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WIP The Imposter Complex by Notus Oren - T

Discussion in 'General Fics' started by RandyRanderson, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson First Year

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2019
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    Title: The Imposter Complex
    Author: Notus Oren
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure/Supernatural
    Status: In-Progress
    Library Category: Dark Arts
    Pairings: None so far? Maybe Tom/Fleur?
    Summary: Tom Riddle escapes at the end of Chamber of Secrets, and is quite surprised to find that nothing about the future is as he ever thought it would be. Soon, Tom finds himself on a globe-spanning quest to follow the path his forebear blazed and perhaps, at the end, to put a stop to him once and for all.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13275002/1/The-Imposter-Complex

    Frankly, I'm shocked that no one has submitted this for review. I've scoured the forums for any mention of this and have found none. If this has been submitted for review, I apologize in advance for doing so again.

    This story is entertaining with an engaging plot. Essentially, diary Tom Riddle escapes, having gone insane to the point where he's sane again, and is horrified by the actions of Lord Voldemort. He then goes on an adventure retracing his steps around the globe. The world-building is there and the author seems to be on top of his game when it comes to research of the places the character visits (if the author notes are any indication). One of the interesting aspects of the story is the world-building; China, in particular, stands out as a prominent example in my mind. The magic is also entertaining with body augmentation and magical artifacts being very unique. It's a pretty funny story as well, which is the result of the protagonist's perspective. The main character, Tom (basically an OC) is a fairly immoral protagonist who is ruthless but seems to truly care about his friends. The perspective of Tom is honestly one of the most enjoyable parts about the fic as the arrogance adds a lot.

    The writing is there, though there are noticeable minor issues here and there. 4.5/5 for me, rounded to a 5. The uniqueness of the story is what gives it such a high rating for me. I suspect I would rate it lower if something similar had preceded it.
     
  2. Sowaka

    Sowaka First Year

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Northern Japan
    Schlock, but very readable and enjoyable schlock. Or is schlock too harsh of a word? I don't really mean it in a negative way.

    I've read the first eight chapters and yeah, Tom is a pretty much an OC, cut from that somewhat cliche fanfiction cloth of Voldemort being sane until he split his soul to make a Horcrux.

    In the first two chapters the author needed to set up his premise, so he follows the Chamber of Secrets, but the chapters are short and readable enough not to feel wooden. Sometimes I see premise or AU set ups that feel so forced and mechanical that I have to think the author shouldn't have even bothered and should have made a bullet point A/N instead. That's definitely not the case here.

    Chapter three sets the tone for the rest of the fic and it's a less serious one than I initially expected.
    It's almost comical how lucky Tom gets by encountering random wizards. Why would they rob a diner? And it was jarring how easily Garrow accepted everything... and then became almost a non-character in later chapters. And how lucky was it that Voldemort had a random golem machine? And what's up with Tom just going drinking with some witches? And chapter 8? With quips like "Do you have any leads?" No, but I'm me, so it's a matter of time." Or the random cozy Christmas.
    The fic almost feels like a self-parody with moments like these and you have to accept this to enjoy it.

    The author mentions being inspired by jbern among other things. From my point of view, he's definitely channeling that The Lie I've Lived energy. Tom feels like Harry James Potter did in Lie. Now, the literary qualities of Lie are up to debate, but as far as the enjoyment factor goes, it's among my favorites. It has that certain lack of sense and the reckless abandon to march onward I want in fics of that kind. So does this, so I'll continue reading.

    The author also mentions being inspired by LessWrong. I certainly hope he doesn't lean too heavily into Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres type of fedora-tipping. So far he's in the clear.

    Edit:
    Tom nabbing Sirius, impersonating Padfoot to have Fred and George nab Pettigrew in his rat form? Later getting a hint to a mystery from a random song?
    All in good fun, but really stretches the seriousness muscle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  3. Barzûl

    Barzûl Fourth Year DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Joined:
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    123
    It's definitely not a fic, you want to read if you're in need of a cold-hearted, analytical Voldemort.

