Reviews for Of Sheep and Battle Chicken
Spikesagitta chapter 24 . 3/26
Wait. Was that a pulp fiction nod ? Nice!
Nemrut chapter 123 . 3/24
Well, that was certainly a wild ride. Overall, I really liked this story, loved it even.

Stuff that I really liked was the new Cerberus and its many facets, ranging from reasonable "the needs of the many" viewpoint to the fanatic cruelty that we have seen in the games. I liked the politics, the many factions in the universe and humanity, even if, after some time, I got a bit sick off all the spies reporting to many different people. I think the moment where the Commissar "arrested" Shepards old squadmate was where I sighed. Not that it didn't work but we already have so many betrayals and duplicity. Then again, that's the point, isn't it? So, maybe that's less critique and more of a compliment?

The military aspects were rather interesting although I have to admit, they were seemingly better handled at the beginning, where the story was more sci-fi, whereas at the ending it became the climax of a fantasy novel, where the team had to unite to defeat the sorceress and afterwards were elevated to nobility. With that shift, I think the story lost some of its...well, seriousness in a way. Not that I believe that fantasy novels are inherently less serious, not at all, yet the themes and stakes are different. Having a fire battle between humans and maybe monsters, like X-COM, carries a different tension than Star Wars does. I guess it is mainly the connotations, and that is unfair, I admit that, but the story seemed more serious in the beginning than it did at the end. If that was intended, it worked.

One question to the military: I am not a member of any kind of military, never was (did civilian service instead) and I am not all that well versed in the american military ranks, only what I know from movies, fanfics, wikis and novels and as such I did not understand Shepard's promotion. It was my understanding that Shepard was first in the military structure that uses the US Navy format, what with her being a Commander. tells me that the chain of command goes as follows: Commander (Shepard), Captain (Anderson), Read Admiral Lower Half, Read Admiral Upper Half (Not sure which one Branson is, although I guess the higher), Vice Admiral, Admiral Chief of Naval Ops and Fleet Admiral (Dragonov).

So, then she receives a promotion to Major of Marines and Admiral-designate. There is no major in the Navy (as far as I know), and the major of the Marines seems to be a lower rank than Commander of the Navy, so, I find myself confused where exactly her promotion took her. Two jumps would mean Rear Admiral. If, for some reason, she changes from Navy to marines, or was always marines, not exactly clear on that, she would be either Colonel or Brigadier General. Army and Air Force have Major General but no Major Commander.

I realize that the mass effect verse is only roughly based on existing military structure and your story deviates even more so from that, so, I wanted to ask you if you could explore a bit on the chain of command structure? Maybe make a list for all the officer ranks.

Sorry for the nitpick.

To come back to the actual review. As I said, I loved the more in-depth universe with all the different factions, plots, OCs, religions, the nobility and ideologies. I loved Udina, best Udina ever, and to be honest, am baffled why Shepard says he is an asshole when he was honest and upright with her from day one and had her back. If I had one critique about Udina, it would be that you made him say "You know I don't like you Shepard or the way you handle things" way too often, essentially in almost every interaction with Shepard. I think she got it by now and hope he won't say that anymore in the sequels. Also liked the crazy General, although I do hope his aide is giving him shit for treating her as eye candy and his other inappropriate remarks (or at least not taking it), I loved the little touches, such as the memes in one of the earlier chapters, with stuff like Your girlfriend cheats on your with Shepard, YOU apologize, simply because that's the sort of stuff that happens when someone reaches a level of notoriety and fame. If anything, I would like to see more of that.

I do not know if you've read Worm by Wildbow (do so if you haven't) but that introduced a mechanic I haven't seen in anything so far, in that it had an interlude chapter from the viewpoint of an internet forum viewer, where we saw several threads of people, normal people, discussing what had happened. Seeing that the internet is still present, as are memes (apparently, cat memes will never die, same with Smash Brothers. I believe that), so, the reaction of normal people (fans, haters, tinfoil heads, people who want to be funny, perverts, mods, officials, people who want to feel important and lie, trolls, witnesses, people saved, family members of people who died or who made it and so on) as to what Shepard did would be fantastic, at least to me. Maybe something to think about, if you are so inclined.

So, in these aspects, and in the sheer scope of the fic, that all was amazing.

Critique wise, I'd say that in the first half of the story, parts could get tedious and annoyingly angsty, because Shepard would repeat the same monologue on how bad her life was to several people. Granted, it makes sense, but it is repetitive, boring and annoying to read the same speech over and over again, when she explains this to Ash, Garrus, Liara, Joker and so on, especially since that sort of speech always feels stilted. People just don't talk like that, with monologues of how much of an irredeemable monster they are. I feel the story could be improved if you either shortened those speeches or found a way to convey that information in another way.

