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WIP Parallel Journey by InkVirus - M

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Rayndeon, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

    Nov 22, 2008
    Thread Title: Parallel Journey by InkVirus - M
    Title: Parallel Journey
    Author: InkVirus
    Rating: M
    Genre: Adventure/Drama
    DLP Category: The Alternates
    Pairing: None thus far
    Status: Work in Progress (about 68,000 words)
    Voldemort succeeded in acquiring the Philosopher's Stone, leaving Lily's sacrifice unaffected by his revival. In a last ditch effort to escape his fate Voldemort resorts to an esoteric ritual that rends Harry from the Universe. He awakens to an entirely different conflict with enemies turned ally, friends returned from the dead, and a pantheon of new players.

    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12807959/1/Parallel-Journey

    This is a story from 2018 that's been recently updating again that I've generally found to be enjoyable thus far.

    The plot premise in a nutshell is that an older Harry Potter that had to deal with a messier Second War faces Voldemort in a final confrontation, but he gets sent elsewhere instead. He ends up in functionally a new universe where Grindelwald defeated Dumbledore in the past, and the world is different from before.

    Magic is known to the world, and Grindewald has established his own "European Republic," effectively a Cold War - era style dictatorship, complete with propagandizing and the like to try to make it seem better to the outside world. Britain managed to hold out against the European Republic, and in the time since that's passed, Grindelwald's remained out of the public limelight. Dumbledore has taken on effectively mythic proportions within Britain.

    When Harry was transported into this new world, he eventually finds himself in the company of the British Director of National Security: Tom Riddle, and effectively the successor to Dumbledore's legend and magical prowess.

    After some back and forth, Harry essentially forms a reluctant alliance with the very different Tom Riddle, publicly his apprentice and the next successor to Dumbledore's legacy, but he otherwise acts as Riddle's black ops operative.

    The main draw of the story really I think is seeing the very different world Harry is navigating, and in particular his interactions with the counterparts from his original reality, who are both similar yet distinct in a multitude of ways. The principal relationship that I think the story really rests upon are the particulars of the uneasy alliance between Tom Riddle and Harry. Riddle isn't Voldemort or a Dark Lord here, but he still has signs of that same core personality to him as can be seen from time to time, though he's channeled it into effectively working for the interests of Britain and against Grindelwald no matter the cost.

    I also found this story somewhat amusing to come across, because I had a similar plot bunny in the past, with Riddle as the leader of the resistance movement against Grindelwald as part of an "Order of the Basilisk." This is not quite the same concept, but there are some neat parallels I found interesting.

    The current story arc has Harry going through providing assistance to Hogwarts students taking part in an international tournament held in the European Republic, as part of Grindelwald's attempt to rehabilitate his public persona and perception. Think Triwizard Tournament meets 1932 Berlin Olympics, with Harry acting both as mentor as well as black ops agent.

    In terms of overall enjoyment, I'd give this story a 4 out of 5. Nothing truly gripping or outstanding has occurred yet, but the story has continued to be consistently solid in my experience thus far.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  2. Baradine

    Baradine Seventh Year

    Jul 5, 2012
    You should probably link the 1st chapter instead of the 10th, my dude.
  3. haphnepls

    haphnepls Seventh Year

    Mar 26, 2019
    Can't say I was overly impressed by this.

    I think author is using many words where few would do. The building of the new world is barely done at all, and they're doing the thing where Harry goes around to meet all these canon people, and discover their places in the new world which does nothing in the terms of plot.
    None of them seems to be much in the character either (which can be explained with the differences between the worlds, but then again, a bunch of OCs would do just about the same).

    While premise did sound like it had a potential, I found execution boring and not to my tastes.
  4. Dubious Destiny

    Dubious Destiny Seventh Year

    May 3, 2018
    I've read all of the chapters.
    First, the shortcomings of this story.
    This story actively avoids speech and spells out actions. This is prominent in the first five chapters or so. Unneccessary description of mundane actions of the protagonist.

    I take issue with boost to muggles in this story, especially with the expulsion of wizards by muggles. They are used to artificially boost Britain's standing in the world, as well as provide an economic engine. My opinion is that this seems quite hamfisted. Wizards can simply transfigure/charm what they need, except food. I dislike that wizards are limited by the "amount" of magic they move around.

    Grindelwald's ideology seems to be misrepresented. He desired a sort of feudal society, with magicals ruling the muggles (in canon). It seems this is not the case in this story, though it is yet to be seen.

    The desire to use mundane as a standin for muggles is a mark down.

    There are several good aspects to this story though. Characterizations are OOC but believeable. I liked all of the characters presented. I like how there is a narrow focus on Harry and how the world is built up as the author moves him around. It beats encyclopedia dumps and 'the library' tropes.

