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Complete Harry Potter and the Battle of Wills by Jocelyn

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Mal'sSerenity, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Mal'sSerenity

    Mal'sSerenity Second Year

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    Title: Harry Potter and the Battle of Wills

    Author: Jocelyn

    Rating: T

    Genre: Drama/Adventure

    Pairings: HP/GW, RW/HG

    Words: 356,475

    Status: Complete

    Summary: Snape blows his cover as a spy to save Harry from Voldemort. To win the war, even those who loathe each other must unite, and many lessons are learned in the process.

    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2009130/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Battle-of-Wills

    The fic was written after OotP and before HBP came out. It is one of the few fics that I have found that manage to do a Mentor!Snape any kind of justice. Snape is NOT some nice cuddly man. He is the same bitter, grouchy git that he is in cannon at the beginning. He's a grouchy git at the middle, and he's a grouchy git at the end. The relationship between him and Harry is about what you would expect; filled with tension and mutual loathing. However as the story goes on their relationship gradually starts to change to the point that by the end of the fic, they've developed a mutual respect for each other along with an odd sort of friendship.

    Yes, it does unfortunately have Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione pairings but it is about the same as in the books and mostly stays in the background with a rather low impact on the story, so I found it relatively easy to ignore. Then again pairings have never really bothered me as long as it is well-written and not something especially dreadful like a romantic Snape/Harry or some similar monstrosity

    It is written in the same spirit as the books which also happens to include the fight scenes, which follow the same X wizard cast spell at Y wizard and X wizard was dueling Y wizard formula that the books had. So if you are looking for a fic that has epic and detailed battles, then you are better off looking at the stuff written by Shezza or Voice of the Nephilim.

    Having said that I believe that Battle of Wills is a great fanfic that manages to keep everyone in character and make one of the few well done Snape Mentors Harry fics that I thus far read.

    So what do you guys think. Is it Library material or not. If not then feel free to tell me what an idiot I am for thinking it's any good and list some that actually are.
     
  2. KingRoger

    KingRoger Second Year

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    Okay, so I haven't read this yet, as I'm generally not a fan of mentor snape fics, but here are just a few tips about your recommendation:
    1. You haven't told us any more about the story other than the pairings, which isn't enough to get someone to read it. You spent longer defending the presence of shape than anything else, which says a fair bit.
    2. Don't apologise for the pairings. Either it's a good fic or it isn't, and subjective options regarding pairings are irrelevant. All that matters is if it's a story told well, and that the pairings are told well too.
    3. You didn't even give the fic a rating.
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I read this back when it was being written, years and years ago. I remember finishing it and thinking it was decent, but that's such a vague impression I can't put any stock into it at this point.

    Dude, chill. He also told us that Snape isn't white-washed (he's still an asshole) and that the romance is low key and in the background (which might explain why I read it way back when, but I can't remember). The summary itself implies that it's a simple AU - Snape makes the timeline diverge, then they have to go on to win the war in a different way from canon. I personally can't remember.

    Granted he could have done a better job of telling us what the story is about and what he liked about it, but it's not like he fucked it up either.

    If I re-read this I'll rate, but my long lost memories imply it'd be around a 3/5.
     
  4. KingRoger

    KingRoger Second Year

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    Apologies, I didn't intend to come off so cold.
     
  5. Mal'sSerenity

    Mal'sSerenity Second Year

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    It would probably be worth mentioning that it has been a few months since I have last read the story and that I have a memory that is roughly on par with that of your average sixty year old man, so there have probably been a few things that I have forgotten.

    Also, how do I edit the darn thing. I have looked but I didn't see an edit tab up there.

    By the way don't sweat it KingRoger, I'm not someone that is easily offended so feel free to talk to me however you like. As long as someone is not just flat out flaming me without a justified reason I don't really care. I'll keep in mind the things you mentioned for if I post another story at some point. This is the first time that I have ever joined a forum (or any internet community for that matter) and I know that I have a lot to learn. So if you or anyone else see any mistakes that I have made or things that I can improve on then by all means let me know.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  6. ShadowLight

    ShadowLight Muggle

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    Note: Mentor!Snape is not usually something I'm drawn to (the only one I can think of is POTDK, which I love). Also, I started skimming a lot. Take this with grain of salt.

