Reviews for Razor's Edge: Requiem
Yexius chapter 43 . 5/10
Love it.
Haven't played Mass Effect in years (except Andromeda) but this story made me even more infatuated ME. I just have to say thank you for writing this great story. Tali x Shepherd forever "keelah se'lai"
LumberjackJack chapter 43 . 4/23
After reading through this series twice, all I have to say is this: thank you.

Mass Effect, as a whole, was a part of my later childhood and early adulthood, so to say the games were a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences for me, both with the highs of the Tuchanka Arc to the lows of ME3's central plot surrounding the crucible and its conclusion. That conclusion left me feeling empty, yearning for more that I knew would not come unless decades pass and we somehow have a passion project of a remastered edition. The recent release of the mediocre and disappointing ME: Andromeda only multiplied my sadness for the universe rich with possibilities.

So I started surfing through online, trying to find something to mend these uncertainties of mine, reading through several stories online. A few noticeable ones are unique enough and well-written for me to give the benefit of the doubt on other glaring issues they may have, but none exactly helped me in the long run.

Until I found Razor's Edge.

While this doesn't fix the reality that Mass Effect will always be an incomplete experience for me, this gave me the second-best solution until we hopefully get our remastered, remade masterpiece down the line. The character progression with Shepard, Tali, Garrus, and Kasumi gives the story life and focus that the original games did not achieve as well while maintaining the essential core theme for the player (in this case, reader) that Mass Effect is about listening. It's about taking in the complex universe around you and hearing out those alongside for the ride to become a better person yourself, and I am glad to say I believe Razor's Edge captures this motif of the game better than anything else I have come across.

To anyone reading this review, read this story to its entirety a few times. I, myself, was never a reader who reads anything more than once, but this is that exception for me. Go through the motions more than once. If you are a hardcore Mass Effect fan who felt defeated or disappointed with how it concluded but loved it enough to find something? Anything? This is it.

I'll still look for other material to read, despite my earlier statements, but I will now do so in a much better state than before. Now I will read for more content and enjoyment rather than out of obsession for an outlet.

Thank you.
Khan666 chapter 43 . 4/15
What a way to end it all. I don't think I'm ever going to read a fic that tops this. This is THE ultimate ME fic. I don't think I could find a single thing wrong with this, the character deaths, as sad as they may be were dramatic, made sense, and added to the "realism" of this story. The expanded roles of The Rachni I particularly enjoyed, and Shepard's personal battle with his inner demons and suicidal last stand on Uttuku are stand out as some of, if not the, best moments i've read in fanfiction. Sir, wherever you may be now, I hope you're doing well and whatever path you have followed has led you to good fortune. Keelah Se'lai my man.
mysticexarch chapter 43 . 3/31
As expected, this one absolutely blew me away as well. I'll even go so far as to say that reading this was more enjoyable than actually playing Mass Effect 3. Indeed, every single one of your divergent AU choices were light years more intelligent and epic than what Bioware did. Impossible to call out every single thing I liked, but the highlights were the Rachni's greatly expanded involvement, Shepard's dramatic battle against (and recovery from) Indoctrination, and the altered nature of the Crucible/final gambit/final confrontation with Harbinger. Actually, it's that last one that really takes the cake. I don't think I've seen a single better fix to the ME 3 ending than the one you've devised. It's nearly perfect. To be frank, this story is my headcannon.

Which brings me to an interesting point. I'm an aspiring writer myself. I originally wanted to write fanfiction about mass effect, but I got sidetracked by the IT theory (ughhh) and holding on to a desperate delusion that it might be true. When I finally relinquished it, I was bitter and didn't think about Mass Effect *even once* for nearly 5 years, despite the fact that I had been a massive fanboy.

