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WIP The Merging by Shaydrall - T

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by dhulli, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. dhulli

    dhulli The Reborn

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    Title: The Merging
    Author: Shaydrall
    Rating: 4/5
    Genre: Adventure/Romance
    Status: Regularly updated (at 200k words right now)
    Library Category: Romance
    Summary: Post GoF. The Dementor attack on Harry leaves him kissed with his wand broken in an alleyway. In a body that once housed two souls, only one remains, and it's not exactly what began either. With no understanding of what has happened to him, what else can he do but keep moving forwards, forced by a fate he never wanted, fighting for a life he never got to live. And fight he will.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9720211/1/The-Merging

    This apparently used to be a lot more cliche ridden than it actually is and the author went through and did a major edit to remove those. I've only read the edited version as of this posting so I can't speak for how bad it used to be. It came up on Almost Recc and I didn't really think I'd even read it but I have and I'll tell you why I think you all should read it.

    It's your regular post gof fic and you'll see some cliche's but it never stays on them and the author has enough talent to move past them before you have the time to facepalm yourself at how cliche'd it is. Moving beyond the cliche's, there's some interesting concepts here as far as the magic goes, nothing too AU except for the premise and the plot is intriguing but not something to write home about.

    So as a generic post gof fic with the occasional grammar errors and cliches thrown in between, some intriguing plot points but still, the story is just so goddamn readable, I found myself spending all day reading it (and that rarely happens with fanfics nowadays) I would have rated it 3/5. A very readable guilty pleasure fic...

    but...

    the romance in this fic is intriguing. The biggest AU here is probably Harry's personality change. Which makes him a whole lot more readable, especially his interaction with women. The characters are more fleshed out. There's some nuance to their interactions. Harry's interaction with every girl isn't the same. There's substance to the romance in this fic that was so severely lacking in JKR's Harry Potter. Usually when reading fanfics, I don't give two shits about who he ends up dating (unless it's Fleur) but here, and I don't even know how the author accomplished it, I found myself genuinely interested about who he would end up dating. And despite it all, it never goes into any sort of sappy territory. And the story also has some genuine moments like the first time he visits his parents graves. The plot starts to pick up in the later chapters as well.

    tl:dr; Harry isn't some caricature and there's believable and intriguing character interactions.

    4/5
     
  2. Darth Disaster

    Darth Disaster The Waking Sith Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm actually really fond of this.

    Yeah, there are a fair few cliches, even after the cliche-snipping, but the ones that are there are less prominent and aren't played straight a lot of the time.

    I've got it on follow and enjoy reading the updates quite a bit. I certainly enjoy the author's take on The Power The Dark Lord Knows not.

    This is a 4 for the purposes of voting because I enjoy it despite the cliches.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  3. samkar

    samkar Temporarily Banhammered

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    The actual "plot" and details are paper thin. They lack meaning. It's nice to read but there is no substance. Let's start with the trunk cliche. I have nothing against buying a powerful trunk because it makes sense to help him at least at the Dursleys.

    It becomes a cliche if you blow up the gimmick in some often read exposition. But in this story it's even worse. Why get this top of the line trunk if it isn't used accordingly? It has no meaning.

    Or the whole Tonks angle makes no sense to me. In OOTP Tonks is introduced when they get him from the Dursleys with her prank on them. We see some personal relation getting built up. But in this story he never met her that way. He had the meeting with the Dementor and then gets transported to Grimauld. No personal build up.

    But "suddenly" they are "best" friends. Why? Because the writer said so. The same syndrome with the sudden girl friend soap at Hogwarts. There are some ideas which would be interesting to see the writer develop but it doesn't really happen. IMHO this whole story is based on dropping gimmicks, cliches and tropes into it because there is no real backbone concept. No real goal.

    This is not library worthy even when there's a drought out there and you bitches are desperate. Have some pride, dammit.
     
