Reviews for Masquerade
Wisegal chapter 1 . 6/1/2011
Really well done. I think this narrative captures Benezia perfectly, and gives the reader a unique insight into this deceptively complex character. You stayed true to the voice of the character and really drew me into Benezia's state of mind. I echo much of what Freesourceful said about your impressive use of language and imagery. Also, I agree that the first paragraph may need some slight revision in regards to grounding your metaphors. Other than that, I really have no other criticisms to offer.

Oh, and I absolutely loved that last line...perfect closing! :)
Who Is Caligula chapter 1 . 2/9/2009
This scene is one of my favorites in the story, and to see so much done with it is a credit not only to Mass Effect, but to the author of the passage.

Right from the start, the narration perfectly captures the articulation and slight lilt of Lady Benezia. I could hear her speaking during the entire read. At the risk of sound greedy, I have to confess that I would be most interested to see what kind of things could be done with the narration of other characters, such as Saren.
Freesourceful chapter 1 . 6/24/2008
Aww, still love that deliciously organic ending. Moody and brooding, the dark tone of this story is nevertheless ironically, tragically hopeful, a twisted ending for some twisted individuals.

I think the strongest revisions you made to the story were in spending more time on Benezia’s relationships with her fellow Asari, and "how small cracks between us, our small sisterhood, tore into gaping fissures." Adding in that reference to Nyari also introduced a much needed connection that balanced the character. The memory suggests that this "true self" she hides maybe finds strength in her past and contrasts with the increasing alienation she feels from her Asari companions, which in turn deepens my sense of her loss.

You also did something more with the idea of cold logic here, didn’t you? it really pays off. When you write, "I have bettered him. This is a game, he knows, for I am far too valuable to dispose of," I now immediately think back to all of the prior descriptions of Saren’s cold logic, the mechanical idea of useful vs. useless, and the inherent tensions of machine vs. organic. nice.

One thing that still bugged me, however, was the opening paragraph. I think I was a little uneasy about it int he first draft, and I’ve now pinpointed what it is. The subject of the paragraph keeps changing, sentence to sentence. While as the sentences are consistent within themselves, this creates a strange, jarring effect in my reading: when you say "Emanating from the ship’s heart," I wonder what is emanating. The oppressive atmosphere, the creeping unease, or her inner calm? What is the siren song? Is it a real sound or only a mental echo? Is the soft, persistent murmur her "last reserve of free will," or a continuation of the siren song? I like the idea of this metaphor, but I think what throws me off is that the metaphor is not concretely grounded, either by paragraph structure or a physical presence. Hence, mild confusion.

Fine, subtle work on polishing the conflict.

Cheers,

Free
Rawkysand chapter 1 . 6/17/2008
About time! I was wondering when this would appear, and I can see some changes you've made from the draft you've sent me. And I see that you've changed your name for the umpteenth time.

You know what I already think of this but I'll say some more, because you deserve all the praise for this.

Your use of words just grabbed my attention, few fanfics can do this to me. I loved the inner battle that occurred within what is left of Benezia's mind.

This is absolutely wonderful! The use of language is breathtaking, descriptions magnificent!

I think you've done Benezia justice, perhaps more than Bioware did. I don't think she was involved in the game as much as I'd like. You captured her character extremely well.

"To gently announce my presence, I cough politely."

I don't know why, but I found this humorous. Perhaps it's the way to described the way Benezia coughed in the game and this is why I liked it...

"Perhaps there is hope for this foolish old matriarch after all, for I feel deliciously… organic."

The ending line here really is superb... I can't describe what I felt when i read this very last line. I can't just describe it. A sense of... relief perhaps? It is more than that. It's just, to my eyes, a perfect ending which is hard to achieve.

A big well done to you - this is certainly my favourite Mass Effect fanfic to date.
sinvraal chapter 1 . 6/15/2008
I really like this. Wonderfully evocative language, and an interesting exploration of the battle of wills between between Indoctrination and Benezia.

I would liked to have seen both her and Saren explored a little more in game. But you've done a great job of it here!