Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Not only is this the best fanfiction I've ever read, it is among my favorite novels of all time, and so far I've only been able to read up to chapter 85.
This is a reimagining of the canonical novels of Harry Potter where the main character is extremely rational. Although he is a preteen, this version of Harry Potter has a mind on par with an extremely gifted 18 year old, and it shows. His nemesis, Voldemort, is similarly increased in intelligence by a dramatic amount. The Tom Riddle of this fanfic really knows what he's doing, and is the perfect villain to go against this genius Harry.
The author started a little slow in the first few chapters -- at the moment, he is rewriting them to fix this problem. But once you get past the first half dozen chapters, this novel just gets better and better and better. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this review, the novel is not yet finished (only 85 chapters are so far published), so you might want to postpone reading this until a finalized text is fully finished. On the other hand, it is worth reading now, even unfinished, just because it is that damn good.
The world of HPMOR is written in the hard fantasy genre -- this is fantasy, like Rowling's HP, but instead of random fantastical elements like most fantasy novels have, HPMOR uses hard rational rules for the universe of Harry Potter, and actually spends a good deal of time during the story explicating how the world is the way that it is.
If you like the Harry Potter universe, but would love to see what the world would look like if both Voldemort and Harry were much, much, much smarter, then you will love this book. I highly recommend it. Very highly recommend it.
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