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Complete The Art of Self-Fashioning by Lomonaaeren - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Researcher, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. mistermisstep

    mistermisstep First Year

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    I've mixed feelings on this story.

    The prose is okay but it is written clearly and grammatical errors seem to be rare. It's a "Harry isn't the Boy Who Lived" fic but it doesn't fall into all the cliches that so many others do. The plot is very narrow in scope but that makes for a straightforward read with little confusion.

    Where it really shines is in the premise and how it uses Transfiguration as a plot point. This seems to ask "what would happen if Harry and Neville really swapped places?" and then runs off the beaten path with it. There are times where it leans a little heavy on the angst, but doesn't go too overboard.

    Now for the disappointing. My biggest problem is the somewhat uneven characterization and certain character interactions. Terry, for instance, was especially cringe-worthy as I never bought
    his motivations for wanting to hang out with Harry. It seemed like he was befriending the resident weirdo simply for the sake of author-mandated drama.
    The stilted interactions between Harry and fellow students seems like a writing issue mixed with an intentional awkwardness. His conversations with professors are much more believable, so it's not that the author can't write these scenes. It's more that she doesn't have a handle on writing realistic younger characters. (This problem notably fades as the years pass.)

    The cons seem to be decreasing with each update while the plot grows more interesting. On the other hand, the negatives drag down the positives just enough to make this a readable fic with potential for growth.

    A 3/5 for now.
     
  2. Darth V

    Darth V First Year DLP Supporter

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    Can't really say I enjoyed it. There are some good ideas behind it, like a focused Harry trying to heal his parents or the way he behaves because of the traumas he had, but, well, the execution is not really well done. Transfiguring brains as a healing treatment and the way he focus entirely on it, to the point on ignoring everything else is kinda ridiculous to me. I can imagine Harry as a child thinking that, but it doesn't change throughout the story. Actually, nothing about Harry really changes. There's no character growth and that's a huge disappointment.

    I can see this fic as guilty pleasure, but it doesn't belong in the Library. 2.5/5, rounded up to 3/5 because of the guilty pleasure status.
     
  3. voxdeo

    voxdeo Squib

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    Just read this fic and you know what it reminds me of - Alan Turing. It's well written but incredibly sad in it's characterisation. It has the same parallels of lose and obsession with bringing lost loved ones back. If thats her source then Harry's lack of growth is actually accurate to life in some cases.
     
  4. mistermisstep

    mistermisstep First Year

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    This one updated a couple days ago. Chapter 20 ended on a little cliffhanger and Chapter 21 picks it straight up. The latest developments are ... interesting, to say the least. I really wasn't expecting it, so I was pleasantly surprised. It isn't very often that particular character turns up. The fact that person is creepy at the same time is a bonus.

    I get the sense, though, that the author might write things without an outline or at least a very in-depth one because it still tends to lose focus on the main plot in favor of new ones. The latest case of "ooo, shiny" happens when
    Harry is willing to go after the Lestranges and risk any chance of fixing his parents, which is allegedly the whole driving point of this fic.
    This story still has promise, but it's also unfocused often enough to be irritating. There isn't as much polish as I'd like with the plotting, the writing, or maybe both. In light of that, my rating remains unchanged.
     
  5. Poisson.Distribution

    Poisson.Distribution Squib

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    In general, the story is relatively enjoyable, but I find the whole "Angsty Harry can't interact with anyone or make friends" concept to be far too strong for my tastes here. Otherwise, the pacing is good and I like the concept, but Harry's singular dedication to transfiguration comes across as inauthentic to me. I feel like, even if he was driven by a desire to help his parents as he is, would he not still have a dedication to charms as well? Would he not still put effort into his other courses? I just find the whole bit about how he only ever has interest in transfiguration to be a bit much to swallow, especially considering how charms and other branches of magic could potentially be quite helpful to him in achieving his goals.
    I guess the last thing is that I generally do not like when authors try to write their own concepts of magical theory, because it comes across as being far too technical and unnecessary, but I do think in this instance that it was well handled - present enough to be substantive, but not so overpowering that the fic comes across as some sort of attempt at creating a whole back-universe to the books.

    Overall: 3/5
     
  6. aguy

    aguy Squib

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    I'm a fan of it. It may be a bit angsty, but I found the characterizations interesting and believable. The whole transfiguration angle is pretty novel and creative, and I always love it when an author gives technical magic explanations.

    I'd say 4/5
     
  7. Humankillerx

    Humankillerx Squib

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    It always brings a smile to my face when I see a new update in my inbox.

