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WIP Ghost of Privet Drive by AndrewWolfe - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Leo1980s, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. Leo1980s

    Leo1980s Squib

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    Title: Ghost of Privet Drive
    Author: AndrewWolfe
    Rating: M
    Genre: Drama/Family
    Status: In-Progress 83K
    Pairings: None
    Summary: "Fix it" said the Fates. "Fix what? With what tools and skills?" I asked. Being dead was only the first of the obstacles. And then I found myself in an understairs cupboard listening to a little boy quietly sobbing. Oh. Fix THAT. In which a sarcastic old git is dropped into the awful childhood of Harry Potter. SI, no ships. Rated M for foul language and canon-level abuse.

    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13436100/1/Ghost-of-Privet-Drive


    I'm sure I'm in for some abuse for recommending an SI but hey its Christmas & I've actually rather enjoyed this one.

    I'm not sure what the pacing is going to be but the story starts with Harry at 5 & goes from there. Its not your usual SI fic - by which I mean groan & ditch ASAP. I think its original, funny & well written but I doubt I've read as many stories as everyone else.

    3/5
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  2. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Agree about the pacing, it's a bit slow although it's working for now. Big fan of the super deep Brit deep dive stuff, like a salve for all the inaccurate fics out there. Main character is amusing enough, and I like the sense of the world. So far it's a bit "easy" but the author did say in a note that that's by design. So I can grant some leeway and see where it goes. And I definitely have read way too stories.
    4/5
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I just read the first chapter of this and it's quite engaging. I have a flight tonight and I'll try to read the rest of it on the plane. I'm glad to have something to read!

    Notes on Chapter 1

    I feel like the first 'part' of the chapter, up until Mal meets Harry, could be shortened to be about half the length. It was engaging and your writing is top notch, but it felt as if it dragged on a bit when I was ready to get to something recognizable to judge the story.

    I am on the fence regarding whether I'm happy Mal knows HP canon or not. How much of it he remembers will probably determine this me. At present I think it's good that he does, because as the author you have gone to a lot of trouble to make it feel real and not like he's in a story. I like your choice of the SI as being a middle aged lawyer with mechanics as a hobby.

    Too early to rate but I suspect it will be library worthy without issue.
     
  4. Donimo

    Donimo Auror

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    I'm really enjoying this.
     
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I finished what’s written so far. I’m going to go with a 3.5 and - sadly - round down.

    The thing is... the prose and characterization and general writing is closer to a 5/5 than most.

    But this is a story that sets out to primarily ‘fix’ Harry’s childhood by the addition of a dependable adult. I suspect the majority of the story will take place prior to Harry ever going to Hogwarts, as this style of story telling would get much harder to engage with once Harry is there.

    It makes sense that the OC protagonist has so many POV scenes but by doing so without giving Harry equal POV time I think Harry is too much a prop. He’s realistic for a child this age though.

    On the fence about Mal gaining magic and the ability to possess people. I expected him to be able to possess Harry at most and generally offer advice/spying. That would have still required action from Harry. But giving the OC so much ability changes that dynamic.

    Overall a well written story that does what it sets out to do - just so happens that’s not really up my alley. Possible I’ll change it to 4 though given how it goes later.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  6. AndrewWolfe

    AndrewWolfe Muggle

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    Fair warning, there's a later chapter that includes Naked Dumbledore. Should be gettng posted early February, if you want to mark your calendars.
     
  7. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I previously rounded down from a 3.5 because this wasn't my cup of tea. To an extent that's still true.

    Yet I find myself reading every update as soon as I see one, which means it's doing something right to keep me reading in spite of the non-Harry centric content.

    Therefore, while my rating doesn't really change, I am now rounding up to 4 for the official rating. Shits engaging in spite of everything that should make it otherwise.
     
  8. AndrewWolfe

    AndrewWolfe Muggle

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    Rather my aim. Take the most self-indulgent, anus-clenchingly awful fanfic premise - the self-insert - and see if I could do something readable with it.

