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.