1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  2. DLP Writing Competition
    Topic - Master and Apprentice (or Mentor and Protege!)

    Click here for more info!
    Don't miss the due date this time Guest - it's March 13th!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Introducing for your Perusing Pleasure

    New Thread Thursday
    +
    Shit Post Sunday

    READ ME
    Dismiss Notice

WIP Harry Potter and the Den of Snakes by sunmoonandstars - T

Discussion in 'The Alternates' started by Sesc, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. TRH

    TRH Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    303
    You kidding? Star Wars didn't even start using that phrase until after the Prequels. I remember Ludo Bagman referring to "our side" at one point, and that's it.

    Anyways, I've just started Year 4, and I'll post my review once I'm done with that.
     
  2. Amethyst

    Amethyst Squib

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Azkaban
    High Score:
    0
    I spent the last few days blowing through the series and was surprised to find that I had a good time. Despite the obvious WBWL tropes, I really enjoyed the group dynamic between the main characters. The plot did remain quite similar to cannon, but the alternate Slytherin perspective and subplots carried me through each book. My only complaint is the obvious “right-ness” of the main characters. Nearly every Slytherin is portrayed as cunning and intelligent, able to outwit a majority of the adults around them. Harry is able to success manipulate the likes of the Wizengamot, and rarely runs into actual trouble while doing so. Overall, I give the series a 4/5. I have a bias towards Slytherin Harry and good characterization.
     
  3. Spanks

    Spanks Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,442
    Location:
    New Jersey
    If Harry Potter fanfiction existed in academia this would be the PhD thesis of the wrong!BWL genre.

    This story has so many instances where I’d usually click the x, but the author has actually presented all the terrible cliches in enjoyable ways. The main saving grace are the character surrounding Harry being fleshed out.

    If I can get passed “Hadrian” Potter, magical cores, and cartoonishly bad James/Dumbledore then the story is engaging. 3/5 would be 4 if some of the overdone cliches weren’t in there or at least Dumbledore be portrayed close to his canon self.
     
  4. Vir

    Vir Centauri Ambassador ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Canada
    High Score:
    1,907
    I've finished reading what's available over the last little bit and it's definitely fit for Almost Recommended. It's a solid fit if you can turn your brain off for a bit and just enjoy the ride. There are moments where you need to really suspend disbelief when dealing with the idiot ball that has been handed to James and Jules. On the other hand though, that same idiot ball is the foundation of the story.

    A nice diversion.
     
  5. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    i love girl's generation tbh
    High Score:
    1803
    I’m shocked at how much I’ve enjoyed this up to this point with the Hadrians and what not.

    A well biased 3.5 from me - it’s pedantic and unfriendly to read at times and the caricature of Dumbledore grates on me, but somehow in all that it’s found time for a very charming Slytherin cast.
     
  6. Nauro

    Nauro Headmaster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,170
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lithuania
    This story - I both enjoy it and get annoyed by it.

    It keeps piling choices that irk me one by one, and at the same time, it manages to present majority of them in a competent way. But for the constant see-saw of James and Dumbledore from semi-reasonable to stupid, it's actually competently written and entertaining. An easy 3/5.


    I am glad that I read some of the reviews on this thread before jumping in, because I needed to be prepared for James' characterization. Which is... super bad and entirely different from what it could be. Sirius, Remus and James are changed in a bunch of ways, and Harry is in some ways a little shit when talking with both Remus and James, admittedly, with reasons - which would be impossible with canon characterizations.

    Wrong Boy Who Lived premise and having Harry live with Dursleys. Oh boy:
    There are two reasons given for Harry to live at Dursleys:
    1. James thought Harry was a squib.
    2. Harry living at Petunia's 'recharges' the protections on both him and Jules.

