Reviews For The Unknown
Reviewer: pandafan81
Date: 03/20/08 21:24
Chapter: The Unknown

Hello Katie Dearest!

You said in your profile that this was your favorite story. And it's always heartbreaking when your favorite story only has 4 reviews. So I aim to help that out a little. Even if 3 of the 4 were rather lengthy SPEW reviews. Everyone loves a little review-love!

I adore Neville, and I'm so excited to be reading a story from his point of view. And right from the beginning you've gripped me:

"Someone screamed.

Female. In pain, thought Neville dimly. More pain than fear or anger. A lot of pain.
"
The distinction of the kind of scream is instantly a mood-setter. We know that something wrong is happening, and not only wrong, but someone, a girl, is being hurt.

I wanted to stop and comment throughout the first flashback, but I couldn't, I just had to keep on reading. This was obviously written before DH, and yet, it has that right feel to it. Harry, Ron and Hermione are gone (off hunting horcruxes no doubt) and the remainder of the school is left to defend itself post Dumbledore. The fear and anxiety is evident, but so is the determination. I love McGonagall, all tough and straightforward and yet still influenced by her emotions.

"Neville remembered him because, upon hearing his House, Ned’s face had lit up and he had made the fastest beeline that Neville had ever seen to the Hufflepuff table. "
Yay Hufflepuff! I love how you have Neville characterized like this. Neville has a poor memory, we've known this from day one. But this seems like the kind of thing Neville would remember. Neville remembers what's most important: loyalty, love, compassion...

'Neville took a deep breath. “It was the greatest insult to life and humanity and green growing things that I’ve ever seen.”'
This line both makes me want to cry and laugh. It's so Neville, to he so horrified by both the death of a young second year and the demolition of the greenhouses, and to make parallels between the two shows a profound and real depth to Neville's character.

Katie, this is a fantastic story. Short and simple, yet so incredibly profound. I find it a mark of a really good writer when they can pull across so many emotions and events without writing an epic novel. It's a true compliment to be so accomplished.

Thank you again for a scene told through the eyes of one of our most beloved, yet, misunderstood characters. Excellent work my dear! *hug*

Author's Response:

*dances* You totally just made my night, Amanda. I love this story and I adore getting feedback on it. Especially because people always find deeper meanings that I wasn't initially aware of, like why Neville remembers Ned. Neville's such a wonderful character, isn't he?

*hugs* Thank you again for such a thoughtful review! 

Reviewer: Skipper424
Date: 12/29/07 15:16
Chapter: The Unknown

The thing that I enjoyed the most in your story, Katie, was the characterisation. To be specific, I really enjoyed your portrayals of Professor / Headmistress McGonagall and Neville Longbottom. For one thing, your Neville compares so well to the one in DH, the way he take the lead in areas that might have normally been headed by one the Trio. I thought you did a wonderful job displaying his determination to be involved in the fight against Voldemort as well as how it affected it personally.

I checked the publishing date of this story and noticed it came out before DH … so where did you get the inside info of Neville? I’m kidding. You just did such a wonderful job piecing all we know about his character from books 1 to 6 into a nice portrait. It’s almost as if you had inside info.

In the case of McGonagall, I also thought you did a great job with her as well. However, one part I wondered about: the part where she bends on the age, allowing sixteen, then fifteen year olds to leave the safety of the Great Hall. I’m trying to remember the exact sequences in DH to see how that went, to see if she reacted similar to how you have her in your story. I don’t know if I can see her allowing students under the age of seventeen to risk their lives, honestly. I think she would absolutely refuse it. I thought she was willing to allow the students who were of age to fight in DH and flatly refused the opportunity to others, though a few underage students did seem to slip into the action without her knowledge.

I’ll have to check that part again (I’ve read the book four times now and ought to have it memorized now – but I don’t).

Harry himself would tell this to Neville, adding that it was a good thing Voldemort couldn’t feel his soul, a remark which Neville puzzled over for some time.

