Search Results for: poor

It All Comes Down to Time – JenKM1216

Links:
http://ashwinder.sycophanthex.com/viewstory.php?sid=12563
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2901275/1/It-All-Comes-Down-To-Time

Rating: Acceptable

The Basics: Half-Blood Prince Era, Romance/Time-Travel, 100k

Warnings: Sexual Content, Pregnancy, Nonsense

Hermione is accidentally flung back 19 years time to the reign of the Marauders at Hogwarts. Oh, and their nemesis Severus Snape, of course.

I am not usually a fan of time-travel fics in this pairing, because teenage Severus is sort of a nightmare, right? As most teenage boys are. I love Kylo Ren and joke that he’s ‘seventh year Snape.’ He’s angry, immature, and directs his rage to all of the wrong places. They are both great characters, but they are not great romantic heroes. (Of course, I have a giant crush on Kylo Ren, but any good romance story with him would require a major growth arc.)

Whether the author intended to or not, she did a great job at writing this Snape and Hermione as painfully teenage. Hermione ignores the ‘little voice’ in her head warning of her all of the consequences of her actions and seduces teenage Snape. (However, she still somehow manages to avoid warning Lily and James about Pettigrew’s betrayal – to me, that should have been a much greater temptation, but she isn’t tempted at all.) Hermione and Snape somehow forget to consider contraceptive potions. Oops! That is probably my number one pet peeve in this pairing and I nearly quit reading.

The writing is also ‘teenage’ in quality, which I doubt was a conscious decision. There is a major overuse of cliches such as ‘heart beating wildly,’ ‘lips crushing into hers,’ ‘mouth gaping open like a fish,’ etc. It’s hard to define what good writing is, but one can identify the signs of its absence. Cliches are one of those signs. Another sign is short scenes that lack description or depth; more montage than scene. Most of the scenes in this fic are written this way – except for the sex scenes, of course, which are written in painstaking detail. The plot is similarly basic. Rather than coming up with a creative way for teenage Snape and Hermione to be thrown together, the author literally has them run in to each other multiple times, and then magically be seated next to each other every class. Harry manages to break the simplistic wards on Snape’s office (LOL NO) and find papers explaining Plot MacGuffins on his desk. These forced contrivances really took me out of the story.

The author seems to skip over all of the ‘getting to know you’ details like what they discuss in Potions class, or intimate discussions about their hobbies, or everyday ‘witty banter’. Hermione’s blossoming attraction to adult Snape is detailed in a few quick paragraphs. I am more interested in the interactions that formed this attraction than anything else in the story – and they are absent. Without those scenes that define them as individuals and establish the tenor of the friendship and relationship, the fic feels like it could be about any generic people. It doesn’t feel like our Hermione and Severus unless one wears Harry Potter lexicon tinted glasses while reading it and even then it’s a bit of a stretch.

The dumbest possible tragic misunderstanding I have EVER read occurs in Chapter 7. It was beyond obnoxiously out-of-character and moronic, even for a teenage Snape. Another two stupid misunderstandings occur back to back a few chapters later. As an example of how awful these, ‘I won’t let you finish and I’m storming out,’ misunderstandings are: RON of all people allows Hermione to finish explaining something that angers him. Once he hears her explanation, he understands and is sympathetic. How is the Ron in this fic more patient and mature than Snape and Hermione? That’s the level of out-of-character nonsense we’re dealing with in this fic. Perhaps even worse than the tragic misunderstandings, though, is Hermione’s character arc. She goes from being a headstrong and intelligent girl thrilled and excited by her studies, to a woman who cries herself to sleep out of boredom when she is forced to be away from her husband and child. Why don’t you read a book? Study something? Work on a project? Hermione is NOT a woman whose life ‘means nothing’ without her husband and child. OFFENSIVE NONSENSE.

