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WIP Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin By The Sinister Man - T

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by iamnotreal, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. MuggsieToll

    MuggsieToll Squib

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    Yeah. The Sinister Man is really fucking James and House Potter in their collective asses in this chapter. Talk about a slow burn revenge.
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    No real sympathy from me. I'm enjoying seeing the piece of shit get his comeuppance.
     
  3. deyas

    deyas Groundskeeper

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    The thing about it is that the more I see of him, the less he seems like a piece of shit, and more just a pathetic, pitiable human being. Which is almost better in terms of catharsis.
     
  4. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This chapter, and the one before it, have really picked up the quality again after a bit of a lull. Very solid continuation, and I'm quite taken with the level of detail in Pettigrew's revenge.

    I like that its not just "Peter stole everything we have, the vault is empty". Its more subtle, and more detailed than that. Its a proper "Peter has been planning this for a while, and has really set us up for the fall."
     
  5. TauNeutrino

    TauNeutrino First Year

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    Honestly, if it wasn't for how bad first year is compared to the rest of the work, I would say this deserves to be free from Almost Recommended. As is, however... I can't see this getting more than a 4/5 just because of first year tanking the whole thing.
     
  6. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I'm honestly not that bothered by the first year section, its not amazing, but its not that bad. If first year was stand alone I'd put it in Almost Recommended. Because the writing quality is a bit wonky, but its got good ideas and some decent world building.
     
  7. Sataniel

    Sataniel High Inquisitor

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    I am disappointed that author didn't go for full creepiness and didn't have
    Pettigrew fathering the rats as a reason for them being unusually intelligent.
     
  8. Teyrn

    Teyrn Auror

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    I think the whole speaking to/controlling rats thing is a bit odd.

    Like, Parseltongue is supposed to be a major thing. And then along comes Peter and just because he's a rat Animagus he can talk to rats? And control them?

    From the guy who was canonically a snivelling little coward?

    I could understand Peter being a really good spy, hell even decent with a wand, but this is a little bit ridiculous.
     
  9. yargle

    yargle First Year

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    He expaned upon his super-dark wizard grandfather's work, and it seems like at the start Rookwood helped him at it. Doubt any other Animagus in the Prince of Slytherin world is capable of doing it as well.
     
  10. PWIZDUO

    PWIZDUO Third Year

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    I remember reading this and somewhat liking a couple years ago but its over a million words now and still in 3rd year.

    That's pretty intimidating
     
  11. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Tried it again just now and first year is literal garbage. So I also tried second year. It's better, but also the same. For me, this story is the equivalent of nails on chalkboard, but I had the hardest time to pinpoint why. Here's my best attempt.


    For one thing, just like Taure for Fem!Harry, I have very specific ideas how a Slytherin!Harry has to work (assuming it works with House traits, and isn't simply about 11 year olds being 11 year old). They can be summed up with three selves: selfishness, self-preservation, and self-control. Exemplary for all three is the reaction to someone saying "mudblood": The default is no reaction by Harry at all, and the only possible motivation to speak out is having something substantial to gain by doing so. Good is what helps you. Bad is what doesn't. Ideal is what helps you and would be considered "the right thing" by the average person. If those two are in conflict, see the first part.

    The result of this, of course, is that Harry can't possibly go against the current, only with it. Which is not to say that he is compromising his values -- rather, his values are such that there is nothing compromised by doing so in the first place. He doesn't speak out, doesn't take stands, doesn't care about issues that don't concern him, and is fine that way. That, for me, is the epitome of Slytherin, and that's what I want to read.

    That's not particularly a brave or heroic or even (in the colloquial sense) "good" person, which is precisely the point, because if I wanted Canon!Harry, I'd read that.

    But in any case, a lack of that isn't a huge thing. That's just my personal preference. And while this Harry does the opposite (and, therefore, isn't a Slytherin, not the way I understand it), it still could be a good story. But it's not.


    Exemplary for the first year are scenes like this one:

    This is the ghost of all cringy Indy!Harrys that should have remained buried in 2005. The only thing that's missing is standing up and delivering a 3,000 word rant about "Dumbles" and whatever retarded nicknames James and Jim would get. Additionally, consider the tone of the story. It's flippant, occasionally over-the-top, always lacking in seriousness. The end result is that you get something approaching a bad sitcom (and I hate sitcoms in general).

