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WIP Clash by shez

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by icecreaman, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. icecreaman

    icecreaman Squib

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Title: Clash
    Author: shez
    Rating: M
    Genre: Horror, mystery, action/adventure, romance
    Chapters: 18
    Words: 108406 words
    Updated: 2014.10.15
    Published: 2013.07.09
    Status: WIP
    Pairings: the summary says Rose/Scorpius, but there’s definitely a creepy Rose/Albus vibe to it. You have to read it to get what I’m saying.
    Library Category: Dark Arts
    Summary:
    Albus and Rose, brilliant but opposing minds.
    He is cold, cruel, and nothing like his father. All she wants is to save her brother.
    War looms, magic consumes, and lines between right and wrong blur as they egg each other down a path no wizard has dared to go before.

    This time, it's not just about saving the world. First you have to survive it.

    Link: http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com/viewstory.php?psid=325749

    The darkest next-gen I’ve probably ever read. Centers around the next gen kids in a near-apocalyptic world where Harry is considered to be dead (there’s a whole story behind this that I won’t spoil here). While the fanfic isn’t by any means perfect, it’s incredibly compelling and addictive to watch unfold; it’s kind of like watching a trainwreck, and I’m struggling not to give any spoilers here.

    Basically, shez does a great job maintaining the dreary hopelessness of the settings while slowly unraveling the plot. The writing style is also very unique. And the characterizations of the next gen kids are deliciously twisted. Holy crap, Harry’s son is DARK.

    The wait time between updates is a little annoying but overall a great read. Even if you’re not a fan of next-gens, if you like dark mysterious stories with twisted characters, you should definitely give this a chance. 4/5.

    [Reverted to default font. -Sesc]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2015
  2. A.K.$J6-J5

    A.K.$J6-J5 Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    London
    Is it like Nuhuhs dark son? ß
     
  3. icecreaman

    icecreaman Squib

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Kind of. Albus is definitely heading down the dark lord route, but it's more because Harry MADE him that, trained him in dark magic and tortured him to the brink of sociopathy. We've yet to find out why, but it's fascinating to watch him spiral out of control as he gets darker. His relationship with his cousin is the only thing that gives him a sliver of humanity, but it's extremely unsettling because you have no clue which way it's going to go.



    Anyone that's read it-what did you guys think of it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  4. Daedros

    Daedros Seventh Year

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    219
    Reading through it currently. I'll preface this by saying that I'd be surprised if it found much of an audience on this forum; off the top of my head I can't remember the last time a next-gen fic was even recommended (primarily, I suspect, because the majority of users here tend to prefer to pretend the epilogue never happened at all).

    I guess the best thing I can say about this story is that the writing is of pretty high quality. The world in general is odd, and I don't entirely feel like I understand what's changed it from canon yet -- I feel somewhat hazy on the details, I suppose.

    The characters are probably the weakest point, in my opinion. The general idea is solid enough, but the execution isn't really there. Rose, as yet, doesn't feel interesting enough to be the primary protagonist, and I feel like her storyline is progressing with such speed that there's not been time for me to connect with her character. Scorpius feels most interesting to me so far; his unusual quasi-friendship with Albus and the fact that he seems to be the only person in the story with any kind of backbone while Albus is in the room cements him as probably the most dynamic of the characters.

    Albus, sadly, comes across as just poorly executed. We're certainly told plenty of times how charismatic he is and how easily he can manipulate people, but every time he's actually shown in action, he does little more than bully people into agreeing with him. His constant need to assert dominance over situations and people does little but make him irritating and dull. He's actually strikingly one-dimensional, which is kind of tragic given that it's clear the author intended him to be this complex character that we can't help but empathize with despite his terrible actions.

    I can't even really feel invested in his relationship with Rose because there's frankly nothing about it that offers any kind of humanity to the character; Albus treats her with the same casual cruelty he does everybody else. There's nothing particularly different about it from his relationship with Scorpius, for example -- except, of course, for the rapey vibes. There are some points where the characterization we're told Albus should have comes through; at these moments he reminds me most of Sherlock Holmes or Greg House. These don't come frequently enough, however.