    If only those two reasons were given depth. Maybe, just maybe, there exists a version of James that would decide to put his work and his magical child above taking care of a squib* - given some trauma due to Lilly's death, increased responsibilities as a Head Auror, and the need to protect his supposed chosen-one son to consider giving Harry away. It could be a dramatic choice that James isn't happy about, and there are hints to this as James picks Harry up for the first time, and tries to make amends, including quickly confirming him as an older son, a heir. (Even in such circumstances I'd expect James to constantly check-in on Harry and pick him up on first show of accidental magic, unless the second reason is vital) (At the same time, I think there's canon mentions of little Harry showing drops of magical potential before James and Lilly got killed)

    At first, I though that supposed squibness would serve as an explanation, and the whole point would be "Harry can stay at Jame's now, but he'll always know that James gave in to prejudices." and that early decision and James potencial stubbornes of how things are usually done would be a driving conflict.
    ... And Harry gets sorted into Slytherin and James stops talking to him. What?

    The second reason could also be explored, provided all parties of the arrangement are unhappy. If there were a credible treat to Jules, a series of attempts on his life, etc, I could see justification for saying "well, we have to stick one you at Dursleys", but they would SURELY be ensuring at least the minimal safety, etc.

    All in all, I believe there could be a reasonably deconstructed reason of why one twin has to live at Dursleys, but I'd rather wish it would be a sane reason, and at least somewhat believable.

    *See also the Weasley accountaint squib no one talks about - there would be some precedent for exclusion of squibs from the wizarding world.

    p.s. Being a potencial Squib as a reason to foister Harry to Dursleys could maaaaybe lead to Harry getting treated differently by Petunia.
     
  7. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK
    I think you've captured the biggest issue with this story, and that's the fact that you can arrive at the same place with more reasonable characters. Your point in your spoiler about the Dursleys potentially treating Harry differently because he was supposedly a squib, which as you mentioned is counter to canon (I think I remember something regarding scaring the Potters' cat with accidental magic, but that also may be fanon), is one I think would have had more interesting implications than the whole over the top fanon!Dursleys that we get in story. ANd also added an interesting bit of conflict.

    Honestly, AU Dursleys is one of the things that's rarely done well (or even at all), and it's something I wish there was more of, if only for novelty's sake.

    It's been mentioned by several people in this thread but it bears repeating as probably the major sticking point for this series: James and Dumbledore would be far more engaging if they weren't continuously flanderised. Dumbledore doesn't need to be non-manipulative, and James can still have made some of the same calls, but there's massive room for subtleties and flawed but well meaning reasons that are completely absent, and that cheapens everything else.

    I've spent way more time than I should thinking about this, and it kind of makes me wish I could write passably decent prose. Alas, I suck, and have the attention span of a hummingbird.
     
  8. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,198
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Blocksberg, Germany
    Actually, I find that if you accept the premise of James character, the decisions do follow. So he's an idiotic narrow-minded asshole. From that I can get dumping Harry with the Dursleys (asshole), forgetting to check up on him/assume he's a squib (idiot) and then blow up and cut all contact when Harry is sorted into Slytherin (narrow-minded). As far as in-story reasoning goes, Harry living at the Dursleys makes sense -- if you are the kind of person who routinely treats one of your sons as a spare to protect the other one. It's just that ... well, who the fuck does that? No one. That's the problem.

    That aside,
    I finished my re-read, and I think I got to tease a bit more sense out of the story. Relevant is Thorne's POV at the end of chapter 11, book 5. I think the thing here really is that all POVs are subjective and biased, and that this reflects in the language.

    So when Thorne talks about "prejudice", what he means is not a worldview of "Muggles are scum, Muggleborns are inferior", but much rather a lack of bias towards his worldview of "all purebloods needs to be eradicated" (He's literally advocating genocide as a solution, talk about inverting good and bad.) And James' idea of "prejudice" is not agreeing that all of Slytherin is bunch of bigots. Etc. But these shifts in terms, which happen all over the story, make it impossible to track stances or even just talk, because people already don't even agree on definitions. It's kinda clever, but also maximally confusing.

    If you try to aggregate all this, what you get is at least three factions. First, there's Dumbledore, who fights against the Canon-version of Voldemort -- the one which (he says) advocates blood supremacy. Then, there's Voldemort's side, which (he says) is not about blood supremacy at all -- blood matters, ability matters more, a brilliant motto, by the way -- but rather, a fight against the Ministry's overreach: the stiffling of innovations, the outlawing of powerful magic in order enforce a monopol on the use of force.

