Reading Reviews for The Black Velvet Band
  
22 Reviews Found

Review #1, by marauderfan The Black Velvet Band

22nd December 2013:
Hello hello! So, I read several of the stories in the Unsinkable series months ago, and randomly happened to think about it again the other day so I came back to read the ones I missed ;) (which maybe is a good thing that there's been months since then - I've since learned how to leave reviews that are longer than 2 lines :p )

So this story - wow, this is lovely! So Irish. The dialogue and slang, the setting, the music, all of it just really great. I love Irish folk music and really enjoyed seeing so many songs that I recognised in here - I love the Black Velvet Band (and yes, I can see how that's so appropriate for Siobhan!), Finnegan's Wake, Johnson's Motor Car... Pubs in Ireland are such fun with all the live music and I think you really captured that energy in this story, so well done!

I loved the background on Siobhan. She is probably my favourite of the OCs in Unsinkable and while I could understand her background a little there, this window into her life was... illuminating, I guess. She seems so different at school, mainly because she doesn't discuss her feelings. I liked seeing what her life is like from her POV; it really emphasizes how she turned out the way she did. The first half of this (before she met Michael), which I imagine is what every previous summer was like before, had such a lonely and empty atmosphere to it - you did a wonderful job conveying emotions in this (especially for a character who's not open about feelings).

It's wonderful for her that she was able to get involved with music and not with another guy, I think the change was good. But the end when she kind of goes back to her usual MO, although a little disappointing, was realistic because not everything can end happily ever after in real life, and as much as she found comfort for the summer she's still running away. Poor Siobhan :-(

Wonderful work on this! Lucky for me there are still like 4 more Unsinkable stories I haven't read yet, so I'll be back :)

Author's Response: Hi there! Any length reviews are good. Writing long reviews is an art form, I tell ya.

I tried to make it really feel like Ireland. I adore Irish folk music - grew up listening to it. Those are some of my favorites, the ones Siobhan sings.

She's sort of out of the ordinary as the Gryffindor girls go. The others are all family-oriented, even Petula who complains about hers all the time, and they don't really realize how alone Siobhan is but for them. She folds in on herself a bit when she's away from school - no audience to feed her need for attention. Yeah, that's pretty much how every summer has been for her since her grandmother died. And if she hadn't been a witch, it'd probably be her entire life, poor thing. Siobhan buries her feelings pretty deep, but they are there, so I'm glad that came across - she doesn't express them but she does feel them.

Music was healthier for her than using another guy up and spitting him out, so to speak. She goes through them like water at Hogwarts. It's a wonder there are any left she hasn't already gotten to. And yeah, she didn't actually solve any of her problems, so she goes right back to her usual MO as she returns to school. It's a shame, but it's more real. She needs therapy, really.

Thank you so much for reviewing, and I'm so glad you liked it! Let me know what you think of the others if/when you read them. :)


 Report Review

Review #2, by ladybella The Black Velvet Band

5th August 2011:
Hey!

I thought i'd check this out seeing as you sent me the link on my profile! I was rather apprehensive as i've said before fic's set in Ireland usually disappoint me as they never do any justice to my beautiful home! But you did really well!

Very descriptive and not stereotypical or cliche at all! Except for the mention of Guinness! :P I dont know anyone from home who actually likes it! Haha! But you did a great job and you described the country so well i felt all proud and nostalgic! haha!

Siobhans a very intriguing character and i may just have to read your molly/Arthur story to find out more about her! Thanks for grasping the Irish culture and the country so beautifully! :)

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! Ah Guinness, it's a thing, although to be honest I've never really seen the appeal. I'm a rum girl myself. Anyway, my family is Irish (my grandmother came to America as a young teen), so I may have an advantage in writing this. So far it's gotten a positive response from the Irish HPFFers who've reviewed it.

Siobhan's pretty much the most popular of my OCs from "Unsinkable". Reviewers generally say she's their favorite. She's a very damaged sort of girl, really, poor thing. This is a different way to see her, since left to her own devices she doesn't behave the way she does at school. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for reviewing!


