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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

17 thoughts on “What is SSHG Review?

  1. Hi,

    I have been an SS/HG fan for almost ten years, and all the time I had the same problem as you — reading the first three chapters of ten different stories, only to find out that they are crap or have not been completed. So congratulations on your site, it’s a great idea! Also I share your opinion on a lot of points, including the rating of most of the fics and the character preferences you state.

    Having been a fan for such a long time, naturally I have a long list of very good fics. So I would like to offer you my help; if you need new ideas on what to read or recommend, I would be honored to help. Just write me.

    M

    PS: Just one thing – ignore it if you think that your reviews are really none of my business: I really think “The Fire and the Rose” shoud get an “Outstanding”. You’re right in criticising the second book, but then you should split the reviews for Book I and II, because the first part is – at least in my opinion – one of the best SS/HG fics ever written.

  2. Hi,
    I’m so glad I found this blog because I’ve been at a loss as to how to find my next procrastination tool…eventually, one runs out of author favs, you know? I share your preferences in fics, mostly, but I also really like the war subplots. Well, that mainly comes out of Spellcaster by SGCbearcub which I think is one of the best fics I’ve read. Not a lot of actual romance in there but I just love how the plot moves and the background provided.

    Keep up the good work!

    • I have cycled through a lot of programs. There are some really excellent ones that you have to pay for; I did a lot of free trials for awhile but for some reason was too lazy to set up an account and pay for them. The best free one that doesn’t expire that I have found is called Speakonia. It isn’t perfect, but it’s bearable and free and easy to use. I hope this helps you!

  3. Thank you for making my day better. I have started my journey with funfic some months ago and you reviews will be very useful. I have just finished For someone special and I totally agree with you. I hope other recommended story will be so good. Sorry for my poo English – unfortunately it isn’t my mother tongue and still I prefer reading than writing 😦 Regards from Poland.

  4. I have been an sshg reader for 12 years, though my interest has waxed and waned depending on my moods. For the last 4 months I’ve been craving it. (I recently went back to work and need a good, solid distraction on my days off to shut off my brain and Snermione is like comfort food for me…with less calories.) Anyhow, I just wanted to thank you for continue to post reviews here. Lately I’ve been harassing my bff on a near daily basis hoping her memory will get me another fix. Needless to say, I’m crossing my fingers that one day soon you’ll dig up a gem I’ve either forgotten about or I’ve never read. 😉

    • Yay, thank you so much for that! I am very eager to get into the post-Deathly Hallows era myself, as almost everything I have read was pre-Deathly Hallows. I tended to re-read the same stories and authors on fan-fiction.net, not discovering Ashwinder and fan archives until I started this website. It’s going to be a whole new world out there for me! It sounds like you are pretty well read across the board, but I hope that something good will pop up for you soon.

      It tends to go in cycles for me as well….I read a WHOLE BUNCH for a few weeks or a month, and then I don’t read any for a few months (as you can see in my posting history, lol.) Weird how that works!

  5. Yer doin’ the Lord’s Good Work, lassie. Keep it up.

    I find your biting wit vastly entertaining and that quip about the author of a certain fanfic being an ESFJ was inspired. Just thought you ought to know.

    – Wakie

    • Thank you so much. I really, really appreciated this comment. Wit is one of the most important things to me, and I usually feel like I am more of a wit-consumer than a wit-creator. Your compliment really made my day!

      I am stuck slogging through a fanfic that isn’t good enough to read, but also isn’t bad enough to put down. Maybe your comment will give me the strength to finish the last bit and start up a review season again.

      Thanks again!

      • I can’t wait for your review. 🙂

        I’m sure you’d have read this, but could you perhaps review Loten’s Chasing the Sun?

        And if you haven’t read it. Oh my, you absolutely must! It’s an honest to god beautiful read.

      • I have not read that one yet! I am currenting reading fics completed in 2008-2009 and I am attempting to go chronologically. Maybe ‘Chasing the Sun’ was completed slightly after that. I will keep my eye out for it. Thank you for the recommendation!

  6. The writing is phenomenal. Truly. And I dare say you’ll find the Snape well in character. He’s snarky, witty, insecure but cold. He seems to lean more towards the book!Snape than Alan Rickman’s version. Another thing I like about the fic is that it was written by an English author, so the language is legit. As are the references.

    So if ever you find the fics from 2008 lacking, cheat a smidge and read CtS. Its well worth it. :3

    -Wakie (Wasn’t paid by the author for this)

  7. I came to this ship approx 10 years too late and am so happy I found this site – it’s like Christmas! I’m desperately looking for a fic I read about a year ago. Post hogwarts, all I remember is that Hermione gives Snape a Christmas present and he thinks she’s teasing him then he sees she’s made him a scarf. You’ll forever be my internet hero if you can point me in the right direction!

    Keep up the good work! This is fantastic!

    • This actually does sound vaguely familiar, but I’m not immediately familiar with it, no! I am only to about 2007 in my chronological read and review journey, though, so there’s still 8 years to go that your fic could have been potentially written! I will reply to this comment again if I ever find it. 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for this site! Wandering fanfiction sites aimlessly, your reviews have given me the opportunity to find just what I might like, read it, and totally love it. No more getting excited about a fic, reading the first chapters, and getting disappointed. I have secretly vowed to only read fics you have rated at least “E”, because your reviews are just right! Thank you so much!

    (Just to name a few… Your rating of “Accountable” made me read it, although I didn’t like the synopsis beforehand – it was so worth it! I still go back to read chapter 28 sometimes, because it is so beautiful. Also, “In Annulo”, and I agree with what you wrote about the excessive amounts of smut, but still loved the story. I also enjoyed “Heart over Mind”, “The Other Side of Darkness / Survivals and Remembrances”, “Spinster” and “Before the Dawn”.)

    I am really looking forward – when you get to it – to read your review of Loten’s “Post Tenebras, Lux”. It was published in 2010, so hopefully at some point you might share your thoughts. Again, thank you for your detailed reviews!

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