    What I mean by that is the reality test. Stop for a moment and imagine that behaviour IRL. Is that how people behave? It makes me physically uncomfortable just to imagine someone acting that way. Is Harry quite right in the head, do you think?

    The answer, of course, is that the reality test fails in sitcoms because it's deliberately absurd. The entire humour is that people don't act that way. But this is the ultimate jarring experience if you're supposedly reading a serious story. It's wholly out of place. It'd make for decent crack or a parody. Is this story supposed to be either?


    This is toned down during second year. Harry still occasionally channels 2005!Indy, but mostly behaves in a reasonable manner, and the sitcom impression is reduced. Which brings me to the last, and worst issue of the story:

    It's Methods of Rationality.

    We discussed this occasionally. There are two ways to approach FF, two motivations to write. One is to tear down. The other is to build up. This story, just like MoR, emphatically does the former. It's fundamentally unkind to Canon. The prime motivation that speaks out of every line (and most ANs) is to alternatively ridicule or fix Canon. And while the latter per se is not an issue, it's always done with the explicit notion of Canon is shit, here's something better. Instead of just writing a FF, ignoring bits you don't care for, and introducing new interesting things you came up with, you are reading a treatise.

    The author (and isn't he the most smug asshole since Yudkowsky) speaks out of the mouth of every character. It's painfully obvious, clumsy, ham-fisted, the way he has character A wondering something, and character B answering with a fully-reasoned, perfectly logical explanation that utterly destroys the magicalness of HP, or -- even worse -- having a character unpromptedly deliver lines you know are the author commenting on something he always wanted to discuss.

    Examples? Everywhere.
    "To be honest, sir, I would never have pegged you for a Quidditch fan."

    "I'm not. It's a ridiculous and insipid game made worse by the fact that our national obsession with it ensures that out of a student body of nearly 300, only twenty-eight students per year can participate in any organized sport." He sneered. "That does not prevent me, however, from taking pleasure out of winning at that insipid game."

    --

    "I'm pleased to hear you ask that, Harry, so that I'm not the only person to ever de-gnome this garden who actually had any ethical concerns for the little pests. When I was a First Year, I asked Professor Kettleburn that very question about garden gnomes. His response was illuminating. [... Cue treatise on degnoming]"

    --

    But anyway, it's obvious that you want to play Quidditch, and it's equally obvious that your family doesn't want you to – presumably because you're 'the baby girl' or some such rubbish – so you're taking the initiative for yourself.

    --

    "Wait just a second!" exclaimed Hermione almost angrily. Everyone turned to look at her in surprise as she narrowed her eyes at the group. "There's a Diagon Alley and a Knockturn Alley? Is there also a Horizont Alley or an Uncondition Alley?"

    Percy answered almost instantly as if excited to be given a pop quiz. "Yes to both. They're wizarding communities in Sydney and Toronto, respectively. Why do you ask?"

    Hermione just stared at him for several seconds. "... no reason," she said weakly. Then, she turned and walked back towards the entrance to Flourish & Blotts with a slightly dazed expression while muttering to herself about "an entire subculture based on bad puns."

    Just like in MoR, you are not reading a story, you are reading an author.

    This makes it terrible writing. And that, ultimately, is what makes it a bad story.


    Edit: I will say, though, that for Lockhart, the slapstick humour works. He is genuinely funny, but that is because his character lends itself to that kind of behaviour. You can't transplant that to every character. If this author wrote a Lockhart-centric story, it'd be a riot and and I'd read it gladly.

    And Edit2: This author uses magic as a plot device harder than Rowling ever did. Magic does whatever the author wants it to ... or doesn't want it to. Unfortunately for him, those two are contradictory.

    It's one thing to get treated to the "Muggles are so much more clever"-version of magical theory. Fine, wizards can't fly to the moon.

    Except when they can ... because there's an ultra-secret super-magic that can apparently do anything and there's no counter. A few points:
    • Why is there no counter, despite it having been around since Merlin or whatever? This story aggravates its readers with "reasonable" explanations for everything, down to why Dumbledore says "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!". It's not reasonable at all to assume that literally reality can be reordered, and no one's found a better counter than "let's not talk about it" not least because
    • REALITY CAN BE REORDERED. No one should be able to know about it in the first place. In fact Voldemort should be solved long since, in fact, the entire story shouldn't exist. The super-magic solved all problems long ago. With or without imploding the universe. Either way.
    • Of course, it does exist, because conveniently, it only becomes a point when the plot needs it to.
    • This also means power levels are largely determined by who knows this, and any imbecile can become powerful by using the super-magic. Just terrible.
    • And fuck me sideways when Pettigrew and some few retard Werewolves can bring down all of Grimmauld Place, that's the moment when I nope out for the third time. Thanks, but no thanks.
    Edit3: And yeah, the last chapters are bs. It's the culmination of all of the flaws that year had. Scaling magic up and down they way it's needed, creating nonsensical power mismatches in the progress, over- and underpowering characters just the way the plot needs.

