Reviews for Ghosts of the Past
Gune23 chapter 66 . 12/5
Have to say this was 2 weeks well spent. Started off with CoS and now found myself here. About to start Unfinished business for more Caro/Harry goodness (hopefully)
I have absolutely loved the world you have created. I actually cant remember how i found CoS cause i honestly rabbithole fanfics like i do vids on youtube.
Looking forward to whatever you write up next but i am definitely looking forward to more of this is you choose to do so :)
dextron11 chapter 64 . 11/25
This arc feels a little disjointed from the rest of the story. I think it’s because the villain wasn’t really foreshadowed, and it doesn’t seem to connect back to the larger narrative. Previously, the big bads of each arc served to either expand and build the world, or to connect and further the plot. Something about this one feels very “monster of the week” though. It’s a creative monster, and it leads to possibly the most imaginative fight you’ve written yet, but it feels more like an elaborate plot device to develop Hermione than a vital story element. Unlike with Clark in the last arc, Hermione is already someone we know, and there was not building anticipation surrounding this like there was with Clark and Harry meeting. As such, it doesn’t hit as hard as it could have.
Mechanically however, this fight is right up there with the best you’ve written. The emotional stakes might not be as high, but you are really good at communicating just how weird stuff would inevitably get in high level magical combat. Too often, both in writing and visual media, magic is reduced to different colored bolts of light and maybe a few conjured chains or shields. This fight feels much more like what you would see if two people with the power to bend reality had a brawl. It preserves the wonder and awe of magic without devolving wholly into simile and metaphor.
dextron11 chapter 59 . 11/24
Seeing Harry back in a leadership role is very satisfying. He hasn’t really acted in that capacity since the Forever Red arc, for good reason, and this was a good way to show him owning that part of him again. I don’t really count the fight against Dave the Earth-Wyrm, because that was more of a prearranged exhibition match than anything else. It will be interesting to see, going forward, how Harry changes as a leader as he both matures and overcomes his trauma. While he’s clearly neither as impulsive nor as naive as he was during Easter or Red Sky Day, his PTSD obviously influenced every decision he made.
Based on the tarot card, one of Harry’s earlier visions, and Clark asking Chekhov’s question, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing Kara Zor-El at some point. I hope so. She would make a good addition, sort of the Jean to Clark’s Harry, but with the age difference reversed.
Are we going to see any classic Superman villains? Obviously Darkseid is out, Lex is good(?), and Void sort of took on the role of Parasite, but someone like Mxyzptlyk would fit in easily with the lore, and would be good for a more light-hearted interlude. Clark doesn’t have quite the rogues gallery of Batman or the Avengers, but there are some stand outs.
dextron11 chapter 54 . 11/23
The stand out part of this chapter, for me, was Hermione and Harry’s argument. As far as I can tell, it was a long, long time coming. For one, for much of this series Hermione has been… uptight? Self-righteous? Judgmental? In general, while she is clearly a good and kind person, she also tends to assume that she knows best and has a right to expect others to conform to her standards. It’s consistent with her canon character, and it certainly never progressed beyond being annoying, but it’s definitely the sort of thing that this new, confident, edgier Harry was always going to buck against.
This was a lesson in humility that she badly needed; the first, I suspect, if several. I’m glad that you didn’t end it with Bucky just explaining what she did wrong. Involving other authority figures was what any adult should do.
Ron, on the other hand, is clearly heading towards and ugly, but inevitable place. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about what you’re foreshadowing. On the one hand, people like Ron are tragically easy to manipulate, and it makes sense that Voldemort would take advantage of that. Furthermore, his issues with the Winter Soldier need to be resolved, and there’s just no way that will be pretty. It would also be a chance for Harry to lose part of his support network, a challenge he has not faced yet.
On the other hand, stories where Ron turns, or is turned, against Harry rarely resolve well. The necessary redemption arcs are usually unsatisfying, or skipped altogether. I’m confident you won’t dip into bashing, and I don’t think you’re setting Ron up to die tragically, but I worry you’ll make his character too unlikeable to recover, even if it’s only because of his prize-winning poor judgment. That all said, I look forward to reading what you do with him, which probably will be little like what I’m imagining.
