A Sampling of RobSt Part One: The Plunge

So here we are. Round One. Just so you’re aware, I will be going through these stories in the order they were published, so ideally this will mean the stories will get better as they go on. So without further ado, let’s do this shit. Also, full spoilers from here on out. For fuckin everything.

Part One: A Kiss Can Save The World (2008)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4357909/1/A-Kiss-Can-Save-The-World
Summary: “COMPLETE – What would change if Harry asked Hermione to the Yule Ball? H/Hr My first fanfic”

So right away, this first chapter is fucking bonkers. It opens like any standard mediocre Harmony romance fic. It’s fourth year, and Hermione has realized how much she loves Harry. Ron is, as Hermione puts it in the fic, “a jealous, insensitive, insecure, childish GIT”, and the writing is clunky and doesn’t flow very well. Harry then enters the scene, and tells her that he’s just learned about the Yule Ball. Some awkward, poorly written flirting ensues, and this generally just reads like a shitty first attempt at writing, which it is. And that’s honestly completely fair. Every writer’s first attempt at writing is bad, and holding this one against RobSt would not be reasonable or generous of me. But then, Harry and Hermione kiss, and the fic just kind of….breaks.

The second half of the chapter tells the story of, and I promise I’m not making this up, all of Voldemort’s horcruxes being destroyed — including the one in his scar — all of the instruments in Dumbledore’s office being shattered, Hogwarts making Harry the new headmaster, Ragnok the Goblin King taking notice of Harry, and some big fucker magical shockwave crashes across magical Britain and causes horrible pain to anyone with a dark mark. Now, this is all very bad. It’s obviously very bad, but fuck me if I wasn’t entertained. That was the most out of left-field thing I have ever seen in a fanfic, and I have to say that I came out of this chapter laughing my fucking ass off. Was that what RobSt was going for? Probably not, but it was enough to ensure that this fic survives the round. Next!

Part Two: Knowledge is Power (2008-2009)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4612714/1/Knowledge-is-Power
Summary: “When Hermione gets cursed at the Ministry, Harry and the Death Eaters discover the power he knows not. Unleashing this power has far reaching consequences. Weasley and Dumbledore bashing – time travel story that’s hopefully different.”

There’s no other way to put it, this one’s just bad. It once again has all the markings of a brand new writer, but with none of the absolutely bonkers energy that made A Kiss Can Save The World so oddly charming. This fic does the oddest thing, where it sets up one thing, plays it straight for a few paragraphs, and then just changes its mind and does something else. This looks like the setup for an Indy!Harmony fic, where Dumbledore’s incompetent and they have to solve everything on their own, while Ron is presumably useless. This concept is neither interesting nor original, but it’s something that could probably make for a mediocre and forgettable, yet bearable story.

Instead, after doing this premise for about half the chapter, RobSt just changes his mind and decides to add time travel. The characters that we’ve been following for a couple thousand words now disappear, and are replaced with a different version of Harry and Hermione from another timeline who are already together. This erases any potential romantic buildup or intrigue the fic could have had, and also erases any attachment we might have felt towards the main characters, cause these new versions of them are completely different and have been through god knows what that we didn’t get to see.

This is honestly one of the most baffling storytelling decisions I’ve ever seen, and it puts this fic significantly lower than A Kiss Can Save The World so far. I’d definitely at least consider dropping this one. NEXT!

Part Three: More Important Things (2009)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5043968/1/More-Important-Things
Summary: COMPLETE – My attempt at the Dumbledore Answers Harry challenge set by witowsmp, where Harry discovers his destiny at the end of first year. H/Hr

Except for a few notable things, this fic is mostly just boring. We’ve gotten to the point where there’s nothing in the actual writing that’s so bad for it to jump out, but the actual quality is still bad enough for it to be kind of unpleasant to read through. The romance is still very over-the-top and corny, and the characterizations still feel fairly one-dimensional.

One thing that I found to be notable was that in the Author’s Note at the top of the chapter, RobSt said that he wouldn’t be bashing anybody, and then he proceeded to bash McGonagall, Dumbledore, and Ron. So….ya know, yay.

This fic also has a very familiar feeling to it, in terms of plot. It’s a very standard Harmony power-couple, kid romance bash-fest, and it sticks ardently to that formula. Although to be fair, this was written in 2009, and I cannot be entirely sure if that kind of thing was as common back then. If anything, this feels like RobSt perfecting the formula that he relied heavily upon in later stories of his that I’ve read, such as In This World and Next and Harry Crow.

