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WIP A Long Journey Home by Rakeesh - T

Discussion in 'The Alternates' started by pbluekan, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. kix

    kix First Year DLP Supporter

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    Two more chapters on this arc according to author. And I agree, I immensely enjoy how we get to see the discovery of magic. I wonder what time period is next and where. Still a very enjoyable read.
     
  2. gamarad

    gamarad Second Year

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    New Update. It's funny, I just finished rereading it and not five minutes latter a new update is out. It's a really good feeling.
     
  3. Quiddity

    Quiddity Auror

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    This can't end well.


    I'm curious as to how much further they will go in discovering magic, both soul and mind. It seems they've delved quite close to what canon allows already, which is a little odd given there's another 4000 years of wizarding experimentation still left.
     
  4. pbluekan

    pbluekan Professor DLP Supporter

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    You lucky SOB. I feel like I've been waiting forever.

    I need to reread the section again, because it's been so long, but I think I'm probably just going to do a reread of the whole thing. It deserves it.
     
  5. throwaawy

    throwaawy Third Year

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    oh dear. i'd have to check back prolly to the myrrdin arc to confirm my suspicions, but why do i have the bad feeling we're about to get a obiwan/vader moment?
     
  6. Miner

    Miner Professor

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    I'll preface this by saying that I've just finished chapter 10, and will likely continue this review whenever I finish the chapters remaining.


    I am so so torn by this fic. I don't think I've ever read anything before which was so polarizing to me, and so I don't know if the fic is brilliant, or ... well.... not.

    Let's start with Jasmine. I kind of want to point at Taure's review and just say that he said most of what I wanted to say, but I want to focus on Jasmine's mental state.

    Five fucking thousand years of life, of never aging, of watching those around you die and be lost to the annals of history. She's lived at the height of the Egyptian pharaohs in the New Kingdom (I'm thinking Hatshepsut and Thutmose III), seen the heights of Rome, experienced the rise of the Arab world, watched the rise and fall of the strongest dynasties in China, etc. etc.

    And then in Chapter 8 she's cheerfully singing Beatles songs while manipulating Dumbledore into missing her. And later on she's making friends with Ron and Hermione again, all the while doing fucking paperwork of all things for KI. Like WTF??? Is that even possible? Has time literally lost all meaning to her to the point that she's deadened to human experiences/emotions?

    And before you jump on me and say that of course she still has emotions look at what happened to her when Myrddin died, I'd say that well yes, she was... not in a good place... but well, those emotions haven't seemed to come out again from that point onward.

    And like, we see glimpses of it elsewhere, the most notable one coming to mind is Nicolas's talk with her where he mentions that he might be considering moving on. And how much that fucking scares her and makes her cave in on herself because she realizes that everyone can move on except her. It's beautifully poignant, but it's not consistent.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into it, and maybe I'm holding it to too high of a standard, but I find that a problem with any fic dealing with the effects of time travel inevitably loses a little bit of its lustre simply because it's impossible to write a convincing "super old person who has time-traveled" because I feel like no one can actually understand what it would mean to live for that long and so no one can properly capture the reactions and behavior of a five thousand year old person.

    On the flip side of the coin though, let's talk about the Myrddin Arc. The arc that probably is the selling point of this story, and what made me probably piss off my friends and teachers as I essentially ignored them to read it.

    It was, quite frankly, perhaps one of the most brilliant self-contained arcs I've read in fanfiction. Taking Arthurian legend and turning it into a story, filled with loss and emotions and love and understanding and all the things that are so intrinsically human takes something beyond natural talent, and I have to give so many props to the author for pulling it off.

    And of course, the poem + Ron's little shovel speech to Myrddin's tomb nailed me right in the gut and I had to actually take a moment to understand that I was in bio class and how weird it'd be if I just started, I dunno, bawling or something.

    Myrddin is everything that anyone who has actually read/studied Arthurian legend could have probably wanted/expected out of this story. Just wow.

    But then there are times when I absolutely want to strangle the author for making too many things out of nothing at all. Simon Westly being the Weasleys ancestor being one of them. It's cool and everything to have your best friends be descended from someone who you cursed for his carelessness that got your true love killed and whatnot. I'm even sure there's some sort of twisted irony there.

    But coincidences like that just don't happen in life, and it bugs me.

    Finally, I feel as though I must give a thousand kudos to the author for the little tidbits. There's stuff that Newcomb has mentioned (the Dreamless Sleep comment comes to mind), and then there's other humorous stuff like the wine at the end of chapter 9, and the phoenixes, and the Dumbledore chapter (which, by the way, I do agree that Dumbledore in this fic is portrayed wonderfully). There's so many gems in the story, and that's why rating this fic was immensely difficult.

    Still, through ten chapters, I think I'm being as fair to myself as possible in giving it a 4/5.

    That said, I'm very intrigued as to what will occur after the current arc that I haven't started yet. I'm hoping the author does something with China, or WWII (Grindelwald comes to mind, although I don't know how much the author will deviate from canon, especially since Jasmine should know stuff about the War with Grindelwald and likely wouldn't interfere too much). There's a lot of interesting history that could definitely incorporate Jasmine, and I'm very much looking forward to it.

    .
    .
    .
    Yeah that was fun and cathartic.
     
  7. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    Just got around to reading this. I’m not not sure why I haven’t read this one yet, since it is pretty popular, not to mention, I like the premise and it is something I have attempted myself before (The Root of All Evil). I think maybe I was confusing this with another story, where Harry’s renamed to Rakhesh, because that is the author’s name.