 Report Review

Review #3, by TheWorldISee The Black Velvet Band

30th March 2011:
You're going to tire of hearing this when I read and review all your stories, but I love it! I was especially interested to read this one because of all the OC's Siobhan interests me the most and if it disappointed at all it was only in its shortness. :) Reading more about where Siobhan is from and her family life was really interesting. And man, this story made me miss Ireland so much! Wonderful job, yet again. I'm off to read the sequel to unsinkable!

Author's Response: I never tire of hearing that, believe me ;) Siobhan is probably the most popular of all my OCs, in the Unsinkableverse or not. She's sort of a sad creature, very neglected, but it makes her more real. Thank you for reviewing!

 Report Review

Review #4, by Celestie The Black Velvet Band

30th July 2010:
This was gorgeous. I don't think I've ever read a one-shot over 4000 words before. Usually, I get bored and nod off or get annoyed that the author prolonged things unnecessarily. But wow. Wow, wow, wow. I loved it. I loved every word in this. Nothing was off, nothing was unneeded. It was balanced to perfection. I love the feeling of isolation that Siobhan has. I've liked Siobhan fairly enough - she's a good contrast to Hattie and Petula, I think and Cecilia's always been my favorite, but this might just get me to rethink.

I've considered Siobhan somewhat shallow in the past, but it was an absolute joy to read this. There was no romance and it was not much a story about family or friendship. It was a story of only one character and that's incredibly hard to pull off without boring people. You did it splendidly and you have so much skill as a writer. Honestly, the balance between dialogue and description and action and thoughts are perfect.

Would it be strange if I said that I liked the feel of it? It felt very...Irish. I'm not really sure how to put it eloquently, but when authors try writing about different cultures in the HP fandom, it can come off as fake sounding. This felt so genuine. And the songs added so much dimension to it; it felt entirely realistic. And I love that Siobhan found music! I love that she didn't get in any romantic entanglement as that would've been highly overused. When I saw that she wasn't planning to kiss Michael, I was so happy because of how original it was.

And her problems didn't get solved either. Loved that touch. Her da's the same and she's still the same. It was incredibly realistic and lifelike. I love stories like this - that stay so true to life that you can nearly believe that you're watching it happen in front of you and not reading it at all.

Your Unsinkable series is the longest series I've ever followed in fanfiction and this really shows why. I do hope you'll continue the universe! I'd love to see a bit of Siobhan's wanderings - I feel like it'd be very in character for her to leave.

Thank you for writing this! I loved the emotion, the soft, sad feel of this piece and the lovely description. :) Beautiful work!

Author's Response: Yeah, it is kind of long, and I also am not a fan of super-long chapters/one-shots. So thanks for giving it a read despite that.

I think you may be the only person to like Cecilia best of my cast of OCs. That's pretty cool. I like her a lot too.

Siobhan's motivations aren't always clear to Molly's perspective, because her friends don't really know the full extent of her home life, so she does come off as shallow - often deliberately so. She doesn't like to be perceived as caring about things (some personality parallels between her and Reid, who also lives under a facade most of the time).

I was trying to give it an Irish flavor, so I'm glad that came across. Using music as a coping mechanism instead of sex is probably a little healthier for Siobhan. And yes, her problems don't find any resolution. On that note, this was the last time she ever saw her father, since she never returns to Cork after her seventh year. It's sad, but I think it's more realistic. Not everything gets a tidy ending.

I'm planning to show more of Siobhan's future, yes. A few people suggested I do a one-shot collection now that "Over the Anvil" is complete, and the idea has really grown on me. Siobhan will DEFINITELY get a one-shot.

Thank you so much for reading & reviewing! I'm so pleased that you liked this so well!


 Report Review

Review #5, by GinnyCullen The Black Velvet Band

6th June 2010:
This gave me a whole new look on Siobhan and everything she goes through

Author's Response: Siobhan is pretty complex, so I thought she needed something from her point of view to give some further insight to her.

