Reading Reviews for Rational Creatures
7 Reviews Found

Review #1, by St. Brigid. Nobody's Distraction

15th April 2015:
I love the way you characterise Bellatrix in the first few paragraphs of this story. You really capture her haughtiness. I must say I have little time for such haughtiness. I was not exactly born to the highest in the land, but I became the founder of two monasteries in my area and the highest ranking religious leader in my area. She should not underestimate the peasantry.

And as a woman of religion, I cannot say I like her use of religious imagery to describe such a man as Voldemort.

I am all in favour of powerful women. As I implied, I myself outranked the abbot of the male monastery I established, as did those who came after me. I believe the religious authorities outside my country were often rather displeased by this. But strength should be used for good and not for harm. Bellatrix is a strong woman, but she harms others rather than benefiting them.

I like the way you imply that she loved Voldemort, not so much for himself, as for the life she thinks he could create for her, and perhaps because he is powerful in the way she wants to be.

Her utter disdain for everybody other than herself and him is so well portrayed in this story.

Even the language is haughty and dismissive, characteristic of the woman you are writing from the point of view of.

I particularly like this line: "It was lust that she harbored in her heart, lust for power, lust for adventure, lust for the ability to subdue every being who was less than she was."

Oooh, that part about his waiting to ensnare recruits to his army is so creepy. There is an indication of indoctrinating those too young to truly know what they are getting involved in.

In my era, I believe women of many societies were expected to sit at home, as Bellatrix is. The presence of women in our professions and in positions of power was apparently quite shocking to those from other lands. I would almost admire her determination not to be a mere "queen" to Voldemort, if she were not planning such evil in their alliance.

After Voldemort commands here to come in, there isn't a break between the paragraphs, as there is everywhere else.

I hadn't expected Voldemort to be so misogynistic, but I suppose considering the world in which he was raised, it was not a surprise. In my society, there were women who went into battle.

I like the way she proves herself to him at the end.

And now, I must once again disappear, but thank you again for calling me forth and for the happiness you have brought to the people of HPFF.

Author's Response: St. Brigid! You've appeared again? Welcome back!

Bellatrix definitely has no idea what the "lower classes" are capable of. She is young and foolish here, and so, so haughty. You could probably teach her a thing or two! Unfortunately, she worships Voldemort like a god, so the religious imagery that she uses is used falsely. Shame on her.

Powerful women are the best. Congratulations to you, for outranking the abbot! But yeah, Bellatrix uses her power to her own advantage and doesn't think about other people. That's no way to live.

I definitely think that her love of Voldemort was more of the worship of a ideal type. She wanted what he had--which is power--and by admiring the amount of power he possessed, she came to admire him. It's weird. They're so weird.

As you well know from Scripture, love is different from lust, and it was only lust that Bellatrix felt. She could use a church sermon or two.

Voldemort is all about the indoctrination, yeah. Creepy dude, right?

In any other circumstance, with any other character, Bellatrix could be admired for her ambitions. She's trying to get ahead, to show everyone that she is more than what society wants her to think she is. But she's self-serving and evil, just like Voldemort, so while her ambitions are admirable, her intentions are not.

I just like to write about misogynistic men being cut down by strong women. But I think that Voldemort might have been a misogynist, if only because of his mommy issues.

Thank you so much for coming back for little old me! You are so kind for blessing me with two appearances.


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Review #2, by TreacleTart Nobody's Distraction

29th March 2015:
Hello there!

I'm here for our review swap!

I picked this particular one-shot because I love stories about evil villains, particularly ones that make the characters deeper and more complex. I have to admit that Bellatrix is one of my absolute favorites! I thought this built on what we know of her quite nicely.

The suspense that you built throughout this chapter was beautiful. I could feel my heart pound as Bellatrix went off in search of the Dark Lord. Then she meets him and I though for sure he would hex her or torture her, but instead she convinces him! It all kept me on the edge of my seat.