dextron11 chapter 52 . 11/23
This chapter was, I think, the first time you really messed up in characterization. There is simply no way Harry Dresden would have allowed Strange to take his daughter like that without at least a shouting match followed by a lot of brooding, probably a fight. He nearly came to blows with McCoy in Peace Talks for even suggesting that he shouldn’t raise Maggie, and he likes him a lot more than he likes Strange. What’s more, the only reason he surrendered custody of Maggie in the books was because of his fear of the Winter Knight mantle combined with mental manipulation by one of the Fallen. At this point in his life, he is both more volatile and less mature than he was when he threatened McCoy, and so I would have expected him to be both less receptive to Strange’s reasoning and more angry at the mere suggestion. I don’t deny that Strange made some good points, and the whole situation fits thematically with the pattern of parents having to abandon their children, but Dresden caved far too easily. I really hope that this situation does not last overlong, and we get some Changes-esque style adventure to reunite them. That would also be a great way for Harry to spend more time with his godmother, whom he has not shared enough screen time with.
That said, the rest of the chapter was good. More Betsy is always enjoyable, as she fits the mold of Harry’s big sister even better than Jean does. It’s also nice to see someone finally stepping up to give Harry some serious telepathic training. His telepathic inelegance has become his biggest weakness, to the point where the excuses as to why Xavier had not given him some dedicated one on one training were wearing paper thin. For all that no one wants to treat Harry as a soldier, in many ways that’s what he is, and you don’t deny your greatest potential soldier vital training just because some kids need their psychological boo-boos kissed. There are bigger things at stake than Xavier’s role as counselor to the Mansion of Misfit Toys.
It’s also good that we get to see that, while Xavier is perhaps the best human psychic, he is far from the only one able to teach Harry. Your more mystical take on the Marvel universe is a pleasant contrast to the more sci-fi tone of the MCU, and it’s fun to see you expand that. Moving beyond Western European traditions is also always welcome, and something I wish more authors would do.
Looping back around to Dresden, will Molly play a role in this story? Her presence arguably does more to develop Dresden’s character than anyone until Maggie, and her personal character arc would fit nicely with the themes of this story. She also would be a potential pairing for Bruce, if his character does, in fact, get a romance story.
Child of Dreams chapter 20 . 11/22
I love how you're including BBC's Merlin in the history of this fic... :)
dextron11 chapter 32 . 11/21
While I still think that Forever Red was the best arc you have written to date, I think Dracula is the best villain. There’s something very satisfying about a bad guy who’s just competent. He makes good plans and executes them well, and unlike most he really does have the power to back up his arrogance. It’s like the best traits of Lucius Malloy, Gravemoss, and the Winter Soldier combined. I really hope we see him again after this arc, or else the version of his father from Dresden.
This fight was also, in my opinion, the best one on one fight so far. Part of that was the fact that, unlike Red Son vs Magneto, both combatants are their mentally. A lot of it though, was that it felt like Harry could have won. Unlike his fights with Gravemoss or Maddie (though I think he could have won that one too if he was clever enough), Harry seemed to have a (very) small chance at victory. It gave the fight more tension, because the outcome wasn’t obvious the whole time. It also served as a good barometer for Harry’s climbing power levels, as well as his planning abilities. He may not have come up with the best plan, but he came up with a decent one, and did so on the fly.
Child of Dreams chapter 17 . 11/19
Nimbus, would you mind explaining what you meant when you said you doubted any hardcore Christians were still reading at this point?
Because as a Christian myself, I'm not sure whether or not I should take offense to that statement...
Child of Dreams chapter 16 . 11/19
Is "Joshua" Jesus?
dextron11 chapter 21 . 11/18
I think the first half of this chapter was the best at showing exactly how damaged and changed Harry is from the Red Son saga. While his melodramatic hissy fits and attempted mass murder were definitely dramatic, showing how his trauma affected his everyday interactions and friendships brought the whole thing down to a more human scale. It’s good, because, between the cosmic entities, overpowered psychics, and insane necromancers, occasionally the more human and relatable elements of the characters and story get a little buried. They’re never gone, but lowering the stakes from time to time helps ameliorate that.
