In Her Image

By BolshevikMuppet99

Status: Complete, Word Count: 7,900, Pairing: None, Genre: Horror/Tragedy

Read the Fic Here:

Summary: “One-Shot. Set in the Downward Spiral Saga. Begins after chapter 20 of Book 5. What does it take to tear apart and rebuild a person? Bellatrix isn’t sure, but she will find out.”

My Thoughts: Trigger Warning: This fic is a oneshot about the torture and complete breaking of a character, until she can be rebuilt in her tormenter’s image. It features, in no particular order, horrific acts of violence, sexual assault, dehumanization, mental torment, and basically anything else horrible that you can think of. If you’re bothered by any of these things, avoid this shit like the plague. If you’re bothered by the discussion of these things, this review probably isn’t for you. You have been warned. So without further ado, let’s get into the review.

So In Her Image is without a doubt the most fucked up the Downward Spiral Saga gets. I would, in fact, call it torture porn, even if it’s a bit heavier on the torture than it is on the porn. This won’t be a long review, but I do think it is important to cover all aspects of the series, so…….yeah I guess it does have to exist. And I think it’s actually surprisingly good for what it is. It has a clear purpose from beginning to end, it does a very good job breaking down Tonks’ psychology, and it’s actually quite tasteful when it comes to the more….gratuitous aspects of the story. What I’m saying is that despite having a fair amount of horrific sexual assault, it’s written in a way where it would be basically impossible to get off to it, which adds to the horror and tragedy of it. It’s one of the few cases where I’ll defend the inclusion of something like this in a fanfic, because it’s very carefully portrayed and has a purpose.

It’s also very unpleasant to read, pretty much from beginning to end, which in this case is an enormous positive. If this was fun to read, well, it would mean that Bolshe had failed in what he was setting out to do, and that would be catastrophic for the entire series. Also for what it’s worth, the torture is very creative. There’s a fair amount of the Cruciatus being bandied about, but that’s to be expected for the saga. The far less boring part is the dehumanization and the psychological torment, which…..yikes, that was tough to get through.

The prose is also pretty good, for what it’s worth. A bit of telling here and there, but that’s honestly to be expected for most fanfiction prose. But I’d consider the writing here to be some of the strongest in the saga, and that’s quite an accomplishment. Doing a good job writing something like this is a very difficult thing to do, and it’s a credit to Bolshe’s writing that he succeeded.

Now I do have to say, this is probably the reason why the Saga is looked on as gratuitous torture porn, because I imagine a lot of people heard about this, went to read it, and noped the fuck out real quick. But honestly, I thought it was well done. It may not be for everyone, but if you think you’d enjoy staring into the yawning black chasm that is the hard reality of what a dark!Harry would actually look like, I’d definitely recommend giving it a go. I consider the ending to be worth the pain it’ll probably put you through.

So yeah, I’d honestly consider this one to be pretty damn great. If you’re into the series, I’d highly recommend reading this as well, or if you’re just looking to read something fucked up that’ll leave you shaken, you can’t go wrong here either.

Tier: Great Tier

Written on 11/27/2021

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