I could imagine a young, haughty Bellatrix storming into Voledmort's office and demanding he view her as an equal. She seems just unhinged enough to think this a rational idea. Her ideas of grandeur are spectacular. I love the metaphorical cage that she is escaping from. It all just fits her perfectly!

And Voldemort's reaction is spot on as well! His hesitation. The way he baits her into proving that she is worthy. It's all so fitting. Then after she tells him she will be his equal, I don't think she realizes that his response implies that he is unable to see anyone as his equal.

Also, great job on the prompt. I honestly didn't even realize it was there until I read your authors note at the end. That's a good thing because too often people write a story around the prompt and then the prompt stands out like a soar thumb.

This was really enjoyable for me! You got a lot of feeling into a very short amount of writing!


Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin! Sorry it's taken me SO long to respond. I'm awful, I know.

Evil villains are so fun! And Bella is complex and fun to explore while being detestable and completely out-of-line. I'm so glad that you thought I built on her canon characterization! That's a thing that I worry about when writing canon characters. I just don't know if I can write them like they're meant to be written.

Suspense is my favorite breakfast food. :D Yes, she was very surprisingly able to convince Voldemort to allow her to become a Death Eater. I didn't mean to make her so persuasive, but it worked out in the end.

Yeah, she's crazy, but it's a fun kind of crazy. The cage metaphor is one that I like to explore often, especially since I read The Color Purple in high school. Also, I like birds and the symbolism of cages and flight. Bella thinks she's getting out of a cage of proper pureblood views, but she doesn't yet know that she's getting into a much more constricting cage.

Voldemort will never, ever see anyone as an equal. That's what Bella doesn't know, and I like to think that she never knows it. She changes over the years, growing less convinced of the idea that freedom is for her, and eventually succumbs into the madness of servitude that we see her as in the books. All of that "how may I serve you, my master?" would never cross young Bella's lips because she's so convinced of her ability to be an equal of Voldemort. But she'll collapse into the position of humble servant soon enough.

Thank you! I like to be subtle with quotes because it just feels contrived if I make it obvious. I'm glad you like it!


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Review #3, by Veritaserum27 Nobody's Distraction

18th June 2014:

I'm here for the BvB review battle!

This was such an original and fantastic take on the quote! I really enjoyed reading it. Your writing keeps the reader panting for the next line - it really was fabulous.

I never thought of Bellatrix as someone who saw herself as Voldemort's equal. To me, she always seemed to be happy to serve him, but they way you described her was really convincing. Although she is pure evil, she is also a feminist, and not about to conform to the expected traditions of pure blood women.

And although she claims throughout the entire story that she will be Voldemort's equal, her actions seem to note otherwise. She cannot beat him in a duel, and she is almost as giddy as a school girl when she meets him for the first time. I think that she has every intention of acting like his equal, but can't quite get herself to that level.

Great writing - I couldn't find a single typo or error.

Thanks for the story!


Author's Response: Hello!

As it is approximately a month and a half since you wrote this review, I think I should respond now. Sorry for the long wait!

Thank you! Jane Austen is one of my favorite writers, and though the quote was said between siblings, I repurposed it for my own uses. Ooh, panting?! Me?! That's so nice of you to say!

Yeah, I definitely took some liberties with canon!Bellatrix in this one-shot. My official explanation is: "She started out wanting to be his equal, but she grew mad and sick from all of the evil-ness of Voldemort. So she began to be more submissive." It's not a very good explanation, but I really enjoyed writing a more feminist!Bella. I'm glad you thought it was convincing! :D

Yep! Her actions are in great contrast to her ideals. That's part of why I'd like to think she gave up and let herself become a servant in the end. She knew what she wanted to be, but she was too enticed by power and the man who offered her power.

Thank you! I like to make sure that my prose is error-free, so it's good to hear that you found it that way!

Thank YOU for the lovely review!!!


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Review #4, by academica Nobody's Distraction

5th February 2014:
Hello, here with your requested review!

