Status: Complete, Word Count: 145,300, Pairing: None
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/13827438/ubiquitouslyverbose
Characterization: This fic has some decidedly fantastic characterization, but it also falters in some fairly major ways near the beginning. First of all, from start to finish, Anne Rosier is a great character. There’s clearly a lot going on with her that we don’t know about yet, she’s written in a memorable, distinct way, and she’s an absolute joy to read about. Her conversations with characters such as Snape and Dumbledore are some of the absolute best moments in this fic, and she’s just absolutely great. Also, for the most part, the rest of the Slytherin Hierarchy are all very well written. Now, a lot of them are admittedly very minor characters, but Ubiq makes the absolute most of the limited time he has with them, and they’re all honestly very memorable. Especially Lucian Bole, who gets a few rather interesting interactions with both Harry and Rosier. Speaking of Harry, the Potter twins are great if you ignore the first five or so chapters. Unfortunately, I’m not in the business of ignoring chapters I don’t like, so let’s discuss those first five chapters. It is very clear to me that, around chapter six, Ubiq finally figured out what he wanted to do with this whole fanfiction thing, because there was an enormous spike in this fic’s quality, and suddenly I liked reading it. However, what’s important for this section, is that all of the characters became suddenly full of life and interesting, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the Potter twins. Up until this point, this fic had me very worried, because despite saying “No Bashing” in the description, this fic appeared to be laying the groundwork for a standard, by the books, Slytherin!Harry Dumbledore!bashing fic. Harry’s characterization was sloppy, it was bland, and it was boring to read about. The same can honestly be said about Rose, but she was at least an original character, so she was able to hold my attention a little bit more easily. Now, to be clear, I still thought their interactions were fairly cute and heartwarming, but I didn’t really think that would be enough to carry the fic. However, once the characterization became consistently better, I started enjoying myself a lot more, and I set my bashing concerns aside before settling in and reading with a renewed vigor. It turned out that, once the writing improved, Harry became one of my absolute favorite characters! His anger issues are managed masterfully, I think his abstract ice magic honestly adds a lot of intrigue to his character, and his overprotectiveness of Rose and anger at Dumbledore suddenly feel a lot more subjective to him, rather than the fic telling me that all of his views and opinions are correct. Rose also became far more interesting! I especially enjoyed the connection she made with Rosier in a few of the later chapters, and I still think that the scene with Rose, Rosier, and the music box is one of the strongest scenes in any of Ubq’s stories (and that is a category with some stiff competition). Um….who else is there? Oh that’s right, Daphne and Draco are both characters who sure do exist. I think Draco’s fairly interesting, and his motivations are, as far as I know, unique to this fic, and although Daphne didn’t really annoy me, she also didn’t really have anything interesting going on either. Finally, Ron and Hermione both showed up a few times, and oh boy they sure did exist. Overall, I think that this fic has a lot going for it in terms of characterization, but oh boy those first five chapters bog it down a lot.
Plot: This fic’s plot has a lot of really great things going for it. I think abstract magic is a really neat idea, and it’s visualized very well here. I also think that, once this fic really hits its stride (around chapter ten or so) its trope subversion is really well done. It sets up some extraordinarily cliche Dumbledore bashing about two chapters in, and it’s honestly subverted in an absolutely brilliant way a bit more than half way through. However, this brings up this fic’s biggest issue, which is that a lot of the setup takes place within the first five chapters, which are all honestly very bad. This creates an issue where there’s a lot of great payoff that happens later on in the story, but because it lacks setup it doesn’t feel nearly as satisfying as it should have. Massive credit for making Voldemort kick Rosier’s ass at the end though. It’s good to see that Voldemort will be an intimidating, powerful villain who can easily overpower even the most powerful of teenagers, because this is a pitfall that many, many fics often fall into, and it’s always incredibly frustrating. Overall, I think that this fic’s plot is fairly good. Barring the first five chapters, it’s got consistently interesting ideas, a lot of great character moments, and some fairly engaging action near the end.
Dialogue: Now, this may seem like something of a pattern, but the dialogue becomes great around chapter six, and stays great until the end of the fic. Rosier and Harry are definitely the most distinct when it comes to speech patterns, but characters like Daphne, Pansy, and Rose do have a few mannerisms here and there that make it easy to distinguish them from other characters during long, dialogue-driven scenes. However, some of the lesser Hierarchy members kind of blend together sometimes, and none of Draco’s scenes are especially memorable. It’s also worth mentioning that none of the characters are at all distinct from each other during the first few opening chapters, which is a real shame. However, those chapters’ stiff, boring dialogue don’t bring the overall fic down too much, so….I’m thinking that this category averages out to being firmly good.
Action: The action in this fic is honestly great! There isn’t very much of it, but there’s definitely more of it than there is romance, so that’s what we’re talking about here. Luckily for all parties involved, the action doesn’t really start up until at least half way through the story, and as a result, it’s all fucking fantastic. I think that the final confrontation with Quirrel/Voldemort is one of the best versions of that scene that I’ve ever seen in a fic. I’m a huge fan of how Harry’s fuck up near the end of the fic kind of leads directly into it, and I also think it leads to some fantastic character moments between Rose, Rosier, and Fred. I was honestly insanely impressed by it, and I really just have to say well done, Ubiq. I’m not far enough into Serpentine Advice to know how you handle action in that fic, but if it’s anything close to as good as it is in this fic then I’m sure I’ll absolutely love it.
Writing Mechanics: This fic’s mechanics get steadily better as it goes on. There are definitely a few noticeable awkward sentences and grammar errors in the first few chapters, but by the time Year One winds down there aren’t any errors that really pull me out of the story. This definitely demonstrates Ubiq’s improvement over the course of the ficm and is honestly rather impressive. Seeing an author improve as they write is extremely gratifying, and it’s kinda cool to look back at chapter one after reading this fic all the way through, just to compare the beginning to the end. The improvement is astounding!
Overall: Despite it’s rocky start, I really enjoyed Year One of Fellowship of the Potters. It has some fantastic moments near the end, and is an all around pleasant read. Now, if I’m being honest, I don’t think this will ever be in my top tier of fanfics, just because it’s not really the type of story that I personally gravitate towards, but that doesn’t stop me from having an all around good time with it and saying that I highly recommend it, because I did and I do. It’s a very good fic, and I hope it continues being as good as it is here.
Final Thoughts: If you like AU stories, then this fic is for you. If you like trope subversion, then this fic is for you. If you like great OCs, then this fic is for you. You may struggle to get through the first few chapters, but I’d honestly recommend giving Fellowship of the Potters Book One a shot. You most likely will not be disappointed.
Tier: Great Tier
Written on 05/20/2021