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WIP The Life He Leads by TonyThePony - T

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Evil Shnitzel, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Evil Shnitzel

    Evil Shnitzel High Inquisitor

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    Title: The Life He Leads
    Author: TonyThePony
    Rating: T
    Genre: Romance/Adventure
    Status: WIP
    Library Category: The Alternates
    Pairings: Harry/Tonks
    Summary: Harry Potter had led a quiet life up until his fourth year. As a remarkable series of events occur, his life is irrevocably altered. A quieter Harry navigates the difficulties of the magical world, while mastering complex, primordial magic and working to fulfill his true potential. AU.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12104185/1/The-Life-He-Leads

    Neville is the BWL, Harry is in Gryffindor but has no friends and basically interacts only with Dumbledore. That is until he meets Tonks, who is stationed at Hogsmeade. He is a Transfiguration prodigy and tries to master antique elemental magic. Not all-powerful though. The writing is nice if occasionally awkward. There is a lot of angst and it goes slowly but the author promises changes from the latest chapter posted (13). I'm a sucker for nicely written Dumbledore but the last scene worryingly descended into some cliches. There are also a lot of questions with regards to how things went differently but it's better to find out gradually rather than have it all dumped on you in some stupid and unnecessary monologue. Overall, while there are quite a few things to be worked out, it is still a very nice fic. 4/5 from me.
     
  2. Sey

    Sey Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    It's not too awful, but it's not good.

    Proper punctuation consistently eludes this author, and Harry's characterization is grating after reading chapter after chapter of the same thoughts and feelings. The "Northern magics" are interesting at first, but do not bode well for the story's direction.

    2.5/5 rounded down to 2.
     
  3. bbodysplash

    bbodysplash Third Year

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    The first twelve chapters i was happy to overlook most flaws for what I thought was a promising mentor!Dumbledore, but the last chapter felt worryingly mustache-twirling-y.

    Socially anxious Harry is kind of grating, and the stuttering and blushing is a bit over the top. I liked how the castle feels alive and magical, but I wish Neville as BWL was handled differently rather than just giving all of canon Harry’s accomplishments to him. He even has the invisibility cloak and, as far as I can tell, a talent in quidditch.

    3/5
     
  4. iamnotreal

    iamnotreal Second Year

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    The last chapters tone, specifically the Dumbledore point of view just felt off. It started off quite well and I could recognize Dumbledore seeing the need for both Neville and Harry to take the reins when his time as sensible. However the bit about his ego and own grandstanding was jarring and seemed out of place. Prior to this I felt the author had a believable if somewhat Machiavellian take on the !DumbledoreMentor role.
     
  5. startrekfan

    startrekfan Squib

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    Wouldn't you like to know...
    The story has some interesting ideas and is in my opinion working quite well with them.
    The characterisation of Harry is very off from what you usually get but in itself rather consistent and not changing too abruptly to be believable, although with latest chapters I fear this might possibly be no longer the case.
    Other characters apart from Harry and Tonks might benefit from being shown a bit more.
    Creating new magics is always a daring task, especially the balancing between powerfull and "too powerful", but I like the concepts behind the "northern magic".
    The author manages to create a talented but not overpowered Harry (although with the way the first task went I'm getting kind of worried).
    The romance is nice, a major point but not too much in the foreground.
    At the beginning it was rather much telling but that has changed in my opinion.
    It is also nice to see an AU where not every divergence is shoved in your face. A problem I have are the stark similarities between Neville and canon!Harry, but this can in my opinion be excused. I like the Dumbledore that is portrayed in here even if he is not the normal Dumbledore, he is also not a mad cackling villain and so quite an interesting character.

    Summarizing I would say that it is quite a good and interesting story and if it does not fall into the pitfalls I am seeing in the last few chapters it can continue to be so. I would rate it a tentative 4/5
     
  6. iamnotreal

    iamnotreal Second Year

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    I feel this has actually gotten better over time but I still can't shake that outlandish DumbledorePOV with how he is portrayed throughout the rest of the series which is actually decent. I actually enjoyed at last reading a sensible closure to the initial relationship that would likely happen in reality.
     
  7. Darthlawyer

    Darthlawyer First Year

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    Social anxiety Harry is the main plot device in the story. Which makes reading his perspective quite tiring at times.

    2.5
     
  8. Amethyst

    Amethyst Squib

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    Harry's social anxiety doesn't bother me as much as it does to other folks. Personally, I found myself enjoying the story. The "Northern Magic" was an original creation with an interesting backstory. My only issue is it being used as a deus ex machina instead of another aspect of magic to study. The romance could've been better, but I have a soft spot for Fleur/Tonks. Overall, it was a decent, nice read with some imperfections that can imrpoved upon.