You used those years I was being moody to write a novelization of herculean proportions. I wish I'd had your gumption, but somehow, I think that even if I did, it wouldn't have turned out as well. I also can't help but feel a little left out. It would have been really, really cool to review these chapters as they came out, sharing this journey with you and the other fans instead of tagging along way too late. I am extremely grateful for your work, for being able to enjoy it at all, especially considering it's free. (Seriously, I'd buy this in a heartbeat if it were on a bookstore shelf).

This is one of the reasons I found your final author's comments so inspiring. Despite the whole "seize the day" thing being a massive cliche, it remains true and worthy of appreciation nonetheless. (And to be clear, I loved the fact that it's such a strong theme in the series). You've inspired me to write next time I have a strong idea instead of moping. I figured you might like to know that.
Cerberusx chapter 43 . 3/19
Wow. What a trip. I love this story, and I'm sad that it has come to a close. Especially since Shepard and Tali can't have their own biological children...

Anyway I think it would be cool if you at least continued the story, but the everyday lives that are characters go through now. Like Shepard and Tali going to Vista Wrex on Tuchanka and stuff like that.
Cerberusx chapter 41 . 3/18
Personally I'm more of a fan of M-7 Lancer. She's my Jessie.
Grey mage chapter 43 . 2/12
This is honestly an epic.

Think you for finishing it.

And thank you for not just rereading the game. Near the beginning I almost gave up. But spacebattles hasn't steered me wrong yet.
Gray mage chapter 11 . 2/11
I'll never understand why some authors just retread the Canon. I'm enjoying the story, but you could have done anything with it. Anything different.
shipwreck321 chapter 43 . 2/1
amazing work!
hope for your next story about something new!
Guest chapter 43 . 1/22
hands down, THE best mass effect Fanfic of them all

if a fanfic could be canon, this would be it
Boar Rushes Down The Mountain chapter 43 . 1/9
I've just finished this saga, and I don't know how many times it has made me cry. It's so many fantastic things, but especially a love story. I'm so happy to see Shepard and Tali settled down on Rannoch, I think that really completes it. I don't know if I can even properly encapsulate all the things I think and feel about The Razor's Edge, so I'll just say it's the best Mass Effect fanfic ever written and leave it at that. Thank you so much for creating it. Thank you so much.
Boar
Codek chapter 43 . 12/20/2016
So I've read the series from start to finish and I just want to say thank you. Thank you for writing this amazing story that pulled me from reality every time I read a new chapter. I don't think I have the words that can properly describe how your story truly made me feel, but I can say that it has a been a wonderful ride. So thank you again for making this story.
Simply Christian chapter 43 . 12/18/2016
This. This here is your magnum opus. It took you four years, and there were long periods of inactivity when I feared that arguably the best “Mass Effect” fanfic had gone dead, but you managed to complete your work.

There was a small but important moment near the beginning in Shepard’s conversation with Doctor Letha on the Citadel. When Shepard is feeling guilty because he wanted to prevent the Reapers from actually invading, and ended up merely delaying them for a few years. Then Dr. Letha points out that because of Shepard’s actions of delaying the Reapers, she could see her daughter graduate. It’s this moment when Shepard not only receives gratitude for his actions, but also the point that even if all he did was delay the Reapers’ arrival, every second he won counted for something, even if he felt like it didn’t.

One part that I completely forgot about and made me laugh out loud the second time I read it was when EDI mentioned she found the idea of spiders or creates like them crawling inside her. CoughRachniWorkersCough.

The whole Rannoch arc and the conclusion of the geth-quarian conflict was well done and impressive. Legion leading the geth against the Reaper virus was one of the best moments of the arc.

Your portrayal of Shepard’s struggle with depression, stress, and indoctrination was well done and movingly shown through his dreams and his own darkest fears. And it made Shepard’s rise above those fears and indoctrination all the more awesome.