  4. Darth Disaster

    Darth Disaster The Waking Sith Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It's slow going in development, but that doesn't mean there's no plot and no substance. Both have been developing progressively as the story goes on, just not at the break-neck pace DLP is used to/generally prefers.

    It's stated in the Author's profile that he feels he's only about 1/4th to a 1/3rd into the story. That's still set up time. If the Climax of the story rolls around and there's still several unfired Chekhov's Guns, I'll agree with you, but right now the elements are still all being introduced.

    Err, no? Not 'suddenly'. Have you been skimming? I suspect you of skimming. They aren't "Best" Friends anywhere in the first half of the fic. Harry reserves that thought for Hermione and Ron.

    There are a couple sort of tell-y parts that give some of the details of how they meet and get to know each other, but while the relationship isn't the most realistic I've ever read, it's not nearly as paper thin as you make it out to be.

    This is a fair opinion, but I still have to disagree, and think you're not giving the story a fair shake.

    The Merging isn't exactly the most creative story (read, it's not really very creative at all). But the way it's written and the content between the cliches that are used is enjoyable, nonetheless.

    That doesn't make it bad, either, and there are more than a couple stories in the library I would say are objectively worse.

    The Merging, was, for me, a fun, light read. And I'm pretty sure it's meant to be taken that way.

    It's even categorized as an Adventure/Romance on ffnet, if that doesn't tell you 'light hearted' I don't know what will.

    That said, I'm a fan of Indy!Harry, and have a higher tolerance for some tropes/cliches of that sort than others. Still, it's a 4.0 as of the most recent updates in my book.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  5. Andro

    Andro Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    This makes it sound interesting, but I keep getting bogged down in the first chapter. Does this actually cause significant change, give rise to mystery, or is it just a fakeout?
     
  6. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Numerous cliches, though they are not as eye catching as usual. The story is kinda sorta nice.

    The only cliche I cannot stomach is the spamming of the phrase 'Ice Queen'. Ugh.

    Decent time waster, but not good enough for the Library.
     
  7. Stormey

    Stormey Groundskeeper

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    Its a fakeout. All it does it make him uber powerful as far as magic is concerned.

    Still, I enjoyed it enough to give it 4/5. I like lighthearted fics that are written well enough.
     
  8. 0jordinio0

    0jordinio0 Seventh Year

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    ...I'm not sure what to rate this story. It's decent enough, but some of the story is just terrible. The summary doesn't relate to jack in the actual story, because nothing in Harry actually changed except for his new uber magic powers. Then there's the trunk crap as mentioned earlier aswell as all the Ice Queen bullshit about Daphne. Hell, the guy even took away canon Harry's most endearing trait - his amusing wit at times. And he apparently gifted it to Malfoy because halfway in the story Malfoy makes Harry look like a fool with words alone.

    Still though, I would have rated it a 3/5, possibly a 3.5 and round up to a 4 if it weren't for the latest chapter. Good god was it sappy and stupid. And then Harry went and asked out Daphne completely disregarding earlier plot happenstances. All because James and Lily wrote him a few letters? Letters that he found at fucking Godrics Hollow at that. So moronic and badly written it was unreal. And then we have Hermione's parents appearing in Grimmauld place and acting as if their opinion matters in anyway shape or form and the random OC love interest for Sirius that plays no significant role whatsoever except for a possibly cheering Sirius up cuz he has a decent looking chick to bone and keep his mind off of his loneliness because Harry is at school.

    As it is after the newest chapter the story was killed for me. I wouldn't even rate it a 2/5 now. But I'll withhold judgement until the next chapter is posted to see if he can salvage it.
     
  9. Drisful

    Drisful Fifth Year DLP Supporter

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    It's just a poor plot device used to make Harry's power level reach maximum, as well as make him more social, driven and intelligent. Which is a retarded way to write the fusing of Voldemort's horcrux and Harry's soul, but what can you do.

