painless_j joined me this week -- her reviews are here.
August 8, 2006
Ten by incapricious [PG]
This fic has absolutely perfect canon Harry. It reads almost like gen except for the boy loving. I was a bit confused about Harry's motivation in his "I don't love you" to Ginny but I'm not complaining. XD The only thing I didn't like was Hermione's "As you know, Bob" moment -- way tl;dr.
A Solitary Oak by k8nkane [PG]
Gorgeous descriptions of scenery, but I wasn't feeling the H/D in this at all.
Prodigal Son by agnes_bean [PG-13]
I loved this fic. It keeps Draco reasonably in character while expressing exactly what's attractive about him. At the same time, it doesn't make Harry into a blithering idiot. It deals with the Ginny problem while developing the H/D believably and within the context of the past war and the wizarding world, and passive-aggressive homophobia. One major minus -- usage of the term "snark" in a fic set outside of the intrawebs -- it's just one of those things that inevitably throws me out.
August 9, 2006
Queen Takes King by charlotteschaos [R]
I found it hard to follow at first (I think the impression I came away with was "under-punctuated"). But it's crack, and picks right up near the middle, and is screechingly funny in all the best ways. *pets Draco*
Turnaround by mereol [NC-17]
So I read this: "Once the decision to break with his family and his ties to the Dark Lord - - even now he had trouble even thinking the name, Voldemort - - had been made, there had been nowhere else to go. He'd made his decision that night on the Tower with Dumbledore." and my eyebrows went up, and they stayed up for the rest of the story because that never got explained. It requires a logical leap about Draco's character that I'm not prepared to make -- that he would make such a decision after a year of desperately trying to save his family, makes no sense to me. The expository lumps killed the pacing: I'd be reading about the present and then be treated to paragraphs of backstory, quite a bit of which had nothing to do with the unfolding romance plot. I liked Draco's conversations with himself in his own head, those are always fun to read. The best thing about this fic was the UST, hands down; it's been a while since I've read UST so excellently accomplished.
Loose Ends | Dominion | Over The Edge by ravenna_c_tan [NC-17]
PTSD!Harry is fascinating and this is worth a read just for that, but the fanon!Draco irritated me, as did all the out-of-pattern canon details (clothes, weird wand core that isn't canon for Ollivander to carry, a few others). The plotting is clever, done with a series of memory/mindfuck sort of devices, but I didn't like the deus ex machina-ish reveal at the end.
August 10, 2006
The Deal by jameschick
This reads almost like crackfic, but I'm not sure if that's intentional (it's not labelled crack). The summary reads Ron's a good friend, but Draco’s an even better enemy. but there's actually zero real enmity between Draco and Harry here. I can't even tell you if I liked or disliked it, really -- I liked the school setting and the no-nonsense, bossy bottom Draco but I didn't like the attempt at plot, because all the crucial details to make the fic believable were skimped on. Oh, but Ron is great.