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WIP Subversion by Myricle - T

Discussion in 'The Alternates' started by Hymnsicality, May 29, 2019.

  1. Hymnsicality

    Hymnsicality Seventh Year

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    Location:
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    Title: Subversion
    Author: Myricle
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: WIP
    Library Category: Alternatives
    Pairings: N/A
    Summary: When Voldemort was vanquished, Harry inherited the Dark Lord's prodigious mental abilities but hides them for fear of attracting unwanted attention. His twin brother Jim inherited Voldemort's magical power and was hailed as the Boy Who Lived. Sound familiar? Check the title. Starts in Year 4. AU.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12957404/1/Subversion

    Okay so I know that DLP had...issues with Myricle's previous work "Hogwarts Strike Team." But I'm willing to put my neck on the line a little for their latest fic. The summary is a bit self congratulatory but the author mostly manages to make it work, it's a WBWL story without weird childish bitterness or 1 dimensional villains.

    Has an interesting and detailed take on the magical system, especially the mind arts (and no this doesn't mean hackneyed mind palaces).

    The plot is well thought out and goes along at a good clip and I find the characters interesting enough if not amazingly fleshed out. Very much in service of the plot, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Probably the best thing this story has going for it is that it's an actual mystery that feels engaging and has a few delightful twists along the way.

    Some negatives are the fact that this is pretty much just Harry in name only, and that the amount of time between updates means that plot threads show up seemingly out of the blue if you don't go back and catch up.

    4/5
     
  2. pbluekan

    pbluekan Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Yeah ok. I'm filled with confidence.

    I read the first chapter. In short, it tries too damn hard. It's everything you'd expect from the summary. Harry is edgy and the prose reflects that. It's wordy with overly obscure synonyms inappropriately sprinkled all over the place. This is compounded by attempts at "intelligent" humor that just fall flat from trying too fucking hard.

    Had this been published in '09 or so, it would have fit right in to the fandom. As is, it feels like a copy of a copy of a copy.

    2/5 for technical quality.
     
  3. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

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    Oct 21, 2017
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    475
    It was alright. Definitely one of the better WBWL stories if that's much of a standard.

    Harry's definitely a bit too edgy and a bit too overly competent for my liking. I know the author tried to level it off by making characters like Crouch Jr. super threatening or whatever, but it still felt like there wasn't really much conflict, as the main challenges Harry was supposed to face were all resolved through piles upon piles of deus ex machinas. These also seem to take away from the so-called "flaws" the author tries to add to Harry's character, because they never seem to ever serve in his detriment, kinda just talking away from the purpose of them.

    2.5/5 rounded up to 3 because it's a nice guilty pleasure.
     
  4. Sowaka

    Sowaka First Year

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    This certainly was interesting.

    The author fulfills his A/N promise of having no filler, because the story moves at a lightning pace. I have to say he managed to create a really intriguing AU. Especially his depictions of Mind Arts shine. I enjoyed their inventive usage, for example Harry and Theo checking emotions of everyone after the fourth champion reveal.

    The main problem is of course Harry being too overpowered. In fact, the story would be million times more interesting if the author took things slowly, started from Harry's childhood, had him learn about and train his abilities, forge connections in Slytherin etc. All this of course without Harry being stupidly OP, perhaps just with noted extreme potential.

    The second problem is the AU being visible in contours only. The author has a Voldemort who's been appearently a terrifying master of the Mind Arts and more, and whose name really shouldn't be spoken. I'd like to learn more about this, more about the war etc. And more about other worldbuilding elements too, like the Unspeakables etc.
     
  5. Henry Persico

    Henry Persico Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    As it was said before, it is an interesting story. The author is technically skilled, it shows since the beginning, I enjoyed a lot the vocabulary used and the level of description helped in the submersion.
    The thing is, Harry is very powerful and no matter the odds, he usually wins. But for someone with Voldemort's level of mental skill and intelligence, he takes some time to connect the clues. The author tries to challenge him with some powerful foes but Harry ends winning. That's the problem when you have a character with Voldemort's memories, power, some skills, etc, schoolyard drama it's not enough.
    The AU it's very good, the Mental Arts skills and description feels fresh and I don't think I read it before. The rest of the Magic System showed it's also very interesting. I hope he can keep the level of development in the next chapters.
    The story has only 6 chapters, but I think the first ark is almost over. I hope he explains a bit more the mystery about the Dark Lord, it feels really interesting.

    I gave it 4 stars (3.5 rounded up) mainly for the AU construction and some of the characters development, hopefully he can balance more Harry's overpower.
     
  6. InfernoPlato

    InfernoPlato First Year

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    It's certainly both more engaging and more interesting than most other WBWL/Slytherin fics. It's also probably for me more interesting than many of the other Voldemort's skills merging with Harry fics.

