Reviews for Lesser Evils
Windle chapter 16 . 9/18
Thanks for updating Mirari! Just wanted to drop by to let you know I'm still enjoying following along. :)
Guest chapter 16 . 8/23
Omg yes finally
Ihsan997 chapter 16 . 7/28
Oh you 《 - )

Good things come to those who wait. I think it's awesome that, even with gaps, you manage to keep the narrative so consistent. I'm sure the amount of time spent contributes to the quality we see here, but I've taken breaks from writing mid story and I don't think I can maintain the consistency here.

I'm constantly thrilled by Nerothos. He isn't strictly an antagonist, but he's no hero...and yet I find myself cheering like an SNL audience member every time he appears. Is that unethical? To cheer for a character who's just a villain too smart to waste time on direct, antagonistic conflict? You've written a personality as intriguing as he is outrageous in a soft spoken way. He's like Nosferatu with a sense of black humor.

Callista's POV was a treat here, too: seeing her side after the fact almost caused me a measure of...weariness? Is that too strong a term? That Aren's personality/morality is specially fitted to contradict her so frequently rubbed off on me by that point, even if he continued to remain true to his principles. That you never allowed any of the personalities here, including Wynda's slightly more practical (when compared to Aren) drive, to bend of stretch even while they all fell out of sync with each other is a great job of mature storytelling as well.

Bravo - while I'd love to see more updates, this is one of the few stories where the wait really is worth it.
Zoxabels chapter 16 . 7/27
IT'S ALIIIIVE I couldn't believe it when I saw that it had updated! great chapter, and hoping the next one don't take as long:)
reality deviant chapter 16 . 7/26
Great chapter. and great to finally have this fic update!
Well done.
I eagerly await the next chapter. Ander was the voice of reason in this chapter-the practical view beyond the moral recriminations and justifications...
zoxabels chapter 15 . 3/16
This is so well written and fun story to read, I really hope it's gonna continue! Eternal Hope!
Ihsan997 chapter 15 . 2/24
I has a other sad for Luciel...

Lol me. Anyway, here we are - the latest. And you don't disappoint. Whether it's action or angst, your words indicate a real talent for story weaving. The characterization is simply amazing; you don't compromise your principles of following people's true natures, but you don't reduce them to cardboard cutouts of stock characters or basic personality traits either.

I'm torn for Aren because he really is a person with high ideals without being the stereotype of a naive cleric; he's seen the world, seen the ugliness and still feels that he let his guars down too much with Callista. Callista, ever the anti heroine, doesn't suddenly crumple into an apologetic, mothering mess trying to make it all better...and damn did you make Nerothos yet again as complicated as a dreadlord should be. I'm wondering how thick this plot will become, and hoping that Vorthaal and Nathan at least made it out of the ambush alive.

Please have free time, Mirari! Magically inform the universe to adjust fate so you can continue this!
Ihsan997 chapter 14 . 2/7
Oohhhg noooo...my heart aches for poor Luciel. She was written so well, nothing at all like the bubbly nelves we see in a lot of fanfics. Her views on fire vs. darkness, her understated demeanor, her musical cries...gosh she was such a trooper, even after falling from the tree. But even when I got choked up over the scene with the bloody sentinel armor, I understood the weight of it: Luciel was the oldest and most dedicated, and would probably be the most ready to die. Aren must feel so bad, as well as Wynda and the others, but it fits the story of a settled city of demons building up a dark hole.

So technically, I did like the way it was done. Similarly, I like the way Nerothos reacts: he isn't friends with Callista no matter how much I shipped for them in the last fic. He's a demon who no longer needs her to escape a planet and thus acts accordingly, it seems.

Callista has true grit. Swallowing a soul shard like a true prisoner smuggling in a weapon, never crying until a bunch of fel magic explodes in her stomach, hissing and straining even when chained to a wall...she isn't a twiggy little stereotype of a caster.

I love the wau you bring this all together and I'm almost sad that I'm about to reach the latest chapter. This is just too much fun to read!
Ihsan997 chapter 13 . 1/28
WHOA

WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA

Don't ever doubt your ability to write action again. That was awesome - every tactical step, ever burn and strain, every cut on the skin - seriously, if you're not publishing an original story on the side for big moneys then you should be. I sometimes worry that I gush too much in my reviews but it's all deserved.

You hit us with such a hard contrast, too - you wrote fluff. I seriously hadn't expected that, especially in Felwood. Ander's self consciousness despite his age and experience is cute, as is his subtle affection. Callista has made her choices but it's cute to see her considering what could possibly be one day as well. Callista and cute in the same sentence...I have no apologies.

Her choices got the better of her this time though...right? She knows demonic magic is volatile, and her profession doesn't lend itself to longevity. When she tried to control the doomguard...was that spell feedback? Did the random, unpredictable nature of her skills finally sting her?
Ihsan997 chapter 12 . 1/24
Perhaps the rating change is for the best. Personally I'm often shy about the adult themes but it's pulled of tastefully here; at times, the excess descriptions of the act in fanfiction detracts from the overall narrative and cheapens it into smut. This was done well, as it's a depiction of the complications between two mature, complicated adults. Callista doesn't like complicated, but that's part of what makes this so fascinating; she also has a tendency to occasionally make decisions she knows aren't the best despite her intelligence.