 Report Review

Review #6, by theelderwand The Black Velvet Band

21st February 2010:
Very appropriately somber and uplifting at the same time. Spot on backstory for Siobhan.

Good work.

Author's Response: Thank you very much! I really like Siobhan, I have a ton more backstory on her. This was a good illustration of what makes her who she is, though.

I just realized I forgot to answer your question on the review you left on Unsinkable. Sorry about that! I'll answer it here and hope you see it. As to how far I plan to take the Unsinkable-verse, I am currently finishing up the 7th-year sequel, "What It's Worth", and that will be followed by a short story with Cecilia and Siobhan as the protagonists - just a quick two chapters, but no spoilers on that one, you'll have to wait and see - and then I'm going to start posting the partially-completed novella/short story (it's planned at 7 chapters, maybe 24,000 words) of Molly and Arthur's elopement. I actually have a partially-written short story on Hattie as an adult which I began for a challenge last year and hope to complete and get posted soon here. I do have their futures all mapped out. Some of them are more interesting than others ;) If you have any questions, come by my Meet the Author page or message me on the forums. :) Thanks for all the reviews! I really enjoyed reading them, it was a real treat to come home to.


 Report Review

Review #7, by Laugharama_llama The Black Velvet Band

20th September 2009:
Yay! This was a wonderful story. I really liked the insight on Siobhan's life! Thanks for telling me about it in your review; I don't think I would've found it if you didn't. I also loved that ending, when she tells Cecilia about kissing the Blarney Stone. I could feel the secret smile on Siobhan's face :)

Author's Response: Oh thank you :) Feel free to check out my other stories, I see you've already found "The Pitch." I'm very glad to hear you liked this one. Thanks for the review!

 Report Review

Review #8, by RonsGirlFriday The Black Velvet Band

2nd June 2009:
Siobhan was one of my favorite characters in Unsinkable, so I really liked this opportunity to get to know her better. Many parts of this fic made me sad, but overall I think it seemed uplifting. With the level of detail and description you used, and all of the Irish culture woven into it, I felt like it was all taking place before my eyes. Awesome job!

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! I'm glad you enjoyed this. I really like Siobhan's character. She's very interestingly flawed.

 Report Review

Review #9, by George Whitman The Black Velvet Band

6th February 2009:
This story added much needed depth to Siobhan's character. Throughout The Unsinkable Molly Prewett, Siobhan's character is very much insecure. She is sweet, but she needs to act tough in a crowd. We can now really see where Siobhan gets her traits, and who influenced them. Nan is a great example of the Irish life, and Da is truly the stock sailor, when you throw an innocent girl into the mix you get a character more compelling then any you have written (at least those I have come across). Her loneliness drives the story and her actions are enough to intrigue any man, even the shy fiddler. Thank you for a great story and more Siobhan please! Well done!

Author's Response: Thank you! Siobhan is probably my favorite of the OCs I created for Molly's friends, and has the most backstory fleshed out. I jumped on this challenge for a chance to write more about her. Her dad is very much based on my grandfather. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reviewing!

 Report Review

Review #10, by MoonNRoses The Black Velvet Band

25th January 2009:
Beautiful... I've always wanted to go to Ireland. It's like I've always felt a pull and everytime I read an author is able to give me another piece of it, the need just grows.

I feel for Siobhan, but at the same time, I admire her. She may be trying to work out her daddy issues, but that's one strong lass. :) It was good to see her sing more. It seemed that as she sang, her confidence in herself grew. That's important to a girl that age.

I love your writing and I'm sure I'll read more soon... I've got to get some work done though. LOL.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you liked this one. I like Siobhan's character because she is strong, as you said, but damaged. Very much a loner too, Cecilia is the closest to really letting someone in that she gets. Thanks for reviewing, and try not to work too hard ;)

 Report Review

Review #11, by Ignatz The Black Velvet Band

10th December 2008:
It was about time I got around to reading your stuff. :-) This is excellent; though I don't know much about Ireland I got a good sense of place from your descriptions, and a real pleasure from Siobhan's singing. (There's a great Irish pub in my home town named for Johnny McGurk, so seeing the Irish Rover mentioned was a blast.) Must make time to read the Unsinkable Molly Prewett. I'm hooked!

