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Complete Realignment by PuzzleSB - T

Discussion in 'General Fics' started by Lungs, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Title: Realignment
    Author: PuzzleSB
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: General
    Pairings: Gen
    Summary: The year is 1943. The Chamber lies unopened and Grindlewald roams unchecked. Neither Tom Riddle nor Albus Dumbledore is satisfied with the situation. Luckily when Hogwarts is attacked they'll both have other things to worry about.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12331839/1/Realignment
    https://forums.darklordpotter.net/threads/realignment.29793/

    Nearly no technical issues combined with a titillating premise makes for an easy recommendation. In the WBA thread, some people weren't satisfied with the choices that Puzzled took but seeing as I both disagree with those people and think that the story was handled extremely deftly, I find it easy to give this a 5/5.

    It doesn't quite have the fancy prose of some of some of the company it shares, genre-wise, but the fact that it's both completed and has its moments of good writing on a chapter by chapter basis makes for shock that it hasn't been added to the library already.
     
  2. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Second Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Don't just drop a 2 star rating without saying a word on a fresh recommendation in For Review. Give us your thoughts.
     
  3. Eiri

    Eiri Banned

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    Just gave it a 5/5 rating. I already had some lengthy posts in the WBA thread on this so I'd rather not repeat it all here but since I left a rating I should justify it with a reply.

    Excellent premise exploring an uncommon character and has some really great action. You can tell from the development of the overall story that it was mostly thought out and planned from the beginning. The fact that it's completed and you don't have to wait chapter-by-chapter will probably make a big difference. It's heavy of fight scenes and tense moments, so it doesn't work quite as well if you're waiting weeks or months between chapters, but is great when you want to and can turn the page all the way to the end. For the most part Dumbledore and Tom are characterized very well and that tension between them is a major highlight of the story. It's perfect for people who want to see the hero and villain roles turned on its head, and who can appreciate an intelligent villainous protagonist.
     
  4. pbluekan

    pbluekan Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I'm giving this a five star rating, because it is still an extremely entertaining piece and is, despite it's issues, well written. Here's what I said in the WBA:

     
  5. Stenstyren

    Stenstyren Professor

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    I think you're right on the money here. It's almost like this fic is a companion-piece to another story, written to show Toms perspective. Still a thoroughly entertaining read but peaks at 4/5 for me.

    In particular, the entire plot line surrounding Lady Clara seems weird. If Harry's gone back in time, hell-bent on killing Tom Riddle then what is his involvement in trying to kill hordes of goblins under the alps?
     
  6. Skeletaure

    Skeletaure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Question: how much of Harry is in this, if at all? The summary doesn't mention him (which is why I've never picked it up) but a couple days back I saw it recommended to someone looking for MoD Harry fics.
     
  7. Stenstyren

    Stenstyren Professor

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    Basically none, his character is not very fleshed out and you only see him from Toms perspective.
     
  8. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    I've made my feelings on this fic very clear, but tl;dr this starts strong but quickly falls off and in the end falls flat on its face because the author basically abandoned it.

    A 3/5 overall is pretty fitting, I think. Good piece for the almost rec, and a cautionary tale of getting sick of your own fic and pushing to end it.
     
  9. enembee

    enembee The Nicromancer DLP Supporter

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    Puzzle, I almost gave this a 5/5 just to spite the incessant passive-aggressive, supremely entitled posts that dogged your WbA thread, most of whom seemed to be outraged that you'd want to write the story you enjoyed writing rather than the one they were demanding. Or the people that couldn't, for some reason, get beyond the a-typical characterisation of certain characters.

    That said, I think it's a shame that the ending wasn't paced as well as it might have been. I recall seeing you post in the WbA thread that 'nobody likes reading about old wizards talking'. Allow me to disagree. I think your story would have definitely benefited from more of this, but perhaps that was you rationalising your desire to write fight scenes instead (a feeling I can very much empathise with).

    I think the biggest criticism that I can make of this work as a whole is that the prose often feels rushed and forced— like you wrote it in a mad sprint and never decided to go back and reread, let alone edit your words.

    The second paragraph of the first chapter is a prime example of this:

    Even without eliminating all of the questionable sentence structure, it ought to have been punctuated like this:

    But there's also the content: how can you say Tom has always been a light sleeper and then imply that it was a developed strategy because children used to attack him in his sleep? Unless these two things are unconnected, but the text makes it evident that they're not. This might be a minor nitpick, but it's emblematic of a careless turn of phrase that often tarnishes the better elements of your prose.

