WIP Taking Umbridge by E.C. Scrubb (Joe's Nemesis) - T

Discussion in 'General Fics' started by ScottPress, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Title: Taking Umbridge
    Author: Joe's Nemesis (but we all know who you really are, Scrubb)
    Rating: T
    Genre: Drama/Adventure
    Library category: General
    Pairing: Fleur/Harry
    FFN: Link

    Summary: A French Veela with a vendetta against Death Eaters is tasked to counter Umbridge and protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione. But a Death Eater's attack has changed Harry and Ron. Now, they're focused, driven, and as their fifth year at Hogwarts unfolds towards a climactic ending that rocks the wizarding world, Fleur is desperately trying to keep them safe from Voldemort, and themselves.

    ER, DLP's search function always leaves me uncertain of results, but this doesn't seem to be in the Library. That should be amended.

    This is a little unusual in that it's written from Fleur's POV. It took a little getting used to at first, but I found that Scrubb writes a complete protagonist here who is defined by her own desires and motivations instead of just being a prop waiting to drape herself all over Harry. I myself missed some details and was pleasantly surprised when they were pointed out to me. Other characters also get respectable treatment. If you like your Ron with a bit of flavor, look no further. Basically, there's nothing here Scrubb does badly in the characterization department.

    Switching perspectives - and the fact of Fleur's presence - allows to avoid a tired canon rehash. Oh sure, you can still recognize OotP under the makeup, but then that's a part of fanfiction. This is an interesting take on the formula. You'll get to leave Hogwarts in some scenes, which is imo an element many fics ignore, to their detriment.

    The romance is definitely slow burn, which I like. Honestly, does anyone like it when the stated main pairing just happens out of nowhere. Here, you get build up.

    Now, I am certainly not just putting this is up for review because I betad it in WBA. It's a good fic and from a DLP author. For what my endorsement is worth, give it a read. It hasn't been updated in a while, but I've received confidential intelligence from a credible source that it's being worked on. There's more material available in WBA.

    I'm a bit on the fence with the rating. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely good. Above four stars. However, I'm not prepared to award five just yet. I'll say just shy of rounding up. Solid 4/5 though.

    Edit: Had to fix WBA link. Also, the FFN summary is... eh, let's say the fic is much better. There are some things I personally dislike, but at this point it's nitpicking. You're never gonna like every detail. This is good stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  2. The Pro

    The Pro Seventh Year

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    So, I'm reading this at the moment. I'll hold off on rating for now, though it seems to be a solid 3.5/5 at least. Later on I'll return to edit and give a proper review.
     
  3. The.Snorting.Hat

    The.Snorting.Hat First Year

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    Pretty good so far, other than the title. It's a horrendous title which is very bad.
    Honestly, the only reason I'm harping on about the sheer disappointment of the title is that I can find so little else wrong with it.

    Pros-
    - Engaging writing, good characterization, pretty good plotting.
    - Harry/Fleur pairing. I always thought Harry would be better paired with someone more mature than what Ginny proved to be during prior to their hooking up. H/F is one of the good pairings that is unfortunately hampered by the fact that most authors tend to, as Scottpress put it, tend to 'drape Fleur over Harry' with no particular hesitation on her part. This relationship in contrast, is fairly well done. Although I did find Harry's reaction to Fleur getting injured on Halloween a bit over the top. They had not bonded so much for him to consider her an irreplaceable part of his life.
    - Strong independent characters. They all are doing their own things and are not dangling like puppets to a fancy plot.
    - No bashing. That's always a plus.

    Cons-
    - The title. Why oh why that title. It sounds like dungeon porn or something. There was no reason to put Umbridge in it, or mention anybody 'taking' her. Even though that's the premise of getting Fleur to Hogwarts, plot doesn't revolve around it.
    - Ron is slightly too good than he has any reason to be, his summer efforts non-withstanding.
    - Vector and Fleur relationship wasn't really necessary. She doesn't seem to have any other function in the story so far, which could have been filled by Mcgonagall (maybe age difference was the reason? idk.)
    - A few things are unrealistic, but nothing over the top.

