Discussion in 'General Fics' started by Silens Cursor, Jul 24, 2009.
Crazy, didn't see that coming. By far the best mystery/crime story I've read.. ever
So here's the update for Chapter 47 on fanfiction.net and PatronusCharm. As always, read, review, and enjoy!
And the epilogue is posted here and here. If a mod could update the thread title to show this fic as completed, it'd be great.
Thanks for reading, folks!
I've been reading this for a little over two years now, and I was very happy with how it finished. Silens is one of my favorite authors on here, and this is the best of his stories.
Looking forward to the sequel.
So, I read this entire story over the last 4-5 days. It's really good in many, many ways. Not perfect, but definitely good.
Revising my rating to 4.5/5 -- here's my initial review back in 2009:
I picked it up again after having several (at least four) people tell me that I should give it another go because Silens is bawse at plotting, and it'd be good to check out since I'm trying to write a fanfic with several subplots as well.
They were right, though some of what I said before still stands. The first third of the story (which I didn't get past the first time) wasn't my cup of tea. The middle third was good times. The last third was great.
From here on there will be spoilers!
This is not a story you want spoiled!
I thought the first third of this story was still difficult to get through. That much didn't change. But unlike 4 years ago I found myself more willing to keep reading because of all the plot threads I could see hinted at, even early on.
Which reminds me... I went into this expecting foreshadowing and plot threads and whatnot. To the point that I think I imagined a few of them. One early one, when Harry and Tonks were going to sneak into Gringotts, was the... hm, was it Diagon Alley being nearly deserted and it turned out being some Warlocks protesting some book or something? I totally expected that book to be relevant, lol.
So random comments (I made a handful of notes as I read, but can also refer to my reviews on ffnet):
Harry is unlikable at first. In my personal opinion, too much so. I realize that at the end you explained this very nicely by showing that Dumbledore had done a clever memory thing on him.
But my problem was that... well, hm. We didn't see enough of normal!Harry before it happened in your story, so there wasn't really a *change* for me to latch on to to make me suspicious of something going on. Harry was just an asshole. The only reason I suspected otherwise is because I know you're a damn talented writer and everyone told me that things were awesome and made sense later.
I think if you'd hinted a tad more that something was up, or shown us more of Harry before the events of that night, it might have helped. Or that might just be me.
There's also this feeling that nothing ever... hm. Thrillers in general don't usually slow down a lot, but your story seemed to take that to the max. That might be what you were going for, but sometimes it felt like it was a little much. Still, much better than not enough action/drama. *thumbs up*
I also felt like it might have helped to discover some of the secrets a little earlier. Everything sort of came out right at the end, and it felt a bit crowded (and no time to breathe in between revelations).
Plus nearly everyone was playing some game or other. It does make sense from the standpoint of I can see war being like that, but geez. Tonks has a spell on her, Dumbledore messing with Harry's head, Cassane having his own plans, Larshall being under someones control, etc.
But on the other hand I liked that. I liked that things were screwed up and complicated and everyone was doing their own thing. IT was refreshing.
Great OCs by the way. Cassane and Kemester and even Larshall were done so well that I was invested in them as full characters by the time stuff started happening to them.
At first I felt like you spent so much time playing good!guy factions against each other that we missed out on more of Voldemort's doings, but then I realized that this was just a 5th Year fic, despite the length, and that actually makes sense. Auror v Hit Wizard v Order v Harry v Ministry Politics -- and Voldemort out to get them all and play them against each other. *thumbs up*
While not my favorite characterizations of Ron and Hermione, I do think you carried them forward in a reasonable manner given your divergence point from canon.
The end of Fourth Year had several hard-hitting shocks for Harry to deal with, he'd been fighting with Ron earlier that year, and Hermione is always all about the rules. I could see them starting to go their own ways at this juncture given the situation you put them in.