Are you referring to the Destruction of a Horcrux hidden at Hogwarts? If so, wow! If even you weren’t, you really seem to have taken in a lot from the first six books and worked them nicely into this story. How well your version of events compares to how everything went down in the last book that impresses me.

Over all, wonderful job Katie! Keep up the fine work!

Author's Response: *smiles* I love this story. It actually gives me goosebumps to read it, which I consider positively amazing. Ahem.

I think this was the last Neville story I wrote. By that time, I'd gotten a fair grasp on his characters. I really wanted to get him out there. I knew that he had the courage; he just needed a chance.

I knew, even as I wrote this, that McGonagall probably wouldn't have let under-ages fight. It's probably bad that I ignored that, but I wanted to get Ginny out there, and the rest of the DA. It seemed such a waste to have them just sitting inside, and I'd devised a watertight way to keep them in, so I had to let them out officially.

I was referring to the destruction of the Horcruxes in general, but it does rather look like I was channeling Jo, hum? Hee.

Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I adore great reviews, and I tend to like them even better when people love my stories >.> Thanks!

Reviewer: tc015
Date: 09/28/07 19:10
Chapter: The Unknown

I really liked this fic. It was really powerful and touching.

Neville is great in here. He's one of my favorite characters, and I think that he just shines through here. You really showed his strength here. I love how he is the first the one to stand up to go and fight. People underestimate Neville, but here you really see that Neville is just as brave as Harry.

I loved seeing all of Hogwarts uniting to fight against the Death Eaters. Seeing all the DA and even Blaise and Dennis Creevey stand up was really sweet. Seeing all the houses unite was great. We didn't really get that as much in DH, so I really liked seeing it here.

Professor Sprout’s beautiful, treasured greenhouses were a wreck. Half the glass panes were gone, a Death Eater lay sprawled there with mask half ripped off, and most of the plants were overturned.

I adored this line. I could really picture the fallen greenhouses, all the glass lying around it. The greenhouses were almost like a second home to Neville while he was at Hogwarts; seeing it destroyed would really hurt him. I'm glad you showed this.

Neville's reaction to Ned's death was perfect. Something like that would really affect Neville, and you really showed this. Even though Neville didn't know Ned well, he still took Ned's body back to the castle. It's so brave and noble of Neville; I just want to give him a hug.

Harry himself would tell this to Neville, adding that it was a good thing Voldemort couldn’t feel his soul, a remark which Neville puzzled over for some time.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Is Voldemort already dead? Or did Harry just destroy all his Horcruxes? I can see why Neville was puzzled by this, especially because I don't think he knew about the Horcruxes.

Neville took a deep breath. “It was the greatest insult to life and humanity and green growing things that I’ve ever seen.”

This line was my favorite from the entire fic. It's really amazing how much Neville can care about a greenhouse. Most people wouldn't be bothered by it. It really shows Neville's understanding and caring, and how much he values life.

Overall, I really enjoyed. Great job!

~ Teresa

Author's Response: Hooray, I love good reviews! That line about Voldemort's soul--I know it's a bit awkward, but I was trying to get Voldemort out of the way without getting too much into that. So...Voldemort's Horcruxes are gone and he is dead, both. I'm so glad you liked that ending line! That was actually what I started with when writing this--the rest came from there. Again, thanks so much for your lovely review!

Reviewer: Lady Granger
Date: 08/16/07 16:35
Chapter: The Unknown

Ooh! I loved this! They way the abttle was portrayed through Neville's eyes was so realitic, so sad, so well, Neville-ish! And also, the message that does come out of it - you'll get through it, and you CAN make it better! Great job, Starmaiden!


Author's Response: Thank you! I really looked for Neville's reaction, and I think that he generally tries to look on the good side, especially with the help of optimistic friends. Thanks for your comments!

