Reviews For Fires of Time
Reviewer: RighT3rantZ Signed Date: 2017.11.15 - 01:02PM Title: Today is the Day
Fun reviews!?! As you wish, my friend.
Ferrous currency? As in modern coinage that is made primarily with non-coinage metals? Or, is this a reference to the not-so-well-known fact that the ink on some western nations' bills contains enough iron to make it a weak electrical conductor? Either way, I will need a bit of careful reflection to process the implications of what tribute I exact upon devoted readers. Damaged brain cells perhaps.
You said a name, well known from the prequel, that I have been carefully avoiding mention of thus far. I shall not mention it now...
How many times will Ginny/Gemina cycle through alternate times and realities before emerging to kick tail? Good question. Another that I shall not answer ;)
Sincere appreciation for a fine tour through the polychromatic landscape!
Reviewer: AuntieMuriel Signed Date: 2017.11.15 - 11:29AM Title: Today is the Day
Merlin's beard, I'm afraid that Arthur has to expand his hut again when the timelines are merged at the end. Otherwise there won't be enough space for all the Rons, Robs, Hermiones, Hetties, Ginnys, Gemini, and that Potter lad when theyíre back home. Molly will need a larger kitchen, too. Fortunately, I'm spared the extra Arthur and Molly. One Molly alone is hard to bear, isn't she?
Ah! When they're back home, you say? I will share with you a secret, which is that a few weeks ago, in a fit of can't-help-its, I sat down and (blithely ignoring a bunch of intervening chapters still to be written) dashed off nearly the entire epilogue.
Putting that aside for a moment, wouldn't it be a wild mess to juggle even a one-night party of all of the aforementioned characters under one roof? Surely some of the saner folks would run for the hills! However, having written the epilogue, I will hint that such a party (or any longer term cohabitation) will not happen. This will happen for a reason that I believe you (and hopefully other readers) will enjoy. [Writer turns, and smugly walks off to get a drink]
Oh, and a brilliant suggestion on Auntie Murietta, by the way! This shall come to pass; I need only to come up with the right setting.
Thank you, AM!
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2017.11.15 - 06:10AM Title: Today is the Day
String theory, really? Kudos, but I do not envy you. Without Ginny or Gemina such books must be quite boring. ;)
Even the driest text may be brought to life (albeit sometimes farcically) when spoken aloud in affected accents. My favourite affectations, which have now carried me much of the way through the string theory book, include a general Slavic, an Irish, an American Appalachian and, what I will refer to merely as, my Sir David Attenborough. Francais is sometimes passable, though Italiano and Deutsch tend to fall flat. Anyway, the one other saving grace of this reading is that Ginny, Gemina and a spicy array of other magic are all hiding off the fringes of the extradimensional intersections. Your maths prof was quite likely onto something, of course.
On a more topical front, the changed landscape of Rob's / Gemina's Britain is indeed important backstory to FoT and intertwines with the dystopic collapse of reality that Hermione walks us through in this most recent chapter. Oh - that reminds me that I forgot to address an important point of Kimberly's. Anyway, your question shall get addressed at some point.
As far as margin notes, I believe Hermione would have the sharper insight, but Hettie is the most clever writer. Too bad she can't collaborate with Ginny. Luna (or Lucy Lovelace who is, in fact fully interchangeable; alternate realities need not 'alternate' for Luna/Lucy) would be a decent choice. Gemina would not have the patience for something of this nature.
Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2017.11.14 - 06:35PM Title: Today is the Day
Noooo!!!!! Hermione seems to be accurately dissecting what is happening just seconds too late. She is correct in focusing on stopping Harry and finding Ginny. How disappointing that Minerva did not suspect time related foul play when Harry, Hermione, and Ginny were confused by Albus's precipitous death. On a brighter note, Gemina suddenly appearing before Rob and Hettie seems like a positive development. Now if I can just meld this in my mind with the truly distant past... or, I may simply have to await more information in the next chapter! Well done, indeed!!!!
