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[Complete] The Sum of Their Parts by holdmybeer - M

Discussion in 'Dark Arts' started by mistermisstep, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. mistermisstep

    mistermisstep First Year

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    Title: The Sum of Their Parts
    Author: holdmybeer
    Rating: M
    Genre: none listed
    Chapters: 11
    Words: 143,267
    Updated: April 12, 2016
    Published: March 24, 2016
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: Dark Arts
    Pairings: none
    Summary: For Teddy Lupin, Harry Potter would become a Dark Lord. For Teddy Lupin, Harry Potter would take down the Ministry or die trying. He should have known that Hermione and Ron wouldn't let him do it alone.
    Links: FFN, Ao3


    This is a relatively new fic; however, the author states in his notes that the work is finished but he's posting it every other day until it is completely uploaded. What is currently posted seems a decent enough length to justify it for review instead of Almost Recommended. There's no listed genre, but if pressed, I'd say that it could fit into Drama/Friendship on FFN.

    The premise is an interesting twist on the usual Dark Harry fic because his motives for wanting power are, if not pure, then based in higher motives. He's becoming bad for good reasons. Hermione and Ron decide to help him, with caveats. According to author notes, there will be no pairings besides mentions of already-established ones. There is a moment between
    Harry and Ginny but that is quickly dealt with.
    The writing is technically good and readable. It's not complex, though it is engaging. The plot isn't what I would call fast-paced at two chapters in, but it's kept my interest -- and there is good reason for it, since Harry has to proceed about establishing himself very carefully.

    So far, Harry, Hermione, and Ron are the characters with the most presence, (aside from a canon character who might as well be an OC). The main three are in character and believable, which is highly refreshing. As far as the OC goes, the characterization and writing goes nowhere near Mary Sue territory. George, the fourth listed character on FFN, is also good.

    The biggest weakness seems to be the pacing and the relative lack of action right now. The story is currently simmering as the foundations of the plot are built, so it might be less than satisfying to some readers at two (very long) chapters in. Canon is the springboard for this fic, so it makes sense that things aren't delving straight into darkness right away. The Dark magic depicted isn't of the unrelentingly brutal variety -- I'd even go so far as to call it the lighter side of Dark magic -- but it's early days yet.

    In short, the decent writing and the interesting premise and plot show enough promise to keep an eye on this one. 3.5/5 for now, rounding up to a 4/5.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  2. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Alchemist

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    I will say that I haven't read it yet... but that summary has me intrigued as fuck.
     
  3. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    A little early to say, but this has the potential to be very good.
     
  4. LordValcoix

    LordValcoix Muggle

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    The story so far is quite good but its too early to give it a rating.Most stories which are similar are abandoned by authors because they can't add any originality without falling into a pitfall of cliches
     
  5. Clampert

    Clampert First Year

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    Yes this has a lot of potential. I don't see the big central conflict though.

    Sooner or later they are going to get over their moral hangups over what they are planning to do and swing into action, but than what? Battling Aurors and Death Eaters after killing Voldemort is a little anticlimactic.

    And if they don't get over the morality of the situation and every other chapter is angst over what they had to do it's just going to be a shit show.

    I will be keeping an eye on this, but with the full knowledge that it could fall down a cliff.
     
  6. deyas

    deyas Fifth Year

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    An interesting concept, and somewhat competently written, but almost certainly not going to be worthy of the library. The author has already started relying on the crutch of "volumes" of magic, and while I will give him credit for making an effort (at least 33k words in) to instill some moral conflicts within the story, I have a feeling this is going to get very bad, very quickly. And even if it doesn't, it's still going to be pretty much bog-standard almost recommended material. 3/5, with the potential to be 2/5.

    Edit: Oh, and we're already traveling down addictive Dark magic lane with this story. And the whole basis of the story revolves around a xenophobic, creature hating Ministry, despite Voldemort's defeat.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  7. Teyrn

    Teyrn Groundskeeper

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    Technically, it's not a creature hating Ministry, so much as it's the Wizengamot. At least, that's what I'm understanding of the story.

