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Complete Ignite by Slide - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Silly, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Silly

    Silly Second Year

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    Title: Ignite
    Author: Slide
    Rating: M
    Genre: Adventure/Drama
    Chapters: 37
    Words: 199,673
    Updated: November 3, 2013
    Published: June 25, 2012
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: Probably General
    Pairings: Scorpius/Rose
    Summary: A mysterious illness leaving a mere handful of uninfected. A school in quarantine, isolated from the outside world. Danger on all sides, striking seemingly at random. And, at the heart of it all, Scorpius Malfoy, the only man to believe this is a part of a wider, dangerous plot. Part 1 of the Stygian Trilogy.
    Link: FFN

    Also has two sequels, Starfall and Oblivion.

    I'm suprised that this story hasn't been mentioned anywhere on these forums. I stumbled across the series about a month or so ago and have been slowly making my way through it. It's quite a monster (the three fics clock in at around 200k, 350k, and 360k words respectively), but it's good. I haven't finished it yet (currently close to the end of the third fic), but anything that can keep my interest for nearly 900k words definitely deserves to be here.

    Anyways, this story is great. It's long, complete, and quite well written technically - all good signs. The plot and adventure is relatively interesting (especially the second and third fics, which aren't set at Hogwarts but are instead "magical treks across the globe"). However, I think what sets this story apart from the rest is the author's ability to craft real, interesting characters. The story is set in the next generation, meaning the author gets to develop their own unique plot and there is no real retreading of canon, a big plus. But the downside is that this generally leads to the problem of "too many boring OC characters that I don't really feel a connection with". This author navigates that problem quite well though. Every significant character, including those that are OCs, has their own flaws and struggles and their own moments of character development, making them unique and interesting, and I feel myself actually invested in what happens to each of them. The plotline is not only interesting for its own sake, but also very important because it forces each character to develop and change as they respond to the events at hand.

    Now that's not to say that the story is perfect. There are definitely moments that are slightly cliche to read. And there are a lot of feel bad moments where emotions are high and the main characters become gigantic assholes at each other, and because I'm so invested into these characters it makes me feel sad as well. But I guess that's just life.

    In short, this story has a lot going for it. You should read it. It's great. 5/5 would rate again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2017
  2. Harshmate

    Harshmate First Year

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    I don't know how to give a proper review. So I'll just write what I felt while reading the story.

    I've tried a few post-Hogwarts fics and never really liked them. They are always filled with characters I have no attachment to. But I gave this a shot because the premise was interesting. And then I just kept on reading.

    The characters are really good. The protags Scorpius, Rose, and Albus feel like actual people. Actual teenagers who made dumb decisions that I can relate to. Every time I see their stupid reasoning I get giddy because that is exactly what I would have thought. They start out as well written but common archetypes and improve throughout the story.

    The first few chapters introduce you to the characters and their relationships. IMO, the first dozen and a half chapters were the best. I genuinely cared about their teenage drama. The middle chapters meandered a bit and I did feel bit bored. But by the end the story had again picked up and the plot was interesting enough.

    Also, the story is well written. It isn't just lines and lines of dialogue. There is a lot of detail mixed in with the dialogue. Things happened because of the characters' decisions. And I didn't find an exposition dump that took me out of the story. Hogwarts felt like an actual school where I wouldn't mind living.

    The story is not very complicated. In fact, you pretty much know the various story beats already. But it felt like I was reading an actual YA novel. And honestly, if you don't care about the characters then you are not going to like this story. The whole mystery is more or less an excuse to get the characters to interact.

    I haven't read HP in a long time but I feel this could be an actual continuation.

    The middle chapters, as a said earlier, got a tad boring. Though that could be because I read this in one go while I have a cold and would definitely read this again so 4.5/5.

    I haven't read the sequels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  3. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Golden Patronus Admin

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    Anyone else read this and the sequels and willing to leave a review?
     
  4. coolname95

    coolname95 First Year

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    I read the first fic.

    The writing was technically good, except for some minor annoyances (repetition of some phrases). Once or twice I felt like the characters talked about a plot point that either hadn't been introduced or I completely missed -- maybe I'm just inattentive.

    I liked the plot and the setup, and the characters seemed to be written well enough. The major drawback is, in my opinion, the excessive length. After a good start, a lot of the chapters felt like forced drama between the students. It didn't feel 'realistic'. The fic could have been tens of thousands of words shorter and probably been better for it.

    Still, I read it till the end and plan on reading the sequels. I think it's library-worthy. 4/5 from me. I'll edit this comment once I've read the sequels.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  5. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    So I just finished the third book in this series, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. The writing quality is very good, and the plot is quite intricate - spanning all three books - and left sufficiently few loose ends that I was pleasantly surprised at the fairly tidy wrapping up of it all.

    The characters - original series , descendants, and original - all feel like real people to me, which is a rarity. They're flawed, they have good and bad days, mood swings (which are a bit much at times, I admit, but so are actual people's)... it's well done, and very rarely feels like a chore to get through.

    The best part of it, to me, is the underlying magic they're all dealing with in this. I'm a sucker for a good bit of legend-level magical exploration, and this has some of the best examples of it since the first time I read Wastelands. Without all the brain-fuckery that Joe is fond of though. :)

    All in all, not a bad way to pass time, and I'd recommend it. 4 to 4.5/5 for me.
     
