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Reading Reviews for Keeping Appearances
  
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragon Calculated Risk

15th May 2016:
Howdy again Kaitlin! I suspect I'll be visiting your stories quite often as I race toward the finish in my Golden Paw reviewing frenzy, but here I am.

As I was saying when I read Dan's piece, I don't often read Bellatrix stories for two reasons: (1) I just hate her (sue me :p) and (2) they just don't often feel "right" to me. Here, I think by the end you nearly hit the mark for me at this point in her life.

What was missing? I think the only thing for me was a little MORE of her motivations throughout the story. Though we get a clear picture of who she is, there's a bit less of WHY she is that I think could've been helpful. That's the absent 10 percent though.

What was there? The 90 percent for starters. I think it makes it extra difficult for people to accurately capture Bellatrix when you're writing regarding the arranged marriage scenario because so many people seem to get sucked into the engagement and pre-marriage aspects that her personality (other than the occasional sharp dialogue and sneer) doesn't really come through. You didn't fall into that trap though because: (1) instead of embracing it, you made her disdain it and (2) you exposed the political motivation behind it at the very end - that it was all in service of her own ends and ultimately in her view, Voldemort's. You also showed us at least a glimpse of her capacity for fear so that she isn't a completely implacable force, which for me, I don't care who we're talking about, doesn't really ring true.

Thanks for sharing this story with us!

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Review #2, by MargaretLane Calculated Risk

1st April 2016:
Procrastinating on a job application I don't want to do - 9 page long form - so I'll read this. Always interesting to read something from a villain's point of view.

"Mother" should probably begin with a capital "m" in the third paragraph as she is using it as a title.

The idea of Bellatrix needing somebody to take care of her... And it is so characteristic of her to dismiss anything that might detract from her opportunities to support Voldemort.

You've given us quite a bit of insight into the coldness of both Bellatrix and her father here. It even explains her actions a little if her father were that dictatorial and uncaring. And her casual consideration of how she felt she could kill him if she had to - well, it's pretty Bellatrix-like. It's like she's making a cold appraisal of which of them would win in a duel without any thought being given to the fact that they are father and daughter.

I was wondering why she agreed to marry. It seemed surprising that she would give in to her father when she had already considered that she could kill him, but I can see how marrying a loyal lieutenant of Voldemort's could increase her support and her position within the Death Eaters.

I think you have really captured Bellatrix's ruthlessness in this. It's not just that she considers killing both her father and future husband. It's how calm and matter of fact she is about it, as if killing is nothing to her.

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Review #3, by princesslily_36 Calculated Risk

6th March 2016:
FOR THE HPFF REVIEW-A-THON

Never thought I'd enjoy reading Bellatrix, but I do... I really really do! Her attitude as she walks down the stairs taking her time, I could just picture it in my head.

You know, when Bellatrix sneered at her father for suggesting that having a husband will give her proper status, I honestly grew to respect her (despite the fact she killed my one true love). I LOVE that she's a feminist! I never thought much about her, but now that I do, it makes perfect sense that she would be.

she found the idea of marriage insulting to her wealth of talent - Wow. This is so potent, and it suits Bellatrix to the boot. You write her so well. So. Amazingly. Well.

Here she's not (only) the cruel, crazy, sadistic who killed characters close to my heart (I'll never forgive you for Dobby) but she is a person of her own making. I mean, you've given her a whole new dimension, added to her several layers. I loved to see her run her own life, how she crafted her life without giving any one person power over it. She was truly Voldemort's best lieutenant.

“You are my daughter and I will do with you as I please. If I command you to marry, you will do so - What a pompous moronic jerk *angry glare*

As with all your other stories (I've read more than you think *wink*) I just adore your descriptions! Phrases like 'threat of power still loomed over him' are just crafted to perfection.

This was just brilliance. Congratulations on winning the challenge :D

Loads of Love, and many thanks for hosting the review-a-thon!

XOXO
~Ysh

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Review #4, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Calculated Risk

5th March 2016:
“For the HPFF Review-A-Thon”

You have yet to secure an engagement and it would be quite scandalous for a woman of your stature to leave school without having a husband lined up to care for you.”

You know what’s crazy? Sometimes I forget Bellatrix was anything more than the Dark Lord’s little pet. Sidekick. A crazy woman hellbent on revenge. Whatever you want to call her but I never really give any thought to her getting married. She just was. I feel like Bellatrix is very calculated. She does what she’s supposed to. She subscribes to what people feed her but she also has a mind of her own. A terrifying mind but I’m sure she didn’t jump into marriage without thinking it would benefit her in some way.

“I don’t need anyone to take care of me. All that I want is to serve the Dark Lord to the best of my ability and a husband will do nothing, but get in the way.”

Just because she’s going to do it doesn’t mean I don’t think she fought against it. No man compares to Voldemort for her. If he needed a wife she would be the first and only in line.

Do you think if that would have been an option he would have married her? If he needed to?

It was much easier to marry a man like Rudolphus who she could walk all over.

And there you have it. The logical explanation. What she benefits from with this marriage.

Besides, if he gives me any trouble, I’ll just kill him. We all know that I’m certainly capable of that.”

Man, what a honeymoon to have with Bellatrix Black.

I thought the story was easy to read and I enjoyed Bellatrix’s thoughts and explanations. Who doesn’t? I did however think it was missing something. In a way for me the story was too sharp. I would have liked a slight fumble maybe from Bellatrix or even her father. I think I would have liked more aggression from him. Bellatrix is a sociopath. She would have had no problem killing him or fighting against him but I think for me she had to get that from somewhere. That passion. That anger. You touched upon it and I understand he’s older but I think his character wasn’t given justice.

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Review #5, by ScorpiusRose17 Calculated Risk

3rd March 2016:
Hi Kaitlin!

I am finally getting around to reading and reviewing the stories entered for my challenge! :)

I really liked this and as always I love your detail. Sometimes it's thick sometimes it's subtle, but as always I can picture everything you describe so well! :)

Ah Bellatrix... what a character to get and a trait to have to portray! She is simply one of the more demonic characters J. K Rowling came up with and I think you did a great job at sort of delving into her crazy mind and showing how superficial she can actually be, but in a way that is positive for her, bad for others.

It was quite a no holds bar at the end with the way that she doesn't even skip a beat with saying that she'll kill him.

Good Luck in the challenge and as always, thank you so much for participating in it!

-Jenn

Author's Response: Hey Jenn!

No worries. RL comes first.

Good. Description is always my favorite part.

I'm glad that you felt that it worked out. I honestly had a hard time figuring out how to portray Bellatrix as superficial. To me, it isn't something that jumps out about her right away.

I definitely think she wouldn't marry anyone that they couldn't control.

Thanks for the lovely challenge and the review!

~Kaitlin


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