|Reviews for Memoirs|
| xiresilver chapter 50 . 9/18
This is without a doubt one of the best pieces of work I have read. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. I'm being serious here I have read quite a bit and this is impressive
| GreaterGoodIreland chapter 50 . 4/9
Binge read this when I should have been working on my own fic.
That should tell you how good it is :P
| gphoenix51 chapter 50 . 3/16
This is, hands down, the best Mass Effect fic I've ever read. The attention to detail, the emotion, all of it blends together to make it spectacular. I can't wait to read the rest.
| Cailus Griffin chapter 50 . 1/21
So, that was a long read. A very, very long read. And I'm still reading. At this point I'm a third of the way through the Reaper War book and still going strong, and it's about time I wrote a review. To be clear: this is very good writing. I wouldn't be reviewing this if it wasn't, and while my criticism may be sharp in places, I hope you keep that mind.
One of the very, very good parts of this particular fic is your attention to detail. It really is sublime. The Battle of the Armstrong Nebula, the general military feel of the story, Shepard's common sense approach to missions by using his full contingent of soldiers; all excellent. In particular, I did like your expansion on ME2/3's idea that Shepard was telling anyone and everyone about the Reapers from the beginning; the Red Team absolutely makes sense. I do somewhat question the idea of Shepard being a lieutenant commander; I always assumed he was promoted to full commander upon being given command of the Normandy, but it's a minor quibble. As a more serious quibble, your travel times for the Normandy are somewhat difficult to get my head around. While the Mass Relays are instananeous, FTL certainly isn't, and the incredibly brief time period is difficult to incorporate into that. I would argue that a four-six month time period in total would've been a little more practical, and allow for a greater feeling of significance for the crew's relationships and general events.
Related to this, I can only think of one other fanfic with the same attention to detail (also an ME fic, amusingly): Queen's Gambit Accepted. The writer of that fic uses aggressive realism rather than your precision, and I found an interesting comparison between the two techniques.
Another big plus of Memoirs is Liara herself. You absolutely have her voice down, from beginning to end, and it's the reason I kept reading. The framing narrative gives the story a particularly unique quality, enticing us with occasional hints and generally adding flavour to a story that is very well known.
For all that, however, there is one thing that I'd be remiss if I didn't mention. As great as Liara is, and indeed many other characters, the one weak spot of Memoirs is Shepard. I'm sorry, but it is sometimes painful to read. While basing a Shepard on a perfect playthrough is perfectly feasible, your approach to the character isn't. He's compassionate, diplomatic, tough, and in pretty much every way that counts, he's perfect. He knows a great deal about alien culture, knows snippets of alien languages, and never seems to suffer real emotional problems. His decisions are always right, always correct, and Shepard never seems to worry or have The flight to the Citadel from Virmire, where you have Shepard happy and morale on the Normandy as great, drains the drama and meaning out of Kaidan's sacrifice. While you did have a great idea with Shepard being constantly angry, this never seems to colour his actions or attitude as much it should. His somewhat merciless handling of batarians near Terra Nova is the only part of Memoirs that I can remember Shepard not being perfect, and truthfully, I wanted more of that. A Shepard who was furious at Benezia and hated her for her support of Saren would've added a great deal to the story, as well as the same treatment towards Saren and Sovereign.
Unfortunately, because of Shepard's "perfection", I found it difficult to overly care about his relationship with Liara. It certainly didn't need to devolve into soap opera antics, certainly, but it would've been nice to see more complexity. The automatic nature of the whole thing made it hard to read on occasion, mostly because besides their first joining, there was never any question in either Shepard's or Liara's minds what they felt for each other nor where they'd end up. The siavi-betrothal in particular was somewhat unnecessary to my mind, perhaps being more appropriate for the end of ME2 after time had actually passed. The lack of drama cheapened the value and appeal of the relationship and made the siavi-betrothal less than interesting.
I'm sorry to be so blunt, and I truly enjoyed Memoirs (as I'm enjoying the Reaper War) overall. Expect a review of the sequel sometime soon.
| namingsucks chapter 50 . 9/6/2014
I don't really have words to describe this fic. It was a fantastic ride filled with a nice amount of fluff and an interesting take on ME1. I really enjoyed the extension of the war between the alliance and the geth. In ME1 I felt as if it was almost nonexistent while in this fic it was a real characters were fairly well done, though I think Garrus definitely should have had some more screen time since he and Liara seemed a lot friendlier. I also would have liked to see more of Wrex but during my playthroughs of ME1 I definitely noticed and felt that Wrex and Liara were not exactly friends like she was with some of the other crew mates. I'm looking forward to continuing the saga.
| I-Am-Silence chapter 18 . 8/17/2014
I know you've long finished this story but I just wanted to say this chapter was great! That last word was perfect!
| Sigyn2011 chapter 50 . 7/28/2014
Normally, I despise narratives told from a first person point of view, but this collection of chapters was very well depicted. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and though most of my own ventures are centered around another character, Liara is also a favorite of mine. Every chapter kept my attention, even though I've played the game several times through. Thank you for also being exceptionally conscientious of grammar, syntax, and punctuation. Well done indeed.
| mordreek chapter 50 . 7/14/2014
Very excellent, a rare and pleasing first person perspective story. Looking forward to continuing the later stories
| RheasHelm chapter 50 . 5/23/2014
Your story has a very interesting start – Liara is 500 and on her own? No family? Even though Shepard was only her first bondmate?
