|Reviews for Exitus|
| Mitsuki Shigamatsu chapter 9 . 4/17
| SDoradus chapter 23 . 1/27
This episode, after the incident with Batarians hijacking Javelin missiles, appears to be the source of the only significant complaint about the series from reviewers on TV tropes etc.
There are two issues: one of continuity - in-game, Chambers remains on board ship right to the end, and most certainly was not dismissed from the crew.
But in addition, it is a bit of a stretch for the character. As Joysweeper would have it, "The only complaint I have is Kelly Chambers. Felt kind of out of left field."
Joysweeper may have a point in that Chambers' behaviour here was perhaps contrary to the way the developers imagined her character. One suspects that to them, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that such a guileless soul (as depicted in-game) would second-guess her commander in that fashion. Still less that she would put saving the infrastructure ahead of the colonists' lives.
Both issues go to maintaining suspension of disbelief.
However the problem is not about the writing. Actually I felt it was well written and sensitively done. In any event, the writers were clearly conflicted about Chambers which is
| Guest chapter 26 . 1/27
This is the first review of your series of ME-linked novellas, which linked appear to constitute a novel fictionalization of the trilogy. There will be others, but suffice to say at the start there will be few criticisms of the actual writing, which is surely better than mine in any event.
I begin here since this chapter reflects in many ways on the crucial event of ME2.
The salient characteristic of the novel as a whole is that canon or the events of gameplay are not always respected. This does not matter for dramatic purposes of the novel standing alone, although it can be a little jarring.
I recall one commenter noting that what happened to Kelly Chambers "came out of left field", for example. Indeed, as I recall Shepard was surprised by Chambers' confession during ME3. Nonetheless, that scene has dramatic possibilities which you exploited well.
Besides, assorted controversies show that the developers were not always of one mind. And, in most other respects gameplay or canon is well-respected: that Shepard recalled nothing of being dead, for example, in particular nothing resembling any religion's afterlife.
Furthermore, the science is intellectually respectable, though if I were picky, I'd have to issue the occasional caveat.
In "Certus" for example, the prologue Ch. 1 "Faster than information" has it that after the events of "Arrival" the Normandy was "1362 light years from here, the nearest outpost of listening ears". I doubt many of your readers noticed, but to clarify: 1362 light years is too small a distance to the next mass relay as a glance at a suitable galaxy map would show (bearing in mind known distances, such as 26,000 ly from Sol to galactic centre). The upshot is, it's too close for Garrus to assume the events won't be discovered "for a thousand years". Light speed is not the limiting factor, but FTL speed. It's hard to be sure what the developers had in mind, but I'd observe Reaper FTL is around 30 light years per day in warp; it takes only around six months for them to get from the Bahak system to the next mass relay, indicating a distance more like 5500 light years. Shepard is surely aware of this - he mentions that he's only bought a few months' time. I hesitate to mention such things however; it's hardly likely your readers know or care, and I don't want to give the impression that it's a serious blemish.
I'd add that in this particular story there is a duplicated full stop/period, and a missing quotation mark. Such things are trivial but you might wish to suppress them.
| josiah chapter 21 . 12/24/2015
'striking similarity to asari'
point of interest, a salarian would never say this about an asari. Conversations overheard in ME3 suggest that the asari use some sort of mass hypnosis in order to make themselves recognizable as attractive females of any species (likely a sub-conscious biotic pulse generated by the whole species, radiating across the galaxy. it would explain why asari still seem human to the player post mortem. Probable connection to mechanics of asari mind-meld techniques.)
It is my personal theory that asari are truly highly amorphous in composition, similar to the jelly-like body of a Hannar. They have a roughly humanoid shape which they can mold into different body types when direct contact is required, but elsewise what we believe to be their bodies are simply biotic projection onto the synapses of our brain, distorting our brain's computing in order to paint a different reality.
| Lara Jayd chapter 31 . 8/29/2015
Just finished re-reading this, and it's still as good as when I first read it. So well-written, the characterisations are perfect and the perspectives are interesting. The battles are exciting and suspenseful and I really feel for Shepard being stuck in this un-workable situation. This is such a good story. I hope you pop back in now and then to read your reviews, sinvraal! Thank you for posting.
| xShurikenx chapter 31 . 4/21/2015
I remember reading this a few years ago and being blown away. You changed the tone of ME2 in ways that made so much sense, even though they almost made the story unrecognizable. Instead of a story about a shining hero surmounting unbeatable odds yet again, we get a story of a broken, beaten, tired human being who's asked to do more than anyone person can handle and being asked to do it alone. It was brilliant, tragic and logical. More importantly, filled the worrisome gaps that niggled at the back of my brain when playing through ME2 myself.
Even though it was so good, I couldn't bring myself to read it again. I ended up rereading Iunctio and Certus multiple times, but this one twisted me up in ways that I didn't want to face it again. Exitus was a descent into utter hell, one that didn't seem to have an out. It ends on a glimmer of hope, but seeing Shepard crack and wear away bit by bit before falling into the abyss... I had a hard time reading it. I can't imagine what it was like getting into that headspace when writing it.
I'm not entirely sure where I was going with this, to be honest. I guess I just wanted you to know. I have a friend who's going through the trilogy for the first time and as I was discussing characters with him, I realized that I coopted a lot of the things that you wrote into my definitions of who each person is. Thank you for this story, and you are seriously what I aspire to in my own writing.
| Asthar chapter 21 . 2/5/2015
I am a poet and an editor from Finland (with a weird intrest of all mass effectly. It is a great story beoynd words), so lets say, I have read a lot. And now I have been enjoying your stories for months.