    And then, there is the Ministry, which is allied to whichever side protects its influence, and objectively the clearest "bad" side here -- rampant with prejudice against Muggleborn and halfbreeds, corrupt and bigoted. So actually, if people could put their prejudices (ha!) aside, what would make the most sense is Dumbledore and Voldemort tag-teaming the Ministry, but instead, it's a mess of propaganda that doesn't allow anyone to think straight, and whenever Fudge isn't sticking his fingers into his ears, for some reason Dumbledore believes the enemy is Voldemort and teams up with the Ministry, even though Voldemort supposedly fights against what Dumbledore professes to wish to eradicate.

    The crucial point here might be whatever is "Dark" and/or "Dark magic". If "Dark" is sufficiently deal-breaking enough, then Dumbledore's allying with -- or, at least, lack of fight against -- the Ministry suddenly makes sense, because that is their common ground. It's a pity that this important bit of knowledge is missing, and it could have been easily introduced in one of Dumbledore's POVs, we are shown his thoughts, after all. From what I can tell, he's trying to Mugglelise the Wizarding World in an attempt to make it more welcoming for Muggleborns, having identified all the "old ways" and "customs" and "dark(?)" magic as the reasons the Muggleborns are marginalised. That's just inference, though. All we actually have is the Ministry's definition of "Dark", which is "anything powerful enough to challenge the position of the Ministry".

    Otherwise, and so far, it's an amazing non-sequitor. Consider:

    "We can't have any prejudice survive, Remus," James said darkly. "No inclination towards Dark magic".

    The reasoning that moves from "prejudice" to "Dark magic" is what I'm interested in. Without it, that sentence is comically incoherent. Then again, it's James, so perhaps he believes that using "Dark magic" causes "prejudice" (definitions pending), or both are one and the same. There certainly seems to be the belief that a certain kind of magic (here called "Dark", and probably not Ministry-Dark) has consequences, so you shouldn't use it:

    "[T]he Dark isn't a tool you can use for good. Not for long. Not without consequence. [...]"

    Which is why people shouldn't use it, and you should fight people using it. But this is never expanded upon, and you'd think if it was an argument, someone would use it in one of the many confrontations we have about this exact topic. When Ginny uses Dark magic in the Burrow's kitchen (lol), for instance.

    I kinda fear the author didn't consider this fully, which is a shame, but then again, the fact that we're even discussing such issues here speaks volumes, so eh.

    Anyone has opinions on pairings?
     
  9. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK
    I think thats the thing I can't get over. Like, Dumbledore making Machiavellien choices is one thing, but James doing it (without those Machiavellien reasons) is all kinds of wtf. And then he just keeps doubling down on the douchebaggery.

    You make a very good points, though. And I agree, the entirely subjective nature of each PoV is really clever but super confusing at times, and there's a lot of stuff that would make more sense (like character motivations) if some things were actually explained. As it's, the only people with an agenda that we're (mostly) fully aware of is Harry and and his crew. The rest are largely opaque, even in their own PoV, and that makes things a bit confusing.

    And I'll reiterate that my biggest gripe is that I think all of the conflicts would be much more fascinating if the 'Light' was even a little sympathetic. I mean, they're as complex and nuanced as canon Voldemort.

    Anyway, I'll stop flogging that dead horse. I guess I just see a fair amount of potential in the story (and the author's writing) that it just doesn't meet and that bugs me. Which ironically says good things about the story :p
     
  10. A Lightning

    A Lightning Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Pansy, for possibly the first time in my life. The Slytherin cast really is well written.
     
  11. Newcomb

    Newcomb Minister of Magic

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,240
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
    I don't quite have the energy to write a full-on critique of this, so this is mostly going to be random musings / bullet points.