    Others have already hit on the main points; AU is interesting, the mind arts system that the author has written is something I haven't seen before and it's good fun (although not in sync with the main canon Harry Potter magic system just so we're all on the same page).

    One thing that gives me cause for concern, however, is how powerful this new mind arts magic is. It's extremely powerful to put it bluntly and it opens up a lot of cracks and just makes you wonder why, when it's such a huge powerful set of magic, it's not more widely known. Voldemort is a master in the art, and we have seen the impact. And yet, it is very much an underground art that nobody talks about aloud. Of course we're also not talking about the other issue in that because the art is so powerful, and Harry is a master at it via Voldemort, you need him to face powerful foes. But that complaint has already been touched upon.

    I'll give it 4/5 starts just for the good and engaging story, with the potential to round down based on how the mind arts world building develops
     
  7. Nexis

    Nexis Third Year

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    I'm at the 5th chapter and I like it so far. Yeah, it's not a masterpiece or anything but it kept me entertained for a few hours and I didn't want to stop reading.

    Harry is super overpowered, but the story makes that clear in the very beginning, so you know what you're getting into. Basically, it's kind of stupid, but still very enjoyable if you're just looking for something fun to read.

    I'm willing to give this a 4/5. Might change as the story goes on, but I'm liking it for what it is now.
     
  8. MF DOOM

    MF DOOM Second Year

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    When I read stories like this one, I realize how much Taure has spoiled me.

    The moment I read that Jim has Voldemort's raw power, I lost all my interest. It seems like such a cheap plot device. It makes hard work, intelligence and your understanding of magic useless.

    Also, Mindscape. 'nuff said.

    Overall, 2/5 for somewhat decent technical writing.
     
  9. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Read this.
    And very much disagree. The entire reason this story works, as a TwinBWL, is that we aren't tortured with all the childhood stuff of the hows and whys of the setup. It's: Premise: Harry has a Twin and is powerful. The end. Now bring on the action.

    I'm pretty meh on the mind arts stuff. Modules, functions, psy powers -- but also mass decay fields ... it's more sci-fi than Harry Potter. That said, though, if you can ignore that (or even like it), the story is good. It's got a nice bit of tension, the action isn't terrible, the plot coherent, the characters interesting*, the writing readable ... it ticks the boxes. And Harry isn't overpowered in Tell -- Dumbledore is vastly stronger, presumably Voldemort would be too -- it remains to be seen if the author follows up with that in Show. The fight with Crouch was pushing it. That Harry's stronger than other students is hardly something I'll complain about.

    It did veer into, I dunno, Twin Peaks territory in the last chapter, which was unnecessary, and I hope we never hear a word of Satan or Hell or strange towns in Siberia again, but ignoring that as an abberation, I give it a 4/5 and want moar.


    * And what a perfect scene to introduce Daphne.
    Characterisation via Show, not Tell at its best. In a few paragraphs, just a short dialogue, we get the entire range of their conflicting emotions, we understand the details of their relationship, we get a decent idea of who the persons behind the names are.

    It's simply good writing. Or, in other words, what 90% of FF.net never achieves.
     
  10. Sowaka

    Sowaka First Year

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    Is this a TwinBWL story? I mean, of course it is. But at this point Harry's twin is so inconsequential to all the interesting stuff Harry does, he might not even be in the story at all. The author avoided painful TwinBWL cliches by sidelining the twin. If he can do this for Harry's year 4, I can imagine him doing it in Harry's childhood too.

    In truth, I simply want more of the worldbuilding and the mind powers explored. When you have the author dangling stuff like
    or all the Voldemort hints, one gets interested. I don't want any painful hows and whys either.

    Anyway, a new chapter dropped and it had some nice hints. I'm eager to read more.
     
  11. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This is wholly incredible and I can't believe it's fallen under the radar for me - it has one of the more delightful descriptions of an eldritch being I've seen in fanfiction and the use of Voldemort's name is incredible.

    It also manages to be very good writing.

    edit:
    lily also manages to be unbelievably attractive with a bit of good dialogue
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  12. James

    James Auror

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  13. Zilly Sawdust

    Zilly Sawdust High Inquisitor

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    Agreed. Also the hints about
    how Voldemort may have possibly transcended into one of the eldritch beings
    are so well-written that I just want to read more and more. Though the descriptions of the Mind Arts as basically software packages and libraries kinda turns me off a little, the concepts and powers themselves seem interesting enough. Harry is OP, but only compared to the general wizard and is suitably challenged with the deeper mysteries and the other OPs of the Wizarding World, while still managing to be outwitted by peers and occasionally himself, which is brilliant characterisation all around, IMO. I'm giving it a 4/5 and not higher only because it's still in progress.
     
