Reading Reviews for Anachronous
  
21 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Beeezie In a Man's World

11th July 2014:
This was a really interesting take on Andromeda and her family!

I felt like your initial description really was the classic, stereotypic middle child, but you took it so, so much further. I loved the idea of Andromeda initially being a peacekeeper and then later being the target of joint hatred and resentment - even when she left the family, she helped unite her sisters. I really liked that take, because throughout the books, we see snatches of conflict and discordance between the sisters - not just with Andromeda herself, but between Narcissa and Bellatrix as well.

I also loved how you depicted Andromeda after she married Ted - in this, she truly was both a product of her environment and trying desperately to escape from it. The struggles she had with simple household tasks and interactions was perfect, as was her sense of emptiness when she realized that there were so many things that Tonks wouldn't get. It was almost as though she didn't quite know how to be a mother with the shallow, surface stuff removed.

My heart really went out to her toward the end - it was a heartbreaking glimpse of a character who I find endlessly fascinating. Thank you; it was a beautiful read.

House Cup 2014 Review - Ravenclaw

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Review #2, by nott theodore In a Man's World

12th August 2013:
Hi Amanda! I'm here for review tag (although honestly I would have been here earlier if I could decide which of your stories I wanted to read first)!

This is written in a completely different style to Diamonds Into Coal, with a lot less description and much more succinct writing, but I felt like it really fit with this one-shot. I'm amazed by the fact that you managed to narrate Andromeda's whole life in just over a thousand words; but at the same time, it kind of highlights how insignificant she feels she is, that she's able to recount a lifetime in one short piece.

Your portrayal of Andromeda's character was so refreshing! She's one of the characters in canon who really interests me, and I've never read any story before which interprets her the way this does. Andromeda always comes across as a really strong character in the books - she left a pureblood family to marry a Muggle-born man, knowing that she'd be hated by them, after all - and yet you've explored a completely different side to her character here, and it's fascinating to read about.

Despite the fact that she's viewed so often as a strong woman - rather like Molly Weasley, although perhaps without the moment of greatness at the end - Andromeda clearly doesn't see herself as such. She's a sister, a wife, a mother and then a grandmother; they're all great things to be and yet Andromeda clearly thinks of herself as a mediocre character - forgettable. It was so interesting to see this piece about someone who hasn't done amazing things, who isn't powerful or notably brave or daring. Those sorts of characters are so often omitted from literature and I think it's great that you took the chance to write about Andromeda in this way.

The whole narrative was just filled with so much and I don't think it's possible for me to comment on it all. There was this current running through it that is difficult for me to put my finger on - it felt really bleak and even bitter at times. Andromeda's not a woman who ever did anything spectacular, and she was happy to stay on the sidelines and just be. It makes me sad that she doesn't seem to realise that what she did achieve in her lifetime was enough.

I loved the comparison between Andromeda and her sisters; the way that she filled a specific role, the mediator between her two tempestuous sisters. It fits exactly with my images of Bellatrix and Narcissa. Even at that point, she seems forgotten by her parents and uncared for by her sisters - other than as mediator - and it seems like that affected her throughout her life. She can never shake off the feeling that she's not worth much.

Of course, it then follows that once she did marry Ted she struggled to know what to do; her whole life had been spent filling a specific role, and without the world that she'd grown up in it feels like she's going to crumble away. We never find out if she had another friendship group who could support her through the split with her family, and in spite of the fact that she's chosen Ted - perhaps because he needs her and her family no longer do - Andromeda is still lonely. I like the fact that you skipped over the actual split from her family entirely - it seems so consistent with your characterisation of Andromeda here, especially as that must have been one of the most painful periods of her life.

Another element I really enjoyed was the fact that you managed to blend the emotions that most mothers seem to have once their children have flown the nest - the emptiness and a loss of purpose - with the fact that Andromeda's actually happy with fading into the background. She's never wanted to steal the limelight and she's perfectly content with what she has, not wanting anything more.

My only CC is a little Brit-pick - we tend to say 'nappies' rather than 'diapers' over here.

The ending line "Perhaps I have already done enough in this life to be remembered for it after all." was perfect. I kind of want to shake her and tell her that of course she's done enough to be remembered! But that last line made the one-shot really feel complete and yet the word 'perhaps' suggests that Andromeda's still unsure of her contribution.

There was so much that I loved in this Amanda! I know I'm rambling now and you're probably getting bored, but this was a really great piece of work. I can't wait to see what else you've written!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian, thanks for stopping by! I apologize that I got behind on responding to reviews!