    I did read all of this, over a fairly short amount of time. It didn't quite get to that "everything else I'm doing in my life is just a distraction and/or obstacle to getting me back in a chair and reading more" level, but I was certainly hooked. That in and of itself is a pretty big plus - no matter what faults this has, I wanted to keep reading, and I was disappointed there wasn't more, even after nearly 700K.

    The writing in this is actually pretty good. It's got a conciseness and clarity to it that you don't often find in fanfiction. It loses some points on voice - it's good writing, but it's not uniquely good, if that makes sense.

    The characters are for the most part engaging and easy to differentiate. They do tend to kind of fall into some familiar patterns - if I never read the phrase "well met" again, I'll be happy - and some of the sarcasm / quip-y scenes are better than others.

    Some of the more trope-y stuff, like Harry's snake familiar, seem tacked on in a way that doesn't really work for me. The Harry/Eriss relationship just kinda felt like it was accomplished via fiat, and set up to be exploited later in a "vulnerable element that Harry really really cares about" way.

    The over-focus on books as a source of magical development / knowledge is... eh, I've seen worse. Bit pedestrian. And the way the author kind of leans into it, at least they're committed. It makes scenes like Harry and Theo and their copybook scheme have a bit of weight / secondhand glee to them, in the way that fics that just hand Harry a bunch of handwaved generic Shit He Got From The Potter Vault tend to feel empty / pointless.

    Some of the ritual / pagan magic stuff is fairly interesting. Again, not a new concept exactly, but not overdone and it was written well.

    One of my main gripes is how the author just bends over backwards to graft the story along to the stations of the canon. There are several times the author pivots to this that just really, really feel like a crutch.

    Another thing I'm not jazzed about is the Death Eater apologist stuff. I get making things morally ambiguous, that's fine. I even think the way Harry slowly starts adopting different aspects of the whole Improved Pureblood Philosophy is pretty well done. No, my gripe is more that in the narrative sense, the author's gone and made the "Light" side ridiculous. Continually pivoting towards "the government outlaws things not because they're dangerous but because they want to consolidate power," while simultaneously showing a Ministry / government in the present day that's incompetent and bumbling, and ALSO showing all these ancient Houses with vast mansions and ridiculous wealth and clever, imposing Lords, and then turning around and having those same Lords go "well we couldn't like, actually repeal the ban on blood magic, the MInistry's clamped down too hard. We needed Voldemort to start dropping bodies. But like, not in a terrible way." It just... strains the WSOD quite a bit.

    It's a fun setup, but for it to really play, IMO, the Ministry needs to be shown to actually have some teeth. And to have actual, legit, complex reasons for doing what it's been doing. If you're gonna give the Pureblood side all this smoothing, all this extra explanation and nuance and reasoning why it's The Right Thing, then the treatment of Ron, Dumbledore, James, etc comes off as heavy-handed at best, and full-on "author has an axe to grind and this isn't a story so much as a manifesto" territory.

    All that being said... I wouldn't have had those problems with it if I'd dropped it 30K words in like 99% of the fics that tell a version of this story. I had those problems with it because the quality of the writing and characterization were such that there was room for me to have those problems at all.

    4/5
     
  12. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,198
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Blocksberg, Germany
    I hadn't realised this had updated. I need to set up notifications somehow. Anyway, more of the same issue --
    Arthur not dying through Nagini while Dumbledore claims it is so makes it way to easy for Voldemort, here. Unless, of course, Barty is lying, and it actually was Voldemort, after all. That would be a rather nice twist. Would be way more satisfying seeing Harry trying to relativise Arthur's death in light of his new-found appreciation of all things Voldemort (except Voldemort himself, I guess) then be given the lame opt-out of Dumbledore did it and no hard choices.

    Pansy works, I guess. It'd be the kind of relationship that's like a business transaction -- Pansy knows what she wants, Harry will help her get it, and both will be better off for it. And she'd be content enough with that, yeah. But would Harry?

    I still say Daphne and Harry are uniquely suited. She's a misanthrope with a cruel streak a mile long, and that fits rather well with his casual disregard for just about any morals and seeing people as pawns to move around. Whenever he's peak asshole, Daphne is happy, so conversely, he doesn't have to pretend being anything else. Whenever he's at his coldest, she's there and understands. She doesn't mind him being a bastard, if anything, she likes him better for it.

