Status: Work In Progress, Word Count: 52,700, Pairing: None
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13657545/1/Honey-and-Magic
Author’s Summary: Everyone knew Matilda was a rather extraordinary child, but even she didn’t know she was a witch. Matilda Honey receives her Hogwarts letter in the year of the Triwizard Tournament, and soon, she will leave her unique mark on the magical world.
Characterization: Overall, the characterization in this fic is really well, and this is especially true for Matilda. Now, most of you probably don’t know this, but I’m a pretty big fan of the book Matilda. I read it when I was much younger than I am now, and I loved it then, and it’s still one of my favorite Roald Dahl books to this very day, and I think that White Squirrel does a really job capturing the essence of Matilda’s character and bringing her into the Harry Potter universe. It’s really fun to see her interact with all the canon characters, and for them to have no fucking idea what to make of her, and I definitely agree with White Squirrel that putting her in Hufflepuff is the right choice. I also like the way most of the canon characters are written, even if they feel a bit dry at times. Cedric is especially great, and oh boy does his death really fucking hit in this fic. Unfortunately, I feel like everyone’s characterization dropped off a bit near the end, but this is still undeniably this fic’s strong point.
Action: This fic has some really nice inventive sequences in it. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Matilda pulls the big prank on Umbridge, because that was absolutely brilliant. It also writes the DA meetings really well, which I think is neat. I also thought the scene where she protected Malfoy in Year Four was really cool, and a great natural progression of her characterization from Matilda. Unfortunately, the final battle in Hogwarts near the end of this fic is really very bad, and it fell flat for me in practically every way. Matilda was just too young for it to be at all believable, and none of the character deaths hit at all. This really holds this category back, as it’s basically the entirety of chapter nine, and that’s a shame because some of the earlier scenes were very nice.
Plot: This fic’s plot is a fucking mess. I’d say the strongest bit is the year five chapters, which I’d give, like, a 7.5/10, because even though they’re still canon compliant they also feature Matilda rebelling against Umbridge, which is something I never knew I needed until I read this fic. However, the rest of it is a fucking mess. It’s literally just canon told again from someone else’s point of view, which is honestly a real shame. When this fic is at its best, the plot is mildly entertaining and amusing, but when it’s at its worst, it’s boring, ridiculous in a bad way, and occasionally borderline unreadable. I wish the rest of the fic was as good as the OotP retelling, but it’s just not, and….yeah I won’t lie, the last chapter fucking sucks. I know a lot of people really hate Molly defeating Bellatrix in canon, and that never bothered me, but what does bother me is her losing to a fourteen year old. That is bullshit, it is nonsense, and I hate that that is what this fic built to. I don’t fucking care if she only fell down a flight of stairs and didn’t die or anything, she’s the best motherfucking duelist in the country, fanfic authors need to find a way to portray that without making her just fucking insane and raving about the mudbloods and singing baby songs, and also without sexualizing her in all these dumbfuck Hellatrix and Bellami—sorry, I’ll rant about that another time. Anyway, the point is that this plot has a lot of dumb shit in the last chapter, and it gets rather boring in canon’s Year Six anyway, but Year Five if fucking fantastic and Year Four is fun, so it averages out to simply being quite bad, instead of actual, irredeemable dogshit.
Dialogue: The dialogue is mostly great. White Squirrel’s always been pretty good at it, and this is no exception. It drops off near the end of chapter eight, but it’s not by that much, and it has all the normal stuff I like about dialogue.
Writing Mechanics: This fic is fairly mechanically sound, especially at the beginning, but it drops off hard near the end. I don’t know what the fuck is up with this fic’s ending, but it’s absolutely awful and I hate it. Anyway, the mechanics are quite good.
Overall: What a disappointment. This fic should have been motherfucking fantastic. I love the premise, I love the author, the first few chapters were gold, and then it just fucking plunged off a cliff. It’s too canon compliant, it’s fucking boring, and it has a cartoony, ridiculous finale. This fic should have been a Crusade fic, but instead it barely scrapes the Good Tier, and that fucking hurts.
Final Thoughts: As much as I hate to say it, you can probably skip this one. It barely qualifies as good, and it burns pretty much everything it built up to the ground by the end of chapter nine.
Tier: Good Tier
Written on 05/20/2021