In my head, Andromeda is very strong and is perceived as being strong (I mean, she would have to be, considering all she's been through), and yet she wears her strength quietly. She's very different from Molly in that her presence can easily go unnoticed, and yet she and Molly probably have a lot in common when it comes to their values and skills. I'm happy to hear that you liked my downplaying (I guess that's an appropriate term) of her character and the focus on her "average-ness."

I think you're right that she could be a little bitter underneath her attitude of not needing to be considered great. She's definitely been a fish out of water in her marriage to Ted and allegiance with the Order, and I'm sure at times she wished she could have as "easy" a life as what her sisters achieved by making "decent" pureblood marriages.

I really see her as being quite lonely. Obviously Ted loved and cared for her, but I would anticipate that it would be difficult for her to make friends that weren't there just by virtue of her name and station in life. I'm sure she missed her sisters a lot, despite the differences in the ways they each saw the world.

In the end, though, I want to think that Andromeda was happy with her life and the choices she made. Hopefully she still feels that she contributed something important, even if it was composed of the small and routine tasks of everyday life. It makes me happy to see that you liked seeing her go that way.

Ah, well, I'm American, so I don't spend a lot of time trying to make my work sound British. If a particular word or phrase is known to me and it feels right, I'll insert it, but there's no real rhyme or reason to when I do that. Still, I appreciate you pointing it out to me :)

Thanks so much for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #3, by blackballet In a Man's World

10th August 2013:
I loved this so much! It gave me goosebumps at the end, and I love how Andromeda wishes for something with more grandeur, and I love her thoughts at the very end. She takes such little pride in her accomplishments, which I find very humbling, but also very sad. This was simply beautiful.

Author's Response: Thanks!

Well, Andromeda sort of wishes for grandeur, but this was more about her being happy with what she had and being humble about her life. It is sort of sad to consider, isn't it?

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #4, by Mnemosyne_Morrigan In a Man's World

8th August 2013:
And so it has begun... I'm turning into hungry follower of Academica. Are you sure, you're not building an army of readers? I can sense some dark magic in those stories of yours ;)


You know what? It seems we only read about the times when the world was a "man's world", but honestly it still is. They still tend to put us on displays and make sure we're not overwhelmed, yet the make everything harder and we have to be strong.

Anyway... :) I like those little "flaws" you've put in Andromeda. You're not praising her nor make her perfect. Her portrayal is more realistic, because you described her not only as gentle and pure-hearted, but also with some distinctive Black traits. After all she was raised in the Black family. You managed to describe it softly, with those few ordinary things - like she couldn't wash the dishes and had to learn it. But there's something more. Something that Andromeda herself does not notice. She has more of a Black vibe, than she think. More than we ever thought.

Bitterness.

She may not be the same as her sisters, but the bitter chord plays well.

As I think of it now, every Black had it. Narcissa, Bellatrix, Regulus, even Sirius (I would dare to say he had the most crisp bitterness).

Andromeda tries to think of the good that happened to her, of the love, of the importance. It seems she never wanted to pley the main role in the Order, she's fine with the background. But with every though, with every word I felt more bitterness. When her daughter was born, when Teddy was born, when the war ended. Yes, she has every right to feel pain as she lost her family, but it's like the inherited bitterness sneaks into every part of her life. And it amazes me, because I've never imagined Andromeda as such. I thought of her as another Tonks. Giving her the strong Black vibe is not making her less interesting, to the contrary.

You showed that despite our best efforts and wishes not to become like our rotten family, we always inherit something...

Author's Response: Finally caught up! Hooray!

I'm sure it must have been difficult for Andromeda to adjust despite feeling like she made the right decision by leaving her family in her past. She must have felt like she had to depend on Ted a little, perhaps more than she was comfortable with, and so I imagined her putting herself into whatever roles she was given as she tried to find a place in her new world, a world which she'd always been warned against because of her family's beliefs.

I do think you're right that none of the Black family members seemed to be truly happy.

I definitely see Andromeda as a darker person than Tonks. Tonks, despite being raised during wartime, is a generation removed from the difficulty of growing up in the Black family. She's been raised with better values. I'm sure Andromeda would feel a little jealous of that.

Thanks for your very kind review! I look forward to hearing more from you as you continue looking to see what else of mine you like :)

-Amanda


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Review #5, by DarknessIsMyOnlyFriend In a Man's World

20th July 2013:
Don't you just hate when you love a story but feel like it's missing something? I know the feeling all to well. Often it's just a feeling you have and a reader does not share.
The story is relatively short, in comparison to some of your other stories, so perhaps that is why you feel this way. However, some stories don't need more pages. Sometimes it's better to keep it shorter, than to add pointless text.

