|Reviews for A Hymn For The Things We Didn't Do|
| Jcarlton chapter 1 . 10/24/2008
I liked this short story quite a bit, though it was the most melancholy one I had read from your universes. And that’s saying a lot, considering your usual writing revolves around RE and SH.
William Birkin was more angry here than I imagined him in RE2, where even though his G-virus came first, he still had some kind of relationship with Annette and Sherry, from his wife’s reaction when he was shot, and Birkin’s following of his daughter when he had mutated into a monster. I always thought of him as being dedicated to his work first, and his family as a distant second, and imagined him to be somewhat sad that he wasn’t able to give his wife and daughter the kind of family that they wanted. Then again, that last description was only my view of William, and isn’t really confirmed or contradicted by any of the games.
It always sucks when one realizes that he/she is not indispensable as previously thought, doesn’t it? And it must’ve sucked even more when a reality check occurred and he had to think to himself that while he was perfectly willing to put his wife and child in peril, he didn’t think that the G-virus was more important than his own life.
So to make a sad story even sadder, it turns out that this is the family’s last day before the always-remembered cutscene from RE2, “Stop shooting! You might hit the sample!” being words that will always live in infamy. So the family won’t even have a chance of getting better, not with both parents dead and Sherry running around with Claire and Leon.
Good portrayal of how negative energy spreads like a puddle in water. It spread from William to Annette, and didn’t stop there, because it then spread from Annette to Sherry. And one has to wonder who or what it’ll spread to from Sherry later on in her life.
| Telera1701 chapter 1 . 7/10/2008
I read this fic long ago and I can't believe I forgot to leave a review! This is one of my favourites, it's so intense and dramatic... wonderfully done!
| CoRpAsItE chapter 1 . 6/5/2006
Jen.. Wow.. This is something else entirely... People always knew Birkin held the G-Virus in higher regards than his own family... But this definitely puts it in a new light... The anger, the fear, it really gives you the sense, even before the last 2 paragraphs, that this is the last thing he does before he mutates himself...
Very well done Jen... And the title fits perfectly...
| Lunais chapter 1 . 5/31/2006
Everything about this fic has been said before (and much more eloquently than I could ever manage) but I would like to say this:
It made me cry.
It did. It really did. It made me physically cringe as I read this. Throughout the entire thing I kept searching, hoping for some flicker of a normal household, some sort of evidence that love had at least visited the Birkin home once. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. I'm not so sure anymore.
| Escape the Shadows chapter 1 . 5/16/2006
That was wonderful. I don't think I've ever read a fic that has immersed me into the character of someone like this. You really captured Birkin's character, dark, desperate, and just a little bit of insanity. Also the fact that he would make any sacrifice for his work. It almost made me feel sorry for Birkin.
I liked how you showed the decision he had to make: give the fake report and protect his work, or give the real report and protect his family and his life. Of course, we know the choice he makes, which makes this all the more better. Really nice job using the foreshadowing here.
The fact that Birkin protects his creation like a father while ignoring his real family is depressing, but it only further develops the character of Birkin. Very good stuff indeed.
Most of this stuff has been stated by other reviewers so I thought I'd mention something that hasn't came up yet: the metaphors. This piece of writing was chock full of memorable metaphors and similes. My particular favorite being, "The organisation, which had once been both mother and father to him, was now closing in about him like a net made from barbed wire." Brilliant, and it really got the point across.
All in all, it was definitely something to remember. I'm a fan of one-shots and I wish I could read more like these. Maybe in the future we could see other one-shots devoted to other characters? I'm hoping to see more of your work soon.
~Escape The Shadows
| Ghostwriter155 chapter 1 . 5/13/2006
You managed to do it again, Captain. I was transported to William's world- one that is dark and depressing - but wholly fascinating. I even pitied Annette, which demonstrates the power of your writing.
Now go update LLAD!
| CassSpaz chapter 1 . 5/13/2006
Been a while since I read any of your stuff, or reviewed, but I really must catch up. This is a great one off, although perhaps Annette's feelings could have been a bit more expanded upon?
| Ada Kensington chapter 1 . 5/12/2006
Hello, Captain, my fellow comrade-in-arms. You did say you were going to write a cracking Birkin fic and you have remained true to your word: dare I say spectacularly so?
Yes. I do dare. Because it was supremely wonderful.
The opening image of Birkin sitting at his desk, pouring over his work: high on caffiene and slowly succumbing to madness, was perfect. I could SEE the man sitting there. I could FEEL his frustration and paranoia. I could SMELL the rank, stone-cold coffee.
I must say, however, that this line is my favourite:
"He was perfectly willing to put his wife and child in peril, but was the G-virus more important than even his own life?"
What flawless foreshadowing! And there's also a little pathos tucked neatly inside with a generous slathering of the shivers. Mainly because we, the readers, with the benefit of hindsight, know only too well that Birkin DID feel, at the end, that his G Virus was more important that his own life. It's interesting, too, that you picked up on his paternal feelings towards his creation, and his actions in Resident Evil 2 reflect this - almost as though he sacrificed himself to keep his virus, his child, safe. More the actions of a desperate father than anything else. Very interesting, indeed...
You've set the bar, Captain. I'm going to find it pretty damn hard to vault over it and keep up with you. _
| kamesen chapter 1 . 5/12/2006
Beautifully done story. It practically puts you right into William Birkin's shoes. And his wife's and daughter's. I felt pity for him at first, because of Umbrella's treachery. But gradually I felt angry at him for putting his work ahead of his family, no matter how important it was. In the end though, I felt saddened again because there seemed to be that chance that if he got past all this, he could have settled down and learned to love his family a little more. Then it was made apparent again that he'll never have that chance. Ah I'm such an angst whore _ Great story!
| Hyperactive Hamster Of Doom chapter 1 . 5/11/2006
The word "awesome" probably doesn't even begin to describe how good I think this is, but since I'm not feeling terribly imaginative today, I think it might be the best I can do for now. Having to go to a funeral tomorrow isn't really doing much for my creativity today, much less my mood.
That was truly awesome work, Captain - you described William Birkin very well, and his erratic behaviour and state of mind even better. Paranoid, ruthless and just a little obsessive... yep, that's the William Birkin we all know and love. :D
Annette and Sherry were also extremely well-written; Annette usually comes across in most fics as a cold-hearted bitch with no real love for her family, but here you've portrayed her in a more sympathetic (and realistic) light. You've made her a human being rather than the plain old "Annette-the-bitch-queen" character that I normally read about, and for this I can only applaud you, because I *still* can't think of a word better than "awesome".
To sum up, this is both an excellently tragic and poignant family drama, and the finest one-shot I've read in quite a while. I'd really love to see more one-shots from you in future, because I think you're bloody good at them...
Still greatly enjoying LLAD too, by the way, so my compliments to you and Shak. Hope you're both well and that you'll be able to update soon!
| wrath chapter 1 . 5/11/2006
despite the fact that i know js about the world of resident evil and the charaters that inhabity it, you've made me empathise with an unknown cast, and, in the space of a one-shot, that's quite the accomplisment. William's bluntness to his wife really illustrates just howe obsesive he's become over keeping a hold of his work. there's also something deliciously pesimistic about that concluding 'prehapse not' that suggests that this family is beyiond any form of salvaging.
| Link-luvr chapter 1 . 5/11/2006
Wow. This was like, really emotional, you really get a feel for how deeply William has slipped into madness when reading this. Dark, depressing, but ultimately a really good one-shot. I hope to see more of your work soon.