I have to admit, I was a little sad when I realized this was a one-shot and not a short story, because I just wanted to read more of your Bellatrix and her intriguing relationship with Voldemort. Bellatrix, in particular, was really great because of the multiple layers I see in her characterization. She wants Voldemort to love her, and yet she chooses not to fall into the simple position of being a romantic companion for him, a "distraction." She wants him to love her as she is, as a powerful witch worthy of respect. She's quite inspiring, despite her dark leanings. It kind of makes me reflect on how feminism might appear in the wizarding world--are there some witches who retain only the basic household spells, and are they looked at differently than other witches with more complicated careers?

Voldemort was very well-characterized, too. I think it's very realistic that he wouldn't be interested in recruiting women, and again I can't help but muse about why I have that impression. I like how you dealt head-on with the question of why women were few and far between in his ranks. I also like how they have a mutual understanding about his thin apology and the tenuous relationship they've begun in this pivotal moment.

None of the dialogue and action seemed awkward or out of place to me. In fact, I'm impressed by your ability to integrate the quote so that the speaking style doesn't change. I might not have even picked it out had you not bolded the text.

I don't really feel comfortable addressing your last question; I think that's better left up to a validator's judgment. I will say that, at least in my view, it's better to risk having a slightly too-high rating than to err on the other side.

Nice work! Thanks for requesting, and good luck with the challenge, if it hasn't yet concluded. As always, I hope my review is helpful to you.


Author's Response: Hello! I've been an awful person and I haven't responded to your review until now. Someone should put me in jail for being a bad author. :(

But anyways, thanks for this brilliant review that you left me almost a month ago! I hope that my late response won't deter you from reviewing me again in the future! :)

Aww, no! I didn't mean to make you sad! I've found that one-shots are kind of my forte in fanfiction, and showing Bellatrix and Voldemort in just one scene of their complex lives seemed to be enough for me. :) In the books, Bellatrix is a crazed follower, and she's so far gone that she is blinded by Voldemort, no matter what he does. I wanted to imagine a Bellatrix pre-Azkaban, a girl aspiring to be great, even though her family tradition dictated that she should simply be a mother. I'm glad that you found her inspiring--to me, she's a woman in a man's world, but she definitely beats the men any day!

Voldemort is a terrible human/thing/creation/whater-he-is, no matter how you slice it. He's out for the blood of Muggles and Muggleborns, so I thought that his view of women would probably be along parallel lines, i.e., women were meant to stay at home and not get in the way. Once she meets him, Bellatrix realizes what a bigoted person he is, so she's able to see right through his "apology." :)

Thank you so, so, so much!! I do a lot of quote integrating for essays and things (English major life-I'm living it!), so incorporating the quote for the challenge was fun to puzzle through!

...Yeah, that last question... I'm sorry I asked that because it was a bit silly. Better safe than sorry, 'tis true, and there's a first time for everything--this was my first story marked "Mature." I guess there's no turning back from here! :)

Thank you so very much for this lovely review!! :D


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Review #5, by LavenderBlue Nobody's Distraction

18th January 2014:
HI THERE. I promised I was gonna read your stuff, and so I HAVE.

Guh. That sounded so creepy and stalkerish. Sorry, not sorry.

COS THIS WAS SO FUN. I mean, fun in a dark and sadistic way, which is the best kind of fun, clearly. As I'm sure you're aware, I have an unhealthy affinity for the Black Family, and Bellatrix is no exception. I named my car after her. True story. But really off topic.

ON TOPIC. First: voice. Dude, you've got it. People teach whole semester-long classes on how to seamlessly tie a character's thoughts/emotions into the narration itself. It's a really tough nuance to get the hang of. NAILED IT.

Second: subject. I just gotta say, you took on one difficult subject. I hate it when people dismiss Bellatrix in adjectives like "psycho" and "b*tch." Sure, she may be those things, but I think she's a very complex character. And the most complex part about her is her incredibly powerful attachment to Voldemort.

What I love most about the way that you relate Bellatrix's thoughts is that they are spelled out in the most cool, rational way. They're not psychobabble or incoherent ramblings; Bellatrix's motivation and her end goal make perfect sense, and I think THAT's what make them so chilling. I love the paragraph on lust. A lust for power, a lust for Voldemort himself--that was the perfect way to describe it. Favorite sentence: "There was no hint of a sincere apology in his voice, and she liked that."

