Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums!
Wow, this was an exceptionally well-written chapter and I loved reading it. In my opinion, this is the best chapter out of all three so far! You handled a sensitive issue quite well, or actually two sensitive issues (murder and illegal abortion), so great work on that.
I liked the small scene between Camille and Xavier! I am definitely rooting for them, haha. I think the way you have managed to incorporate some small sweet moments of romance (if it can be called that) amidst all this is commendable. Likewise, the little part where Xavier is shooed out of the room by the girls is quite cute, and again shows that there is still some love and happiness and nice moments shared between the group amidst all that is happening.
As for the Minister, he seems a very manipulative character and I don't like him one bit. He reminds me of Rufus Scrimgeour, willing to do anything to 'win'. His methods are indeed very cruel and I don't blame Astrid for thinking whether it was indeed right to join the resistance when they're going to resort to such horrible methods. You portrayed all the horribleness of the situation very well, as well as the tension in the atmosphere at what they'll play a part in.
As for Jean lying for Astrid, I am as of yet unsure of what was his motive for doing that. I don't know if he wants Astrid in his bed, that sounds strange lol, so good job on keeping my interest and curiosity piqued! I'd love to see where you take this.
As for your concerns, the chapter flowed wonderfully. The transitions were as always quite smooth, especially the one between the mayor's murder and Johanna's memory. The way you connected the two with 'the pool of blood' was nicely done. Throughout the story, I didn't feel like we were jumping from one scene to another, so over all, good work on the flow.
The chapter was packed with emotional intensity be it Astrid's, Johanna's, or Camille's in their scenes, and I liked it very much. I think you expressed all of their feelings really well and without overdoing it or moving away from the focus of the plot.
You definitely dealt with things the right way. As I said, it is one of my favourite chapters of the story.
All in all, superb job! I don't have any CC at all to give you. It was a very well-written chapter and I am eager for the next. Please do re-request!
P.S. Haha the review was definitely longer than intended, sorry xP Also, I am going to favourite this story as I am enjoying it quite a lot so I'd like to keep track of it. Please feel free to re-request! Report Review
First off, this was such a moving chapter. First paragraph had me in bits, I was so distraught, and you described it so well - a really moving first few paragraphs.
Plot development is awesome, as always, and I love how cool Astrid is and how awesome the characters get to be like children - good bit of characterisation there! A useful insight as well to each character.
I love how you've added nazis in (well not love obviously, but it made it more interesting and quite inventive too!)
Killer last line as well, has me totally excited and on the edge of my seat for next chapter! Eeeek!
The flashback added so much more tone to Johanna, and makes me lover her even more. I so want to meet Simon. Also, more Camille and Xavier action please!!
Did I mention how much I love french speech in this chapter? I do. It makes it totally original and even more awesome.
Another totally cool and engaging piece of writing! Well done Val! :D Report Review
Hello dear! I know I took my time with the review but I had to work up the courage to read about Simon. You have no idea how sad this whole part of history makes me. This part here "they aren't monsters" broke my heart and shattered it to pieces. Because they were. I understand they were working on orders but still... It's the same as when your mom asks "if your friends would jump off a bridge, would you do the same"?
Moving Astrid far from Caen is an interesting twist, I didn't expect that. I'm curious to see where you take it.
Once again, a brilliant chapter with heartbreaking descriptions and happenings. I'm anxiously waiting an update! Good job! Report Review
Not only is this title absolutely amazing, but also I adore how each one is in french, and how they are french!! I think how it's set in the 1940s, and it's french, is so original and awesome and lots of kudos for two settings which haven't ever been seen before.
Firstly, I think Camille and Xavier are so cute together. Their personalities slot together - they're both fiesty, and they both crae and have similar traits, but then they're also the opposites of each other, so I think they're made for each other!
Secondly, I hate the minister so much! Using house elves to take away magic? What a deliciously horrifying thing to have a story about! That's so sinister, daunting and petrifying, and yet a fantastic idea at the same time. That's so harsh, and painful! I already hate the guy - he seems way too focused on winning (which I know is for his country, e.t.c) but he seems to enjoy doing that to people! Amazingly inventive idea Val :)
Thirdly, I think Jean was kind of right about lying for Astrid - it certainly might make her look more competent and more trustworthy in the Minister's eyes, however that'll put more pressure on her, plus it's mean to talk about having favourites and stuff because they're all awesome in different ways so it's difficult to compare them all! I do believe they have a right to be angry at Jean though - he could've at least told them he was going to say that before hand.
I think that in the future, one of the gang (let's face it, Camille) might let her feelings slip and get captured and might have her magic taken from her. Then, Xavier will be all like: "we must save her!" and Jean will be all like: "No it's too late for her". But Xavier will go anyway, and then he'll save her and they'll get married, and live happily ever after.*sighs*
I just want more flashbacks from Johanna; who's kid it would've been, how she met the er father, e.t.c. More Camille and Xavier action pleeease, and I wouldn't mind a couple of flashbacks from Astrid. Ohh exciting times!!
Another awesome and creative chapter Val, mercy! Favourite quote: "C'est quoi ces conneries?" Report Review
Aw that opening scene was heart-breaking. Iíve just been doing Nazi Germany in history, so it makes it even more real, and saddening about how naÔve they were about the Nazis. I think the saddest part was when they were talking about how the Nazis werenít monsters, as I just wanted to yell at them about how wrong they are.
This is a more minor note but I really loved how you chose Jewish names for them, as it made the scene even more authentic and believable.
I really loved Simonís thoughts about Johanna and his general reflections. It was so heart breaking. In fact, this whole chapter was generally heart-breaking. I think you really caught the desperation and isolation they all must have been feeling really well. I really felt for Simon, as it showed that his mental pain over not knowing where his relatives are was a lot worse than the physical one from the gash.
