Posts Tagged ‘Fanfic Review’

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Summary

  • When Professor Snape heals Hermione’s injuries after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, they are both surprised by what they learn. The two must work together to help Harry defeat Lord Voldemort.
  • Sequel to Phoenix Song or, Hermione Granger and the H-BP . By the time of Dumbledore’s death, Hermione and Snape had worked together for a whole year. Now, however, they both have very different and very difficult tasks ahead of them.
  • The battle against Voldemort is over, yet little has returned to normal. Once again, Severus Snape finds himself reluctantly cast as the protector of the wizarding world, with Hermione Granger his tireless ally.

Word Count: 100 839, 120 256, 195 399 (TOTAL WORDAGE: 416 949 – yes, almost half a million words.)

My Review:

This is a trilogy, and I’m reviewing them all together because I’m too lazy to write up a review for all three – and also because if you only read one, you are missing out on the full Phoenix experience. You should note that the first two books are fully compatible with HBP and DH, while the third one functions as a sequel.

Okay this is actually my second time reading this particular trilogy. I’m not, as a rule, much of a rereader – I can just about handle rereading some of my absolute faves once a year, but that’s it – and I read this fic, according to the review I left on ff.net, in May. Of this year. Of course in between I’ve read almost every SSHG fic over 100k words in the entire fandom (except for the ones that were rubbish) and I’d managed to conflate this fic with another one somehow – I was convinced that this was one of the ones where Snape and Hermione managed to stay in contact throughout DH, but then later I realised that I was probably thinking of Camarado, which I would reread, except it has a cliffhanger ending that frustrates me no end.

So, what can I tell you about this fic?

Well, first of all, if you like pining, you’ll like this. Snape and Hermione spend literally two and a half books pining for each other. He steals her hair! She keeps his hankie! (okay she also uses the hankie, which I’m pretty sure is not covered by the Rules of Romance, but still) I’m not even kidding, guys, this is Sherlock-level pining. No, scratch that, Sherlock‘s got nothing on this. At one point, right, he has to massage her hands to help her magic recover, and he has completely inappropriate thoughts and feelings about the whole business, and feels like a disgusting creep about it all because she’s his student and he’s supposed to be helping her, not lusting after her like some kind of pervert! And meanwhile Hermione is over there basically chewing off her lip trying to stop herself from moaning his name, and feeling like an utter creep because he’s her professor, dammit, and he doesn’t feel about her like that, and how disgusting is she that she’s getting this worked up just because he’s trying to help her.

If, by this brief description, you come to the conclusion that they’re both kind of stupid about each other, you wouldn’t be far wrong. The romance is beautifully done and comes to a glorious finale where everyone confesses their love for everyone else, and Cornelius Fudge looks like a tit. It’s long as balls though, so if you’re looking for them to be confessing their love by the second chapter you’re doomed to disappointment. The romance is about 90% desperately unspoken mutual pining, 5% ‘I know you love me and I love you, but I don’t think you know I love you back and this is a problem’ and 5% ‘I’m so noble I’m never going to say anything about my feelings, because they’ll never feel the same way about me’.

The plot is excellent as well. I mean, basically the plot of this fic is completely compatible with both DH and HBP, so there’s no reason why you couldn’t just decide that this is what was going on in the background during the last two books.

The Arithmancy in this fic is magnificent – it’s beautifully done and excellently used – it never becomes a crutch for the story but serves, almost always, to clarify something the characters should already have known.

AND NOW, THE STAR OF THE SHOW: Joscelin.

I do not, as a rule, like OCs much. I’m not, you might say, a fan of the theory. But this character? Her I love. First introduced as a blank-faced Slytherin first-year, Joscelin comes properly to Snape’s attention when he discovers that she’s blocking her magic, and Poppy gives him two weeks to solve the problem before Poppy will be forced to send her to St. Mungo’s. I’m not going to tell you much more about her, except that she’s clever, funny, interesting, and an utter badass. She could be a Mary Sue, but I love her too much.

I have a few minor quibbles with the fic, but those are mostly stylistic. I feel, for example, that once Hermione has shifted to calling Snape by his first name, the only reason she would revert to calling him Snape or Professor, would be if she was angry at him. The name thing is one of the few real issues I have with this author – and oddly enough, she only does it with Snape’s name. Snape’s usage of Hermione/Miss Granger/Granger follows a clear pattern – he uses Miss Granger when trying to distance himself, Granger when they’re being casual and relaxed, and Hermione at moments of great emotion. Hermione’s use of his name, however, has no pattern. She calls him Snape in her head sometimes, and Severus out loud sometimes…it’s terribly confusing.

The author also occasionally refers to ‘Snape’ when writing from SS’s point of view. This may be a matter of opinion, but I’ve always felt that, when writing from a character’s point of view, it establishes a vital empathy with that character when you refer to them by their first name. So when you refer to Snape as Snape when writing from his POV, you’re creating a sense of distance – which I don’t think the author was trying to do here.

NOTE: The author promised an Epilogue to Hermione Granger and the Elder Wand back in 2013, which has not materialised. I don’t feel that its lack really affects the story – it feels beautifully complete to me, but ymmv.

Verdict: Why are you here, reading this, instead of over there somewhere, reading that? Go, go, GO!

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I’m thinking I should write some. I read a lot of fanfic – lot of fanfic, and since discovering the sshgreview blog, I’ve been thinking that there may be a need for more of those. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with sshgreview, and I’ve been using their blog to guide my own reading, but since I’m apparently incapable of finishing a longfic I thought that this was a way that I could contribute to fandom as well (sad to say, I never thought that writing reviews of fanfic might be counted as a contribution until I started looking for epic Harry Potter fics to read. Shortly afterwards I came to revere reviewers and reccers as something akin to minor gods.)

I also have very strong opinions about fanfic and the urge to share them with the world, and it becomes awkward trying to tell my sister about what an excellent Snape characterization this fic or that one had when her default reply is ‘But Jagged, you know I hate Snape, why are you talking to me about this?’ or trying to explain how Sherlock was completely out of character in that fic when she’s only ever seen up to ASiB.

I’m not saying that Eyes Only will be solely a fanfic review blog from now on, although it should be noted that other than the final Farseer book I haven’t read an original work in about six months.

I will, however, be posting reviews of (and links to) the fanfic I’ve been reading recently. For the moment, I’ll probably be posting mostly Harry Potter reviews, since Sherlock broke my heart and drove me back into the welcoming arms of the Hogwarts crowd.

Almost all my HP ships involve Snape in some way, although my favourite is Snape/Hermione. I like Harry/Snape too, upon occasion, but prefer Harry/Draco.

If there’s a fic you think I’d like to read, please don’t hesitate to point me in its direction.

NOTE: I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to writing. I don’t have the patience for badly-written tripe, and unless someone I respect has recced a fic, I rarely read past the first chapter if it doesn’t look good. This has almost made me lose out on some really good fics (I never would have made it through Pet Project’s rather dodgy first chapter if it wasn’t recced all over the show) but on the whole I find that’s a price I’m willing to pay for what remains of my sanity.

What does this mean for my reviews? It means that unless the author shits all over the story in the final chapter and enrages me beyond belief, you will probably never see a bad review on my blog. If I don’t like a story, I won’t read it – I’m not a saint, and I have better things to do with my time than wrestle with migraine-inducing grammar or terrible characterization.

If I bother to review a fic, you can assume that it’s because I liked it. If something went wrong and I do a bad review, I’ll tell you, and I’ll tell you why too. That’s the best I can do.