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Complete Blackpool by The Divine Comedian - T

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Silly, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Silly

    Silly Second Year

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    Title: Blackpool
    Author: The Divine Comedian
    Rating: T
    Genre: Family/Horror
    Status: Complete
    Wordcount: 67k
    Library Category: General
    Pairings: None. Technically there is a little bit of Sirius x Remus, but it's so minor that I don't even think it deserves a spot here.
    Summary: COMPLETE. When Regulus is five, he nearly drowns in the sea off Blackpool. When Regulus is eleven, his brother befriends a ghost. It's not until Regulus is eighteen and ready to die that the Black family's darkest secret finally unravels. It might, perhaps, change everything. (A coming-of-age story with mind magic, star charting, pink petit-fours, two diaries, and a ghost.)
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12948481/1/Blackpool

    I just finished this story and felt that it belonged here. The fic is written from the point of view of Regulus Black, and takes the reader along through various important moments in his life. It's sort of like a slice of life fic, only since Regulus is a Black, all of the slices turn out to be somewhat fucked up.

    The biggest strength of this story, in my opinion, is that it depicts the Black family in an incredibly realistic way. Stories written about the Black family are a bit on the rare side already, given that the large majority of them are dead by the time the events in canon start taking place, and well-written stories about the Blacks are even more of a rarity. Most depictions that I see of Sirius's parents tend to be exactly like Walburga's portrait in canon. Blatantly evil and racist, mostly ineffective at actually accomplishing anything, and basically just a cruel facsimile of an actual person.

    This story is different. The Black parents do terrible things, but in a way that is consistent with their values, and not just for the sake of being evil. And more importantly, they are incredibly competent at what they do. Overall, what this results in is a story that paints a vividly realistic picture of what growing up in an abusive magical household might actually be like from multiple perspectives (mostly Regulus's, with some Sirius and a bit of Andromeda thrown in).

    From a technical standpoint, the story is also quite well done. The prose is solid, and I didn't notice any obvious typos or other issues with the writing. The plot is relatively well thought out and there is a lot of foreshadowing, with many scenes and small details that seemed inconsequential at first tying back into the story, either by being subtly referenced at a later time or becoming incorporated into the overarching plot much further down the road.

    The part I disliked the most about the story was the ending. I do think that the author concluded it in a somewhat disappointing manner. But that is really a minor flaw in comparison to how very excellent the overwhelming majority of the story was, and I would definitely recommend you giving this story a shot.

    4.5/5
     
  2. mercuryandglass

    mercuryandglass Third Year

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    Binged it in one night, something I haven't been able to do with a fic for a while now. Very solid prose and interesting story arc. Regulus is a sympathetic character, and his relationships with various family members are believable and well developed. Some points off for droning on for longer than perhaps necessary but at least a 4/5.
     
  3. KingRoger

    KingRoger Second Year

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    This is a fantastic read, truly. I agree that perhaps the ending could be better, though I’m not sure how it could be changed. Excellent prose and character development, and just the right tone to be chilling. 4/5
     
  4. Jarizok

    Jarizok Groundskeeper

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    I just finished chapter 8. That’s a complete story right there. You guys saying you didn’t like the ending makes me think I’ll just stick with those eight chapters and avoid an epilogue-like scenario here.

    This story is not a happy one, but it hits that blank spot in canon just perfectly. This is how it all went down now.
    Of course Sirius would have tried to get into Slytherin. Being rebellious is one thing, abandoning all you’ve ever known because you made a friend on a trainride of all of six hours is another.

    5/5
     
  5. darklordmike

    darklordmike Auror

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    I intended to skim this, because Marauder-era stuff is not really my thing, but I got sucked in right away. This story is as good as fanfiction gets. It needs to be in the library.

    Even though this isn't an epic adventure, it's not quite right to call it a 'slice-of-life' or a 'family' story. That makes it sound boring. It does give a fascinating glimpse of what it might have been like to grow up as Sirius and Regulus, but the heart of the story is a mystery that slowly, horrifyingly reveals how awful the Black family is.

    The writing is top-notch and the characterization for every single character is excellent. Most of the focus is on Sirius and Regulus, but even the minor characters like Andromeda, Walburga, and Snape get fleshed out realistically. There are great details and nods to canon everywhere.

    tl; dr: This story deserves far more attention than it's received. It's an easy 5/5. Read it.
     
  6. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Auror

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    Way too damn good of a story. Last chapter falls flat, but the preceding 8 we're so damn good I will forgive this.
    5/5. A true gem.
     
  7. The.Snorting.Hat

    The.Snorting.Hat Second Year

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    Pretty pretty awesome.
    Punches you right in the feels, this one.
    5/5 No contest.
     
  8. Nazgus

    Nazgus Minister of Magic

    Joined:
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    5/5

    Haven't been hit that hard by a fic in a long long time. Agree that it's better without the Epilogue.
     
  9. Darth V

    Darth V First Year DLP Supporter

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    Fantastic story, really. The descriptions and interactions of the Black family are just spot on: cruel and evil, but not in a Disney-villain, grotesque manner. Excellent writing as well, though I wish it were less poetic and more direct sometimes. Then, again, maybe that's just my personal taste.

    I must confess I also enjoyed the epilogue. Although it's not on par with the rest of the story, it's still enjoyable. All in all, this story clearly belongs in the Library.

    4.5 rounded to 5.
     
  10. RileyA

    RileyA Squib

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    I'd give this a 5/5 for uniqueness alone, not to mention the writing and ability to bring out details is sublime. But Ill rate it 4/5 as I'll explain below.

    Example:
    "I told you," says Altair, "when I first found you on the pier. Didn't you listen? I'm water. I'm a light on the waves. Think you're faster than light? Think I'd just let you wander into a scary old cave?"

    Lines like that are just fantastic and perfectly written. This story is full of them.

    That being said, my only issue is it's not a story that "sticks with me" for days after reading it. I'm a huge fan of stories that get me emotionally invested and for some reason (and I don't know why) I just didn't care about any of the characters. There's a certain "draw" missing. Perhaps its because its a shorter fic (what I consider short) or something else I can't quite put my finger on, but the "character investment" is what makes me consider something a 5/5. So because this is a great story missing only that I'll give this a 4/5.
     
  11. Elly

    Elly Squib

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    I've read the first two chapters so far and I'm not sure I'll finish at this point.

    I recognize that the writing is done well - no glaring grammatical mistakes, but I just can't get into the story.

    I reads like a very longwinded summary of a longer story or a prologue that keeps on going. The trouble is that everything stays on the surface and rarely stops to dwell on a point.

    When there is dialogue - which by far is my favourite part of this story and other well-written fiction - it is very nicely done and I keep wishing for more.

    I'll give it a 3/5
     
  12. Barzûl

    Barzûl Second Year

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    Great story, got through it in an afternoon filled with grey skies.
    I did sometimes have to reread a passage once or twice to understand it, when the language became quite psychedelic, but it didn't break the immersion much.
    The mystery and Walburga's scheming really sold the story imo.
    One negative thing was the ending. I read the author's note, but I still would've preferred a canon ending with Regulus dying. It would've fit his arch perfectly, slowly descending into suicidal madness. It was written well, but I felt a tragic ending would be more appropriate. It also would've fit better as something that could've happened before the books, but now it breaks the immersion a little bit.

    5/5, made my heart flutter and my eyes eager to read more.