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WIP Touched by the Arcane by lisbeth00 - HP/Bloodborne

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Download, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. Download

    Download Auror ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    High Score:
    Title: Touched by the Arcane
    Author: lisbeth00
    Rating: Explicit - Author seemed to have overrated the story. It's M in my book. E is for smut or sex heavy stories.
    Genre: Lovecraftian horror, mystery
    DLP Category: Alternates or Dark Arts
    Pairing: HP/HG
    Status: Work in Progress (200k words)

    To quickly summarise, when Fem!Harry goes to sleep she wakes up in Yharnam, and when she goes to sleep in Yharnam she wakes up at Hogwarts. The story is very dark. The author previously wrote a Fem!Harry/Fleur fic with a number of terrible tropes in it such as MoB!Dumbledore, this does not have that issue.

    The story follows two main plotlines: one is trying to figure out Yharnam from the "dream" side, and the other is Yharnam from the Hogwarts side and what it's relationship to the "real" world is. Dumbledore eventually becomes heavily involved in this and is pretty spot on in characterisation if you ask me. Much of the real world plot focuses on the trauma that is Yharnam and how Catherine deals with it. I think it's pretty reasonable in relationship to her experiences there.

    A more spoilery discussion:

    Voldemort is also a Dreamer and has visited Yharnam in the past. The author clearly has something in mind in relation to how this shaped Voldemort and so far has been quite intriguing.

    I've held off from reccing this until the story showed more crossing over than just the scars Catherine carries, which it has now done.

    My only real criticism is how long the story is. I suspect it could have been trimmed in places.

  2. Testamentary

    Testamentary First Year

    Feb 8, 2017
    High Score:
    I haven’t fully caught up with this, and I’m not entirely sure I will do so. It’s actually quite an interesting premise, and the author executes it well structurally speaking, but by the time I got 20 or 30 chapters in, the story had become well and truly a slog. I think the author’s lack of confidence to stray from the gameplay path of Bloodborne is the main contributor to this. I’ve played Bloodborne before, so I know what’s coming, and also the ambiance/environmental storytelling of the Soulsborne games doesn’t really carry over into text.

    Also, the “Lovecraftian” part of Lovecraftian Horror really isn’t there for me—the story’s main horror elements are more slasher than eldritch, because damn there’s a lot of gore. If the author’s intent was to make me sit back at least once every few chapters and go, “hm that’s gross,” then they’ve succeeded.

    I agree that Dumbledore’s characterization is good, though he definitely seems to have deeper affections for Harry than canon. I also like Ron’s characterization a lot, and Harry’s characterization actuals handles her being a hella traumatized teenager reasonably well. Snape’s characterization is shit and it makes it very hard for me to take his character seriously.

    As it stands, the pacing is just too glacial to keep my attention, despite the writing being technically solid and the core concept being interesting. This is a 2.5/5 for me, though it could easily be a 3 or 3.5 if the author wrote about 40% less of it.
  3. Mal'sSerenity

    Mal'sSerenity Second Year

    Apr 16, 2017
    High Score:
    My big gripe about this story is the portrayal of Gehrman. In Bloodborne Gehrman had issues and had been involved in some messed up stuff, sure, but he is also willing to suffer in the Dream for eternity so that no one else would have to. At the end of the game he fights to mercy kill you and keep you from taking his place even though death and being freed from his curse is what he wants more than anything.

    In here though, the author portrayed Gehrman as this cruel old man who took an offer from the Moon Presence to make Catherine take his place out of spite for, among some other things that are almost as stupid, the horrible crime of treating the Doll like a person, something that I highly doubt canon Gehrman would have cared about in the slightest.

    One commentator on AO3 put it best; the author took the bashing of Dumbledore that she had in her other story and transfered it to Gehrman instead. Which is a darn shame because if it weren't for that I would have really liked this. It really brought Yharnam and its characters to life and did an amazing job at showing the effects Yharnam had on Catherine, as well as portraying the eldritch natures of the Great Ones. Her reaction to seeing Kos was one of the best examples of "going mad from the revelation" that I have ever seen and her increasing savagery and inhumanity along with the effects it had on her relationships with other people was on point.

    Unfortunately, this is dragged down by the pointless bashing of Gehrman and some slow pacing so I can't give this more than a 3/5.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022