Then, the only justified anger in the fic occurs when Harry finds out that Hermione was willing to meddle with the future by sleeping with Snape, but not willing to risk the future when it came to saving his parents’ lives. All she had to say was, ‘Do not make Wormtail your Secret-Keeper.’ I actually 100% agree with Harry here and probably would have cut Hermione out of my life after this. (BOTH of these time-meddling actions were wrong, but if she was going to risk one, she ought to have risked the other.) In the fic, though, Harry’s anger is presented as unjustified and Harry eventually apologizes to Hermione by buying her chocolates and groveling. I cannot wrap my head around the characters’ behavior in this fic. Everything seems upside down. Perhaps the author is a very different person than I am.

So, after all of that complaining, I should cover the aspects of this fic that are good. It is rated Acceptable which is relatively high for me. Despite my complaints about content, the writing itself is relatively error-free and page-turning in its own way. Sometimes when reading a fic, it is immediately obvious that the writing is terrible. That is not the case here. The writing is clean and flows nicely. I finished the fic, albeit with heavy skimming towards the end. I know that many of the fic’s problems are pet peeves of mine (cliche expressions, teenagers, poor decision-making, pregnancy) and that many of my readers will not be as annoyed by the fic as I was. Really, I’m struggling to muster up praise, but believe me when I say it’s not that bad, if you’re desperate for a new fic.

The bottom line: This is a completely average fic. It’s readable, it’s page-turning, but everything about it is basic and predictable. It is filled with avoidable conflicts and tragic misunderstandings. With stronger characterizations and longer in-depth descriptions and dialogue, this could have been something. As it is, it’s passable. Barely. Maybe.

Saving Your Life – by lilmisblack

Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3210262/1/Saving-your-life

Rating: Poor

The Basics: Half-Blood Prince Era, Action/Romance, 250k

Warnings: Borderline Non-con, Sexual Content, Violence

Hermione is kidnapped by Death Eaters and Severus Snape feigns a relationship with her in order to save her life.

This is not a good story. Sometimes I am tempted just to write, ‘This story is terrible’ and leave the review at that, but I suppose I am obliged to write more than that. After all, this story has 1200 reviews on fanfiction.net; clearly, some readers enjoyed it.

This felt like a ‘Classic Era’ fic to me, and not in a good way. It seemed to be written by someone young and inexperienced in the world, who did not understand love, logical thinking, or adult responsibilities. The love between Hermione and Severus in this fic is lust-based and physical, without reason or explanation. They have many tragic misunderstandings that arise from not listening to each other. Hermione forgets about her friends, her schoolwork, and the war, lost in her newfound relationship.

There is entirely too much smut. There is also not enough reason given for the early smut; it seems that physical intimacy is Severus and Hermione’s ‘cover’ or something, but that explanation is threadbare and not really followed through on. There needs to be a MUCH better explanation for that level of intimacy between adult Death Eater Snape and school girl Hermione. Just confusing and bad.

The biggest crime of this fic, though, is the low quality of writing. For me it was almost unreadable – I started skimming right from the beginning. To the author’s credit, the writing does improve as the fic progresses. I would be interested to read something else that she wrote after this. But for this fic, the improvement was not enough. Even the final chapters are wooden, basic, and tough to read.

The bottom line: It’s a very young-author-feeling, low-quality fic that might have passed for decent in the Classic Era when fics were hard to come by and we were all kids, but it’s unreadable for adults. It improves a lot by the end, but not enough. Not recommended.

The Succubus – by SouthernWitch69

Link: http://www.thepetulantpoetess.com/viewstory.php?sid=740

Rating: Poor Plus

The Basics: Phoenix Era, Romance/Action/Angst, 120k,

Warnings: Sexual Content, Pregnancy, Slash

Hermione Granger begins having nightly visits from Incubus demon, while Severus Snape is plagued with a Succubus. These demons are rare, but not unheard of.  But why are their demons taking the form of each other?

Full disclosure: I started reading this story curled up during a thunderstorm after drinking several glasses of wine. I was ready to love this and found it delightful, though cheese-y and out of character. When I woke up in the morning and resumed reading, I found it simply awful and wondered how I had managed to read so much of it!

