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I just have to share this - dorsetgirl
July 9th, 2012
03:49 pm
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I just have to share this
I don’t often do recs, but I think I’ve got to on this: if you want a well-written Harry Potter gen story that respects canon and goes one better, clear the decks for about eight to ten hours, and read Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness, which tells us what Neville Longbottom and the DA were doing while Harry, Ron and Hermione were spending a year camping.

This was apparently the writer’s first story ever, which I honestly find extremely difficult to believe - the prose is clear and clean and assured, the plotting and attention to detail are astonishing, and I lost count of the times I found myself laughing or gasping and saying “Oh, that’s why...” before catching myself and realising that it wasn’t why at all, it was just a fic-writer’s guess as to why. It also had me in tears on many, many occasions.

This story explains so many things - even maybe things you hadn’t quite realised needed explaining - and dovetails so seamlessly with canon that from where I’m sitting right now, having spent much of Friday and today reading this story, it almost feels like this is canon, and JK’s own story is a light gilding on top. (As I’ve been re-reading the books anyway, and am currently halfway through Half-Blood Prince, it will be very interesting to see how I feel about that view once I get back into JK’s own work.)

Having several years ago written - on a much smaller scale - a story which needed to fit with and explain canon in a similar way to this fic, I understand to a certain degree what’s involved in such an undertaking, and I can’t begin to guess at how much planning and analysis the writer has put into making everything in this story work so brilliantly.

The only jarring note is the clearly American tinge to the writing. Don’t get me wrong, grammar and punctuation are excellent, and there are thankfully few of the more blatantly American uses of various past tenses. But there are small oddities and giveaways all the way through; I could live with them in narrative, even if they did jolt me out of the story occasionally, but I found the constant little spikes of awareness rather more irritating in dialogue, because for me they undermined the solid work the writer has done on characterisation. I think a good firm Brit-picking could have raised this from excellent to perfect.

In conclusion - read it! But be warned, it’s 247,000 words altogether, and the violence and gore of the final battle are significantly more graphic than in the books.

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(3 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:July 10th, 2012 11:42 am (UTC)
Holy crap. 250,000 words??? Yet clearly if I was ready for another dose of Harry, this would be it.
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Date:July 11th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
It really is excellent. I'm reading the books right through again atm and I was halfway through Half-Blood Prince when I discovered this fic. Leaving the book to go to the fic, and coming back to HBP after, gave no sense of disconnect at all.
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From:Andrew Blake
Date:August 3rd, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)

Thank you

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I wrote it in five weeks while I was living in my car without any kind of beta, and I've given a lot of thought as to whether I should "clean it up", not only for nitpicks, but typos and things like that. I decided, however, that they don't detract significantly from the story overall, and to me personally, they are like little scars that stand to remind me where I was and what I was going through when I accomplished this thing that I'm proud of, so I've decided to let them stay.

In the four years since I wrote it, the Daydverse has grown hugely to have one and a half novel-length sequels, almost 100 short stories and novellas from me, hundreds from other fans, its own fandom, over 200 illustrations, a community, and a LOT of other stuff. Would you be interested in links?
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