    The story so far is relatively intriguing, for what little we've been given. The Muggles seem to have Rose imprisoned some time in the future and also seem to be under the impression she's the last witch. Given the nature of witches and wizards I rather doubt it, but I don't know whether the author will play it straight or if it's a case of unreliable narrator. In any case, from this state of captivity Rose is telling the story of 'how the end began' or somesuch. It's dark and depressing and whatnot, and it's kept me reading so far.

    Honestly I feel like with a properly written Albus this story might be Library-worthy, but he really just seems to drag it down every time he pops up. He's important and powerful for no other real reason that because the plot says so, and I don't enjoy it when the story switches back over to him. To make a comparison: in A Song of Ice and Fire, there are plenty of POV characters that are absolute bastards -- Cersei, for example. Yet even when reading their chapters you still feel invested in them. You can still empathize, to a degree. I really don't get the same from Albus, when all I want is to feel invested in the character.

    Overall I think I'd give it a 3/5. It's still better than a lot of stories out there, but it really bets the farm on the portrayal of Albus and loses.
     
  5. icecreaman

    icecreaman Squib

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    -err, not sure how far you read, but Albus definitely becomes more sympathetic as the story goes, if not exactly relatable. I recommend reading up to chapter 15 or 16 before you make that call. Agreed, he starts off as a bit of a 'Voldemort' stereotype, but he slowly develops into a much more interesting character IMO.

    ..though I will agree about the hazy atmosphere. Definitely something the author could've done better was to properly explain exactly what's changed from canon. Judging from the reviews, looks like a lot of readers (myself included) are waiting for that explanation.
     
  6. Little Knee

    Little Knee Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Malaysia
    It's been a long time since the last time I picked up a Harry Potter book. I really need to read them again, I think, because so many parts of this story are confusing.

    That said, arguably, the best thing of this fic is its writing: gripping, mysterious, and thrilling all at the same time. The narrative style reminds me of the recently-watched True Detective--jumping back and forth between past and current, seemingly without care. I just hope it won't end disappointingly.

    Anyway, it definitely has strong Albus/Rose vibe. Very intense sexual tensions in later chapters.

    Edit: apologize for necro
     
  7. Socialist

    Socialist Professor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    412
    Location:
    The root of mt. Olympus
    Yeah, I agree with most of what Daedros said.

    Albus reads pretty much as a non-character. To be honest, it comes across as if the author is an Albus-fangirl and she goes out of her way to remind us every few paragraphs, just how dark and handsome and mysterious and skilled he is. This became progressively more and more annoying.

    Rose is more interesting. Being at the heart of a metaphorical cyclone, it's easy for the reader to sympathise with her situation. Moreover, her motivations are deeply human, making her a compelling character.

    Beyond the character problems, the plot is at times fascinating and bewildering. The disjointed writing style is cool and all, but, perhaps the author isn't as skilled with it and she wants to be.

    To summarize, it's been an interesting read so far, using some novel concepts. I mostly enjoyed it.

    3.5/5 rounded to 4/5, for being the first next-gen story I've actually managed to read to completion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  8. Stan

    Stan Order Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    823
    Most of these parts are written from Rose's point of view, which is probably why the words 'handsome' and 'skilled' come across more often than necessary. Anyway, I like Albus' characterization. He comes across as a believable psychopath to me. He really tried hard to be normal when he was young, but with his abnormally high intelligence and fucked-up upbringing (Really, I hope the author has a really good explanation as to why Harry thought crucioing his son in his 'lessons' would be a good idea), he never really stood a chance and soon accepted his psychopathy. The author seems to be drawing parallels to Tom Riddle in his characterization, with only Rose to keep him grounded and prevent him from going complete murderhobo. I am really curious as to how he died in the future- Rose names him as one of the first major causalities of the war.