It sounds odd that Shepard would already be forgotten, at least the Asari and Krogan should still remember him.
And they now have to face something similar to, or even worse than, the Reapers? How mysterious. I hope you’ll explain this more in the future.
I noticed that you changed the standard ME storyline in a few places. Some of these changes were minor, some not, some made sense, and some didn’t (to me).
E.g. the Humans lost tens of thousands of civilians on Eden Prime, plus 2 whole brigades? That’s 10 – 16 k troops... this is quite a leap, from a couple of platoons in the game to an entire army. And then that army did not have any tanks, planes, artillery, or AA weapons? But if Saren had enough forces to do that, Shepard with his small squad would not have made a difference.
It was good to see though that Shepard has significant help from his squad, that he takes more people on missions, has them take care of important parts of the job (e.g. on that asteroid).
I also liked how you handled Cerberus – TIM and Shepard having a conversation about the Reapers, Miranda keeping an eye on Shepard. That sets them up believably for their cooperation later, after Shepard’s resurrection.
I don’t quite see the point of Shepard and Liara’s “engagement”, they might as well have done a full bonding ceremony at that point if they wanted to formalize their relationship. I did appreciate the complications that this caused, however, when in the future, the gutter press gets hold of some of the photos of the event, and fabricates a story/scandal.
The Shaira – Prothean memory device – Liara sleeping with Shepard causality chain felt a bit forced to me. At first it seemed logical that Shaira would turn to a fellow Asari, the daughter of a good friend of hers no less, for help, and not Shepard, and that Lira would end up with the Prothean artifact. But why would the Prothean sphere transmit memories/observations regarding Humanity to an Asari? That did not make any sense to me until you later mentioned that this was how Liara learned about how to have sex with Shepard. Never mind that she could have looked that up on the extranet; I’m sure Joker would have been more than happy to recommend suitable educational videos...
Speaking of Liara sleeping with Shepard, the “are you sure” questions had me roll my eyes. I mean, the Asari comes to Shepard and present herself on a silver platter, and his first response is that? Liara should have pretended to have second thoughts and walked away.
But it gets better... first Liara acts all surprised about encountering male genitalia ("what I found there felt so bizarre that I had to see for myself [...] I was confronted with the absurdity."), but then she proceeds to declare that Humans have the biggest dicks ever, beating out Turians and even Krogans handily. (Krogans? Both sexes seem to be too massive for that. And you give them 2 penises? How’s that supposed to work? Do Krogan females then have 2 vaginal equivalents? 2 wombs? Sure, Krogan have 2 sets of a number of vital organs, but to have 2 drain pipes does not seem to offer any advantage, unless maybe they are at opposite ends from each other.). So she must have known.
Too bad for Shepard that “it was the one part of Shepard's anatomy for which I never discovered much attraction.” That made for a nice misunderstanding when Liara proclaimed that she “needed” Shepard and meant Joining, whereas the Human assumed she was talking about "the terror and delight of being penetrated".
You do that in a few other places as well - you state one thing only to contradict yourself shortly afterwards. E.g. in chapter 9, Liara claims to be surprised by Shepard’s issues with Batarians, but a short time later she explains why. Or in chapter 13, where Liara begins to entertain feelings for Shepard and then denies that he might possibly have any for her because they don’t know each other, are different species, and have nothing in common.
It was hilarious to see how Shaira affected even Liara ("not certain whether I wanted to seize her in my arms or fall down to worship at her feet.", “I am certainly not going to turn into a sex-addled fool over any *Asari*"/"Goddess, make my blood stop racing.")
I can’t believe Shepard would be so mean as to teach Liara the phrase “Because otherwise we get our pretty little ass shot off.”. It’s very funny, of course, but he’s lucky he didn’t try that with a Human woman...
Shepard has to be a bit dense to not understand the term “lineage”...
When you revealed that Parasini had a pocket inside her blouse, I had think of those historic-type movies where the ladies invariably pull a piece of cloth out of their cleavage. :)
I had to laugh when Liara called Shepard intimidating to Asari because he was so large and ugly. How nice that she was later able to return the favour with her “mind-reading”.
Shimmer-silk sounds like a cool fabric.
"I'm not exactly a woman, you know."/"As they say, close enough." - that was a good one.
What? Shiala is not green? That’s blasphemy! Burn the heretic!
In chapter 37 you ask an interesting question - "wouldn't it be a terrible universe if the only people who were ever loved were the people who deserved it?" At first I also thought yes, it would be, but then I wondered why should that be bad? And who would be entirely undeserving? Almost everybody has some redeeming qualities, in the eyes of someone.
Shepard’s speech in front of the Council regarding Asari preferences was good. I hadn’t thought of that. Although with billions of people, 10 % is still a large absolute number of Asari with Krogan and Volus ancestry.