I think this story is beautiful. You kept it small and that seems just right to me. Of course you could add to it, by describing more specific situations in her life, however I don't think this story needs it.

Her feelings are strong and they fit the way she was raised and the time in which she lived. She was a strong woman, even if she does not fully realise that. She kept going. Kept getting up in the morning, when others could have fallen apart. She is the silent force that keeps others going.
She was only a small part in the books. But in a way she was very important.
She is right though, the job of being a house wife and a mother is not one to receive a lot of praise most of the time. But there are very few jobs as important as raising the next generation.

She was raised for grandeur and she choose the more simplistic life. Her feelings had a great sadness to it. It was good enough, she says, but somehow I feel that perhaps it wasn't. After all someone who feels that she is forgettable, might not be so happy.
It was sad. But beautiful in its sadness, if that makes sense.

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for coming by :)

Your review made me feel very comforted about this story, and I appreciate your kind words. I agree that sometimes "less is more," and that's the approach I tend to take with these sort of abstract one-shots, but once in a while reviewers will say that it feels too superficial or I'll notice that something isn't right. I'm glad to hear that for you this felt like a complete story and that you enjoyed it.

I agree that Andromeda was really important and strong and probably deserves to be discussed more than she was in canon. I tried to put myself in her shoes in this story and this is what came out. I think you really nailed what I was trying to convey with your statement about her life being much simpler than she probably thought it would be and her having an ability to see the beauty in that change, though at times her sadness did come to the forefront. She lost a lot and her fortitude is really admirable.

Thank you for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #6, by DracoFerret11 In a Man's World

17th July 2013:
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums here to review for you for the HC! :D So, let's go over things:

Plot: So I opened this up because it sounded feminist-y. :) I like that you showed the role that women had in the war and that Andromeda didn't really know where she was supposed to fit, but where she did fit was "good enough" for her. In a lot of ways, that was sad to me. I liked that you showed her life so fully, but so succinctly. I think she's one of the many tragedies left over from the war. She's really great, though. You wrote her well. I like that without purpose, she doesn't feel complete. I empathize.

Characterization: I really think you showed Andromeda well. Her life is a lot more difficult than people consider. It was so sad that she always felt on the "outside" of everything. She lost her birth family, then the family she made for herself. That's tragic. :( But I think you showed how she dealt with that really well. Great job.

Descriptions: I think I would have liked more details about how things looked, sounded, smelled, felt, etc. I liked the emotions you showed, but I could have done with MORE, just to bring the story to life a bit. I think that there's a lot to this story and a lot of places where you could describe her situation to show it in more depth.

Style: I really liked how somber this was. You showed a sad situation in a beautiful light. It wasn't going to be happy and I didn't smile, but it was well-written and well-received. Great job!

--Emily

Author's Response: It's interesting that you have a form for reviews. I suppose it helps keep you organized, huh? :) It also makes it easier for me to organize my reply.

I'm happy that you were able to identify with Andromeda; I also know that feeling of not knowing what to do with myself if I'm not busy with one thing or another. It's weird because I was inspired originally to write this from a very feminist angle, and yet Andromeda doesn't turn out to be very stereotypically feminist at all. I do think she harnesses her own power in a different way.

Andromeda does have a very tragic story and I really latched on to the theme of transience and never quite feeling like she was at home or totally settled. I'm sure she felt that way literally in terms of safety, but I guess this piece is more about how it feels emotionally.

I sometimes feel like a story is really based in imagery, and I guess I didn't get that feeling from this one. It was really meant to be more about her characterization. Still, though, I can appreciate what you're saying. I'll keep your comments in mind for my in-progress one-shot. I am happy to hear that the style was to your liking; it was meant to be sad.

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #7, by StEpH_M In a Man's World

17th July 2013:
This is suprisingly sad, I don't know what it is about it, maybe the last two paragraphs, but whatever it was, it brought a tear to my eye.

I really liked that you got to see the world from adromeders (is that how you spell it?) Andromeda eye's that you got to see that from a young age she was the forgotten child, yet the glue that held the Black sisters together. That even though they hated her, there would have been a time that she could have stopped everything that they went through because she was the one to fix the broken things in the sisters. I also like that in a way it's a sad story about a women that really had no meaning to her life, in her eyes, she didn't have that much to do and were someone would be proud of raising a child, she wanted that little bit more. I also liked that she helped out in the war, healing and such. It's a nice touch to the story.

Overal, it was a very well structured story that I am glad I got to read. Well done :)

Author's Response: Yeah, writing the last couple of paragraphs made me sort of sad. It's hard to think about remembering your life as you draw closer to death, even through the simple fact of aging.

