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Old 04-18-2012, 08:05 PM   #1
Evon
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All These Complications by Annie789 - T

Title: All These Complications
Author: Annie789
Rating: T
Genre: General
Status: Work In Progress
Library Category: General
Pairings: James/Lily
Summary: An Elaborate Lives AU. After discovering Voldemort's secret, Regulus turns to Sirius for help. Neither could have foreseen the consequences.
Link: The story can be found on Livejournal. How to access it is explained here: http://elaboratefic.livejournal.com/15342.html?nojs=1

Alright, so this fiction is set in the First War, before Harry is even conceived, let alone thought of. However, despite the lack of Harry, it is pretty damn awesome.

I was immediately captivated from the very beginning and remained captivated all the way up to the last chapter posted. I've read plenty of First War fanfiction, but I have to say that this one is the best I've come across. In fact, it is the best fanfiction I've come across on FF.net in quite a few months...possibly years. The writing is solid and the story is even better.

While the tale isn't overly action pack with duels and whatnot, the depiction of the war and how it affects peoples lives is very realistic. It spins off of a single change in canon events and shows how Regulus and several Order members lives could have ended up, if Regulus had decided to go to Sirius for help, instead of heading off to the cave hiding Voldemort's horcrux himself with only Kreacher to assist him.

I really don't want to give too much away, as the main appeal of the tale is how everything develops. Just know that the characterization is excellent and the plot is far from dull. I'd say that it is definitely worth the read.


Checked by Minion, July 26, 2013

Last edited by Dark Minion; 07-26-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:43 AM   #2
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Up to chapter 19, and, well... it's surprisingly good. It's mostly a character-driven piece, but there is a bit of action here and there. If you don't mind non-Harry-centric stories, then you should give this a go.

I'm going to hold off on rating it till the end, but tentatively a 4.5/5.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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The technical writing is sound, the point of divergence interesting and the characterization superb. There is some action in the later chapters, including surprising character deaths and torture- an all around good story for everyone who can stomach fics which are not Harry!centric.

4/5
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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Alright, went through all chapters that've been posted so far.

First off, the premise is what really got my interest, mainly because I'm currently writing a fic with a similar divergence point (and by 'writing' I mean being stuck, as always, at the first 1000 words since a few weeks now). I can't say I've been too disappointed; while I believe that the author hasn't exploited the scenario to its full potential, the fic makes for a good read nonetheless.

The fact that, like T3t said, it's a character-driven story accounts for most of its pluses and minuses. The fic relies overwhelmingly on relationships between characters (which admittedly are handed very well most of the time), to the point of it being a bit too much about who-said-what-to-whom. Something that stands out is that all characters seem to be oddly in touch with their emotions in the way a real person never is, and they say a great deal of what is best left unsaid. The bulk of dramatic tension in this story constitutes of characters more or less willingly passing information (usually secret information) to one another.

The dialogue -- which constitutes most of the story -- is good, just good; not great, because the author doesn't completely succeed in giving characters individual 'voices' -- I'd say they're more like variations on the same theme. It's not that what characters say doesn't showcase their traits -- it does, even if characterization is not very subtle -- but there are little to no particularities about how they say it. In particular, Dumbledore's speech is consistently odd.

There's also this thing, that the characters don't really act in accordance to the fact that there's a big damn war going on, even though it gets talked about very convincingly. When they're not off trying to thwart Voldemort's plans (that is, most of the time), they get girlfriends, reminisce about the good ole' times, get jobs, move in & out, and just generally get on with their lives. (They also fight and bicker to a much higher degree than necessary.) I can see why the author's focusing on that, though. She's best at writing emotionally loaded scenes and mild humour; battle scenes, descriptions of pain and fear, villain portrayals all come across as feeble and unconvincing. (May also be a chicken-and-egg thing; you become good at something by practicing.)

The prose reads very smoothly, though it's rather on the plain side -- certainly not on par with that of any of DLP's big authors (Swim, Joe, Andro, VotN and others) -- which is just fine if that's what you're into.

That said, overall I enjoyed reading it, and it definitely deserves to be in the library. It succeeds in telling a story well, making you care for the characters and wanting to find out what happens next (very good cliffhangers, btw, even if they're rare), which is proof enough that it's good. While I've been mostly critical in the above paragraphs, since that's what I do , this one gets a 4/5 from me.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:04 AM   #5
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A new chapter has been posted, only adding more to an already great story. As always, her characterization is amazing and the story remains true to the idea of war. I do admit that she has me hooked. If you haven't check this out already, you really should.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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Wow.Lets start with, i'm three chapters in and so far this story is great. The characters are handled well and seem to be true to what little information we have on them. I really like the part when Sirius transforms into his animagus...well placed funny.

This post is really just me urging viewer's to read this story.For those of you who choose to not read this story because its not harry centric. I get it, but you should still read this. Usually I'm of the same opinion, but just read the first chapter. Its good.

Also consider how few good stories have been developed recently in fanfiction.(It seems that less and less talented authors are being drawn in.) and so far this fic is a breath of fresh air for me and gives me hope that I wont see nothing but Hp/Ss slash and terrible cliché's for the rest of...forever.

Gonna finish up this fic before i rate it. But so far...awesome.

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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To my great surprise, I loved this.