Author's Response: Thanks for coming by to read! I hope you like the rest of my stories. I'm glad you like the Siobhan piece, she's pretty much the most popular OC from Unsinkable amongst readers. I'm pretty fond of her myself. Thank you so much!

 Report Review

Review #12, by Girldetective85 The Black Velvet Band

23rd October 2008:
Wow! This was a side of Siobhan that we never got to see in "Unsinkable," isn't it? She was always so light-hearted and spontaneous in that novel (as seen through Molly's eyes, of course) and here we see a lonely, drifting Siobhan whose meaningless romantic relationships do come from somewhere. I do like that her father isn't the typical "villain," a.k.a drinking, beating her, etc. He does seem to make a small effort at being father, but it's painfully obvious that he doesn't know the first thing about parenting and doesn't care enough to be close to his child. He's probably afraid or unwilling to know Siobhan, so he does the minimal daddy prerequisite duties like picking her up from school and making dinner, and then he escapes to the sea. They're always escaping from each other - him to his boat and Siobhan to Hogwarts. It's sad that this seems like it'll never be resolved, but I'm so glad we get to understand Siobhan a little bit better and see the lost girl inside. Great story, she's one of my favorite Unsinkable characters! 10/10

Author's Response: Siobhan left to her own devices is a little more subdued than she is at school. Her dad's not particularly a bad guy, he's just never been an interested father. He was perfectly content to leave her alone with her grandmother, and fortunately for her she went off to school shortly after her grandmother's death. Her dad didn't know what to do with his kid even before they found out she was a witch. Thanks so much, I'm really happy that you enjoyed it! Siobhan's one of my top faves too.

 Report Review

Review #13, by Georgia Weasley The Black Velvet Band

20th October 2008:
I've told you before that I dearly love Siobhan. She is such a complex character, and an excellent contrast in Unsinkable to Molly and the girls. Not all witches are as fortunate to have a family like the Prewetts, are they? I love how Michael Dugan becomes her friend, just secondary to the music that lifts Siobhan's soul out of it's solitary confinement in Cork. No snogging, just a comfortable togetherness that she's lacking. Her poor father has issues of his own, and he can't see beyond the end of his own nose. You capture her longing and emptiness so well, which she tries to hide from those close to her at school and covers my marching a truckload of boys through her life. Beautifully done, and I will be looking into the music you mentioned.

Author's Response: She is definitely very different from her friends. Petula might complain about her sisters and parents, but her family does take an active interest in her, and of course Hattie and the rest have a pretty loving relationship with their families. But Siobhan is alone even when her dad is around. Truckload of boys, that's a great description. Thanks for the review! I appreciate it very much :)

 Report Review

Review #14, by rowenaravenclaw94 The Black Velvet Band

28th May 2008:
good job! 10/10! i really enjoy siobhan, and it's interesting to see why she is the way she is!

Author's Response: Thank you! She's one of my favorites too.

 Report Review

Review #15, by Labby The Black Velvet Band

21st May 2008:
I loved this! It was so nice to see a story about Siobhan and to just see all the development you've put into her character. I do like that she went home and had a relationship with a single guy. That was nice, even though it didn't solve her father problems, at least it was nice somehow. It is sad to see her relationship with her father and how that's affected her life. :( It was nice to get a glimpse of Ireland though, you really did a nice job of showing the country. Great story as usual! I love your writing!

Author's Response: I actually have a ton of backstory on Siobhan, she's by far the character I've put the most effort into fleshing out. She's very damaged, but I think that makes her more interesting. Thanks for reviewing!

 Report Review

Review #16, by Orlaith Read The Black Velvet Band

19th May 2008:
Nice story Momotwins. Of course as a Dub, I'd have rather the story based there instead of the small village of Cork ;-))
Loved the Irish connection, thanks!

