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Complete The Downward Spiral Saga

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by BolshevikMuppet99, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. BolshevikMuppet99

    BolshevikMuppet99 Muggle

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    Title: Harry Potter and the Homecoming
    Author: BolshevikMuppet99
    Rating: M
    Genre: Fantasy/Horror
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: Dark Arts
    Pairings: None (eventual Harry/Daphne)
    Summary: Book 1 of the Downward Spiral Saga:After being raised in an orphanage, Harry Potter is visited by his new headmaster and brought into the world of magic. How will an abused Harry fare in this new world? Slytherin!Harry, Eventual Dark!Harry
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12867536/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Homecoming

    I know that self-posting is frowned upon. Still, I think you may enjoy this story. A slow-burn Death Eater Harry, with a focus on his choices being natural. No bashing.

    ========
    Edited by Ched to reflect a review thread for the entire (completed) 6-story series as opposed to the first story alone. After reading these I wanted to come back and comment on the story as a whole rather than the initial piece.

    Series
    1. Harry Potter and the Homecoming - Book 1 of the Downward Spiral Saga:After being raised in an orphanage, Harry Potter is visited by his new headmaster and brought into the world of magic. How will an abused Harry fare in this new world? Slytherin!Harry, Eventual Dark!Harry, Sequel is up! HP and Salazar's Legacy
    2. Harry Potter and Salazar's Legacy - Book 2 of the Downward Spiral Saga: Sequel to HP and the Homecoming. Voldemort is back, but no one know it. At least, not yet. At Hogwarts though, strange things are occurring. What can Harry do, now that half the school believe he is Slytherin's Heir? Eventual Dark!Harry, Slytherin!Harry. Sequel has begun! HP and the Year of Broken Chains.
    3. Harry Potter and the Year of Broken Chains - Book 3 of the Downward Spiral Saga: Sequel to HP and Salazar's Legacy. Given the choice to join Lord Voldemort, what will Harry do? Meanwhile, couples begin forming in the Slytherin dorm, and a deranged killer is on the loose. Dark!Harry, Slytherin!Harry. Sequel is up. HP and the Return of the Lost
    4. Harry Potter and the Return of the Lost - Downward Spiral Saga 4:Sequel to HP and year of broken chains. Lord Voldemort plans to announce his return to the world at large, while the Triwizard Tournament is taking place at Hogwarts. Harry's godfather struggles to build a relationship with him, while Pansy wants to get out of one. And a meddling ex-auror has his eye on Harry. Dark!Harry Sequel is up. HP and the Dirge of Hope
    5. Harry Potter and the Dirge of Hope - Book 5 of the Downward Spiral Saga: Sequel to HP and the Return of the Lost. As the war rages across Europe, and the Death Eaters slowly gain ground, Dumbledore begins giving Harry private lessons about Voldemort's past. Meanwhile, someone is leaking information from the Death Eaters. Dark/Evil! Harry. Sequel has begun: HP and the End of War
    6. Harry Potter and the End of War - Book 6 of the Downward Spiral Saga: As the last of the Ministry's forces fall, the war is all but won. Or would be, if Grindelwald wasn't still out there, biding his time and building up a force. And who is after the Dark Lord's Horcruxes? Dark!Harry. Sequel to HP and the Dirge of Hope
    My own review will be in a separate post later in the thread. -Ched
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2019
  2. Zansa

    Zansa Third Year

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    I'll be honest, this seems like it was written by a early-to-mid teen who has never really written before, which is fine but this isn't going to do well at all in the review board and you probably should have started in the WBA. This story has all the subtlety of a nuclear bomb, and even though you said there is no bashing you immediately turned around and butchered Petunia and Vernon's characters to the point that they're unrecognizable.

    Every single character you've written sounds like a teenager who is trying really hard to sound like an educated adult but is failing miserably because they haven't had enough socialization with educated adults, and I have no doubt that the plot and Harry's descent into evil is equally mishandled.

    You need to grab some books - books on writing, and fiction story books by actual, published authors - and you need to study the art. Your grasp of character voice is nonexistent at best, the prose reads like an essay, and the less said about dialogue the better. There can't even be anything said about story beats, framing, or showing and not telling because everything else is so bad that it's irrelevant.


