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Old 10-24-2009, 11:00 PM   #1
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Ambient by Caliburn - M. AU

Title: Ambient
Author: Caliburn
Rating: M
Genre: Action/Adventure/Mystery/Noir
DLP Category: The Alternates
Pairing: None so far. Just a few (many) teases.
Chapters: 18 (ff.net)
Chapters: 15 (PC)
Words: 113,842
Updated: August 28, 2012
Published: October 22, 2009
Status: Work in Progress


Summary: The British magical community is on the verge of collapse. Two factions at war for what's left of society, Hermione's fled the country, Ron's losing himself, Tonks is dying, Luna's been murdered & Harry's living alone in Gringotts. A Harry Potter Mystery.
Link: FF.net PC.net

My Review:

Story is set in an alternate future from the books. It is a post-apocalyptic(ish) setting, using a plot device that I have seen before but not done as well as the author has written. Harry's characterization is in the vein of preferred DLP style without the annoying Indy!Harry tack on traits.

Story is very AU, characters are quite ooc, so be forewarned. But they work within the story he is telling so it isn't an issue.

The female characters are a sometimes discordant mix of fanfavor and depth...which is my only problem with the story so far.

Significant portion of the story is written. Caliburn has been getting help and polishing his stuff in WBA. The final product being posted on ff and pc is a little different than what is in WBA, so I recommend you read it off of those links.

Enjoy.


Checked by Minion, January 14, 2013
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:26 AM   #2
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I read it in the WBA and liked it there, but he didn't post all of what he wrote from the WBA; what was posted, however, was the same. So I'm guessing he is rewriting the later chapters and I'll withhold my rating until he gets more up.
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Old 10-25-2009, 02:26 AM   #3
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I rather liked it, but I've seen no appreciable progress lately, and I feel it's too soon for it to be posted here. Dunno who gave it a 1, but what I recall of it is a mid three to mid four depending on the chapter.

(No rating yet.)
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mog View Post
I read it in the WBA and liked it there, but he didn't post all of what he wrote from the WBA; what was posted, however, was the same.
Actually, there are a few scenes that were added, easy enough to miss I suspect, but at the end of chapter 1 and 2, there's new things. Also, some stuff is being cleaned up. Small rewrites early, but huge changes later.

Also, glad this ended up here, going to try and get out most of what I have within the next week or so, which right now is coming up to 50k words, and I'm only in the middle of one of the scenes I'm overhauling, so...yeah. If possible, let me get that up and reactions and such on it before this gets its final decision on where it ends up, but glad to have some opinions on it so far.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:30 AM   #5
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Awesome underrated story. Very interested to see where it's going. Pansy is awesome, yet incredibly annoying. Harry is crazy, but also awesome. 5/5.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:50 AM   #6
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Indeed, definitely belongs in the library. As has been said, most characters are strikingly different from their canon counterparts, but you can see how they got there in the context of the story.

5/5
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veri View Post
Awesome underrated story. Very interested to see where it's going. Pansy is awesome, yet incredibly annoying. Harry is crazy, but also awesome. 5/5.
This.

Been following it on WBA and its been 100% awesome all the way.

5/5
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliburn View Post
Actually, there are a few scenes that were added, easy enough to miss I suspect, but at the end of chapter 1 and 2, there's new things. Also, some stuff is being cleaned up. Small rewrites early, but huge changes later.
Okay, never mind I saw what your talking about it's the,

 
Stalker Scenes, amirite?


@Veri: Pansy isn't in his public-posted work yet only in his WBA, but I also think she is awesome.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:01 PM   #9
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Updated, and Pansy's arrived now. For the record, I like Pansy too. Looking for a way to keep her around past where I had her sort of end up bowing out in WbA, I have a few ideas.
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A cruel mercy to save him from the truth; the promises of those Sirens were the most beautifully constructed of lies. There were no gentle caresses, no joyous dancing awaiting a man that dealt in blood for coin. Far better he danced my dance and met his eternal end knowing only the truths he learned in life: a blade’s purpose is to cut and a mercenary’s purpose is to hold that blade.

OWbA's Atlas. Or Sisyphus.
...Either works.

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Last edited by Calz; 10-25-2009 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:23 PM   #10
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Double-updated, put the Fred chapter up now. Next update will show a big rewrite in the Susan scene, then basically everything from there has some kind of rewrite in it, so especially now, good time to read from the sites instead of WbA
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A cruel mercy to save him from the truth; the promises of those Sirens were the most beautifully constructed of lies. There were no gentle caresses, no joyous dancing awaiting a man that dealt in blood for coin. Far better he danced my dance and met his eternal end knowing only the truths he learned in life: a blade’s purpose is to cut and a mercenary’s purpose is to hold that blade.

