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I have very conflicting feelings about this series...The first time I read this series, I dropped out pretty quick because the story seemed so ridiculous to me (ah yes, Harry got his scar from a ceiling falling on him (!?)) but I gave it another shot and tbh I was just going along with the story until about book 3, when it suddenly started to pick up. Given that this coincides with a plot point at the end of book 2, I would say that if this is intentional, it's pretty genius.
One of the things that this series does very well is its characters. The number of characters who you hate, and yet sympathise with, is great. All characters feel like they have a full depth to them; you understand all their motivations and feelings. It can be difficult to make a character that you hate and yet doesn't want to make you scream every time they appear because /they're so annoying/ but Lightningonthewave pulls it off with grace. They've has also built their own world here, something I always highly approve of: I can ignore many problems with a fic, as long as I can see the author has given their own spin to one thing or another.
Obviously, Harry is "OOC" for having such a different upbringing, but this something I don't begrudge; as long as I can see why the character is different, I will go along with it. And being abused your whole childhood is something that will fuck someone's character up. This fic is honestly an in depth look at emotional abuse and manipulation, and I love that it doesn't try to say that emotional abuse is "less" than physical (because it isn't), even if Harry himself will try to argue that (because he's been abused!). It's a slow trudge from the state of book 1 (Harry "I have zero clue I've been abused" Potter) to book 7 (Harry "I was abused and it fucked me up, and I'm trying to undo all the damage that was done to me" Potter). But you can't begrudge Harry his fall-backs.
Other characters on the other hand... It's realistic for characters to promise something and not deliver, or end up reverting to their bad ways. But, much as I like it in parts, it can get boring reading the same argument for the fifth time. I get it, Snape doesn't respect Harry's opinions because he was abused and doesn't have objectivity! etc. etc.
Leading on from that, some parts of the story feel bogged down by the mundane.When some storylines are so interesting, to have /another/ part where Harry and Draco are fighting, or /another/ part where Remus is being annoying because he can't accept Harry as alpha, it drags. Some books would have been better imo if they'd been cut down. Books 6 and 7 in particular, I think.
Bottom line: great characters, great world building, great story (in most places), but some repetitiveness that can get boring, and some storylines that just drag. I would ultimately call it worth it to read, but I probably wouldn't do a full readthrough again, just the good parts.
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