    1/5.
     
  3. MrBucket

    MrBucket Fourth Year

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    Not that it would have turned this from the pile of shit it is to something worth reading, but proofreading would have at least made me not so irritable reading this. You have missing periods, missing commas, missing paragraph breaks; there are unnecessary commas, periods, paragraph breaks; the writing in general is just shit. I mean, you even have random horizontal lines that completely cut sentences in half. What the fuck? How do you even do that by accident?

    I'm just going to copy and paste something I told someone else on here who was too lazy to grasp the basic rules of writing before asking for advice:

    I strongly suggest you begin reading. Not fanfiction, but actual well-written books. Hell, just reading the Harry Potter books should help you improve. Read and pay attention, to the grammar, to the story, to dialogue, to everything. This will help loads, because quite frankly, this is bad. Like really, really bad. This is just one of those times you need to self-improve first, because it's not a few specific things you need to improve on, it's literally everything.

    But this is kind of like asking a random soccer coach how to play soccer when all you've done is play a few games of kickball, halfheartedly watched a high school soccer game, and didn't think to even google how certain things work. There's a certain amount you can do by yourself to improve before you should seek out help from specific individuals, especially from DLP.
     
  4. pbluekan

    pbluekan Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    You’re like a terrible dog. You come in here and shit on the floor and think you should be praised.

    When you’ve failed to even do basic MS Word proofreading, you’ve got a fucking problem.

    @MrBucket pretty much covered it.
     
  5. Microwave

    Microwave Seventh Year

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    This is a crime in itself.
     
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    So I've got some thoughts here.

    First and foremost - this is not a 1/5 story in my opinion. It's a 3/5 for me, and while I can understand that many people won't agree with me... it does make me wonder. There's been 11 votes on this story and 4 comments. How many of those votes are bandwagoning or bias because the author posted it himself? How many read enough of the story to judge?

    Always gets under my skin a bit, but c'est la vie.

    I found this story because of this thread.

    Kudos to the author for completing a 6-story series that, while not perfect, is still above average in many ways. There's a coherent plot, some interesting characters, some serious dark magic and exploration of how it effects users of it, etc. The couples didn't get on my nerves. The progression in characterization was... well, it... I can't say it made sense, because for me it really did run off the rails and go too far, but within the story? It was cohesive and clearly plotted with intent by the author.

    Voldemort is smart in this one. He's terrifying, but he is intelligent and it's possible to see why his followers follow him. He wants them to be fearful of them but he knows there's only so far he can push without them considering turning on him. It's rare to see LV done this well, though this is hardly the only story to manage it.

    Grindelwald shows up later in this series, around book 5 maybe, and I really like his characterization.

    Harry is disturbing as fuck. The author says that this story has him making choices that are "natural" but I call BS on that. Yes he makes choices that I can understand and the author shows the progression well. He goes from an abused child to... whatever you call the sort of monster he becomes. And it takes years. And there's some struggle within him about it that I found myself interested in, if only because it didn't always go the ways I expected.

    But it goes too dark for me to call it 'natural,' even if within the story it is explained well enough.

    There's no bashing, not really.

    The last story ties things up in a way that I found... satisfying? It mirrored canon in some ways.

    There's a saddening lack of periods for some damn reason in a lot of the stories. Or at least I saw quite a lot of missing periods whilst reading on my mobile phone. But I'll be honest - grammatical issues are an issue, but to me they're not a major one. Not if the writing keeps me reading quickly enough to read over them instead of getting stuck.

    There's a handful of prose issues... but on the whole the writing itself didn't bother me. It's snappy enough and doesn't bog itself down. The plot moves itself along.

    In all honesty this completed series as a whole is above average imo, which means it's worthy of a 3.5/5. But for me I round down, despite the fact that I read the entire thing in a few days, because of how... forced? No, not forced. But too many things went right, I suppose, despite all the things that went wrong, and I could feel the hand of the author guiding things a little too strongly into a direction that was disturbing.

    Certainly a story worth more than 1/5 in my opinion, which is the lowest damned rating and means that it would be worse than most of the unreadable drivel on ffnet.