I think there's definitely a big contrast between how Andromeda sees herself here and how we (and probably many others) view her. She thinks of her life as simple, and it is, in a very beautiful way--but it's not just that. She played a really important role in the series, and I wish others wrote more about her. I'd love to get to know her a bit better.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #8, by Athene Goodstrength In a Man's World

16th July 2013:
Ah, this is so beautiful. And it's always wonderful when one of your favourite writers decides to write about one of your favourite characters. I actually joined HPFF because I wanted to write a story about Andromeda! She's fascinating, sad, powerful, powerless, a rule-breaker and conventional all at once - and I think you manage to capture that so well, and in so few words.

I actually can't get my head around how you managed to tell her life story, with all of those supporting characters, all of those emotions, those crazy dramatic moments, so succinctly. And powerfully. And with such excellent characterisation.

Once again, you've stunned me. One day, I'll remember to just go into your stories knowing that I'm about to be blown away.

Author's Response: She's fascinating, isn't she? I'd love to read more about her, though I don't have any further plot bunnies at this time for myself. Obviously she's much stronger than she gives herself credit for in my version of her life here.

Thanks so much for your wonderful compliments. I can't decide whether to blush, cry, or both! It really means a lot to know that my work has made an impression on you :)

-Amanda


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Review #9, by ginerva_molly_weasley In a Man's World

16th July 2013:
Oh academia. This is so sweet but so sad at he same time. You can just imagine Andromeda sitting here writing this, aware that everyone has left her.

I loved how it was written in first person as it really let the emotion roll out through the story. I could really feel as if she was the forgotten one. The one who had tried to be unique and had gone away from everything she had known to something unfamiliar but something she loved. The rift between her life and her parents life was huge so she had no-one and she couldn't go back even if she had wanted to.

I also liked how you made the contrast between Tonks and Teddy with them both being babies and watching them grow up. With Tonks she died leaving her Teddy but now Teddy was safe so her role was done. She had no husband to be a wife for and no daughter to be a mother for. Teddy didn't need her and now she felt so alone. I really felt that.

This is going to be a story I'm remembering for such a long time. Well done

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for coming by!

Yeah, I just kind of put myself in Andromeda's mindset and let the words come out. She seemed like that prototypical middle child who never quite shines like her siblings do, and yet we remember her as being one of only a few Black family members who were brave enough to make a better choice--and in the face of overwhelming pressure not to do so.

I think of her like a stage hand, making sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible but never really taking anything for herself. I did try to give a sense of resolution at the end, though, because what she has is enough for her, and she's satisfied with her outcome.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #10, by marauderfan In a Man's World

15th July 2013:
Oh, this was so sad :( What an interesting take on Andromeda though. I always saw her as a strong person who went through so much in the wars, and its sad to read from her perspective how she didn't see herself as strong or important, just doing what she had to do to survive. The end was really powerful too, how since her whole life has been dealing with war, she doesn't know what to do in a time of peace and feels useless.

I really like the comparisons with her sisters, too. Andromeda considers herself forgettable, but I think that compared to her sisters maybe it's better to be forgettable than remembered for terrible things. Anyway, this was a wonderful insight into the mind of Andromeda, well done on this!

Author's Response: Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Yeah, I view Andromeda as being a bit like Moody in that she doesn't feel quite settled if she doesn't have a war to fight. Obviously we know that she's much stronger than she gives herself credit for, but I tried to put myself in her mindset and this is just what came out.

I think you make an excellent point--Andromeda will always be valued for making good decisions when there was a lot of pressure to follow Voldemort, like Narcissa and Bellatrix did.

Thanks for your lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #11, by Violet Gryfindor In a Man's World

14th July 2013:
Wow. This is quite an impressive story - its narrative voice is powerful, yet it's also so bleak and empty, the voice of a woman who played the roles others expected of her, thinking herself forgettable because she stayed on the sidelines. She finds a sort of fulfillment at the end, but it's still prefaced by a "perhaps" - she doesn't quite believe in it, not entirely. What's extraordinary is that, in spite of the sadness and emptiness the rest of her narrative exudes, she can state with assertion that she is satisfied with her life, that she never wanted to be a hero, never wanted to be great. She just wanted to be.

