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Albus Potter Series by NoahPhantom - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Murr, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. Murr

    Murr Squib

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    Title: Albus Potter and the Global Revelation (book 1)

    Author: NoahPhantom

    Rating: M

    Genre: Adventure

    Books: 7 (plus an incomplete sequel)

    Chapters: 167

    Words: 1,204,000

    Updated: November 26, 2016

    Published: August 11, 2012

    Status: Complete

    Library Category: The Alternates

    Pairings: Albus/OFC

    Summary (from fic): It is Albus Severus Potter's first year at Hogwarts, and though he'd like to spend all his time enjoying it, he can't. There's too much going on in the world that he can't ignore. There are attacks and disappearances, like there were in the days of Voldemort, and a similar fear is taking hold of the world. There are even sightings of former Death Eaters and known allies of Voldemort, but no one is sure if they are even involved, or if a new enemy is rising from the ashes of the old like a phoenix.

    Link to book 1: FFN

    This fic was posted on the old Almost Recommended megathread, but it seems it was never formally reviewed.

    This is not the best or most polished next-gen fic I’ve read (that's probably Hogwarts Houses Divided) but it’s certainly the most interesting, expansive, and impressive. The simple introduction of another Dark Lord uprising between Voldemort’s fall and Albus’s birth (he is vanquished by Harry’s apprentice as Albus is born) causes a monumental shift in the world, and it’s apparent in this fic from the first page. We see a more progressive, more sullen Wizarding World than in canon, a dying Wizarding World like Narnia’s Charn, striving with all its might to recapture the glory of olden days. Monumental progress has been made in wartime: wands are ten times more powerful and the most powerful wizards now wield two wands, roles in the Ministry for Magic have been rehashed, magical creatures have been given more rights but still are prejudiced behind their backs. Political systems are greyer; the threat of blood supremacy is a non-issue now, but more progressive issues have developed. The starkest change in the Wizarding World from canon to NoahPhantom’s universe is the shift towards an almost Calvinist perspective of predestination and hopelessness against one’s fate. For almost every character there is a fight against their most prominent identity or purpose, in Albus' case something we see from the very first chapter. This creates an even more unreal atmosphere than JKR’s universe: everything is heightened; realism becomes irrelevant.


    A lot of next-gen fic has the problem of creating a fluffy atmosphere for a couple years, or even weeks, at Hogwarts, and then giving the Potter kid a chance to solve the problem. Not here. It’s dark and suspenseful from day one, and Albus doesn’t have a choice.


    What contrasts with the dark plot are the characters, which are written quite cartoonishly in the spirit of canon. Many of the side characters and minor villains are well-developed and interesting. Particularly memorable are Dalton Desulgon, the twenty-year-old Transfiguration professor and apparent Gary Stu; Helio Wilcox, the headmaster; and Harry Potter, who finds himself in increasing difficulties in his personal, political, and professional lives. The Potter-Weasley extended family is well done, but not as memorable as the above. Albus’s friends, generic smartasses whose names all begin with either A or E and muddle together needlessly, are not highlights. This problem sort of rights itself in later books, but might turn some off from the first book.


    The plotting in this fic is incredibly intricate for the most part, navigating time travel, Fidelius, and worldwide escapades in later books. The authors (one plots and one writes) manage to keep the tension throughout most of the fic, letting up only in an abominably weak section of the seventh book, which could have been ten chapters shorter. Some cyclic themes throughout the series, which you rarely see in fanfic, add a nice touch. There is a massive buildup towards a befitting ending, which is followed by an even more jawdropping epilogue that closes most of the story’s threads. The writing is serviceable, without technical problems.


    It’s far from flawless. As I said, there are too many characters and they tend to mull together. The seventh book is a bit of a shitshow in terms of pacing compared to the others, which are tight and direct, and includes that absolutely inexcusable plot line that almost made me stop reading right there. I don’t know if it’s necessary for the plot and world to be this big, but it’s such an indulgence. The contrast between the colorful characters and dark world is also somewhat jarring at times. But my god, if you want to immerse yourself in a well fleshed out, expanded world for a couple days, read this fic.


    I give this a 4/5 for the weak seventh book (aside from the ending), some weak characters, magnificent overindulgence, fantastic plotting, and masterful worldbuilding.
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Damn that’s a good review. Very detailed and actually able to convince me to try it. I suspect I won’t like it as much as you do but well done making your case.
     