    The first few chapters are a chore, in every sense of the word, and it doesn't really get any better.
    Instead of leaving the cliches and generic indy shit in the tedious opening, the writer focuses more on character interactions between the new and improved Harry and his troupe of bitches in an attempt to cast aspersions on the utter lack of plot thus far whilst simultaneously recycling even more bullshit into each chapter.

    Though to my understanding a plot is in the winds, I can't see this going anywhere other than the recycle bin the way it is now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  10. Hero of Stupidity

    Hero of Stupidity Villain of Sensibility Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I just finished reading it. It's so avarafe that I can't find words describing it. 90% of the time nothing happens. Also I think I read at least 5 other fics with the same premise.

    meh/5
     
  11. invinoveri

    invinoveri Third Year

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    Got to chapter 4. This is boring and it has nothing that anyone here hasn't read 10x before.
     
  12. Darth

    Darth Third Year

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    I couldn't even get past the first chapter without starting to skim (bye bye goblin scene), there was just too many boring clich├ęs or bashing of things. The second chapter seemed like an improvement though, but it's disappointing that the premise of the story results in nothing but a one-dimensional power boost.
     
  13. Invictus

    Invictus Prisoner

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    So many damn cliches in the first 3 chapters tha I just gave up. I will rate 3/5 because the writing is good, but the contet has been done to death and he took Harry's personality away.
     
  14. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

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    The first 3 chapters are horrendous. Absolutely god awful.

    After that, the story tip-toes around some cliches and barely scrapes by them, but that doesn't make it impressive either. Ron is a jealous and small-minded fool, but he and Harry don't immediately have a falling out and instead, continue making their friendship work. Harry realizes he doesn't have friends outside of Ron and Hermione, but doesn't immediately blow them off.

    Still, it dives head-first into a lot of other cliches. Gringotts tomfoolery, empancipation, Auror training, newly special crafted wand, flirty Tonks, icequeen daphne, etc. There's no real drama here. All of the old issues are solved by these changes to canon but no new ones arise to take their place. Umbridge is a minor annoyance because he skips class. His trial is waived because he's emancipated. All of his relationship issues seem to be solved (so far) because he's wiser than before and knows better how to navigate social situations (presumably because Tonks is so great at getting him out of his shell).

    The only real conflict that arises is his issue with his magic, which isn't much of an issue. On the one hand, he has random outbursts of accidental magic. On the other, this simple potion Snape brews up limits the effects of the outbursts while also stretching his magical muscles! The only downside? He can't use magic well in the mornings. That's an interesting plot point that really only ever comes up again when the author decides to remind us of it...through Harry's dialogue with other characters. In fact, at no point in this story has Harry actually needed to use magic. The few times he does? It's conveniently afternoon or later.

    Also...the potion doesn't stop the outbursts when he actually needs them as an asspull to salvage a situation. Can't contain his temper when meeting Umbridge? Just have the supermagic! scare her off and burn her hand and have Dumbledore deal with the effects. It was just an accident; didn't you see the accidental magic?

    That seems to be really the only effect of the "merging" of his soul. He gets powerlevel9000! and nothing else. He interacts with the tiara in chapter 10 and he is drawn to it, but nothing else really happens there. It's unclear what the actual effects of the merging are besides the wackymagic. There are a few moments where you wonder if this amazingly new social, confident, driven, and intelligent Harry are results of the merging. If these changes are a part of the horcrux, it's very subtle. As in, so subtle I'm pretty sure I imagined them. It's only scenes like the one where Harry attacks Malfoy, Nott, Crabbe, and Goyle out of the blue at Hogsmeade and then later wonders what drove him to do it that hint at an actual intended change on the author's part instead of a drastically OOC Harry resulting from poor writing.

    But really, all of that would be forgivable if the plot actually did something. It's a canon-rehash that's very very very slow. At chapter 14 (I'd say about 160k words?) I'm in October and nothing of interest has happened. The technical writing quality improves a lot past the first few chapters, even if Harry and most side characters (besides the villains, of course) retain the spaghetti-western like quality of always having a cute one-liner to shoot off. Except none of them are funny or cute. The most enjoyable part of the fic is Harry's relations with the ladies, which aren't even done that well. But instead of instantly falling in love with someone, Harry is attracted to and flirts with many girls like a 15 year old would.