I really like the premise of this story. It is not a premise I have run across before in fan-fiction. The first few chapters of Hermione and Snape resisting their demons (the chapters I drunk-read) are enjoyable.

The major problem with this fic is the quality of the writing. It is well suited to the humor / ‘Classic Era’ sort of vibe in the beginning of the fic, but once the fic become serious, the ham-fistedness of the writing becomes cringeworthy.  It is one of those that was obviously written by someone very young. No one is in character – they are simply ‘Dramatic Romance Hero’ versions of themselves. Hermione is the simpering virgin, Snape is the possessive, masculine hero. I kept at it a bit, hoping that the writing might improve, but it really doesn’t. The ‘plot’ is a weird tangle of romantic storylines, mostly revolving around blandly-written side characters.

Additionally, I am very uncomfortable with Snape’s loud declaration of possession (it seems to be his only characteristic.) It’s something I dislike in men, and it’s also something horribly out of character for Snape. This is a man who always leaves himself an exit and prefers to leave things unsaid, just in case. He may be possessive, but he would never say it out loud! That gives too much of himself away and puts him in a position of weakness and need. It’s Snape 101. This isn’t ‘Classic Era’, it’s OOtP era. No excuse for this kind of Snape.  Even worse, this fic pairs Domineering!Snape with InnocentVirgin!Hermione; extremely difficult to imagine those two together.  Hermione seems overrun and taken advantage of, Snape seems like an aggressive, unlikeable caveman.

It’s worth mentioning that the author, southernwitch69, has a huuuuge body of work and does take some time in later fics to delve into why ‘her’ Snape is quite possessive and masculine.  If you like that kind of Snape, try reading “Vengeance is Sweet” instead of this fic.  It’s the same author, it has a strong adult Hermione, and the writing is much stronger.  I imagine that ‘The Succubus’ must have been one of her earliest fics, because the writing here is pretty crude.

The bottom line: It’s a fun idea, but the childish point of view and the overdramatic writing render it unreadable. The early chapters might be good for some light drunk reading, but that’s about it.

Deliver Me – by Lyra_Aphrodite_Moon

Link: http://hp.adult-fanfiction.org/story.php?no=19056&chapter=1

Rating: Poor

The Basics: Phoenix Era, Romance, 100k

Warnings: Underage, Sexual Content

Hermione Granger, overworking herself with studying, takes on a 7th year potions project with Professor Snape.

I was very excited to read this fic, as I am in love with the ‘7th year potions project’ trope (probably because it is the most obvious early trope that everyone used back in the day, and I’m sentimental about it.)

Unfortunately, I could tell right away that it was going to be a bumpy ride.  The writing is very low quality in the beginning, although it does improve.  Then, the romance is rushed – uncomfortably rushed, especially for an underage fic.  When underage fics are rushed, it makes Snape seem like Creeper!Snape or Pedo!Snape and that’s uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older, but it seemed to me that both Hermione and Snape were incredibly irresponsible, to such a degree that it took them both out-of-character for me.

However, that’s not the biggest problem I have with this fic.  The biggest problem is that nobody seems capable of having a genuine conversation with anyone else.  It all seems to be screaming, and fits, and barbs, and tragic misunderstandings.  Just over and over and over again.  I felt like I just continually kept reading the same thing over again – someone gets mad at leaves, someone gets mad and grabs someone, they yell and try to hurt each other, blah blah blah.  That kind of unrelentingly Gryffindor behavior is just not what I expect to read in an SSHG fic – what they have in common is their introverted side, their academic side.  Screaming at each other is just tiresome.  It felt like the adventures of Lavender and Seamus or something; two dunderheads who can only communicate with temper tantrums.

The plotline was pretty weak and seemed to change over time.  It was clearly not plotted out from the beginning.  Then at the end, lots of new characters are introduced and thrown together, and then the whole thing kind of sags outwardly in a quick wrap-up chapter.  The writer even says in her author’s notes that she threw together an ending for the fic 5 years later when people kept asking for an ending.  And it definitely smarts of that tacked-on effect.