Great thought-provoking review, thank you Kimberly!
Yes, I did throw a nasty little curve there at the end, didn't I? However, as you pointed out, Gemina's contact with Rob and Hettie is indeed a positive development, because it provides a basis for useful information to begin to be shared. Also, Hermione rousing herself from the ghastly doldrums of the Great Hall is a favourable sign as well, even if she is a step behind. The main wild card, as you intuit, is Harry. What, exactly, is he rushing toward? Does he do anything worthwhile with that glimmer (in chapter 2) of vindication of his faith in Ginny being alive?
Chapter 4 will indeed shed a little light on some of these concerns... and will raise new ones. I promise ;)
Forgot to address your point about McGonagall. It is certainly a valid disappointment. On a base level, one might suspect McGonagall of being too harried and fraught at this point to have much energy for intuition... however on a deeper level this is actually part of a plot-relevant condition upon which a bit of light shall eventually be shone.
Reviewer: Aurorofthelight Signed Date: 2017.11.14 - 03:28PM Title: Today is the Day
This was another imaginitively interesting chapter! The first part kept making me think I was in an episode of "Fantasy Island" and I kept expecting to hear Tattoo yelling "De Plane De Plane!" However, I don't think Mr. Rourke could've come up with anything like this, so kudos to you! Good to see Gemina has red hair - with her reaction to the birdie I wonder if Rob happens to have messy black hair and green eyes?! Enjoyed the trip to reality at Hogwarts although it seemed alittle wierd with the Dumbledore thing, or was Hermoine playing with her Time Turner again?! Intriguing ending for sure! Looking forward to next chapter - hope you don't leave us in the dark long! ;)
There will be glimmers of twilight at times, but it's possible the gloaming woodlands may not brighten for you until the sun rises over the Grampian crags east of Hogwarts. Then again, you've proven able to glimpse a surprising amount already, including some wisdom perhaps inspired from the golden age of television. I have to admit that the Fantasy Island imagery did not occur to me, however the visual of Hettie drifting in the tree-filtered evening sun on a pretty, late-spring New Zealand evening is probably not that far off! The 'plane' will come soon, however I believe it will be a Qantas Boeing 767, so if Tatoo ran out to meet it he might get blown through the hedge.
Hermione ought to know more about the perils of time trips than anyone, but this episode is 'mostly' not her fault.
Although I greatly admire your bravery in tackling this deranged story as a non-initiated reader, I do think I should advise you on one thing, otherwise things could get rather awkward in ensuing chapters. Rob's hair is decided auburn and his eyes are blue/hazel. He is, in fact, Gemina's slightly older brother. If she was uncharacteristically non-abusive to him in their encounter in this chapter, it is perhaps because a) she's spent weeks going out of her skull in Gaul, and b) she and he are about all each of them has left...
In any case, I greatly value your comments and all of these visual analogies that expand my somewhat limited imagination :)
Reviewer: Dad Signed Date: 2017.11.14 - 11:31AM Title: Today is the Day
This is one of those special stories you just have to wait for the next chapter. You think you might know where it is going but then it is very easy to confuse yourself. Power to your slate/quill/pen/computer.
It is an honour indeed to receive the word 'special' in a review. Thank you!
As far as knowing / not knowing where things are headed, I suspect that this may prove to be my most whip-lashy story ever. It is loaded with false starts and shoe-skidding course corrections. Fortunately, however, there's a bit less angst in the road ahead. Still plenty of drama, but I think the soul-rending is tempered by the characters getting jazzed with the challenge of trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Hopefully true for the readers too :)
Thank you wholeheartedly for a wonderful review!
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2017.11.14 - 10:06AM Title: Today is the Day
Fabulous chapter, simply brilliant.