I will say, though, that one moment that I found really funny was a moment framed as a Ron!Bashing scene, where Harry and Hermione are both just straight up assholes to Ron for literally no reason, and then act all innocent when he storms out fuming. Like, what the hell was that? Did RobSt forget to set up Ron being a dick first, or something? I don’t know, but it definitely got a laugh out of me. Overall, this is decidedly better than what I read of Knowledge is Power, but it doesn’t have that straight up insane, bonkers energy that I loved in A Kiss Can Save The World. Assuming the rest of the fic follows this formula, it would probably be low in the Average Tier, so….not much that I found all that impressive. NEXT!

Part Four: Fate’s Gambit (2009)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5210983/1/Fate-s-Gambit
Summary: “Fate looked on as the boy who’s destined to lead the fight against the darkness was slowly being broken down until she’s compelled to take action that will change his life forever. Pre-Hogwarts, friendship H/Hr/L rating is for Dursleys treatment of Harry”

So Fate’s Gambit opens with some standard fanfiction over-the-top Dursley abuse. Not saying that they weren’t fucked up in canon, but this takes it way farther than is realistic or necessary. Fate takes pity on Harry and sends him into the care of the Potter Manor house elves, and we’re off to the races from there. Besides the setup being a bit cliche and the writing still being awkward, there are actually some very good things worth discussing in this fic. First of all, and I cannot believe I’m about to say this, but the Luna I saw in this chapter was actually written really well. She was quirky and charming, without it being over-the-top, and there was nothing creepy or sexual about her. Well done RobSt, you just did better than most authors who write Luna manage. Genuinely, I was impressed.

I also thought that the scene with Harry’s grandparents’ portraits was pretty fun if a bit cliché, and naming them Jonathon and Martha after Superman’s adopted parents was a pretty fun touch. Harry having the best light spell in the world was kinda stupid, but it fit the tone decently well, and the final scene when the Dursleys are arrested wasn’t good, but it was kind of satisfying. Cause let’s be honest, comeuppance is always satisfying, especially when the Dursleys are involved. My big gripe with the scene is the way Dudley was portrayed tho, cause it felt mean-spirited considering that he’s only nine when it takes place, and the fat jokes were unnecessary and distasteful. Still, this is definitely a large step up, with some genuinely good stuff, even if I’d still put it in the average tier, as it’s bogged down by quite a lot of annoying tropes and generally awkward writing choices. NEXT!

Part Five: Can’t Have It Both Ways (2009-2010)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5402315/1/Can-t-Have-It-Both-Ways
Summary: “If you are forced to participate in a competition that’s reserved for adults only, doesn’t that mean you should be considered an adult? Harry gets some much needed help and advice before having some fun by allowing his marauder heritage out to play. H/Hr”

I think that, in some ways, Can’t Have it Both Ways is another step up, but it also takes a few steps back as well. First of all, Ron!bashing returns, greater and more terrible than ever before! I mean, I should have probably expected that, since I’m fairly sure that the only reason Fate’s Gambit didn’t have that is it hadn’t introduced any Weasleys yet. So that’s very annoying. Also, it doesn’t have the fun little bit of Luna characterization that I actually thought was quite good in Fate’s Gambit. We’re back to our cookie-cutter Harry and our cookie-cutter Hermione as they take on the world together and presumably own anyone who dares to not like them.

Oh, I guess I should technically give credit to this chapter for not bashing Dumbledore yet, even though I’m sure it’ll happen in the future. Good job RobSt, you managed to go for a full chapter without making Dumbledore fucking evil.

These compliments may seem kind of back-handed and sarcastic, but they are genuine positives I’m seeing. Also, while still not anywhere near decent, the prose was, I think, fairly bearable. The narration felt a bit cleaner, and aside from a few very awkward things, I think RobSt is firmly in the “not good” category, rather than the “fuck my life, love is dead and you have killed it” category.

