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Complete The Archeologist by Racke - T

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by CH58, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. CH58

    CH58 Squib

    Feb 20, 2019
    Title: The Archeologist
    Author: Racke
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: The Alternates
    Pairings: Harry/Argo
    Summary: After having worked for over a decade as a Curse Breaker, Harry wakes up in an alternate time-line, in a grave belonging to Rose Potter. Fem!Harry
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13318951/1/The-Archeologist

    Warnings: Femslash, kind of
    Crossover elements, but knowledge of the other fandoms is completely unnecessary. They're well explained in story, and are used because the author didn't want to come up with original character, lost cities or monsters. A direct quote "If I wanted to do that much work, I'd be writing original fiction"

    Heavily inspired by the MadMadReviewer's Jamie Evans and Fate's Bitch, the Archeologist is a nevertheless a breath of fresh air in the cliche driven fandom. Harry spent his years post-war learning to be an independent curse-breaker before dying in a magical accident on a dig. He wakes up in the summer before his third year of school in the body of his dead sister, kills a few Horcruxes and fucks off to Europe to go on an Indiana Jones style adventure through the lost city of Yharnam. After Harry is done with the city, he/she returns to Hogwarts and gets roped into becoming the history professor.

    The writing is technically sound, if nothing inspiring. There were a few instances of word choice that were a little off-putting to me, but nothing that stopped my enjoyment of the story, or where I couldn't tell what the author meant. The description is very economical, and strays too far into tell at times. It is a stylistic choice by the author over any lack of ability, but not one I prefer.

    The characters are well written and consistent. The characterizations of all the characters except Harry and Dumbledore are spot on to the books, and Dumbledore's is more because he's not really in the story. There's a hint of Dumbledore bashing, but it makes enough sense in universe that I don't mind it, especially with the shitstorm the rest of the fandom is.

    Harry's characterization is different from the books, but he retains the core of his character and its been long enough since the end of the books that I was willing to suspend disbelief into the characterization. In addition, the backstory that is explained does fit with the character he develops into.

    The action scenes are where the story really shines. They are fast paced and creative, with magic being used with a scale and grandeur that is reminiscent of the Dumbledore vs. Voldemort fight at the end of OotP.

    The dialogue is clumsy at times and nonexistent at others, but there is enough humor that it tides me over until the next action scene.

    The story is only 90,000 words, and it feels like it. The plot is tight and fast paced, continually moving from one scene to the next. While not a masterpiece, I was never bored, and I've come back to it from time to time.

  2. Chadrew

    Chadrew Second Year

    Jan 10, 2008
    Ah, the one where

    Voldemort tells Harry's one-year-old sister to stand aside, but she refuses and bravely sacrifices herself for her brother.

    I tried reading it before. It starts with Harry ruminating about the lost city of Atlantis, Curse-Breaking, and his godson Teddy for a dozen paragraphs until he's suddenly digging himself out of a grave. There's no scene break or transition. Where was he when he was thinking those things? Confusing.

    And the fic continues in this vein. Most of what I've read is exposition and Harriet's inner thoughts. Half the time I'm not even sure where the scene is supposed to be set. Real-time action is rare and there's almost no dialogue.

    I'm not sure I should rate given that I only forced myself to read two chapters. Does it get better?
  3. Iztiak

    Iztiak Prisoner

    Dec 4, 2006
    Does it get better? As far as I can tell - No.

    This seems to be deliberate, as per the author’s note in chapter 3.

    I have to emphasize Chadrew’s point on the absolute lack of information on the scene changes. It’s as if large blocks of text were simply removed from the story.

    Also due to what I can only attribute to a complete lack of creativity on the Author’s part, the OCs and settings are just pulled from other fiction to avoid having to describe them in any great detail.

    The cursed tomb is just pulled from bloodborne.

    The other curse breakers Harry encounters:
    Inuyasha and Sword Art Online characters. Except they’re not actually those characters, just OCs with their names and characteristics, which feels like the laziest possible option.