Regarding the Phoenix fragment, is the fragment itself corrupted, or is it just that Harry is too unstable to use it right now? Will he be able to use it safely in the future, once he loosens up a bit more?
dextron11 chapter 9 . 11/17
I think that what you did with Maddie and Dudley was some of the best side character work you’ve done. For Maddie, I far prefer her to Jean. She has the flaws and hang-ups that allow for character growth, and the way you write her power seems less broken than Jeans. They’re both still way too powerful, and the whole ‘unlimited potential’ thing is absurd, but in Maddie it doesn’t feel like it breaks the story as much as it does Jean. I think it’s because we see her actually struggle. Jean is never in a position where she has to struggle for victory, let alone where she loses. Maddie does both, and it makes her more sympathetic.
As for Dudley, it’s just nice to see an author do something, anything, of significance with his character. He’s underused, even in stories where he is ‘redeemed’, let alone where he remains a prick. Having him in this position was a good way to give us a gauge of how much Harry has matured in the last year, as well as how far he has to go.
Speaking of far to go, I think this might be Harry’s dumbest plan yet. That’s good, because it reminds us of how young an untrained he really is. If he was tactically minded, even with his current skills, defeating Maddie would have been fairly easy. He would have detonated the biggest magical flash bang he could, right in her face. While she’s focused on which way is up, transform the ground under her to break her footing. Even if she floats, it wouldn’t matter. Then he would close distance and deliver a rapid beating. If needed, involve Carol for extra help. Alternatively, if he was being nasty, he could have just frozen the water in her eyes.
Seeing him opt for the noble, dumb, hopeless battle without even considering his other options draws an excellent contrast with his colder, more calculating persona later on.
Question time. As Harry grows into his Asgardian heritage, will he start manipulating soulfire? You mentioned early in COS that that is what really distinguishes Asgardians from mortals. It would be awesome, fit in with his fire powers, and give him an excuse to spend time with Dresden. I have a wonderful image in my head of the mad wizards Harry getting into a contest of pyromaniacal oneupmanship. Anything that doesn’t burn will die from the bad jokes.
EZChunka chapter 66 . 11/16
Miss your work, man. One of my favorite authors on the site. Sad seeing this story die.
dextron11 chapter 4 . 11/16
I have to say, I really don’t like this version of Jean. To be fair, I have never been fond of the character, but this version is just stupidly powerful in a way that feels unearned. There was no power creep with her; she went from below Harry to the most powerful human character in the series in one chapter. Harry may be playing catch-up, but it seems like he will never surpass her, which just feels wrong to me. Harry is growing into an Omega level power at least twice over, probably thrice if you count where his magic is going. Jean coming in as red headed mutant Jesus just feels weird for some reason. I think it might be because you spend so much time hyping up how powerful Harry is getting, and giving us a fantastic power creep for him, only to then spend almost as much time telling us how much weaker he is than those around him. The back and forth is jarring.
I’m also not a fan of how people treat Jean’s hair trigger, and potentially city destroying temper as an endearing character quirk. It’s not. Her temper is a serious threat to global security, and one she should be receiving training to control.
On the other hand, outside of her broken power, she comes across as likable and well written. Her scenes of interacting with Harry are good for reminding us of his actual age, something that is easy to forget with how often he winds up in the thick of it. I even like that she has a temper, as it humanizes her a little. I just don’t think everyone should be quite so cavalier about her anger.
Finally, after that long, semi-incoherent ramble, I have two questions. One, why has no one taught Harry how to teleport?Loki mentioned that it’s an easy enough skill, and it would certainly help Harry out a lot.
Two, why hasn’t Odin made him a full Asgardian? Considering the threats he faces, it would seem to be the easiest way to give Harry the strength to triumph. As has been, and will be mentioned multiple times by Diana and Uhtred, Harry’s greatest weakness is his mortal body. Making him a full Asgardian would solve that.
Crazy Girl Writer chapter 66 . 11/16
Well it's closing in on a year since you've updated and I've reached the end of the series so far. The amazing addicting entrancing series.