    It's pretty dysfunctional, but then again, they both are that. She can at least partly relate to his brokenness, at any rate; even if that exact fact means she can't help him with it. But assuming we don't get a redemption ass-pull, he doesn't need any helping with that anyway -- Daphne just has to realise this, because that was the point where they split up last time. Her assertion that they'd be better off as friends implies each would find someone else who's better at being more than just friends, and that's not going to happen. They are what they are -- pretty much incapable of love, but certainly able to build a relationship on trust and affection.

    To wit:
    Daphne/Harry OTP.

    Now someone knock sense into their (mostly her) heads :p

    That said, I'm reasonably sure before (if ever) we get there, you're going to get your wish regarding Pansy.
     
  13. Faun

    Faun Third Year

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    India
    High Score:
    0
    After a rough start the story becomes very engaging. Almost all the characters are neatly done.

    James could have been written better. It would have been better if he had tried harder to get on with Harry. He is a mirror image of Walburga Black with all her prejudices inversed.

    Dumbledore is characterised well but the execution leaves a lot to be desired from. He has been too easily frustrated on all accounts to do justice to his character. He is utilitarian and machiavellian, but seems to be over all ineffective.

    Voldemort and his cause are made more reasonable and attractive in the story. But Harry gets his information from propaganda, whether its Dumbledore 's, Ministry's, or Voldemort's (Crouch and free Death Eaters). Therefore, readers get a biased account and have to wait for Harry's final determination on where he stands and his reasons. Harry still sees Voldemort as the root cause of his suffering and hasn't displayed any inclination to change that view. Furthermore unsuccessful armed rebellions might have admirers and silent supporters, but tend to lose active support once the romanticism wears off and ugliness of conflict becomes apparent. Voldemort has already caused enough strife and suffering, and suffered a defeat to inspire confidence. Harry has the option of involving himself in the legitimate politics of the Wizarding world and even if he sees things Voldemort's way he has no need to jeopardize his own interests by joining the terrorists.

    The Ministry is the constant bad guy of the story and if the series continues post-hogwarts period it will be interesting to read Harry play politics in the big leagues.

    The story is not big on romance which works in its favour. But if asked, I will say Harry and Daphne work. The usual Harry melting Daphne's ice or Daphne healing Harry's wounded heart thankfully won't work in this setting. If the Downward Spiral Saga took the pairing and the story to a nightmare, this one has the potential to take it to a better place.
     
  14. trollolol

    trollolol Third Year

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    103
    I enjoyed it thoroughly, despite the many flaws.

    Is it even possible to make James and Dumbledore evil idiots and have them still be well loved and popular in a believable way? I guess the author couldn't figure out a way to sell it so they just didn't even try.

    However, I assume this is an intentional attempt to prove that skill at writing can still produce an enjoyable story using lots of tropes. And it is, I would say. The author seems to not have planned far into the future at any point, so we get a very inconsistent Harry from a magical skill perspective (Taure explained this brilliantly I thought, so I will not repeat it)

    I also agree to some extent regarding the author cheating a little bit around describing characters by having Harry figure them out in excruciating depth within half a second based on the positioning of an eye brow or a lip. I have taken it throughout to mean this is simply Harry's opinion and we are invited to disagree, but it can be a bit painful.

    I am not sure what to review it as. Deeply flawed yet truly enjoyable. Fuck it. 4/5.
     
  15. Krieger

    Krieger Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,323
    I was unsure whether or not to like this. Mainly because all said and done up until book two so far, and reading the summaries for the last few books in the series this is nothing but another canon rehash with bashing and the most original thought in this fic is the twin potters name is Jules. Haven't seen that name before.

    The best part of the story is the character interactions, but even that can get grating at times. It wouldn't be a Slytherin Harry fic if he didn't go on sermons about how others view Slytherin etc. Annoying tropes like manipulative Dumbledore and a bigoted/absentee James. None of these things are as badly done as other fics, but they are still there nonetheless. That's a good overall summary for the rest of the fic, none of the tropes is as bad as other slytherin/twin fics, but it's still there regardless.