The bottom line: Overall, there’s almost nothing worth reading here, honestly.  It smacked of classic-era goodness in the beginning, but gets tiresome because of the childish tantrums continually thrown by ALL of the characters and the lack of a coherent plotline or sense of responsibility.  The writing is decent, but that’s not enough to save it.

When Living is No Longer Enough – Sci-Fi Nut

Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1104775/1/When-Living-is-No-Longer-Enough

Rating: Poor

The Basics: Classic Era (compliant to GoF), Angst/Romance,  100k

Warnings:

WARNING: PARTIAL REVIEW
As with many of my low-rated fic reviews, I did not finish 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.

Professor Granger, the Charms professor, works together with Professor Snape to create a potion to destroy Voldemort.

This is the kind of fic that I would have immediately stopped reading, before I started this site.  The grammar and punctuation are just awful. I wanted to get a dry erase marker and add commas to my computer screen.  However, I felt obligated to continue reading in order to give it every chance for a good review.  Maybe the author would pick up a beta and things would start to improve.

Unfortunately, further reading only unearthed more problems.  Snape and Hermione are kissing in Chapter 4, about 5% of the way into the story.  They are immediately intoxicated with one another, with no explanation or build-up. The melodrama is at RED ALERT levels – laughably bad.  It’s hard to describe how annoying and distracting the grammar and melodrama problems are, so here is an excerpt -” Snape looked down at the woman lying motionless in his arms and let loose an anguished scream of despair that flew through the night like a bird with wings.  ‘This is my fault,’ he told himself repeatedly, much like a broken muggle record.”  ‘Anguished scream of despair’ is pretty over the top and cliche, but next, we have ‘…flew through the night like a bird with wings.’  Is there a bird without wings?  The next sentence is salvageable, but it needs editing and tightening up; perhaps with ‘he repeated to himself’ and capitalizing ‘Muggle.’  That doesn’t address the incongruity of comparing Snape’s words to a Muggle record.  How about using a Harry Potter reference, or something Snape-ish?  Or, even better, just repeat the phrase a few times, SHOWING US the action, instead of TELLING US.  Lastly, even without all of the other problems, putting two similes back to back makes the action difficult to follow.  Birds, records, anguish…what were we talking about again?  Oh yeah, someone died.

/end English graduate rant. Apologies.  I’m sure other people will find the writing less offensive than I did, but for me it was too bad to continue reading.  When I skipped to the end, I found that the writing does improve somewhat, but not enough.  The above excerpt is taken from very late in the story.

The bottom line:  Bad writing.  There may be some good moments buried in there somewhere, but they are few and far between and certainly not worth slogging through all of the bad filler.  Skip it.

Making My Head Spin – by Slytherin Girl

Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/887984/1/Making_My_Head_Spin
Sequel: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2546677/24/See_You_On_The_Other_Side

WARNING: PARTIAL REVIEW
As with many of my poorly-rated fic reviews, I only read a few chapters 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.

Rating: Poor

The Basics: Classic Era (only compliant up to GoF), Friendship/Romance, Hurt/Comfort, 100k

Warnings: Underage, Original Characters, possibly more

Hermione’s parents are killed by Death Eaters and she retreats to Hogwarts for the summer to recover, accidentally taking refuge in Snape’s private library; he doesn’t have the heart to turn her out.

This fic is just mediocre, all the way around.  The writing style is the biggest problem – it reads very young, very amateur.  Instead of bringing you into the scene, into the characters’ minds, the scenes are described in a clipped dialogue and cliche descriptions that leaves the reader rather disengaged.  The characterizations are also poor – Snape allows Hermione into his rooms in the first few chapters, simply because she ‘likes them better than her rooms’ and she’s presently emotionally fragile.  Paranoid, private, Gryffindor-resenting Snape?  I don’t think so.  Another example; early in the story, Snape throws a temper tantrum, including shouting and magical spells, in the presence of a bunch of Muggles, simply because Hermione is crying.  I’m sure the author was trying to show us that Snape was beginning to care about her, but an out-of-character temper tantrum is a clumsy, heavy-handed way to do that.