    Also, where's the addictive dark magic bits you're referring to? I must've skipped that part of the story so far.
     
  8. mistermisstep

    mistermisstep First Year

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    The author's update rate seems to be as promised because there's fresh material today.

    The plot in the third chapter is slightly less slow-going than the first two chapters, but only slightly. Everything is molasses at this point, but I can't complain too much since the chapters come out so quickly. On the bright side, it seems that things have moved from groundwork and into setting down the first bricks of the real meat of the story, so to speak, especially as Harry has made
    a future enemy in Bill Weasley and likely Shacklebolt as well.
    The part with the goblins has also veered in a direction I very much like. Having events like that makes the setting feel alive -- this isn't just about people reacting to what the main characters do. The spot-on characterization continues to be the best part of this fic; the author's Ron is particularly fun to read. I also enjoyed Harry's scene with a certain portrait.

    I really hope that the author pulls through with the premise of "turning Dark for good reasons" because it's one of the more interesting concepts I've seen in a while.

    Short version: promising story holds steady with my initial rating, but the pacing continues to be its main issue.
     
  9. Poisson.Distribution

    Poisson.Distribution Squib

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    It is certainly an interesting story, but I am somewhat concerned about the speed of development over the amount of content thus far. I'm not a fan of the >10,000 word chapters that end up accomplishing about the same amount as one far shorter. That being said, it seems to have a lot of potential, but I am not comfortable giving it a definitive rating this early. I'd like to see some more development, and I definitely want to see how the author handles the entire concept of Harry turning dark but not for malicious reasons, because that's a trope that seems to be rather more abused than used effectively.
     
  10. KingRoger

    KingRoger Second Year

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    I've finished the 3 chapters that are up now, and I'm loving it. Considering that most fics on DLP that have shaky start get better over time, I have high hopes for the ones that start strong. All that can go wrong is the story, so for now it's a 5/5 from me.
     
  11. Hachi

    Hachi Death Eater

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    Can't say I'm all that interested in this.

    The premise is basically that the Ministry is filled with incompetent and evil morons (come the fuck on, find something more original), then there's the whole Dark Arts are addictive thing and the extremely slow pacing of the story.

    The technical writing is sound, but apart from that...

    3 chapters in, not impressed. Right now, I'd rate it at 3/5, and it indeed has great potential. Potential to go downhill fast, that is. I could be wrong, though. We'll see.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  12. blizzarrrd

    blizzarrrd Fourth Year

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    There's only one sentence where the author mentions addiction in connection to Dark Magic: "Dark magic was addictive, and power even worse."

    I'm willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that they did not mean 'addictive' in the sense of a drug addiction, but (as the author writes) addictive/corrupting in the same way power is.

    I read all three chapters available at the moment, and for now I like the story well enough, but it definitely has its problems.

    I don't like the author's interpretation of a Dark Lord.
    In the story, 'Dark Lord' seems to be a recognised legal term. The Ministry even has a special kind of punishment (stripping off magic) for Dark Lords. At times, Harry is also called 'Dark Lord in the making' or 'Dark Lord to be', in a non-joking manner.

    Personally, I'd much prefer it if Harry just decided to go against the Ministry for whatever reason, and the term 'Dark Lord' was one establishing itself with time, instead of him deciding that he's going to be a Dark Lord.

    Another part I don't quite buy is the importance family has for Harry, in the authors opinion. It's mentioned more than once that Harry wants to keep the portrait because it's of a family member, and that this means so much to him, but I don't think canon Harry (after his experiences with the Dursleys, and the Weasleys) would put too much stock into blood relations. Not sure how important the portrait will be later on, but the reasoning behind Harry trusting it is not a good one in my opinion.

    What I like about the story is that Ron and Hermione, for now, stay by Harry's side, and are even somewhat well characterised. The Goblin storyline is also interesting, and the premise is one I've never seen executed, which is also a plus. At the moment I'd rate it 3/5, but I think I'll hold off until there are a few more chapters, and some action starts happening.
     
