/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

The Girl who Didn't Just Live

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 519303/the-girl-who-didnt-just-live

Published: Jun '22Nov '22

Review in No. 39289925
Better known as 'Hailey Potter 6.0'. It's currently the last of them and not a rewrite of any of the prior ones. Normally, it would be wrong to review a fic that's currently ongoing and undergoing a re-write. However, there are two things absolving me. The first is the chapter 27's author's note: "I seriously am not bothering to read these before I post them any more. They suck.". This shows that the author knows that the future content sucks. The second is my sincere belief that the fic is so shit that no re-write can save it. There's very little commentary on why the author is doing the re-write. There's no blog posts or useful author's note. The best I could find was in comments sections with claims that more character interactions need adding. So why won't this save the fic? Because the lack of character interaction isn't the issue.

The fic's problem is that there's no fucking conflict. I don't mean that in the usual Sue fic sense where the protagonist is so overpowered that they crush all of the conflict. I mean that there's no conflict in the first place. Many chapters are spent merely describing (I can't even say discussing) whatever powers the characters have or what the technology that they've made with them can do. The author, for reasons only known to drug abusers, decided to make this fic a crossover with an unpublished work of one of their editors (blame Discord circlejerks). This gives us several chapters of sci-fi shit telling us how the various different types of unobtanium work. Re-writing to improve character interactions won't fix this. Rowling herself, who I praise as being great at writing info dumps naturally in to character interactions, couldn't salvage this.

It doesn't even do HP well. Most of the first book is done in letters fic form, giving the fic a heavy dependence on canon and skipping over many events. I don't recall much of the second book. They quickly narrow down the culprit by having eyes everywhere and then they go curbstomp Riddle. It's recently started the third book, but I'll not be reading.

I've yet to mention MLP. That's because hardly anything from MLP has been relevant yet. As with most of the author's other fics, there's thousands of ponies in Hogwarts, but in this fic they've hardly been relevant.

I could talk about the characters or praise whatever ideas the author's had with them, but it's difficult to discuss characters within a story when I'm the one claiming that this isn't a story at all. No conflict means no story. And there's no fucking conflict. Besides, aside from Ginnymort and perhaps the most overpowered Hailey yet, there's nothing that you've not already seen in the author's earlier works.

I'll post a review of Hailey Potter as a whole at some point, but I think this is the worst one. I almost gave that title to Gift of Divinity (5.0), but others have pointed out that I probably underrated the Sunset scenes.
Review in No. 40465410
The Girl Who Didn't Just Live is officially dead https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/1024948/the-girl-who-really-didnt-just-live-after-all-i-guess

This comes at an interesting time. I'm currently 23,000 words in to the rewrite. I was hoping that would make for a good comparison with canon, but the first book of HP is notoriously front-loaded with a few chapters that it didn't need. All I can do is ask that you take my word when I say that the fic is extremely bloated. Chapter 3 is 11,000 words and about half of it is spent getting money out of two characters' vaults, which they've discovered are filled to the brim. A lot of the bloat comes from unneeded world-building. I would usually praise any world-building at all and there's so much of it here that you're likely to find something you like just by virtue of the quantity, but almost all of it exists just to give Hailey more power. You could cut entire scenes and the reader wouldn't notice.

I don't know what was in the rewrite and what was in the original. I think the original is forever lost. So far, I see no hints that the issues of the original have been fixed. There is still no conflict in the story, not even inner conflict. The fic is largely spent adding powers to the cast. Unlike the author's better works, like The Accidental Invasion, the development of these characters barely affects the life of those with them. I can't imagine that the same person who wrote Fleur hiding her wings also wrote this crap. Also, as with my last review of this fic, I've yet to mention MLP because the MLP characters have yet to be relevant. I think that Sunset Shimmer is the only one to even get a name.