It's the kind of thing that few authors write. Literature is filled with "great" people - even the simple, humble characters do more than just exist because there's always some sort of quest, something they have to do, to make them worthy of their own story. However, I think that Andromeda as you write her short-changes herself - she does achieve a lot, even if it's not something visible or something that can immediately be named. For instance, she doesn't once mention how she came to be married and the scandal it caused with her family - it's entirely left out of her narrative, yet it's the one event in her life that most people talk about. It's not a weakness of the story in the least - I think it's a fascinating gap in Andromeda's narrative that reveals something about her, her beliefs, and her relationship with her family. As she says, they didn't need her anymore, and so it's as though she drifts away from them to someone who does need her: Ted. Maybe there's something else in that conscious omission that I'm missing - what did you have in mind for it?

There were a multitude of lines that I loved in this story, especially when you describe Bellatrix and Narcissa's relationships with their husbands - the language you use in those sentences is so measured and perfect. You tell every thing in two lines and it's fantastic! The style you've assumed for Andromeda's narrative voice really stands out - it has a lyrical quality to it and that, along with the sad, thoughtful mood puts me in mind of 19th century lit or some of the early 20th century authors like Forster and Woolf. It's an excellent study in narration as well as a refreshingly different exploration of Andromeda's history and characterization. I say this with all of your stories, but you're an amazing writer, and it's always a treat to read one of your works. :D

Author's Response: Hey Susan, nice to hear from you :)

I love Andromeda because of her strength, and yet she's so hard to figure out. I've been wanting to write her for a while but haven't been able to find the appropriate angle. I still don't know if I chose the right one, but I'm pleased that you liked my take on her!

Your comments on writing about "great" people really resonate with me. I think Andromeda can be viewed like a less cheery version of Molly Weasley; both of them worked hard to help the Order during both wars, and yet they aren't the ones on the front lines charging into Battle, so they may escape notice. Molly, of course, got her "big moment" of greatness at the very end of the series, but we don't see anything like that for Andromeda. I'm so curious about her - did she make up with her only remaining living sister? How did her marriage to Ted affect how she lived after his death? What kind of mother was she to Tonks, and how much personality-wise do they really have in common? She's just one of those characters where there is so much left to be explored.

I honestly think Andromeda's departure from her family was one of the most painful and confusing moments of her life. She probably felt so happy to have found the person she wanted to be with and so unhappy when she realized just how angry that choice made her parents and sisters. In the context of this story, I view it as the first time she was forced out of a role in which she'd become comfortable. Her whole life was altered, and that must have brought a lot of pain to a time that should have been happy: her first few years of marriage with the love of her life. Maybe this is her way of rationalizing that and healing from it.

It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the writing and liked the style I chose for this piece. I just really tried to put myself into Andromeda's mindset and this is what came out. Thanks so much for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #12, by patronus_charm In a Man's World

14th July 2013:
Hi Amanda!

I really adored this one-shot. It was very different to what Iíve read about Andromeda before, but the differences in it really added to it! Iíve always pitied her because in effect she did really come off badly through the war, more so than a lot of other people which not many seem to recognise so seeing the emphasis on it here was really great.

I liked how questioned what her role is, because it is something quite crucial throughout life, because what is it without a sense of purpose? The evolution of her role in life was really interesting to see and it was great hearing what her thoughts on each change and whether it was a change for the better or worse.

Sorry this review is short, but the house cup comes first! Either way, I really, really loved it and it was another excellent piece from you! ♥

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hey Kiana :)

Yeah, I do think Andromeda suffered a lot during the war, more than many other people. I've always admired her despite not knowing her very well, because I view her as a strong character (Which is why I had to have Cat Stark on my banner! As soon as I saw this in UFG, I was sold. It was just too perfect.). I guess this one-shot was my way of exploring that strength and trying to describe the practical, dutiful attitude it could have come from.

Andromeda somehow always ends up in the background despite having come from a prominent family where other members tend to end up in the forefront. It seems like she kind of got pulled along quite a bit, and I think that feeling is relatable for a lot of people.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #13, by BellaFan202 In a Man's World

10th July 2013:
Hi! I am so sorry for the long wait! D:

You said in your request that this didn't feel completed, like it was missing something. I think maybe it was missing detail. Tell more about Andromeda's childhood, her teenage years, her adulthood when she was married and had a kid, what it was like to raise her grandson. You can tell she wasn't particularly pleased about her life, but it was kind of hard to understand why. It just seemed like she was bored, that she never got the opportunity to do something amazing (which I don't agree with, I love Andromeda, but I suppose I can see how she would think that.) and that disappointed her, but she tried not to be too sad about it.

Other than that though, I think this would be a really good little-one shot. It really just needs more "story" to it, if you know what I mean. I don't know if that makes sense, so if you have any questions, feel free to message me on the forums! :D

Thanks for requesting! :)

~BellaFan202~

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for coming by!

