Review of chapter "Collision Course: Escapade" from Almond
Just discovered your story, and am very glad I did. It's well-written, thought-provoking, and entertaining. I also wanted to say that I disagree with those who see "bashing" in this fic. To me, bashing is pretty much the all-out hating, complete destruction of a character and their relationship to others, in a different direction than that in cannon. I don't believe what you've written is bashing at all. While there are arguments, harsh words, and anger, there is also love and a continued relationship between those characters after those harsh words are exchanged. Just my opinion.
Review By [Almond
] • Date [2 Sep 11] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Collision Course: Escapade" from LucyH
I was going through your stories, rereading a few favorites, when I came across this one and I just have to say its excellent and I would definitely read more.
Though how awful is it I wish Xander and Anya were going with Cordelia to Hogwarts? I think the trio would be so awesome. Mostly because I really do love your interpretations of the three in all the stories I've read you've written with them in it.
I can't wait until the two worlds finally collide and see what happens next!
Review By [LucyH
] • Date [23 Mar 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Collision Course: Escapade" from organicmagic
This is a story that feels strangely compelling despite it's many flaws. I really like the depth and the way you've tied in so many differing views - sometimes. I often find that wading through so many POVs that I forget what was happening when I revisit a character.
I am interested to see where this story goes but I do have to mention the perceived character-bashing. I know you make author's notes about it; but if anything that almost makes it all the more obvious that it is happening. I do find that many of the characters have been villified for no apparent reason and others have been given near-sainthoods. At first I was okay with it as many of the characters you seem to like match the characters I seem to like, but it feels like the point is being belaboured. Most especially in Willow and Dumbledore. It seems to have been largely ignored that the reason people follow Dumbledore's advice is the simple fact that he is the sole person Voldemort is known to fear.
None of this has stopped me reading and in some parts I have literally laughed out loud (usually at one of Anya's comments) so I will be keeping an eye out for it but I do think it needs to be taken into consideration.
Comments from author:
Thank you for reading and I'm happy you've managed to enjoy some parts of the story. I sincerely appreciate your honest criticism; it is valued. That said, I disagree with most of your comments. This story is in its infancy, despite its already massive size. The characters are reacting to a set of very specific circumstances, and all of this has happened over the course of only a few days; thus their reactions are very confined and controlled. I absolutely do not believe that I have in any way bashed Willow. Most of her storyline centers around how she reacts to Cordelia, with whom she has always had a contentious relationship since they were children, and her jealousy of anyone who is close with Xander. These are canon facts. Am I emphasizing them? I freely admit that I am, and I'm sorry if it bothers some, but it doesn't bother me and I feel no desire to placate everyone. This is a story with a certain POV and a reason for everything that is occurring. Granted, that reason may have not yet been revealed. I also don't feel that I need to take into consideration the love others have for a particular character. I'm under no obligation to please anyone with this story but myself. I'm sorry if you find this harsh, but I'm being honest. Again, I do thank you for and appreciate your con-crit. You have absolutely every right to your opinion and to share it, and I'm glad you did.
Review By [organicmagic
] • Date [23 Dec 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Collision Course: Escapade" from calikocat
You have a very unique way of writing the characters of both the Buffy-verse and the Potter-verse. I am in awe of your ability to share the emotional detail and inner workings of their minds. ^^ Go You!
Comments from author:
Thank you so much for your lovely comments! They're appreciated more than you could ever know! *hugs*
Glad you're liking the story!
Review By [calikocat
] • Date [12 Nov 10] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Collision Course: Escapade" from jaycatt
Thank you for posting this story. I found it really entertaining. I hope you won't mind if I offer some criticisms. Keep in mind, nothing I mention below stopped me from reading!
Actually, it feels like two stories at this point, since the two sides of your crossover have such different tones. That's not a problem, but I'm curious to see how you integrate them. I wonder which tone will prevail, or will we get something new?