Add to these grievances a jarring action plot with flops instead of twists and a sappy, unrealistic romance, and you’ve got a Poor rating fic on your hands.

The bottom line: I feel bad giving this such a terrible review because I suspect the author was very young when she wrote it, but I just can’t get past the writing style of this fic.  Low quality writing makes it very difficult to become or remain interested in the story.  This can occasionally be overcome with strong characters or witty dialogue, but unfortunately this fic has neither.  Skip it.

Wings – by Claudia3

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/555351/15/Wings

WARNING: PARTIAL REVIEW
As with many of my poorly-rated fic reviews, I only read 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.

Rating: Poor

The Basics: Classic Era (GoF-compliant; not compliant with OotP or beyond), Friendship/Romance, Original Characters, 100k

Warnings: None

3 years after graduating, Hermione returns to Hogwarts as an Arithmancy professor, working with the staff and the Order in the war against Voldemort.

This fic actually started off rather well; it is only as the story unfolds that one becomes aware of this fic’s many shortcomings.  The writing is tolerable, but not enthralling or humorous.  The characters, while not necessarily out of character, are sketchy copies of their true selves; slightly bland. There is plot, with some original ideas, but it just wasn’t compelling.   Chapter after chapter, I waited for the story to start, for the intrigue to set in, but it just never did.

To add to these missteps, there was one huge tumble – one thing that dropped this fic to a ”Poor’ rating.  Halfway through the story the author introduces four original characters – students at Hogwarts – who begin telling the story from their point of view.  Snape and Hermione become almost supporting characters to the adventures of these four.  What?  I was totally confused by this.  I sometimes enjoy original characters in fanfiction, but these characters had a huge and unnecessary presence.  I felt almost tricked; if these characters had been introduced in the first few chapters, I would have dropped the fic immediately, realizing it was original-character-heavy and not focused on Snape and Hermione.  But to introduce them halfway through?  Strange.

The bottom line: I would not recommend this fic.  The characters are without color or wit, the romance is lukewarm, and the plot is uninteresting.  The insertion of four foreground original characters halfway through is clumsy and jarring.  Skip it.

What is SSHG Review?

SSHG Review is intended to be an review archive of all epic-length (larger than 100k) and completed Snape/Hermione fanfics.

We’ve all waded through pages and pages of summaries, trying to find something new; we’ve all read the first 3 chapters of 10 different fics, only to be disappointed at the writing or characters and give up.  I kept thinking, ‘There has to be a better way’ – this is my best attempt at a better way.  My eventual hope for this page is that you can simply reading anything from my ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Exceeds Expectations’ columns and know that they will be excellent; and if you’re picky, you can use the search bar to find in-depth reviews of fics tailored to your interests.

I am using harmony_bites’ “Guide to Completed SSHG Fics” to review all epic-length SSSHG fics chronologically.  (Her guides are listed in her LiveJournal profile: http://harmony-bites.livejournal.com/profile ).

As of 06/2017, I am nearing the end of the Half-Blood Prince era, circa 2007, in my chronological reviews.

———————————————————–

All reviews are subjective, of course, so I should like to tell you a little bit about my preferences.  If your preferences are similar to mine, my reviews will be very helpful to you. 

I prefer a proud, socially aloof, intelligent, and snarky Potions Master – inwardly battling insecurity and guilt.  He must be reluctant and reticent to get involved in the romance, rarely the instigator.  He cannot be too wimpy (in modern post-DH fics, he is often weak and self-indulgent, thanks in part I suspect to his Lily-derived Gryffindor/Hufflepuff fangirls who belatedly jumping on the Snape ship. – “Poor little Snapey-whapey.’  That’s a ridiculous sentiment that he would rage at.  Snape detests pity – but I’m ranting and digressing.)  So, he can’t be too wimpy, but neither can he be too cruel.  I find a Snape who enjoys torture or rape to be out-of-character and uninteresting, but, if I’m honest, perhaps less offensive than the aforementioned Snapey-whapey.