    So let's start. Every other child that isn't part of Harrys cliche is obviously an idiot and no where near as mature as the future master politicians 11-12 year olds of Harrys group. Now this is by no means the worse iteration I have seen of it, and there are moments where Ron and Jules and co are given some love, but that is rare and in between and quickly forgotten because it wouldn't fit the next scene of the authors vision.

    Alot of unnecessary stuff is introduced just for the sake of it. Harry can do wandless magic? No worries lets mention this rarely after we spent a whole chapter introducing it at the start of the fic. He has a second wand? No worries so far this has had absolutely zero relevance at all beyond a passing mention now and than. Lets not get on about his exhaustion levels when performing magic, also inconsistent and fitting to the scene. Magic and everything else very much takes a back foot to the character interactions in this story, and that's fine.

    The overall problem with this fic is it's inconsistency. I feel like characters act in a certain way to suit the scene that is being written without regard to their previous characterisation in this fic and the overall direction of the fic. A prime example is Hermione in book two. All of the sudden she grows into a bitchier version of her canon self and suspicious of Harry/Malfoy, teams up with Ron and Jules and the canon rehash of year 2 begins. Polyjuice potion, every same student/ghost/cat gets petrified. etc etc. But at the end of the story no matter how much she betrayed her friends in Harrys group? No worries that plot point is over let love and make up and move on to book three. This happens to a lesser but more consistent extent with Jules. One minute he is alright the next minute he is the Slytherin hating Gryffindor the author requires.

    So yeah I've only finished book two, was going to start book three tonight. But I am pretty confident Sirius is innocent, James is a dick, convoluted reasons for why he thought Sirius was guilty etc. Most likely Hermione has a time turner again and probably will be a very similar scene to end the book as there was in Prisoner of Azkaban. Jules and Ron will continue to be the authors punching bag for Harrys group as required. Who knows hopefully I'm wrong.

    3/5 overall because the writing quality isn't half bad and there definitely are some worthwhile character scenes worth checking out. A decent read if you like slytherin/twin fics but nothing new. If you couldn't stomach this genre in the past this fic won't change your opinion. Reading others peoples comments I am hoping this fic does improve remarkably down the road, but having read the first two books which total 180k words combined I am comfortable giving this series this rating so far. Here is to hoping I get blown away with the next few books in this series, as it is I'm enjoying myself/getting annoyed at times but a decent rec, not library worth though.
     
  16. entropist

    entropist Muggle

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    It uses a fair amount of tropes and cliches, that is undeniable but it manages to be good in spite of them. Sure the characterizations, specifically that of James and dumbledore can get a bit irritating at times on the whole they make sense.

    By far the strongest point of this is Slytherin cast and their interactions. Unlike other fics which get on my nerves and are annoying with how mature and political the students are, this doesn't feel like that. The children are show to be smart and cunning and that is about it. The Slytherin house on the whole is also extremely well depicted. Even the minor characters and interesting though a negative is that Gryffindor and specifically Jules group can be rather cartoonish at times. Almost every character is given a bit of development specially those in Harry's clique.

    Aside from this the first few books are almost a canon rehash though after that it does somewhat pickup. The word count could have been less, and it does feel a bit bloated at times, But the overall technical writing is excellent.

    So for me a 3.5/5 rounded up to 4.
     
  17. carbetocinate

    carbetocinate Muggle

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    So I just binged this ove the last week.

    I think this is an excellent attempt at trying to do a Slytherin Harry without going full AU on the world. I find the whole James/dumbledore are idiots thing a bit tiresome.

    Harry is definitely a Gary stu there is no real explanation for his extreme precociousness (apart from wandless magic being necessary to survive) which, as taure said, is promptly undermined by a throwaway weakness in charms.

    The character development seems a bit rushed sometimes. It's clear the author has a great sense of where they want the characters to be and kind of glossed over how they got there (Hermione and Justin stick out).