    This didn't do it for me. I got to chapter 15. The premise is good, even fairly well executed for the first few chapters (covering the premise of Harry being captured and freed.) However, as soon as it gets to Hogwarts, problems start cropping up.

    One of the biggest problems is how pointless the next 7 or so chapters feel. They can be summed up with 'Harry takes some time to recover from being captured, his friends are happy he is back'. It's fluffed out too long instead of advancing plot or character.

    Similarly, Harry lacks any agency that I can find, merely bouncing between high ranking people due to his connection to Voldemort or status as BWL. He doesn't seem to grow or change as a character from his stay with the death eaters.

    Meanwhile, the only thing any of the rest of his friends at hogwarts are good for is showing how much they support Harry (seriously, every conversation seems to have this, it's too much). This is a fine thing to establish once or twice as he returns or in dramatic situations, but it appears to be all they do, which is a shame. They don't play into the plot, but that may be a symptom of the fact that Harry barely seems to as well at times.

    Snape is fine, I think, fairly in-character. The problem is nothing has yet come of his and Harry's relationship. It's a very slow burn and not one that I have time for. That's because the lack of development is not for lack of reasonable opportunities. The conversations between Harry, Snape mostly reinforce the same beats from OOTP. He loves Lily. He hates James. Snape is actually a complicated guy, wow nice. But we know this. The story needs to use the premise to change/develop the characters in interesting ways. It seems to have little intention of doing so anytime soon.

    2/5. Good premise, okay characterization. Too slow and repetitive in developing those characters in any useful way if at all.
     
  7. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

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    Okay, I couldn't finish it (stopped at chapter 31) but let's start with the good points:
    • No unending summer? No goblins? No supertrunk? Is this really from 2005? There isn't even bashing!
    • Romance is very much kept in the background, at least where I stopped.
    • Very good Snape, his characterization and character growth are very well done. He is more in-character in this than most of current fics, even though it was written before HBP.
    • Decent plot, nothing ground-breaking or unseen but solid execution of not terrible ideas. I don't know if using the fake titles for HBP as plot points was overdone at the time, but nothing struck me as too contrived. Voldemort holds a little idiot ball for not killing Harry while he has several occasions to do so, but it's not worse than canon on this aspect. I've read much worse.

    Now for the bad points, starting with the main reason I dropped it:
    • This is not Drama/Adventure, this is Angst/Hurt/Comfort with drops of Adventure. God that angst is unbearable. The story never really grows out of this cycle: Harry is angry about not being told anything (while knowing and understanding why he isn't) and snaps at everyone / he does something stupid because of his bad temper / someone gets hurt / he is sorry and cries a lot because he makes targets of his friends and Sirius is dead and OMG-you'd-be-better-off-if-I-died / he gets comforted by Lupin who says it's not his fault even when it is / he gets angry again for the same reason two lines later. Rinse and repeat ad angstam aeternam. By the third time I didn't know if the most annoying was Harry or Lupin.
    • Harry's characterization in general, he's basically a caricature of OotP!Harry that keeps making the same mistakes -made worse by the fact that everyone is literally walking on eggs around him and nobody tells him to grow the fuck up.
    • Sirius's revival. Honestly, that was the final straw. You can't spend half the story having Harry crying over him and then having him come back. That makes the angst both extremely annoying AND pointless. I wanted to keep reading until there was an explication as to why Voldemort would bring him back, but the angst was too terrible.

    TL;DR: I expected much worse given the publishing date, but the quality of writing and the decent, fairly cliche-free plot gave it an average 3/5. Snape's characterization and Harry's lack of character growth cancel each other, but the ovewhelming angst was really too much. So 2/5.
     
  8. Karling

    Karling Squib

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    It has a good plot, and is well-written, but I stopped reading at around chapter 20 because it was taking ages for the story to progress and the angst was starting to annoy me.

    Still, I can see why others might like this fic. It's free of cliches and bashing which is getting rarer these days.

    2/5
     
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