  3. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    My thought process went like this:

    - New user
    - Story about Albus Severus
    - LOL, this is gonna be trash

    Excellent review though and I'm gonna give it a go. I'll edit back with actual opinion content.
     
  4. Villanelle

    Villanelle Groundskeeper

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    Murr is spot on here.

    I'd suggest skimming/powering through the first book. It really is an elaborate setup and there isn't much reward to it.

    The rest of the series is action-packed, and the plot is almost always moving forward. Little details that seemingly don't matter may/may not get callbacks later on. Characters are well developed and the story has a very clear direction. There's no meandering as such, and any structural/pacing issues are more due to prose quality and the author autistically wanting to stick close the HP format, but hey, that adds more nostalgia value.

    Haven't read this in over four years—one of my first fifty fics, I think—but even now the world building sticks out. Shit can get way over-the-top, but it's all in good fun. If you can suspend disbelief, you'll be in for a treat. A lot of cool magic and trinkets and what have you, but also like NoahPhantom squeezed every bit they possibly could've out of the HP world while somehow still keeping things within the confines of the post-DH world. Luckily, it's pre-Cursed Child haha.

    Good villain(s), and in keeping with the HP novels, the plot gets darker and more intricate as the series progresses.

    3.5/5, rounded down. It's a gem within the "almost rec" tier. Thanks for sharing, will give this another read.

    If we had a separate star system for "almost rec" tier fics, I'd give this a 4.5. This is really good for what it is, but it's not great for the same reasons Victoria Potter is great.
     
  5. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    There's nothing much I could say about this that Murr didn't do an exemplary job of saying already. It's a bit long-winded, it's a bit over-tangled in parts, but I'll be damned if this wasn't one of the best complete series I've ever read regardless. There is some damned good magic and legend in this, and I really wish the author could bang out the sequels they talked about.

    Absolutely. It's a shame about part of book 7, it's the only bit that makes this not library-worthy, but if you read it you'll see what we're saying. Strong, powerful 3.49 for me.
     
  6. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    I'm really struggling to get past the first few chapters honestly. The pacing of scenes and conversations is just all over the place and it's really immersion breaking.
     
  7. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I read the first story in this series and it's more of a 2.5/5 for me - but I could see this series ramping up as it goes.

    There are several plotlines in the first story (with 17 Chapters).
    • One of Albus' classmates has a mysterious disease
    • A (supposedly extinct) magical creature shows up outside the forest - its blood could potentially be used to make an (evil) potion
    • A significant portion of the Wizarding World is advocating for the removal of the Statute of Secrecy as the muggles are going to figure it out sooner or later anyway (this plot is mostly tangential to Albus' life as he's a child and it's the adults mostly thinking about this)
    And here's my primary issue with the first story - none of those plot arcs come to a conclusion. We still don't know what disease Exo has. The magical creature hasn't been addressed apart from foreshadowing and buildup. The WW is still secret (though the end of the story implies this will be changing over the summer).

    I'm left feeling like I just read 17 chapters of build-up to the actual story and I'm not happy about that. Either add in a plot line that can actually be completed (without adding more words) or condense all of this into about a quarter of the word count it required.

    There's some worldbuilding stuff going on, namely that the process for wand-making has been improved since canon. Wands appear to be ... more. More tempermental, more powerful, more finicky, just more.

    There's also the foreshadowing about the most recent Dark Lord to be defeated, who died the day Albus was born. Not sure where that's going yet but it's clear it's going somewhere and this guy (or at least something to do with him) will have a larger presence going forward.

    Characterizations are a mixed bag. James is actually done reasonably well I think - he's a shitter who picks on his little brother but also seems to have his back at times. He plays pranks (but not to the extent the Twins did), sneaks around, enjoys Quidditch, and isn't fantastic at class work. He feels like an actual side character.

    Albus himself is alright. The story seems to be going the route of making him OP both because of how powerful he (probably) is and how super (super) special his wand is. He's even-tempered and not as pro-active as Harry or James seems to be. He's frankly a bit boring, if I'm honest. He's good at schoolwork and spellwork but not confident about it.

    His OC friends I get mixed up. Exo is the Headmaster's kid with a mysterious illness and a chip on his shoulder about it. Then there's Aidan, Alec, Eben, Eftan, etc. I get most of these mixed up. One of them is 'smart' and competes with Rose Weasley, one of them is shit at bookwork but good practically, one is blind, etc. I can't even remember which houses they're all in, though Albus is in Gryffindor this time around.