There I was thinking that the others were ok, and just going about their day to life and then the letter has to come and along and shake everything. I have a feeling something very bad is about to happen. First Simonís separate from them, and now Astridís forced to go into Nazi heartland and teach to them. Even though Iím scared for her, I canít wait for those scenes as it will be interesting to see the war from the German perspective.
Ooh I really loved your historical facts in this chapter. I think it was great that you included the other Nazi enemies Ė the communists, it again made it even more authentic. And then the part about the shooting practise was really chilling, and I think the fact the children had just grown used to it, is what made it even scarier. Iíve been to the Jura and I can see why the other teacher was sceptical about that being any help. Life there is certainly a lot calmer than in Paris.
Another excellent chapter Val, and it was no problem nominating you as this story really does deserve it ♥ Report Review
Oh Val, this was such a heart breaking chapter. I really loved how much of it revolved around Simon.
A while ago I was at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, and everything I saw there was just brought to the surface with this chapter. I wanted so badly for them to Disapparate. I knew they didn't obviously, but I still wanted it. And Simons's father's reasoning was actually really solid. It's just sad that know one realized what kind of place they were really going until it was too late. Like he said though, he is a French citizen. He fought for his country. Why would he be worried about them hurting him and his family? It's just so terrible how much was done to these people.
Can't Simon Disapparate from his camp into the girls and and find them and then take them away? I know I know, he would never be able to do it fast enough without the Nazis shooting him. But it's so terrible and ugh ;(.
Simon's mom being pregnant and the detail about his baby brother being born dead. You're trying to break my heart today, aren't you? Val, will you please get him and his sisters and mom out alive? Pretty please? I'll give you chocolate.
Your details are perfect for Simon's section. You don't make anything over the top. The simpleness of it all, the bowl of milk, the being woken up in such a crude way, it just highlights the kind of life they were living and the terrible one they were headed to.
I'm not sure what I think about Astrid being separated from the group. It does seem like, as long as false alibi plays out, she's safe. But I don't like her being there without the rest of them. I hope that she's able to stay safe here though, and maybe even get enjoyment out of being back at teaching.
A really sad, but lovely chapter, Val! I'm anxious for the next! Report Review
I have ~*~two days off~*~ am finally here to review! Look at how many reviews this story already has! It deserves more, too. On we go.
First of all, "chewed up by wisteria." I don't think I've heard that phrase before, and it's so lovely. And oh my gosh, Astrid's smile faltering when he mentions his nephew. It's really heartbreaking. But getting him to dab at his face was genius. It's interesting to see this man be kind to a random old lady. Getting to understand these characters, whether the assasins or targets, on a personal level is really toying with my emotions, here!
GAH THE KNITTING NEEDLES. "...glint alarmingly against a gray towel." Such a beautifully horrific image. Poor Johanna. The woman's immediate question, "Can you pay?" was perfect. If she had tried to be comforting, or even polite, it just wouldn't be the same. What a horrible experience for poor Johanna.
Um, Val, what is going on. You are seriously pulling out the big guns for this story: chandeliers are still being used, glinting in every direction, rippling like pennies as one would see them underwater: flickering, uncertain, temporary. That is absolutely stunning imagery. And I love that you've mentioned that, even though all of Europe is suffering right now, the Ministry still has Monets and other lavish things.
Wait, I don't understand... Perhaps it's just been too long since I've read this wonderful story, but why are Camille and Xavier upset at the comment about Astrid being the most important? Or do they just want their due credit? Hmm...
The mountain elf is a really neat idea... and also horrifying. Even moreso that it may be applied to our protagonists, if they fail to comply. And no, I don't like Goldberg...but he's a politician, so of course I don't :P
Ohhh so you do explain Jean's lie. What an interesting twist! Camille's right, though; if he plays her up to the Minister, and then she can't perform as expected, he's putting Astrid in danger as well. Especially now that she appears to be having second thoughts... Gah!
Another job very, very, very well done! Sorry it's taken me so long to read it, but I'm glad I finally had the time ♥ Report Review
Hey, it's Whiseky from the forums with your incredibly belated review...You must have requested months ago, so I'm sure this will come as a surprise :P But here I am, haha!
Well, I do love a historical fic, especially since the role of witches and wizards in Muggle history remains mostly unexplored, to say the least. I'm very curious to see how you will tie the two worlds together!
I loved the way you structured the beginning of the chapter. As a film student, I could really picture the way the different character entrances would look on screen :D Your writing style supported this very much, since you made sure to give us only the kind of descriptive details that go a long way to convey meaning, despire being so brief.
As someone who enjoys giving as much CC as possible (I know I like reviewers to have a critical eye when reading my stuff, so I like to return the favour), I'm not sure where I stand on some of the decisions you made for this first chapter. On the one hand, there is an interesting progression of depth from section to section. You start out with minimal information and get the reader hooked on the sheer action of the proceedings. But as we read on, with every new character we get to delve deeper and deeper into the problems of the world they are in and their personal baggage. I think that is a great strategy.
And yet, I must admit I did get a tad lost among all the characters towards the end. I began swimming at Simon's part, to be honest. Suddenly, there was no location description to hold on to (at least not at first - and we never do find out what the room he is in looks like). And also, there are memories of some other people although we hadn't even met the one remembering them..
But, as I said, I like the idea that we delve deeper and deeper into the world with each character instead of just getting superficial introductions to all of them. But what seemed to be missing was a common thread. With the first three, we had a mission, a location and a few difinitive aspects of the new character. It was easy not only to follow, but also to connect to the previous section. I suppose a good cheat sheet when introducing many characters at once, it's important to contrast them against eachother, connect them somehow.
I know I'm spiraling a bit here, but I'm just not sure what to suggest...:P Maybe find something that would lead the reader from one section to the next - either an object, or a theme. Another things that helps is having the new characters each think/talk about a characer that remains "off screen" for the time being. This way you give the reader something to relativize the new characters against.