The blog post says that the author gave up rereading their own work at chapter 13 because there was already too much focus on the stuff they got from their Discord circlejerk. I'm happy to say that this crossover made the fic far worse, but the author has missed the point that their fic was fucked from long before that disease took root.
Review in No. 40483436
This fucking fic. I think I'm most of my way through the rewrite. There are about 45,000 words left. So little happens in 20,000 words that I'm forgetting chapter 8 already. It's no wonder that I can't remember what is new to the rewrite and what isn't. I previously said that there is no conflict in the fic. On second thought, this is not the full truth, but it is very close. Draco is the only character that has conflict. Ever since HP 2.0, the author has written Draco as drifting from his family due to Hailey's influence. Draco's plot is maybe 3% of the fic. Probably less. Every other character has no conflict and therefore no story. This will partly be due to the meta reason of the author clearly being sick of writing the first year of Harry Potter. The other reasons are that Ginny is a key character but cannot visit Hogwarts until the next canon year (much of the fic is in letter form due to this) and that the cast is so absurdly powerful that showing them discuss a problem is enough for the reader to know the problem is solved. So far, I don't think that I've seen a single problem solved at Hogwarts. Problems are merely discussed and assumed to be solved afterwards.

I cannot understate just how ridiculously powerful the cast is. Hailey and Ginny both have several scenes where they discover between one sentence and the next that they just know things. They even point this out in a meta way with phrases like "I've just realised" or "I don't know why I know that". The fic is filled with examples of this. I dare not point one out, because I don't want to give the impression that I've chosen a remarkable example. Three cast members, not Hailey or Ginny (they're "Royals"), are outright gods and it barely matters to the plot even though there are only four Gods in the setting. Snape, who is the God of Secrets, at one point wonders if Hailey is a new God of Knowledge. That's how often she "just knows thing". So few problems come to our cast that we don't even see them experiment with their powers. The only such scenes are those that are explore the sci-fi elements their the author got from their Discord circlejerk. The MLP characters are pretty powerful as well, but they're barely relevant.

This ultimately makes the rewrite so low quality that you would rather read a Sue fic. At least a Sue vanquishes their enemies. By comparison, a chapter which I'm expecting will contain the final boss fight of the original (chapter 9: 'The Philosopher's Stone RW) is just barely over 1,000 words despite it being a post-rewrite chapter.
Review in No. 40525248
I intended to write a second review after finishing the rewrite. However, rereading my original review reveals that I have nothing new to say. As I predicted, rewriting to add character interactions cannot save this fic because their lack was not the issue. If the rewrite adds any issues, it's probably just bloat.

I could expand on the points that I made in my earlier review or flesh them out with examples, but there is no real need to. The only gap in my original review is that I said that I found the Chamber of Secrets plot hard to remember. Upon a reread, it is clear why. I've put how how it goes in the rewrite in green below. Before reading this, recall my claims that: Draco is the only character with a conflict, but is 3% of the story; The MLP characters are irrelevant; The cast is so powerful that they do not even need to solve problems, merely discussing them is enough for the reader to think of them as solved; And that the only thing in the story that shows any exploration is the sci-fi Discord circlejerk that the author claimed killed their fic from chapter 13 onwards (they're wrong, it was already dead from the previous two points).
>Ch 13: This is the first CoS chapter, but before the end of the first scene, Hailey knows that Lockhart is a fraud. A third of the chapter is spent setting a replacement curriculum. This never comes up again, because merely discussing a problem is the same as solving it. Ginny is recruited as an instructor. The snake is heard and Parseltongue is figured out. Ginny instantly gives the location of the Chamber. Horcruxes are fully explained. A lots of paragraphs are spent with the sci-fi circlejerk to set up a monitoring system that will allow them to narrow down who The Heir is.
>Ch 14: The entire fucking chapter is spent on the sci-fi circlejerk. Most of it is just describing its nouns.
>Ch 15: First attack. Due to the circlejerk, which part of the student body that contains The Heir is massively narrowed down. A relationship with Myrtle is built. They agree to upgrade the circlejerk.
>Ch 16: Second attack. The circlejerk and many paragraphs supporting it narrow the student body down further.
>Ch 17: Some Dumbledore monologue. Another attack. A third of the chapter is spent with the circlejerk resurrecting someone. Hailey gives Lucius a big talk to about how his son is now his daughter.
>Ch 18: Lockhart defeated and monologued to. Chamber entered.
>Ch 19: Rita brought in to the story. Riddle defeated with ease (i.e. sci-fi). Hailey's backstory (ancient Death God) is given. The backstory takes up a lot of the chapter. The rest is spent further integrating Ginny in to the circlejerk.
>Ch 20: The circlejerk civilisation is introduced. The whole chapter is spent with them worrying about Ginny. Chamber escaped with Lockhart further punished.

I don't know what I've proven by writing that, but I hope it adds something.