  14. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I'm with OP in that this rates at 4/5 for me.

    Twin!BWL concept done well. In fact I suspect that they are both the BWL, but Harry is under the radar to most because what he got out of LV's attack isn't obvious (incredible skill/power in the Mind Arts). Jim (the twin) has the more obvious and flashy ability of raw power in the Magical Arts. It's rare to see a Twin!BWL story where both twins are 'legit' in this way.

    And they feel like brothers. They're not best friends like Fred and George, but they do trust each other a great deal and look out for each other. There's some annoyance there where they each find the other annoying, but ultimately they are brothers and their relationship is devoid of negative suspicion.

    The scene that stuck with me the most was one in Hogsmeade, where Harry realizes that something is going on, so he goes somewhere quiet and starts using his mental abilities. This is mentioned to Jim whose immediate response is to go outside and look for trouble - because he trusts that if Harry is letting his mind magic stuff 'leak' then there's a good reason, and he might be able to help deal with whatever has Harry worried. So he goes looking for danger outside.

    Sirius seems like a fantastic guardian. I was a bit annoyed once or twice that he wasn't more annoyed they weren't telling him things, and feeling like he could be a bit more proactive, but all in all a good example of how to write a good guardian. He is clearly attentive and does some parenting, but he lets a lot of things slide if they aren't important.

    The plot moves along at a nice clip. I'm usually reading to see what comes next and I'm invested in the action as well as the characters. BUT sometimes this doesn't work, like in a more recent chapter when Harry led a *spoiler* - like, WTF? He's 14 FFS. It made no sense to let him be in charge, though I would have been on board with him going. It wouldn't have even changed the plot and what happened much, given how things went down.

    Starting in 4th year was a good choice. Let's us skip to the point where things are established. The author did a good job of letting us know the status quo so it was easy to pick up and move along.

    Jim's friends and friend circle are not fleshed out - He's not close with Hermione like in canon, even if they're friends, but I'm not sure who his inner circle are, and that seems like a mistake on the author's part to not make it more clear. I assume Ron.

    Not a huge fan of how fancy the Mind Arts are. I guess it makes sense that if the protagonist is going to specialize in something it should be more complex than basic attack/defend (legilimency/occlumency) but it's still a bit much. I like that Harry is good at it - it reminds me a bit of Zorian from MoL at times - but something about it doesn't seem to fit into HP very well.

    Interesting world-building that adds to HP a bit, with the Fanes and associated information.

    All in all I think it's a solid 4/5 that isn't in danger of going up or down on the rating scale.
     
  15. Tomster10010

    Tomster10010 Fourth Year

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    I like it - to echo what other people say, it executes a pretty shitty premise with some overdone tropes fairly well. The worldbuilding around the "Mind Arts" doesn't feel like Harry Potter but it is fun, and all the bigger, badder threats feel scary.

    I like the characterization of Dumbledore, even though he's a small role. I like the pacing. I like the wizarding world it creates, even if it's barely related to canon. I like Hermione.

    I dislike having super powerful main characters without feeling like they 'earned' it. I dislike having a 14 year old being widely considered powerful enough to be a person of interest to the Unspeakables. I dislike the amount of respect that Harry gets without 'earning' it. My gripes are mostly an issue with the way the fic is paced and starts in 4th year.

    On the whole, 3.5->4/5
     
  16. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    Subversion has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 8
    Words: 78,685
    Updated: 2022-01-14 12:58:26 UTC
    Published: 2018-06-03 16:58:40 UTC
    Previously updated: over 2 years ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
  17. Galen

    Galen Fourth Year

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    Hey, this updated. Too bad it won’t update again for a while (A/N). But I liked this chapter. I actually quite like this fic as a whole, even though some others don’t.

    It’s difficult to write an OP!Harry and not have him wtfpwn every enemy that shows up, but this fic manages it quite well. Although a bit unimaginative, the “mind magic” powers worldbuilding is still engaging enough to keep my interest.

    Not enough Fleur, so not a 5/5.
    Easy 4/5, though.
     
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Author continues to write 5/5 interactions. He's back in peak form with the Hermione/Harry scene. What a follow-up on the Daphne intro -- which, by the way, stuck with me all these years. I remembered it just fine when I re-read today. Says everything, really.
    It's an actual pleasure to read this.
     
  19. fire

    fire Unspeakable

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    I remember trying this out for part of the first chapter and not being overly impressed, but Sesc's strong recommendation on the basis of something that matters very much to me - compelling conversations and readability - means I'll give this another go.

    Will report back on whether Sesc is lügner.
     
  20. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    Subversion has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 7
    Words: 76,160
    Updated: 2022-01-17 06:25:46 UTC
    Published: 2018-06-03 16:58:40 UTC
    Previously updated: 3 days ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.