First of all, thank you sincerely for the kind words -- not only in general, but also regarding things like vocabulary. This story might, in general, slant a bit more to basic words. I am attempting, with some difficulty, to pursue simple words to mellow an insanely complex plot. Of course that doesn't always work and there are times when the less trafficked phrase is the only one that works.
Fascinating that you should mention physics, since my son and I are currently reading a book on String Theory. I must state that I was well into writing FoT before I ever started thinking about String Theory, however as I make my way through it, I am led to believe (more and more) that there's nothing in this story that some variant of strings (and especially branes) could not somehow explain, partially because (yes) string theorists are even worse about inserting new constants every time they need to corroborate an observation but, even more important, they insert new dimensions, within which it's way too easy to hide alternate realities and time lines. Those physicists are worse than fiction writers!
Speaking of time lines, it occurred to me in re-reading the chapter than Hermione's gradual elaboration of the collapse of her reality is a little scattered (two weeks before this; four weeks after that; two days ago, etc.). If you plot it out, I think it actually makes sense. However the sanest route may be the one you chose -- let her figure it out. She's good at that stuff ;)
Perhaps more salient, plotwise, is your observation that Rob did indeed (in this story) leave London the very day after Gemina's 'death'. This differs from Splinters, where he stuck it out in the UK until after Christmas. Much that is different.
I am going to share one insight with you... however if you would prefer to discover it on your own, then please avert your eyes and do not read the next line...
The secret is (last chance to look away) that although Hettie and Hermione are barely aware of a connection in this story (since they're generally not in contact with Cuplae), there is tremendous synergy. Hettie keeps learning odd facts, and Hermione keeps being able to put those facts into context.
Needless to say, I love my two 'smart girls' (Hermione / Hettie) nearly as much as I love the two spark plugs (Ginny / Gemina). However there are key roles for their male counterparts to play too.
Reviewer: AuntieMuriel Signed Date: 2017.11.13 - 09:22PM Title: Eyes and Rainbow
Young man, I hope you don't plan to give Molly a role in good old Britannia. She may be able to cook for a whole legion, after all, she has to feed her own brood every day, but really, such fatuous things like look into each otherís eyes to see rainbows, that's absolutely not her thing. Molly needs Arthur and her kitchen. That's where she belongs.
We're definitely on the same wavelength, Auntie M!
Molly played a fair-sized role in Splinters, largely as a skeptic, but there is no room for skepticism in this story -- it happens, and it brooks no obstacle or interference. And Molly does indeed have her hands full on other fronts at the moment.
As far as the Potter lad's urgent responsibilities, I could not agree more, although it may be the hypothetical roundness of the world (and those inconvenient horizons that creates) that is blocking his view of a clear path to getting it done. Perhaps an accident or two, and/or a Hermione, will help bend light the right way...
Kept me on my toes on this review -- thank you greatly!
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2017.11.13 - 06:27AM Title: Eyes and Rainbow
Wow, there are so many changes compared to the pre-version. Obviously you were pretty busy improving the even the last detail.
Actually yes -- many many changes. As editing fever struck, the woodlands vignettes kept growing in detail to the point where, to keep chapter lengths roughly comparable, I ended up moving one Hettie/Rob scene to chapter 3, leaving chapter 2 as nothing but the woods in Gaul -- a choice I ended up rather liking.
I believe it's accurate to say that there's a connection of sort between Traianius and his visitor, though not the detailed awareness and synergy that grew between Harry/Publican and Ginny/Lanossea. The big barrier is that Traianius is non-magical (or mostly), so my best analogy is perhaps how Rowling viewed Dementors' effects on Muggles -- general depression and unease, but not terror. So Traianius received a muted sense of Harry's strongest emotions, but little detail, and the reverse proves also to be true. So, with all that context, I will agree that there is a 'shift' written into the scene, but it is perhaps more of a shift in viewpoint rather than a shift in effect, if that distinction helps.
