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Old 05-28-2016, 08:13 PM   #21
James
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I wanted to love this, I really did, because well-written, original fanfiction is very hard to come by.

One thing I personally loved about HP universe was that it was about whole society with magic in modern times - it was different take where I've previously read books where magic was limited to selected few, and was always something 'very special'. So the fact, that magic, for a whole society, is 'just' a part of life (though very important) was interesting. This fic though, goes other way, and while it's not the usual 'mugglisation' of magic, it's very bland, and magic feels… boring. It might be the fact that Harry is raised in the magical world, but there seems to be no sense of wonder, and it's replaced by… what exactly?

Well for me, unfortunately (and I'm quite sad, because you can feel the author cares about this), nothing. I don't want to say it's just a teenage drama (because it isn't - but Harry is unbelievably normal here), but there really isn't much, apart from Dumbledore, who is a veritable badass during fights, and that's it.

So for me, it's 3/5, simply because it's original, and the grammar is okay (well, as far as I can tell, and english isn't my first language), but I find it incredibly boring.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:02 AM   #22
Newcomb
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I read this fic in pieces, over the course of maybe 6 months, so this isn't going to be as incisive as I like, but I read the whole thing so I thought I should say something.

I think the fact that I read it so slowly, over so many pieces, speaks to the fact that it's not super engaging, at least in the beginning. I found - and still continue to find - Harry to be a bit even-keeled for my tastes. The changed circumstances of his birth certainly explain the more sedate, thoughtful version of Harry Potter, but reading this, part of me got a little wistful at the Book 5 version of Harry who was lashing out at everyone around him, confused, angry, prone to jump to conclusions, and just generally scrappy.

I guess it's partly a grass-is-greener thing? I realized even as I typed that that I've literally written a story that does similar things - changing Harry's circumstances, moving away from the brash/bold/"leaps before he looks" type hero to a more "think it through" type. I think, fundamentally, that I'm looking for something more from Harry here, something to really solidify him as a character I'm rooting for.

I think the closest he comes is entering the Triwizard Tournament of his own volition. It felt true to the character Shinysavage has written, and made me empathize with him, but I've just never had that moment where I feel like I really get the character. The style of his soul.

Passion, I suppose, is the word I'm circling around. Passion isn't the same thing as hot-headed, but fundamentally I want a main character to stand for something. Even if it's not some huge thing - I want to connect with them on that level. This feels like a story about a Harry Potter who's so grounded, so steady that it almost makes him a little less real.

Anyway. That said, this is a really enjoyable read. The writing's easily at a level where it doesn't get in its own way at all, and there are little passages of worldbuilding / attention to detail that just make my socks roll up and down, like so:

Quote:
The day of the Yule Ball, the outer wall of the Great Hall vanished, replaced by an extension, a duplicate of the Hall in ice. Bonfires stood in every corner, multi-coloured flames managing to give off heat without actually burning the wood. It being a weekend, Harry had spent the better part of the day enveloped in a warming charm watching the construction, seeing how many of the spells he could identify. The initial stages were easy enough, spells for raising and solidifying the ice-blocks, but as construction continued things started getting a little more abstract. He was slightly worried to spot a charm to prevent the blocks falling if they slid loose, which seemed redundant if the charms to keep them in place were in order, but he didn't presume to tell the workers their business.
I think the timeskip was a nice judgement call on the part of the author; it kept the pace ticking along nicely but didn't feel jarring.

I question, a little bit, what kind of story this actually is? This thought is just coming to me as I'm writing it, so it's a little rough, but like: is this kind of like The Merging, and it's the normal Hogwarts experience with a dash of sideplot / Voldemort lurking around, or are there more stakes that we just haven't seen yet? Everything that happened before the timeskip makes me think it's the second one, that there really are hidden stakes and the story has another gear, but the narrative tone of the Triwizard Tournament doesn't really match that. You don't really get those hints that there's a larger machine at work, aside from that very brief mention of Harry trying to figure out the Hallows symbol.

So yeah. I'd say this is a fic that's still searching for its defining moment a bit. And a fic where the main character's struggles don't ever really feel like they're viscerally real or tense. But it's also a fic that's extremely pleasant to read, a story that's very well paced, and a world that hits the sweet spot between emulating canon to the letter and wildly diverging from canon, taking those canon feelings and transposing them into new and interesting things. And really, if a fic can do that - and this one can - I'm buying in, and my quibbles are just that - quibbles. Not something that's going to stop me from reading any time soon.

A very strong

4/5
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