  13. deyas

    deyas Fifth Year

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    That one throwaway line is enough to make me fear for the future of this story, though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  14. mistermisstep

    mistermisstep First Year

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    There was another update yesterday. Chapter 4 has a serious uptick in terms of darkness and plot movement, to say nothing of action. By the end of this chapter, it's clear that Harry isn't fooling around about this Dark magic business. The pacing and writing are tighter. The setup part of the story seems to be finished with now and firmly moving into second act territory.

    So far, various characters and plot lines haven't been forgotten by the author, which can be a fatal flaw in many new stories. The goblin plot, Teddy, other outside events and non-main characters, etc., aren't mentioned (and promptly discarded) just to give flavor. George, one of the characters listed as a main on FFN, cements that status here. The way that he's used in the story is pretty interesting and I'm a bit more disturbed by him than Harry at this point.

    There's also no angst or whining about "going Dark," which is nice. The Luna bit felt slightly out of place, however. Not badly written, just discordant. The Ministry's reaction is a bit of a problem -- hopefully it'll tilt more in the direction of "these people are overwhelmed and recovering from corruption" than "wizards are incompetent morons!" when all is said in done. Something to keep an eye on, though.

    Overall, this one's an improvement. Not enough to move my 3.5 to a solid 4, but I could see that happening if the fic keeps trending in this direction.

    If this update is any indication of where the "addictive Dark magic" thing is headed, I think
    your assumption could turn out to be a good one.
    If not, I might end up with bad Buffy flashbacks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  15. Gene

    Gene Third Year

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    It's a much more gradual fall into darkness than any other story I've seen, and for that alone, I really like it.
     
  16. Timeturn098

    Timeturn098 Squib

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    Conceptually, I love it. But the chapters aren't engaging enough to keep me reading unless I read it all at once. It's not the type of story I can/am willing leave for a week and come back to pick it back up. I started with reservations and they were not unfounded. The little things really got me. "Ooo Harry, learn Occumency."/"magics just magic--grey magic!!"/Parsletounge/windless magic/ and every other chiché in the cookie jar. It was essentially the author naming all the little tools in Harry/Dora's backpack.
    The social justice aspect, too, felt forced.

    I enjoyed how Ron and Hermione stand as a united front with Harry but ehhgg---Again, Ron and Hermione appear to be nothing more than more Dora Tools that Harry collects. The fanfiction lost my intrreast/favor in the beginning after Hermione planed to draft an Unbreakable Bond. For some reason, more obvious than usual to me what the author is doing. (I.e. Hermione writes out bond = Hermione is on board) there is no subtlety. However, I carried on to Chapter 2. Toward the end of chapter 1, the story became tighter and overall, much better. The second chapter follows roughly the same pattern with a rocky start but a respectable finish.

    In sum, this here fic contains lengthy chapters filled with insignificant bits and bots that may or may not loosely ultimately tie together. If you can hang on and deal with the little plot seed plantings, you'll find yourself forgiving all the little, headache inducing details, and maybe even enjoying yourself.
    Regardless of the clichés, the author has a myriad of original ideas. I like the idea of a complete story and s/he seems to have a regular updating schedule. I adjusted to the writing style (eventually). All in all, it's a solid piece of writing.

    However, forgive but don't forget. 3/5.
     
  17. Teyrn

    Teyrn Groundskeeper

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    The story seems to have pretty solid writing so far.

    And for once it's been a relatively gradual descent to being a dark lord, rather than just some revelation or other and boom he's a dark lord overnight.

    I do think them throwing around the fidelius like they are is a bit cliché, and the story could be a lot better.

    Still, I'd rate it 4/5 for now. With that possibly going down depending on where the story goes.
     
