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WIP The many Deaths of Harry Potter by ShayneT - T

Discussion in 'General Fics' started by Peter North, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Anomie

    Anomie First Year

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    Just finished the story. Agree that the author should show more and tell less, but I was very entertained despite that. The action scenes had good tension, and Harry's big reset-advantage never seemed overpowering. Instead it felt necessary just to give him half a chance against Voldemort.

    It's kind of borderline rating-wise for me, but I guess 3/5. Almost a 4.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  2. Snapdragon

    Snapdragon Seventh Year

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    I'm wondering why some people here didn't really appreciate how the writer managed to streamline the plot without truly damaging the plot, characterisation and emotional message. With >200k words this story never felt long at all as the S/N ration is so high.

    I actually can't even recall any long story which is so compressed on the essentials without having far worse problems. There are lot "longer" stories which say a lot less. That makes it unique in a way.


    P.S. The few chapters till the end worked fine for me. There's real tension and the action quite consistent and direct. This story achieves exactly what it tries to do but nothing more. Unfortunately some focus too much on the "nothing more".
     
  3. Rilianus

    Rilianus Squib

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    I guess I understand why this story is 'Almost Recommended'.

    It's a bit bland, especially the first two years, which make up half of the book and even the ending leaves a bit of a bitter taste, even though it was well-written and pleasurable.

    Having said that, I loved the Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire chapters and even the Horcrux hunt was surprisingly enjoyable.
    The first Triwizard tournament reminded me so much of 'On the way to Greatness' and combine it with a bit of 'Again and Again' and it's easily 5/5 there.

    4/5 for me because those middle chapters are some of the best I've had the chance to read of Slytherin Harry, but I can see why it's a 3/5 story for most of the people. My own rating is biased exactly because of the nostalgia - haven't had the chance to read much of a good Slytherin Harry lately.
     
  4. Mocc

    Mocc Muggle

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    I enjoyed this story... I've noticed a lot of negative reviews regarding the amount of deaths harry endures. (May i remind you of the title.. honestly) I found the theme of this story fascinating, what he's forced to endured(murdered repeatedly) should make the character study perfect for this site but maybe your just a bunch of over-critical pussies. overall the 1st half of the story as amazing and you shouldn't discount the incredible update rate. Now disregarding that the last half of the story was repetitive, boring, and cliche. So an amazing beginning met a lackluster end.
    3.96/5
     
  5. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    Being a bunch of over-critical pussies is pretty much what this site is about. ^^

    Just, we don't tell each other that we're overcritical pussies, especially if we, like you, haven't understood the point the other is making. I've skimmed the thread and literally only one person complained about there being too many deaths.
    Others issued structural problems of this fic that are a result of the deaths - which, honestly, is a perfectly valid complaint and just because someone writes something in the title of his fic, it doesn't suddenly make it un-criticizable if it results in less enjoyment for the reader.
     
  6. blob

    blob DA Member

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    I agree with this for the most part. The first... half? of the story that covered the first and second year was decent. But contrary to some I think it got really bad the longer it went on, especially near the middle. First time going through the fourth year was just painful and almost got me to drop the entire thing, but it got slightly better afterwards, enough to keep me reading with the drought of good stories of late.

    Most of what could be said about this fic has been said already. I'd rate the first part of the story 3.5/5, but the later half got exponentially worse and isn't worth more than 2/5 IMO.

    @edit: I wonder if it's really so difficult to create a believable political background for a story. I'm not even talking about politics in the foreground, but it seems that there's only a small handful of stories I've ever read on ffn (be it HP or other fandoms) that actually made it at least somewhat believable and add something good to the story. The vast majority of anything regarding politics written by fans is just so completely shit that it boggles the mind, this story included.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  7. CareOtters

    CareOtters Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    This was actually a lot better than I expected, given the comments. The opening was profoundly mediocre in many ways - Harry died often through nonsensical bullshit to begin with which stretched my suspension of disbelief, but I was willing to let it pass. It hits some of the stations of canon for most of the first third of the story, and only then diverges substantially.

    And yet.

    This is perhaps the most reasonable descent into a dark!Harry that I've seen. He doesn't especially want to be cruel, but it's forced upon him by his environment, and he adapts accordingly. That works for me. I also quite liked the cordial if unfriendly relationship he formed with the Dursleys out of a mutual dislike for murderous wizards ruining their lives.

    The "cost" of the time-travel, both in time spent and events Harry cannot change, is very well done in parts. Pucey was a brilliant touch. Harry doesn't get out of death for free. He's constantly motivated to live and seek self-improvement.

    Snape is very much in the background, but I enjoyed his depiction here. He's difficult to get right, with attempts wavering between bashing and character assassination of the worst kind - turning him into a carebear with somewhat prickly skin. None of that was an issue here. There's the right mix of respect for a kindred spirit and intense dislike because, let's face it, Snape hates himself far more than he could ever hate Harry.