    I'm excited to see where the same Voldemort who isnt just a genocidal racist plays out. I think the author has done a good job of channeling some of the earlier good Slytherin harry/Twins stories. I especially like the lack of pairings being forced down your throat but it's combined with a very liberal and diverse background which is acknowledged when relevant.

    All In a solid read that didn't leave me feeling I had wasted my time. Some nice ideas and scenes. Some sloppiness where the author clearly wanted to rush through to the scenes they had in mind but nothing truly awful.

    4/5
     
  18. James

    James High Inquisitor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    580
    I am absolutely unsure how to rate this.

    On one hand, the pros — strong cast, mostly enjoyable characterisation, and very good dialogue (quite a few chuckle moments).

    On the other hand, the cons:
    - inconsistent magic, magical development
    - slavish adherence to canon stations
    - random moments of weakness in Harry, which as far as I can tell only serve the purpose of artifical angst: they crop up randomly, only show up later, and are never really dealt with)

    It's easy 4/5, if canon stations and/or tiny pieces of angst don't bother you, but it's personal 3/5.
     
  19. Rahkesh Asmodaeus

    Rahkesh Asmodaeus THUNDAH Bawd Admin DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    5,127
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I just read the first stories, about to start the fifth. I figure that's enough to have a good enough grasp on the author and the story style.

    The first thing we gotta get out of the way: in no way does this story come close to Prince of Slytherin. Not in plot, not in characterization, not even in writing.

    This author, sunmoonandstars, hates straying too far from canon. It's a huge crutch for them. Maybe they feel like they aren't good enough to keep up with the butterfly effect that making a single change would cause. Despite Harry being this "cunning" Slytherin, everything happens exactly the way it did in canon, usually with Harry and Jules together in the climax instead of just one of them. Despite Harry knowing he should find a professor before entering the Chamber, Lockhart manages to escape his bindings and push Harry down the pipes, forcing all of them to go along with canon's version of the Chamber.

    In third year, it just so happened that they found Pettigrew in Hagrid's hut, leading to Sirius finding them. It just so happened that Remus caught Harry after coming back from his jaunt in Hogsmeade and confiscating the map from him, despite having no reason to other than to be a jackass. The only thing that's changed in this scenario is that Sirius was found innocent.

    In fourth year, of course both Jules and Harry are selected for the tournament. Everything happens the same way, Voldemort is reborn, Harry and Jules escape via the portkey, Fudge doesn't believe them, etc etc. Crouch escaped, but we've yet to see the repercussions of this.

    The characterization in this story is... not good. I hesitate to say bad, because there are a few characters which are done well, like Malfoy (imo). But, as has been mentioned in this thread before, while the author at least makes the attempt to give depth and nuance to the Slytherin characters, and their friends, she fails to even care to do the same with the "Light" side characters.

    It is simply unforgivable how the author has butchered these characters. Dumbledore, James, Remus, Arthur and Molly, Ron and Seamus. They are caricatures. They have no depth, no nuance, nothing. Most of their lines could be switched between each other and you probably wouldn't be able to see a difference.

    James is just an asshole. There's no rhyme or reason to it, he's just an asshole. He is actually taunting Harry, his own son, during the family meet before the third task. He decided to throw Sirius in Azkaban because he thought he was turning dark. He refused to talk to Harry for a year after Harry was put into Slytherin.

    And the author fails at even consistency with these characters at times. For example, in book 1 there was the Mirror of Erised scene, in which Harry and Jules have an argument outside the classroom after looking at the mirror. Jules claimed that what the Dursley's did to Harry wasn't really that bad, and he was just being a brat about it. Dumbledore, overhearing this in the classroom, winced, because he knew how bad it got with the Dursley's, and he knew Jules was being an idiot.

    But then in book 3, there's this scene with Dumbledore:

    Really? In the span of two years, Dumbledore goes from feeling at least a semblance of guilt over Harry's treatment to reprimand Harry for calling the Dursley's abusive. Yeesh.