Yeah, so actually, I loved this chapter :P I think your writing style was wonderful, you pick just the right words and you've set a great pace. Your characters seem complex and intriguing, as does the world you've created for them. I think I'll review a few more chapters :)
Off to the next! Report Review
Oh Val! I speak a tiny bit of French but when I saw the chapter title I knew immediately what you were referring to! It used to be forbidden in my country as well and all sorts of bad things happened when you wanted to do it anyway. And you managed to paint such a frightening and heartbreaking scene without even mentioning it by name. Brilliant!
I was relieved that the mission turned out well for our characters because I was really tense about it and I don't think I could've taken it if anything happened!
There's a lot of tension right now between the characters and not all of it is related to the war. I love how you are slowly building up to the point where all this romantic chemistry has got to give!
I loved the line: ""You can send me on missions, order me to commit murders or thefts, make me brew whichever potion you like because you cannot do so yourself, but you are incapable of stopping me from thinking as I wish."". It just goes to show once again the power of our thoughts and that whatever we may be forced to do that doesn't change how we feel if we don't want it to!
I do want you to update sooner but I am going to cry when reading the next chapter, I just know it. So I'm a little conflicted!
Good job dear! Amazing chapter!
RalAuthor's Response: Ral &hearts
I was wondering if someone would know immediately what I was referring to, and here you are.
I had doubts about the income of the mission but this just came naturally: I don't think I can write chapters with unfortunate endings quite so soon into the story. (They will most definitely appear though).
Ah, you always pick up on some of my favourite lines! Thoughts are very powerful indeed, it's what led to the context of this story taking place originally, isn't it?
I'm tweaking chapter four, so it should be here soon -- and I hope I don't make you cry too much...
HelloÖÖÖ.Sarahjane here with your terribly late review, for which I am very sorry!
Aah! The 1940ís is my hands-down favourite era! Itís so eerily intriguing, and some of the things that went on scare me half to death, but I still love to learn about it and . .ah, itís really hard to explain, but Iím just going to end of this completely irrelevant paragraph here. Very long story short, I canít wait to read this!
Camille is a very interesting character (I know we are only on the first paragraph but anyway!) She looks the part of an innocent young woman, yet she really is an assassin in disguise. She would be the definition of femme fatale, in my eyes anyway.
Astrid seems, well no, mentally disturbed doesnít seem the right word, but you know what I mean. Shell-shocked doesnít seem to fit it either, but itís like she knows what sheís doing, but she doesnít at the same time, if that makes any sense at all! Aah! I love novels like this, you know, the ones that make you think and analyse things!
Nope, I was wrong. Johanna is femme fatale. You have created such strong female leads, I love it! Because lets face it, back in the 1940ís it was the men that went off to war, and here are the girls doing their piece as well! Girl power!
I like that youíve included some male roles as well. We donít learn much about Xavier, but he seems to grasp the whole situation better than the girls do. Well, Astrid is sort of dead on the inside due to her sister being killed, but the other two still seem to have a sort of, well, not innocence, but naivety about them, whereas Xavier seems to be facing death square in the face screaming ĎShow me what youíve got!í
Poor Simons a prisoner. I like how youíve included a prisoner as well, as it really gives balance to the whole thing. Itís making me very uneasy though, because Iíve read about what went on in those torture camps, and I really donít want to have to see that happening to someone. . . . .see what I mean? Intriguing, yet it scares me. But itís just so darn interesting! Gah!
The insight into the French M.O.Mís efforts to try and overthrow the corrupted Muggle government, without revealing the presence of magic is very interesting, it also pieces together everyone. Camille, Astrid, Johanna, Xavier and now Jean are not just running around killing and imperusing for the sake if it, it has structure and a base, a bit like the Order of the Phoenix, except a bit more lenient about the killing.
Oh my good God! Jean is related to the mayor who they have to kill, and Johanna and Simon were dating and then he got deported and I hope they get him out and youíve just left me on a plot twist and I am definitely favouriting and please feel free to re-request!
And Apolline is Fleurs mother. I actually got that first time round, but I was so busy babbling, I forgot about it. BUT WAIT! If Apollines dead, that means no Fleur. . . . GAH! I need answers!
I am so favouriting.Author's Response: Hello Sarahjane! I'm late in responding, we're even...
Camille is more of an innocent young woman than she seems, as you might know from reading on. Johanna is most definitely a femme fatale though!
I like your interpretation of Astrid being sort of mentally disturbed, even though I'd never thought of it like that. She is more than a little disturbed by her sister's death, that's for sure.
Well of course there would be men in this story! Haha, your description of Xavier made me laugh, but it fits.
Oh don't worry, I feel horribly uneasy about writing Simon's scenes, and that plus the ToS limits what you will read about. I had to include him though -- I couldn't talk about WW2 without the camps.
A bit like the Order of the Phoenix, absolutely, but they have less morals.
Haha nope, Apolline isn't Fleur's mothers! Astrid is Fleur's grandmother, and I thought it'd make sense that she'd name her daughter after her deceased sister. Which already lets you know that yes, Astrid will survive. SPOILER ALERT WHAT.
Thanks for the review! Report Review
I loved all the little details you included in this chapter; it was just so lovely and added so much to the story. It was those little things about Astrid having knobbly knees and Xavier looking like an Irish famer, as it added a humorous element to the dark side of war.
The death of the mayor scene was really well written, and I can sense the nerves and anticipation they were feeling and I was probably as tense as they were!
The different sections work so well too! Usually itís so disjointed, but here the readerís lead in so easily, and it makes a really nice read. I liked how even though the sections are different, theyíre all inter-related at the same time, and it allows you to make connections between the past and the present.