Something I missed on previous readings but only noticed this last time was the way Shepard’s “death” on Utukku was portrayed: the hero is faced by an ancient, dark enemy, and falls into a chasm rather than submit, and leaves behind lots of explosives as his response. Add in the mentor alien guiding him out of the darkness, and finish it off with the hero’s triumphant return on a space station for a galactic community, and you have a well-crafted homage to “Babylon 5.”
While you had done some changes to the Mass Effect storyline before, Shepard’s “death” and return was probably the first time you diverged from canon on such a major scale, and it delivered a message to the readers that “Requiem” was not going to be a simple novelization of “Mass Effect 3.” It was going to be something grander.

I loved seeing the greater role the rachni played. While their presence was a boon to the Alliance in several degrees, it did not feel like a mere wish fulfillment of many fans. Their role actually felt like something that BioWare had failed to include in the game as a culmination of Shepard’s decision to spare the queen on Noveria.
Not to mention it was interesting to see Sings-Fury and Sings-Twilight become part of the Normandy crew.
Hope-Singer’s choice to Shepard on Utukku was very chilling, and almost made me want to see him choose “silence,” if only to watch the Reapers return in fifty millennia to find hordes of rachni waiting for them. But yeah, it was better to call on them now to ensure the cycle ended in the present.

Your characterization of the Illusive Man was well done, especially regarding the way he opposed Shepard yet retained genuine respect for him. And I appreciate how he seemed to be aware of his indoctrination in his final moments, and acknowledging that Shepard was the man the galaxy needed.
I had to laugh at how the Illusive Man was actually more interested in how Shepard gaining the rachni as allies than him coming back from the dead (again).

I didn’t mention it in a previous review, but I liked how Urz was brought onto the Normandy roster, if for no other reason than to read his perspective at Shepard’s return.

Shepard being named Praetor of the Alliance was awesome (and more than a little amusing to hear Sparatus immediately supported the title only after seeing the look on Shepard’s face at the idea).

Liara creating the time capsule was good, and more than a little amusing to see both her and Tali’s exasperation at Shepard’s genuine confusion as to why he should have his own entry.

Carmichael was an excellent addition to the story as an Everyman thrown into action.

I appreciated the inclusion of Rear Admiral Mikhailovich, if only posthumously. My impression of him had always been a man with conservative values and a bit of a jerk, but not unreasonable and someone who deserved his rank. So, it was sad but satisfying to see him in charge of the multiracial Citadel Defense Fleet and be in command of a force that dealt one of the heaviest losses to the Reapers in the war at that point.

The final war council was a subtle but significant kind of awesome in the way all members of the Alliance were gathered together in unity against a common enemy, an event that had never happened before in the history of the galaxy. An alliance composed of organics and synthetics, old enemies reconciled, and even an Eldritch Abomination thrown into the mix.

The push for the transport beam into the Citadel gave a sense of vindictive pleasure as krogan, rachni, and geth, some of the more difficult and challenging enemies in the previous games, were now fighting as allies.

After seeing “Doctor Strange,” I can’t help but watch Shepard’s final showdown with Harbinger and think, “Harbinger, I’ve come to bargain.”
More seriously, it was all kinds of dark awesome to see Shepard getting into a staring match with a Reaper and basically intimidating the billion-year-old Eldritch Abomination into backing down.
It also made much more sense to have Sovereign be the first Reaper, and Harbinger be the one originally designated as the “vanguard of destruction.” It certainly gives a good reason why there was that disparity in difficulty in how Sovereign was only defeated because it connected itself to Saren and therefore shorted out when its puppet was defeated, but Reapers in the invasion were destroyed (comparatively) easier.

As I’m sure you’ve heard from… everyone, but your ending to the Mass Effect series and the true purpose of the Crucible was far superior to canon. A simple “Program: Terminate,” and every nation, every culture, every species enslaved by the Reapers is giving the chance to rise in defiance one last time, and finally be granted the freedom denied to them for eons. This was an ending worth waiting for.