I sometimes felt that we would... hm, go too long before doubling back to a particular plot element? Early in the "Hogwarts Time SNAFU" I wondered why Harry wasn't more worried about it, and when Sirius was nearly killed we didn't have much mention of Harry sparing a thought for him, and a handful of other things.
All in all though I enjoyed the pacing -- I never got bored and rarely felt the need to skim.
Peeves was neat and unique, as were several of the phrases that you repeated throughout the story (his name is Harry Potter, not room in here for three, etc).
Most of your chapters ended with a bang and/or a minor cliffhanger so that I was anxious to read the next. *thumbs up*
Good job on portrayal of characters like Dumbledore and Snape by the way, they tend to be hard to do. Lupin and Sirius were good.
I wasn't a fan of Tonks at first. She felt more like she existed in the story to be Harry's sidekick rather than a character of her own. She grew on me eventually though.
One of the best parts was your interesting use of magic. Harry's simulmancy (sp?), the spirits at Hogwarts, time issues, the Spire, and so on. All felt original and were enjoyable to read about.
Very satisfying at the end to see all the plot threads come together and make sense, though again I felt it was a little more delayed in some cases than it had to be. Nothing specific I can pinpoint there, but it was like... it's like I was more "relieved" to finally get answers than "excited" if that makes sense.
Enjoyed your management of POV switches. Quite a bit actually. I'm curious, approximately what % was Harry's POV? Because I didn't get tired of all the other ones.
All in all though man, this is a very well written and clever fanfic. It still wasn't quite my cup of tea, so I can't give it a 5/5, but it's close. Very close. Maybe sometime I'll even read it again -- seems like one of those things that has re-read value.
Thanks for writing.
If you have any questions or want to discuss anything while it's fresh in my mind just PM me or pop on IRC. Cheers
This is less review, and more list of my grievances with this fic, but whatever.
Initially, Renegade Causes didn't have high priority on my to read list, but after seeing it being mentioned as an inspiration for Lesser Evils, I decided to give it a shot. And finally I've finished it today.
It wasn't what I initially expected - aka another indy Harry story that is about him getting stronger and then killing Voldemort. Actually it could use more of showing Harry getting stronger - as it was he sort of got more skilled in the background. It didn't feel like a natural progression. On the other hand it would bloat already long fic, and it wasn't a focus of this work.
The focus here after all was plot and that was the fic's biggest strength and biggest weakness at the same time. The strength, because the plot was actually interesting, with some nice foreshadowing. The weakness, because everything else was sacrificed for a sake of it. The best (worst?) example here is the whole plotline with the attacks where everybody acted like a complete idiot.
Draco was a decoy so people won't focus on Nott, but he was constantly around Nott.
And the talked about their plans in the damn library (because it's not like the castle have like a million secret passages, etc.), and didn't even protect themselves from being overheard.
And when Hermione, Ron and Ernie followed them to see if they're up to something, instead of actually following them to see if they're up to something they shouted at them.
And the Hermione and Ernie masterfully painted targets on themselves, because it makes so much sense to tell people who you suspect of horrible crime that you suspect them of horrible crime or that you will go to report them.
Let's not mention twins being useless at following Malfoy, despite Nott acting more and more crazy and Malfoy still meeting with him.
Another great example is Azkaban and the Spire.
"We have this cool giant super-wand and we know that Voldemort is coming and Dementors will help him. Let's do nothing with it!"
There are other problems, some arbitrary changes to magic system like not being able to cast other spells when using shield or disillusionment in the middle of the big action scenes which destroyed their flow due to character decisions initially seeming stupid.
I'm getting lazy so I will just point out the rest:
- While relation between time and possessions was established the link with metamorphagi in simulancy was never satisfactory explained and was too obvious of plot device to have Tonks being important to plot.
- While we are at the matter of Tonks, it's funny how Dumbledore's mindraping her into falling for Harry is mostly shrugged away as "they would fuck anyway" while Voldemort's double rape is a big thing both in the story and author notes.