    Rose is portrayed in a very sympathetic light. All she wanted to do was to keep her brother Hugo safe, and when he dies she designs a spell that brings the dead back to life. Of course, this causes an international shit storm with half of the world deeming her too dangerous to live. The entire country wants Rose to bring their loved ones back to life. This results in her narrowly avoiding Azkaban and placed under the 'care' of the head auror, who sees Rose's potential and wants to use her services to depose Kingsley and rule Britain. Of course, the deaths of Harry, Ron and Hermione further complicates matters. With the rest of the family fleeing the country fearing for their safety, the only family she has with her is Albus- and of course, that's a recipe for disaster. It is indicated that Rose's Resurrection spell was the first step in the series of events that led to the apocalyptic future, so there is no shortage of excitement in her life.

    I like the Albus-Rose-Scorpius trio. Albus' relationship with Rose is well done- the possessiveness he feels towards her is well portrayed. It is a striking balance- on one hand he wants to keep her safe, and at the same time he is curious as to what sound will her wrists makes if he snaps them. I like Scorpius as Albus' lackey, but the Rose/Scorpius relationship seems unnecessary. I guess its there to give Scorpius some importance to the plot, although there are indications that he will play a bigger part in the future.

    The plot is what I believe to be the best part of the story. Rose, who is known to be 'The last Witch' has been captured by the muggles after a long and sustained Wizard-Muggle war. It is made clear that that Rose can kill the guards and escape any time she wants to, but she is tired of running and has accepted execution over life time imprisonment. It is here that she relates her life story to Mr Walker, a historian, who wants to learn the true history of the war instead of the biased versions in most History books. This is the story of Rose, Albus and Scorpius and how they unknowingly set in motion the events that led to the whole war and the fall of Wizards.

    The narrative is gripping and mysterious, and straight from the beginning of the story we have a whole lot of questions and very few answers. There are puppet masters who rule the world from the shadows, and their purpose and motivations are unknown. Harry himself is a huge mystery- it seems that he had at least some knowledge of the events of the world and from the very beginning he seems to be grooming Albus for something, going to lengths like exposing him to dementors and using the cruciatus on him until he learns to throw off the pain. He leaves a whole mystery behind him when he dies, leaving Rose and Albus to chase his vague clues. In that respect the story is a bit like DH, except that it is Harry leaving the clues instead of Dumbledore. The writing style is quite good for mysteries- it does feel disjointed at times but it seems to add to the atmosphere (somewhat reminiscent of The Song of the Trees and Unatoned) rather than detract from it.

    The story seems to be deconstruction of the 'Big Happy Weasley Family' theme present in the epilogue and most next Gen stories, and those who like stories with a dark, dreary atmosphere and Grey morality would love it. However, the true success of the story will be up to how the author brings all his plot points together and ties up all the mysteries. Hopefully their resolution will be more satisfying than the mystery of the Deathly Hallows, which was nothing but Deus ex machina in its most unapologetic form.

    TL;DR If you like mystery novels you should definitely give it a read. In a fandom populated with rehashed plots, this story is a breath of fresh air. Hopefully its resolution will be just as satisfying. For now, I'll give it a 4.5 out of 5, but the rating could be perfect or fall way down depending on the plot resolution and ending.
     
  9. MrSam

    MrSam Second Year

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    It's pretty bad. (SHIT)
     
  10. Stan

    Stan Order Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    823
    Updated.

    Wow, the author writes some incredibly fucked-up relationships. The Albus/Rose relationship was brilliantly creepy, but I don't think I've ever seen a Father/son or mentor/student relationship done the same way as Harry/Albus. GRR Martin would be proud.

    The next major event of the war seems to be coming. The setting of Little Norton is a recipe for disaster -- infact, the entirety of Wizarding Britain is on the edge, just the slightest spark and everything would burn. I can't wait to see what happens next.