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Complete Saving Connor by Lightning on the Wave - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by pimpostrous, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Hahukum Konn

    Hahukum Konn Fourth Year

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    Hi there,

    I happened to come across this and remembered I'd registered way back. :)

    Anyway, I read this and the sequels, up to about the book 4 AU. Unfortunately like others here I got bogged down, did other things and thought "My god, I've got to clear these fics again at some point so I can get refreshed on it and LotW writes these MASSIVE fics."

    Anyway, you get the idea.

    Some of the stuff in the Book 1 and 2 AUs is not fully explained until the Book 3 AU, and it can take away from the attraction of the Sacrifices Arc as we are used to the canonverse characters.

    The repetitiveness of some of the things in Saving Connor are intended to disturb you without you knowing why until it's revealed that Lily and Dumbledore conspired to manipulate Harry.

    I still remember reading that first bit of Saving Connor and thinking 'this is wrong, somehow, but I don't know why'. Only later was it revealed WHY that niggling feeling I had was valid. I couldn't help but appreciate an author that knows how to layer a mystery like that and avoid rushing into the natural temptation to unveil all to the readers too early.

    I thought some of the elements in the Arc were over-the-top, though, such as Dumbledore's nearly blockheaded insistence that he was always right, or Lily's disturbing level of fanaticism regarding Harry's bindings.

    I'll say one thing for LotW - she knows how to write totally messed-up family dynamics like nobody else.
     
  2. The Sacrifices Arc is one of the best pieces of fiction I have ever read. LotW's development of the story is masterful, manipulating and embellishing HP cannon beyond the capabilities of even its creator. The backstory is detailed and believable and the magic incredibly well-developed and intricately woven into the culture of the world. This story is so well thought-out and described that it's easy to "live in" the world - to predict the next event based on historical patterns, or to anticipate the reactions and actions of the characters. These are the story's strengths.

    Its weakness is in the prominence of the role played by emotions plot development. Much of the story is about Harry's abuse and neglect at the hands of his mother and father, respectively, and his struggle to overcome its taint. I'll admit, the angst was sometimes too thick to wade through, and I felt the urge to exclaim, "Get over it already!" too many times to count. Despite this, both the plot and premise of the tale are gripping, and I stuck with it through the end.

    I feel like I should probably address the slash, since it's something that a lot of people are concerned about. First of all, it's not the explicit, overly-sexual slash somewhat typical of the genre (I know this because basically everything I read is slash), but neither is it wholly innocent. It's romance - the good kind, with angst, friendship, sensuality, desperation, and a bit of the whimsy that makes HP special, both in and out of cannon. My opinion is that a slash ship in a fanfiction is something you can adapt to when the story is good enough (that was how I got into the genre), and this story is definitely good enough.
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Interesting first post, but at least you made a proper review of it.

    I read these stories and liked them well enough, but for me I tended to like them in spite of the slash. Most people here aren't fans of slash either, but personally I'm not a fan of a big romance focus at all. But like you said -- a lot of folks can adapt to a slash ship if the story is good enough.

    I did think the angst was piled on a bit too thickly though. I also got pretty tired of Dumbledore and Lily being such utter arseholes. It went beyond believable, even for the story.

    I think my original rating of 3/5 still stands. It's been too long since I read it to tell.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  4. Another Empty Frame

    Another Empty Frame Fake Flamingo DLP Supporter

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    I'm about 12 chapters into book 2, and this story is my final stop before I do all of Wit Beyond Measure at a breakneck speed over the next month or two. I decided to read one of the only stories that has come near doing what I plan to do, and so far I'm not too disappointed. I'm very apprehensive knowing I'll have 4 books of slash though.

    I can't count how many times I've already wished that Harry had chosen some girl as his friend, because I can see the romance building. I actually love good romance in a story, since any tale without love is only half as good as it could be.

    I'm not sure how I'll rate this because I'm waiting til the end, but I'm liking what I've seen so far.
     