  6. James018

    James018 Third Year

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    I came across this story and sequels a few months ago. I generally don't read next-gen fics but gave Ignite a go to see if the "mysterious illness" gimmick made it interesting. I got a lot more than I bargained for. This is without a doubt one of the best stories (original or fanfic) I've ever read.

    The characters are the story's strength; they have to be, in a next-gen fic that by necessity is littered with OCs. What Slide does extremely well is limit the number of OCs that have a major impact on the story. There are six or seven main protagonists throughout the series, a handful of villains and a couple of morally ambiguous characters whose motivations are only revealed at the very end. Other than that, there are few new names to remember: minor roles are often filled by canon characters (particularly Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco - all of whom are portrayed uncannily well). This has a twofold effect: firstly, the reader doesn't have to keep track of a vast array of characters, which so often makes fics from outside Harry's era a chore to read; and secondly, the author can invest time in developing each character uniquely, giving the reader an emotional connection with them. And doesn't she do it well. The characters struggle, grow and change, and the teen/young adult drama that is so cringeworthy in most fics actually works here.

    The three instalments, interestingly, have markedly different plots that each fall under a certain fiction trope. Ignite is finding the cure to a mystery illness, Starfall is a quest to obtain a powerful object before the villain can do the same, and Oblivion is the straightforward defeat-the-bad-guys-once-and-for-all finale. Yet they all link up into one continuous and well-formulated plot, with plenty of twists, intrigues and mysteries. The three collectively are known as the 'Stygian Trilogy' and are relatively contained with very few loose ends by the conclusion of Oblivion; however, there is an ongoing sequel, Regeneration, that picks up where Oblivion leaves off and looks well capable of backing up the original three in both quality and scale.

    Weaknesses? The character interactions and (apparently) extraneous subplots do dominate at stages, particularly through the middle of Ignite - a lot of this becomes important or sets the tone for later on, but I get why some may find it a chore to read at the time. Occasionally, Slide uses adult OCs from her earlier stories that are slightly jarring, because one feels like one should know those characters but doesn't. The "big reveal" at the end of the final book (which I won't spoil) is a tad too predictable, making the end slightly weak. Apart from that... not much to criticise, to be honest. Starfall and Oblivion may seem intimidating because they are much longer than Ignite, but the length can mostly be put down to the incredible amount of physical movement undertaken by the protagonists (I'm not sure if there's a country they didn't visit at some point!) and the world-building inherent in that - which in itself is done magnificently and I could go on about that too, but this review is getting overly long already. Suffice it to say, books two and three are essentially non-stop action and you won't get bored.

    I would have no hesitation in giving this a 5/5. I think this sort of story - its writing quality, plot and characters - is what 5/5 ratings should be reserved for. What I'd like to know is why (despite all the reviews so far being 4 or above) is the average rating so low? Would someone who read this fic and didn't like it care to share their thoughts?
     
  7. Nevermind

    Nevermind Seventh Year

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    I don‘t principally disagree with any of this, including the rating. However, I would like to include some observations of my own.

    One of the greatest strengths of this fic is character building, particularly in Ignite, when we are only just getting to know the characters. Every member of the core group has a strong, recognisable voice, which is probably the thing I like best about the first instalment, as it is one of the hallmarks of great stories that is so often neglected in fanfiction. The same holds true when the gang gets some new members in Starfall, the second part of the trilogy. However, towards the end of Starfall and particularly in Oblivion, I felt like the characters lost a little bit of the distinctiveness of their voices, the dialogue became slightly less poignant as the cast of characters that had to be accommodated grew. Despite this small point of criticism, the overall quality of the dialogue is still very good.

    Regarding the subplots, I didn‘t find them to be extraneous at all, at least not in Ignite. I found them to be essential for the character building and, as it turned out, some of them had yet to play a role later on, which by itself validates the extent of their inclusion. However, even when I did not know that, I found them to be very good "filler material" to further flesh out the characters.

    The world-building is arguably the strongest point of this series. The locations are, from my limited experience, well-described and easy to imagine, the magic feels alive, for lack of a better word, and not one character is overpowered. Regarding the locations, it probably helped that the author chose some local stereotypes to display for most of the places, but the point still stands. It‘s forking excellent.

    Something that I did find annoying was the enormous amount of introspection and, following in the wake of that issue, the pacing in Oblivion. It seems like a huge part of the word count is wasted on arguments, internal and in dialogue, that we have heard ten times before in slightly different variations, while most of the action, with the exception of the final confrontation (which, again, was excellently handled and written) and a bigger fight scene in the middle of the book, felt awfully rushed. There were essentially no significant meetings of more than three of the main characters at any point. The author admitted to some pacing issues, and I think the decision to split the characters into teams of varying composition definitely contributed to that, as the same talking points had to be reiterated across ever-varying character constellations to bring every character onto the same page in terms of plot development. Thus, I would call Oblivion the weakest part of the trilogy, though it is still very much deserving of a 4/5 rating, while the other two are solid 5/5 material.

    On a side note, and as a final remark, this is the first fic, let alone trilogy, about the canon children that I actually finished, which, in my mind, makes this series worthy of an award on its own. What was there of the family life of the "First Generation" of heroes felt actually believable, and far preferable to the "All-was-well" epilogue of Deathly Hallows. This rang especially true for the Potter family and the sibling not-quite-rivalry between James and Albus, but also the Potter-Weasley family dynamics.

    I think that covers everything I want to say right now. Overall, a truly deserving 5/5.

    Edited for grammar and clarification.