Reviews: Dumbledores Army And The Year Of Darkness
DAYD is Awesome, 'Kay?
DAYD is possibly one of the best Harry Potter fanfics I have ever read. In a fandom full of wierd things and epic ship wars, DAYD stands out as serious, skilled and remarkably well thought out. While there have been some accusations leveled on the subject of chauvinism in the fic which is, to an extent, true. BUT it must be remembered that out of five man characters, three are girls. The level of chauvinism is nothing more than could be expected from a Gryffindor boy (Neville) who is watching his two best friends and his girlfriend fight in a war. Yes, there are some parallels drawn between beauty and courage. This is from a canon that has black-cloaked things that suck out your happy memories as a metaphor for DEPRESSION. Thanfiction is no worse than Rowling herself. Gory and bloody? Neville actually mentions that Crucio and whippings are used against students in canon, as well as imprisonment. Thanfiction simply goes into detail about the war that Dumbledore's Army must fight. Basically, I love DAYD. I think it's amazing. Saying that, I don't belive that it should be undertaken lightly. DAYD is the simply and epicly beautiful story about war and soliders and family.
DAYD contradicts canon and is impossibly dark
My first readthrough of DAYD, it struck me as very well written and thought-provoking. But really, the story is EXTREMELY dark in both tone and events. Snape is a Complete Monster (going against everything we know from canon), even in the dark. He makes Voldemort look merciful, just to give you an idea. The whole "detention with Hagrid" in the book becomes "sent in the Forbidden Forest wandless, WITHOUT Hagrid (???), and straight into a pack of very hungry werewolves...on the full moon. Keep in mind, that punishment was invented entirely by Snape. Powers As The Plot Demands is the only reason they survive, and when they do, Snape is furious. But Snape is just one aspect of the glaring differences between canon and this story. As soon as canon and this story intersect, things are normal. But the moment they don't, things are back to Beyond The Impossible levels of darkness. Other things are very glaring. Like why families even consider sending their kids back to Hogwarts the second term after hearing about their kids being horrifically tortured routinely (seriously, none of this even makes any sense), or why the DA decides that martyring themselves at the end of the school year is the best idea ever heard, and agree to it within seconds. In short, a nice read, but so against canon in so many ways that you should NOT consider this in your "head canon" for outside of Harry's POV.
Good with Conditions
The first story is fantastic, and I really like his short stories - now when I reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the Sorting Hat reads out the names I have an actual character in my head for many of them, and that is what good fanfiction does. Other people's complaints about way too dark and edgy and chauvinism are accurate, and while I believe the first story is worth it the later ones are not.
Cautious adding to the recommendation here. It's a very good story, but I do have several problems with it, mostly the "dark for the sake of being dark" tone and notable OOC behavior of several characters.
I agree that Thanfiction's sometimes pushing the maturity bit a lot for the sake of being darker and all, but the story is good enough that you probably won't care that the characters develop to the point of "derailment," if that's even the word to use... JK never elaborated their story properly in canon, and Thanfiction develops the characters consistently. Anyways, the story itself is good, and Thanfiction's hamming and cheesing is, while not being super-duper-realistic, I didn't really find that it detracted from my enjoyment of the story.
It's an amazingly written, exciting story, but if you don't want to permanently damage your soul, I recommend to read it only until the part when Harry arrives, and there switch to his point of view from Deathly Hallows. The majority of he story is perfectly fitting with canon, but unfortunately, at the end the writer really stretches this with assuming that (minor spoiler:) the canonical 50 casualties included almost ALL named characters who are not protected by explicitly mentioned survival in the canon, except for a few main characters of the story. Even some of those die who you would expect to stay alive, like: (massive spoiler:) Cho, or Dean, surely they are important enough that you would expect Harry to notice if they would be dead in DH, or Lavender Brown, who was explicitly mentioned as only injured, so Thanfiction just assumed that she bled to death a few seconds later, etc. In short, it turned the original Bittersweet Ending into an outright Downer Ending. That would be fine, if you can treat it as an original work, but since it is so well fitting with canon, it plants a whole Inferred Holocaust into Deathly Hallows where there was none, and so it can be Ruined Forever if you preferred the happier ending.
Agreed on the "may not be as amazing as promised". The writing is good, but the chauvinism was too much for me. Also, Your Mileage May Vary, but I found several of the characters to be Out Of Character.
Didn't Meet Expectations
Although DAYD is a good read, you may not find it as amazing as the recs promise. I didn't. Not really spoilers involved, but if you want to read more about it: It's pretty self-consciously Darker And Edgier, to the point where you know the torture of random students is just to make them look like amazing heroes; there's some strange Beauty Equals Goodness stuff going on (in DAY Dverse, the more heroic you are, the more grown-up and beautiful you look); and it lauds chivalry to the point of chauvinism on more than one occasion (on the part of the author, I think, not the characters themselves).
Not many stories will make me stay up till 6 AM reading them from start to finish. This is one of them. The ending is heartbreaking — it's very accurate to describe as Kill Em All, and in a brutally detailed manner (Entrail-Expelling Curse, anyone?). Almost all the off-stage deaths in DH are given detail here, as well as more than a few that weren't specified in the book. Review by: Yo Adrian