On the Buffy side, you put a lot of effort into exploring the characters' conflicts and feelings. I confess I find myself skimming a little. Maybe mix in a little action? (You've got Glory waiting in the wings....) The arguments get a little repetitive. Also... your author's notes defend against charges of character bashing, and I can see why you're getting them. With the arguing you have going on, it's hard not to get the impression that you're trying to show certain characters in a bad light. Take Willow. You've given her a pretty dark past by having her have magically compelled Xander into the fluke (but it's not her fault because the spell did it? I was confused there.) I think Willow has a right to be angry or resentful towards Cordelia for what happened in high school. If you're going to get her past it, you're going to have to do more character development than just having Buffy and Xander and whoever else yell at her. And if her motivations are more complicated--she really wants Xander, or doesn't want to share him, or whatever--that needs built out, too.
On the theme of characterization, your Xander is too perfect. Xander on screen is kind of a selfish jerk sometimes, and at other times he's full of doubt. I mean, we love him, and heck, we love Cordelia, too, but neither is a saint. You rob them of something crucial if you flatten them to their good points.
Also, Buffy character-wise, I like that you're committed to bringing Tara and Riley to the forefront. Unfortunately, your Tara and Riley don't really remind me too much of the Tara and Riley on the show. Tara especially. The Tara in the show has some serious shyness issues. If I'm going to believe your confident new Tara, I'm going to need to see her grow and change. What made her stronger? Also, it would be neat to see the friendship between Xander and Riley develop. I don't suppose that could be full of pre-slashy goodness?
Speaking of, that's my favorite part of the HP side of this story. Your Harry is so damned cute! I love the scenes with Bill and the twins. It's all so wistful and full of aching longing... Maybe not realistic, and you do tread dangerously close into writing one of those slash fics where pretty much everybody's gay (I mean, the Weasleys are a large enough family that stats are on your side, but you really can't afford to slash any more characters...) but I really enjoyed reading it. That bit about the undiscovered, mutually unrequited crush between Harry and Cedric is just gorgeous.
I also like how you've set up the emotional relationships among Ron, Harry, and Hermione. I get the impression that they don't know exactly how they feel or what they want, and that's pretty much perfect. And which one will Harry end up with? Yummy.
On the other hand, I think you devote a bit too much time to developing how different HP characters feel about each other. I'm thinking here about all those letters from Dobby. I liked meeting Augusta and Amelia and having their ire fleshed out, but it felt too long sometimes.
And.... I feel compelled to point out what I find to be the weakest point of this story. I know in book five that Harry was pretty cranky, and you have him after all the losses and degradations in that story. But I still can't buy him yelling at Dumbledore as you have him. At least not with Minerva's approval. Everybody just seems too dignified. Also, strategically, I would rather have seen Harry hold his cards longer. Dumbledore might feel bad for a bit, but he's crafty, right? Scary.... Which I guess ends up not being a criticism, since it's for you to unfold the plot as you choose.
Speaking of... I know you're still building up to bringing Cordelia to Hogwarts, but can we have more plot? Some action, some danger, something scary? I like where you're going with a lot of these characters. I get that you're trying to build conflict and drama through more human concerns, but sometimes that strikes me as dull. Maybe use some action to show some of the character development? I really like a lot of what you're doing with this story. I think that's why the drawbacks rankle so much. I almost never write reviews beyond "Thanks for writing, please send more." This story is worth it.
Did I mention your Harry is so damned cute? Squee... Thank you very much for writing this and sharing it with everybody. I'm curious to see where you take it next.
Comments from author:
i sincerely thank you for your many valid points! I have no problem accepting criticism when it's couched in real story issues, as yours are, and I appreciate the time you've taken to express them! I don't agree with all of your points, but definitely some of them.
It's important to remember that the events of this story so far only comprise two or three days in real time, so if there's not as much overall action, that's why. The Scooby and Fang Gangs aren't typically fighting something every minute, and right now they're experiencing a brief respite. It is absolutely contrived that Cordelia's coma is occurring within this time, but if it wasn't, this story would be much longer than it already is, and it's barely started. This is why I mentioned Glory and Wolfram & Hart as looming threats, which they were for the respective seasons, but we won't actually be seeing them. As I've stated in previous author's notes, once Cordelia goes to Hogwarts, the Buffy side of this story will be pretty much non-existent; all action will shift to the Potterverse. Cordelia may learn of events that are happening while she's gone, but that doesn't mean we, as the audience, will be seeing those events unfold on-screen, so to speak.