Shepard swearing that oath at the end puzzled me – he’s a Spectre, outside of the Alliance chain of command and jurisdiction. Why would he do this?
If they really had recordings of their conversations with Sovereign and the Ilos VI, how would that not be sufficient proof for the Council?
Shepard and Liara at her house in Armali was nice, except maybe the part of them defiling Benezia's room. Young people nowadays, no respect for anything...
Overall, this was well done. I’m looking forward to reading the sequels, especially the parts that take place after the Reaper war.
| hochrami chapter 1 . 4/25/2014
The presentation in this series is fantastic. In this telling, we see the story of the Mass Effect universe, originating with ME1, inclusive of (I think) 3 of the official novels and the existing graphic novel/comic book issues, through to the end of ME3, as told by Liara T'Soni. A fourth book is planned that will be written in the sandbox of the ME universe, but without the constraints of Bioware's official script.
The author feels, and I couldn't agree more, that Liara is a character of great depth and more than capable of being the protagonist of her own story. Bioware could devote a series of games to her alone. As you read through this series of novels, and the following short stories, I have no doubt that, if you don't already, you, too, will come to agree.
I write this review of the series while only a few chapters into Memoirs: The Reaper War. I'm pacing myself, or trying to. Frankly, I'm not sure how I'm going to manage reading the fourth book one chapter at a time. That said, here are my thoughts. (I will _not_ include details, as I don't want to spoil anything for new readers.)
In some instances, the author uses dramatic license to adjust the story as presented in the games to focus on Liara. As a devout ME fan, I found this perfectly acceptable. The books include some original content, and some altered content to support the OC, as the story is swung to focus more on our favorite blue squad mate. The progress of the story does not change, and you'll recognize much of what you read. There are a number of instances where the author fills in the gaps. I have not yet read any of the official novels after "Revelation", and none of the graphic novels (fixing this as soon as possible), so I don't know how much of what he adds is OC and what comes from those books, but I believe there are inclusions that are entirely fabricated by the author, and I've not read any of them that weren't perfectly believable in the context of the canonical universe.
As I progress through the story, I believe I see where _some_ of this is going. There are decisions I believe the author made that I wouldn't personally have made, but I believe I understand his reasoning, and can take this in stride. To be honest, it's one of the things that I've loved about this series; it makes me look at things from a different mindset.
I was initially drawn to this story because I always loved Liara. When I reached book 2, however, I became hopelessly addicted. Liara's growth through the series is observed in painstaking detail, and it came to be a source of hope for me on a personal level. Understanding that this is may be unique to me, I wanted to include it, because it was the author's writing that granted the perspective that allowed me to see Liara in this way. She's tougher than she looks, and she finds a way to fight for what's right, when nobody would have blamed her for laying down and letting grief and despair wash over her. Liara makes some stupid decisions, but she lives her life deliberately, and that character trait is well presented in this series.
If you hated Liara, this may not be the series for you, but I'd advise you to give it a try anyway. You might just come to see her in a new light. If you loved Liara, if you identified with the character on any level, read this series. I promise you, you'll be thankful you did.
| theherocomplex chapter 18 . 3/19/2014
Hm, why wouldn't Liara say something about that last message? I realize it would be problematic for Tali, but it seems pertinent enough that she would bring it up to Shepard. Afraid of worrying him more?
I'd love to see more of her internal worry/feelings for Shepard. She presents concern, but I don't feel it. The longing, the attraction, the fun - where is it? Liara definitely has her playful side, as well as her badass and sweet sides, and I feel like this is the perfect time to play that up. That alone may help to lighten Shepard's load!
As always, the scope of what you're doing impresses me.
| DrLucienSanchez chapter 50 . 1/6/2014
I've just finished this incredible story, worked my way through it in a matter of days, I would highly recommend it, the writing is superb and expertly researched. The characters are strong and true to their inspirations. As is always the case with these stories, Everyone's Shepard is different, but the character of this Shepard plays well enough off the main character, Liara. Liara's depiction in this story is magnificent, and her development in the ensuing tales similarly spectacular.
I would encourage any fans of the series to read this story, if nothing else it may provide a quite different perspective on a once-shy asari archaeologist.
| FasterGhost chapter 50 . 1/6/2014
And there is the end and Liara's fall into the darkness :(
I must congratulate you on the story. I thought it was very well written.
I particularly enjoyed the proper usage of military tactics, scientific terms and general sci-fi terminology.
All characters and plots beyond the canon were well developed.
Especially the story of Anar and Ru will be in my mind for a long while :)
I immensely enjoyed Liara's POV (which is still a rarity on , as is MShep/Liara) and I fully intent to read the sequels in the future!
| FasterGhost chapter 49 . 1/6/2014
Wonderful idea for them to have this 'last supper' and I was glad for all the people Shepard toasted to (even to his former enemies)
| FasterGhost chapter 48 . 1/6/2014
Really interesting analysis of Asari. I never though of it this way... sexism with galactic implications. But I think that Shepard never did either before he met Liara :)
Yay for Ash getting her commission. I always wondered how she went from noncom to lieutenant commander :)