    It's not great, mind you, but if you're into Dark!Harry this will work for you once you hit third year or so. It's a slow burn, though once it catches fire... bloody hell, but Harry is a disturbed little shit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  7. why?

    why? Seventh Year

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    The bad guys are overly competent and strategic, and Dumbledore and co are always a few steps behind or on the off chance they're not, they get the rug pulled from under them.

    The unbreakable vow between Snape and Voldemort is an example of that. I don't know if he managed to get out of it, but I suspect not.

    Harry is pure evil, but I don't think the horrible backstory and the graphic flashbacks were necessary. The author tried to create a reason for Harry's...sociopathy? Is that the word? Well, whatever it is, I don't think he needed to go that far. I think that's an issue in the story as a whole — the author stretches "evil" past the point of ridiculousness. But it's not too hard to look past, and some of the random stuff (like the dark magic + sex bits) can be chalked up to teenagers being teenagers, which is also something this story does well. Harry and his friends are believably edgy, in that they're not so much moustache twirling as much as they're erratic/volatile kids.

    Harry manipulating Hermione into thinking he's a good little lamb during the Yule Ball was nicely done.

    Oh, and the lack of Goddess!Hermione is refreshing.

    I'll echo what I said in the other thread: solid 3/5. But I'll try to come back and rate the actual thread, once I'm done with books 5 and 6.
     
  8. Drachna

    Drachna First Year

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    I read this series over the last few days after reading For Lack of a Bezoar by the same author.

    I honestly wasn't impressed by the first three, but I wanted to see how the author's writing style would progress throughout the series. None of these books are bloated with filler, and I feel that their shorter length when compared to a lot of other fanfictions where Harry turns to the dark arts was refreshing.

    You need to be patient with this story if you want to enjoy it, and some of the actions preformed by the main characters turned my stomach in a way few stories have before.

    In any case if you love a dark Harry Potter you'll most likely enjoy this to some degree.

    4/5
     
  9. Hakairyu

    Hakairyu Second Year

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    I think the author must have edited the early stories, because while there still were missing periods, the punctuation and grammar were nowhere near as terrible as I'd been led to expect. Generally, I can handle bad grammar but bad punctuation gives me a headache, and I didn't get that here. And he also left an AN about doing so around the time he posted here, so, good on him. More on style, unless this is a reupload, this guy averages 50k words per month of serviceable to good writing, and that's commendable. But judging by this work only, perhaps taking some time to work on his prose would be recommendable.

    I also got here from For Lack of a Bezoar, and I think I mostly concur with the others who did so. The first couple are nothing I haven't read before, but they were fast paced enough that I didn't mind. Then suddenly 3 got graphic, a lot more so than I expected from the author's warning. The disturbing stuff starts out slow, but ramps up book by book until 6 where "I didn't know there was this much grimdark in the whole world", and yet the progression is surprisingly believable. Plot wise 3 was ok, but 4 and 5 is where the series really shines. If those two were on their own, I would definitely give them at least a 4, perhaps a 5 for the latter because the climax
    Where Dumbledore reveals to Harry that he'd figured it out and their conversation is reminiscent of both the canon Draco-Dumbledore conversation and that one time Cadmean Victory had a good chapter; where the OC guy suicide-bombs Voldemort's headquarters and genuinely rattles him; where Grindelwald is just wonderful, and where the author sets up the last volume with those letters
    left me really excited for the next part.