Hmm, yeah, I see what you mean. Typically I view one-shots as a chance not to tell the whole story--rather to focus on specific events or overall character analysis--but I can see that it might have helped to have some more detail in places to finish filling it out a bit more. I guess my question was more directly focused on the ending, and perhaps I should have made that clearer in my request. Hopefully you felt like it wound up okay. I do agree that Andromeda is extraordinary and I suppose I was trying to entertain a different perspective with her point of view here.

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #14, by BookDinosaur In a Man's World

29th June 2013:
Hey! -BookDinosaur- *finally* here with your requested review! I'm so sorry for the length of time it took for me to get it to you!

Anyways, down to reviewing. I really, really loved this one-shot. Honestly, I feel guilty because I have no CC for you except there was a typo near the end, you put 'them' instead of 'then', which is what I think it's supposed to be.

Well, first of all, I'm really glad you decided to do this on Andromeda - it really helps to put into perspective what all the minor characters went through during the war as well. You portrayed her absolutely perfectly as a woman in a man's world, but I wanted to shake her and hug her at the same time for thinking she's not important. She is important, darn it! Look what she did for Teddy, and trying to fight Voldemort, and just everything.

The flow of this story was amazing as well, the words seemed to flow together like poetry and it was really a pleasure to read. I don't know if you meant it to be that way, but it turned out that way anyway, and it was brilliant.

I love your ending, it was really powerful and I just wanted to tell her that, darn it, she has done enough and of course she's going to be remembered. The story felt very complete to me, I don't think you had anything to worry about there. :)

So, all in all, this was an absolutely beautiful one-shot Amanda, and I really enjoyed reading it. :D

Author's Response: Hey, no worries! I know your queue was really long so thanks for taking the time to come by.

Fixed the typo now. Thanks for pointing it out!

Yeah, we know she's important, but maybe she didn't know that. Obviously it would take a hugely generous person to keep going and raise Teddy after all the tragedy poor Andromeda went through. I thought of her as being quite courageous, also, for keeping her head up and not letting things get to her forever, such as the shame she must have endured after leaving her family for Ted.

You're the person to say that this story has really good flow. I don't know that I structured it intentionally to be like that, but it's awesome that you think it came out that way. Sometimes I'm so pleasantly surprised by what different reviewers point out to me.

I was worried that the ending wasn't powerful enough, so it's reassuring to hear you say that you liked it. I'm happy that it feels complete.

Thank you for your wonderful review!

-Amanda


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Review #15, by Cirque Du Freak In a Man's World

28th June 2013:
Amanda ♥

This is a lovely one-shot! It really puts into perspective the lesser roles that people have played in the wars, and also Andromeda in general. When we're introduced to her in the books she's characterized in a particular way that makes her seem upright and homely - a less traditional Molly Weasley.

And yet here you've portrayed her as this person who is so detached from life and even herself - where she's simple and withdrawn and she does what's asked and needed of her. It's a very different light to shine where she's the woman who's generally overlooked in society and yet she was so instrumental and important.

I don't think I'm making my point come across well, but everything you did here was just the answer to all things love about Andromeda and it makes me happy okay? Just the different view and this outlook on life that Andromeda goes through as a whole and how she thinks of her life and despite all the laughs and the smiles and the happiness and even the depression and tragedy - this is her overall. She's been these different things in each point of her life and even though she feels as if its been taken away from her she is still finding a way to make herself there for the people who are around her and for whatever role she may play in life or death.

I just... yeah, this is love.

I think there was just one typo at the end here in this sentence: "my few talents until [them]" - think you meant "then" here. :-)

Thank you for the lovely swap, my dear!
Hanzi ♥

Author's Response: Hey Hanzi :)

Yeah, I think it would have been awkward for her to show up at an Order gathering for the first time, especially since she didn't have a trusted band of friends to rely on like her cousin. (Actually, it probably would have been way easier if Sirius had been there with her toward the end of the war--ugh, my feelings.)

It seems like purebloods, women in particular, have this sense of duty just bred into them. Rather than shed that, she might have used it to benefit the side of good and contribute in whatever small ways she could. I definitely think there's something honorable in that.

Well, your review really made me smile. I still don't feel like I totally know Andromeda, but I want to. She seems to have this inner strength that I think is really defining of femininity and I totally admire her for that.

Oh, and thanks for the note about the typo--yes, "then." It would be impossible for me to catch them all on the first editing run. I'll have to go back and correct that at some point.

Thank you so much for this fantastic review!

-Amanda


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Review #16, by ValWitch21 In a Man's World

28th June 2013:
I'm here! Before anything else, I'm so glad I swapped with you because it's been ages since I read one of your one-shots.

