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anonniemouse ([personal profile] anonniemouse) wrote in [community profile] tf_talk2015-04-09 04:03 pm

The Pit

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DAYD LJ March 4th 2011

(Anonymous) 2015-04-09 04:33 pm (UTC)(link)
What a wonderful thingy! thanfiction wrote in daydverse March 4th, 2011

Sometimes, you get a review that just makes you squee.  Not even necessarily because it's positive, but because it's so clearly the well-thought-out product of an intelligent, insightful person who really took the time to read and think about what you wrote.  When you get those reviews, you'd still sigh in happiness if they hated it, and when they like it, it's a special kind of win.  And yes, I have sent this person a PM trying to invite him to the community as well as telling him that his wish that there was more covering the missing pieces of after..... 


Fri, March 4, 2011 2:05:32 AM


[FF Review Alert] Story: Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness


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Story: Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness 
Chapter: 25. Epilogue

From: Jemsaal ( )
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Finished the book yesterday.  It took me a day to work through it before I
could respond.  

1.  The writing itself.  You caught my attention immediately.  Seamus mouthing
off to Carrow had me falling over myself laughing.  As the book developed, the
love and care for the characters became clear.  There were a few things that
were forced, but most of them seemed to come as a result of being bound to the
events in the canon.  In some places, I think you explained the
situation/characters even better than JKR did.  Especially for your first
attempt, this was absolutely amazing and I would be quick to by anything you
actually published.

2.  There were two elements that seemed to leave me empty.  First, as others
mentioned, was the killing off of so many characters.  Unlike others here, I
didn't become immune.  Instead, it became too much and I wanted to just skip
over the pages.  When you build your characters to the point that you did (and
a very good job doing it), killing too many of them off creates a visceral
reaction-and makes a second read not as enjoyable (however, I think I
understand why you did it-see last paragraph below).  Second, you fell into
the same trap JKR did.  Again, if you build that much into the characters
(even the side characters), PLEASE give them a resolution more than, "15 years
later...".  How did Susan cope? Did she have the child? How did the teachers
put the castle back together for next year?  Did they? What happened to any of
the other characters?  As with JKR, a short chapter 6 months later-say the
first picnic in memory of the DA (I've peaked ahead to the next book) would
have finished this off perfectly, and created enough of a hope that people
would want to read it again.  However, it is a tribute to how you made the
characters come alive that this kind of conclusion needed.

3. As for "sexism and the rape scene".  I think much of what is said in some
other reviews is too much reading into the story and not enough reading the
story itself.  

A.  Lavender acts EXACTLY like a woman who has been raped by force.  She
hides, dresses in layers, wants no one to know, even breaks off her
relationship.  When questioned, she swings from withdrawn to very
defensive-both to push others away.  Only when caught, and realizing there is
no more chance to lie about it, does she show them.  Now, since she realizes
that she has protectors,AND her family is safe, she can think about other
elements of what happened to her, instead of trying to protect her family and
thus remaining quite.  What does she do?  She goes into the room of two of her
protectors, wraps up COMPLETELY in a blanket so that only the very top of her
head is seen, and sleeps.  Again, there are Charms on the dorms.  NO sex can
happen there, nothing untoward can happen at all.  She is doing the equivalent
of what man women do after rape, sleeping in the safest place possible for her
(Sadly in reality, some will even result to sleeping in a closet with a
knife-but this is the wrong forum for that discussion).  Then, she doesn't
show back up in the story until its time to take the Polyjuice potion-and she
was asked.  This continues to PROPERLY portray a rape victim-many of whom turn
inwards and only respond when directly asked a question.  Next time we see
her, she has moved to becoming a rescuer-another common step for some rape
victims.  I think she was portrayed quite well, and the results were also
portrayed well, ESPECIALLY, when the story was not the story of Lavender.  As
a throw-away character, which she is in both books, as are most of the
characters who die in the battle at the end, her plight was well written, and
her disappearance and reappearance n the story was also realistic to the issue
at hand.  

B.  Sexism?  I found nothing sexist in this story.  Neville's two key
lieutenants were women.  Ginny and Luna were written as courageous, strong,
intelligent, and brutally honest.  They keep Neville going, and along with
Hannah and Lavender (as well as a few others), remove him from leadership. 
Neville's feelings when Parvati is being cruciated is ABSOLUTELY perfect-and
her "thank you" becomes another show of feminine strenght-that she had it in
her to continue.  GREAT WRITING.  His response to Luna's fear (who wouldn't be
in that situation?) is perfect-and is the exact same thing I would have done
myself.  Again, it is the women who most often bring Neville back down to
reality, hold the group together when he can't for some reason, take's care of
those who are injured, and all-in-all, really seems like a feminists' dream. 
Strong, intelligent, firm, and able to excel pretty much EVERYWHERE.  In
short, I think you wrote the women VERY strong-and very well.  

4.  I cried at the end.  For a forty year old man, that's an interesting
statement.  I did not cry at the last chapter, nor the epilogue, but rather,
at the author's final comments.  I couldn't figure out why this writing was
really taking hold and messing with my emotions like they were- the author's
comments made me understand.  In many ways, you wrote not a story, but a
parable of what our 18, 19, 20 year old men (and women) are going through
right now in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The brutality, the hopelessness of war,
the "no happy endings at the end of the day," the maturity and aging that
happens 10 years to a day came through the last half of the book like diesel
truck.  I cringe to hear the testimonies of our soldiers (and think we did in
the story-a couple of the scenes, Parvati crawling across the grass, Jack
Sloper with only a stump for his left leg, sounded like things you actually
heard from the soldiers) that drove you to write this way.  Thank you for
honoring them and their pain.

-and yes-1st world 15-18 year old boys and girls can turn into hardened
soldiers just as quickly as anywhere else.  Especially when they grow up in
military families and already know what it is about and the stakes which they
are fighting for.  Every character in this book can be assumed to have lost a
family member to Voldemort in the first war.  They have spend a year under
Umbridge, and now, another year under a brutal dictatorship where they are
having to keep each other alive.  It is very realistic, written very well, and
reflects the research done interviewing REAL warriors.  

All in all- and EXCELLENT book.  One that I am not sure I want to read again. 
Its the exact same way I felt after watching Schindler's list and Saving
Private Ryan.
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