Poor Johanna! That flashback was worked so well, and I think it was due to you getting into the gritty details of it, and not being afraid to show the harsh experience she was going through too. It was perfectly understandable what she had to do the baby, as you can tell how important the resistance movement was to her. It had such a sad and almost frightening atmosphere to it, and it was beautifully done.
It was interesting that the Ministry was so nice, as it contrasted so sharply with the harsh realities of outside, and how even though they were helping with the resistance movement, they were still spending a lot on decoration in the Ministry.
Iím still undecided about whether I like Paul Goldberg. I can see why the actions are necessary, but Iím with Johanna with this, as it does seem extreme to use illegal measures. Then the way he put her down by calling her mademoiselle, it almost seem to say she couldnít understand as she was only a woman.
I liked that Astrid was having doubts about the resistance, as they did do some horrible things too, and itís great that you highlighted that, and didnít make everything fine and dandy. I canít wait to find out about who this happened to, and what they did. And whether this does Astrid in her activities with the resistance or not!
An excellent chapter Val!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hi Kiana!
I'm glad you found that humorous, despite the circumstances. And I'm also glad you thought the mayor's death was well-written, because I don't like writing action scenes, and generally the result is terrible...
Working with sections is a bit of a pain, to be honest, but at the same time I wouldn't see myself writing this story in a different way as all characters have to their screen time. I've also discovered that I really liked flashbacks, so the sections are compulsory!
I felt so bad writing Johanna's flashback, it was horrible. The resistance movement is indeed very important to her, but that's not quite the reason why she did what she did -- I can't be more explicit about this here though, because it's not 12+, but it's touched on in the chapter.
The Ministry and Goldberg are definitely questionable, and I wanted to show that the powerful are less affected by the war. And Goldberg, sadly enough, does not escape this rule.
Thank you so much for this wonderful review! :) Report Review
Hi love! I'm so sorry for how long it's taken me to get here. I'm sort of in a blurry state of blur from Thursday until Saturday trying to post, but now I am here and yay! I even resisted reading this chapter the other night in bed, not wanting to read it until I had the chance to review.
I want to hug Johanna. What she went through is so sad, and her choice understandable. Though I feel like she' the type of person that did what she had to and, for the most part, closed the doors to that part of her life. Those brief memories will come back at terrible moments, but other than that she's managed to separate herself from that. Still, I want to hug her :P.
I thought you wrote the entire section of murdering Jean's uncle really, really well. I loved knowing who had the different parts and was incredibly engrossed with the way you were describing the effects of Polyjuice potion on each. The poisoned rag was so sneaky... and I love the way you ended an already tense section in chaos.
Describing the way each of them looked as they walked into the Ministry was absolutely perfect. I loved that they all sort of fit in in their own way, as well as that disgust for how people live in such poverty while these people are in nothing but luxury. I really enjoy the amount of time we spent in Johanna's head during this chapter. She might be my favorite so far.
Camille's anger! Amazing! Can you blame her, though? I can't see being thrilled either, and I'm happy she took it out on Jean instead of Astrid.
Ending this chapter on such a tense note, leaving us to imagine what those files could say (though you give us hints to make it clear it's something dark enough to make our gang question what they're doing) was both awesome and infuriating. I want to know what happens next!
Awesome chapter, m'dear!! ♥Author's Response: &hearts
Writing Johanna's flashback in this chapter made me feel really horrible, because while I do enjoy making some characters suffer, this is not the case in this story - the context does that without me. Hug her as much as you like!
Yeah, the Ministry isn't really as fair as it seems to be in chapter one, is it? I had to balance them out though, and I also wanted to show that generally those ith power are less affected by wars than other people.
Ah, Camille! She most definitely was not going to take it out on Astrid - poor girl doesn't even fully know what hit her yet.
Thank you for the review Jami, I will update this soon!
Wow. Can you say intense?
The interesting mix of characters you've thrown in here is going to be rather fun to follow, I can tell. *favourites so she can read future updates*
I'm not entirely sure what to tell you, honestly. You're clearly not a new writer, and I've not any criticism, so unfortunately for both of us this review is going to be rather short, due to the fantasticness of this story.
But yeah..*feels bad for leaving such an unhelpful review for you*
I loved it to death,
LizAuthor's Response: I do not know how to respond to this review in an unjumbled (is that even a word?) way, so can we say we're even in terms of shortness?
Your comment about me not being a new writer made me laugh, because I just posted a blog about my upcoming first archive anniversary.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS REVIEW. REALLY. THANK YOU! Report Review
I've started to read this for you, Val! :) And I'm really enjoying it already -- WWII is one of my very favorite periods of history, and you seem to have written it very well thus far. I like broad range of characters you've given us to interact with, too, and I liked that we got small glimpses of all of them in this first chapter.
Hazarding a guess -- Astrid's connected to Fleur in some way? (Watch me be wrong.) I'll get to reading the other two chapters quite soon, but really, I do like this very much! ♥ You should be very proud of just this chapter!Author's Response: Rachel!
I'm really happy you like the characters, and that you think this is accurate -- it's one of my main worries, because it's not an era I lived in (obviously), yet I still want to write about it realistically.
No, Astrid is related to Hagrid, of course. (Yes, she's Fleur's grandmother.)
Thank you so much for taking some of your time to give this a look &hearts Report Review
Hey, what a brilliant guess! I actually love anything that is even remotely linked to the past so cheers for recommending this.
I'm squealing right now because this is SO my cup of tea! And I UNDERSTOOD what the German man said; now I don't feel so bad about getting that C in my German GCSE.
First of all I should probably start off by saying that your writing styles is gorgeous. As ridiculous as it sounds I have to admit that after I'd finished reading the first paragraph I sighed happily. It's quite obvious that you've actually bothered to take the time to craft what you've written. I've read so many stories on this website that are really rushed and packed with errors and boring sentences that end up making the read a lot less enjoyable so kudos for that.