I normally can't read Marauder centric fics at all. It's not that it's not Harry. I love Snape centric fics (well written ones... so, Soul Play). But Marauders are really hard to write. The artificial, forced banter, the lack of tension because you know what's going to happen eventually... as an AU, the latter doesn't hold here, and the characters are all really well done.

And fuck, it's not a comedy story, but I laughed my head off for about 5 minutes straight at this:

Quote:
Forcing himself into a dead run, Sirius scrambled up the nearest stopped car and threw himself into a feet-first slide over the roof. He twisted as he did so, getting his first clear look back at Regulus. "Everte Statum!"

Even as he felt the spell leave his wand, something slashed against his face. Sirius slid down the rear window of the car, his left hand on his face. Blood. Damn it. And it might scar. They never said anything about scars.

"Stay down, Petunia!" Sirius heard one of the Muggles in the car exclaim. "It's happening! The freaks are taking over the world!"
It still makes me chuckle now lol.

Haven't got anywhere near finish this yet. But so far it's great.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:51 PM   #8
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Yes, that line nearly killed me as well. It was after reading that that I decided I would read the story the whole way through no matter if it took a turn I didn't like, because I was confident that the author was highly capable of pulling the whole thing off. I mean, throwing Vernon and Petunia in the middle of the fight like that could have turned cliche or detracted for Regulus and Sirius's fight, but it was awesome and actually added to the scene.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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In short, I've loved it so far. The characterizations are great, the drama feels compelling, and there have been a few laugh out loud moments. 4.5/5, rounded up for voting purposes.

I'm personally most interested in how the whole Peter situation will turn out. I've always thought that Peter could be a much more interesting character than JK made him in canon, and this story is showing strays of why I think that is.

As a side note, as anyone read the other stories in the series? I read Strangers, which was an interesting and original take on James, Sirius, and Peter discovering Remus's "furry little problem." I quite enjoyed it, personally.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #10
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This was a very decent read, well-written and worthy, I think, of a spot in the library. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.

There are some moments when the story truly shines. I especially liked reading the initial reaction of James and Sirius to the news of Peter's betrayal in chapter three (Sirius's "Everyone liked dogs" thought sounded just like him), and the Azkaban scene with Sirius and Dumbledore in chapter seven.

That said, I found myself getting bored towards the end of what has been written thus far. Who-said-what-to-whom (as Damask put it earlier in the thread) could not hold my interest, partly because many of the characters are essentially OCs that have had no role in canon (I'm talking about the likes of Dorcas, Max, and Marlene here, not the Marauders, Dumbledore, or Regulus).

So I guess my problem was mostly that I am subjectively simply not too fond of drawn-out relationship-focused stories. Would have wanted to see more stuff happening, more progression in the war against Voldemort, and that would have made it easier to somehow relate what's happening in the story to what we know from canon.

Also had to suspend disbelief on a few occasions. For example, it was difficult to believe that Dumbledore would let others retrieve Slytherin's locket from the cave, and more difficult still to see him not taking a much more active part in destroying it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #11
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It's a solid 4/5 for me, good writing, good plot, and I like the characters portrayals.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:42 PM   #12
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This is exactly the Marauders fic I'm looking for. 5/5 solid
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quite good, and the update rate makes it even better. I normally only read Harrycentrics, but the characterisation in this beats many of the other stories I've read.
Tentative 4.5/5
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:55 PM   #14
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Pleasantly surprised. There aren't many non-Harry centred fics that I enjoy, but yeah, I was really surprised. 5/5 for now.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #15
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I just finished reading this myself. I wouldn't call it amazing, but it's definitely a solid read. I'll give it a very solid 4/5.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:32 AM   #16
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Normally I don't read non Harry-centric fics. I'm sure everyone's heard that one about a hundred times in this thread. Well its true, I don't.

That said, I must say that this whole fic is completely solid. I've yet to detect any cliches. I don't know if thats because this premise isn't used often or if its because I typically don't read First War stories.

That said, I'm hooked on it. I've read 43 of the chapters so far. The style is a little dull, it could do with a bit more showing and a lot less dialog. I wanted to know not only that Sirius' wallpaper was ugly but I want to know how ugly. What is it baby-puke green or something? This is of course only an example.

I've yet to detect any major typographical or spelling errors. I've yet to detect any major grammatical errors. I'm sure there are some in there, but they are probably only those that would be picked up by a grammar reichsführer.

Most importantly the story itself is captivating. Not to mention it seems to be blessedly free of Weasleys.

I normally don't give full marks, and I'm almost always trying to find something to hate in any fic I review...but this one, I just can't find anything. So it gets a 5/5.

About the only way the author could ruin this is by sending Sirius to AA or something.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #17
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The only problem I've had with this fic so far is the door. Seriously. I thought it was a one-time gag, but the author kept dragging it on. James, Transfiguration specialist, and Lily, Charms/Potions specialist can't cast a simple Reparo? Really?

It breaks immersion for me, bringing the fic from 5/5 to 4/5.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:29 PM   #18
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Story no longer on FFN

The story is no longer on FF.net. You'll have to PM the author for the link to the new site on which its hosted.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:38 PM   #19
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Well, that's a big pile of bullshit.

Will post the link here once I've got it.

Kinda annoying. What's the point in relocating to a site with restricted access if you still want people to read it (which she clearly does, given that she says PM her for the link)? Sounds like she's just trying to increase traffic on her personal site.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #20
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Nothing wrong with that to be honest. Of course it also means she will lose a shitload of readers who simply won't bother.
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