Reviews for In Shadows and Darkness
Benice chapter 34 . 7/29/2012
This was just amazing! Thank you for such a great story.
Dragonjek chapter 32 . 7/14/2012
"If you cut me down… you will make me more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

This scene was one of the most powerful things I have ever read. That line was the culmination of it. You are wonderful.
Rarobin chapter 35 . 7/12/2012
I'm reviewing out of order I apologize, but this was my favorite of the trilogy. The plot is simply stellar and the character development is pitch perfect. The relationship between Luke and Mara is so wonderfully drawn; I have very rarely seen it done better. I cheered for them, I swooned a little (that scene in the shuttle? Good grief! And if that was actually in a different book apologies! They've all become one in my head.), and my heart bled for them. Vader and Palpatine were exceptional and Nathan is wonderful.

Anyway, the end was all one could hope for in the middle section of a trilogy. I know you've heard it a million times before but, job well done. :)
Ormolu chapter 34 . 7/7/2012
I've just read this for the second time, so it is time to post a review. The developments in this book are interesting, I think.
Luke is stretching his wings, and gradually, throughout the book, his' and Palpatine's positions very subtly interchange, and Luke's empty lip-service becomes empty lip-service, for real. I mean, of course, when he starts plotting for the throne after the assassination attempt.

You have made a credible Luke with incredible strength and power, d'you know? The final duel, the end of the machinations, is very compelling too. For Palpatine to fear Luke, to be met every step of the way - plot for plot, blow for blow, insinuation for insinuation, electric bolt for electric bolt - is intensely gratifying. And very appropriate, that, when he finally manages to cut Luke loose from his surroundings, when he banishes all fear from his head, he finds out he can no longer control him, because he controlled through fear - and Luke does not even fear death any more.
Character development is great, here, especially for Luke. A few things are gradual, from the torture, Palpatine's plotting and malice, from Mara, too, some others are shocks causing him to change: the assassination attempt, Mon's death, Mara's duplicity (with the darts), Vader's death, Palpatine's death. All those were well done, I feel.
Mara also developed well. You caught her conflict well, and also the imperishable bonds with which Palpatine bound her when young. She tries, in the end, but she can't, not really. She's torn apart. And Luke seems to forgive her because he understands how she is manipulated. Or at least he postpones judgment. He is good at that, isn't he? That is a definite part of Skywalker that was preserved there, and one that separates him from the two Sith Lords.
Vader also developes, though it is more subtle. But it'd have to be, as he has been on his path for over two decades - for him to leave it in a whim would be way out of character. His sacrificial death was well-written, and it seems one of the most beautiful Vader deaths ever - he's not dying to protect himself, or his investment, or even his son (as he probably will in Empire's Son), no, he's dying to liberate Luke from his inhibitions.
Your Han is also enjoyable. Very loyal and steadfast, that one. So is Leia, though she is a bit daft, at times. Coming to the Invincible [purses lips and shakes head] - she ought've sent Madine, that would've served him right.

I wonder though, there is one, not-so-subtle hint of Tag Massa being Argot, where she thinks that the 'Chief' would like Han to board The Patriot. We all know that Leia wouldn't say such (and you confirm it takes Han a week to convince her), so that makes Luke being Tag's Chief pretty clear. I would've thought you'd have stretched that a bit, for plot purposes. But then you'd need to have another suspected spy in the loop, which there isn't, not now - though that could, theoretically, be Madine who passes on only that information to which Han or Leia were privy, to give him reasons to go all stealthy, and eventually, rogue, and to flush Han out: He's so sure Han is the spy, that he will willingly help him slip so that he can get caught, right? Just a thought...

And now Luke is Emperor. Great! That has to be one of the greatest events in all SW fanfiction: a mostly dark, partly light Luke as a 'Reform' Emperor. I wonder how that'll go, where he'll stop the transformations. You will leave him with a constitutional monarchy, right? The Emperor controls the military, can pardon criminals, and has a right of veto w.r.t. the Senate, though he is no longer the law-giver or the judge supreme... Right? That is a balanced trias politica, and still leaves Luke some power. We like Luke too well in his current position to have him abolish it entirely.

To conclude: this is a well-done, enjoyable piece of fiction and a great Alternate Universe. I do hope you can add to the end of it (another trilogy?), as all sorts of questions about the future keep popping up in my head.

Thank you for this amazing piece of fiction!

Ormolu
Ormolu chapter 6 . 7/4/2012
By the way, this piece:

'His lips were warm and soft, the heavy scar pressing rough against her lips as he leaned toward her, head turning just slightly. For long moments they remained like this, willingly lost in the moment, an unconditional expression of relief, of deliverance.

It felt so completely right to Mara; left her wondering why his heartrate hadn't missed a beat on the monitor, because hers had surely skipped, still thumping against her ribs, a warm glow spreading to the pit of her stomach. When she finally pulled back he studied her for long seconds, both suspicious and at ease - and surprisingly self-possessed.

When he spoke, still no more than a hoarse whisper, there was doubtful, unassuming humour in his broken voice. "So.. is this something we generally do?"

She smiled, green eyes teasing, "You don't remember?"

He was already beginning to drift, exhaustion overtaking him so quickly still. "See that's just unfair." he murmured, eyes fluttering closed.

She shook her head at that, watching him drift asleep, knowing full well that when he woke again, this moment would be forgotten; lost to him the moment he slept.

"Yes." She whispered regretfully, "… yes it is." '

Is just brilliant. Especially the double entendre in that last sentence. :)
Electricboa chapter 35 . 6/16/2012
This was fantastic, I enjoyed reading it so much. You can really see the change from the last book for Luke. You really wove the love story in quite well, subtle, but still there. By far, though, has to be the duel between Luke and Palpatine, it was perfect. Not over quickly or ended by a mistake on one of their parts, but a hard drawn out fight.
Janizary chapter 4 . 5/24/2012
"Do they have one with a womp-rat on?" - Priceless!

Going back and reading your previously works. As a reader and am quite enthralled with them. You do very good work.

Moving on.
Dragonjek chapter 35 . 5/14/2012
This is such a fantastically amazing story that I can't describe it. And, as I said when I reviewed the previous story:

Oh, Luke. T_T
Jennifer Apple chapter 35 . 3/29/2012
Again, you utterly nailed it. Onto the third :D
KireiKotomine915 chapter 1 . 3/1/2012
Great Story
Teucrian chapter 34 . 2/13/2012
Another amazing installment! Great style, this series definitely rates up there with professional writing.
Alexxis T. Swan chapter 27 . 1/28/2012
Oh my god. On my third time reading this series I can't believe I'm finding new things I didn't SEE before. You practically outright told us that Tag was the spy right here! I can't believe how blind I was the first two times around. I probably should be studying for my science exam day after tomorrow but when I start reading this it's hard to stop.

This time I've felt constant frustration on behalf of Leia and Mara's helplessness so far. I kind of get how Mara's spent her whole life serving Palpatine so its obviously not easy for her to see it any other way. Again this series is a masterpiece I can't seem to ever forget.

Yours sincerely,

~Alexxis T. Swan
Blake2020 chapter 2 . 1/26/2012
great
Blake2020 chapter 1 . 1/25/2012
great
Starkaster chapter 34 . 9/15/2011
I don't get Luke's attachment to Mara in this story. She's like a wrongly shaped puzzle-piece you hammered into this puzzle just because.
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