However, two very key things do need to be said that are important negatives for me. First of all, this chapter had a Goblins section, and it gave off a very strong Harry Crow vibe for that part, and it also made Harry not only Lord Potter, but also the Heirs of both Slytherin and Gryffindor, and it had Hermione become betrothed to him. That’s right, this is a lordship kid marriage fic. Fucking yay. Overall, while this definitely has some improvements to it compared to some of the previous chapter I’ve looked at, it’s a pretty clear step down from Fate’s Gambit. NEXT!

Part Six: In This World and Next (2009-2010)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5627314/1/In-this-World-and-the-Next
Summary: “Not for Weasley fans, dark beginning and rating is for safety. A Re-do with payback on the menu H/Hr Complete”

So first of all, what the fuck is that summary? It tells me literally nothing about the fic, except that apparently it has some dark shit near the beginning and the Weasleys will be bashed into all sorts of unnatural shapes, but like, what else is new? RobSt has always tried to weave darker themes into his works (hell, he has Harry going around fucking threatening to decapitate children in Harry Crow), and he’s never seen a Weasley he couldn’t bash, so why even bother letting us know about it in this specific case?

Anyway, the quality of that summary pretty much sums up the rest of this chapter for me. It opens by turning Ron into a violent rapist who sexually assaults Hermione after the Battle of Hogwarts, it follows that up with some barely bearable scenes between Harry, Hermione, and Hermione’s parents, before ending with Ron abducting Hermione and about to assault her again, before Harry kills him, and then the Weasley family have him put on trial for murder, and Hermione put on trial for getting an abortion, and then they’re both kissed by dementors, but not before a fucking soul bond is formed between them, and holy motherfucking shit! Do I even need to explain what’s bad about this? Using sexual assault as a plot point to drive the romantic leads together is one of the most disgusting tropes existing in literature today, this is Weasley bashing to such an extreme that I’m genuinely comfortable calling it the most egregious instance of bashing in the entire fucking fandom, and then there’s a soul-bond. And that’s only the first half of the chapter!!

The second half has Harry wake up in King’s Cross in his eleven year old body, have an unintentionally hilarious confrontation with the Weasleys, and meet up with Hermione on the train, before badly written romance ensues.

Having read this chapter, I am confident in saying that nothing else this man writes will top this one. It is a fucking train-wreck of a chapter, and I am comfortable saying that this single chapter is one of the worst piece of fanfiction I have ever read. This is a low-point in RobSt’s career, and you can probably assume that this will be the one that I drop this round, although I guess we won’t really know until we get to the end. NEXT!

Part Seven: Souls Abound (2010-2011)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6035532/1/Souls-Abound
Summary: “This story came from an idea of there being more than one version of Voldemort running around, due to his horcruxes being activated. Story begins with the Tom – Harry confrontation in the Chamber of Secrets. H/Hr”

Well I’ll be damned, it’s a chapter that I genuinely liked! This chapter opens with the Tom Riddle vs. Harry Potter confrontation from the end of Chamber of Secrets from canon, but then diverges in a way that I actually found to be really interesting. Basically, this asks the question “what if Voldemort built a fail-safe into his horcruxes so that one being destroyed caused all the others to strengthen?” So once they’re all back in the Hospital Wing, Harry starts being attacked by the horcrux in his scar, and things spiral from there. Ginny and Ron have a heart-to-heart in which Ginny starts to get over her crush on Harry, and Ron and Ginny offer Harry verbal encouragement as he fights an internal battle against Voldemort. Hermione is woken up, Dumbledore decides to reveal what he knows about horcruxes, and the power of friendship defeats the scarcrux.

I’m not saying that this is some great, game-changing piece of fanfiction, but I think this marks a pretty clear high point so far. Ron, Ginny, and Hermione are all pretty close to their canon selves, there was an actual sense of tension throughout the chapter, and even though Dumbledore’s personality was tweaked a little bit, he certainly wasn’t being bashed or anything like that. Plus, the opening in the Chamber of Secrets genuinely had some wit to it. Sure, it was a bit odd hearing Harry’s inner monologue sound like that of a grumpy old man, but it was charming and made me laugh a few times.

Lastly, as fanfiction prose go, this was actually pretty solid. Nothing to really celebrate over, but decidedly ok. Overall, this was a fucking breath of fresh air, especially compared to the last two I’ve had to deal with. I would put this low down in the good tier, and I’d probably even recommend it to Harmony fans looking for a decent read. I have decently high hopes for this one, and I hope I won’t be disappointed. NEXT!