I also really love the setting and the whole periodic atmosphere that you've created here; as sad as I may sound it takes me to a very happy place.
The actual concept of the story is very intriguing to me; I love this idea of a resistance being formed and your decision to narrate this from the point of view of an array of different characters really compliments your chosen genre and widens the overall intrigue of the piece.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I thank you for recommending it.
*Puts into favourites"
Aurevoir! (I bet I didn't even spell that right)
- Liv(THG)Author's Response: Hey!
I don't even do German, be proud of yourself!
Ah, so many compliments. Thank you for saying my writing is gorgeous. *blushes*
No, that doesn't sound sad -- it should, I suppose, but I'll take it as a compliment!
Your spelling is correct, if ever.
THANK YOU SO MUCH :) Report Review
Oh Val! What can I say? Another beautiful chapter! WHY ARE YOU SO AWESOME?!
Your descriptions are just brilliant, they're original and I can immediately see everything that you are describing to me. I feel as if I am there, in France, in the war. You have a talent my dear ;)
Your characterisations are great too. We got to see some friction in the group which made it all the more realistic to me, nothing is ever plain sailing. And Johanna's flashback, oh gawsh, I just want to squish the woman and tell her that she's going to be alright and gah! I feel like curling up into a ball and crying, poor woman.
The death of the mayor was well written, especially with everyone turning away and high tailing it out of the area as soon as possible as you'd expect them to do- it wasn't easy killing him :P I feel though that it was a bit short in comparison to the chapter and it was all over very quickly... apart from that, amazing!
I cannot tell you how much I am addicted to this story! You'd better get that 4th chapter out soon or I'm coming for you Val...Author's Response: I am responding to this even though I have five other reviews waiting because seriously ALL OF THE FEELS.
Psh, I attempt to be awesome only because there are people like you who make me want to improve.
I'm so glad you like the description! I'm actually having a lot of fun trying to imagine them in my head, and it's great to hear that it goes from my head to the screen without sounding off.
Nope, plain sailing does not exist here, and this is just the beginning.
Johanna needs all the squishes she can get, though she's made of stronger stuff than it would it seem! (Simon is going to be needing many squishes too after you read the next chapter.)
I am so relieved you liked the scene with the mayor -- I'm completely oblivious to the quality of an action/tension scene, so I didn't know how it was going to work out... And I will go and reread to see how I can edit, but right now it's half past two in the morning and I keep pressing the wrong keys on my keyboard, so I think it's better if I wait until later today.
*hides* Chapter four is about a third written up so far, expect it fairly soon! After that I'm on holiday, so I'm going to try and get lots of prewritten chapters.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS REVIEW (YOU'RE AWESOME &hearts ) Report Review
Oh hi there ValWitch! :)
Firstly, I have to say that even from the beginning of this chapter your writing is very very very pretty. I can't tell you why 'It is not safe, anymore, to aimlessly wander the streets' sounds so pretty in my head, but it really really does.
Oh SNAP I was not expecting that for the ending of the first part of the section. I think the fact that you went into her clothes a little bit (which normally I don't like) and she seems quite prim and proper and BOOM she gets her wand out.
Yup. Liking this so far.
Arrggh. Okay, I really like the juxtaposition of all these descriptions of pretty ladies with all this action .
Oh, Johanna. You are... well. Well played dear, well played.
"They looked like barely hatched ducklings, floating in the blue overalls that were too large for them."
^ do excuse my whilst I droool over this lovely description. Ack.
Okay, one small thing... I kind of feel the like the 'French Ministry of Magic' jars your flow slightly. I mean, I'm already really aware that we are in france and I imagined the French wouldn't call it the French Ministry... so maybe, just change that to the french for Ministry? Or something similar like that. I'm sure everyone would know where you meant (particularly as the description about the Minster comes just after it).
Okay, so I've now come to the end and I REALLY LIKE THIS STORY I DO. This is lovely. I thought the way you introduced all the characters was really smooth (especially with them all at the end) and, normally, I would have thought introducing so many characters in the first chapter would have been... well, too much, but actually I thought it worked really well.
And that ending. Ooh, what an ending.
I reallly really want to know more about this magical involvement in the war (fascinating idea, too) and this is so original and lush and yep. You have gained a fan of this story here. This is wonderful :)
-ACAuthor's Response: Oh hi Helen!
Yes, there is more to Camille and Johanna than it seems, isn't there?
I AM VERY VERY HAPPY YOU LIKE MY WRITING. Your compliments made my day, and yes I've edited the bit about the French Ministry as you suggested, and I AM BEAMING AT THIS REVIEW LIKE A MADWOMAN so I shall be quiet now.
Thank youuu :) Report Review
So sorry that I have taken FOREVER to come and review this. I had a major writer's block and once I knew where I wanted to go with the story, I just wrote before all inspiration went away. I'm here though! Ready to tackle this! :D
I felt so bad for Simon and everything he's experiencing. I'm sure it was like that and even 1000 times worse in a real concentration camp but I just wanted to save him!
What amazes me the most is how you seemed to have thought of everything. Like Xavier's need for a cane which is only a 'tool' to deceive others.
I spotted a typo:
with its decaying paint peeling of,--shouldn't it be 'off'?
Camille and Xavier need to stop this, ok? They belonged together! You definitely managed to get to my emotions here when it comes to those two. I rarely ship OC, nor care much for them but you definitely managed to get me riled up with their memory of Le Havre. Your choice of words and description are fantastic and I think that's why I got attached to the two of them and why I think they need to stop this and get back together!
However, will we get to see what happened between the two of them?
Jean is very...umm...intense. Why did he try to stab his uncle?
Anyway! This was a fantastic second chapter and I can't wait to see the next one so I hope you get to update soon!
Thanks for letting me read this and so sorry for taking forever!