OWbA's Atlas. Or Sisyphus.
...Either works.

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Old 10-31-2009, 11:39 AM   #11
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Massively underrated, with solid characterization and excellent dialogue and prose to boot. Very good job, and I'm definitely looking forward to more.

A well-deserved 5/5
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:39 PM   #12
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Very entertaining, it makes me think of Harry Potter meets and old black-and-white detective movie. Beautiful women, dark and dangerous atmosphere, and a protagonist who goes his own way.

5/5

 
Susan Bones with an eye patch?
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:11 PM   #13
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Chapter 9 up, Romilda's debut among other things. Update rate will slow til I work out this situation with France, but after that, can speed up some again.
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A cruel mercy to save him from the truth; the promises of those Sirens were the most beautifully constructed of lies. There were no gentle caresses, no joyous dancing awaiting a man that dealt in blood for coin. Far better he danced my dance and met his eternal end knowing only the truths he learned in life: a blade’s purpose is to cut and a mercenary’s purpose is to hold that blade.

OWbA's Atlas. Or Sisyphus.
...Either works.

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Old 11-05-2009, 01:11 AM   #14
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Well, the writing is fairly good, and the characters are somewhat interesting, but it suffers from two things:

1.) All the characters are archtypes rather than real, multifaceted characters.
2.) There doesn't appear to be an overhanging plot. It's like a diary without a focus on the big picture.

A point of annoyance - what happened to Tonks? Wasn't she in Gringrotts with Harry and Daphne? It seemed to simply stop making mention of her.

The scene with Daphne in Pansy's room or whatnot was extremely confusing as well.

4/5, but it has great potential.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darje View Post
Very entertaining, it makes me think of Harry Potter meets and old black-and-white detective movie. Beautiful women, dark and dangerous atmosphere, and a protagonist who goes his own way.

5/5

 
Susan Bones with an eye patch?

This

I find myself enjoying the rewrites more than the original, and I loved the original so there ya go. I can't wait to see the finished product.

And eye patches are win.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:29 PM   #16
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Are you fuckin kidding me?

Harry lets Daphne study him for Hermione's freedom. This story sucks, pussy Harry loves Hermione. Bravo author, I read the first 2 chapters, then chapter 3 comes and pisses me off. What kind of idiot would do that? This story belongs anywhere except Independent Harry section. I only read up to chapter 3, so I don't know what will happen later, but I will tell you that chapter 3 sucks and Pussy Harry sucks the most.

If something great happens, please let me know, maybe I will continue it if Harry makes Daphne his slave or something.

---------- Post automerged at 05:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:27 PM ----------

I forgot to mention that the story was well written. (most likely because DLP helped the author)

2/5 for me, but I won't rate it because I didn't read the entire story.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:34 PM   #17
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Unlike 'King' who seems amazingly smart and who surely isn't a dumb fucker, I find this story to be really good.
In the very least, it is really interesting. I haven't yet read all of the rewrite but the original one was one of the best 'alternate' stories.

4,5/5
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:54 PM   #18
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Are you fuckin kidding me?

Harry lets Daphne study him for Hermione's freedom. This story sucks, pussy Harry loves Hermione. Bravo author, I read the first 2 chapters, then chapter 3 comes and pisses me off. What kind of idiot would do that? This story belongs anywhere except Independent Harry section. I only read up to chapter 3, so I don't know what will happen later, but I will tell you that chapter 3 sucks and Pussy Harry sucks the most.

If something great happens, please let me know, maybe I will continue it if Harry makes Daphne his slave or something.

---------- Post automerged at 05:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:27 PM ----------

I forgot to mention that the story was well written. (most likely because DLP helped the author)

2/5 for me, but I won't rate it because I didn't read the entire story.
Why don't you, I don't know, read chapter 4? I don't know where you got "Pussy Harry" out of chapter 3 or 4, so you obviously didn't read it.

Also, edit button mother fucker. Use it or get the fuck out.
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:38 PM   #19
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I'm going to ramble for a bit about King's post... People who just want to know my opinion about the story are advised to skip the next few paragraphs.

Quote:
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I forgot to mention that the story was well written. (most likely because DLP helped the author)
You're absolutely right.

