and I'm not sure I managed it, but apijrethr so happy to see that! Regulus seems super under-appreciated in fandom, which is odd, because there's so much you can do with his character! Although, granted, he doesn't really lend himself to the light sparkly romcoms that are the trend these days. I'm really glad you took the chance and enjoyed it, and thank you for the review!

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Review #13, by MadamePuddifoot the littlest king

8th June 2012:
Don't be sorry this is eight thousand words, it's so excellent I could have easily read another eight thousand! Your style of writing is so sophisticated and flows really well and I think the way you explored the whole symbolism of the stars and the Hogwarts houses was brilliant! I've always been fascinated with the character of Regulus Black and this is, in all honestly, the best fic I've read about him! I really loved this and give it 10/10!!

Author's Response: Oh, wow, I'm so glad! This was a bit of an experiment for me, because I haven't done something (relatively) concise and sectioned out in a long time. I really didn't have much of an idea of where I was going (minus eventual Regulus/Lily hints), but symbolism's always been really important to me to explore; I was so afraid it would all be overkill, but thank you so much, eee this is so exciting. Thank you for such a spectacular review!

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