    Anyways, this story is a mixed back for me. On one hand, I like it quite a lot. On the other hand, some of the execution of some concepts is subpar. The story itself feels like its made out of contradicting emotions. It’s both interesting and not interesting. It is carefully structured to not have pacing issues, but still has pacing issue. There’s a lot interesting concepts, but there’s a lot of cop-outs.

    Before I started reading this fic, I had always heard that the Merlin arc was the best part of the story, but I’m not really sure I agree. I think I liked the second major timetravel part in Egypt more.

    To start, I’m not normally a fan of fem!Harry. Usually it’s pretty pointless, but I guess in this story, I’d rather have Harry be Morgana, than Merlin, since Merlin!Harry is a terrible trope. Morgana!Harry should nearly be as bad, but its feels like at all points of the story there’s an arbitrary means to curtail Harry’s ability. And, for the sake of this review, I’m just going to refer to fem!Harry as Harry.

    The story starts off with the timetravel mechanic. The scene was good enough to draw me in and make me interested. However, post-Hogwarts stuff involving Hermione and Ron in a relationship tends to be really dull, and this no exception.

    Anyways, the Merlin stuff is pretty early in the story. I liked it, but I also didn’t really like it. There was some pacing issues, which is expected when a story is planning on spanning 5000 years, but at times, the author would speed up the story by a couple years. I don’t mind it, but it’s hard to get invested in a character.

    The first of my major gripes happens in the Merlin arc. I guess there’s actually three gripes there, and they're both kind of the same. So, Merlin becomes an apprentice to MorganaHarry. That much is expected. Except, Merlin matches Harry in skill in three years, and that’s just bullshit. Harry is three thousand years old. You can even put that in italics to emphasize it. Or, you can justify it by putting Merlin in italics. It’s Merlin so of course he’s better.

    It doesn’t make sense with how the story is present. I honestly don’t mind the whole student surpassing the master trope, but here it was clear the author was just going for “historical accuracy” for whatever that is worth with regards to a fictional legend. That’s gripe 1

    Gripe 2 is how it is actually don’t. It’s done with runes. Yeah, the author decided to use the old standby of having runes and arithmancy be pretty much a programming language. I hate that. Especially since the author doesn’t actually go in depth at all.when it happens. It’s just Merlin swapping two runes and voila, solved. It’s pretty much the whole trope where a young hotshot computer programmer intern joins a company and solves a problem in a few days that they had been trying to solve for 10 years. It’s some movie script bullshit. It’s plausible of course, but I just don’t think it was executed all that well.

    Gripe 3 is how Harry is portrayed. Ancient and powerful, yet not actually able to do much, such as be active in the world. Also, old age means bad memories, and faded skills, and a whole plot arc later on addressing it. It’s all a bunch of excuses for the author to hamstring Harry at key opportunities, rather than let him be OP when the situation calls for it. If any story needed an OP!Harry, it was this one. Instead, we have Merlin surpassing him in a few years. Say whatever you want about Merlin, Dumbledore, or Elminster, or whatever, they’re not demigods. They’re not Mystra. They’re not immortals. So why treat Harry like a chump except for when the plot calls for it?

    Regardless, the Merlin arc was still pretty good. What comes afterwards was a trip back to “present” times.

    I disliked most of the present stuff. It’s a mix of filler, and stuff that was only kind of interesting. Like, the scene where Harry was a hippy with Dumbledore searching for him was kind of interesting, but kind of obvious as well (which with how obvious it was, I’m assuming that that was intentional by the author). The scenes with Flamel I just didn’t care about at all.

    The scenes with Hermione and Ron, and especially the wedding, I just got through as fast as possible. I get why they’re there. Hell, the author even acknowledges it in story, but it was still set up like filler. It’s pretty much just to act as a barrier between flashbacks, because otherwise, if you actually did the story linearly, with all the interesting history stuff first, and then all the present day stuff afterwards, no one would finish the second half of the story.

    But ultimately, the question you have to ask, and it’s the question actually asked in the story itself, is why should a 5,000 year old Harry care about a bunch of people he’s only know for 10 years, and can’t even remember. I think it’s Hermione that asks that very question. But it is a real question. I get there they were Harry’s anchor stone or whatever, or just a gimmick to give a sense of normalcy to a story, but as a reader, I don’t get why I should care about them. They’re presented as insignificant to the grand scheme of things, so as a reader, that’s how I’ll treat them, and that’s why I don’t want to read about them.

    Eventually we get back to another time jump, this time back to Egypt. I actually like this one a bit more than the Merlin one, mostly because I didn’t think Merlin himself was portrayed all that well, and I felt it was a bit too heavyhanded (such as with the one Westly guy ending up being the ancestor of the Weasleys).

    This whole arc is essentially set up around Ayati. If it wasn’t, she would have been portrayed as normal, instead of a frail girl with a weak heart. Predictable, but arbitrary. I kind of felt like the author just wanted to explore some of the deeper magics such as inferi and necromancy and occlumency, just because. To me, it was kind of just there. Expected, almost.

    Again, the author touched upon using runes and arithmancy to construct spells. Again, the author didn’t really go into much depth. And again, it’s pretty much just a bullshit cop-out. We’ve also got the whole bad memory thing still going on, which I’m guessing is literally going to be a plot point in every single timetravel arc. It wasn’t really interesting the first time, and wasn’t really that interesting here.

    So, that’s kind of where the story is left off. I’m guessing Ayati dies (probably during childbirth) and Rahji uses necromancy in some form. Harry probably reacts in some way.

    As for a rating… This story had the potential to be a 5/5 story, but right now, it’s probably closer to a 3. It should be higher, but the story is kind of all over the place with what the author is trying to accomplish. Are you trying to create history and go over the origins of magic, or not? Because right now, the author is caught in the middle, and that’s the worst of both.
     
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