The way you described Andromeda's childhood made me so sad. I'm not the middle child, but something in the way she views herself as the calm center, while at the same time passing unseen by all really rang a bell.

Then there's her perception of Tonks' birth, that turned me into a ball of feels. Most stories present motherhood as a beacon of light that is the climax of a woman's life, and you steered clearly away from this. It's not that Andromeda doesn't love her daughter, but there's something very bitter about the view she has of herself as a mother and a wife that, to a point, I found almost chilling.

What I love about this is that Andromeda is a strange mixture of defeat and stoicism. On one hand, she's a very strong character, holding on to what she has even though her world is slowly crumbling; but on the other hand she comes across as quite resentful (although maybe that's just me?), with nothing left to fight for. Ugh, and here I am fangirling again over the duality of your characters.

This line was particularly lovely: I carved a place out for myself and there I am content to exist, to breathe, to go about my small and simple life until the day that it ends.

It's so sad and at the same time so perfect and I just can't.

Amazing work, as always!

Author's Response: Hey Val! (By the way, I dropped some questions in your TGS MTA, in case you hadn't noticed. Enjoy them!)

I imagine that a major apex in the life of a pureblood woman would be the birth of her first child. Unlike Narcissa, Andromeda doesn't have to figure out a proper match for her daughter or worry about who she makes friends with or what House she winds up in. It would probably seem pretty easy to her without all of that baggage, except that she's responsible for all the normal, messy bits of child-rearing as well. I think it would have been a scary but really instructive time for her, and hopefully one she learned to love.

She's not quite resentful, I'd say--more like my perception of Moody in "Descent into Madness", where she doesn't know what to do without her usual setting. I do think you're spot on about her trying to hold to her inner strength as her world crumbles around her, her roles falling away little by little over time.

Thanks! I like that line, too :)

Thank you for your awesome review!

-Amanda


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Review #17, by KiwiOliver In a Man's World

28th June 2013:
KiwiOliver here with your RR:
I was trying to think of a good opening line to this review, but all I could think of was: Beautiful
You're portray of Andromeda, of the people around her.
The poetic feel of the chapter, the smooth flow.
Everything's perfect.
I feel guilty leaving such a short review but this story is one of the most well written things I've ever read on this site! I spent a good few minutes trying to find some way in which I could help you or offer you some CC, but you have everything down to a T.
You asked if I felt the story was complete, I think it is. But that doesn't mean you have to stop. It just means if you did, it wouldn't be bad because it's already so amazing.
I liked hearing about Teddy, how she is forced to look after him and how she's saddened at the sight of him.
It's an odd complement but you write depression really well.
Overall, like I said you've written a very beautiful piece and I'm glad I had the chance to read it.
KO

Author's Response: Wow, thank you! And such a quick response! :)

Your review isn't short and it really makes me smile, so thanks! I'm not one to argue if you don't feel you have any CC to add here, no worries. It's very reassuring to hear that you think the story is complete and could even be good enough to build on if I ever encountered another batch of Andromeda-flavored inspiration. She's definitely an intriguing character and I loved writing about her here.

Yeah, I imagined that it would be really hard for her to be put in the position of caring for Teddy when he reminded her of her deceased husband, daughter, and son-in-law. I'm sure Andromeda has felt totally alone more often than most other people, poor thing.

Hah, thanks! I'm a clinical psychologist in training, so I try my best to capture the human condition and use the scientific knowledge I have to create interesting stories.

Thanks for this really sweet review!

-Amanda


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Review #18, by magnolia_magic In a Man's World

28th June 2013:
Hi Amanda! I should really be reviewing Diamonds into Coal (which I'm still following and still love, just to be sure you know), but I knew you'd been wanting feedback on this oneshot. So here I am! I really enjoyed it, as always :)

Andromeda is not a character I've ever been interested in, and after reading this I can't believe I never really thought about her before. I mean, she grew up with Bellatrix Lestrange, so that had to be a fascinating childhood. I love the way she describes herself, as the "calm center" between her sisters. Knowing both of them from the books, it makes sense that Andromeda would be the one to balance them.

And her love for Ted is so clear. She seems like a matter-of-fact kind of person, who isn't into expressing her every feeling. But every word she says about Ted is just full of admiration and love. It was just so, so sweet :)

One thing I noticed about your Andromeda is that she never seems to place much value on herself, or the things she's done in her life. Even being a mother didn't seem like much to her. But then in the next line, she'll say something like, "I am content to exist," and I get the sense that she is satisfied with the way she's lived. Even though she wasn't a "hero" and didn't have big aspirations, I think at the end of the day she recognizes that her life has served an important purpose.