    Throughout the fic we see a mix of fascinating creativity and utter blandness. It's mostly devoid of cliches, but in many ways feels somehow hollow. Almost a parallel to the cold and absent emotional state Harry winds up in. The one thing we do feel, however, is a constant sense of threat which is rare in time travel fanfiction. I can't even remember the last time I read about a dementor and actually felt as if it could pose a challenge - until now. The scene where Harry finally conjures a patronus alongside half the damn school was a bit shit, though. Having everyone able to do a rare and powerful spell on a whim like that just undermines the impact of it altogether. Still, on the other side of this argument, I loved seeing how much Harry could do with a simple diffindo.

    It's an incredibly flawed piece of work, sure, but I think it has a wide appeal for users on DLP. Nobody will mistake it for a masterpiece, but many of us will agree it fits within Almost Recommended. In fact, I'd highly recommend it for Almost Recommended. Be cognizant of the flaws, but don't overlook it just because it's not good enough for the Library proper.

    3/5
     
  8. JimmyCranberry

    JimmyCranberry High Inquisitor

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    Much like CareOtters, I enjoyed it far more than I expected from the reviews. It felt fresh in a way that HP fanfiction rarely does these days. If only the author had a more engaging writing style, it would graduate from 'enjoyable' to 'rather good'.
     
  9. RileyA

    RileyA Squib

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    So this is actually another favorite of mine. One of the things I enjoy about this is the writer has a great writing style, and it's a fairly creative concept. I do confess this was the first story I read where Harry came back after dying repeatedly, but I still think it is extremely well done. One thing I particularly liked was how Harry's personality was a lot more closed off, since in the books he seemed to err towards that side of the spectrum, yet did not simply due to the people he befriended. This story showed very well how that could have turned out very differently. Plus with each death things change just a little bit, and I found the tiny changes to be immensely creative.

    Admittedly from the first death I was hooked.

    One thing that really stands out about this story is Harry's self-restraint when it comes to making friends. It went great with the darker, Slytherin version of himself.
    Most authors give in to the desire to have Harry make friends and have a girlfriend, but Harry managed to avoid this for a good chunk of the story and I think it benefitted the story well.

    The dialogue in the story is pretty solid, but of particular note is the creative spell use. The author masterfully uses simple spells in creative ways and then comes up with some very off the wall ways to attack his enemies. I don't want to leave spoilers, but suffice it to say that I've not seen the same ideas crop up in other stories before so it's unique in that respect.

    See I enjoyed Harry's attempt to try to learn as much as possible and to get tutors, so he would be less likely to die. That I thought was fantastic. I imagine this is down to personal taste and preference of course, but I much enjoyed a Slytherin Harry and a darker version of himself.

    I couldn't agree more that this story is incredible and that the update rate looked like it was off the chart fast. I did enjoy the last half of the story though and thought the author's use of imaginative battle techniques was particularly noteworthy.

    Due to all of this I have to rate this 5/5.
     
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I second a lot of what CareOtters said, but for me this is a solid 4/5.

    It has it's issues, but on the whole it was unique in a way that appealed to me personally. This was a fantastic use of time travel. Not only did the time travel have a plot related reason, but it wasn't consistent and acted like a screwed up time loop where the reset point kept changing.

    The main issue I had, especially early on, was in a way with myself. Because I couldn't help but wonder why Harry didn't take more advantage of this whole reset thing. In a lot of stories that involve either (1) time travel or (2) auto-resurrection we'd see the main character dying/traveling back on purpose. To train or try things or learn or whatever.

    Harry doesn't. Harry always has his eyes on the prize of not dying instead of on taking advantage of his situation. And from the POV of a reader I'm like WTF? But then I try to put myself in his shoes and I'm like, okay, dying sucks and I probably wouldn't want to be dying a bunch either, so I get it. But I wish the author had gotten me more there without me needing to do it myself, if that makes sense.

    But in general I loved the concept and how things changed sometimes and how the author managed to keep a sense of suspense. Almost to a fault - this entire story is suspenseful. On the whole there were fewer lighthearted moments than I was used to in a fic to help break up that tension.

    ...but I can't remotely see rating it as less than a 4/5, personally.

    And it is complete - if no one changes the first post by the time I get home Monday I'll alter it to reflect that. :D
     
  11. Romulus Augustulus

    Romulus Augustulus First Year

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    Generally speaking, I enjoy time loops ( Purple Days beings one of my favorites), but for some reason, I couldn't get past the first chapter. Perhaps due to Voldemort's early appearance. I didn't even go to the next chapter. This one isn't for me.
     
  12. why?

    why? Seventh Year

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    I see what you mean, but if I recall correctly, Harry expressed enough apprehension re: his next death being the final one that it was enough for me to not really care about that. The Harry in this story is incredibly paranoid, and him not trying to take advantage of that felt justified to me. Further, it appeared to bother him a lot that he no control over how far back in time he'd get sent back.

    My enjoyment of the story dropped as Hermione got more involved. It felt really forced, and that's around when I started skimming. It's also when the typos really started getting out of hand. I don't think I got to the epilogue of this one, though I did read the final fight.

    Bang on.

    However, I was reading this as it was updating, which made the constant tension much less of an issue. Definitely one of my favourite stories of last year. It's a solid step down in quality from Sophprosyne's third year story for e.g (another complete story from last year), which is an easy 4/5 for me, but at the same time, Many Deaths is a lot more ambitious in its scope. I'd say 3.5, rounded up simply cos I had a blast reading it.
     