    It reads like Tom Riddle on a spring break, which is not bad at all.
    Tom as a character is not at all stuck-up or elitist, which is very much at odds with my view of his canon younger self. He's by no means a Muggle-lover or a kind altruist, but in many way he's what I would expect a 20-something Riddle to be, if he had been more normal.

    I was solidly entertained through all 32 chapters so far and will probably follow this story from now on.

    As Sowaka mentioned, you need to enter this with the right expectations. The author does not take himself too seriously, which the story is all the better for.
    If you expect a serious and grim story, you will be disappointed. If you expect an adventure with some dark elements, you'll be in for a treat.

    4/5
     
  4. Murr

    Murr Squib

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    I'm currently following this fic and it's quite over the top, but a really fun read. Tom's narrative style and irreverent tone is really addictive, although the writing overall comes across for me as somewhat choppy for my taste.

    The two main OCs introduced (Garrow and Peter Hein) are both wonderful, particularly the latter, and the author takes some delightful turns with the plot of the story. Unfortunately, Tom relies on quite a few unrealistic dei ex machinis to keep up with this wild romp, and while his character lights up the pages of the story, some of the others (notably Sirius and Harry) fall a bit flat for me.

    As others have said above, it's all meant in good fun, but there's just the slightest incongruence between what could be a superb dark adventure story and the humor sans gravitas the narration sometimes presents. But it's original and keeps you on your feet for when an update comes out, and the author seems to have some sort of schedule to his writing. I'm really curious to see the extent to expand this story and the inevitable avalanche with which it will end.

    Its quirky ideas and premise elevate it above a simple guilty pleasure. 3.5/5 for me rounded up to 4/5.
     
  5. Stenstyren

    Stenstyren Professor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    459
    Yeah, this is a fun romp, quite in the vein of Jbern and the like.
    It moves along at a nice pace and keeps things interesting, while borrowing heavily from other fanfictions and other fantasy-IPs.
    Tom Riddle is defenitely not on a straight path to world domination, rather he gets thrown a curveball from time to time that manages to change the path of the story in an interesting way. Although, large portions of the story are essentially like reading a tri-wizard task, and not much of a character-driven storyline.

    4/5 from me!
     
  6. mercuryandglass

    mercuryandglass Third Year

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canada
    Solid 4/5: decent prose; fast plot; fun protagonist. Tom Riddle is the only place where OP-ness needs not be explained, and even then he faces very real obstacles that he genuinely needs to work in order to overcome. One of the few times that I've enjoyed first person narration so much in fanfiction.
     
  7. GrandHighPoobah

    GrandHighPoobah Third Year

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    106
    I think this definitely falls into the guilty pleasure category for me. Tom's pattern of speech is kind of like what you would expect from an 18 year old American today, not a 17 year old Brit born in the 40s - his characterization is essentially Indy!Harry circa 2010. At the same time, he makes enough amusing first-person observations to slightly redeem his otherwise shallow character. His paranoia regarding death is underwritten as well; he doesn't react realistically to situations wherein he is in mortal peril and the smart thing to do would be to run away or hide. He kind of just fights everyone. Not very Slytherin.

    The random east Asian influences on Tom Riddle's fighting style don't really make sense since the diary version of Tom (ostensibly) never left the British Isles.

    The matryoshka doll-esque body switching hijinks/possessions completely remove any sense of peril for Tom. It's not fair to say that he never fails, because there are certainly situations where he comes up short, but the consequences for failure seem petty. The side characters also lack enough depth or personality to be worth worrying about, so there aren't really any stakes.

    I did enjoy the portrayal of the Australian wizarding prison, which is a unique take, and things move along at a swift enough pace that you never really feel bogged down in any of the somewhat clumsy plotting.

    3/5 for decent prose and a somewhat engrossing plot, despite its crackish tendencies and lack of character focus.