The chapter on Shepard's personal file, I felt, was unnecessary. It was unpleasant to read (which, yes, I know, was the point) with all the rape and suffering. We knew that she had an awful childhood, less would have been more. if anything, it was also infuriating since we still don't know exactly what happened on Torfan. We have a gist of it, but if anything should have been expanded on, it should have been that.

I did say that there is a paradigm shift in the theme, and I realize that Mass Effect, in spirit, is more Star Wars than anything, yet the way your story began for the first third, it had a vastly different feel to it than the last third. It went from military fiction, where biotics were powerful augmentations but overall, there was a more or less even balance, to fantasy, where the Sorceress could bend reality to her whim, and throw out spells that can take down armies on her own.

One of the things I didn't like in Mass Effect, especially ME3 is the fact that the Reapers were so powerful, that you basically couldn't really fight them and that certainly seems to be the case here, even more so. Again, just speaking personally, I feel there is more tension when the enemy is powerful but can still be fought, only one has to do so smartly and ruthlessly. When the enemy is so much more powerful that 10 alien races combining their military might couldn't deal with 10 of the enemies ships, of which it has actually hundreds and thousands, suddenly it loses tension because you know it's either defeat, or, more likely, a race to the macguffin or deus ex machina.

And the politicking aspect in-between the species always is more interesting than banding together against the faceless invader. It was the case in Codex Alera, in ASoIaF and it was the case in ME.

Shepard's development is interesting, and I like what you did with her and what your plans for her were. However, at times, I felt that she was inconsistent at times. Maybe that's my fault, with my expectations for her after the way she was introduced. I mean, I get it. That was the point, the fact that the impression one got from her file and her actions was faulty, that she is more than just a thug and butcher and she moves beyond that, both on her own and with the helps of her crew. And yet, I feel like we saw that a bit too soon. I feel like it would have been better to see that through her actions, in a more subtle manner, rather than have her saying how bad she feels for the things she did. I feel like that would have been more rewarding and better story telling. If we had come to the conclusion that Shepard didn't like her deeds, her choices, what she had become, not because of her saying so, but because she behaved that way, in her interactions with others.

We see her when she takes down pirates, gets her revenge and not much later, she tells Garrus how bad revenge is and I didn't feel that at that point, she underwent enough of a change to warrant that shift in perspective. Little things like that.

Overall, I did like it, but the speeches really drag this down a bit, as they are jarring.

So, I guess that's it. Sorry that the negative things are longer, but that's unfortunately always the case. It's easier to expand on bad things than it is to compliment the good things.

So, yeah, thank you so much for sharing this, will be checking out the other stories.

I hope you are well and take care.
DarkMando chapter 96 . 3/17
Incredible story.
An immense undertaking that has been beautifully crafted.
Thank you.

Now I move onto to my bad habits.
In reading how Shepard wanted to die I found that the song the soldier has come home by SSgt. Barry Sadler seems to fit that rather well.

I am still unsure what song could describe the story's feel as a whole but I think that the song the parting glass might do well.
I do not know how you will finish it yet because I have not yet read that far but that is my current guess.
Again...
Thank you.
sherryE chapter 123 . 3/14
Excellent chapter great ending. I love the depth you put into your writing. It is captivating.
I can't wait for your next one. Nice work.
sherryE chapter 122 . 3/14
Ha ha you tell em Shep
Wandering the Arid Sea chapter 123 . 3/13
Spent the last few days reading this every free moment I could. Nice touch with the name. Never did forget it.

At first glance, I did not think much about this, but with so much harping about it in Aberron's 'An Indoctrinated Dream' I decided to check it out.

Damn, am I glad I did so.

Some of the reactions Shepard had in the earlier chapters felt too heavy handed but beyond that, I just loved every bit of this fic.

This is, hands down, the best ME fic I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

5/5
sherryE chapter 121 . 3/11
Great chapter. The intense battle, fast action, whew, well done
sherryE chapter 120 . 3/11
Excellent chapter. Intense. Filled with emotion
sherryE chapter 119 . 3/11
Great battle
sherryE chapter 118 . 3/11
I like the biotic challenge. Very cool. The faceoff with O'keer and Wrex, great stuff
sherryE chapter 117 . 3/7
Great chapter. Love the action
sherryE chapter 116 . 3/5
WooHoo good stuff. Totally captivating. Great chapter
sherryE chapter 115 . 3/5
Excellent work. Great battle. Love the action. I also love the different pairing of Tali and Joker. Very cool
Jim chapter 123 . 3/2
An amazing story of pure awesomeness.
Jim chapter 90 . 2/26
I have now read said chapter. That was pure awesomeness.
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