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WIP A Practical Guide To Redemption by Archtea - T - APGTE

Discussion in 'Other Fandoms Review Board' started by ronin11, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. ronin11

    ronin11 First Year

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    Title: A Practical Guide To Redemption
    Author: Archtea
    Rating: T
    Words: 162,025
    Genre: Adventure/Time Travel
    Status: In-Progress
    Fandom: A Practical Guide To Evil by erraticerrata
    Pairings: Catherine Foundling/Akua Sahelian
    Summary:
    The Grand Alliance is defeated. The Dead King unleashes his full power during the Battle of Hainaut, and not even Catherine Foundling - the Black Queen - is able to stand against it. And so in the final act of her redemption arc, Akua Sahelian sacrifices herself to save the day.

    Or at least, that was the plan - but the Gods Below are cheating bastards. They're not going to let Akua off the hook that easily.
    Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/27775966/chapters/67993762

    I got bored and stopped reading A Practical Guide to Evil somewhere around the middle of the Book 5. It had some cool ideas but I was never particulary enamoured with characters and the whole thing started to feel like a drag after a while. Since I hear it's near completion I might pick it up again at some time in the future just to get a closure.

    Found this on /u/ while looking for some quick F/F fix and the whole thing blew away my expectations. On a technical level Archtea might be even better writter than erraticerrata. He/she is perfectly capable of emulating erraticerrata's style and playing with the setting. There is no canon rehearsal, the story goes off the rails from the get-go. Akua's actions create waves from the start and they lead to some pretty drastic changes down the road. Book 1 features an OC antagonist but he fits perfectly within the storyverse and his presence turns out to an expected response to all the changes Akua introduces. F/F stuff is pretty slow burning and at the start of the Book 2 that aspect of the story is still in its infancy.

    The story seems to be updated pretty regularly on AO3. There's been only a week since the Epilogue of Book 1 and the Prologue for Book 2 and the writter seems to know where he wants to go with this. 5/5
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
  2. soczab

    soczab Professor

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    Can I read it without knowing much about the source material? Or one of those stories I need to know the original to enjoy?
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    For what it’s worth the source material is free online as well.
    Haven’t read this fic yet but giving the original a few chapters to see if you like it might be worthwhile.
     
  4. ronin11

    ronin11 First Year

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    It should be possible. I mean, since it's time travel, protagonist is basically doing things from scratch anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
  5. soczab

    soczab Professor

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    True but is the original worth reading? The original post made it sound like the original work is meh and they lost interest in it, but this fic is amazing.
     
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I think it’s worth it - here’s its Thread:
    https://forums.darklordpotter.net/t...il-by-erraticerrata-t-original-fantasy.33144/

    It’s one of three or four of these stories I donate per month to still, though only a dollar to show support.
     
  7. Cxjenious

    Cxjenious Dark Lord

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    The original is better.
     
  8. Mutton

    Mutton Order Member

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    I really enjoyed this piece; it got a lot of what made early Guide such a page turner right. Definitely excited for book 2, library worthy easy.
     
  9. ronin11

    ronin11 First Year

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    It's worth reading. It's just that after 1-2 millions of words it gets a bit tiresome, especially if you (like myself) care about the worldbuilding way more than you care about any of the characters.
     
  10. Dye

    Dye Second Year DLP Supporter

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    I found myself struggling with a lot of the character interactions. Dialogue felt forced, espeically the "banter". Much more so than in the Guide. Also, it's very much a fix-it fic and I've never enjoyed them. I did finish it though, I've been struggling with the Guide recently (well, I say recently when I actually mean the last two books) but I do like the world so something set in it without some of the issues of the original work was nice.

    I'd give it 4/5 since it is decent. Much better than I'd expect from a fandom with only 50 fics.
     
  11. Stealthy

    Stealthy Groundskeeper

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    So this is pretty damn good. Pleasantly surprised. Archtea mostly does a good job of making things feel like it's in the Guideverse. Not quite the same style as Errata, but it strikes the right tone and a solid handle on the setting. There are some hiccups, a few things that bend towards Akua's favor more than they should, and one scene that really has an unnecessary fix-it feel, but overall pretty good. I think it takes a few chapters for Archtea to get a full grasp of Akua, but granted I can't remember exactly where Akua was on her character arc in APGTE when this fic was started so maybe that has something to do with it. Solid plot to the story. Very nicely and tightly paced. Really nails the ending as well.

    Biggest complaint feels nitpicky, but there are times where Archtea accidentally slides out of the character's vernacular and into - presumably - their own. The phrase "heel face turn" really shouldn't be popping up anywhere in this fic, let alone from the perspective of the damned Dread Empress. Catherine's fell victim to this at least once or twice, and plenty of times with Akua - particularly in the early chapters. Worst offender of all though is the OC Tribune Irid, who dear lord is just fucking annoying. It's not intentional, and it's not that his character design is annoying (like as a character concept he's that right sort of quirky that Guide likes) but his dialogue is just really poorly written. It's not like Guide dialogue is all stilted faux-medieval style, but the way he talks feels far too much like a modern American. It sticks out in a bad way. Archtea's a solid writer, but their grasp on vernacular and diction could use improvement.

    There are also times where Archtea will straight up crib lines from the original, and in a bad way. I'm not talking about scenes that start off similarly/identically to the original that are about to go differently. Copying there makes sense and is done in a way that works. It's more like Archtea knows they aren't as good at banter as Errata is, and so they're trying to compensate by grabbing lines from Errata, but it feels hamfisted like every single time (except for the one at the climax. That one was good).

    Aside from that, the only other major revision I'd like is a plotting one related to story logic and name lore and all that, which I suppose is basically expected but still. The Pattern of Three is one of the aspects that I think Errata really nailed in the original, because he set out clear rules for it in the text, it's fairly straightforward, and introduced a real danger and tension to the story. Without getting into spoilers, I think there are parts where Archtea kinda flubbed his handling of it.

    That said, it features chandeliers getting dropped on people, a trope the original has sorely neglected. 4/5, and could certainly kick it up to 5 later on if Archtea manages to get a grasp of some of the finer points they're missing. This is a good page turner with potential. Easy library pick, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter.
     
  12. Jack-O

    Jack-O Second Year

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    Easily a 4/5 from me.

    The author did a good job capturing the feel of the first few books of APGTE. They seem to have a good grasp of the setting and so far (in terms of plot) they haven't jumped the shark.

    Enough has diverged by the end of book 1 that I'm excited to see where they take this next. Especially because a personal favourite character of mine has made his appearance at the start of book 2.

    The dialogue is definitely a weak point of the fic, the character voices don't feel quite right to me.

    I definitely recommend this if you enjoyed the earlier parts of Guide and dislike the direction that EE went with for the later books (which seems to be a common sentiment here on DLP judging by the Guide thread).
     
  13. someone010101

    someone010101 Professor

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    4/5 from me. The beginning is something of a slog, but it gets better and better once it goes towards original territory. It looks abandoned now, sadly. The last chapters are really good interludes which I really liked, but the fic seems to have lost momentum after APGtE ended and the main plotline's in a difficult spot. Still good for what's there and it ended in a good spot, we can just pretend this was book 1 + Interlude book.