I'm still mad at you for killing Arthur Weasley but I get it. It works for this story. I'm still wondering what happened to nymphadora tonks because I thought you said she was alive but like hiding it? That's the impression I got and even then she's siriuss cousin I thought she'd be mentioned at least.

Wisdom/regulus is a weird one for me. He's a great character but he's also a jerk lol. I find it weird he's left a huge security breach in his empire in himself with his dark mark. He knows voldemort can control people through it so why hasn't he done something about it? You could argue that he himself can't counter it, remove it or whatever because voldemort is more powerful then him buuuuutttt wisdom knows many powerful wizards/witches/sorcerers/sorceresses that could find a solution. Unless of course this becomes a back door into weakening voldemort. However I just see it a big security hole.

I love how you've meshed all these different worlds together. I think that may have become a small problem for you as well or maybe not so much you as maybe your readers. Things tend to fall by the wayside, like the fantastic four which you touched on being changed by the cosmic radiation and taken by the government but no more. Also why weren't Darcy and Jane affected by the same energy? Shouldn't they have changed as well? Love the doctor who reference in that scene btw. On another character side line is jean-pauls sister. We haven't actually met her and I'm not clear on if she's his twin or younger sister because she's described as someone that behaves much younger then him but I could have sworn she was referred to as his twin. Jean-paul confuses me because he seemed to go from open and mischievous to extremely guarded and closed off.

I'm glad we're finally getting the hermione is Wanda's daughter in the open but considering hermione already went through seeing a similar situation played already her actions and Reactions are a little off. She was there while harry dealt with the whole "godmother left me to keep me safe". Although I understand she'd be upset since now it's her in that position and figuring it out right after a pretty traumatic experience. Yeah okay maybe her first reaction is understandable. But also this is hermione and she's a bit more rational or maybe understanding about things going with the facts and getting over shocks pretty quickly. For example just after the troll incident she was composed enough to lie to her teachers, maybe not a great lie or even a good reason to lie but still. (Yeah why did she say she was hunting it down when she could have just said she was upset and hadn't gone to feast they had heard and rushed to find her has always been a sticking point for me in the books) anyways I've lost my train of thought. I hope you show her working through the logical side while still of course holding onto the hurt a little but please don't turn her into ron who blows things out of proportion and context. Just a request cause hey it's your story and you know where you're taking it.

Ron. Ugh I see where this is going with him and the winter soldier and voldemorts manipulation of things, but I really hope it doesn't. Honestly I keep seeing the path of Ron finding out (cause its gonna happen obviously) and being so hurt he turns against everyone. I don't really see him understanding that the winter soldier like the red son was just a weapon used to do harm. Basically a robot with programming and some tiny semblance of the human inside. Yes the winter soldier had a bit more human to him then the red son but he was reset and reprogrammed many times and was still just a long range weapon. I keep waiting for someone to use that explanation with Ron but no one has lol. I hope Ron doesn't turn into a Peter Pettigrew but that honestly where I see it going because of his issues.

With all my word worries whatever vomit aside, you write a darn good story and I can't wait to see more. I'll have to go read the side stories to get a little fix but hopefully you'll be back with more of this story soon. Thanks and good writing vibes sent your way!
TheAvengingKnight chapter 43 . 11/9
So the scene where Cedric notes that the Wyrm makes all other dragons he's seen seem 'lesser' makes me wonder how 'lesser' Jormungand makes his sons and daughters look.

That thing is the size of a modest island so will dear old Dad be...oh...continent sized or planet sized? If a neutron star was enough to earn Thor the win then I'm guessing more a continent sized monster than a literal World Serpent? But that's probably due to the potency of the neutron stars gravity field rather than a problem of the stars size vs however large Jormungand was.

I mentioned it recently, I think, and feel the need to do it again. Dave is great. I love how theatrical he is. Solid showman that one. Naturally I have to ask how does his theatricality compare with his Father?

Unless Jormungand is less Glaurung/Smaug and more Ancalagon - Surtur's heavyweight cosmic scale abomination with no real time or care for word games - the same way Ancalagon was really just Morgoth's ultimate muscle during the last days of the War of Wrath.
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