  5. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    I've read this series twice over the last couple of years, and I absolutely love it. It's true, the angst reaches epic proportions in the later books, and emotional revelations can get a bit repetitive at times, but the writing is excellent, the story and world depth incredible. It certainly isn't without flaws, but I'll cheerfully admit to this being my favourite work of fanfiction. It might not be perfect, but it is very much more than the sum of its parts.
     
  6. mercuryandglass

    mercuryandglass Third Year

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    Honestly? I really don't get why so many of you are turned off by slash. I mean, it's not my favorite plot device, but it's certainly not the worst stuff out there. I really think that it's better than Harem fics because at least this is plausible with Harry's personality. I just skip the graphic parts, as I do in all NC-17 scenes in any fanfiction. The author of this story, though, is simply amazing. Her writing reaches a point of description that I strive (and fail) to acheive, and she reaches a point of depth in the developpement of Magic that I've seen in exactly one other series. I'm still on the sixth book right now because of the length of her stories, but I find that the epic legnth is only one of the very few faults in the series.
     
  7. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    The problem with the slash isn't the homosexual sex. The problem with the slash in this case, and many other cases, is how it affects the writing.

    In so many stories slash means an emotional melodrama. It means a load of bullshit hurt/comfort. It means this god awful stereotype of the hero who has combat strength but has some mental problem that means they're reliant upon/submissive to another.

    Slash writers seem incapable of writing normal relationships. Everything has to be blown massively out of proportion to maximise drama. It infects every aspect of the writing. This story is the prime example of it. Every single chapter is a massive angstfest and it gets fucking tiresome. The author is so reliant upon this plot/character device that she writes herself in circles. There are at least 4 moments of revelation/revolution in this story where Harry finally overcomes his problems... or so it seems, until you read the next scene, where he's acting and thinking exactly as he was before. There's zero character progression in over a million words. And why? Because the author is afraid of leaving their slashy hurt/comfort comfort zone behind.
     
  8. mercuryandglass

    mercuryandglass Third Year

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    True, and I'd be one of the first to say that slash fics aren't at all realistic; I've seen some extremely messed up ones... But let's not go there. The point is, there can be good fics with slash in them, as long as it's not too big of a focus. I can see how this fic would be better if there wasn't a Drarry pairing, though. Even if it's almost plausible for it to happen in their case.
     
  9. Another Empty Frame

    Another Empty Frame Fake Flamingo DLP Supporter

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    The real difference, is slash, and gay pairings. Look at Code Geass! Lloyd is gay, but he's the antithesis of slash.

    I have a long series planned, and I'll probably address homosexuality around the time I address the inherent racism of the magical world... oh but I'm never addressing either. My story happens to have Purists and Muggleborns, and I may have a gay character or two because with that many characters it is sort of unrealistic for them all to be straight, but I will never have it as a major issue that the story is devoted to addressing even for a few chapters.

    As far as these stories? I'm on number five, about 20 chapters in, and I cringe at how the author portrays Draco's reactions to Harry not liking public displays of affection, because I happen to hate them as well. I could never see any of the girls I dated getting upset about it, and I've always dated pretty vocal girls (just not many of them D8 ).
     
  10. Alindrome

    Alindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    It's been four long years and you've hoped to see this thread buried - hah! Joke's on you: the Sacrifices Arc got mentioned a few times in the Favourite Stories thread, and I got curious enough to read it. After doing so I need a place to vent, and so here we are.

    I got as far as the third book. See, while I'm entertained I'm also thoroughly bloody sick of this story. It took me a long time to peg down why - because despite it all, the detracting elements, the ludicrous word count - this story has in many ways stood the test of time in a way I've hardly seen anything else do.

    It's... a decent story. Decent enough. And that's why it's so maddening that it's not an enjoyable story.

    There's something intrinsically engaging about the writing style. This story takes cliches that were still cliches when the damn thing was written (in the year two thousand and bloody five, if you can believe it) and now those cliches are tired old trollops, sagging from overuse. And yet despite this, the story is still interesting. It treads a fine line between relying on cliche and forging a new path, and I think it's fundamentally impressive. You can count on it to go in an entertaining direction.