    I started skimming quite a few times going through this. But it's clear that the author had a plan for this story and was actively setting things up to later fall into place.

    I'll probably try the second book to see if it improves but it needs to take a jump up in 'things happening' quick.

    3/5
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Read/Skimmed Book 2 - it's better but still not amazing. The 'mysterious illness' plotline sorted itself out and then merged with a larger one.

    I feel like if the author had combined their Book 1 with their Book 2 and condensed them to get rid of extra words they'd have had a fairly solid start to a trilogy.

    Still 3/5 tho.
     
  9. Quiddity

    Quiddity Headmaster

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    Ched, would you recommend literally just skipping book 1? That's the way I'm leaning right now, as I doubt I'll get far otherwise.
     
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I don't like to recommend skipping but that's a personal thing. I'm more likely to skim things I want to skip rather than actually skip.

    That said there's not a lot in the first Book apart from what I said?
     
  11. Gaius

    Gaius Third Year

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    I agree with other reviewers who said first book could have been truncated. I think the 1st and 2nd books could have been combined since they ultimately share the same plot points (e.g. Exo's illness, result of "Global Revelation"). One problem I think this author has is introducing things very early to what will come up later in different books (e.g. the mulanctopol creature, Marionette's Medicine). The first book could have entirely focused on Exo and the lunar eclipse, with the Global Revelation happening during the school year. The discovery of the mulanctopol ultimately isn't important for a while, and you know what Chekhov says about guns.

    There is a similar problem with pacing in Book 2 (AP and the Lunar Eclipse)--the titular episode and really the climax of the book occurs earlier in the school year, but the book continues much longer to fit in the annual dueling tournament, which doesn't feel as important (?).

    I put all these cares aside for a guilty pleasure read with an interesting plotline, but after starting Book 3 I gave up. The dialogue for all the characters (Hogwarts children, professors, and villains) sounds the same (colloquial and American) with adjectives and adverbs like "ridiculous" or "ludicrously" appearing throughout. The villains at beginning of Book 3 also sounded wooden to me. Often the dialogue is obviously meant to do exposition, which can work, but it's very transparent in this series.

    I have to admit that some ideas are interesting even if there are shortcomings in how they are depicted/used. E.g. I like the idea that the "Global Revelation" is a concern that wizards would want to think about and debate before being outed by Muggle tech or wizarding terrorists such as another Voldemort or Grindelwald. The arguments we see performed by Arthur Weasley and Mbato (?) could be more complex though. Also I think the idea of different sects growing from the Death Eaters with different end goals and approaches would be very interesting, as is NoahPhantom's "Dark Revival." This has come up in a recent thread discussing the different motivations and beliefs of the Death Eaters.

    But ultimately in addition to the prose and dialogue some of the plot points and characterizations also fall short. It's ok to have a special and talented main character, and it's a nice addition that Albus struggles with people's expectations of him, but nearly all of Albus' friends are talented across the board. Aidan and Rose are both perfect academics, Alec becomes a superstar dueler even though he struggles with ADHD. Eftan is at the top of his year in Slytherin, etc. And
    they're all accepted into a unique wizarding program at Hogwarts called A.R.M.

    I also grew to be tired of OCs for this reason. There are many adults and families that survive after DH, why don't we see any of them (or their children)? Where were these very talented adults such as Helio Wilcox during the last wizarding war? It's been 20 years since the fall of Voldemort, so even if Wilcox and Desulgon started Hogwarts the year after DH, they'd be 31... very young to be so dominant at magic (more so than Harry even?). All of the Aurors Harry deals with are OCs as well. All of this could be fine (e.g. I think the next-gen fic Hogwarts Houses Divided is great!), but it eventually grew tiresome for me that nearly every OC could become an albino Animagus or duel with two wands...

    For those who read on into the series, do these issues get better? Is the plot stronger after the weak showing of AP 1 & 2?
     
  12. Murr

    Murr Squib

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    Yeah, as I said, the characters are really not the highlight of this series. Books 3 and 4 begin to take the story out of Hogwarts and into the world at large, and that's when the adult wizards get involved.

    As to your specific concerns about Desulgon and Wilcox, I'll just say these anomalies are noticeably intentional and they are addressed down the line.

    I can 100% see people taking issue with the style of this fic, so if you're still not hooked when the Devoctrices start coming off the board, you might want to stop. That's when the plot hits full gas and doesn't really let up until the end.
     
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