  13. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Auror DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    So I finished this the other day and to be sure it has its faults. However, that's said there's a lot of unique strengths here too. I would've read it if it was much less engaging, I'm always down for a groundhog day style story.

    I was wary. The only story I've read by this chap before was Lodestone which started off intriguing but took a sharp dive. I think it's why time-loop fics interest me so much. In the fanfiction world, it seems to make authors much more willing to throw significant problems at a character and makes solutions feel more earned. They can have their character die and repeat it, till they get it right. Who wants to write a time-loop fiction where the character doesn't die, right?

    I kind of expected that would be it, and that would be why it was so almost recommendable. Nothing commendable prose wise or character wise, but ultimately nothing particularly interesting beyond the appeal of it's main conceit.

    I was pleasantly surprised. Not by the prose, particularly. The 'copy-editness' (if that makes sense), was great for a fic of this length. A few spelling mistakes and fractured sentences in 80 chapters is always a nice treat. That said, his writing was not stylistically much to look at. Furthermore, canon character voice beyond Hermione (maybe? I've never been able to pin her down much in my head) was not a strength. It wasn't game breaking, but it wasn't noticeably good. Nor was his structure particularly impressive. I'm not saying, per say, that it was bad just that it was uninspired and workmanlike. Normally, it might not sustain me for x hundred thousand words.

    Thematically, he felt like he missed a couple of tricks. Most egregiously, Harry's arc seemed like it was building towards living in the moment in some tangible way, a direct contrast to his time-loop power. It progressed steadily, it recurred steadily, and the animagus transformation felt like he was on the cusp of something, and then in the final battle it didn't feel like it quite materialised. Certainly the epilogue had him living in the moment, and it felt like a worthwhile reward. But yes, there didn't seem to be a climax to the arc of his 'living as if your life is an illusion is worse than living in the moment'. Which is a real shame, because it was structured so well.

    Neville was stressed to be important but he ultimately didn't feel like he was part of the narrative moment. All the heft of normalising Harry and attaching him was borne by Hermione, and Sirius in part. Hermione did this well, as the narrative progressed, but at the start that didn't come across. I feel like, initially, actually all the other students got quite a shallow treatment. The mechanics of the time-loop meant you got some good moments for Harry's character out of Pucey and Wood, but in themselves not so much. Same as Colin.

    However, now that we've covered that. The real strength of this was Harry.

    I don't share the criticism that others did in that the first X many deaths felt out of nowhere. Maybe I'm just using a different bench mark of course. This time loop didn't have a set date reset like others might, however, I think he dies less than Bill Murray does in that one Groundhog Day montage, across the whole story. They become more infrequent and he never desires it to game the system. He fears death each and every time. I think one of the strongest decisions of this story was to slightly change the Voldemort stations of canon. You know that he has a little bit more support from the summary and first chapter and so throughout the story Harry's sense of paranoia feels justified (if not some of the weird things he does to be safe). He does feel genuinely damaged by these things, and his assessment of things lined up with my appreciation of what that had done to his character.

    To build suspense and stress through the POV of the MC, to feel his stress and paranoia and think it's reasonable. That was a real win.

    Furthermore, to then be willing to take away his one source of security with Voldemort. I really liked that. It felt like a game changer, and there was a real sense of dread as Harry tried to cling to alternate interpretations.

    I won't pretend this is a fantastic story, but I enjoyed it. I think others might enjoy reading it, even if it's not going to be something you come back to more than once, if that. I hope I explained why you might enjoy it, too.

    3.5/5 - rounded up.
     
  14. jjack1003

    jjack1003 Second Year

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    Just read the whole story over the weekend. I genuinely think it is 3.75 rounded up to a 4/5.

    Edge of tomorrow is one of my favorite movie, and it was very interesting to see it applied to Harry Potter world. Of course the difference being that Tom Cruise always went back to the same point. Considering Harry is a 10 yo when he gets killed the first time, it wouldn't make sense for him to have to re-live his childhood every time.

    However, I terms of the actual character I loved Harry's. I genuinely felt the fear, frustration and anger that he felt in his earlier years when he was just a young kid. Harry's death in the graveyard after Tom's resurrection and him becoming aware of the resets was the high point. It made me literally say Oh Shit!

    It didn't keep up though because Harry dying while trying to retrieve the ring in Little Hangleton with Dumbledore reset the timeline again. Hence docking 1 point and .25 for grammar mistakes. Hence 3.75 rounded up to 4/5
     
  15. RileyA

    RileyA Squib

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    One thing I noticed that's a theme in terms of weaknesses stated is to show more and tell less, but an argument can be made that this author does exactly that. There is nothing worse (to me) than barely having any description in a fic. This one seems to get cited for having too much, yet I'd argue that the details are precisely what make this one stand out amidst the plethora of awful fanfictions out there.

    The grammar here I just can't get hung up on either. It's a hobby for people writing so I can hardly dock long stories for having occasional mistakes. Unless we plan to start paying people for fanfics as a hobby you know?
     
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