Author's Response: Well you know the mountains of Donegal would've been good too ;) Thanks for reviewing!

 Report Review

Review #17, by crookshanks_kitten The Black Velvet Band

10th May 2008:
Siobhan is a very good character, I like the way she changes at home. A very good story, I would have liked more to be resolved, but, as you said, that's life

Author's Response: yeah, I don't think it's that easy to resolve things like a lifetime of neglect, but that's how it is. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I like Siobhan a lot too.

 Report Review

Review #18, by Nymphie Lupin The Black Velvet Band

17th March 2008:
oh wow, this was amazing. absolutely amazing. you have me utterly SPEECHLESS... So I'm guessing I'll just have to hand you a merry 10/10!!! Great job, and I really mean it. wow. just wow. I loved it. And you've such a beautiful banner too. whoah... yeah, I'll stop babbling like an idiot. I'm sorry this is so short, but you've truly taken my breath away. WOW. it was a shining example of true greatness in the form of literature. FABULOUS JOB. Just FABULOUS! you're definitely really talented.

-Shea

Author's Response: OMG! What a great review! You just made my night :) Thank you so much! I'm really glad you liked it. This fic gets overlooked cause it's OC. I'm so glad you like it!

 Report Review

Review #19, by Steven Carnell The Black Velvet Band

7th March 2008:
Lovely. Keep them coming.

Author's Response: Thanks :)

 Report Review

Review #20, by ginwannabe The Black Velvet Band

26th January 2008:
I'm not sure where to start. I think this may be one of ...if not the, best story you've written. Have you been to Ireland? Or just heard about it from your family? I swear, I felt like I was there, and while I don't know those songs (yet...I'll be trying to download them soon), I could almost hear her singing them. I'm of Irish descent, but we've sadly lost our connection to it. I would love to go someday though. I smiled at Michael's name...my best friend's mom had been a Dugan, and I remember going to visit her Grandma Dugan when I was a little girl. Not to mention the movie with Matthew Broderick from the early 80's: Max Dugan Returns. I adore listening to Celtic Woman...and one of my favorites of theirs is At the Ceili, this story reminded me of that song, what with the pub and all. Amazing...just amazing.

Author's Response: No, I haven't. Well once when I was a baby, but I don't remember it. I want to go. My cousin in Dublin is always inviting me to come stay but it's expensive. Thank you! I really appreciate your comments.

 Report Review

Review #21, by SilverThimble The Black Velvet Band

24th January 2008:
I really liked this, despite not reading your other story and being slightly clueless as to who Siobhan is. It didn't actually matter all that much, I picked it all up soon enough. Ah, the Irish Rover. My grandad's favourite song to sing at family get-togethers, and as such slightly cringy to see in print ;). But you didn't particularily need to know that... I think it was a great idea to use traditional songs, and the whole thing with Micheal was very cute (in a good way). The Irish accents were brilliantly done, 10/10 for using "coddin' " (although I suspect you are actually Irish, and it was fairly obvious to you to use it). The Blarney stone part -- could have been cheesy, wasn't. Can't find anything to criticize, expect Great War, which I have never heard anyone call it, and I think "Dugan" usually has two "g's". I think there could also be a few historical errors in there, but I'm not totally sure. They're very minor, and contestable, mistakes, and I feel mean for pointing them out :)

Anyway, to sum up that ramble, great job, I loved it!

Great WarDugan

Author's Response: Thank you! Well I am Irish, but I'm Irish-American. I just have family in Ireland (cousins, uncles and aunts, etc). I'm actually from Hawaii. But I pick up some slang from the cousins. The last reviewer pointed out the Great War, which is an Americanization. Dugan I think is the American spelling of that, I have a cousin whose married name is Dugan but her husband is born and raised in New Jersey so... Yeah I have those in edits, they just haven't gone through yet. I love traditional songs! That's what I listened to growing up. I remember going to church singing "Nancy Whiskey" in the car lol. Thanks for the review! And the great challenge!

Whiskey, whiskey, nancy-o....