Until next time
--RosieAuthor's Response: Before anything, I must tell your comment about shipping Xavier and Camille made my entire week. Even now, as I respond to this centuries later, I smile like an idiot when I read that. &hearts
If you want to save Simon, then I'm managing what I'm aiming at! He's such an intense character to write, and I'm really tempted to just magically whisk him out, but then this little voice speaks up and tells me that that's not how things went, that people suffered of cold, hunger, discrimination and torture; were deported and that most of them died. Out of respect for all of those people, I have to leave Simon in the camps for now, simply because it wouldn't feel right saving him when so many others weren't (even though it breaks my heart writing his scenes, trust me).
Whoops, that turned into a bit of an essay.
I think you pointing out the cane makes me love you even more right now. Originally, I just had the scene without the cane, then when I reread, again, the little voice came back, and I thought 'Wait. Xavier shouldn't be in Caen, he's an adult male, so he should be away in Germany working in a Nazi factory. Cane it is'.
Thank you for pointing out the typo, I've resubmitted the edited chapter!
I've said what I had to say about your compliments on that scene, so I will stop before I go off on a tangent again. THANK YOU SO MUCH &hearts
Yes, we do get to see, though not just yet!
Jean, whom I originally really liked, is turning out to be dsturbingly creepy. He has a chapter dedicated to him in two or three chapters (I think), where some background info is given, and it includes the causes for his hate of his uncle.
Thank you so much for your review Rosie, it gave me the kick I needed to proofread chapter 3, which is currently sitting in the queue waiting to be validated -- it should be up give or take two or three day!
Again, thank you so much! Report Review
This was a really powerful chapter. I have to say that I really like Simon's sections the best so far. They are so powerful and so painfully real. I can't imagine those being anything close to easy to write, so the way you are able to make them completely vivid and heart wrenching is really impressive.
I was thrilled that you explained the meanings of the triangles at the end. I was very close to googling it, hehe. Well, not hehe what they mean. Those are sad :(.
I am still trying to get the hang of keeping up with the rest of our clan, but I'm sure the more I read the more familiar I'll be with them. I really enjoyed seeing the little memory of Camille's, though. It gave her a new face; a new side that we weren't yet aware and took another huge step in making her real.
Jeans hardness towards his uncle makes me curious. I can't help but wonder if something happened or if his line of work has just taught him to be hard about nearly everything. For some reason I'm most interested in him and Johanna right now. I'm not sure why, haha. I'm also really interested in Camille too... you know, I actually just want to know more about them all. It looks like you're going to need to add another chapter quickly :P.
The part where Simon is able to stop his girls and talk to them was so moving. Oh gosh. I can't even imagine how badly that would hurt. To be so close but not be able to just take them and run off... Again, his sections really bring an amazing sense of realism to this.
The only thing I would suggest in terms of CC, is maybe giving us longer with each character? I'm still having a hard time keeping them completely straight in my head. I think because it's so many OC's with complex backgrounds...but still, that's not even a real CC because obviously we'll find more about them as the story goes on.
Another awesome chapter, m'dear ♥ I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading a story set in this time period. It's so original!
JamiAuthor's Response: JAMI &hearts
Okay. This review. My response is, as often, an attempt at coherence.
Simon is incredibly difficult to write, mainly because I feel like I wouldn't be doing the people who actually went through this justice if I was too cold or too soppy (did that sentence even make sense?); and at the same time, I couldn't not write his scenes. You telling me they're well-written makes my heart go fuzzy!
Not every chapters includes all the characters, if ever, though there generally is a switch of point of view. Hopefully, it'll get less and less confusing as the story develops though, and the next chapter is very much focused on Astrid and Johanna.
Ah, Jean is an enigmatic person, isn't he? Of course, the circumstances have hardened him to pretty much everything, but there is another reason, which I won't mention here. The only thing I will say is that Jean is a brash and grudge-holding person, and that when he acts, it's for the people he loves. And now I will stop talking about this aspect of the story because I could write an essay about Jean...
The scenes with the Ziegler siblings are the only times ever that I'm near crying when I write. They're very much inspired from an amazing movie named 'The Round Up' by Roselyne Bosch, which I really recommend if you have time and a spare box of tissues.
ANYWAY. Thank you so much for your amazing review &hearts Report Review
My goodness, now this story is intriguing. Right from the get go I liked your style of writing, not too descriptive but letting the feelings and actions of the people speak. Huh, deep for starting a review, but just go with it. XP You immediately grabs the reader's attention, starting the sections shorter then becoming longer. Excellent formatting, by the way. I love the introduction to each of the characters before bringing them all together. Maybe that's my fondness of the group dynamic coming through, but I really liked it.
Perhaps it's just me, but I'm not so fond of the large cliffhanger at the end of the first chapter. I feel there's so much going on in this chapter anyway, without the added dramatics needed. Though, I understand why you did it as well, but my personal feelings is that it's too much for me.
You have a wonderful way of describing your characters. Normally, when the POV switchers so much it's easy for the reader to get lost, but you managed to control it so props for that! It takes a skilled writer to be able to do that. :)
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the story! Oh, and it's not bad and yes you should continue to write it!
- HPBAuthor's Response: Hi!
This review made me so, so happy, so before anything else, thank you!
I'm glad to hear that you like the characters, and that the formatting worked for you, because I was slightly anxious about it.
About the cliffhanger... To be honest, I include partly for me as well, seeing as that allows me to get back into writing the story more easily. Not every chapter is going to end with a cliffhanger though (I think), if that helps...