    Tom Riddle is still a psychopath, but channelled in Britain's goals. James Potter seems to be just a cool father-uncle figure. Lily Evans is protective, but not possessive. I'd suppose Jimmy Potter is a reflection of Harry in the canon world. Daphne is not Ice Queen, but I like what is presented in this story. I like Draco and how he has been presented as the mild face of pureblood supremacy in school. Dean Thomas has become Dean Smith, possibly finding his father (related to Hepzibah Smith??). I'd say the reunion's gone awry and he hates all purebloods. Hermione and Neville seem canon, which is a bit disappointing and lazy in part of the author.

    I like how the author went about describing Euopean Republic as a sort of magical USSR, sending help to various nations. With this said, I wonder what became of muggle and magical America.

    Muggles and wizards have a believable tension in Britain. The Muggle World's desire to reconnect and open ties with the European Republic is a unique depiction of the longevity of wizards. I hope the author explores more of this in muggleborn's relationships and wider society.

    Ultimately, this story has a lot more ground to cover.
    With WW2 having an unexpected ending, there is a lot of fertile material. There is no indication of what happened to the goblins and various other beasts and creatures. I expect the Deathly Hallows to take a prominent role in the future.

    I'd say this is a good story, meriting a 3.5/5 if you like relevant muggles, but in my estimate a 3/5 (rounded up from 2.5/5). The author definitely needs to work on his writing style.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  5. Jarizok

    Jarizok Auror DLP Supporter

    Sep 22, 2015

    I read this over Christmas and enjoyed it well enough. The first chapters are a bit weak, but the Hogwarts and EU chapters are a lot better IMO.

    I like this Harry. The author’s nailed ‘Weathered!canon!Harry’, which is semi-rare. This Riddle is also interesting, if not very fleshed out.

    The same can be said for the worldbuilding. Tons of potential there, but not yet realised.

    The writing isn’t particularly interesting and the Potter family is rather bland, but that’s something I can move past.

    Followed and faved.
  6. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Fourth Year

    Nov 12, 2019
    I've finished reading this and I have to say that I feel this story is not particularly impressive, but it's certainly competently well written and entertaining. The fic is hampered by a rather bland writing style but the worldbuilding and characters are intruguing. The plot has me interested enough that I will continue to follow the story. I concur that the importance of muggles feels a bit off, given what wizards can do and the respect that is acknowledged is given to wizards by muggles around the world, but I don't think it really detracts from the story.

    I think what drew me in was the unique setting the story is currently centered in. The espionage is, at least to me, far more interesting and realistic than what many other fics try to do with a James Bond approach. Here at least, we have information gathering, cultivation of assets, but with magical twists that serve to improve these aspects. The location of an Olympic village that is well guarded and supervised was well chosen by the author.

    The combat is a central aspect of the story, with Harry being your standard veteran. Duels in this fic are bloody and feel more like fistfights than something you might see in more magic oriented fics. I found the combat to detract from the fic. Harry was capable of facing Voldemort in his original world, but an ambush by average wizards that he predicted left him injured. And the constant dodging, though a subjective preference, feels utterly unrealistic, especially given the story's emphasis on how fast spells move in combat.

    I think this story deserves a 3.5/5, especially since the writing is definitely improving.
  7. Patrickjd1243

    Patrickjd1243 Muggle

    Oct 11, 2016
    High Score:
    I'm enjoying this story alot, thank you for posting it!
  8. Dubious Destiny

    Dubious Destiny Seventh Year

    May 3, 2018
    I've read through the entire story again and it was disappointing. The fic reads more like Dresden Files (fast and action packed) without any of the world building in that series.

    This is more of a guilty pleasure fic ig.

    I'm torn on the rating (keeping my rating at 3/5 for now) but I don't think it's library material.
  9. Drachna

    Drachna Professor

    Jun 22, 2016
    High Score:
    I'm quite enjoying this one. It's far from perfect, but the author does character, world building and above all else combat extremely well. The premise is of course a bit far fetched, and you can tell that the author just wanted to come up with a legitimate way to get Harry into an alternate dimension, (basically a better written version of the opening to 'I'm still here'.) but couldn't quite pull it off. Regardless, it starts fairly strong and only gets better as you go.

    3.5/5, with rounded up to 4 due to my expectation that this could get really good in the future.
  10. oghianus

    oghianus Muggle

    Jun 21, 2021
    Spoiler alert:

    Good technical writing quality, but extremely irrational. It's one of those of stories where the villains can do all superpowered stuff that somehow the other factions aren't even aware of. It's one of fucking stories where people are mass-imperiod by one faction, but not by the others, and nobody checks for the mind controls. It's one of those stories where Voldemort's body is killed /off-screen/, and without any good reasons. It's just one of those bloody fics where the good guys just take beatings over and over, get some magical plot armor, but not enough, and the tension rises and rises until the deux ex machina comes. It's one of those bloody fics where people volunteer to pretend to be under the imperius to /spy/.
    It's one of those fics that are just trash.
  11. moribund_helix

    moribund_helix Third Year

    Aug 23, 2021
    I agree overall with @oghianus BUT it's not that bad. Firstly, I don't believe that any fiction with people "pretending" to be under the imperius are inherently trash.