    I honestly don't know how you can get through 5 books of this @Sesc, but are unable to read Prince of Slytherin. Prince has faults, to be sure, but it's on a whole other level than this fic. This story refuses to move more than a step away from canon, Prince goes on its own merry way, creating entirely new plotlines that are actually interesting rather than stick with canon plots with a slight divergence. Both stories are absolutely loaded with cliches, but where this story just sticks with them, Prince takes cliches and attempts to write them in a unique way.

    Prince has characters on all sides that are actual characters. Dumbledore isn't just this powerful idiot, he's an actual person with faults of his own. Honestly, Dumbledore in Den of Snakes gives Harry half points on the second task because he doesn't like him. Yeah, ok, if you want to make Dumbledore to be this master manipulative asshole, then fine. There's canon evidence to do that. But don't make him petty. Dumbledore is many things, but he has intelligence and he has control over his emotions. He would not give Harry low marks without a valid reason in front of the entirety of Hogwarts.

    James and Harry have a contentious relationship in Prince as well. But there's an actual reason for it. There was a reason for Harry living with the Dursley's as well, other than the weak excuse they gave in Den. James hating Harry's placement in Slytherin isn't just something to bash James for, it forms the entire backbone of the story, as the very title of the fic ties into James' reasoning.

    This also has to be the worst Ron I've ever seen written. There's absolutely nothing good in him. He has none of his good qualities from canon, but all of his faults are there and magnified tenfold. For fuck's sake, he calls Hermione a mudblood. Ron!

    And there's no changing him. In Prince, Ron was similarly prejudiced, but as time went on we see him change for the better. You know, actual character development. Meanwhile, in Den, Ron holds the same views he has held since year 1. He goes around bullying younger students. He calls Hermione a mudblood. It's been pointed out to the Gryffindors MULTIPLE times that they seem to care more about blood purity than the Slytherin group, yet NONE of them care. They continue to call Harry's group "trainee Death Eaters" despite Harry's group being comprised of two muggleborns, the twin of the Boy-Who-Lived, and Neville, the other candidate who could have become the Boy-Who-Lived.

    And then people's logic for still following Dumbledore and James after they cast Sirius in Azkaban for 12 years because they didn't trust him. And Remus going along with them because reasons. And Remus treating Harry like shit, because reasons.

    It's not logical. The author refuses to let these characters grow, but instead stagnates them.

    It's unfortunate. This author is really quite good at writing. The dialogue flows nicely, and she manages to give a little depth to the characters in Harry's friend group. You could see her improvement as the fics progressed. But the quality necessarily suffers when the fic is basically a bash fest for everyone that's in Gryffindor.

    The writing is marginally better than the first year of Prince of Slytherin. That's about all the praise I can give it. But really, Sesc, if you can stomach this, then you can get through the first year of Prince to the second year, which knocks this cleanly out of the water.

    2.5/5, rounded to 3 just because it had good writing and managed to not be completely boring.
     
  20. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,198
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Blocksberg, Germany
    … I opened a random chapter of Prince again, and again it was so bad that I wanted to scream. It's like a terrible mixture of crack, bad writing, dumb ideas and bloat. Harry's character alone I want to rate like -1000/5.

    The difference between Prince and this story is that this is quality with the black spots of most Light resp. Gryffindor characters. Prince never reaches the attribute "quality" to begin with. I am currently fighting with myself whether I want to suffer through it just to list everything I hate about it. But yeah, as far this goes, I don't see how you can possibly like that story better than this either.

    Perhaps we just have an entirely different focus on what we want out of a story?


    As an aside, for everyone who enjoys the Slytherin Politics angle, this author has another Slytherin First Year AU: https://archiveofourown.org/works/13893606

    Not putting it up in a thread, since it's less polished and not going to be continued soon, but on the flip side, it's self-contained enough to not leave you hanging at the end, it's got a moderately original premise, no Twin-BWL and assorted clichés, and the climax is the kind where I'm grinning like an idiot. If you get a kick out the house hierachy stuff and manoevring to move up there, give it a try.
     
Loading...