    But there's so much frustratingly wrong with it. It gets worse the further in you go: this story clearly fizzles out of plot energy after the first book, despite new and engaging things happening. The first book was driven by an interesting setup and by the end of the second book, most things that setup provided were solved. But the further we deviate from that initial setup the more it falls apart, the more contrived and fragile the excuses for plot and drama become.

    The standout, absolute worst part of the story is Dumbledore. I think his characterisation represents a lot of what's gone wrong in the Sacrifices Arc, because the best way to sum him up is a lazy writer's villain. Dumbledore is an evil, manipulative, bumbling old man in this story and absolutely nothing more. Although the characters will tell you otherwise, of course! Other characters talking will push the agenda that Dumbledore is powerful and morally complex, but we never actually see any of that. What we do see a lot of is Dumbledore carrying the idiot ball in order to be this story's token villain. And oh boy does he ever.

    The Dumbledore in this story is the most poorly written Dumbledore I have ever read. That's saying something because damn near everyone writes a shitty Dumbledore. The key to why this Dumbledore is so bad is how terribly, obviously contrived his actions are. This is a story where every single other character is painted as having good and bad points, walking on a moral tightrope and having their own justifiable reasons - whether you love or hate that aspect of the story, as soon as this Manipulative!Dumbledore is juxtaposed against that he sticks out like an ugly sore thumb.

    The author wanted to have a villain, and so lo and behold he is there. There's some attempt at character development but it comes off rather watery excuses for illogical actions, particularly as so much of the rest of the story gets shortly bogged down by all the other character's reactions to his evil deeds - oh that's so horrible but you're so powerful! Of course I'll stand against him with you, Harry. Blah blah blah and on and on.

    Even Voldemort suffers from token villain syndrome, which blows me away because he's already a token villain in canon. How can you mess up that? Turns out there's a way: by having him around and having Harry interact with him and yet not developing or establishing his character at all. In the first book (minor spoilers, if you care), Harry was suspicious of Quirrell from the get-go and ran around after him for a fair portion of his time - despite that, I think we only got to hear him speak about three lines. In the second book, Tom Riddle was literally in his head and still only got a scene or two where he actually spoke like a human being. It was a completely wasted opportunity - doubly frustrating when all the drama revolved around the less interesting conflict of Connor being a little shit and Draco being clingy.

    Bah, Draco being clingy. I think that, and the slash writer syndrome, has been brought up to death at this point so I won't linger on that one. But the overwrought drama that plagues this series shouldn't be ignored: by the time I stopped reading I just felt like I was wading through a pointless slog of it. This story revolves around Harry's friends and petty enemies, social drama and the classic hurt/comfort theme, which is by far the less interesting path to take when you've got a dark lord on a platter ready to make your moral conundrums real.

    There's good and bad points of this story. It's certainly engaging; the action is impactful, the AU is interesting, the plot points are imaginative. But I'm of the opinion that it's not worth reading past the first book. All those significant best qualities are eventually outweighed by the more plentiful but smaller bad points, and like the straw that broke the camel's back one of them will eventually make you snap.

    Overall - 2/5
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  11. Fluffiness

    Fluffiness DA Member

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    Along with the other aspects of this story that have already been discussed, one of the big turn offs for me was the lack of consequences to Harry's actions, especially as vates.

    He frees the House Elves, which is never the source of conflict with other people (even though tons of wizards rely on them), but only opposed by people who are opposing Harry for other reasons already.

    He releases the webs on the Goblins without making people lose anything. The Centaurs and Dementors are both changed so that they don't actually hurt people.

    It would have been interesting to see Harry forced to choose between hurting wizards and hurting magical creatures, or for his dedication to freeing said creatures to bite him in the ass somehow, but it has no real consequences, which I think is a real detriment to the story.