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Old 09-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
Knoq
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A Difference in the Family: The Snape Chronicles by Rannaro - M

Title: A Difference in the Family: The Snape Chronicles
Author: Rannaro
Rating: Fiction M
Genre: Character Biography/Attempted Canonical
Chapters: 64
Words:
648,043
Updated: April 29, 2012
Published:
March 18th, 2012
Status: Completed
Library Category: General
Pairings: Short Lived Snape/OC, otherwise Canon
Link :https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7937889...ape-Chronicles

Summary: We have the testimony of Harry, but witnesses can be notoriously unreliable, especially when they have only part of the story. This is a biography of Severus Snape from his birth until his death. It is canon-compatible, and it is Snape's point of view.
____________

A fair bit of warning, the summary is...inadequate to say the least, and it starts early. In fact, it starts before Severus Snape breathes his first breath, and takes quite a while to even get to Hogwarts, much less get to Harry Potter being alive. However, this doesn't mean the story takes 200,000+ words to get started.

Far from it.

It's also, frankly worth it, as I felt myself actually feeling for a fanfic for the first time in a while. It's a damned good drama, is as canon compliant as possible while remaining focused on Snape, which leaves some wiggle room. It is a biography of Severus Snape, first and foremost, and that's just how it is.

There is an alternate universe "sequel", but it won't be recommended in the same thread due to the fact that they belong in different parts of the Library. I will link that rec thread to this one if I can.
https://forums.darklordpotter.net/sh...073#post754073

Last edited by Knoq; 09-14-2014 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:26 AM   #2
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I'm sort of curious, but at the same time...

either it actually remains true to canon and it's 650k words about a bitter, petty man - or it's romanticized bullshit that I couldn't stomach reading.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:43 AM   #3
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The story is well-written and immersive, telling the story of a gifted misanthrope from a poor family living outside Manchester, and how being magical didn't solve all his problems, or the problems of his family. It really is a remarkable work that plays with every small thing we knew about Snape and interpolating into a character study of life in Slytherin in the 70's. History, in particular the space race and social issues of northern England, make frequent mention.

I'm just getting through Harry's first year, which was written earlier than the back-story section and it shows; the descriptions are less visceral and the plot moves on mostly through the dialogue.

For those daunted by the insane word count, it might help to consider the true must-read section to be the first half, which is 'only' 300k.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
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I am just getting into the second year of Hogwarts, and so far it has been an engrossing read. If the author can keep this up it will be a rare piece of fanfiction. I am not sure I have ever seen someone try to write such an exhaustive and immersive back-story for a character before. It is very well researched and written It is long though and I wonder if the author is able to keep it up for the whole length. I do think that the author is not British as sometimes a things that don't seem quite English to me sneak in, a regular example would be "footlocker" which as a native Englishman I have never heard used in that way.
<O
So far I would consider awarding it a 4.75 downgraded to a 4 for the small issues with consistency and some other small things. Other than these small issues it seems to be written to a very high standard, I wish more fanfiction or even published fiction was at this standard. It may not be a classic but it may come quite close. I will though hold off making a final decision until I get further in.<O></O>
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eidolonic View Post
I'm sort of curious, but at the same time...

either it actually remains true to canon and it's 650k words about a bitter, petty man - or it's romanticized bullshit that I couldn't stomach reading.
He is bitter and petty. But frankly, that isn't all there is, and from Harry and friends point of view, that's all we would get anyway, so again, you have to be willing to give a little. That said, there are a few things which struck me as odd, but the emotional aspect of it....

Man, it doesn't turn Severus into an angel, but you might still end up feeling sorry for both the character and Lily & James a little more. It also does a fairly realistic depiction of a Poor Half-Blood with a Muggle name in Slytherin rather well and shows how Snape could have ended up among the Death Eaters.

The fic does have issues though.

 
The Marauder/Snape thing is a little tuned down from what I expected, save Snape nearly getting pants'd. And the motivations of James Potter....are expectedly a little stupid. But James, Remus and Peter all manage to bury the axe one way or another. Sirius doesn't though, but he has his reasons. Also, Congenital Occlumens
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knoq View Post
The fic does have issues though.

 
Also, Congenital Occlumens

 
While Dumbledore refers to him as such in the Potter years, the back-story doesn't make him a born Occlumens, just one that had been trained by his mother as he grew to Hogwarts age. His defenses aren't perfect and I love how Hagrid and Dumbledore attempt to intervene, hoping to prevent him from becoming a full-on sociopath. This fic has one of the best representations of Occlumency I've seen.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wordhammer View Post
 
While Dumbledore refers to him as such in the Potter years, the back-story doesn't make him a born Occlumens, just one that had been trained by his mother as he grew to Hogwarts age. His defenses aren't perfect and I love how Hagrid and Dumbledore attempt to intervene, hoping to prevent him from becoming a full-on sociopath. This fic has one of the best representations of Occlumency I've seen.
 
Yeah, I always thought that being a master practioner of Occlumency should have some side effects, especially of the "Brick Wall" type shield. Or even the kind that Snape uses as Canon, which seems like it would be extremely difficult. Snape being portrayed as naturally heavily guarded and oriented towards a strong desire to keep secrets would only make this worse. Keeping yourself cut off from the world and suppressing emotions so constantly simply can't be good for ones health, magic or not.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:50 PM   #8
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Have to say that I didn't find it as enjoyable. Snape's (and others) characterization doesn't ring true to me... the small things throughout just left me rolling my eyes. McGonagall calling Snape an "irritating young whippersnapper", for example. Or Bellatrix casually referring to Snape with ridiculous nicknames ("ancient history, puppy dog"). Professor Carmichael (also known as "Dr." Carmichael - really?) not being able to get a divorce without a year of separation, because of the American laws being different in each of the 50 states (something that would mirror the "muggle" world - as if the magical world looked to them for inspiration). Not to mention little canon twists like Snape discovering that Harry had the half blood prince book before the sectumsepra incident, because he sussed it out over something ridiculous - or discovering that Fletcher is stealing Black family goods before canon (even though Dumbledore doesn't do anything with it, allowing canon to "come true").