EagleChild’s 25 Rules for Writing Severus Snape are quite accurate.

I feel their romantic connection is best rooted in academics and intelligence. Their greatest commonality is their awkward bookworm tendencies – I think First Year Train Hermione and First Year Train Severus were nearly identical, don’t you? It’s only their friendships and Houses that led them in different directions (Cursed Child agrees with me, by the way.) This is best explored through a common goal or research project, or through ‘witty banter,’ my favorite trope in this ship. Hermione is smart enough to see that Snape’s sardonic observations are often darkly humorous.  She should also be able to see the place in his heart where these snarky comments come from, and be wise enough not to comment on it; rather, she should be able to dish back in kind, with wit and whimsy, once they have reached the stage of intimacy in which she can do so without fear of rebuke.  

I also have a huge soft spot for Lucius Malfoy. I find that very often, an author’s ability to write or to understand Lucius is a great indicator of the quality of the fic. Many write him as a gross caricature of evil (pre DH) and many others write him as a pathetic coward (post DH.) The truth is of course, somewhere in between. I believe he is nearly as complex as Severus and I truly enjoy it when SSHG fics write him well. As one of Snape’s only friends, and certainly the only friend who fully understands what he has been through as a Death Eater, he is an important part of the ship. He’s not perfect, and he’s almost certainly an asshole, but he’s an important part of Snape’s life.

Pretty much any fic can be amazing with the right Snape and the right Hermione. Their deep, academic, reluctant connection is the reason I read this pairing.  I believe Hermione is the only person in the HP world capable of understanding Snape (and perhaps vice versa) yet they are so, so, so very far apart.  Enjoying the long journey to each other is infinitely more rewarding than any other pairing I’ve found.

———————————————————-

And lastly, if you should like to know a little about me personally: I am a short, bushy-haired Slytherclaw (probably more Ravenclaw, as my anxious waffling over this issue can attest.) I have a tall, pale, reserved, and snarky Slytherin as my husband (though he’s more like Lucius Malfoy than Snape, if I’m honest), and two cats (none named Crookshanks.)  I discovered Harry Potter over my little brother’s shoulder on a road trip in 2001, and have been reading Snape and Hermione fan-fiction since 2002. I have a degree in English Literature, but it is quite useless, as those degrees tend to be. I make my living by selling costume dresses on Etsy. I am also studying computer programming and hope upgrade careers in the next few years.

I listen to fanfic using text-to-speech programs while I sew, so I go through fics at a decent pace, when I am in the mood to read.  I have written no fanfics myself (other than one Sailor Moon one in junior high. We will not speak of that.) I tend to read in cycles; I will overdose on fics for a few weeks and post a dozen reviews, and then I will post nothing for months. Please forgive my erratic reviewing schedule.

I am becoming something of an archivist with this site because so many fic sites are going down as of late (Digital Quill, Witch Fics, Obscurus Books, Granger Enchanted, and even occasionally Ashwinder.) I always try to obtain a copy of a lost fic and post it here, whenever that happens. If you are in the mood to send me your collection of epic-length(longer than 100k) SSHG fics, I would gladly take them, and may end up posting your copies here in the event that the site they are archived on goes down. Let’s save these old fics, together! My e-mail address is serpent.and.lily [at] outlook [dot] com.

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I hope you enjoy my reviews.

————————————————————

Public Service Announcement: I have heard from several readers that they did not see the ‘Older Posts’ button at the bottom of the page and did not realize how many reviews were actually here. This layout by default only shows about 10 reviews in the search results; you need to click ‘Older Reviews’ at the bottom to see the next 10.