 Report Review

Review #22, by MargaretLane The Black Velvet Band

23rd January 2008:
I'm from Cork myself, so I'm glad to read a story set in my own county. Don't know if you are Irish or not. If not, you are doing a really good job with the dialogue. The only thing that doesn't sound quite right is the "second Great War". I've never heard it called that. World War II is what we would usually say or if you want to make it sound more like what they would have called it at the time, then it would have been "the Emergency".

Ah, I was wondering why he had been talking about being in the American army. I thought it was just because boasting about being in the British army could be seen as a positive or negative thing, depending on who he was talking to. By the Troubles, do you mean the War of Independence and the Civil War? 1919 to 1923? When we say the Troubles, we usually mean the Northern Irish situation which began in the 60s. That was what I assumed you meant at first, and I was thinking why would that matter when they live in Cork? Then I realised the dates wouldn't fit anyway, as you are talking about before World War II. I guess it's just what I would associate with the term, having grown up in the time of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

*cheers for The Irish Rover* I have that as my ringtone on my mobile phone. *cheers for Johnson's Motor Car also* I don't like Black Velvet Band much, even though my favourite singer, Johnny McEvoy sings it. She should sing The Boys of Kilmicheal, if her grandad fought in the ambush. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem are my mum's favourite group. Mine is probably The Wolfe Tones. I like The Clancy's too though, just not as much as she does. Actually, I think it's the Clancys who jokingly referred to the Scots as "our fellow Celts, even if they are Protestant". Just thought of that, as she was talking about attending school in Scotland.

*cracks up* I can imagine how hard it must be for her to stop swearing. I don't really swear, for an Irish person, but I say "bloody Hell" and "damn" and that stuff. I didn't even really realise they were swearwords, until I started spending time on the internet-in my 20s. They're the kind of words kids around here use instead of the real swears when their parents are around. Lol.

*cracks up* Yeah, Irish people never kiss the Blarney stone. I guess it's about 15 miles from here, and I've never even been to Blarney. Most people would say that the last thing I need is the Gift of the Gab anyway. I talk too much as it is.

I know this review rambles a bit, but anyway, great story. 9 out of 10.

Author's Response: Oh thank you! I'm Irish, but I'm from Hawaii actually. My family is in Donegal and Dublin so I was like, hmmm 1960s Cork I dunno if I can do that... It's hard to get any level of accuracy, kwim? Thanks about the war, that's what my mom's generation (Siobhan's age) calls it here - The Great War and the second Great War - but my mom is the first of our family to be born in America so it's hard to tell if it's something she picked up in New York or something she picked up from her parents sometimes... My grandfather actually did go back and forth between Ireland and America all his life, and lied about his military service LOL, so that's where that's from. Ok so check, I will change that name.

Augh 'Boys of Kilmichael'! I knew there was one I was missing, I was trying to remember. I'm going to add that, it's better than Bold Fenian Men. I *love* The Irish Rover, it's such a great song, that's why it got some lyrics quoted ;) My mom used to sing us "The Black Velvet Band" at night, I never really understood the lyrics until I was a teenager lol. I figured Siobhan would rather say Scotland than England, and technically Hogwarts is in Scotland so... That is too funny, "our fellow Celts, even if they are Protestant."

My grandmother talks about the Troubles and then goes straight to talking about how her uncle was mustard-gassed by the British in WW1 (he may or may not have fought for the German Empire just to fight *against* the British) so I got them all mixed up in my head. Pardon the blondeness, I will fix the mistake pronto. My grandmother told me once about accidentally attending an anti-Catholic rally when she was a kid, and her mother beat her soundly for it - she says "I just wanted the tea!" So ok, what is that period called? By someone who'd be in their teens in the late 1960s? Just the War of Independence? I'll change it to that.

LOL - the only person in my family who's bothered to kiss the stone is my great-uncle, and he does it once a year and says it's why he's been married three times. I'm not sure that's a good thing though heehee.

Thank you SOOOO much for reviewing! I was nervous about posting it because I knew there would be accuracy issues. So thank you, I will fix it!


 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login