I believe that Dumbledore is correct and I do not think that Annisgwyl will remember anything of the (near closing) bower scene. However, given the extent of the edits that have been taking place, I reserve the right to change my mind. A good reviewer may be surprised to realise just how much he or she can subtly affect portions of a story that have not yet been released :)
In any case, thank you very much for engaging my brain cells!
Reviewer: RighT3rantZ Signed Date: 2017.11.09 - 03:22PM Title: Eyes and Rainbow
Alright after reading four times, it is time for the review. Maybe fix sustantiate.....
Four times?? About as many times as I overhauled it. Dedication from a true friend, I'd say!
A true friend and/or an English professor, by the tenor and precision of your review. Cool!
So, to your (and my) main point, which is 'characters'. You make a fascinating observation (one that didn't occur to me) that every character is being viewed through the lens of other character(s), which probably does intensify the character development process -- intensified not because every opinion by one character aimed at another is accurate, but sometimes intensified because can guess at some of the inaccuracies. For example, Gemina may be fairly ticked off at Annisgwyl, but that doesn't mean that Annisgwyl and Gemina don't both earn our sympathy (something that I believe underlies the comment by Kimberly / MollyandArthur).
Anyway, the reviews for this chapter have been great fun -- thank you!
Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2017.11.09 - 06:16AM Title: Eyes and Rainbow
Powerfully written chapter! My emotions were everywhere reading this and so tangled by the time Harry's thoughts once more took over. I love the scenee where you compare the two girls, Annisgwyl and Gemina. The former a child of the Sun, the latter taking strength in the dark of a moonlit night. It will be very interesting indeed to see how their interactions develop over time, and how they impact the man/men involved.
Thank you very much for the kind re-inforcement!
Great that you're keeping an eye on the Annisgwyl-Gemina interaction, because it is definitely plot-relevant and, the issue of who's in control will crop again at important junctures.
One of the various ways that I made this story a more complex read than Splinters is that while Harry/Publican and Ginny/Lanossea were each two sides of the same coin, Harry/Traianius and Gemina/Annisgwyl are both partial mismatches. And then, of course, there's the matter of Ginny who will emerge into this complicated landscape. Anyway, to reply directly to your interest in Annisgwyl/Gemina, I think the crux is that although both are courageous and driven, Gemina is (like Ginny) more strategic and more confident, while Annisgwyl is rather trusting. The latter is so often, in both life and fiction, a no-no. But not always.
Reviewer: CoffeeGuy Signed Date: 2017.11.08 - 01:23PM Title: Eyes and Rainbow
Hey, no fair! You said there'd be no crying, but I was definitely sniffing at the end. Maybe too many peels off the onion, or else Dad is right and the writing is top notch. Regardless, I loved the analogies, and the rainbow metaphor hit me pretty hard. Good job!
Ah, well that onion / crying pun was too good to pass up, but I didn't want to be presumptuous. However, I 'think' it's heartening to hear that the rainbow resonated, and that the chapter evoked some emotion. Thank you, CoffeeGuy!
Reviewer: Aurorofthelight Signed Date: 2017.11.07 - 02:59PM Title: Eyes and Rainbow
Is it just me or does Gemina Wilsey remind anyone else of Ginny Weasley? If I am correct, then the black haired, green eyed Roman General would of course likely be Harrius Potterus! In reading this story, I keep getting the feeling that I have somehow stepped smack into the middle of an episode of "The Twilight Zone" (*theme music plays in background*)! Rod Serling would be proud of you for this little conundrum! It certainly helps to know that the real Harry knows or strongly believes that the real Ginny is still among the living! I must take my hat off to you for your historical acumen (COROBIīLIUM a town of Gallia(Gaul), is or was on a road from Durocortorum (Reims) to Andematunum (Langres). Gaul was western Europe including France and Belgium.)(and that's straight from Google)! Can't wait for the next chapter! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
Ah yes -- historical accuracy. I do my best with that, to the tune of a reasonable amount of research. I don't get all details perfect, though, so you (and others) are invited to let me know if I get any details wrong. Several people (especially WolfScream, but I'm sure there were others) were rather helpful with Splinters.