    3/5
     
  9. why?

    why? Seventh Year

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    Initially, I'd planned on writing a review after I'd read the whole thing, but I lost all desire to keep reading this after the end of the second task.

    For every one thing I liked about this, there was a bunch more that bugged the shit out of me. A week or two later, and the negatives are a lot more memorable than the positives.

    It's so goddamned melodramatic. Ever seen High Fidelity, (500) Days of Summer or Garden State? Think that type of protagonist, but without their redeeming characteristics and all of their flaws. Harry's not interesting, witty or otherwise likable in any way. At best, he's a boring drama queen. For the most part, it's like reading fanfiction about a Neville Longbottom who body swapped with Harry.

    Tonks is always fucking winking for some reason and she's supposed to be hilarious, quirky and the best thing to have happened to Harry. Except it's just the author shoving this idea down my throat without being at all convincing about it. I think that his Tonks is supposed to be a "manic pixie dream girl", but I'm not too convinced of that either.

    And the italics were on purpose – I've never been so infuriated by something as innocuous as italics, and I didn't know I could get this incensed reading free entertainment, but fuck's sake this guy and his italics, good fucking lord. Completely inappropriate at best, only he knows what he was trying to emphasise.

    The only redeeming thing about his Dumbledore is that he's supposed to be 3-dimensional. He wants the reader to think Dumbledore is powerful and smart, well meaning but ultimately flawed (greater good). But that's just in theory. His inner monologue as he enters the Great Hall before announcing the Champions had me near strangle myself.

    Example:

    And so, it now fell to Albus Dumbledore to do what it is he did best. Be a showman.

    Before he even entered the Great Hall, he dimmed the lights within until little more than darkness could be seen. With a wave of his wand, the doors of the hall swung open, hitting the walls beside them with a bang. He heard the students collectively intake breath, and he knew he had them.

    He strode through the hall with a purpose. With each step, he lifted his hand, and the lights that were in line with him were brought alight. It would've been easier with a wand, but he was Albus Dumbledore.

    He knew that if he were to look in McGonagall's direction, she would no doubt be rolling her eyes at him. Despite her doing the cat animagus routine with every first year class for as long as she'd been teaching. Hypocrite.

    "Welcome, students, to the Triwizard Tournament!" Began Albus, his voice deep and booming. He was using a wandless amplifying charm because he could. "Those of you who have dared entered your name have entered yourselves into a tournament that could bring you great glory, or great harm. You walk in the footsteps of the greatest wizards in history; I do hope you are prepared for what is to come."

    (notice the italics?)

    During a conversation with Dumbledore, Harry mentions how it's time like these that make him in awe of Dumbledore's intelligence...but he really isn't saying anything smart at all. Minerva gets the same treatment when she's discussing magical theory with Harry, who's nodding along as she contradicts herself moments after having made a statement. Same shit with Sirius and Tonks apparently being oh so hilarious. Just because you stick a label that says "pheasant" on a decomposing pigeon doesn't make it any less of a decomposing pigeon.

    Every other observation he makes about his characters – especially how great they are – contrasts sharply to his actual depictions of them. His supposedly 3-D Dumbledore comes across as a caricature. Harry whines and makes demands, and Dumbledore accepts them. He's very erratic and throws tantrums, he's supposed to be powerful but he doesn't act like it at all. Then after Tonks tells him he's misread the situation entirely (that whole thing was just weird), he freaks out and goes to stare at fires he conjures in the forest, only to come back a few days later with a fucking deer, of all things.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with writing a story about a social anxious or autistic Harry. But in this case, it's just a bad gimmick. There's a point where Harry is supposed to undergo some great change, where he finally begins to let go of what's been holding him back...but then a little bit later, he's back to doing the same crap again. If he's not growing and becoming stronger emotionally, then what was the purpose of all the anxiety?

    In general, Harry's personal struggles and the conflict in the story just feels very contrived. The absolute worst was how the author handled Sirius. I get that he transplanted all of the Boy-Who-Lived adventures onto Neville, but he could've just as easily made the godfather reveal happen in third year. But no, Harry only finds out in 4th year, and he's intruding big time. Sirius and Neville are best buds, and he even gives Neville the cloak so he can protect himself against dementors (wut). More bullshit angst towards an indifferent Lupin too. And to all of that, I can only shake my head and wonder what the bloody point was?

    And what's up with all these pop culture/alternative rock references? Just list your favourite music in the author's page. I mean, it did make me go and give New Order another try, and I quite enjoyed it this time around, but none of this adds anything to the story. I get it because I like some of these things, but it's meaningless without context.

    The sad thing is this story could've been good, and that's probably why I kept reading. I'd also just finished Euphoria, and wanted some more Harry/Fleur, but the less said about this Fleur, the better.