    Maybe I just haven't been exposed to enough fanfiction, but this is the first story I've seen where Harry's parents are the ones in St. Mungos and the proposed theory to heal them is to transfigure their brains.

    It's a unique twist on a concept that's been done before and I find myself wholeheartedly loving it. Harry's single minded determination to bring back his family is an attitude I can't get enough of in fanfiction.

    Since the method of healing is transfiguration, we get to read some really great transfiguration building. Harry transfiguring his mice to spy and cause disruptions, and then his bird to attack wand hands is really clever.

    I'm looking forward to see where the story goes, and I can only hope that Harry succeeds in healing his parents. I think however, that a bittersweet ending would be the best. If Harry were to be successful in healing them, it would have to be at the cost of his life or freedom.

    Perhaps the author has something else in mind, I look forward to it regardless.

    5/5
     
  8. LordOfMurder

    LordOfMurder Squib

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    Read this before I even joined the site. I'll be honest, I was intrigued by the initial set-up of Harry and Neville legitimately switching roles rather than the awful cliche of Dumbledore faking it or using Neville as a back-up BWL. The first chapter however uses that poor dead horse named Evil Dursleys, and beats it severely in the hopes of reviving interest in such a subject. For the record, the second paragraph of the very first chapter irritates me beyond belief. If a Social Worker is investigating alleged Child Abuse, they wouldn't be turned around so easily. I could see such a thing happening in canon but with fanon-level abuse it never makes any sense that someone whose job is noticing the signs of an abused child would miss all those numerous warning signs.

    Anyway, moving past the first chapter, you get some interesting ideas laid out by the author, but all of it feels kind of forced. My biggest issue about the story itself, rather than the crappy starter, is that Harry so quickly comes to the conclusion that everything except Transfiguration is useless to help his parents.

    And then he just locks in on that path. It's an interesting idea, but an eleven year old, abused or otherwise, doesn't have the knowledge or persistence to make such a decision and stick with it. It just seems like the author ignored the intriguing idea of Healer Harry in favor of Transfiguration Harry and gives another Harry-Is-A-Genius story wearing a different hat.

    Still it raises some good ideas, its just mired in poor execution. I give it a 3/5 for now.
     
  9. grün werden

    grün werden Squib

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    No, no and no. The premise was somewhat original but the rest of the story has been a mess of overused (and in this case) poorly executed clichés. I decided to stick with it up until Harry took a steep dive into angst-land and had his silly meeting/confrontations with both Augusta and Regulus, which ruined the story for me. The magic system and prose are the only things stopping me from giving it less than 2.5/5.
     
  10. 6foxtrot9

    6foxtrot9 First Year

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    I find myself skimming every time a new chapter comes out, it started off with a fairly interesting premise but I (like many others it looks like) am getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of character development. To me there is just not much to interest me in the character, while obsessing over curing his parents through transfiguration and slowly going down the moral rabbit hole sounded interesting, the character just seems to be hollow. He is no longer questioning what he is doing morally, and I think that ignoring mcgonagall was meant to be him leaving his last shred of humanity. but apart from that, the character has not changed a bit.
     
  11. d4st

    d4st Squib

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    The new update is a lot better than the last two. It was maybe a bit too easy for harry but the element of surprise was pretty strong in his favor so...
     
  12. Myrrdin Emrys

    Myrrdin Emrys Disappeared

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    Even though this is necro-ing I think that I saw one of the mods say that this rule does not apply to Library threads if the review has some substance.

    Review:

    Prose: The story has been written decently, it doesn't have glaring grammar and spelling mistakes, but it can definitely use some polishing. The dialogue tags are, in some places, somewhat incorrect, and comments on how some things happen are somewhat odd. 3.5/5.

    Concept: The concept is as refreshing as can be with hundreds- nay, hundreds of THOUSANDS of fics out there. The idea of a Harry that uses transfiguration is once again somewhat appealing to me; as I remember quite clearly that in OotP I was shocked yet pleased that a seemingly harmless art could end in wizards being made legends.

    But once again, the concept has been taken into consideration many times, so it isn't OMGAMAZEBALLS but it does have it's own shine. 4/5.

    Execution of said concept: It's not done so that- BAM- fuck all of you bitches that have studied this art for years and years, I'm gonna show all of you up- dear god no. The learning of the art is shown to be subtle and as such, is very appealing to me. 4/5.

