Rating: Acceptable Minus
The Basics: Phoenix Era, Romance/Action, 300k
Warnings: Sexual Content (might be missing some, I didn’t read the whole story)
WARNING: PARTIAL REVIEW
As with many of my low-rated fic reviews, I only read about halfway into this story before skimming to the end.
If anything in my review is inaccurate or misconceived as a result, please feel free to let me know and I will amend my review.
The Dark Lord gives Severus Snape an assignment to seduce Hermione Granger. Snape readily agrees, but in the process of seduction, he begins to develop genuine feelings for the witch.
First, the good. This was a MUCH stronger fic than the Previous southernwitch69 fic that I read – The Succubus. You can tell that the author has matured a little bit in both her writing and her perspective on relationships. Much of the writing is still low to mid quality, but I was able to read through large swaths without something jarring taking me out of the moment.
That said, the fic suffered from a lot of the same problems as ‘The Succubus.’ The Snape seems to be extremely dominating and possessive, which when paired with a young, unexperienced Hermione is very squicky. There were Pedo!Snape and Creeper!Snape vibes in this fic that made it very difficult to enjoy. Additionally, the Snape is playing both sides, and the reader (and Hermione) is unsure of his true loyalties for the majority of the fic. I’m not completely opposed to having a LoyalDeathEater!Severus who has a beautiful redemption arc, as this fic attempts, but the execution is lacking. The Snape in this fic is unlikeable to the point that I didn’t care about him at all and felt that he was taking advantage of Hermione – and that lasted for the majority of the fic. That is not why I read fan-fiction.
This suffers from a ‘childish point of view’, as well. The characters are not mature. In a stellar fic, Snape and Hermione’s focus is defeatign Voldemort. They might care about each other deeply, but they know logically they can’t be together until Voldemort is defeated. In this fic, the warplot is mostly ignored except when other characters bring the plot to them – Dark Lord makes demands, Dumbledore makes demands, Lucius plots, etc. Snape and Hermione seem to have no agency of their own. They spend all of their time focused on each other. This is not the way adults behave or think. Maybe I’m just old and grumpy, but I have a hard time reading fics like this now.
I made it about halfway into this fic. I found myself groaning louder and louder at the end of every chapter, when I looked at the table of contents and realized that I still wasn’t even halfway, despite reading for what felt like days and days. It wasn’t quite bad enough to stop reading, objectively – I don’t usually drop Acceptable fics – but the Snape characterization was a huge hurdle for me, as was the molasses slow pacing and repetitive plotting. I made it 120k into the fic (already the average length of an epic-length fic) and just couldn’t bear to read another 130k. This one simply wore me down with exhaustion.
According to harmony_bites’ Guide to SSHG Epics, southernwitch69 wrote about 700k worth of fic in the span of ONE YEAR. This is, frankly, way too much. That’s 5 hefty full-length books. I wish she would have applied her considerable energies to concentrating on ONE much shorter fic. She does have some fun ideas (LOVE the idea of ‘The Succubus’) but the quality is consistently low, and now I know why. Even the best authors’ quality would suffer if they tried to write 700k in one year!
The bottom line: This fic is way too long for the quality. It’s not so bad that I recommend skipping it, but it’s bad enough that I would put it at the very end of your list and skim through the parts that bore you. Avoid if you don’t like an experienced, morally corrupt Snape with an inexperienced Hermione.