It’s been a while... For today, some Hermione goodness: I’ve seen the first story recced loads of times so if you’re a big Hermione fan, you probably know it already, but just in case here are reviews of two stories centred around Hermione: both from the point of view of a male character in love with / attracted to her, and both with a great plot and good characterization.
Length: 17 chapters so far
Status: Incomplete, slow updates
My opinion: Very good
Genre: Thriller / Adventure with a dash of romance
Rating: NC 17
Pairings: Harry / Hermione
Spoilers: Spoilers for all 7 books, disregards the epilogue
Author’s Summary: After ten years of self-imposed exile, Harry Potter heads home to a wizarding Britain once again embroiled in civil war. Except this time, the Ministry is claiming that the new Dark power is Hermione Granger.
Critique: The plot is great. So much so that the story is well-worth reading even if you’re not a big fan of H/Hr romance. As the story is told from the point of view of Harry, who has no idea what’s been going on in Britain in the past few years, with occasional flashbacks, you discover the situation very gradually, which makes it all the more gripping.
The author is also very clever in using every available clue in canon to make a Dark!Hermione convincing. The result is a story with a pretty original plot, but in which everyone is completely in character. I also love the fact that there are no “good guys” or “bad guys”. Even though most characters have completely different and often incompatible points of view, they’re represented in such a way that you can relate to all of them and to all their ways of seeing things.
I’m not quite as convinced by the romance aspect of the fic though: IMO the writer relies on sexual attraction too much, as if she had no idea how to make it convincing otherwise. Still, even that aspect is handled competently, even if not as well as the rest.
Where to find it: http://grangerenchanted.com/enchant/view
(NB : you have to register to access that fic)
Title: The Heiress
Author: Heronmy Weasley
Length: 18 chapters so far
Status: Incomplete with monthly (?) updates
My opinion: Very Good
Genre: Thriller & bittersweet romance
Pairings: Ron / Hermione
Spoilers: Theoretically all seven books, but with a very different take on what happened during and straight after the war
Author’s Summary: It's been 10 years since the end of the war. Ronald Weasley is divorced and trying not to die of boredom in his steady desk job at Gringotts. But when the woman who ruined his life seeks help unraveling a puzzling situation, he gets more excitement than he bargained for.
More detailed summary: Ron and Hermione used to be crazy about each other, but a difficult choice ruined everything and they haven’t seen each other in a long time. Now Hermione is in deep, mysterious trouble and Ron cannot help caring.
Critique: Again, great plot. It gets more complex with each chapter and yet it seems the author is completely in control and that everything will gradually make sense. As in the previous story, characterization is dead on. You really sympathise with the points of view of both character even if they are completely at odds. The whole story is told from the point of view of Ron and I must say I have read few stories which make him so completely in character and so extremely likable. Ron’s character has a sort of rueful lucidity, never perfect but always honest about it, that makes him a rather compelling narrator. The romance aspect of the fic is also well handled: the affection and longing of the two characters feels very real, and so do the difficulties they have to face. All in all, a really good story: easy to read, yet subtle; some sweet romance, but mostly a great mystery plot.
Where to find it: on FictionAlley: http://www.fictionalley.org/authors/hero