    Maybe Scrimgeour is competent. Or maybe he's not. Is it Tuesday or Wednesday? Maybe the Ministry makes sense. Or maybe it doesn't. Would a magical terrorist be transported in the public lift of the government building? Hmm. Plot says yes. Well, there you go then. But ah, Pettigrew is now RatMan, the super-villain. Of course the Ministry couldn't predict that. Mostly because he's not when the plot says he's not. Bad luck that this time around, he is. So he can walk around the Ministry as he pleases.

    Did I stop caring, or was the you?

    It's not like he can be defeated. But of course he will. As soon there's bad luck for him, or someone remembers super-magic. What's the point in being invested? The plot does what is does. What the characters have been established as is irrelevant.

    Well, I say established as, but then again, until that point, they have contradicted themselves various times already, so maybe it doesn't matter.

    Maybe someone will use some obscure spell to implode the universe. Or maybe Pettigrew stumbles one dark night and breaks his neck in the shower. Or perhaps he mind-enslaves everyone to act as rats until the end of days. Or maybe, this didn't happen at all, because we do another merry time loop.

    Rookwood is running a 49-core brain plus hyperthreading which makes him superman, Pettigrew can single-handedly destroy the Ministry because he's RatMan, and we haven't got to Voldemort yet. It's nonsensical to even consider this world, because Voldemort should be sitting on a golden throne for the last fifty years. Except of course he doesn't, because plot. Or magic. Or whatever.

    It's been a while since I read something that felt so depressingly pointless.
     
  12. cucio

    cucio Slug Club Member

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    I think it is, otherwise it doesn't make any sense.
     
  13. yargle

    yargle First Year

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    It's less of a dialogue with canon than it is with Harry Potter fanfiction.
     
  14. PWIZDUO

    PWIZDUO Third Year

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    It’s been 6 years now but I still keep hoping that On the way to greatness updates.

    Other than being the best fic in both the Slytherin!harry genre and the fandom writ large, I love the format and wish other authors would copy it.

    And this story is the perfect example of why. It forces people to advance the story so we’re not 1 million words in and still in 3rd year!!!!

    . Writing realistic or even semi realistic 11 year olds is hard and writing ones that aren’t boring seems to be almost impossible, and so you get crap like “good sir, I would like to build a formal alliance with your family” from pre-teens and wildly varying power levels (because every one wants their character to kick ass and doesn’t want to wait until they’ve had more than 5 classes) and 12 year olds fucking eachother left and right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  15. VitaminAgua

    VitaminAgua Squib

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    Ok so story criticism aside, can we stop these random remarks about the author as human being? For some reason there's this idea here that the author is "the most smug asshole since Yudkowsky". I've spoken to him on his discord and he seems like a genuinely nice person.

    He's also very receptive to constructive criticism. I've personally suggested edits that he's incorporated into the story, and he takes the time to respond to critical reviews in good faith (like the one posted earlier in this thread).

    Maybe his views on the series and characters disagrees with yours but that's no reason to be rude to him. DLP has a reputation in other FF communities for being snobby and elitist and (as someone who recently joined DLP from other FF sites) I can see why.
     
  16. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    It's a free world. You do you :)

    In any case, yes, this
    is a feature, not a bug, and there's a difference between being something, and being judged for it ... until the story starts to suffer. I certainly have my moments.


    No need for a thread derail, however. I'll get the stick out, so keep it about the story or the author. Smug or no.

    Edit: Forgot a rating, by the way. The first year's a 1/5, because when I cringe during reading, I do not consider that "readable". Then there's a rather dramatic increase in quality, so if the author ever got around to simply writing a story, second year would extrapolate to a 3/5. And then it drops back down to shit/5 for having a meltdown over magic and ludicrous use of coincidences.
     
  17. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 136
    Words: 1,060,824
    Updated: 2020-06-29 22:36:47 UTC
    Published: 2015-04-17 18:27:52 UTC
    Previously updated: 11 days ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
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