    A solid 4/5 so far.
     
  4. Theory

    Theory Disappeared

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    Honestly I am not a huge fan of this story, I have come upon it several times and tried reading through but soon find myself bored. The writing style itself is not bad by any means and the characters themselves are well written, its just that I do not really get anything new out of the story... just things I have seen several times in the past.
     
  5. The Pro

    The Pro Seventh Year

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    I forgot I was supposed to review this. Better late than never as they say.

    The writing is pretty solid. It’s initially choppy and blunders several times, but that ceases quickly enough. On a technical level, there aren’t many noteworthy issues. One of my gripes is punctuation with the accompanying grammatical slips. They are minor enough to be ignored, but occasionally break immersion. Overall, still pretty good.

    The real issue is how bland the writing tends to be at times. While the writing is technically solid, it's not enough to make an engaging fic. The prose feels detached and mechanistic. It gets the job done but that's it. There's no real wow factor.

    Additionally, the plot has a bad tendency to meander along. There are plot inconsistencies and it generally has a rather untidy feel. The plot seems to trundle along with varying momentum at points. It becomes distracting on some occasions.

    Then there's the characterization. The characterization is good. The characters that get screen time are done well. Their respective thought processes, dialogue, introspection and actions are close to perfect. Harry's interactions with other characters occur as I would imagine given the setting. Fleur is characterized splendidly too.

    The originality is top-tier. It really is. The premise is one I’ve never encountered elsewhere, and the execution is great. It’s a unique take on a unique idea.

    I'll rate this 3.85/5, rounded up to 4/5. I found that while this is above average, it isn't solidly into 'good territory' (meaning 4/5) yet.

    Addendum: That title is crap, though. Seriously.
     
  6. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    If you can remember where, could you send me a PM on the punctuation issues. I'm interested to see what you're looking at.

    Otherwise, thanks for reviewing it here. A solid and fair review.
     
  7. The Pro

    The Pro Seventh Year

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    Sure, no problem. I'll review it again and point them out when I've got more than a few minutes of down time.
     
  8. JokeIsAbsolute

    JokeIsAbsolute Disappeared

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    Ew, the title almost made me gauge my eyes out.
     
  9. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    I mean, of course the title describes exactly what you idiots are thinking: it's hardcore Fleur/Umbridge smut that makes The Office look like an episode of Scooby-Doo.
     
  10. Glimmervoid

    Glimmervoid Seventh Year

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    I think we must expect great things from this title… Possibly terrible, yes, but great.
     
  11. AaronD

    AaronD Squib

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    Yeah, so I was pretty concerned about clicking on this link when I read the title, but that's probably because I just got done losing my faith in humanity in the WTF Fics thread.

    The description has me intrigued though.
     
  12. Sir Snuffy

    Sir Snuffy Third Year

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    I read this a while back (and found it quite good at the time) and decided to reread, and some things instantly poke out to annoy me which I may/may not have noticed the first time.

    One thing being the constant word play by Dumbledore. A dude just tried to kill his staff and students, then said students killed him and he is just happily joking around whilst the dude rots in the room. I know Dumbledore is a merry man, but even he would be serious in such a situation.

    The way he constantly speaks in riddles and uses... eloquent... words in pretty much every sentence just makes me want to skip over the entire conversation. Throwing in the philosophy of intelligence in the answer to even the most simple of questions is just annoying to read.

    Some conversations also just flow unnaturally, especially the first order meeting. A few characters just speak way too differently to how they would usually, especially Molly.

    I like the characterisation of Fleur though, and the POV chabge brings something new to the usual rehashing of a HP book.

    Will comment more when I've finished it :)
     
  13. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I honestly can't believe people complain about the title, every time I've scrolled past it in the past... years even, it's gotten a wry chuckle out of me.