|Reviews for Sidestep|
| DezoPenguin 7/6/11 . chapter 1
Ah, another excellent entry in the series, one of the best thus far, combining a nice variety of positive traits.
The beginning divination, with Gwyn falling into the black hole, was an excellent start for the story. The imagery of staring into darkness and not being able to move was moving and dramatic; moreover, the aftereffects of the dream do a good job of explaining why Gwyn seems particularly snarky about Adan and Kara in this story (mind you, a certain snarkiness is only to be expected, since the twins have all the natural closeness of such a bond and Kara pokes her way in there as a third wheel who's much closer to one twin-Adan-than the other and therefore unbalances the relationship and leaves Gwyn out in the cold, as it were).
The game-adaptation elements were strong and well thought-out here. I like the explanation that the Layan line includes true Esper magic and thus explains the prophetic dreams (we recall that Rolf in PSII had such dreams, and since he was descended from Alis-who could use magic in PSI when there were no Techniques and therefore is herself an Esper-that is an ability that one could ascribe to Espers and links things together). (In my own stories, I suggest that *all* Layans are in fact Espers, but that's my theory; this one works just as well.)
Furthermore, I like that you've improved on the game's method of guiding the heroes to their next step on the quest (Skyhaven). It would be one thing if it were Lune who'd given them that direction-but honestly, I would assume that Lune (until his change of heart) would have threatened to destroy Skyhaven if he knew of it, as a source of power not allied to his quest (you even hint at that situation, at the Frigidians not being quite trustworthy from his POV, near the end). And it's patently absurd in terms of story logic that a random soldier on Dahlia would pass on that key information. In this way, things make more sense. In "Her Prince," they learned that the attack on the New Mota was launched from Techna, so that seems the logical next step to investigate, but instead they are guided to Frigidia (and to Mystoke, where the previous generation already visited so the characters here would have some knowledge of its existence and role in the story). Good work with this.
The best part of the story, though, lies in the exchanges between the characters. Kara's shyness and defensiveness about her crush, Gwyn's insight and the temper than makes her unwilling to let the issue drop, Adan's cool acceptance of Gwyn's abilities (highlighting their closeness, which in turn, like Gwyn's ability to read Adan's emotions, highlights the depth of emotion between the twins and thus explains Kara's reluctance).
One piece of criticism here: You go overboard on the use of "coeval." Once or twice in a story provides a kind of atmospheric detail, whereas five times in a 3000-word story is jarring. Basically, it's like any situation where a word gets overused and synonyms are needed to make things flow more easily, except that it's such an unusual word that it stands out even more strongly.
Other than that one hitch, though, this was a superb entry in the series, working on multiple levels.
| Vicious Pink 1/8/11 . chapter 1
Kara's and Gwyn's conversation is hilarious. Their language is very grown-up (which is understandable considering their upbringings), but the subject matter is most definitely that of two teenage girls. I also like the portrayal of Gwyn's nightmare at the beginning as well as the connection between Layans and Espers.
"He's shirtless, not naked."
Hahaha. :D Gwyn is awesome.
| LilBoots 12/31/10 . chapter 1
Fantastic story! You have a way with words as desciptors and you write very well. I positively *loved* the CATTY banter between Gwyn and Kara, it reminded me very much of Ozaki's particular art piece of an irritated! Gwyn observing Kara and Adan. But I digress. The "childbearing figure" diss is PERFECT. A head-toss somewhere in there would be fitting with the atmosphere, but you get the snorts down pat.
I also VERY much enjoyed the Layan-Esper-blood theory. Actually, I have discussed this possibility with other Phantasy Star fans in the past and I think it's the most logical and likely explanation for Gwyn's clairvoyant gifts.
Well done. I'm adding this story to my favorites list.
| augmentedfourth 12/27/10 . chapter 1
Hmm, very interesting having some of the Layan clan be Espers.
I like how Gwyn isn't quite sure about how she feels about Kara being romantically interested in her brother. If I'm remembering correctly, in your last story, Gwyn was more encouraging, but going back and forth seems normal, as it's hard to picture your sibling in that way.
The beginning of the story was very well-written - I had forgotten the summary by the time I started reading it, and I wasn't quite sure where you were going, but I definitely wanted to find out.