Reviews: Danger Verse
Kind of like a swing
Overall, I truly enjoy this series. About 8 stars out of 10. However, some parts are definitely better than others. Short version: The story is great whenever Anne breaks away from canon. Slightly longer version: LWD 8/10, L Wo D 5/10, DWD 7/10, FD 9/10, SD 10/10. The first book in the series is essentially entirely original, and it shows. The author has freedom to move the characters, and has no problem creating interesting plots for them. Than, they go to Hogwarts. This is where, for me, the series really slows down. The Stations of the Canon are in full effect throughout Living Without Danger, with the minor exception of the Defense professors being different. While it is well crafted, it still comes off as a fairly standard "What if Harry were raised by someone nice" AU. In the first half of Dealing with Danger, the story becomes wonderful again as previous changes have caused a For Want of a Nail effect, and the plot is wildly different than Prisoner of Azkaban. However, the Triwizard Tournament in the second half suffers a bit from trying to cleave too close to cannon. The last two books are, in my opinion, amazing and the best part of the series. They break away from canon believably (character actions changed or not as appropriate), tell a wildly changed version of the story, and Anne's development as a writer since LWD really shows.
Started out great, became notably less so over time
This is a perfect example of a story that grew much too big for its own good. The first story, Living with Danger, was great — maybe Danger and Aletha were shoehorned in, the treatment of the Dursleys and Lucius Malfoy didn't really work, and the song lyrics (or awkward write-arounds of song lyrics in the FF.net version) were annoying... but overall the story was a cute and clever AU which made good use of its characters and stood up to repeated readings. Problem started with the follow-up fics; when the Dangerverse took on the canon plots it tended to make them far less interesting; usually by removing a lot of the inherent conflicts, giving the protagonists more and better powers and advantages than in canon, and spending so much time pointing out just how much better off they were in this universe that it began reaching Fix Fic levels, and grew more saccharine and less interesting. Another problem was that the fic becoming Darker and Edgier in later instalments really clashed with the sweet, cuddly, touchy-feely tone that the earlier fics went out of its way to insert, and which never really left the writing. It felt like someone trying to combine Care Bears and Hellblazer, which really didn't work. Also, a big problem was that while Anne Walsh was great at writing the kids as little children, she faltered when it came to writing them as older teens. The entire "Pack" and "Pride" deal, which had been kind of adorable when the kids were little, grew increasingly off-putting as they grew older. At the end, the fic got the Eight Deadly Words from me: I'd totally lost interest in this version of the characters. Pity, because the series did start out really good, and looking at Anne Walsh's other writings she's far better with original plots than she is with trying to retell other people's stories.
First book was OK but in second - nothing interesting happens for 14 chapters!