I'm awed, as I always seem to be, by your ability to bring characters to life. When I read your stories I feel like I'm meeting people, not just reading about characters. It's a real gift that you have, and I'm sure I'm not the only author who tries to emulate it :)

Wonderful job! I really enjoyed this. Keep up the great work!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Oh my goodness, so nice to hear from you, Maggie! And I'm stoked that you're still into Diamonds into Coal, which will be wrapping up soon :) Anyway, you're right--I hadn't been feeling perfectly confident about this one and your review definitely feels reassuring to me.

Andromeda would have had to really, truly love Ted to sacrifice as much as she did in order to be with him, and so I wanted to be sure that her affection for him came through. I think his love was probably a lot of what sustained her in her difficult moments, especially after he was no longer around.

I guess Andromeda would have had pretty big expectations as a child in the Black family; she was expected to marry some illustrious pureblood and spend her days furthering Voldemort's cause. Her parents would have trained her to schmooze and flatter others. Her existence turned out to be a lot more simple, which would surely have been a culture shock, and yet I felt like she would be content to not be under so much pressure.

Thank you for this wonderful review :)

-Amanda


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Review #19, by Jchrissy In a Man's World

27th June 2013:
This is so bittersweet. I really liked the fact that Andromeda seemed content with her life in her own way, not always trying to reach for more and shrinking away when more did come. But the fact that she didn't understand what a monumental part she played, raising Teddy, being one of the few people trying to fight Voldemort...

It felt like part of her was still almost sad about giving up her old life. Or sad that she realized it wasn't what she wanted, because it was what she'd been most prepared for.

I see women with adult children (my future MiL for example) that fell into this trap. The trap of just being a mother and having nothing to do, or feeling like they have no purpose so often, and I LOVED how you tangled those emotions in there while keeping solid her mentality that she didn't want more. She just wanted to blend in the shadows.

The part where she compares herself to her sisters (and I really think when she thought about the oldest falling in love she was referring to Voldemort and not Rodolphus)! and does a bit of analyzing was one of my favorite.

First person was perfect for this. I still am so jealous when I read a first person PoV and it's pulled of seamlessly. In my opinion, it's such a hard writing style to really master. It's so much more challenging to slip in details, emotions, when you're looking out from the character's eyes.

This one shot made me want to hug Andromeda and tell her to buck up and realize how important she is all at once, haha!

Awesome story, Amanda! Thanks for another awesome exchange ♥!

Author's Response: You're so welcome, Jami :)

Yeah, I thought of Andromeda as really struggling with being pulled out of her old life and the path she had been confident in prior to her teen years. She might have felt like her skills were relatively useless compared to the more confident natures of Molly or Minerva. At the same time, though, we know that she played an important role even if she wasn't really in the spotlight in the canon series.

Unlike Sirius, we don't know that Andromeda fell into a new group of friends after being separated from her family, and it would probably be tough to figure out her new world and develop a new identity all on her own.

I actually was thinking about Voldemort rather than Rodolphus when I wrote that line about Bellatrix, too, so you're spot on there :)

I don't know, for me sometimes first person just feels right. A story just really wants to come out directly in my voice rather than from me as a narrator. It actually seems like this happens more with female-centric one-shots, actually, so maybe these pieces are more expressive of facets of myself. Who knows? I just go with what my muse says :)

Thanks for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #20, by WitnesstoitAll In a Man's World

25th June 2013:
Amanda! This was such a lovely little piece of writing. Andromeda is such a fascinating character just as she's presented in canon, and this one-shot adds a beautiful (if not melancholic) depth and realism to it all. There was a very rhythmic nature to this, and I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but the words and sentences seemed to flow together and almost languidly flow together. My absolute favorite part was the bit in the beginning about Andromeda's childhood -- her life lost between her sisters.

This was a truly wonderful story! Keep up the fabulous work. :)

Author's Response: Mel, thanks for the kind review! I'm glad you enjoyed the story and felt like I did a nice job of capturing Andromeda's characterization. The rhythmic flow of the writing was not intentional, but hopefully that's something that just comes out in the process of trying on different words.

I also think Andromeda's childhood is one of the most interesting periods in her life. It's fascinating to imagine the dynamic she might have had with her two very different sisters.

Thanks again!

-Amanda


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Review #21, by justind7 In a Man's World

24th June 2013:
I really liked how you put the perspective of Andromeda's whole life in this. I thought the word choice was very descriptive and it helped add to the story. Good one-shot!

Author's Response: Thanks! I appreciate your kind review :)

-Amanda


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