Aren is a great person; you've done a good job of showing why he could be drawn to a warlock, and he and Callista almost seem to complement each other in terms of lifestyles they would outright dismiss under normal circumstances. A man who actually speaks sincerely but isn't totally naive seems almost like a representation of how jaded Callista has let herself become; a woman who practices what he views as heresy yet isn't a maniac or a cardboard cutout of an antiheroine seems almost like a representation of how many years Aren has whittled away not living his life. I can't envision this ending well judging by how realistic your writing style is, but gosh, it's an excellent ride on the way there. And perhaps that's what they're both thinking, deep down.

Wynda is wonderful. Perhaps a bit nosy and self assured, but it's nice to see a cleric OC that also has a sharp tongue.
Ihsan997 chapter 11 . 1/15
This is quite a development here. One thing you've done well is that you write in 3rd person omniscient but from a single OC's POV. And so far, we see their honesty with themselves, and when Callista or (more often) Aren are in denial, it's loud and clear. And Callista's behavior was predictable for those who know her: she's conflicted, but not as much as other people would be in such a situation. She made the logical choice to walk away.

Aren seems much more conflicted than I imagine he's ever been, though; killing demons and undead is one thing, but simple human interaction is not his forte. He takes a step he probably doesn't even comprehend himself, and it did seem to catch Callista off guard, but from what I feel here, it's part attraction to someone exotic yet just barely acceptable enough in terms of her humanity, and perhaps part loneliness; he's strong but has obviously been through a lot.

Callista took the plung. Every so often, she does seem to make these decisions she knows she shouldn't...yes? She's streetwise, maybe a bit jaded, but she gets a little random sometimes. And as prickly as she can be, I have a feeling this will put her out of her element, too (though not as much as him). I'm giddy and cautious at the same time; this is cute and beautiful in many ways, especially for someone as in need of fixing as Aren, but my gut tells me that such connections are meant to be broken...
Ihsan997 chapter 10 . 1/11
Dinah is even more annoying than Sabrice. Sabrice is just downright infuriating in a few ways. He's like the opposite of Vorthaal.

But Callista does a lot of introspection for someone supposedly comfortable with the path her life has taken...is the influence of comedic personalities like the Redbranches, or truly sincere people like Aren and Wynda, starting to pull at her?

I'm rather convinced that she's going to stay with the group by choice. Maybe a choice she'll never confess to, but a willing choice.
Ihsan997 chapter 9 . 1/6
Sometimes short chapters are needed; gaps always need to be bridged, and characters need time to recuperate. In this case, it seems like the entire ship is exhausted and in need of rest.

Verner seems like a man who knows how to behave when faced with such losses but always hoped so strongly that it would never happen. He only appears briefly, but I find myself sympathizing with him a lot compared to Wynda and the Redbranches, given how non-exhausted they seem. And as happy as I am to see Luciel still alive, I also find Verner to still be in a sadder situation know that we know she's okay.

I have this weird view of Callista - I love her to bits but I never really feel sorry for her. She probably prefers it that way; she's tough as nails and even when she's badly hurt (like the scene in the last story where her arm gets cut open to the bone but she drains life to heal it, or here with her shoulder), I find myself thinking: meh, she can take it.
Ihsan997 chapter 8 . 1/3
You mentioned that you experience difficulty with action scenes in the prequel to this and I still don't understand why. I would have gotten a paragraph out of this - they found some zombies and smashed them. You turned that into a harrowing, brutal, gritty showdown where I literally feel every ache and pain that Callista and Aren do and where I can visualize every pitfall, every twist and turn, every last action. This was freaking incredible! Once again, A on this and I wish I had the patience and skill to write as expressively as Callista's facial reactions.

Regarding your A/N...that actually shows a lot of maturity about how to deal with the subject's of your stories. Characterization is one of your many strong points and the way you subtly cover the development of relations is, again, almost like a textbook for good writing.

Have I gushed enough already? Too much? Because if it's excessive then you'll just have to stop writing so awesomely.
Ihsan997 chapter 7 . 12/30/2015
Mirari, you very well might be my favorite author in the site. In fact, I might go read some of your stories from 15 years ago for balance; you know, untempered Nick toons scripts to balance out the freaking bowl of awesomeness you just served here.

Okay...first of all, romance? I saw that Callista and Aren both admired the appearance of the other before, but we all do that; I honestly didn't think of it. But here...well, his voice, the professional respect they have for each other...um...but I was going to ask, is Callista a person that can settle down? She seems happy enough in her life, saying the wrong things at the right times, but her profession leads to a high rate of spontaneous combustion. It's an interesting prospect...but the tone...

You excel at that. It isn't simply Wynda kicking ass; it's the asses which have not yet been kicked, but which are scratching outside the door. The suspense is amazing, especially with the bizarre behavior of the undead. My heart goes out to Luciel; we just finally got to know her, plus one of my two mains is a 12,000 year old sentinel like her, but storywise it will be interesting to see if that character survives...or...becomes an undead nelf?

Also, when you start writing, do you have the ending planned out in advance? Or do you just make it up as you go along?
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