I just wanted to say THANK YOU. You capture each charachter so, so perfectly that it makes me almost jealous, because I know, everybody knows, that you are the best and I cant even compare my harmless writings to these (I think that is much said about Fanfiction, 'cause, u know, it ain't the most sophisticated genre and sometimes it is even hard to find something readible. But these chapters, oh boy... these are MASTERPIECES). My english is so bad that I can't ever publish my own fanfictions, and thanks to my rear language and small population - no, we are not eskimos, but almost there - you can't find a true fanfiction community. So my only option is just to enjoy your stuff and stand up one day when they are over, and tell you, like I told to Shepard, that our time is over, my dearest friend.
| Numaron chapter 24 . 10/14/2014
Brilliant work of fiction. You give mass effect the underlying currents and subtle subcomponents it really deserves.
I like how you change only small things, but stay true to canon nonetheless, even though those little things have far more reaching consequences than 130 hours had for Bioware.
still not finished with your story, I will read on!
| Her Eternal Grimoire chapter 31 . 9/10/2014
Loved this story. I liked being able to see Kaidan's point of view, to see the contrast in Shepard's persona with what's going on inside. I like that it wasn't "fixed." People died, people got lost, no one came out of it quite the same going in. And when people died, it mattered, and that they mattered mattered. It wasn't just some death holding the line like it would be in game or for the abstract "greater good." And sometimes the death wasn't fair, Jack didn't get to come into her own completely, her life was cut short. Also I like how it sort of resolves things I never understood - Shepard taking all her members on the off chance of needing them seemed odd to me for one.
And the last several chapters were just stunning. Shepard coming apart, literally and figuratively. Garrus scrambling to find his place, to come into his own, as her equal and friend. Kaidan struggling to come to terms with his own feelings, what he's lost (him saying "loved" when that was the first time he said in my first game - the fact that it was in past tense - like a realization and a slap in the face because he was hurting). Garrus risking everything to physically carry her, even though he knew he could hate her for it. Shepard forcing Tali to make the decision about the Heretics. It was all quite brilliant.
| Elissa Theirin chapter 31 . 9/4/2014
Excellent work as always! And I think you wrote Mass Effect 2 as it should've been written, not all fluffy and sentimental but dark, gritty and sometimes unrelenting. But it was still a treat to read.
Thank you for being so awesome! :)
| HeyiyaIf chapter 27 . 8/13/2014
Frodo and Samwise. IN SPACE! :-D
| HeyiyaIf chapter 10 . 8/12/2014
I was going to write a review when I'd read all the chapters, expressing my admiration for your stringent style which never gets dull. There is no filler, but always lots and lots of information in every sentence.
Also the way you not only get the characters but really make the most out of fanfiction's possibilities of fleshing them out even more. I'd also planned on congratulating you for making Kaidan seem like a character (I always found him wooden, not a Kaidan fan at all).
And then you blow me away with this rendition of Legion's number-poetry, so I'll just go for it now:
This is, hands down, the awesomest Mass Effect fanfic I've read to date. Faved!
| Jade Sabre chapter 5 . 7/1/2014
This whole fic is great, but I just-love what you do with Kaidan. I love it forever.
| tincat chapter 10 . 7/28/2013
So I've been reading through your stories and your Shepard and Kaidan aren't *my* characters, but they are *astonishingly* well crafted. As are all your characters, actually - I haven't seen motivations and backstories put together so meticulously and believably in a longggg time (and I read an absurd amount of fanfic!).
ANYWAY. This chapter RIGHT HERE is where for me your stories went from 'excellent' to 'mind-bogglingly amazing' because I have *never* believed Legion's voice from anyone until this, and this? Is *perfect*.
I'm rubbish at reviews - I had this whole idea of going back through your stories and doing lots of awesome ones for you because you deserve them but that's blatantly never going to happen, but I HAD to tell you that this chapter is flipping astonishing. And now I have, I'll go back to lurking and not reviewing (sorry).
| SpiritMuse chapter 31 . 6/29/2013
So I just got done reading this one, too. And it's just as amazing. I loved, loved, loved this story.
That Legion chapter was one of the weirdest and coolest things I have ever read, and I laughed out loud in places at the discussions and arguments between all the different runtimes. It's inherently funny (to me anyway) to describe the human body and mind in computer terms. "Why do humans insist on such abstract names?" "It is a hardware issue." Hilarious.
I also really like that in all these different POVs, none of them are Shepard. It seems right to have Shepard be somewhat unknowable. Leave the details of Shepard's thought processes up to the imagination.
I was slightly bothered though by your portrayal of Kelly Chambers, it was a bit more sort of vapid and "evil" than I had interpreted her. But eh, she's not that big a part of the story, so it's not really a bother.
I did love how you gave Kaidan lots of interesting stuff to do, even foiling an attempt on Shepard's life, without actually disturbing the storyline from the game. I'm a big Kaidan fan, and always wondered exactly what he was up to during all this. That breakdown of his at the end was a long time coming, and then when it happened it was still so Kaidan. Restrained even under that kind of emotion (though even when he lost it and beat up that guy earlier it still fit - it was a wholly different situation). Also, I cheered when he showed up the annoying marine. "Bang, you're dead," indeed. And his letter at the end was perfect. So much a letter of someone who overthinks things, realises he's overthinking it, then deliberately tries not to, but still can't help but note that, almost as a sort of excuse for the letter being crappy and badly thought out (because it would be a horror if the recipient took something the wrong way and thought it was intentional).
(Yeah, Kaidan is basically me. As I write and rewrite and edit this review...)