Which brings me to your question (about Gemina Wilsey) and my question-answering question, which is: I'm guessing you haven't read Splinters? If so, I take it as a marvelous compliment that you haven't run off screaming! I suspect that this tale may start off a bit mystifying even to those who have read the first installment. Anyway, the quick response is that, yes, Gemina Wilsey is none other than everyone's favourite witch, except that she was born and raised in a terribly strife-torn Britain in which there never was a Harry Potter. Rob Wilsey's identity I believe you can now extrapolate. And Hettie Gravener (also part of this alternate-AU) is a name you can guess; she and her family were spirited away from Britain when she was 10 for their own safety. They were obliviated and sent to live in New Zealand, where Hettie was raised as a very bright muggle.
Anyway, I'm fairly certain this story would be very Twilight Zone-ish without a bit of back-story. And zany enough even 'with'.
Many thanks another very heartening review, Cosmo!
Reviewer: Dad Signed Date: 2017.11.07 - 02:52PM Title: Eyes and Rainbow
Not a lot happens, but it is a fine bit of writing.
First of all, I'm definitely heartened that you enjoyed the writing! I spent a wholly inordinate amount of time massaging that chapter, and ultimately was quite satisfied with it!
Secondly, I do promise that the story will not be all 'Waiting for Godot' exercises in mind-play. There is indeed action, intrigue and enough romance to have made one of my previewers tear up... and not even by peeling onions.
Reviewer: she123 Signed Date: 2017.11.05 - 07:54AM Title: Chilling Flames
Wow, this is gripping! Think I need to re-read Splinters though. One thing I noticed is that this is all in the present tense. I think that's quire rare, right? It does flows nicely!
Glad you're intrigued, she123! And yes, a moderate refresher of Splinters may help in reading, although I think I've been dropping short prompters on Splintery plot points whenever this story references them.
The official reason for relying on present tense in this narrative is that time is so relative (i.e., messed up) that a simple standard is far preferable to waltzing through different tenses. I still recall Douglas Adams talking about time-twisted grammar in one of his novels -- amusing to ponder, but ridiculous to try to write :) The truly honest reason how the present tense got started was that this all grew out of a little plot bunny that was never supposed to expand to a full story. When one recounts simple plot shells, present tense seems sensible. Then, the ultimate clincher was that once I got going with it, the tense seemed both liberating and natural.
Nuff said. Thank you for the review!
Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.11.02 - 12:46AM Title: Chilling Flames
Fascinating beginning, and I am so glad to see a return to this world. I suspect it will be a bit of a twisting, turning ride through time! I will trust your teaser and hang on tightly for the ride!
Ah! You know, over the last while I had thought maybe to approach you to see if you wanted to preview / alpha-read any of this. I ended up settling with my two usual victims, but am glad you have confidence in the basic premise. It starts rather bracingly, but then settles in to something of a flow. I have yet to write the real whiplash parts leading up to the end, but will tackle that soon. Still trying to massage a few implausible details :)
In any case, it's great to hear from you. Privileged to have you on board!
Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2017.11.01 - 05:30PM Title: Chilling Flames
First, I'm so pleased you are writing a sequel to Splinters!!! It was one of my favorite stories, and the first story I recommended to my niece when she became interested in Harry Potter fan fiction. Second, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE???? Okay, enough of the Molly style ranting, but seriously, Ginny is sacrosanct. Having said that, though you warned us that this is not a 'once upon a time... they all lived happily ever after' type of story, I still have complete faith in you. Greatly looking forward to the next chapter!!!