- The pacing was sloooow.
- And it got terrible at the end with everybody suddenly having a need to explain their actions and opinions. Which was bad in its own right.
- The ending was generally disappointing, there were distinct lack of build-up to confrontation with Death Eaters and characters who outlived their usefulness to plot just killed themselves.
On the plus side, the technical side of the writing was good (at least as far as I could tell), and the characterisation was solid (excluding elements mentioned above).
Planned on giving 5/10, but the disappointing ending made me give it 4.5/10 so two stars in DLP scale.
Biggest problem is Logic is sacrificed for plot. Silens had a plot he wanted to tell and he left all logic for that.
Kemester is the most pointless character in the series. And there are 100000 words for him.
Voldemort is uber powered and everything goes his way.
Contrived plot everywhere.
If you leave logic and read it its an awesome fix but if not its a complete waste of what could have been a masterpiece.
Still the second best fix I have read after TLIL.
If I may offer an opposing view, I thought Kemester was a well done "mini-villain" for Harry. I agree that his "100k words" are stretched, but that's a general issue with the entire fanfic, not just a Kemester-specific problem.
You're pretty bloody awful at DLPing.
You can't just keep making one line statements in your posts and not back them up with any evidence or conjecture. It's really irritating to see. Pretty damn sure you've been infracted for doing so repeatedly.
If I see it again I'm going to ban you for a week. :\
Harry is too ooc for me. He becomes an asshole and justifies by saying "I have to be an asshole to survive." It's like after he almost got arrested he turns into a completely different person.
I also couldn't handle Peeves being turned into an ultra powerful demon/ghost/spirit that starts manipulating everyone for some reason.
The thing that annoyed me the most was the insane hit wizard that wanted to kill Harry because his brother died while chasing Harry. No one at the ministry really cares that he's insane. They go "Yep, he's insane" and carry on with whatever they're doing. At one point he grabs Harry apperates away, beats the shit out of Harry, then leaves Harry and he doesn't suffer any consequences from it. A bunch of people watched him leave with Harry and not only does he get off scot free, no one mentions it again after several paragraphs.
All in all, regret I read it.
Just to clarify, did you finish it? I had similar feelings (though less harsh, I never regretted reading it) towards the story the first time or two I started reading it, but third time was the charm. And once I finished it I liked it more, given that some of what you're talking about does get explained.
I'm not saying you should finish it. If you aren't enjoying it by all means give it a pass. But I am curious if you still felt this way after reading the whole thing.
Agravaine quickly hit the red x. "All the dialogue is written like this," he observed exasperatedly.
Title: Speak Softly, Love
Library Category: Romance
Pairings: Antonin D.
Summary: Antonin Dolohov hadn't always been a Death Eater. He once was a champion. He once had a family. He once had a wife. This is the story how he lost it all.
When you put a fic up for review please give us your own thoughts on it, rather than just the barebones summary and related info. We can all find fics and post them, but the why of your reccomendation is what we care about. It doesn't even have to be anything above a three, either, almost reccomendable is just fine. Just don't slog us with the 2 or 1 of 10 crap you don't want to read yourself or that you doubt will find purchase here.
This is also in the library. A little thing called search is a wonderful tool.
Sorry, I'm new to DLP. :v
Uzunami, please read the the stickies before you post. Look here, right at the top of the thread list.
I merged the threads.
At the risk of necro posting, I think this was merged with the wrong thread.
The first post literally says this:
That being said, I do think there is a legitimate discussion to be had over whether sequels, prequels, and associated stories should get separate threads from the main story. The approach to this has been somewhat inconsistent, but I would argue that the dividing line should be if the story stands on it's own, which in my opinion, Speak Softly, Love, does.
Apologies, I jumped straight to the most recent posts, forgetting that this was a thread for more than just the Renegade trilogy.
Separate names with a comma.