Again, thank you so much for this wonderful review and compliments :) Report Review
Hellooo Val :) So I know I said I'd take a look at your other story, but since you put this in my review thread quite a few days ago, I'll answer your request first. And apologies for the delay :(
Aaahh this is an incredibly gripping chapter. The focus has narrowed down to a few characters at a time, which is great because you can really examine the characters in detail. You've really written Xavier and Camille well here, showed how their relationship has gone sour after such a lovely ideal moment in the flashback, when both were still teenagers. And then there's Jean, who turns out to be a little creepy, especially from that last bit of the chapter. It's a very unsettling but wonderful way to end a chapter. And I think it's great that you show how some of these characters, despite fighting for the right cause are not perfect; they have their flaws, and darker aspects to their character.
You've definitely got a very well-paced story here; scenes with a greater amount of action are intertwined with slower, more dramatic and character-focused moments - there is a very nice balance in your story which makes it so easy to read. Also, many of the scenes are short and rather clipped, and this really sets a rather breathless pace for the story.
Like your first chapter, there are small descriptive details here and there, embedded in the narrative, which really add to the atmosphere or the setting of a scene. And of course, you've done a great job evoking different settings in this chapter, from the prison camp Simon is in to the lighthouse in Le Favre. Lovely use of tones and contrasts.
All in all, great work for this chapter. Your writing is wonderfully smooth and the prose is fluid, detailed but without being too overwhelming. You're a great writer so keep it up :)
-tehAuthor's Response: Whoops, this review looked too nice sitting there unanswered and here we are a month later...
I am so happy you like Camille and Xavier, and sour is definitely the right term to describe their relationship now. The circumstances have got something to do with this change though!
Ah, how relieving that you find Jean creepy, that's the feel I'm aiming for, and apparently some people really like him, which worries me a little, although fundamentally he's not a bad person.
YOU COMMENTING ON THE SETTING, EEE. Because, let's face it, your description is the type I'd love to be able to write one day, so I had a complete squee moment there.
Thank you so much &hearts Report Review
Here for your requested review!
Ah, another brilliant chapter. I quite enjoyed this a lot too and I am pleased with the story's progress. I loved that you are developing your characters a little more with each chapter and giving backstories and flashbacks as they always help add to the plot.
The plot seems to be thickening and I cant wait to see how things turn out further. All the little details, like the description of what the poisoned blood potion does, the part about Jean trying to stab his uncle once when he was sixteen, or where Simon has to stand still as they search for the bread thief - they all enhance the plot and make it all the more realistic and interesting. I enjoy and value such little aspects a lot, so great job!
Your transitions, as in the previous chapter, were quite neat in this one too, and I was pleased for the smooth flow. Another thing I'd like to point out is that the ease with which you switch from French to English is remarkable. Sometimes, authors fumble when switching between languages and disrupt the flow, but you seem to know exactly where and how to place it, so that's great. The dialogues and writing style also reflects the time of the war, and I am glad to see it maintained and hope it stays so throughout the story, along with flawless grammar - so all in all this has a very smooth and graceful flow and it is a pleasure reading it.
As I said earlier, I loved the development you provided with your characters. I liked the backstory of Camille and Xavier, expressed through Camille's and Jean's conversation, and later through her's and Xavier's detour, and the flashback. It all gave enough information (as apt for the second chapter) and yet not a lot - which was good. It definitely gave some insight into the two of them and their relationship though, and I love how you're exploring each character and their personal relationships, and not just focusing on the war. It is usually hard to maintain a balance between the two as I have noticed in other stories, but I am happy that you have maintained that balance so far. This was also evident through the parts included about Simon visiting his sisters, and also about Jean's past of stabbing his uncle, so Good work!
The descriptions are quite simple yet intricate and that is awesome. If you're looking to enhance your descriptions to a larger level, I'd suggest using imagery though and scenario description (as in more description of surroundings etc.). Nevertheless, they're good as it is too.
Over all, I am enjoying the story so far. Your plot seems to be quite interesting and I liked the progress you have made in the span of two chapters itself. The characters seem to be complex so it would be interesting to see how they develop further too - so far though I am liking them all, though more insight into Astrid and Jean (as I am sure is coming in future chapters) is what I am looking forward to in terms of characterisation. The pace seems to be well-suited for the story theme, you're not going too fast or too slow with the events and that is great.
Keep writing! Thumbs up!
P.S. Sorry for the monstrous length of this review, and do feel free to re-request for the next chapter when it is up!Author's Response: Hi again!
I'm glad you like the flashbacks, as there will be more of those in coming chapters and I don't want to bore the reader.
Those transitions - really? I was a little worried that they'd feel too abrupt, so the fact that you say the opposite is great!
You like my characters, hooray! That is the best thing you could say to me.
Balance is something I'll try to keep in mind, because it's not something I was paying particular attention too. Thank you for telling me!
I am so flattered that you enjoy my description. It's honestly not my forte, and your compliments mean a lot.
Aww, don't apologise for the length of this review -- all your compliments gave me warm fuzzy feelings. Thank you so much for your support! Report Review
Haha, it's like with Kiana -- I had been meaning to come back and visit this story again, and then I didn't have any time, and then you were lovely enough to respond to my swap request and remind me. Hooray!
Interesting! I'm enjoying getting to know your characters better. Simon's scenes were immensely powerful. I don't know how you get yourself into the proper emotional state to write something so tragic, but I'm very impressed. The details really hammered home the dire nature of the situation and helped take me back in time to that point.
Camille, too, is interesting. I like how multi-dimensional she is. For starters, she was once vulnerable, and now she's hardened. I'm guessing it's a self-protective measure, and that she might let Xavier in again one day, be it out of pure tension or a desperate situation or something else. I loved the moment where she had to laugh to throw off the patrol, too -- it was scary to witness.
The ending--whoa! That spell is intense. I loved the emotion in that scene, the sort of steely determination I got from Jean and his recollection. I fear that the mission will not be flawless after all.
And your author's note was great--very informative. I had been aware of the symbology in the concentration camps, but your story helped jog my memory there and give it some context. The bit about choosing criminals over communists was interesting, too, and it makes a lot of sense.