    Mostly successful so far, I think, although I did get accused of being a commie, for reasons that no doubt seemed good to the reviewer.
     
  9. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Your own fault for including that "Marx was a secret alchemist wizard" side plot.
     
  10. AndrewWolfe

    AndrewWolfe Muggle

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    He could at least have waited until I'd posted the chapter about the Muggles Seizing The Means Of Enchantment.
     
  11. Crownworthy

    Crownworthy Second Year

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    The pacing of this story is terribly slow. After 14 chapters and more than 100000 words, we’re nowhere near Hogwarts. Worse, however, is the fact that after the first couple of chapters, there’s no real conflict. After a quick talking to, the Dursleys see the error of their ways, and don’t appear to have any problem changing. The rest of the story is mostly family fluff. The self insert is given magic in a potentially interesting way, but though the possible consequences are touched upon, there never seems to be a price to pay for the powerup.


    It’s also annoyingly preachy, with rants about everything from class and politics to art appreciation, the proper way to raise children, and anything inbetween. Moral grandstanding and unshakeable conviction is seldom interesting to read about, whether you agree with the author’s stance or not. I suppose it’s competently written and mildly funny at times, though. 2/5 for that.
     
  12. cucio

    cucio Seventh Year

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    This. The Soapbox was strong with this one, and after the SI unlocked GodMode (with a dreamscape lightsaber, of all things) it gained mind-rape powers to add to the authorial ones. Clicking the X on chapter 5.
     
  13. darklordmike

    darklordmike Headmaster

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    Story is complete now. It's really one of those that should have been put up for review when it was nearly finished rather than 1/3 of the way in.

    A few of these reviews are accurate about the pacing early-on, and about the dominance of the SI character. It may seem like nothing is happening for the first four or five chapters, as 'Malcolm Reynolds' sets about fixing up Harry's life. But this fic is far more than that. It gets better as it goes, and by midway there are surprising developments with every chapter. They involve great interactions with Moody and Sirius, Azkaban jailbreaks, interesting magical theory, a fucked-up Bellatrix, etc., etc.

    Whether you like the story will depend largely on whether you like the narrative voice. I loved it. It's wry, witty, and sarcastic, and some observation had me laughing out loud every single chapter. If you don't appreciate the references to British history, philosophy, and the frequent lawyer joke, I can see how it could become tedious. Still, a lot happens by the end of the story, and there's going to be a sequel where more of the focus is on Harry.

    The fic's not perfect, but by my standards it's excellent. It's a smart, well-written story, and I was entertained the whole way, even if I skimmed the occasional passage of attorney-speak.

    4.5/5, rounded up to 5/5
     
  14. Drachna

    Drachna Fifth Year

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    I've been enjoying this fic quite a bit, and while I know its position is permanently in the Almost Recommended thread, I think that there are some arguments to be made to elevate the story to the library. For one, the actual quality of the author's writing is fantastic, easily superior to a majority of the writhing I've seen in all my years reading fanfiction. Where Wolfe fails to impress is with his plotting and the way in which he portrays a majority of HP's characters, namely as idiots. Following the old 'make your own character seem more intelligent by dumbing down the competition' trope that's a tried and true method of most indy Harry stories I've read, the author does himself a great disservice. With some more forethought and consideration for JK's characters this could have been brilliant. As it is, I couldn't recommend it past the first few chapters.

    5/5 for the writing and world building, 2/5 for the plot and the characterisaton, leaving us with 3/5.
     
  15. WyrdSmith

    WyrdSmith Muggle

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    This is actually one of three SIs that I unapologetically recommend. This is due entirely to the character inserted into the Dursley residence being a witty, intelligent, mature male who died after a decent life with lots of good family interaction and personal accomplishment. His inner voice is often amusing enough to make the reader laugh, and yet there is enough interaction to keep the plot moving. I also enjoyed the “logical and scientific” development of magical theory and abilities. It’s a fairly well-written story that I don’t regret spending a rainy Saturday afternoon reading. Is it Shakespeare? No. Then again, I hate Shakespeare.
     
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