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Complete Seven Devils by sunder-soul - M

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Silly, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Silly

    Silly Third Year

    Joined:
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    Title: Seven Devils
    Author: sunder-soul
    Rating: M
    Genre: None given, if I were to categorize it it's probably Romance/Adventure
    Status: Complete (200k words)
    Library Category: Romance
    Pairings: Tom Riddle/Female OC
    Summary: "You don't have to destroy a Horcrux. You can heal it." "You speak of remorse," Dumbledore didn't sound impressed. "If I may, I see very little chance of convincing Voldemort to feel empathy for the things he has done –" "Not Voldemort," she interrupted. "Tom." "You are suggesting that we use Voldemort's first Horcrux to reanimate sixteen-year-old Tom Riddle."
    Link: FFN Ao3

    Okay so I will be the first to say that this story premise sounds kind of terrible. Basically, a female OC (that may or may not just be a stand-in for the author) gets isekaied into the Harry Potter universe one day, and uses her extensive knowledge of the series in order to convince Dumbledore of an absurd plan: revive the diary horcrux, teach it compassion, and use it to reabsorb the other horcruxes so that Voldemort can be defeated. This is the kind of plot I wouldn't be surprised to find in a wish-fulfillment fic written by a thirteen year old girl. "What if Voldemort (but the handsome sixteen year old Voldemort not the icky snake one) became a good guy and also fell in love with me???"

    Despite my initial misgivings about this fic's premises, however, it has somehow managed to be an enjoyable read. The plot is well structured and clearly thought out in advance, with plenty of later plot points being set up or foreshadowed ahead of time. There are definitely occasional moments that belong in some sort of cliched guilty pleasure romance fic, but that overall doesn't detract too much from the rest of the story. The writing is technically sound, with no obvious grammatical errors or really awkward sentences that break the flow of the story. And the characters are for the most part pretty interesting and well written. Dumbledore specifically is written in a way that is interesting to me, as the story paints him as both manipulative but also intelligent and clearly on the side of good. This is as opposed to most stories with manipulative Dumbledore, which end up writing him as a stubborn old man with outdated ideas who is somehow constantly hoodwinked by thirteen year old indy!gray!harry. Part of the tension in the story arises from Dumbledore's wish that the future plays out as close to canon as possible (a timeline in which he knows that Voldemort is guaranteed to be defeated), which causes problems with the main character, who has knowledge of certain bad future events from reading the books but is ultimately powerless to change much for fear of derailing canon.

    Overall I wouldn't call this story perfect, but I read the entire thing and found it reasonably enjoyable the whole way through. And taking into account the premises of the fic (a romance focused story between Tom Riddle and a female stand-in of the author), it's definitely around the upper bounds in terms of how good it could possibly be.

    4/5
     
  2. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fourth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
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    Can you give some more examples of when and why the story is really good, or a scene or chapter that really impressed you? Maybe in spoiler tags, if you don't want to give anything away?

    I agree that the writing is surprisingly strong. I think if she were writing anything else, she wouldn't have any trouble drawing me into the story. I'm sad to see that this author hasn't published anything other than this.

    I agree that she writes Dumbledore, Moody, and Lupin well. I'm still on the fence about how she writes Tom Riddle.

    Chapter 1 was fun to read, but I found myself skimming chapters 2-10 because the author's just working to get Tom Riddle out of the diary and into her life as quickly as possible, and it's not particularly compelling.

    But the fact that the author was able to get me interested in an SI at all makes me want to give it a chance.... Hence my request at the top. Can you tell me where the interesting parts are, so I can skip to them?
     
  3. Silly

    Silly Third Year

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    So the story has a few major plot arcs, which I guess I'll put in spoiler tags just in case. If you want to skip around, maybe considering reading the Arc 2 spoiler and starting there, since that is probably the part that I thought was the most interesting. Or just read all the spoilers and decide whether the story is worth reading or not. I won't talk about anything super detailed in case you actually want to read the story, but I'll outline the major plot points.

    This is the part that you're probably finding kind of slow, as it is mostly just set up for the rest of the story. You learn about the characters, the initial plans to defeat all the horcruxes, and most of the plot progression here is getting Tom to start opening up and interacting with the main character and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix.

    At this stage, the characters decide that Tom is trustworthy enough that they can begin working on finding and absorbing Voldemort's horcruxes. In order to assist Tom in developing the empathy necessary to reabsorb each horcrux, Dumbledore devises a plan involving using an experimental time turner in order to send Tom temporarily back into the past. This allows him to meet and talk with each of the victims that were murdered to create said horcruxes and learn about life from their perspectives. This is probably the point in the story where the most character development happens, as you see Tom converse with and learn from people with very different backgrounds than him, and what I think is the most interesting part.