Part Eight: A Different Halloween (2010-2012)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6439871/1/A-Different-Halloween
Summary: “Could a chance meeting change history? What would a different Halloween in 1981 mean for wizarding Britain?”

I’m not going to lie to you, A Different Halloween is really bad. Now I’ll admit, I thought the concept was interesting. I think that, if done right, a cutesy, fluffy child-hood friends fic between Harry and Hermione could be delightful. However, from the first time they interact, it just feels uncomfortable. It’s like he’s still trying to write some over-the-top romance between these two toddlers, and they fluctuate between acting their age and acting like they’re ten or eleven in a way that I found to be really off-putting.

The writing also wasn’t all that good, but….whatever, it’s hard to even be annoyed by that at this point. RobSt still has time to improve his prose, after all we’re only now reaching the half-way point. Which….holy shit that’s a dark thought. Anyway, my real issue came near the end of the chapter. After a plot that was barely engaging enough to make me not die, we get the good old fashioned Dumbledore!Bashing twist. And….I’m just going to quote the fic here for you, because this right here was the true nail in the coffin.

“Albus would hate for anything to happen to Severus because of his plan. He’d had a century to work on it but Albus still hadn’t discovered why he was so attracted to bad boys, and Severus was such a bad, bad boy!”

Now, I’d like to think that most of you get the issue with this, but for the three of you in the back, allow me to spell it out for you. This is a person using a harmful stereotype often attributed to members of the LGBTQ+ community, and especially to older gay men, to try and bash a character into the shape of a villain in a fanfiction story. If In This World and Next wasn’t some of the most off-putting shit I’d ever read, I’d say this comfortably was the worst thing I’d read so far, but that’s unfortunately not the case anymore. This fic can go spend the rest of eternity in the Not Good Tier, while I do my best not to vomit. NEXT!

Part Nine: No Hurry At All (2011)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6755363/1/No-Hurry-At-All
Summary: “Remus was so shocked at seeing Sirius fall through the veil that Harry had raced past him before the boy’s intentions even registered with the werewolf. Screaming “Sirius!” Harry followed his godfather into the veil before anyone could stop him. H/Hr”

All things considered, No Hurry At All is pretty alright. The prose is, as usual, not too great, but it has some decent enough ideas. It gives Dumbledore a badass as fuck scene, which I can always appreciate, it seems like most of Harry’s friends are sticking pretty true to their canon personalities, and it seems like a setup for a lot of potential intrigue in future chapters.

I also really liked the stuff between Harry’s parents, Sirius, and Harry. Call me basic if you want, but I can never quite resist the sweet, sweet nectar that is adorable family fluffy happy times.

My biggest issue here is the action. It’s written in a very boring style, where I never feel properly invested in what’s going on, almost as though I’m dispassionately watching everything from afar. Also, Dumbledore got bashed a bit and that always makes me feel sad.

Overall, this fic sits firmly in the middle of the RobSt hierarchy. Not very good, but not very bad either. I am curious where it will go in the future tho. NEXT!

Part Ten: Banking on Her (2011-2012)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7392700/1/Banking-on-Her
Summary: “Harry reckons his future is bleak if he stays at Hogwarts. The Tri-Wizard tournament offers him a fail-safe way of escaping his perceived destiny, that is until Harry discovered the hidden costs. H/Hr”

Banking on Her has some genuinely interesting barebones ideas that I like, but everything else is generic as fuck. So first of all, I was really impressed by the idea of Harry taking the hit and sacrificing his magic to get out of the spotlight and the Tri-Wizard Tournament. That was genuinely inspired, and was something I’d never seen done before.

Secondly, Harry wanting to become a chef is cute and adorable and I love it. Unfortunately, that’s about all that’s good or memorable about this fic. It’s just another generic fourth year Harmony fic. Krum’s an asshole, Ron is bashed, Dumbledore is manipulative, etc. The prose is pretty bad as well, although there were a few little grammatical and spelling errors that I thought were fucking hilarious. I know it seems like I’m not saying much here, but that’s because there’s nothing to say.

Besides the admittedly interesting premise, this and Can’t Have It Both Ways are literally the same fic. Alright, so what’s next? Checks Notes……. FUCK!

Part Eleven: Harry Crow (2012-2014)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8186071/1/Harry-Crow
Summary: “What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts. A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. Complete.”