As far as character-bashing goes, the only complaints I've received have been about Willow, the example you offer. I confess, I am not fond of the character, but I do not believe I'm bashing her in any way. I absolutely agree that Willow has the right to resent Cordelia because of their high-school experience (and I wrote specifically of this in Buffy and Willow's conversation in their dorm room), as does Cordelia have a right to resent Willow. I find too often in fanon that Willow-apologists are willing to overlook her actions because they like the character. That's fine; I understand, as I feel the same about Xander and Cordelia. I didn't write Xander yelling at her; he simply refused to have her accompany him to Los Angeles. Buffy didn't yell at her either; she basically told Willow to grow up. I don't see anything wrong with that. Characters, like people, argue from time to time. This is not bashing, it's drama. And there is no drama without conflict. I have the distinct impression that if someone other than Willow had been the focus of this, there would be no problem. I often read stories in which Xander or Buffy are bashed relentlessly and the authors are cheered for it. The point is, I wasn't bashing Willow. I just don't consider characters arguing about a specific point and a specific time to be bashing. I'm not having Willow get over her resentment of Cordelia; as I said, she's right to feel that way. I'm writing that she puts that resentment aside for the moment to help someone who was a part of their group, for better or worse, for three years.
The Fluke: I never wrote that Willow actually compelled Xander. I wrote that Buffy was suspicious that was what had occurred, and she shared that suspicion with Riley. Tara heard only Xander's side of the story, and she suspected that Willow had used magic because she was the only practitioner of magic at that time. These are suspicions, nothing more. Anya made clear in the car on the way to Los Angeles that Willow's spell did indeed compel Xander, but that Willow herself was also compelled. That is, it wasn't her fault. Willow was every much the victim Xander was in that scenario because the spell was driven by another force (i.e. Jasmine) who was targeting Cordelia. It was this force (which they do not yet know was Jasmine) that used Willow as the catapult in the destruction of Xander and Cordelia's relationship, all to ensure they broke up and that Cordelia would move to Los Angeles. I apologize if that was unclear.
I don't believe I'm writing Xander too perfect here. He's filled with self-doubt. He expresses this to both Giles and Anya before he leaves for Los Angeles, and both encourage him that he can handle it. He expresses this doubt to Tara, to Angel, and to Buffy on separate occasions. Even though they all support him, he still doubts himself. There's only so many times I can write this without it becoming ridiculous. Is Xander a selfish jerk in canon? Sure, sometimes. All of them are. But why would he be so here? He was named Cordelia's guardian in case of emergency. What is there to be selfish about, other than to plan for her recovery, which he is doing, despite his own fear and the protests of others? Xander's only function was to set in motion Cordelia's trip to Hogwarts, which he's done via Anya. Once Cordelia leaves, Xander has no more function in the story. So, for a few days, he wasn't a selfish jerk and helped his ex-girlfriend with the assistance of his friends, doubting his ability to do so the whole while.
As for Tara and Riley, I would hope they don't remind you of their canon counterparts; they're not supposed to and this is an AU story. In the first chapter, Buffy states that Tara has trust issues and is timid around anyone who is not Willow or Xander. I specifically began this story with Tara and Xander as close friends so that Tara wouldn't be isolated with Willow the way she was on the show. Same with Riley. So as this story begins, Xander has very close friendships with both Tara and Riley, and they support him. Canonically, Tara could be quite assertive, but usually in the defense of another, which is the case here: she's defending Xander's right to care for Cordelia in the best way he sees fit. Yes, Tara was extremely shy, but she wasn't a wallflower. She had opinions and expressed them. In this story, Xander's friendships with Tara and Riley also involve Anya to an extent. Anya tells Buffy that she's not as close to Tara as she'd like to be, but they have more interaction because of the latter's friendship with Xander.
