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WIP Soul Mirror by Archontruth - M - Naruto

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by T3t, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Title: Soul Mirror
    Author: Archontruth
    Rating: M
    Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Naruto
    Pairings: Naruto/Hinata, Naruto/[spoilers],
    /
    Length: 44 chapters, 383,240 words
    Summary: The Kyuubi has granted a wish Naruto never should have made. Now he must come to terms with a terrible power he cannot control. Allies and enemies alike are in the crosshairs as Naruto delves into the lost past of a dead village seeking to understand the Kyuubi's malicious gift before it destroys everything – and everyone – he has fought for.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9065052/1/Soul-Mirror

    I'm throwing this up here because this story's low exposure is criminal. I've basically given up on finding common ground with DLP when it comes to Naruto, but I think this story will probably fit DLP's tastes better than the author's other story, since it's at least nominally Naruto-centric (though it also has numerous character perspectives and OCs - the OCs are at least not given the spotlight as major protagonists).

    This story is not any one thing. It is a fantastic deconstruction of (or perhaps just an attempt to take seriously) several of the most reviled tropes in the fandom (in any fandom, really). It is a horror story, up to a point. Normally I don't like horror, but psychological horror is a rare exception, and this is done very well. This is a love story... sort of. It is most certainly not a traditional romance, but it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that relationships between characters are what drive this story, both in terms of interpersonal and violent conflict.

    This story is technically an AU, in that it introduces several elements and characters into Naruto lore that were not present in the original formulation, but the present-day backstory remains mostly the same. These changes become more and more relevant as the story goes on, of course.

    My praise of this story is much the same as with the author's other story, Black Cloaks, Red Clouds:
    However, I also feel like it has less issues than that story, particularly with the pacing, and also in some ways that conflict is handled (Naruto may have a Big Stick, but others have Bigger Sticks, so direct confrontation is generally a side-show).

    For me this is easily a 5/5, but of course the final determination is up to you.
     
  2. Triliro

    Triliro First Year

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    Based on the first chapter this fic is going to be at least cliche-ridden.
    Sakura sleeping with Naruto on the first day back. The Kyuubi giving Naruto a Kekkei Genkai. Villagers calling him "Demon". The Kyuubi calling Naruto "kit".
    So im just going to stop reading at the first chapter and give it a 2 for decent writing and thats probably pretty generous.
     
  3. Zel

    Zel Professor

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    I remember that one being recommended on IRC a few months ago. Kyuubi calling Naruto kit is a major trigger, and the author is kind of wordy. It got tiresome to keep reading, at least for me.

    And the villagers were softer on him after part one, so...no 'demon' and such.

    Perhaps the plot futher on is better, but the cliches are real downers.
     
  4. Deft

    Deft First Year

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    It seems a little ridiculous to give it a bad rating if you won't even give it a proper check. As far as I can tell five chapters in, the author mentioned villagers giving Naruto shit one time, and that was to set up a later plot point.

    Anyway I'd like to read a bit more before giving it a review, but so far I'm finding a lot to like. Just as T3t said, the author really seems to write his characters with agency. Hiashi is a good example, backing Hinata in a gambit because she showed backbone. I also particularly liked how he had Ino play her role out in the beginning few chapters. Hopefully I'll remember to come back and give it a proper score and review once I'm a bit farther.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  5. Triliro

    Triliro First Year

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    Your probably right, but that first chapter was so bad that I refues to read it, half a million cliches, unexplained attraction etc.
    If it turns into a good story let me know though, i'll give it a longer chance.
     
  6. Deft

    Deft First Year

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    So I gave it another five chapters and I'd say it's a solid 5/5 for anyone who can stomach it. I'm blown away by how on point each character is, it basically feels like Naruto if it were M rated and actually had consequences. Anybody put off by the first few bits of what seem like fan service should continue at least to see the main themes start playing out.

    I said it's a 5/5 for anyone who could stomach it because this shit is fucked...and I probably didn't even get to the worst parts. I'm really not into horror at all but I gave it a read because I find so few well written Naruto stories. I didn't think anyone could make Hinata that creepy honestly.

    Even if you don't like horror, the fight scenes are decent, and like I said the main selling point here is how good these characters are (when they aren't being fucked with by mysterious eye powers).

    The last thing I'll say about it is this, if you aren't feeling at least a little fucked up while reading some of the nude scenes then you are missing the plot/horror.
     
    yak, T3t
  7. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The horror does largely abate, eventually.
     
  8. Mutton

    Mutton Auror

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    I fucking hope so. I decided to power through the first few chapters when I saw where this was going in terms of deconstructing the standard harem antics but I really didn't want to read several chapters of
    psychopath Hinata murders half the female cast. That and there's way too much fapbait
     
  9. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I've read the first eight chapters and I'm enjoying this. The bathtub thing at the end of Ch 8 was strikingly sweet, horrible, and messed up.

    This is a unique take on the Narutoverse characters and my image of shy, earnest Hinata has been shredded.