So Harry Crow is about as infamous a fic as you can get. This right here is RobSt’s claim to fame, his magnum opus. A fanfiction Harmony epic, spanning over 700,000 words and 100 chapters. Generally speaking, this is a love it or hate it kind of fic, and honestly, I don’t think either of those words can really apply to the first chapter.

The most obvious thing that this fic gets right is the prose. While not great, they’re pretty decent by fanfiction standards, and they’re fucking beautiful compared to anything else RobSt has written up to this point. Also, generally speaking, I think this is a fairly solid setup chapter. Lots of plot points are set up, nobody’s been bashed too heavily yet (even if it’s implied Albus will be facing a lot in the coming years), and I honestly thought Vernon Dursley’s trip to Gringotts works as a decent prologue. Honestly, I’m shocked by how little I have to honestly complain about here.

Hell, even the Goblin Nation world-building that we get in this chapter isn’t too bad. I mean, is the ending where they remove Harry’s scarcrux a bit much? Probably. But it’s not really bad either. In fact, I’d say this whole chapter belongs somewhere in the low good tier, and that’s honestly not something I expected to ever say about Harry Crow. Colour me very surprised. NEXT!

Part Twelve: Don’t look back in Anger (2014-2015)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10669760/1/Don-t-look-back-in-Anger
Summary: “Can some angry words change everything?”

Can some angry words change everything? The answer is apparently no, because this fic is boring and I have basically nothing to say about it. Let’s just get a few things out of the way, and then I’ll move on. I won’t waste your time finding something interesting to say about this mindless, boring shlock.

Positives: No Ron!Bashing, no romance in the first chapter, fairly realistic Hermione characterization, no Dumbledore!Bashing.

Negatives: The prose, the dialogue, the boring as shit premise, and basically everything else. This is barely worth talking about, much less reading. NEXT!

Part Thirteen: You’re My Density (2015-2016)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11033616/1/You-re-my-Density
Summary: “Just Suppose Harry hadn’t heeded his godfather’s advice, and actually lost his temper at his trial? Time travel fic and title is ‘Back to the Future’ joke.”

You’re My Density is about as bad as you’d expect a fic with a Back to the Future pun in its title to be: very. It actually opens in a pretty unique way, especially for RobSt, but pretty soon it’s back to poorly written Harmony romance and prose that makes me want to bash my head into a wall.

Making Harry and Hermione older was certainly a nice change, though. RobSt actually wrote a fade-to-black, because he finally had characters old enough to fuck without it being pedophilia, although the whole thing was pretty tame (and poorly written), to say the least. Anyway, the chapter opens and it’s revealed that Harry’s living as a Muggle and going to University. He’s socially awkward and shy, but then he meets Hermione and it’s revealed that he lost his temper at the Ministry hearing, and they used that to wipe his mind, bind his magic, and send him to the Muggle world. This led to Voldemort taking over, and Hermione wants the two of them to travel back in time to stop it all from happening. It would have been cool to see some of that take place, but this is RobSt so I’m sure he’d have found a way to make it boring.

The chapter ends with them showing up in the bathroom on Halloween of their first year, and we get a nice little hint at Ron!Bashing before the chapter ends. Overall, I hated this. It felt like another very generic Harmony story, and even though it had a unique-for-RobSt setup, the execution was abysmal. NEXT!

Part Fourteen: Who Will Fill a Coward’s Grave? (2016-2018)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12117770/1/Who-Will-Fill-a-Coward-s-Grave
Summary: “A certain Miss Granger takes steps to ensure she can contact her best friend during the summer holidays. After the disaster of the Triwizard tournament, she believes Harry shouldn’t be left alone – no matter what Dumbledore says.”

Who Will Fill a Coward’s Grave is boring as all hell. I’m tempted to just leave it at that, but there is something really funny that I caught RobSt out on here. So the whole premise of this fic is that, instead of not contacting Harry like Dumbledore asks her to, Hermione gives Harry a mobile phone at the end of Goblet of Fire. However, he describes the phone as being small enough to slip into his pocket and hide from the Dursleys, when that simply cannot be the case. That kind of small flip-phone had only barely been put on the market at that time, and I find it incredibly unlikely that Hermione just happened to have an extra one lying around, or that her parents could grab one with such short notice. They were pretty fuckin expensive back then.

