Reviews for An Interval of Calamity
AlfaVictor chapter 15 . 12/31/2020
So this is the second (I guess technically 3rd fic of yours that I've read), the first being The Rage Inherent Trilogy, then Cenotaph I: The Morrow. For differing reasons, I was never able to finish either of them, with The Rage Inherent becoming more summary like in the late 2nd act and 3rd act, and Cenotaph having a dead Tali. It's definitely been interesting to see how your writing has changed over time. I should probably leave a review to both; I really enjoyed Cenotaph until it really sank home that Tali wouldn't be able to do anything in the fic :(.

I'm a big fan of angst, so suffice to say, this fic was right down my alley. I could definitely see the lessons you took from The Rage Inherent, any character development isn't accomplished by quick summarizations of what had happened, but instead descriptions of what the characters are feeling. There's a big issue with most angst fics, where the characters just seem kind of dumb or the conflict is misplaced/underdeveloped. I'm happy to say that this fic avoids most of the common pitfalls (having Shepard be under the influence for most of the fic really helps excuse most of the behavior, and having Tali's bonding thing excuses her behavior). I will admit, Shepard did seem just a little OOC, but that can be excused to Shepard being a player character and having a wide spectrum between renegade and paragon. He just seemed a little immature, especially during the inciting incident, but if that's glossed over, the conflict is well paced and well-developed. You really get the feeling that both sides made major mistakes and failed to communicate, and that's where the conflict really lies.

While the pacing isn't quite as refined as your later works like Irreparable, it's still excellent, especially in regard to the central conflict. The story slowly and methodically builds up to the couple fixing things, and it feels earned. I definitely don't have problems with you skimming over plot points that are directly from the game (since retreading missions that most of your readers already know will hurt the pacing), but I do feel like the rest of the Normandy crew barely get any screen time and don't even feel present. And this is where I get into some criticisms. I'm not a writer, and don't intend to be, but as a reader, I felt like there was definitely a missed opportunity with the Normandy crew, especially in regards to pacing.

Most of your fics have relatively heavy themes and conflict. This fic does especially, and there's nothing wrong with being consistent in tone. However, s a reader, it does get fatiguing to read about all the characters in the fic being miserable without any levity to break it up. Past Ch. 9, the fic becomes a lot easier to read, because there's a genuine sense of hope. However, in Ch. 1-8, even though it builds necessary tension and suspense, it's really hard to read about just everyone being miserable. And while Shepard and Tali both had to be miserable for plot reasons, I don't think the rest of the Normandy crew needed to. I didn't even get the sense that Garrus and Shepard were that good of friends, or that Garrus really wanted to help his two best friends in the galaxy with their relationship woes. I feel like the fic could have benefited from having the Normandy crew be a bit more "present" and lending support to either of the two main characters, fleshing out more characters and helping break up the misery train.

I will say the epilogue/ending is not what I expected, but it's definitely not the worst. I think of Ch. 13 of more of the true ending, and while Shepard/Tali just disappearing for 2 months is a stretch, it's a satisfying ending to a dark fic, as you said. Overall, I enjoyed this fic for sure, and it's a pretty daring take on Shep/Tali Romance.
FusRoDerp chapter 14 . 4/4/2016
Every noun, syllable and word in this story kept me on the edge of my seat. It was just simply amazing. You sir are an artist, a, evil, maniacal, satiric artist that deserves to burn in the pits of hell. But an artist none the less. You sir, are the king of angst.
Yolo Swaggins chapter 1 . 7/14/2015
You sir are an evil, evil, brilliant, evil S.O.B. and i love you for it
TheRangerBoy chapter 1 . 6/23/2015
Uhhhhhh you got the reaper war a little too late specifically 1 year too late
Way of the Sheikah chapter 15 . 12/27/2014
Hey Rob,

Well, you just took three hours of one of my days off today, lol. And I gotta say...time well spent! I've been feeling a bit melancholy lately, so your story was exactly what I needed.