  18. Anthares

    Anthares Squib

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    I think it would have been smoother if his Dark Lord days found their roots in a revolution. Harry, after defeating Voldemort, has pretty much the kind of popularity that Napoleon did in 1799, before he hauled all the powers to become an Emperor. People did call it out here and there but they weren't taken seriously. I think it would make more sense for Harry to set out to revolutionize Britain than to call himself a Dark Lord from the get go... And to mock the title others give him for a while before eventually accepting it as inevitable and a necessary evil.

    If you overlook the somewhat rushed start though, the rest of it is well thought out. I like the idea of... (I have no idea how to do those little spoiler buttons so nevermind)
    I'll just say some ideas are pretty good.

    Verdict: I think it's worth checking out, it has potential. 3/5 for me.
     
  19. Ignisami

    Ignisami Squib

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    I give it a 3/5.

    It has got several things going for it, specifically the solid writing and the gradual descent into darkness. Ron and Hermione standing with him while also keeping him in check (or at least trying to) starts off nice, but I feel they cave way too fast.

    Harry's descent into darkness takes a while, which is always a nice change of pace from good_guy-BAM-dark_lord over two hours or so. There's also no whining and angsting about going Dark, which is, again, a nice change of pace.

    It is full of original ideas, but there's more than enough room for several clichés to make their appearance, some of which have me extremely worried for the rest of the fic. None of them are major, except for the Wizengamot being xenophobic, but they pile up and grate.

    In all, it has promise, but it needs to seriously improve if it wants to earn a 3.5/5 or even a 4/5.
     
  20. Hakairyu

    Hakairyu First Year

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    Before I start with the ripping and the tearing, I would like to note that the concept was something I was looking for. Also that the grammar and style is up to par.

    First complaint; so we're looking at a Harry who decided nothing is off-limits and would become a Dark Lord, supported by the rest of the Trio in his unholy unethical quest. Except, well; the author has redefined the word Dark Lord to not mean what almost everyone in the bloody fandom would think it means. And neither of the 2/3s of the Golden Triumvirate have shown any change in character due to the hard decisions and moral dilemmas that they frankly haven't even faced. Nor has Harry despite killing people. Harry's distaste in the immoral is handled by... Harry nervously gulping at things until the next paragraph! Where he has completely settled things, or, well, is experiencing the longest instance of shock and this all will come crashing down upon him when his mind is finally finished processing it 2 months later. The whole story is based upon the idea that Harry wants to take over to fix things, but he's playing the temporary vigilante. Harry is not leading or organising a rebellion, he's just killing former Death Eaters I would assume half the bloody country would not mind seeing dead. He's not doing distasteful things for an end goal he perceives as just and sacrificing more and more of his ideals in the process, which is what a descent in this context should be. Any distasteful things he has done so far? Written in such a way that it feels like the rest of his vigilantism, unexciting and justifiable to the mob-rule oriented mind.

    Second complaint; I loved the part where Harry hasn't done anything to amass supporters; an army if you will, influential or powerful people who are inclined towards his ideas if you won't; before he declared war. That's not Dark Lordship, that's just plain stupid. Harry thought of this idea with 3 people on his side, he made himself into a legal outcast with 5. You would think a Dark Lord would not have announced himself to the whole bloody world without having prepared completely, especially if the author defines a Dark Lord as someone who wishes to overthrow current government.

    Third complaint; see, I don't mind it when an author pans out their story if it updates quickly. I could have accepted all of these problems if only I could assume the descent would come later, all the intrigue and hard calls and actual battle, as I have. It doesn't. I first thought of this problem some chapters ago where the author stated this would be 10-11 chapters or some such figure. Now, after reading chapter 9 and getting suitably inebriated to write a review; we have read 118k words out of the author's professed 133k words. Bear in mind this story was pre-written and the 133k figure is as accurate as it can get. Also bear in mind, the author has expressed preference towards 15k-long chapters. That means one last chapter. And nothing of value was written so far.

    I read 100k words of nothing, in hopes that it would actually lead to somewhere. I now have mathematical confirmation that it won't. 2/5, I may consider raising it to 3/5 if the story gets anywhere 2 days from now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016