    Pace: The pace in the first few chapters was nicely done but I don't know, it feels to me that in the latest chapters it has wandered elsewhere from the path the author had originally set. 3.5/5.

    All in all the score is written down below:

    3.5 rounded to 4/5.
     
  13. bluemooks

    bluemooks First Year

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    Also not necroing if the story is still updating at a pretty consistent basis. Also this has a new update btw
     
  14. Hush

    Hush Seventh Year

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    I stopped reading once Regulus captured Harry, though I really should have stopped reading much earlier. This story had a fairly strong start, I liked the concept but ultimately I got tired of reading about a character whose only emotions are conveyed in angst. Harry is a robot. Plain and simple. He has one programmed objective, save his parents. He decides to do that through transfiguration which I don't really understand. I was always under the impression that transfigurations were temporary, and this wasn't explained which for me was and still is a plot hole. I really don't think that Madame Promfrey is transfiguring people when she heals them. I liked the concept of using certain materials to give a transfiguration longevity and an element of transmutation and this was one of the authors more inspired ideas but it could not hold the rest of the story up.

    Harry, in my opinion, has one redeeming quality his desire to save his parents. It seems to be his most human trait. However he does not approach this goal in a realistic manner. He apparently focuses on transfiguration, but he isn't even competent at most aspects of it, and he's terrible in most of his other classes. In my opinion if he were to save his parents it would be through a combination of magical disciplines, yet this isn't even considered. Harry is also largely unrelatable, unless you are in fact a psychopath. He lacks the ability to understand or even ape emotions, which leads to some terrible friendship drama. This shows that he has far less strength of will than his canon counterpart if he is able to break so easily, to lose his emotions. Harry was given a hope for family that his canon self didn't have more than a few fleeting instances of.

    Harry in the linchpin that holds the story together, most of what we as the reader experience is through him, yet he isn't likeable. I feel like this fic went of the deep end trying to be too different from canon, add to the fact that Harry has less strength of character and general aptitude for magic and I'm not really all that forgiving. I grew tired of Harry very quickly.

    From what I've seen in this thread is that grammar and syntax is a plus. But I don't think this is a plus, grammar is a qualifier.

    TL;DR Bad characterisation of Harry, unexplained premise of transfiguration being capable of healing that seems like it takes a lot of inspiration from The Santi. 2.5/5
     
  15. Viscount

    Viscount Squib

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    I can't call this my favorite story or even one I'd think of in terms of 'great HP fanfiction.'

    What it is, though, is a story with some interesting ideas (I particularly like the idea of a Transfiguration master Harry, esp. one who became interested because of stories of his Dad's proficiency) and it updates regularly. I never fail to read the newest installment when it shows up in my bookmarks, so there's that.

    Despite my interest in a Transfiguration master Harry, I would have liked to see this ability manifest differently. The Wild is interesting, and the idea of using permanent transfiguration to modify your body (and the condition that can result) is also interesting. But I recall in another fic professing the uses of transfiguration in dueling: modifying the environment and leaving transfigured "bits" about to shift the battlefield and create advantages for yourself. I always really liked the thought of that, but Harry's brand of transfiguration here is mostly the creation of animal attackers. I like it, but I'd like it more with some variety.

    I'm holding out hope for some really interesting interactions down the line, e.g. Harry healing his St. Mungos-bound parents and having to deal with the fall-out of the choices he's made to bring them back/their missing time, etc.

    3/5
     
  16. Peter North

    Peter North Dark Lord

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    Is anyone still following this fic? Mostly I skim chapters as they come out since I find Harry's interaction with his prisoners so interesting. Other than that I don't find this fic particularly interesting I give it 2/5 for the interesting bits when they come up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  17. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    This was finished three weeks ago, and I must say that while the fic was never good, the quality really dropped after the focus moved to Voldemort. From the awful handling of Dumbledore, through the forced drama, to Harry's boring OP-ness. 4/10, because there were some interesting ideas there.
     
  18. Fudoutoku

    Fudoutoku Third Year DLP Supporter

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    It's basically a "what if a sociopath could do magic" story, all the interactions flow very naturally from that point since the people around him recognize it and are constantly trying to bring him back to something resembling normal. That's the real reason Terry wants to be around him, at first he was confused as to why Harry acted the way he did, but once he realized the reason he wanted to be around him to provide a a sort of moral compass. Same with Regulus and Minerva.

    Nevermind that they all got steamrolled under the might that is a focused sociopath but it was fun watching them try and then get bowled over anyway.
     
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