I applaud all the risks you took in this story; I was honestly afraid it wouldn't end well for our favorite human/quarian couple. The whole "seeing people who aren't there" thing has been done before, but I liked your take on it. Your Shepard was written brilliantly, and so was Tali. Glad you cut the DLC stuff, made it far easier to concentrate on the characters rather than crap we all know about.

I do have one or two nitpicks. Mainly, Garrus. For someone who Shepard calls his "best friend," I was surprised at how Garrus didn't try to intervene earlier. I mean, it's hard to miss when someone's off their game. True, they did have their fistfight and Tali did drag him along to Purgatory with her, but I don't know...he seemed to watch more from the sidelines, and that bugged me a bit. Perhaps it's because in my own story he's more heavily involved, but that's just my take. Another thing was Shepard's anger at Hackett. I felt that was unresolved. Plus, Anderson was largely absent in this story. I'm guessing your Shepard and he aren't too close at all, but I just think it would have been interesting to see Shepard try to hide his addiction and watch their interaction via QEC.

That said, those were my only real criticisms. Your writing style is brilliant and flows incredibly well, and I could picture everything in my mind perfectly. The epilogue was great, and it made me feel hopeful and kind of brought me out of my own little depression seeing how if you fight hard enough for something, you can definitely succeed and defy the odds.

Anyway, kudos to you for writing such a fantastic story. Hope you don't mind, but it now has a place in my huge Tali/Shepard C2 "A Quarian and Her Captain." I pray it draws even more readers in.

Keelah se'lai,

Person chapter 6 . 12/9/2014
Haven't read this chapter yet but ever time i click next i see that damn photo you have as the story image and it gives me the damn creeps... props.
cryoburn72 chapter 14 . 12/5/2014
What a ride! And a happy ending too... I did not expect that, to be completely frank.

Keeping my eyes out for the sequel!
rangersleadtheway chapter 14 . 12/3/2014
Great reunion, and a good way to wrap up this story! Keep up the great work!
Tom80 chapter 14 . 12/2/2014
You simply let them appear out of nowhere ?
And end it like that ?
Two months gone and then PUFF there they are ?

Archont chapter 14 . 12/2/2014
Life goal #1337: get mentioned in author's notes. DING DING DING! X3 STREAK!

Ayyy. So that was certainly a rough ride. Jeez. While I might not be mentally scarred for the rest of my existence, no thanks to you, it will probably ruin my day remembering this every now and so often. And I will probably reread this too! Although: note to self: do not listen to music while reading this: suppresses sui-and homicidal urges. No Bueno. I was even able to not get depressed as fuck. You might be slipping up.

But anyway. I hereby crown thee as the Grandwizard of Twat and all things related. Go forth and be twat. And keep writing, of course.
SirGregSloth chapter 14 . 12/2/2014
I am honestly a bit sad knowing the story has finished. I thoroughly enjoyed it in it's entirety. Those first chapters filled with angst were fantastic. The emotional shifts that occurred were more than welcomed. I honestly wouldn't have minded if the story continued that grim path. The story is great regardless. As cliche as it may sound, I hope the end of this will lead to the start of something better. I look forward to your future content.
lunchmeat5000 chapter 14 . 12/2/2014
Damnit man...I think I got something in my eye. After chapter 13, in all its glorious fluffiness, I really thought the next chapter would be brutal. Glad I was wrong. Once again, another great story comes to an end and I eagerly await the next one.
cryoburn72 chapter 13 . 12/2/2014
Damn, I forgot to log in for my review. Well, excellent chapter as always!
rangersleadtheway chapter 13 . 12/1/2014
Great chapter! Don't know if you can get any better than this! But I'm sure more heart break is on the way, keep up the good work!
Guest chapter 13 . 11/30/2014
Nuh-uh, you can't. You are officialy forbidden to write more angst. This story needs a happy ending!
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