    An accident with the time turner causes the main character to become lost in time, and by the time she awakens, six years have passed and events have progressed fairly similarly to canon. Dumbledore is dead, Voldemort has taken over the ministry, and Tom has gone undercover as a Death Eater (Voldemort would never suspect that he would have the capability of betraying himself, after all). In this arc the main character comes to the realization that everything is coming to a head, and that without an alternate solution Tom will have to eventually die in order for Voldemort to become mortal again. The main character and Tom follow up on some of Dumbledore's research in order to see if they can come up with an alternative way of defeating Voldemort while preserving Tom's life, but they are ultimately unsuccessful.

    This is the section with the majority of the touchy feely romance stuff. At this point the main character struggles greatly with the fact that if events proceed mostly as canon would dictate a lot of people will end up hurt or dying and she specifically will lose Tom. However, deep down she is also afraid of doing anything to actually cause the timeline to deviate from the canon timeline, in which Voldemort is defeated, and ultimately hates herself for being powerless in this situation. There's some romance drama and Tom and the main character ultimately realize that they are in love with each other. They make the most of the time they have remaining before the Battle of Hogwarts starts. During the battle, Tom sacrifices himself in order render Voldemort vulnerable, but because this is a romance fic he is saved by the main character's love, Voldemort is defeated, and they live happily ever after.
     
  4. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fourth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
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    That was really helpful, so thanks for putting together such a detailed breakdown.

    I've read through 21 chapters, and if Arc 2 is the one you found the most compelling, I think I have enough to go on to review at this point. Ultimately, I don't think this story belongs in the library, but I appreciate the recc and the rundown.

    Here's my review, in a spoiler tag for length:

    It ultimately doesn't work to partner Tom Riddle with someone average on an adventure. Marina is an SI, and so she talks, thinks, and worries about things that the average 24-year-old would in this situation. I don't see Tom Riddle connecting with or opening up to someone average. Her taking an interest in the history and mechanics of Parsletongue is not enough to win over the Tom Riddle that we know from the books. Marina says things like, "Of course I'm scared of dying. Everyone's scared of dying, but not everyone kills people about it!" I just don't see Riddle taking statements like that to heart. It's OOC for him.

    The OOC elements of the story are what ultimately turned me off to it. A lot of the second arc depends on Tom feeling remorse for his victims. In order to do that, a lot would have to happen to change a very core element of his character, and I don't think nearly enough occurs for him to get there.

    I also found the story very talky, which is a common mistake in a first WIP. The characters spend a lot of time talking about their plans and ideas, as well as their feelings about their plans and ideas, and the plans themselves ultimately get resolved pretty quickly. To be in the library, there needs to be more plot here, and it's too thin.

    2/5
     
  5. The DarIm

    The DarIm Groundskeeper

    Joined:
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    In dreams.
    What is Harry Potter doing in all of this? Considering he's also a Horcrux and it's his sacrifice that grants everyone else the protection from Voldemort in DH.
     
  6. valrie

    valrie Fifth Year

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Well, my review isn't about the whole story since I've only read the first two chapters so far. Maybe I'll read more later on and revise this review.

    However, there were already a few things that bothered me. First, of all the MC/SI just assumes certain things about magic and some people. She calculates that Voldemort only has 1% soul left after the horcruxes, but I think it's a pretty heavy assumption that souls and horcruxes work in a way that you can calculate how much soul you have left. Dumbledore doesn't correct her, which makes it sound like that makes sense. Or her plan of having multiple people rotate and write in the diary to resurrect Tom. Who knows whether that works or whether Tom needs to consume a whole soul to be fully resurrected?

    She compares Harry and Tom when they start at Hogwarts. Sure, there are some parallels, but they are still very different people. Harry was rarely ever cruel in the entire series while Voldemort started using magic to kill pets and afflict pain on others when he was still a child. The comparison only works superficially. I guess there's still a point that being kind instead of suspicious to the child is a better approach though.

    She comes up with the Diary-Tom plan to "avoid the needless suffering and death of the countless child soldiers you rely on the first time", making it sound like there isn't a less risky way of using the information to kill Voldemort before he ever has a chance to be resurrected. For example, destroy all the horcruxes before Harry ever starts his first year, then use the Quirrel knowledge to trap Voldemort somehow. Wait until Harry's natural death and kill Voldemort. There's probably a hundred other possibilities too but none of that is mentioned.

    Pretty long rant and admittedly the story is better that most others out there. But there are already a bunch of plotholes in the first two chapters, which doesn't make too confident for the rest of the story. Maybe I'll read more but I expect a whole bunch of fanfiction tropes.
     
  7. Oculled1996

    Oculled1996 Squib

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    This was terrible. The plot makes zero sense, every character is OOC. The self-insert main character is a muggle, why would the other wizards and witches even take her seriously or follow her ludicrous plan to begin with? Why would they continue following her plan when people start to experience the side effects of spending time with the diary? Since when does Voldemort showing remorse get rid of all the horcruxes? Why would Lucius Malfoy invite Dumbledore into his home?

    The technical quality of the writing is also poor. The dialogue tags are clunky. The dialogue itself is horrible. The OOCness of all the characters really shows itself when the characters interact.

    1/5