Before I address the kindness of your first bit, I obviously must speak to the harrowing introduction I bequeath to the readers. As a writer, and a softie at that, it was a very difficult decision to follow through with a plot like this. And it was equally difficult to mess with something like Splinters. To explain that, let me walk you through a bit of the mind-set: Splinters was a fairly hard-nosed story whose grim edge is not too far off some of JKR's more jaded books (i.e., 4-7). Thus, I could not have followed it with something light or funny -- it would have seemed jarring. Also, the core challenge of HG romance was surmounted in Splinters, so there's no conventional boy-chases-girl (or girl-chases-boy) tale to tell, unless I pull a real meanie and tear them (temporarily) apart. All that argued against ever messing with the end of Splinters.
Unfortunately, as a fair number of people gently pointed out, there is this little matter of Gemina, Hettie and Rob. I never realised (but should have) that these characters would grow into something more than expendable alternate-AU versions of Ginny, Hermione and Ron. So guilt weighed upon me; enough guilt that I had to mess with a sacrosanct (your word -- thanks!) ending in order to give my creations their due. And indeed there were other loose ends, such as what really happens with the three brothers (plus one sister), and how ultimately does V-mo get taken down?
So there you have it -- a difficult choice to make, that has now been made. Yielding a most unconventional story. Albeit one that produces a happy 'outcome'.
Note that I do not exactly say 'ending'. You will eventually see why not :)
Thank you very sincerely for a great review!
Reviewer: AuntieMuriel Signed Date: 2017.11.01 - 05:33AM Title: Chilling Flames
Oh, what happened to young Ginevra? I've told Molly again and again that she needs to take better care of her brood. But she never listens to me. The Twins already were too much for her, and with young Ginevra it got even worse. That girl was just too stubborn and reckless. Now all we can hope for is that the Potter lad can save her. Yet again.
Oi! Clear the broom closet; stash the liquor; Auntie Muriel is loose on the site! And here I was scared when Augusta L. started poking about in the potions cabinet...
Nay nay nay. Just joshing. Most grateful for a new character to liven up my day! As far as what happened to young Ginevra, and how/whether that Potter lad can mend the mess -- it will all be a twisty road that AM might approve of, in terms of her secret love of old Victorian novels such as she has stashed (under concealment spells) in her night stand.
Thank you much for the review!
Reviewer: Dad Signed Date: 2017.10.31 - 06:18PM Title: Chilling Flames
Strong beginning, the start about Ginny broke my heart. I hope it gets happier.
I apologise for a brief response at this moment, but I am just about to rush away.
That said, however, I can offer a bit of encouragement, perhaps, in saying that apart from a little bit of bittersweetness (of the sort that I can never fully avoid) this story ends with a degree of cheer that exceeds Splinters. In fact the epilogue (already written) actually is 'fluff'.
Thank you for chiming in, Dad!
Reviewer: RighT3rantZ Signed Date: 2017.10.31 - 03:59PM Title: Chilling Flames
First and foremost, Happy Halloween to anyone reading reviews, especially GHL. My heart is filled with joy to see the continuAnce of Splinters. Now then, onto the review.
As always, there is a ton of insight sewn into a review like this, which complicates matters for a writer who wishes to reply with integrity, but not give away the farm :)
For this reason, I shall focus only on part of the review now, although other shreds I will address in review space from time to time, at odd intervals. Anyway, for today, a brief chat about the three brothers Peverell. First of all, in his wonderful annotations of Beedle the Bard's tales, Albus Dumbledore spoke of the extent to which the Tale of Three Brothers was likely to be apocryphal, based only loosely on real historical happenstance. This story, thus, is (among other things) an attempt to outline a possible historical context from which such apocrypha could have been symbolically spun. Thus, yes, all three brothers make their presences know in this story. All three have interactions with 'Death' (potentially symbolic) in ways that gets the Hallows (real) distributed in a way that enables canon to later happen. The importance of the hallows in this story (plus Splinters) differs from canon, however. And the roles the some of the brothers play in the story (I believe) will surprise just about everyone.
More, at this point, I shall not say.
Thank you most kindly for alpha reading the story, RighT3rantZ, and thanks for the detailed thoughts!