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Old 09-30-2015, 11:52 PM   #41
Garden
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Minor gripe: the use of single quote marks, '', instead of "", really bothers me. I'm not sure why the author decided to use them.


Spoilers and more comments below:


 





1. What I do like:


a. Some characters are done very well. Arthur Weasley comforting Harry is a great scene. Neville always having other characters take care of his daughter Alice is a subtle nice touch.
b. Harry is cunning, like when he provokes Malfoy.
c. Competent!Neville has occasional moments of brilliance, like when he provokes Hagrid.
d. Honestly, the best part of this fic is the psychological warfare characters use—the way Harry and Neville manipulate others to learn about the mystery.
e. The mystery. Just like ‘What Lies Beneath’, this fic is awesome at building tension. The plot is intricate and after a slow couple of initial chapters, starts to get more interesting. I think it really gets rolling in chapter 9, when harry thinks his boss is the killer.


2. A lot of small things in this fic bothered me:
a. The Mind Healer was very ... ordinary. Where are the spells to help patients? Is it really just Muggle Psychology?
b. Mr. Weasley's stroke. Doesn't feel magical. Could've gone with a magical illness instead for better effect.
c. The whole mysterious department Neville and Harry work for. I don’t find it believable that a secret Department exists at the Ministry to neutralize threats given that Voldemort’s rise before he became a wanted criminal (before he was a public terrorist) was basically only opposed by Dumbledore and his allies in canon.
d. Harry telling anyone other than Hermione and Ron about the Hallows…especially someone who work at the Ministry. Really doesn’t gel with canon!Harry actions.
e. Aurors dismissing the accounts of ‘Death’ from the hag with no thought
f. Every scene with ‘Death’ in it is very campy. Every character gets freaked out by Death’s appearance, even supposedly competent ones like Lucius. There's no buildup or substantive reason for everyone to be so scared of Death.

Edit after finishing the fic.

So torn on this story. The whole plot makes no sense now after the ending.

The whole thing was because of an explosives accident? Because Sayer was such an idiot that he decides to destroy a room with explosives because otherwise it'll remind Luna of her mother?

Who the hell decides to destroy a room with explosives? How is that remotely a rational thing for Sayer to do?

The plot hangs together only through improbably coincidences and completely irrational characters. The only reason there's any mystery about 'Death' is because of how unreliable Harry's POV is.
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I'm currently on Chapter 9 and I'm leaning towards a 3/5.

If the fic maintains this level of tension and excitement and explains the inconsistencies above then I can see it moving to a 4/5 or even 5/5.

But if it doesn't explain the inconsistencies/annoyances above then its not going above a 3/5.

I'll update my review when I finish the fic.


Edit:

Hated the ending, honestly close to hating the whole fic.

A low 3/5.

Last edited by Garden; 10-01-2015 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:40 AM   #42
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Pretty sure the single quotation thing is how the brits do their dialogue.
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:53 AM   #43
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A lot of what I have to say has probably already been mentioned, but I've tried not to read the thread too closely due to spoilers (though I don't care so much now).

I only got to chapter 4 so I'm not going to rate the thread, but my thoughts:

Single quotes annoy the fuck out of me, but I'd get used to them eventually. That said, either I'm fundamentally misunderstanding how noir is constructed, or that was a lot worse than it should have been - it's been a while since I've read WLB, but I remember that being a lot better. Also, Unatoned (by Sesc) was considerably more readable, though I think I'm just not a huge fan of the genre regardless (Case 129 and Speak Softly, Love were both amazing, but not sure if they count). At any rate, I couldn't really get into the story, which was disappointing. A lot of the descriptions seemed trite and frankly piling on the angst didn't help.

If I was going to rate the bit I'd read I'd say 3/5, but it felt worse because I had such high expectations going in.
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:48 AM   #44
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Well, I didn't really like this one. The writing was grammatically sound, but the whole thing just doesn't do it for me. It was fairly succinct which is a plus, yet even so it couldn't hold me through chapter 4.

Like most post hogwarts fiction the time warp forward is treated with no finesse. What is this Harry like as a thirty year old man, still young, solid marriage but no kids yet. But who is he, certainly not Harry Potter who was clearly going to try for kids, a family man even as an orphan boy. Ohh an "unknowable" working for the department of ... I'll just find something else.

Takes itself too seriously to be so shallow. 3/5. I also dislike the name. Maybe just not my cuppa'...
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:56 PM   #45
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This fic is really great, the plot is original, full of suspense and plays magnificently with the mind of the characters.

The few reply I saw in this thread do not do it justice for me!

A must read 4/5!
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:52 PM   #46
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The fic is excellent. One of the best I've read in a couple of years. Regrettably, I was somewhat spoiled by mknote's review but it didn't hinder my immersion in the story.

I can understand other readers filling it was, perhaps, rushed towards the end, but I do not agree. Harry's descent into darkness started the moment he killed Lord Voldemort. I think the author intended for the reader to understand that his wife's murder was what it drove him over the edge; he was there already, after 10 years neglecting the issue.

The technical construction of the story is superb, structure, character voice, pacing and resolution.


5/5
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