Reviewer: Cinderella Angelina
Date: 08/12/07 22:56
Chapter: The Unknown

This is a really good Neville story, Katie! We saw in Deathly Hallows how Neville stepped into the shoes left for him by Harry’s absence and you showed just that: his determination to fight, to keep Hogwarts from the bad guys, and his compassion for the other students at Hogwarts.

I really love the first portion of this, where we’re thrust right into the situation with an exhausted Neville and what is clearly a battle situation. You don’t even need to say that it’s a battle situation – your descriptions do the trick for us. The fact that the long shadows cast by the setting sun make blood seem redder – there’s blood? And there’s dark shapes dotting the goound that have a pronoun of “who”? There’s clearly something dreadful going on at Hogwarts.

The last paragraph between the plain print and the italicized print was a little confusing because it was hard to tell if it was in the ‘present’ (Neville sitting at a tree on the grounds) or the ‘past’ (He’d been eating lunch in the Great Hall). After we realize that he’s vibrating through the floorboards we know which one it is, but a ‘had’ instead of a ‘was’ in the first sentence would make it much clearer. i.e., There had been a sound like a great bell....

I loved it when everybody stood up, determined to fight the Death Eaters. Even Blaise Zabini, who I wouldn’t have expected, but I really liked it. One thing that disappointed me about Deathly Hallows was that the Slytherins were the stereotypical evil, save-their-own-skins that the Sorting Hat warned against. Here in this story, you have a Slytherin standing up for the right. Hoorah! This whole scene was written so well, I could feel the tension among the students, aching to fight, and the fear of those to be left behind.

One tiny picky thing that I would mention about this scene is after McGonagall (great characterization of her, I might add) puts up the barrier, and Neville and Dennis stare at each other, Neville can hear Lavender and Seamus. I was confused for just a second about whether they were on the outside or the inside of the barrier. A little “Next to him, Neville could hear...” would remedy that quite nicely, I think. Or you can leave it. I’m just being picky.

Most other students would notice that the greenhouses were ruined and just shake their heads at the tragedy of it all then walk on. Not Neville. The greenhouses seem almost to be Hogwarts to him, and for them to be ravaged like this is the “greatest insult to life and humanity and green growing things” that he’s ever seen. And it’s only because he ventures inside that he sees little Ned Wright, so that’s perfect.

When Harry says something about Voldemort not feeling his soul, and Neville puzzles over it, I puzzled over it too. I still don’t know what it means. But I guess Neville never would figure it out, because he’s not Harry.

Another confusing part was at the end, when they’re all at the Hospital Wing. The dialogue and the action is all fine, I just couldn’t figure out who was actually in the infirmary for damage and who was there visiting. Other than that, it was a fitting ending to the story. Especially when Neville looks out at the greenhouses – they’re just visible, which connotes to me that you can’t see what a wreck they are, which has got to be hopeful.

There. I totally wrote this while talking to you because I hate when good stories have no reviews. I hope my review was helpful to you, Starmaiden fair. Have a nice day! *D*

Author's Response: Leslie!! Ah! Your review, Lady Leslie, is wonderful and helpful and many good things. Thank you for picking out all those confusing bits and whatnot. I do really like this story and obviously, errors tend to put a bit of a damper on preening over one's work. You caught that Blaise stayed to fight! Yes, I was also disappointed when all the Slytherins left, that there weren't any brave enough to stand up. I really wanted someone -- if only one someone -- to stay and show that "Slytherin" is is not necessarily synonymous with "evil". Herbology is the only place (as far as we know) where Neville really shines. He's very at home in Herbology and the greenhouses, so it was the best -- or worst -- place to demonstrate the real impact of the War on him. Especially when he found Ned, because then Death had walked into his sanctuary. (Random trivia: I came up with the idea of an "insult to growing things" first, then found a story to fit it. And reworded the original sentence to be more impressive.) Thank you so much for taking the time to review this! I also hate when good stories have no reviews, and I'm afraid I'm not at all modest about this particular one. *huggles*

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