Review: Life Renovations — by Windseeker2305

Other Reviewers: Goodreads

I am tired and burned out.  For the last 7 months I have been working my ass off at a new job, trying to fix my new house up, and weave into a new community and friends.  My entire life has changed, including what I do to relax and unwind.  After a little more of a year, I have lost 85 pounds, much of this is due to limiting my desk / bed activities.  Which means that I spend less time being depressed and reading.

Thus my slowing down at blog posting.  And the good news, my blog site is getting tons of book requests.  The problem? I have not posted a book review in months that I wanted to read originally.  Not that I did not enjoy the books, just that it becomes “homework” and I do not want to jump at reading them.  And then my busy schedule hits and I put things off.

And now here we are, over a month later and I am finally getting to a post.  I feel badly for authors that I have scheduled to review, but I just have felt such a huge level of burn-out at every point of my life.

So, not to digress too far, I decided to post a review that I WANTED to do.  This week is a series I have not finished, but I have been reading non-stop for over a week.  And this series is MASSIVE.

When I say this series is massive, I mean massive:  at 1,376,466 words, you get your fill.  It is Harry Potter fan-fiction, which as you know, I love me some fan-fiction.  If you want to check out the direct link go here.  Archive of Our Own is a wonderful place, and if you are in need of great free reads, this is a great place to start.  I have been reading some One Direction, Sterek, and Harry Potter fiction like crazy.

The Life Cycle series is one that begins somewhat  in the Harry Potter universe, but we move quickly into an alternate universe.

Basic Plot:

Harry Potter is rescued by unlikely new allies from his abusive Aunt and Uncle’s home.  From there, Harry discovers that he has a new mate, Draco.  But what other changes in Harry’s life can he expect and is he ready for it?  Can he and Draco rise to the challenges ahead?

Harry Potter:

Harry is good at hiding his problems; he has been hiding them for years.  However, as much as he thinks his body can heal, his spirit is dying.  As he becomes trapped in is own mind, someone, Draco discovers that there is much more to Harry than his fame.

Harry’s head started to move back and forth, and he groaned and started to shake.  Draco stilled his hands.  “Potter?  Can you open your eyes?”

“No, I’m sorry… I know I deserve it, but please… stop hitting me.”  Harry was clearly trapped in his mind, in his pain.

Draco growled deep in his throat, and glared at Harry’s relatives.  “No one deserves to be treated this way!  Especially not Harry Potter!  Do you know who this boy is?”  He yelled, still cradling Harry’s head in his lap.  “He is the Savior of the Wizarding World!  He is the only one who can save us!”

This becomes one of the challenges of the book and the series:  is Harry good enough to have everyone’s faith put on his shoulders?   One of the themes of this book revolves a great deal around Harry’s character development.

Draco Malfoy:

I love Draco.  He is the warrior, the passionate fighter who is completely devoted to Harry and their destiny.  Draco too, matures and becomes who he is meant to be, but I saw less of character development with Draco.  From the beginning of the story we see the connection between the two.  Despite all of the action and subplots, we have a huge theme of love and devotion:

There was something else though.  He knew deep down t his ache was caused by something else, perhaps someone else.  Draco sighed and dropped his forehead against the cool glass of the window.  As soon as his eyes closed, a flash of pained and frightened green eyes flashed into his minds eye, causing Draco to gasp and clutch at his chest with that hand.

“Potter?” he whispered.

What is interesting of this fan-fiction is that we still have the same Draco character we know from the movies and books, yet we see him walking down a different path than what the movies show us.  He is still dark, but his love and devotion to Harry and  Harry’s vision keeps him on the “right path”.

Theme Summary:

This is a large series, with much of it consisting of world building, action, and dialogue.  But all throughout the story and sub-plots, we hear this refrain: We must learn to believe in ourselves before others will believe and follow.  Leaders might be born for their roles, but they must have the heart to pursue their dreams.

Draco and Harry are born with a destiny, one which at first they are not ready for and must have both mental and physical transformations.  The three books step us through this process, moving us from one realm to another.

Strong Points:

The world building in this series is amazing.  The author builds multiple universes revolving around the Ukatae culture.  It is too much to go into detail here, but briefly they are ancient magical creatures.  They once were leaders and plentiful, but inner turmoil and strife has left them all but extinct.  Now, it is up to Draco and Harry to lead and build a new world.

The first book is about Harry and Draco resolving the wizard conflicts we are familiar within the books and movies.  The second book is a mixture of wrapping up that issue and building the tension of the “new bad guy” of the Ukatae plot lines.  Be prepared for a lot of sub-plots.  But, at least for me, I was never bored with them and I did little skimming.  Sometimes with fan-fiction we can see where an editor might be able to cut, and while I can see that with the second book (God was that long), the first and last book are pretty tight.

Keep in mind that you will want to read straight through, so I would go ahead and download all three at once.  Also, accept the fact that you will not be able to read this in a week, let alone a day.  Pace yourself, you will need it.

What could be better?

If anything, the series could use some editing, there is a lot of sub-relationships that we see, both in the wizard world as well as Ukatae.  However, at the same time, they move the plot forward and with every relationship that we see evolve, we learn more about the culture.  So, I would find it hard to eliminate any of the relationships from the books.

Also, these characters are DARK!  If you have any type of problem with ambiguous morality, then this series might not be for you.  I would not say they are “evil”, but they are not “goodie-goodie”.

Conclusions:

This is another example of why fan-fiction is so important.  It is a great place for new writers to get a launching board into creating their own worlds and develop their own voice.  I can see with Windseeker’s imagination going somewhere with their writing.  We need fan-fiction like this and places like Archive of Our Own to give people a place to grow.

 

Such a well written series. I look forward to reading more by this author.

Bea

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