    It’s technically readable, I kept going until Inuyasha showed up - but that’s about all I can say for it. 2/5
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  4. Barzûl

    Barzûl Third Year DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Dec 31, 2011
    I got through it all, and it does not get better.


    The story has several issues. At times, it seems like several stories are mashed together.
    There's Harriet at Hogwarts, there's Harriet the Archeologist and there's Harriet the Dimension Traveler.
    Different parts of the story doesn't mix believably.

    Character bashing is pretty abundant
    Malfoy always being ignorant, Malfoy Sr. always seething at being insulted, Umbridge being basically assaulted by students and being an utter turd and sneering at all times, Dumbledore being described as plotting and scheming etc. etc.

    The characters seem very OC. I recognize that it's an alternative universe, hence leading to people being different, for example:
    Goddamn McGonagall hiring Harry as a teacher immediately after exorcising Binns is just madness. He literally removed a teacher from the face of the earth. I get that's he's a bad teacher, but even being a ghost, surely he has some merit in McGonagalls eyes?

    Harriet also seems to know every magic under the sun and can always tweak it and apply it to the problem at hand.
    There was no tension at any point. I knew it was all going to work out exactly like Harriet wanted it to. Even Umbridge was merely a passing plot point so they had someone to shit on at Hogwarts.

    The archaeology was wholly uninteresting, while the Hogwarts History teaching had potential, but ultimately fell short.
    Rampant exposition killed any interest in a already lackluster plot.

    I would like to do what Harriet could not and step aside.

  5. sildet

    sildet Fourth Year

    Apr 10, 2015
    I really really should post the back and forth that author and I had via PM on FF.net. I posted a review that had a few pieces of constructive criticism (along with some praise), and the author got TRIGGERED.

    EDITED with my opinion:

    I don't really think I got much further than the first couple of chapters. When the MC decided to go through with various forms of permanent self-mutilation after very little to no complex thought, it was very off-putting to me as a reader. The MC read as borderline psychopathic.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  6. Download

    Download Third Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    High Score:
    To be contrarian, I actually enjoyed this when I read it as it came out. It basically reminds me of my first few months stepping into fanfic.

    It's not index worthy though. I think I'll have to reread it to give a better review.
  7. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Squib

    Nov 12, 2019
    The sex switch seems to serve very little purpose. The story has several elements that require suspension of disbelief. The writing has several noticeable errors with a bland style. The plot doesn't seem to really go everywhere, the most exciting part was the cursebreaking in the catacombs but the author's insistence on telling what happened prevents a reader from getting attached. The author is also really critical of others for someone who believes reviews are not a place for criticism. 1.5 stars, rounded down.
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

    Jan 6, 2009
    Oh shit, I've read this actually. I found it via Scryer a while back and decided not to put it up for Review myself, but I considered it.

    It's been a while since I read it, but I recall it being full of memorable parts interspersed with parts that I struggled to engage with. Harry teaches at Hogwarts, but Harry teaches History of Magic and it's actually pretty cool. That scene where he gets rid of Binns is one of two scenes that stuck in my clearly enough to make this story stand out from among the masses.

    The other scene is less a scene and more a sequence of events, with Harry and co. working their way into Yharnam (had to look that up as I remembered it existed but not the name of it). Interesting magic / ward-breaking stuff there.

    That said it's a strange story that... again, I recall it going back and forth between interesting bits and bits that made me either (1) wonder why they were there or (2) find slightly boring.

    My personal rating scale puts 3 as 'average' fanfic. I do feel that on the whole this comes out as above average, even if barely at 3.5. But I'm going to round up to a 4, because I have to round it some way.

    This is worth a read if you want something new and different and unique.... once you finally get to those parts. Just don't expect to be gripped by it. The parts I enjoyed were the original magic parts and concepts more than the plot, characters, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020 at 11:11 AM