One thing I did not see mentioned in the epilogue was the status of the Leviathans. Are they seeking to become the apex species once again, and are one of the threats the New Systems Alliance stands against along with the remnant Reapers? Or have they decided to coexist with the “inferior” races, or at the very least, decided to remain reclusive and withdrawn from the rest of the galaxy?

Thane had a line in “Dark Witness” that now comes across as foreshadowing Shepard’s final fate in the epilogue, “The greatest [warriors] die with quiet contemplation, having defeated all that stood before them.”
I am glad you had Shepard survive, albeit with permanent damage. It would have been too depressing and tragic to have him die on the Crucible after defeating the Reapers, not to mention send the wrong kind of message after how Shepard had been so certain that he would not survive the war. But having him survive without a significant price would seem too cheap.
And really, Shepard’s inability to do physically little more than walk around his house is a blessing in disguise. Now, his galaxy-saving days are over, and he can actually enjoy his well-deserved retirement by spending time with Tali, and bear witness to the post-Reaper civilization he sacrificed so much for.

So, thank you very much for giving us the story of “Mass Effect 3” as it should have been.

And as one last homage to “Babylon 5,” the story ends with watching the sun coming up.
Aftermath212 chapter 11 . 12/10/2016
That was probably the most tense chapter I've ever read. The hardest to read, too. :(
Rob Sears chapter 43 . 12/7/2016
They say that 99% of all fanfiction is complete and utter dross, 0.75% is just okay, and that 0.25% are actually good. This...this entire series, belongs in that top 0.01% and that is no exaggeration, coming from someone with standards that are arguably way too high.

After binge-reading the entire series for a week after the last chapter dropped, I could only take a deep sigh of relief. It was finally complete - finished and not abandoned. I have never before encountered such a fic with such attention to detail placed upon it - the grammar, the vocabulary, the descriptions. The very prose that these stories were written in was quite mature and hinted at this author's extreme patience for letting the plot unfold. The cast of characters were never OOC, Shepard's arc was perfectly rendered, and the changes to the plot were welcome and helped make the story unpredictable (especially at the Utukku arc, what I would guess is the most discussed point of the story for its flawless execution and nail-biting tension).

Regarding the relationship between Shepard and Tali, I'm just going to say it: there's never going to be another story that can do it better. I cannot comprehend how such a thing could be possible. Razor's Edge is, in essence, a love story between Shepard and my personal favorite LI of the bunch, and it was knocked out of the park here. Shepard's stoicism was maddening at first until you understood the pain he was facing to keep everyone at arm's length, and Tali's anguish at seeing her lover take such abuse by himself was heartbreaking. But when they finally were allowed to be together, the two were adorable. The character arcs (Shepard's descent to indoctrination followed by his fight to rise above his demons to be with Tali) were fully realized which made everyone in this story feel more real than the games ever did. Now I probably won't be able to play the games anymore without thinking what could have been...

I was very skeptical at how you would tackle the ending, but I see that I shouldn't have bothered worrying. From how everything was set up to culminate at the climax, the ending that you provided was thematically as perfect of an ending that I could have imagined, from the final battle to the epilogue (including yet another fake-out death courtesy of Shepard - I've come to the conclusion that he's the human equivalent of a cockroach at this point as that man cannot be killed). Really, I have no complaints about the ending, yet it is so simply constructed that I wonder why a certain game developer did not go that route in the first place.

**Insert coughing and gagging noises here**

Razor's Edge is more than just a story for me. It represents the point where I, as someone who was initially skeptical about fanfiction as a whole, suddenly discovered the immense potential in playing around in someone else's sandbox. Razor's Edge was the introduction for me where I realized that, "Hey, fanfiction can be awesome!" It was from this story that I decided to try my hand out at writing for a bit, which I have to say was quite an eye-opening experience for me.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for proving me wrong about fanfiction. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to tackle new things. Thank you for this story and good luck on your future endeavors! Enjoy the praise you receive from your readers, you've earned it.
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