    This certainly gets better throughout the story, and it's clear you've improved as a writer over the course of the two years it took to write this, but it's not something that ever entirely goes away. You really need to edit more, reading aloud to hear the way that the sentences are structured. Or get someone who is prepared to thoroughly beta for you.

    On the whole this is a good, if not great, AU. There's a real gem in here, but it's unfortunately let down by a carelessness that is slightly too routine. Don't get me wrong, this will definitely improve by itself as you mature as a writer, but if you want to improve as quickly as possible, you need to take more care on the final polish of your work.

    4/5
     
  10. Drachna

    Drachna Groundskeeper

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    I have to say that I really enjoyed this, all things considered. It was a fresh take on the good aul Peggy Sue trope, with a relatively sympathetic Tom Riddle, who I thought was characterised quite well indeed. I loved the author's take on the whole old magic vs new magic thing, and I thought that their combat scenes were elevated beyond the typical 'point and shoot' magical gun battle that we often see in fanfic.

    All of that being said, there were a few grammatical errors in some of the earlier chapters that broke up the story's general flow a bit, and sometimes the fights went on for a wee bit too long. Some of the author's OCs were a little bit strange too, now that I think about it.

    Still, I'd give this an easy 4.5/5, rounding up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
  11. Ackner

    Ackner First Year

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    I found this an interesting read, and very original. It obviously has a very good premise, and the prose is mostly sound, but the story aspect is incredibly lacking. In two words this story can be best described as self indulgent. I feel like the author likes only the action scenes when they read fics and skims the plot, because such a philosophy is very much used here. The writing gets incredibly tedious at points, you'll want to skim a few paras but can't because so many pieces are moving. By the time you get to the end, it will feel much much longer than the 67k words it actually is.

    My real complaint of the story is the conclusion. You don't really feel any resolution with the three big characters - Tom, Dumbledore or 'Bond'. 'Bond's' story plays out like it would be another fic all by itself, one that tbh might have been a touch more interesting - a vengeance fueled mission, mastery of magic and foreign blonde to top it off. But beyond these surface observances of that story, you never understand what drives it (which universe is this 'Bond' from? How did he get into this one?), what resolution it has or pretty much anything other than those surface observations tbh. This essentially negates the originality of the premise, and my curiosity with the character is never satiated.

    As for Dumbledore and Tom, the fic itself is pretty good for them until the very end. It's subtle, but you can see Dumbledore influencing Tom and changing his opinions on a variety of things. But at the end, none of this matters because Dumbledore is seemingly resigned to his initial opinion of 'this kid is too extreme' which is all the more jarring when it comes right after that 3 chapter battle . I'm also not sure what mechanism drove Tom's
    resurrection
    but tbh I would have been ok overlooking it if the final chapter was decent, which it wasn't.

    As for Tom himself, he's written well but his very mechanical POV can get tiring. I wish this story was multi POV a few Harry's, Grindelwald's etc would have gone a long way into breaking that up, and would have made me appreciate the extent and severity of the events happening far more. Tom's incredibly cynical, bordering on nihilistic POV doesn't really let you appreciate the scope of the events happening, and the fic suffers for it. A super cool significant battle might happen but all Tom will take away will be 'welp I almost died. need to learn more magic so that I don't die'. The conclusion of Tom's journey and what he takes away from it is one you can guess at, but it's still unsatisfying and is again, something you have to guess at and is not made apparent.

    He's also not a likable character, not in the conventional way of he's mean, that's not my issue but more that he's never given character moments. I get the feeling that the author doesn't like interactions with secondary/tertiary characters, emotional thoughts or even internal monologues that are depicted in other fics but I need shit like that to identify and root for the protagonist. Without it the fic becomes a cumulative diary of cool black spheres being thrown between tall men.

    All that being said, parts of this were fun, and the premise was cool. The author obviously had a deep knowledge of the lore too which was fun.

    3/5. This fic could have been great, but pretty much chose not to be because of how self indulgent the whole thing is. Fun if you're writing fiction for yourself, but not so fun to readers who can't justify non human characters and characters so underdeveloped that the uninitiated will finish reading this fic thinking that the villains name was James Bond.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2022