|Reviews for Insomnia|
| Lord Kelvin chapter 7 . 9/16/2012
It is challenging to write a fair review at times.
The reviewer has to put a distinction between evaluating an author's choices within the story and personal bias. Your story blurs the lines quite a bit, so I'm reviewing a certain time after the read, with notes at hand.
Your readers pointed out the story deserves more attention. They were right. Three things were to blame: a summary promising static ('charactery study'), the large notice on the top and a static chapter one, mostly involving scientists.
The first chapter stood out from the rest, which made the read intriguing by itself. Natural character interaction and believable dialogue piqued my interest further. You don't see grey characters come alive that often. They are normally used as nameless cannon fodder, scientist 5 of block b. Not to mention, intellectuals doing science requires a bit of research on the author's behalf. It is blindingly obvious and personalised, compared to the part with Shadow's blood sacrifice. The poor dear would have been clueless even in a fully conscious state.
Maria's entry was a nice choice to intensify the emotional tone. Science chatter between people who are, like it or not, huge geeks, is fun to a niche audience. Their interaction with Maria's unbridled innocence brought a smile to my face. I wasn't as amazed when Cream was used for an identical purpose, but I'll get to it later.
Chapters with Rouge and Eggman delivered the most content, however. It's like you said in the summary, their knowledge is not free. Rouge had a mission of her own, which spilled genuine suspense into the mix. The reader should have been confused by her more than once. Thankfully, the narrative offered clues that her facade could be fake. With Eggman, I could never tell. It looked like he was trying to plunk his manipulative ways into Shadow's head. The hedgehog's state let me draw a parallel with Knuckles. An opposing force prevented that. It was amusing to watch a bit of mental ping pong, with Shadow acting as the unwitting ball.
Without a doubt, the readers had to bounce a few times to get to the bottom of this. You were eager to provide clues and obfuscate them with the antagonists' help. To make sense of the full picture, you need to hold a lot of context in your head as a reader. It allows pinpointing the seemingly unimportant details that make sense in the end. The potentially meaningless conversation in chapter three, for example. On the outside, it is regular small talk between two rogue friends. I could not believe my eyes when you stuffed plotted reason into it. Good show!
A few paragraphs below, the chatter in part three turned into a plot drive. I couldn't help noticing how varied the story has been. Despite its bleak emotional colours, flashed by rare but highly accentuated moments of humour, it is as exciting as a western. Stuff happens all the time. This isn't just some idle brooding Shadow is accustomed to.
Chapter four offered insight. We don't normally imagine what is Eggman doing before Sonic arrives to bust his guts. Shadow's unexpected entry, only challenged by the sign language quote, was a star of the show. I didn't even know if I should continue to take the situation seriously. Reading Eggman felt like talking to an addict. Oddly enough, I haven't seen him in such a light before. Both Shadow and Eggman looked desperate, albeit for different reasons. On a better day, you could expect them to bid their greetings and the doctor would pencil him in for an appointment. Nothing like a bit of Chaos Control to make the old genius approachable.
The same chapter drew another line of parity between Shadow and an overloading robot. Conflicting orders, indeed. And it only took you a whole chapter to alleviate the android scare.
Here's where all the loose ends come together, the finale. You kept us wondering, shaking and worrying over Shadow's state. Chapter one was to blame. I didn't know how the equation between the events at the start and the end would survive, but that was my expectation. I was ready to tolerate Cream acting as an obvious plot device in exchange for something tragic. She was merely interrupting his thoughts to add colour to the chapter, like Maria only more repetitive. From a technical standpoint, awesome. Just that you've done that before with more juice. Speaking of juice, you may notice paragraphs slimming down from chapter three onwards. Might have had to do with you writing faster.
That is easy to spot in the final chapter, which is shorter and less contentious than the rest. It is also a huge let-down. Shadow being in a coma doesn't make sense due to the amount of hinting you've done throughout the text and title, stressing the other alternative. The alternative, for all the tension, is something that would have fit a one-shot or a story with three chapters max. Readers want catharsis to follow the dread. Not a happy ending, but fulfilment.
You've chosen to end it on an outside perspective, the way the story began. If we were to draw a graph, you'd notice the amount of insight is an upside-down parabola, reaching max towards the middle. My preference would be an upwards line. Then again, the longer the story, the more challenging it is to suit such a shape, given the amount of activity, which takes place outside of Shadow's mind.
The areas to improve on the technical level would be missing articles (Computer between them was buzzing quietly in ch 1, Metal surface was pierced in several places in ch2) and overly complicated expressions (Quietness occurred again. ch 1, From a more close distance ch2, Alas, though, but postponing ch4). You used passive voice a lot AKA passive voice was used a lot. Try to make it active whenever possible, although the part with the gloves, when the 'was plus past tense verb' had passive on both instances separated by multiple sentences looked oddly fitting. That really turned the gloves into an object of his will.
Some word forms can be attributed to acceptable grammatical oddness, but a few typos appeared: no dot required after the ml sign, ch1. 'There must be another ways to find out' in ch3, 'The roomed used to be…' ch5.
In terms of canon, the right boxes were ticked. Sonic's minute appearance had meticulous character representation. Rouge leeching off others, albeit sidelined, also brought forward a trait few people choose to disclose.
Readers should be thankful for the double ending. I would have been content with just one, but you threw an extra cookie to the table. The possibilities of Shadow being manipulated into GUN's hands are frightening as much as Rouge's collusion towards the result. There's a thought calling for a sleepless night.
Have a nice, abuse-free day.
| Kellie Fay chapter 7 . 9/13/2012
ACK! Shadow is not getting better he's getting worse. Poor Sonic doesn't know what to do with him. Please keep updating. Um Was Shadow sleepwalking. I think he has nightmares and he sleepwaks. In my stories he did at first. Now he's more aware of his problems and is working to find solutions and yes he's learned to ask for help.