Reading Reviews for Behind This Mask
4 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTart Behind This Mask

18th May 2017:
Hello my dear!

I'm here to leave you a review on this for The Take It Seriously Challenge! Sorry it took me ages to get to it, but life has been keeping me super busy. I'm going to break this review down by sections, so you can see exactly how I'm judging it. :)

Rarity - Okay. So first off, kudos on going for a super rare pair! I have never even read or seen another Cormac/Neville story, so I was immediately excited when I saw who you were writing about. Even better is that you made it believable.

Editing - I didn't notice any huge glaring issues. There were a couple typos here and there, but overall, I'd say this was pretty solid.

Flow - Overall, I thought the flow was pretty good. The very beginning was a bit choppy for me when Cormac was going through all of his methods. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on. Once you got to the part where he was paying attention to Neville, it felt much more fluid and flowed smoothly.

Emotional Impact - I gave you full marks on emotional impact because this was so incredibly emotional for me on a lot of levels. I found that I could really relate to Cormac's struggles with his personality. I too am a bit too loud and forward and I get rambly when I'm uncomfortable. I also thought the ending really packed an emotional wallop. I was so sad to see how things ended, but I thought you did it in a clever and realistic way. Really great job there!

Plot - Your plot was really great! I loved how you showed Cormac's evolution before, during, and after the relationship. You really packed a lot into a one-shot.

Characterization - I absolutely loved your characterization of Cormac. You did a great job of making him a more sympathetic character and really fleshing him out. You're right that he's very one-note and unlikable in canon, so it was nice to see him explained in depth like this. Really clever. This might be my new head canon for him, tbh. :)

Overall - I thought this piece was excellent. I've read a few of your other stories previously and this was definitely my fave so far. Really great job!

Look for the challenge results in the next day or so! Hoping to post them by tomorrow evening. :)

Thanks for entering and for writing this lovely story! (Even if it shattered my heart a bit)


Author's Response: Oh hello Kaitlin. It's fine, I've been so busy I didn't even notice! Oh thank you for the kudos. I've only seen one, on AO3, and I didn't read it because it didn't look like something I'd like.

Let's face it: there are ALWAYS typos in my work no matter how many times I read it over, haha.

I definitely agree with the flow thing, but I kind of wanted to break up the writing with something a little more casual since it is a long piece of writing.

Oh thank you! I'm glad I hit it right.

Thank you again. *accepts praise and bows before Goddess Kaitlin*

I really need to stop saying thank you as a reply, but thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you for the lovely review, and I hope to see you hanging around my AP soon. And thank you for starting the challenge!

-Lily Xx x

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Review #2, by lovegood27 Behind This Mask

20th March 2017:
Congratulations on making it to the Nargles! I've finally decided to come and review your entry :)

I think you did a really good job with this. Cormac's a (let's be honest) horrible character in the HP series, but I feel completely different towards him now that I've read this. I'm actually feeling SORRY for him. Why, why, WHY couldn't you let them live together happily ever after :(

But moving on...I thought this was pretty believable, considering this pairing I gave you was rather mean...hehe. What I liked was how they didn't get together straight away, and you didn't just simplify things by giving both Cormac and Neville crushes on each other. Their relationship develops gradually and I like that.

Also, I just want to congratulate you for still being relatively canon compliant. I mean, Harry paid zero attention to anyone who didn't have a life as interesting as his, so this could be true for all we know. Cormac still has his (not very good) personality from the books, but you take us deep into his thoughts and show how he's actually kind of misunderstood. Same for Neville as well- there's more to both of them in this fic than meets the eye.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this. The one thing I have to complain about is length. It really was pretty long- but developing relationships like I said above take I think you can be excused for that one ;)

Very enjoyable read- well done :D

Author's Response: Thanks so much, and I'm so happy to see you here!

Urgh, why did you do this to me? Just kidding. You're probably glad that you did though, haha. I felt sorry for him too at the end of writing it, and I was like 'what is happening???'

I'm glad you think so, since that's what I was going for. Oh my God, I would've hated myself if I made it simple like that; especially for THEM. THE HORROR!

Yeah. I've always liked the idea of characters having secret lives that the author doesn't even know about.

Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #3, by AbraxanUnicorn Behind This Mask

8th March 2017:
Hello! Just dropping by for a Nargles review!

Well, this is something you don't see every day - a story based on a Cormac McLaggen/Neville Longbottom pairing?! And it's quite a whopper too - over 7000 words. Blimey!

I'm not mad keen for Cormac in the books, but I don't think JKR's intention was to make him likeable. I'm intrigued as to how your story will pan out, I admit!

So, true to form, McLaggen starts off by showing us the egotistical and shallow aspects of his personality. BTW I love the use of "methods" through this story, which really helps to break up such a huge piece of writing into smaller and more digestible chunks. Method 3 made me lol. And then we get to Neville.

