Sekhmet’s Book – by Bellatrix

Book 1, Sekhmet’s Book –
Book 2, Sekhmet’s Rule –

Rating: Troll (Because it’s an UNFINISHED FIC that somehow ended up on a completed list)

The Basics: Phoenix Era, Romance, 150k,

Warnings: NC-17, Pregnancy, Original Characters

THIS FIC IS UNFINISHED!  I am so enraged that I spent this long reading the fic only to find a cliffhanger at the end of Book 1, and an unfinished Book 2.  This should not have even been included here, but I read it because it was on Harmony_Bite’s ‘Completed OOTP Epics.’  She considered it completed because Book 1 was completed, I guess, but because it completes in a cliffhanger…yeah.  Not really complete. The author goes out of her way to write ‘COMPLETE!’ in both the summary and the link itself (seriously, look above!) but it’s not complete AT ALL, because the ending is just like any other chapter! Why would she do this? What a waste of my (and hopefully not your) time.) I suppose I will review it anyway, now that we’re here.

Many years after the fall of Voldemort, Professor Granger and Professor Snape must work together to combat a dark artifact threatening the Hogwarts students and staff.

Right off the bat, there was a huge strike against this fic for me – Hermione and Snape are already in a happy steady relationship when the fic STARTS.  What?  For me, my favorite part of SSHG is watching them fall in love reluctantly, watching them oh-so-slowly come together.  To start off in a relationship eliminates most of the reason I would even be reading this fic.  But because the writing seemed decent, I decided to continue on.

This is a very slow fic.  The ‘warplot’ is just about non-existant in the first third of Book 1.  For the second third, there is a ‘tragic misunderstanding’ that is super annoying and hard to read.  Which lasts for AGES.  The final third picks up a bit, only to end in a huge cliffhanger.  Book 2 is unfinished.  The overall story is really dragged down by pointless (though interesting) original characters and little subplots that are introduced for seemingly no reason except to extend the action, which is really annoying.  This all sounds terribly negative; but there are still some redeeming qualities to this fic.

What this fic misses in the ‘big picture’ it makes up for in details.  The writing is very readable.  It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s pretty good for fic-quality writing.  Hermione and Snape are both relatively in character.  The dark artifact and the ideas of the warplot are interesting and fairly original.  I loved the idea of ancient Egyptian Dark Magic – I had not heard or thought of that before.  The original characters are well-conceived and believable, if a little useless to the overall plot.

The big problem with this fic is simply the lack of planning; the scatter-brained ness of each character and each plotline.  If the erroneous plotlines and characters were cut out, this would be a very short fic.  There might not be anything left.  Major and minor plots almost ALL felt pointless – because they were unrelated to the main plot.  Everytime a new character or subplot was introduced, I felt annoyed.  It felt like an artificial extension; padding.  A good fic’s plot should feel organic and page-turning; this was the opposite.  It took me almost a week to read.  It’s like stream of consciousness story plotting – whatever popped into the writer’s head was inserted into the story.  It’s unusual to have such high quality writing paired with such scattered ideas.

The bottom line:  The writing is good, the story plotting isn’t.  Read this if you love epic-length fics and are willing to put up with lots of padding and plot-stretching.  Read it for the smut, read it for a few original ideas.  Skip it if you must have a satisfying romantic arc and a well-structured story.  SKIP IT IF YOU LIKE TO READ COMPLETED FICS.


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