    Unfortunately, volume 6 sort of fizzled out for me. I don't mind the outcome and there was some genuine despair where you realize Voldemort had won and the story'd laid out just how fucked up his world was going to be; but for one thing, there was way too much buildup between Grindelwald's mistake and Voldemort winning. I suppose it kind of builds false hope, but it's also dreadfully boring. For two, as I said; I was hyped for some "Grindelwald teaches the upstart a thing or two" action. We didn't get that. There's one scene where Grindelwald does something to show how much smarter he is, then he does something impressive, it doesn't work, and then there's the contrived fatal mistake. I feel like the author thought he'd written himself into a corner, because on the one hand Grindelwald has the Elder Wand, and on the other Voldemort's pretty much won the military situation; and decided to get out of it by introducing all the ways Voldemort could lose and then having him curbstomp every single potential threat.
    That's a great way to end the Neville arc, by the way, but it leaves Grindelwald sitting on his hands regarding the Horcruxes for some reason
    That fits the overall theme, but it could have been so much more satisfactory if there was any actual back-and-forth going on, maybe even extending this work into 7 books, but perhaps that would be too much bloat. I agree with 'why?' about how the bad guys feel like they are always just one step ahead, and particularly I hated the Snape thing because it was obvious it simply couldn't lead to any interesting plot developments (it didn't, but it did provide the only bad plot element in volume 5), but I got the impression that that was going to turn around when 5 ended the way it did. But the author decided his theme was going to be "shit's fucked", and he painted that picture very well, but it left an unsatisfying narrative in the process.

    The only other thing I want to bring up is, I guess Dumbledore's characterization
    Where it turns out he figured it out, but felt that he didn't have the ability or stomach to lead this war anymore, so he leaves it to Grindelwald. Which is the exact opposite of his characterization in For the Lack of a Bezoar
    might annoy some people, as that's decidedly not canon Dumbledore. However, within the confines of this story, I kind of can see how Dumbledore could become this, what with everything that's gone wrong with Harry. Oh, and don't let Dumbledore's inner thoughts in the intro drive you away. Yes, those are really bad, I think that might be the first thing he ever wrote, it's not representative of the work as a whole.

    An average of 3.5/5, rounded down due to the failed climax, despite really intriguing plot points. Which is not uncommon for contemporary Dark!Harry stories (see The Sum of Their Parts, A Cadmean Victory, hopefully not the Prince of Slytherin but it's going down the same path). There might also be some intrinsic difficulty in writing a satisfactory story with a theme like despair or failure (see The Last Jedi) involved here. Nevertheless, maybe part 4 and especially part 5 are library worthy in my eyes.
     
  10. Zansa

    Zansa Third Year

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    I rated this 1/5 before, but I'll revise my rating to 2.5/5. The author improves tremendously, and he must have revised the earlier chapters because I didn't have nearly so many problems with character voice or prose now as I did then. Or maybe I'm just in a more tolerant mood now.

    I still don't think this is a good story, it's not something I'm going to think about in 30 minutes, I'm not going to recommend it to anyone, but it does have a very dark Harry and fulfills its promises reasonably well. My main problem with it is that it seems grimdark for the sake of being grimdark, every time it seems like the story may level out and coast at its current level of edginess the author tries to outdo himself and make it even darker. I feel like if the author took longer to write he could have had something really good here, but as it is there just isn't enough time for the story to breathe, not enough exploration of problems to convince me that this story had to be half as dark as it is.

    This story is what it is - an evil!Harry wankfest and it never pretends to be otherwise. I can't truthfully say this story is 3/5 because there's just too many issues for me to consider the story wholly coherent, but there is a story here, so it warrants more than a 2/5. I'm going to round up to a very tentative and reluctant 3/5, read it if you have nothing else to do and want a truly grimdark story.
     
  11. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Supreme Mugwump

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    Not sure I can much that hasn't already been said.

    I enjoyed reading the series, and got through everything over a few days. It passed the overnight test, and it passed the device-change test, which is a decent enough indication of quality.

    Quality wise, it's alright. For the most part, the later books are better, but the earlier books aren't terrible. This improves towards the end, although I think my favourite typo is in the penultimate chapter:

    It was absurd, that he, with his hands so bloodstained, with his soup torn to shreds, could have created something so beautiful, so wondrous.

    Also, I really liked the relationships. I knew, going in, that this was supposed to be H/DG. But the first relationship didn't feel tacked on, and not everyone met their true love as their first ever partner.

    It was nice to see people working at odds with each other, too. All too often, the entire good/evil side will just follow along with the same plan, even if they might have moral objections.

    That said, Voldemort doesn't ever seem truly stumped. His plans appear foiled, but he was counting on everything turning out that way; or he just happens to know about that spell anyway; and (as others mentioned) things do tend to go too smoothly.

    But overall, I enjoyed this. Might not ever re-read, but it certainly wasn't awful. A solid 3/5