Now you may be asking, “Theo, why are you nitpicking something so stupid and insignificant?” That’s a perfectly valid question, and the answer is that there’s literally nothing else to talk about. This is just yet another generic Harmony fic with generic, mostly bad prose and no real hook to speak of. I literally couldn’t care less about it if I tried. NEXT!

Part Fifteen: Proud Parents (2018-??)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12879819/1/Proud-Parents
Summary: “Despite how impossible it seemed, Harry was sure his dad had saved the three of them from the dementors. After Hermione’s time turner took them both back three hours, he was desperate to discover if who he’d seen casting that patronus was truly his dad. Harry certainly wasn’t disappointed when his mum turned up instead, and changed the entire course of his life. Harry/Hermione”

So this story is apparently a reimagining of RobSt’s old story Knowledge is Power. If that’s the case, that really doesn’t bode well, cause I really didn’t like that one. And it turns out, it indeed didn’t bode well. Where to begin?

Within just one chapter, this fic covers every Harmony trope in the book. Dumbledore’s a manipulative bastard? Check! Lord Potter? Check! Dobby bonding to Harry? Check! Lily playing matchmaker with her 13 year old son? Check! Molly Weasley can’t be trusted because she’s too loyal to Dumbledore? Check! Harry/Hermione betrothal? Check! Neville is Harry’s Godbrother? Check! Luna is Harry’s Godsister? Check! Harry/Hermione have a psychic link? Check! The dementor sucked Harry’s scarcrux out? Check! Harry has all of Voldemort’s memories? Check!

Really, the only question is what tropes didn’t this fic establish? I mean, I guess it didn’t do any Ron!Bashing, but I genuinely don’t know in regards to the future. The prose was bearable though, so I guess there’s that. Not good, but bearable.

If it seems like I have very little to say, that’s because it’s true. There are three kinds of RobSt fics, it appears. The ones that are bad in memorable, extravagant ways, the ones that are bad and forgettable mush, and the ones that actually manage to be decent. Proud Parents is the second kind. Impressive only because of how many tropes it manages to hit in a single chapter. NEXT!

Part Sixteen: Playing by the Rules (2019)
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13360968/1/Playing-by-the-Rules
Summary: “Sometimes playing by the rules is not just your best option, it can be your only option.”

Playing by the Rules ends the saga of part one with a whimper. But let’s get some positives out of the way. First of all, it’s short. The chapter is short, as is the fic. This hopefully means that the plot will move relatively quickly, and there won’t be too much romance bullshit thrown in between. Also, the prose is arguably decent. That’s about all you’re getting out of me for positives.

This fic is another generic Goblet of Fire AU. Just in this first chapter, it introduced family magic, added secret special rules to the TWT that Dumbledore withheld from Harry, made Dumbledore a manipulative bastard, and got Harry and Hermione together. It also made Harry super OP, and it’s basically just another RobSt Indy!Harmony extravaganza. I literally don’t have anything to say at this point, so let’s just wrap this up here. It’s bad, and that’s really all you need to know.

Final Thoughts: Look at that, I made it to the end of part one, and I’ve only eroded 10% of my sanity! So what did I think? Well, if I’ll be honest, my overall experience was very negative. If I had to pick one, my favorite was probably Souls Abound. It was a much fresher concept than most of these, and I might honestly even recommend it to any Harmony fans looking for a decent read. As for least favorite, that title can comfortably be given to In This World and Next, which is uncomfortable on basically every level and I find to be personally offensive.

However, I cannot wrap this up without mentioning that the chapters I found the most difficult to get through were the super generic and forgettable ones, not the extravagantly bad ones. Knowledge is Power, Can’t Have It Both Ways, and You’re my Density immediately come to mind, but honestly that describes half the fics I just started.

As for an elimination, I think I’m going to kick Knowledge is Power out for this first round, and I’ll admit that this is mostly out of courtesy to the author. He acknowledged in the author’s note for Proud Parents that he’s embarrassed by that one, and since PP seems to be his attempt to redo it, I’ll drop it in favor of the projects he hasn’t verbally renounced.

I hope you enjoyed part one of my slow, rambling descent into madness that I’m insisting on calling a review, and I’ll see you all for part two, in which my faith in humanity presumably crumbles to ash and is then shat on by the world’s most obnoxious horse.

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