I always pictured Bellatrix as more subservient and less bold around Lord Voldemort, but I really, really like your interpretation. Okay, and this is completely personally motivated, but I loved seeing so much pride and independence in Bellatrix, because it strikes me as a shared trait in at least two of the Black sisters. >:] Just played out in two very different ways...

YAY. Such a good read. Out of curiosity, did you personally choose which Jane Austen quote to include? Because I loved it, and I loved the fact that it was taken from my very favorite Jane Austen novel.

Author's Response: Hello! I'm sorry that it's taken me about a million years to respond to this lovely review, but I just got lazy and busy (at the same time). Darn real life!

Thanks so much for reading this story! I'm not sorry that you're not sorry, hahaha.

Oh wow, a car named Bellatrix?! That's, umm, a bit creepy! Like Christine, but the car will Avada you instead. :P But yes, I'm glad that I could cater to your Black family obsession. :D

NO!! That's so nice of you to say! I'm probably your biggest fan right now, not just because of this review, but because of KYD too, haha. But really?! I just don't even know what to say. *hugs*

Yeah, dealing with Bellatrix was really difficult, but I'm actually pretty happy with the way it all panned out. I wanted to steer clear of the "psycho" and "she-devil" categories, since those seem to have been explored pretty thoroughly. I wanted Bellatrix to have autonomy and a drive--not just for sex, but for power. I am SO HAPPY that you thought it all made sense. She's an irrational being with rational thoughts, and sometimes that's the most dangerous sort of person.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I love reading people's reviews when they have favorite lines--I think I surprise myself sometimes with the way I put words together. And then when people quote them back to me, I'm like, "Derrr, did I write that?" It makes me feel good/stupid at the same time. :)

Yeah, in the books she's really subservient, but the Bella that I imagined isn't that way. I would like to think that the years changed her--she finally realized that the playing field would never be equal because she was lusting after the power of a man who was never taught to share his toys. (Okay, after I wrote that sentence, I just thought, "Bad Voldy! Let the other kids play in your sandbox!" I'm a weirdo.) So she had to change.

But yeah, I actually think that all of the Black sisters have that sort of pride and independence--but they use it in VERY different ways, of course. Bella defied the traditional role of pureblood women and became a Death Eater--one of the only females. Andromeda revolted and married Ted (so much love, new fave OTP, omg). Even Narcissa has it--she defied Voldemort by lying about Harry's death in exchange for information about Draco. Perhaps she's less independent than the other two, but it's definitely a part of her.

So yup. Musings on the Black sisters. I hardly feel qualified to analyze them, but there you go.

Actually, nope! I picked a number, and the quote happened to be from Persuasion. It's a happy coincidence that it's your favorite Austen novel. :) And the funny thing is, the quote is said by a girl to her brother--the situation in the novel is much less... Intense than the one in my story.

Thanks for the marvelous review!!


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Review #6, by celadon Nobody's Distraction

13th January 2014:
Hey! Here to review your entry for my challenge!

I've never got the opportunity to read many Bellatrix/Voldemort stories before so this was a pleasant surprise. Bellatrix come across as the perfect aristocrat here, except for her..ahem, thing for Voldy. Boy am I glad that it was just one-sided.

Your beginning was great, the quick description before diving straight into the plot was enough to drag my attention into the story.

What I find extremely interesting is the new angle that you've brought into the story explaining why Bella wanted to become a Death Eater. Granted, she fell in love with Voldemort, but she was feeling trapped. I noticed that you repeatedly use the word cage, like a restriction. Whenever I think of Bella, I think of an unrestrained soul, almost too free, which is why she was borderline insane. Many of the stories I read talk about how she bent the rules, how she made her own rules. Then I see that she's been shackled to a life of fancy dresses and useless husbands. It intrigues me that someone so outgoing and determined can feel chained and trapped. It's a new angle to Bellatrix I never thought about. Aah, I can feel the gears in my brain beginning to rotate!