    And that thing with Ino and how she's dealing with the aftermath, balancing grief, guilt, family politics, family relationships, her father's expectations, and her own ambitions and desires is like magic compared to most Naruto fics. The author knows their characters down to the very inch.

    5/5 so far.
     
    T3t
  10. Mutton

    Mutton Auror

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    Okay, I finished it. The story takes a while to get out of way too dark mode and there's a bit too much fapbait, but it's damn good after that

    4/5
     
    T3t
  11. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    Read it. It's pretty good, though I do pretty much automatically skip any segment where I see the name 'Tenten' within the first few sentences. Just can't possibly care any less about her particular subplot within the story. It seems so 'small' compared to what happens when just about anyone else is the narrative focus. Itachi also seems generally OOC, in terms of how he speaks and carries himself. And yes, I do know there are certain events within the story that can explain that, but it was something I was noticing before those ever even became a thing.

    Still, solid 4/5.
     
  12. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Started reading it today, just finished chapter 16 and here are my thoughts on it:

    This reminds me in large parts of the FoZ story with Napoleon, in that it is rather well written and has interesting elements, but it's just not very fun. The Rape Blood Line is just unpleasant to read about, as is the fact that every relationship that is circulating so far is due to mind-control.

    Hinata behaves as if someone had implanted an obsessive Cersei into her and while villain POVs can be interesting, reading extensively about the kind of monster Hinata is, is just not entertaining. It's also not believable that simply a change of personality made Hinata that good at getting away with murder so often, especially in the places she does. Feels contrived that she was able to pull of the things she did.

    The whole initial demon thing with came a bit out of nowhere, unless something like that happened in one of the filler episodes I am not aware off, but on a whole, her struggles as Yak described them are interesting.

    Coupled with the fact that Naruto himself is rather bland and uninteresting, and should be put down for his Bloodline limit, actually, and yeah, it's a bit tiring at times.

    Tenten's chapters so far are the most compelling, were it not for the fact that her relationship stuff is also based on mind-rape and we have to read through another "my father hates gay people" story line.

    Sakura is also in an interesting position, but yeah, mind-rape thing again, this time seemingly transferred to Itachi.

    The thing is, the whole mind-rape thing seems unnecessary so far. Hinata could be insane or altered or maybe the kyuubi did something else, but so far, all the prominent female characters are steeped , influenced and driven by mind-rape and that just sours everything. Maybe it's just my taste/sensibilities but really, it's too much mind-control/rape for me.

    Ino dealing with taking over her clan, assuming the responsibilities and proving herself to her elder relatives who think she is inexperienced.

    Sakura being taken by Hidden Rock and then Akatsuki and having to survive in Rain.

    Tenten finding herself pursuing a relationship with Shizune, an older women in a time and place where it's not all that socially acceptable.

    All of that during a time of war, would still be super interesting to read, only here, I can't enjoy them because I know the drive behind most of this isn't real, it's against their will and beyond their ability to influence, at least for now. Those plot points could have been tackled without mind-control as the motivator and reason behind them.

    The pacing of the war is also off, we get jumps of weeks seemingly at random at times, and it doesn't feel like that. The war started and suddenly one paragraph later, we are weeks into it.

    Naruto also doesn't seem all that bothered by Sakura's disappearance but then again mind-control probably and do you see what i mean by it being the single, unnecessary thing that really ruins the story for me.

    I get that it is supposed to be horrible and stuff, kinda the point, but it's not enhancing the reading experience by creating a horrible world that sucks you in like, say, Of Sheep and Battle Chicken does, where one can find several horrible, horrible things around every corner. But it's not just that and it isn't used like this in every aspect of the story, with every character.

    So far, it's kinda interesting in a lot places and it has some promise but since mind-control and rape are kinda the reason most main characters are doing what they are doing, it's simply not enjoyable and just unpleasant.

    It's like the author of the Warded Man wrote this, with the amount of rape in it, especially the dream sequences of the past blood line limit users. (don't get me wrong, nothing explicit happened so far but it's still that and it is implied a lot)

    Does it get better later on? Kinda have the feeling that it's going to continue along these lines for a while.
     
  13. Mutton

    Mutton Auror

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    I had very similar thoughts to you, but yes, you're just about out of the setup into the interesting consequences. There's a lot of unnecessary bloat, such as Tenten's story. I get the reason it's in there, as this is a story about relationships and is an inherent contrast, but it's not particularly interesting.
     
  14. Silly

    Silly First Year

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    I read the first ten chapters, and I have some pretty mediocre opinions about this story. The writing is technically solid for the most part, but the plot itself just doesn't sit right with me for some reason.

    Based on the first chapter alone, I probably would have given this story a 2/5. However, it does get better as you go on. So far, I haven't found it to be interesting enough that I'm really invested into actually reading the story, but it is good enough that it's not a totally cringefest to read. So far I would call this a 3.5/5, rounded down to a 3.