It all makes for a very different Snape - which I imagine was the author's intent. Unfortunately it just feels wrong to me... like the author was writing Alan Rickman as the main character, as opposed to the character of Severus Snape. Far too sanitized and proper - and far too determined to always put the author's character in a good light.

650K words later, I wished I had listened to my gut instincts and avoided it.

BTW - I also found Hagrid trying to deflect Snape in the last chapter by saying he was "hatching golliwogs" to be in the worst taste. "Golliwog" is an insulting racial slur in the UK and the Commonwealth and its use in this story - even as a casual afterthought - is offensive.

Last edited by Spyder; 09-16-2014 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:26 AM   #9
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Having finally finished it I am very pleased. It was high quality all the way through, something not easy to do in a story this long. I enjoyed the ability to look at the world from a different perspective and while I found the lack of it being Harry-Centric refreshing I expect others will criticise and rate it low because of this. I did find the characters to be slightly out on occasion but not massively and in an easily overlooked way. Sadly it has bits of non-British speech in it but again something that does not detract. On the whole I am happy to give it the full 5/5, which it would deserve just for its ability to keep you reading from beginning to end. It deserves to be a classic and I will be disappointed if it does not make it into the library.

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Old 11-25-2014, 04:23 PM   #10
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The story does start to slightly loose steam once we get to the book years but even so...

5/5 All the way through and if you just count the pre PS story, it's one of the best I've read. Extremely well written, and I'm not about spelling and grammar. Snape's character is dynamic and three dimensional. Working within the constraints of cannon, the author manages to elevate the greasy git from a cardboard villain to a real empathetic protagonist. The development of his character is consistently and believably supported by his experiences. The conflicts are refreshingly human and the resolutions although often bittersweet are believable.

It's real shame that this is in the recycling bin.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:37 PM   #11
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The obligatory /no update.

The whitewashing of Snape in this fic was a big problem for me. Even giving up after his first year at Hogwarts, this was already coming through quite strongly, as well as a general sense that he was more powerful than in canon. The authorial bias is quite clear.

That, and the depressing - if impressive - characterization of life in a coal town in Thatcher's Britain caused me to stop reading.

Its pacing is a major problem as well. I don't recall exact numbers, but it was something in the line of a full 100k words before he even got to Hogwarts. And whilst the author did his/her best, it just wasn't interesting enough to warrant that - as most pre-Hogwarts fics are.

All in all, I'd give it a 3.5/5, rounded up. Certainly decent quality, but has some fundamental issues that pull it down. Ultimately I round up because some of my problems with it are personal ones - wrong tone for me, lack of fascination in Snape's character - and I can see how it would be worth the read for someone else.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:11 PM   #12
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I loved this fic. It was long, deeply explored the character and his motivations (even though the author did tend to whitewash Snape some, as mentioned by another review) and the journey from a beaten poor half-blood thrust into a world of rich pureblood Slytherins to a death eater and back was an amazing ride. I suspect this isn't DLPs cup of tea, but i'll happily give this a 4/5 for overall quality, 5/5 for enjoyment and 5/5 for the depth and detail.
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:40 PM   #13
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Here's my review of it:

The Snape Chronicles is the most unappreciated fanfic on FFnet, and I'm not just saying that. It takes you from before Snape was born right to his death, and no part is skipped over. Usually any fanfic makes Snape out to be a bitter, petty old man or a romanticized anti-hero, but this fic portays him differently than we usually see. It takes in, not just his wizarding aspect, but the muggle half of Snape as well, with topics like the space race and social issues of northern England. With what little (but yet so much) JK Rowling gives us about Snape, Rannaro fills in everything. Even if you hate Snape (or love him), read it. Keep in mind, this is not just HP book 1-7 in Snape's point of view, it takes a whole lot of time and chapters to even get to Harry's sorting.
My description / review doesn't give it justice. Just read it!

Writing: O
Plot: E
Characters: E

Now, I want to make a reply because a beautifully rendered PDF version of the fic has been made, which you can access here.

Also, I wanted to link the AU sequel to the fic if Snape did not die in the end.

Hope y'all enjoy!
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Old 12-30-2016, 01:07 AM   #14
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The Snape Chronicles is the most unappreciated fanfic on FFnet
I would have to agree. Most people who read this - and his other works - realise just what a talented author Rannaro is.

It is bitterly disappointing for me that he's disappeared without finishing his other works.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:28 PM   #15
nahdawg
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I can't get behind this story completely. Snape is basically a good guy in this. He's manipulated to join the Death Eaters, he doesn't actually participate in any attacks. He even becomes pseudo-friends with James Potter.

The worst characterization is when he becomes a teacher. I'm only up to the middle of Harry's Third Year but so far everything Snape has done has basically been out of the goodness of his heart. He brews Lupin extra potion, he's best friends with Hagrid, and he is getting intimidated by Draco Malfoy.

This seems like such a whitewash of Snape's character. we hardly see any of his trademark selfishness and decisiveness. He's always looking both ways before he does anything and just seems overall more noble. And nobleness for Snape makes for a boring character, especially since we know its a biography/rehash through Snape's POV and nothing else.
3/5

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