I really appreciate seeing Bella as a feminist. I think in that context, you have used the quote brilliantly. I like how she isn't afraid to tell Voldemort exactly what she wants even to the extent that she starts shooting curses at him. In that paragraph I can almost feel her frustration at always being considered part of the weaker gender.

What I also noticed is that she loves Voldemort for his power and for the power he can give to her if she plays things right. Of course, what she doesn't know is that Voldemort will never share his power with anybody, not even his most faithful servant. However, it's nice to see Bella's daring attitude when compared to girls that melt into puddles of mush while talking to the person they love. It shows how strong she is as a character.

What the story leaves me with is, surprisingly, sadness. Not because it is poorly written, which it isn't by any such means, but because it makes me wonder what Bellatrix could have been had she been raised differently. She's such a force of nature, if only he could have used her strengths for good, perhaps the Wizarding World could have been a much better place. I guess life is full of those if-onlys.

Overall this was a wonderful piece that touched upon so many angles of Bellatrix's personality. It was certainly a pleasure to read this story and thank you so much for participating in my challenge!

Author's Response: Hello!! :D

Yep, I really don't know how many Bella/Voldy stories there are, but the quote you gave me really lent itself to feminism, so I thought, "Why NOT Bellatrix?" I tried to make her as Bellatrix-y as possible, and I think that her *ahem* thing for Voldy is something that really makes her who she is. Thank Merlin for unrequited love, though--I agree, that ship would be a DISASTER if it really sailed. :)

I'm glad that I got some gears in your brain rotating! It would seem that some of my stories end up being about cages--in the sense that someone is trapped in a situation they don't like, so they try to get out of it in any way that they can. I figured that Bella would have that problem as the oldest daughter of the House of Black--she gets very bored very easily, and I think that she was probably tired of having to do all of the traditional pureblood things. She was destined to be a raging hurricane, a fighter, and Voldy's ideas enticed her because they offered her an opportunity to do something that she actually wanted to do, for once.

Yay, the quote! I was really happy about this quote because it definitely fits with the feminist mindset. In Jane Austen's work, Persuasion, I believe that it is said by a sister to her brother, but I thought that it would be fun to have a woman say it to a man who was trying to tell her what she could and couldn't do. At first, I thought that I would try Molly Weasley I and Arthur Weasley, but one day Bella/Voldy hit my brain like a train. From there, I didn't look back. :D

Oh, thank you for getting exactly what I was trying to say! I was a little worried that Bella would seem off if I made her too feisty when confronted with the Dark Lord, but I wanted her to stick to her guns. Of course she doesn't know what he's actually going to do to her--force her into submission, that is. In this particular moment, she's blinded by the power that he has and she wants it for herself. She's certainly not like other girls, and I'm SUPER glad that I got that across! :)

I'm sorry that you're sad! But I'm relieved that you don't think it's poorly written, haha. Bella very well might have been a great champion of good, but we'll never know. She's all bad, all the time, and I think that's the way I like her--it's not that I condone the terrible things she did, but her actions make her MOST interesting as a character. ;)

It was my pleasure to write this story for your challenge! Thanks for the supermegafoxyawesomehot quote (also, thank you, Jane Austen, for writing it!)! :D


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Review #7, by Red_headed_juliet Nobody's Distraction

12th January 2014:
Here for the RR battle! I really liked this! Not sure if you were given who was to say it or not, but I can't think of any other situation that would've suited it better. The build up was wonderful, and I like that Bellatrix lost her temper at being referred to as a distraction. +] You're characterization and dialogue seems spot on.

Overall a very good read!

Author's Response: Hi!!

Thank you for liking my story and for reviewing it! It's my newest one, so it's the most important one to me (at the moment). I actually wasn't given the pairing of Bellatrix/Voldemort. I received the quote for the challenge and then thought, "Hmm, what if..." And thus, a story was born. I am so glad that you thoughy my characterization was spot on. I'm scared of messing with canon, so making Bellatrix seem like herself was a challenge indeed!


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