Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fanfic Reviews: For the Potion Master's Amusement (Snape/Hermione, MA/NC-17, complete) by snape.submiss

So I wish that I could give this fic an adequate review, but the truth is that I quit reading seven chapters in, and it actually encompasses a whopping eighty-six chapters.
When I initially began reading this story I had no idea that it was a dom/sub fic, but even after learning that it was, despite it not being my thing, I decided to give it a go simply because it's so fabulously well-written.

Make no mistake: This story is quite well-written with very few, if any, technical errors, and the author thankfully knows how to punctuate quotations, a pet peeve of mine. However, I realized that I was no longer interested in continuing the fic when I completed the end of chapter seven & there was an a/n explaining that chapter eight had been removed from the site--and I realized I had no interest in finding out what was so "bad" in that chapter that the site administrators had deemed it worth removing while leaving up the other explicit chapters. After all, I cringed in the previous scenes where Hermione was spanked by Snape; I don't get off on reading/watching people being tortured/humiliated, so therefore I have no interest in reading anything that would be considered worse.

Things I liked:

-Physically, Snape was depicted realistically. In the first chapters, Hermione is confused by her sexual attraction to her Potion's Master, even thinking him to be "ugly."

-Ron wasn't depicted as a moron. Granted, he was ignored (In fact, up through chapter eight practically zero interaction with any other characters.) , but that's better than having him turned into a callous idiot. Although, since I stopped after 7, I suppose there's still plenty of time for that.

Things I was on the fence about:

-Hermione's characterization. In practically every Snape/Hermione fic I've ever read, she's this gullible person with not much personality who lets Snape walk all over her and control her emotions. The sad thing is, when I thought about it, the character depicted in this story isn't too far off from canon: Hermione sought the approval of her teachers through acceleration in the classroom, her way of attempting to fit in to the Magical world. It seems strangely in-character that she would seek Snape's approval, one of her few teachers that she could never impress.

-Snape's characterization. Where to start? I liked his sneering, cold attitude toward Hermione to a degree, as it seemed in-character, but then he switched gears completely at one point, going practically cordial on her. Also, and I suppose that this can be dismissed rather easily, but there's a nagging voice in the back of my mind that takes issue with the idea of Snape having sexual relations with his students. In normal circumstances, I simply don't think he would. I've read clever stories that worked around this issue, but this isn't one of them.

Things I didn't like:

-Snape is a man in a position of authority over Hermione, and I didn't like that he dismissed her feelings of jealousy. After all, she's still a teenager, one of his students, and he should know that it's often difficult for young women to separate sex and emotions. Therefore, he should be prepared for it not to end well. If she's feeling vindictive, she could even get him fired.

-I wasn't sure where exactly this branched off from canon. There were no A/Ns offering an explanation for where this story fits into the timeline. I would've assumed that the author merely started it before Half-Blood Prince was written, except that the publishing date was 2009 & the last chapter was posted July of last year.

Anyway, my personal taste has no bearing whatsoever on this author's writing abilities and storytelling prowess, and I'm sure that fans of dom/sub stories will find it quite enjoyable. Me, however, I'm going to have to bow out.

I'm leaving it listed under my favorites at FFn for those who wish to check it out.


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