Great potential, great waste.
(Review changed; after the second book, Firebird's Song began, the original, more positive, one no longer reflects my feelings and opinions.)
I'm disappointed. The first book was intriguing and interesting — occasionally uncomfortable and disturbing, but in a way that made me want to read more. It was an honestly fascinating look at life in an oppressive and sexist dystopia, and how familiar characters were different because of unfamiliar circumstances. Harry was extremely passive despite being hailed as immensely powerful, but I enjoyed some of the alternate character interpretations and was fascinated by the exploration of a society built up around forced polygamy.
I liked the characterization and depth. Even in their altered forms (and occasional gender swaps, such as George being Georgina in this world), the characters were recognizable in personality, all with their agendas and reasons for being the way they were. There were no simple or lazy solutions; positive and negative — mostly negative — sides of the society was explored in detail.
Then, the second book began, Luna was introduced and bonded with Harry, and the fic got stupid.
The way the bond was written was terrible. Darth Marris is a little
too fond of the "magic makes the characters stay in physical contact because if they are forced apart, the girl hurts" ploy — he's used it at least once before. Come to think of it, that was also with Luna. And it was just as annoying then. Seems like Darth Marris just likes to write Luna as obsessively clingy.
The guy is a talented writer but he's much better with set-up than with payoff. Maybe that's why I liked Firebird's Son,
it was pure set-up and it was interesting. Firebird's Song
is where the payoff starts, and everything is suddenly a whole lot more annoying; the characters act like jerks, there's more self-righteous ranting, the Dursleys are violently murdered because... just because,
and Luna insists on going naked, using the word "skyclad." I don't know why that word annoys me so much in this context, but it does.