I must admit, I was a bit puzzled how Neville could go from 'angry lip-biting Longbottom', to 'McLaggen-loving Longbottom' within the space of two encounters, but once that was out of the way, the relationship settles into a more believable rhythm. I loved the super cute letters section!

I thought the last third of the piece was probably the best part, but it was also the saddest, with the two guys going their separate ways. I actually *gasp* felt sorry for McLaggen by the end. Now there's something I never thought I'd see myself write!

Overall, I thought it was a cute piece of writing on an 'interesting' pairing :)

Best of Nargles luck!

Brax X

Author's Response: Hey there, glad to see you on my AP! And big thank you for the review.

I don't even know how I ended up with that many words. I thought before writing, 'oh it's Cormac, I'll probably only manage a 600 word one-shot'. Seven hours later at six in the morning I was very surprised with the fact that there were 7000 words when I looked a the word counter, haha.

I love method 3.

Neville doesn't really love Cormac until they have that conversation. I've gone on the spur that even nerdy minor characters are allowed to be horny hormone crazed teenage boys as well. So it's basically snogging with no strings attached until they have that conversation.

I was so nervous about going in that direction, but I needed their relationship to be angsty somehow so that I could enter it into Kaitlin's Take It Seriously Challenge.

Thanks so much for the review! Have a lovely day.


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Review #4, by Flower n Prongs Behind This Mask

5th March 2017:
Hello Lily! I'm here because of the Nargles rec.

Like you, I'm not a fan of Cormac. (Real question: is anybody?) Because of that, a 7000-word monster one-shot about him is a bit intimidating, but if this is nominated for best original fic it surely has to be good. Since it is so long I'm going to go back and forth between reading and writing parts of the review because otherwise I'm sure I'll forget things by the end.

I love how you used "Godric" almost as a curse or exclamation throughout. It works so well, almost like "Merlin!" and makes more sense for somebody who was raised as a non-religious wizard than most of our exclamations. It is something small, but it adds a lot to the believability of your characters and world development.

I loved the second step. "Attempt to be attracted by other girls in room. Nope. Other girls in room not attractive" made me literally laugh out loud. Comedy is not something I associate with Cormac, so the humour was a nice surprise.

Is it possible that I felt bad for Cormac when Neville insulted him? Now that's an accomplishment. The fact that he is so afraid of who he is attracted to and is trying to repress his feelings to fit in and not be insulted makes me sad for him. This is unexpected.

One thing - there is the wrong "your" between that and the first makeout session. Tiny mistake and the only thing that has stood out to me up to this point.

The talk after Slughorn's Christmas party was very touching. Them finally talking to each other and admitting things about themselves was so sweet. Cormac admitting how he hates things about himself that he either can't change or can't seem to change and Neville's insecurities, wondering why him when there are so many other guys was touching. It seems very true to Neville's character. After years of feeling not good enough, funny looking, and like the awkward sidekick nobody thought would even have any magical talent him hearing that somebody was glad they picked him was adorable. (Really? CORMAC contributing to something adorable? This really is a one-of-a-kind fic!)

I would switch "March Break" to "Easter Break" and the part about "moral" being low should be "morale" in the 20 years later.

I'm so sad for them at the end. The distance forming during the year Voldemort was in power, the PTSD, the seeing each other as they put their kids on the train and reminiscing, all of it. How did this happen? You certainly made me not only take this random pairing seriously, but actually have not-angry feelings towards Cormac McLaggen. That is certainly something.

Best of luck with the Nargles!

- Rhaenyra :)

Author's Response: Hello there, I apologize for being a million years late. I'm so busy lately!

I know. I don't think that ANYONE likes Cormac. Of course it is, I didn't even know it was going to end up being that long. I was thinking "oh it's probably going to be the shortest one-shot I've ever written". Nope. Longest, I believe that I've ever written.

I like my Godric exclamation.

I thought that the steps would be un-organic, but then I realized that I have so many friends who step by step their lives all the time.

I felt so sorry for him at the end, I was like "what is happening?"

Thank you for pointing out that typo! I'll fix it when I find time for a full look through. A lot of my work isn't beta'ed and English is not my first language, so my grammar/spelling can get blergh sometimes, I know the rules sometimes they just slip past me haha.

Ahhh Cormac, he's so unexpected in this fic isn't he?

I don't get Easter Break where I live, I've always gotten March, so since it's not a huge deal I'll keep it that way. Thanks for the point on the other typo!

I MEANT to make the ending cute and fluffy, but then Kaitlin's (TreacleTart) Take It Seriously Challenge came to mind and I though 'why not?'

Thank you so much for the review, I really appreciate it! Have a lovely day.


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