    The main drawbacks of the story, I think, are:
    - it kind of fails to build a truly magical (whimsical) world like hp, or any magical world really. The magic in this story have a muggle-ish feel to it.
    - the plot doesn't always feel like it's going somewhere
    - and also some interactions between Harry and known characters feel a bit forced
    - we don't really see Harry advancing. Not in abilities and not really in character either
    - almost everyone feels like an OC

    However, the story has perhaps the best positive any fanfiction can have: "good technical writing quality". The action packed scenes have a clear beginning, middle and end. No overly strange characters (all the time thinking stupid stuff as a mouthpiece to the author to tell us how we should feel for them), not too strange and illogical interactions.

    Also, this story has an idea that I am tempted to steal:
    Voldemort has not split his soul here, rather freed it from his body. So body down, soul can go on a bit. I like it. Feels quite platonic.

  12. weiyaoli

    weiyaoli Third Year

    May 12, 2009
    This has recently finished.

    I enjoyed it overall, but I think it could have done with some trimming - this story didn't need 270k words to tell its story and the pacing was a bit unbalanced (the last 20 or so chapters feel like it belongs in a totally different story for one).

    It's fine, I looked forward to reading every update. Probably will give a 3.5/5.
  13. Layzer

    Layzer Squib

    Jan 4, 2021
    I'd give it a 4, perhaps a 4.5/5 if I generously internet the ending (more on that later).

    I think Moribund's review, as well as Oghanius' don't really do it justice.

    To start, I'll echo what everyone else has said - this fic has strong technical writing.

    On the plot level:

    Harry does indeed progress, both in strength & as a person.

    The magic does not feel "Muggleish". I am not going to spoil anything, but I've read 10s of millions of words of Fanfics, a significant number of which were from this board, and there still were unique ideas and executions in this fic.

    That factor is by far the strongest in my rating. Very rarely are there original concepts in fanfiction these days, by in large everything has been done before. Inkvirus had a: unique take on Metamorphs, a VERY unique take on Gargoyles, a magical Stasi that actually made sense & was a compelling Villian, and a satisfying, albeit seemingly rushed ending.

    To address the downsides of the fic, its ending felt rushed and there was a slight disjoint between the pacing of the first half and pacing of the second half. The death of Grindlewald in particular felt odd, although I am torn between thinking not showing it was a metaphor for it not being Harry's fight or if Inkvirus just wanted to end it quickly. Either way, it felt rushed. The pacing in the last half also felt a bit rushed.

    These are small, small complaints though. Overall this is a rare, rare story that has both original concepts & a clean technical construction.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2022
  14. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem Auror

    Jan 13, 2015
    Just finished this. Spoilers ahead.

    - Imaginative worldbuilding, taking canon magic (and non-canon magic) to higher levels. Gargoyles were interesting, if a little bit too OP. The magical Stasi and magical Dr. Mengele weren't particularly original, but very effective as villains. The experimentation on magical creatures and augmentation of wizards definitely puts Grindelwald a tier above Voldemort.
    - Technically well written, even if quite dry, and actually complete. Characters are mostly believable and consistent, which is very rare to find in fanfiction.
    - Actually good OCs.

    - Battle/duel scenes drag waaaaay too long. Most of them got me so bored half the way that I switched to doing something else, or just skipped them completely. A part that's supposed to be exciting is made excruciatingly boring to read? utter fail. On top of that, they seem to take place in a vacuum: shit's on fire, but no one that isn't participating seems to notice or do anything about it. A massive fight at a huge hotel in the middle of the night, and no one even wakes up? fuck that shit. In fact, this entire alternate universe is too lacking in surroundings to feel real. Only a very narrow part of it is explored.
    - Muggles are given importance that is, honestly, laughable and annoying. Grindelwald is able to know everything that's happening, but somehow a resistance of muggles that aren't even aware of what magic can do and want to kill all wizards are able to raise a massive force? nope nope nope. That entire story line could have been completely removed without changing anything.
    - Characterization is seriously dry. Both Harry and Riddle are single-minded and boring as shit. I get that this is an action story, but a little bit more zest and emotion can go a long way. Ironically, for a story that is so focused on action, the non-action bits are the most interesting.

    Overall, a read-worthy story, but be ready to skim over large parts. Had the potential for something much greater had it not been so focused on a singular plot.