    As it is, this fic's no more than 2 to 2.5 out of 5. It reads me more like a rough outline than an actual story.
     
  10. Agent One

    Agent One Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Argh, I really wanted to give this story a 5/5. It's so hard to find a story these days that doesn't bash Dumbledore but apparently this is still some kind of Manipulative!Dumbledore story.

    His scenes with Harry are great to read and they seem more like research partners discussing theories or Master and apprentice which is great. But then, when Dumbledore is by himself and we see it from his POV it turns out he's just manipulating everything. Then we get back to a scene with Dumbledore and Harry and he shows none of that. I think the author tried to make Dumbledore complex but it just ended up looking like a moustache twirling cartoon villain. Perhaps if Dumbledore had shown some turmoil or inner conflict over what he's doing

    The biggest problem however is that, personality wise, it seems that Harry and Neville have simply swapped bodies. Neville has essentially taken the place of canon Harry and Harry that of canon Neville. The story could have worked just as well, if not better, if it was actually Neville we were reading about.

    Also, the pairing tag should probably be changed now.

    3/5 with the potential to improve.
     
  11. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    I feel that the Harry and Tonks scenes are the worst parts of the story. The author should've just left her out of it all together. I don't know how many more times I can read about Tonk's winking, her eyes softening, her voice becoming gentle and so on. I am finding myself just skipping over any scene with Tonks in it. I'd rather read more about Harry learning magic, and if there's to be an attempt at romance actually follow through with the awkward first girlfriend experience with Hermione.

    3/5 for the interesting magic and a nonBWL story that's readable.
     
  12. Microwave

    Microwave Fifth Year

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    Finished reading this about a week ago. I think the world and magic of this story is relatively interesting, but a lot of it is absolute crap. The author tries really fucking hard to make Tonks the most lovable character, but it just makes her so damn insufferable.

    The whole social anxiety thing is also a bit irking. Usually when you see a story with a protagonist that has confidence issues, the story centres around them growing out of it. But this story flips this completely upside down by keeping Harry as a retard, while at the same time, not giving it any importance in the general plot.

    The story is mostly grammatically sound, but all the unnecessary punctuation and formatting just makes me want to punch something. You'd think adding italics to every other word would defeat its purpose, as emphasizing everything would have the exact same result as emphasizing nothing at all.

    With all its flaws, however, I still think this is a fun read, and with all its flaws, it's still something I can enjoy myself with, and that's half of what matters.

    3/5
     
  13. Dystopian Destiny

    Dystopian Destiny Third Year

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    The story may be good, but it definitely is not my cup of tea. Like everyone else pointed out, social-retard!Harry makes a boring read.
    Also much of the early plot felt quite unnatural.
     
  14. MrBucket

    MrBucket Third Year

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    This made me laugh.

    Completely accurate, though. It's a simple case of the author telling, not showing. Or rather, attempting to show but failing and telling anyway.

    I honestly could have sworn I wrote up a few decent paragraphs on this story, but it seems it didn't post. Hm. I don't feel like writing it all out again, but I'd give it a 2.5/5 with the ability to jump to a 3/5 depending on how it continues.

    I also find the mental image of a fucking deer following Harry around in Hogwarts weird. Like I get giving Harry a cool animal companion, but make it reasonable.
     
  15. reputlet

    reputlet Squib

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    if its not a manticore is it really worth giving harry a companion?

    I mean, why stop at a deer? If were going to have something that obnoxious follow him around we should at least make it have some useful properties.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  16. unorfind

    unorfind Third Year

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    So the story suddenly got deleted while I was reading it o_O
    The story was readable if one could accept Harry's characterization it was rather fluffy at times with focus on Harry/Tonks budding relationship and had some "mild" cases of bad tropes like manipulative Dumbeldore (though it got averted later) the bits about Northern magic were probably best parts of this fic although that magic was little too strong compared to common magic again playing into bad tropes.

    Overall I was rather torn when reading this fic it had passable Romance and decent description of magic while playing into classic bad tropes I would rate this 2.5 rounded down to 0 for deleting the fic before I was done with it :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  17. Scott

    Scott Professor DLP Supporter

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    So nothing really to say that hasn't been said already. I started off enjoying it, mostly because I'm a sucker for some romance and the Northern magic was pretty cool but once the deer came into play I stopped reading.

    I also just tried the link and it is deleted. So... if it comes back up see the above reviews are really accurate.

    2/5

    Edit: https://m.fanfiction.net/u/6194118/GeneralStarfox is his new author profile if anyone wants to pm him and ask why he deleted it or if he is going to reupload.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  18. Microwave

    Microwave Fifth Year

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    I've an EPUB of the latest version if you guys want.
     
  19. unorfind

    unorfind Third Year

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    Yeah it would be great
     
  20. Microwave

    Microwave Fifth Year

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