Lovely chapter. Thanks again for the swap :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: I had a complete fangirl moment when I read your review, so I'll try to respond properly to this.
I honestly have no idea how I get into the proper mood to write Simon's scenes -- maybe that's why I find them so difficult to write. I'll just be typing, come to the end of a scene, and Simon's thoughts appear on screen spontaneously. That is not an explanation, sorry...
Camille is one of my absolute favourites, so your compliments about her make me really happy! I'm particularly glad you of all people think she's multi-dimensional (you know how I feel about /your/ characters).
That comment about my author's note. Heh. When I typed it up, I was actually thinking of your author's notes, that are always so wonderfully detailed and explanative.
Thank you for the review &hearts I'm always happy to swap with you! Report Review
Heya! Perelandra here from the forums! Thanks for the swap by the way! :D
So I have to say... I'm never really inclined to read stories that don't feature any of the canon characters. I'm always very cautious because the OCs tend to be very cliche, or very Mary/Gary-Stu. However, as soon as I finished reading Camille's section I was hooked. I wanted to know more of what was going to happen in the story and what was happening to the characters.
Within each section I managed to see a different personality in all of them. No one felt like a cookie-cutter character that had the same thoughts and feelings. The imagery and description were fantastic as well; I was able to imagine everything in my head. It had this Schindler's List sort of tone to it.
I spotted a tiny typo...or at least I think it's a typo:
His mother has disappeared, separated from him and his father as soon as the stepped off the train. Did you mean 'as they stepped'?
I find it very brave of you to write around something that's historic, specially when you're just a teenager. So lots of kudos to you! :) You said that there's a character here that is linked to a canon one and that its fairly obvious...but I just don't know who! Hahaha! Is it Astrid related to Fleur? XD I don't really have that much to say considering that this is only the prologue of a story that I have a feeling is going to go much more in depth as it progresses.
Anyway, this story is fantastic! I'm adding it to my faves so I can can come back and read the rest! Thank you so much for letting me read this and the swap!
Until next time
--RosieAuthor's Response: Hi Rosie!
Thank you so, so much for the compliments on my OCs -- I was worried they'd pass for cookie-cutter characters and it's great to hear that's not the case!
Yes, that is a typo (pesky bugger). Thank you for pointing it out, I'll edit.
Yes, Astrid is related to Fleur, but as you said, that was fairly obvious :)
Thank you for reading, leaving such a lovely review and favouriting! Report Review
Ohh Camilleís section was very intense! I think you painted really vivid image of what she was doing. I like that way you started with the surroundings, the smoke, the streets, before bringing us in.
I love the name Astrid! You confused tenses with Ďtightenedí in this first paragraph, but I can imagine that would be ridiculously easy to to writing present tense.
Your imagery for the woman thatís replaced the young girl was really awesome, I loved Ďwith round cheeks like apples.í I think it paints such a soft picture of what the hardened woman used to be.
Ohhh Johannaís my favorite so far! She sort of has an Angelina Jolie feel to her. And Iím in love with that woman, so thatís a very good thing :P. I like that she uses her looks to play on these men, it adds a certain kind of calculating coldness to her character.
Our first boy! Youíve let us more into his head than any of the characters so far. The girls seem to just go and act, but heís dwelling a bit more on the realization that, eventually, it will have to end. His section added a more realistic taste to it all, which I really liked.
Your second paragraph of Simonís section, first like, you have Ďthe steppedí instead of they. Thatís my biggest typo too, I think. I always do that and Ďformí instead of from. So with his section, I gather that for some reason he needs to pretend not to know his sisters or mother? Did I follow that correctly?
I liked your comment about the hospital only being that by a name. Itís such a realistic description of what hospitals would have been like during this time. And we know that Simon had a different plan set out before the war grew to this point! And that heís somehow lost his wand during all this. He seems to just want to survive. He doesnít have Xavierís thirst for saving his country, and just wants to save his people.
I really like the details of how WWII is through this wizard world, and that theyíve been given the option to fight or flee.
Okay, Iím doing *pretty* well at keeping everyone straight now that weíve combined them all. Maybe Simon not having his wand is why he isnít able to reconnect with these people who heís obviously part of. Ohhh Johanna and Simon may have feelings for each other, yes?? I like that Camille and Jean keep a very soldier kind of perspective to it.
I loved the ending! It was a really nice cliff hanger!
This is a really exciting start, Val! I like the originality of it. I was able to straighten out who was who by the end, too. I think it works perfectly for a prologue. Your cast is out there, the feeling of the story established, and you leave readers with enough questions to want to continue!
Awesome start, mídear! Iíll be back for chapter 2 soon!Author's Response: Hi Jami!
First of all, your review turned me into a pile of incoherent mush, so I apologise in advance for any rambling.
Really? You like my imagery and description? Well. *clears throat* THANK YOU SO MUCH (particularly coming from you, because your descriptions are gorgeous)!!
I see Johanna more like Laetitia Casta, but yes, Angelina Jolie actually fits quite well, and I can understand why you'd say that. And yes, she is an amazing woman, so I'm very flattered that this reminds you of her!
Yes, Xavier. As you'll realise, I adore him. So the fact that you like him makes me very, very happy.
Well, the thing about Simon is that he's in a concentration camp, but you've probably figured that out already. It's not about pretending not to know his mother and sisters, he just doesn't have a chance to see them anymore, because men and women were sent in two different directions. I'm not quite sure this made sense.
Look at you, understanding these characters so well! Simon would, in other circumstances, fight for the freedom of his country, but considering his location, that might be difficult... And yes, the absence of the wand is hugely important.
Johanna and Simon - surprise, surprise! I won't say too much about this...
Thank you for your awesome review darling, it really made my day &hearts Report Review
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