    But once again, nothing happens. If you can bite down and take it for a few chapters (it took me 4 separate attempts to read this past the first chapter), it can become a decent time-waster that won't make your eyes bleed, but in no way does it even compare to library quality material. There are some library fics from 2005 that you might look back at and think, "God this is shit" and they are still better than this. This would get a 2.0 from me in the almost recommended thread, but that would be under the context of rating it as a time-waster.

    Nothing happens, nothing new or interesting is attempted in this fic, nothing is really done well in this fic, and the writing isn't superb.

    Library quality? No, 0/5.

    It's a bad story regardless of where you put it. It's not a romance, it's an action/adventure romance. More accurately, its genre is "time waster" because that's all it does well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  15. dhulli

    dhulli The Reborn

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    I put this up for review under Romance for a reason. I feel like people are going into this story for the wrong reasons.
     
  16. Drisful

    Drisful Fifth Year DLP Supporter

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    I have trouble taking the romance aspect seriously when Harry literally made a categorized list of all the potential women in his life.
    Hell, I have trouble taking the entire fic seriously, which is why it should never make it into the library under any category other than comedy.
     
  17. melior

    melior Seventh Year

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    Just finished reading through Chapter 16 (200k words) and instead of starting from scratch I saved all the good stuff from Churchey's post to highlight them.

    The magic flaring and suppressor potion is particularly poorly used. The only remotely bad thing that comes from it, Ginny being injured, happens offscreen so we don't even know what happened.

    Also, the post above gives the author too much credit...the scene where Harry attacks Malfoy et al is literally the only scene where we get a hint that his behavior is off from the supposed Merging. I bet the author would argue that Harry's short temper (remarked upon several times throughout the story) is part of it, too, but canon Harry is angry enough in book 5 that it doesn't feel OOC to me at all.

    Maybe I'm just too old and far removed from it, but the flirting doesn't feel particularly real to me in many places, I think because the author is trying to pass it off as Harry not being aware he's doing it. Actually, I think the worst part is that his interactions with Daphne are often far too contrived, and of course that looks like who he'll be dating (first, anyway). His interactions with Hermione and Tracey are far more natural and interesting to me.

    And as for the writing, it is mostly solid, but he mixes up "your" and "you're" (and similar) several times, which automatically lowers the quality several notches for me.
     
  18. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

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    No I definitely agree on the romance part. I only gave it points for being one of the few stories that doesn't shoehorn in a pairing immediately.

    Seems like most authors write with a pairing in mind and the story pushes towards that from the beginning and the interactions otherwise fall flat. In most stories, there are two women in the entire story: [pairing character] and everyone else. That or there's the harem which is retarded or wank material or both. In this fic, Harry realistically flirts with everyone because they are there and that's how teenage boys act (I was one and now I teach them). Keep in mind though, when I say realistic, what I mean is that the fact that there is flirting occuring is a realistic detail, not that the actual flirting is in anyway realistic, good, or intriguing.

    I gave the story some points for that realism because it's a rarer trait for me to see in stories, but you're completely right on the fact that the flirting is often contrived, completely OOC, not particularly engaging, and not worth writing home to the library review board about.
     
  19. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Alchemist

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    Lol. This story just introduced its own version of "Lady Hogwarts." Any good will I had towards it, gone.
     
  20. Mordart

    Mordart Sixth Year

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    The Lady Hogwarts is the most awesome idea ever!

    /sarc

    Yeah, shedding some tears for a story that had potential. The writing is still good, just the idea's seem to make me cringe in agony. I mean I could understand a partially sentient Hogwarts like the Goblet or Sorting Hat. Not the god-forsaken "Lady Hogwarts trains Harry" idiocy though.