It is very likely DLP not only corrected Caliburn's every spelling/grammar/punctuation error, but also told him what effects of style he should use, how he should use them, how to set up the atmosphere and build up his characters, and probably looked his work over and fixed his undoubtedly strange syntax. In fact, how does Caliburn dare claim he wrote the story? This is, without a doubt, a collective job. DLP should appear as co-author.

So in fact, when Caliburn effortlessly creates an apocalyptic atmosphere, builds it up slowly over the chapters, makes it so natural that it feels as though it's always been there and doesn't even need to be explicitly described; when he manages to do so without saturating his entire story with angst and darkness and allhappinesshasfledthisworldlet'sallweep, it's, in fact, all DLP's work. DLP knew all along about... well, everything, really. That's why it works.

In other words, Caliburn is nothing but a pair of hands and a keyboard. Oh, fine, he gets to add full stops at the end of DLP's sentences.

Or!

Or he could've written a story you disliked, but done so with some literary talent. You know... Skill. Savoir-faire.

I do wonder which one is the most probable. Amusing detail: in my memory, the original version had quite a few its/it's confusions. Quite odd that DLP, who apparently is the reason Caliburn's story is so well-written, would've missed those simple mistakes.



Anyway, I've only read the WbA version. The conclusion is: in theory, this is exactly the kind of story I hate reading. It has a completely OOC, somewhat smartass Harry and super female characters. Given the importance I give to characterisation, it would be enough to turn me off any story.

It didn't happen. Partly because of the atmosphere... I've described it already, and it's what I like most about the story. It's what makes this story a whole, a separate entity; it gives it a personality. Partly because of the writing. It's solid, colourful, yet so mercifully simple: there's nothing pretentious about the way Caliburn writes. A few quirks, here and there -- a few one-liners that'd be better off as part of a paragraph. I'd have to reread it to give a better criticism, but I don't remember being truly annoyed by the writing.

Harry's the most OOC I've seen in any story I read in full, to the point where I blinked and stared when, at some point, someone called him by his name. I'd forgotten it was Harry Potter we were talking about. He works, as a character. Not really as Harry Potter. But since Caliburn uses first person -- and uses it well -- he made me accept this new Harry Potter. I'm buying it.

The females, now.

Well... I don't know. I'm surprised I don't mind them as much as I should. Maybe it's the surreal feeling of it all -- Harry being virtually the only strong man in the middle of a throng of cut-throat/psychotic women -- but I'm accepting here what would annoy me beyond words in other stories. Okay, they're too strong. The thing is, they're not... hot.

All of them aren't perceived as attractive, desirable, whatever; if they are, then it's a separate thing. They're strong, and hot. They're not strong, thus hot. Mary-Sues are hot/awesome by definition, and being strong is a part of that. Here, females aren't cuter, sexier, or more awesome, because they can hold their ground on a battlefield. They happen to be good at magic or have political power besides their other characteristics. Maybe it's also because there are many of them, but none is really pinpointed as The Cool And Strong Leading Female.

Or, maybe I'm overanalysing because I can't understand why I'm not bothered by something that bothers me 100% of the time.

I definitely need to reread that story.

Last point: I think it's Amer who said there was no defined, visible plan in this story. I, er, confess to liking that. I like the sensation I'm being taken along with the author's ramblings (as long as it doesn't ramble too much) then be suddenly reminded that it's all tied together (as it happens once or twice). But I am, by definition, a messy author; so it's no wonder I have no issue with that.

There are a couple of other things I'd like to say, but I'm going to bed. Will edit when I've read the new version.

So far, strong 4/5 for selling me a story I had never thought I'd buy. Ever.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King
Harry lets Daphne study him for Hermione's freedom.
I don't agree with the rest of King's review, but this little bit did bother me quite a bit. There was never a good reason given why Harry would let Daphne study him simply to let Hermione free. The tone of the story so far had given me the impression that Harry didn't particularly like Hermione.

The whole decision to bring her along seemed illogical of Harry.

I'll also agree to disagree with Tinn - I can't stand rambling stories. I always want some sort of direction for a plot to go, even if I know (and the main character knows) it's not really the whole picture I'm/they're seeing.

HP, Dresden, and Felix Castor appeal to me in this regard. There is always some sort of little mystery that unravels to depict a bigger mystery that is ultimately solved. The scope of the story gets bigger.

In Caliburn's Ambient, the story simply plops the reader down into the everyday life of a Harry Potter, with no observable 'trail' to follow.

Maybe it's simplistic, but I'm a big fan of 'mystery on rails' - I want to be pulled along a road, not stumbling around in a fog with bits and peices of information thrown at me.
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