Again, this is all happening within the space of a few days, so Tara being confident in this one particular set of circumstances doesn't mean her personality has completely changed. It's just another facet of who she is. That said, I always write a more confident Tara than show canon. I feel that both Tara and Riley were marginalized characters who were kept that way because of their isolation with their romantic partners. Here, they're more integrated within the Scooby Gang proper, specifically because of Xander. There won't be any further exploration of Xander and Riley's relationship, because if it does happen, it will be off-screen. As I said, once Cordelia gets to Hogwarts, all of the action will shift.
I don't agree with your argument that I'm writing a story where almost everyone is gay. So far, we have Harry, an admitted bisexual who might be closer to the gay side of the scale, and Seamus who, according to McGonagall, sleeps with whatever moves; ergo, another bisexual. George has a crush on Harry, but he also just broke up with a girl. We also know that Harry's crush on Cedric was reciprocated. Three bisexuals (and whatever Cedric was) in a universe with hundreds of characters is not the same as "almost everyone being gay." Ron has admitted having feelings for Harry, but doesn't know what they are or whether they're sexual. Harry is worried that his feelings for Ron might become romantic, and Hermione is suspicious that Harry and Ron have romantic feelings for each other, but nothing has been confirmed. Ron has freely admitted that he believes himself in love with Hermione, so that would make him yet another possible bisexual. As for which one (ones?) Harry will end up with...well, I'm keeping that a secret for now. ;)
What we have seen is Harry, as the protagonist, reacting to various men in a sexual manner. He is fifteen, and that happens. That doesn't mean all the men he reacts to return those feelings, nor does it suggest they are gay or bisexual. Physical attraction isn't necessarily gender-specific, nor does it always equate with sexual attraction. Many people are attracted to Harry because of the amount of power he exudes, just as they are to Dumbledore or Voldemort.
Harry's argument with Dumbledore was specifically contrived by Harry - that just hasn't been explained to the reader yet. He wanted to put Dumbledore on notice, but Harry gave away nothing about what he learned in the bank, that he's recruiting his own allies, or that he knows Dumbledore has manipulated him far more than that which Harry acknowledged.
I don't write action. That's just not my forte and it truly doesn't interest me, so if you're looking for that, I regretfully suggest you stop reading the story, because it won't happen. I've written other stories that include a Big Scary, but I frankly find it dull, as you find drama through human interaction. I'm sorry if I lose you as a reader, but I feel I should warn you in advance. :(
Again, sincere thanks for reading my story and taking the time to offer several valid criticisms. I don't agree with all of your points, and some of them can't be addressed within the story simply because the story wasn't designed that way, but I truly appreciate what you've said and how respectfully you said it. Cheers! :D
Review By [jaycatt
] • Date [12 Oct 10] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Collision Course: Escapade" from VessaMorana
The ending of this chappie was perfect!! So funny.
I'm really curious how the whole Ron/Hermione/Harry bit is going to work out cuz I can't really see the trio working romantically in this particular fic if only b/c Hermione and Ron argue too much... ooh, maybe now that Seamus has his head on straight, it could be Harry/Seamus/Luna (cuz Luna's just fun)... Can you tell that I keep reading the HP sections going 'well, it could be this but what about that' and on and on. Mostly cuz the BtVS pairings seem set (and the mutual crushes with Riley, Xander, and Anya are adorable.)
And I think I'm going to have to go back and reread this from the beginning, I'm starting to get things mixed up.
Comments from author:
YAY! I'm so glad you liked the new chapter! :)
I too am curious about the Trio dynamic, and I'm writing this! I agree, they wouldn't work as a unit in this fic...so far. Anything might change at any moment!
There's such a dearth of memorable and wonderful HP characters, and I'm trying to use the main ones and some of the less popular (or less written) ones. There are so many possible combinations. And who knows who will catch Cordelia's eye once she gets there? ;)
Thanks for reading!
Review By [VessaMorana
] • Date [12 Oct 10] • Not Rated