Reviews for Memoirs
Full-Paragon chapter 18 . 9/10/2013
Pretty intense action in this chapter, with some foreshadowing and character development to boot. The bit about the grand campaign with Hackett taking Shepard's insights was very cool, and explains a lot about Hackett's future reliance on Shepard. This man has both a strategic and tactical gift, which is rare enough that he'd be shortlisted for Admiral (if it were not for future political considerations).

The development of the VI that would become EDI was also pretty fascinating, as was Liara's little connection. I wonder where you're going with that.
MizDirected chapter 5 . 9/4/2013
Another really good chapter. We get some nice Liara detail here that wouldn't be available to us through other sources, which is great. Moving along to the what the heck is Saren up to? I look forward to continuing the journey with her.

I found myself dragging through the conversation in the middle a little, although the touches of information that we don't have from the games kept me going. I'm really not sure what to recommend there, except to find a way to bring it to life more. This is going to be limited, of course, because it's not a musical number, its a discussion, but more of Liara's take on it would add. Also, yes, she has a scientist mind, but it's like a recording of the conversation. It's a transcript. Excellent memory is good, but we never remember anything as a transcript. It's coloured a million ways by things about the person that distracted us, tangents our minds walked off on... so many things.

Wouldn't her mind grab hold of Reapers? It does in the game. She goes off on a tangent and has to be pulled back. I would love a little more of that younger self as she was during this conversation. She can comment on it from her current perspective. The idea of Reapers captured my youthful imagination... the one that had pondered a thousand routes from the Protheans spanning the galaxy to leaving scant traces behind. You know? It would help make it not a transcript that I have to read through to get information.

As always, clean as a whistle, with it being dialogue, there isn't much passivity going on. The characters don't have a lot of voice. I get a great sense of Shepard's intelligence and thoughtfulness, but would like to also have a feel for his personality. How did he fill a space? gestures? annoying or otherwise? Anything to make him a living breathing person for me. After all, that's sort of why she's writing it, yeah?

Awesome sauce. Thanks so much for sharing your talent.
Lachdannen chapter 1 . 9/3/2013
I think for this, I'm going to give the same advice that was given to me: Some of this, if not the whole thing maybe should be cut and folded into other parts.

I like the idea of Liara writing this and it being some what of a journal. Those parts are all really really great, and i love some of the wording that you use for her speech and thoughts. Where i think this could be improved, is the run down of Shepard's life. I think I would rather be shown that information, have it come up in conversations, something, rather than being front loaded like this. I did the exact same thing on mine, and I'm planning on going back and changing it.

My only other twitch was the use of John as Shepards fathers name. I am fine with a Shepard being named something non-default, but I would probably recommend naming his father anything else, just because it's a bit confusing.

Grammar and layout are really clean, i didn't see a single thing that pulled me out of it. And again, I love the idea of it being Liara's thoughts and notes on Shepards life.
All in all, looking forward to more :)
bluekrishna chapter 13 . 8/30/2013
wow, it went from uber-sad to fluffy in the span of a couple thousand words. nice transition. that way the reader doesn't dwell. poor liara. that was some seriously beautiful language there, in those paragraphs about safe harbor. i love that sort of poignancy, and delicate turns of phrase. great chapter, sharrukin, as always!
theherocomplex chapter 14 . 8/30/2013
SO enjoying the peeks into asari culture from Liara's perspective. And I love a woman who loves pasta!

The interactions with the rest of the crew are refreshing, though I'm curious to see how she feels about the rest of the aliens on the Normandy. Her conversation with Joker made me laugh; it's nice to see her open up and sass him back a little.

Lovely work, as always.
Inkess chapter 15 . 8/29/2013
"Conquered people don't get to choose what happens to their culture anyway." Ow. Poor Wrex. Even when Liara's trying to help him, she ends up hurting him more. It good to see how Liara improves from a typical nose-high-in-the-air asari to a more sympathetic person. Even to krogans. I guess Shep really changes people, huh?

And OMG, the cat fight with Ash is so brilliant, I have no words for it. Really. From Shepard's muscles to Li "winning" in the end it was so perfect. I'm in awe again.

I wish I could learn some sort of mind trick and steal a little of your talent. You have so much, you probably wouldn't notice :P
MizDirected chapter 3 . 8/25/2013
And soooo the saga continues. :) I love how even though I know exactly how everything goes, shifting the camera changes everything and makes it fresh. A few nits, not too many, but you know me, I gotta pick em. A good chapter that adds a nice realism to ground the story.

* * I cursed at him, but he only laughed as he turned to go. - awww come on. Let me hear the curse.

* *I closed my eyes again, feeling rather faint. - let me feel it, just a wee bit. What would her physical sensations be at the time? And it would avoid doubling up the word faint.

* * The sound was very faint, echoing as if it had to make its way all the way down into the cavern from outside, but it was very clear. - I know it isn't really, but saying very faint and very clear in the same sentence feels like a contradiction.

* *There was nothing I could do but wait, - I could do nothing but wait. Eliminates the passive voice.

* *all rougher and heavier than the asari norm. - well, yeah... they're all female

* *More hair-stubble was dusted lightly on his cheeks and around his mouth. - More hair-stubble dusted (dusted sorta implies lightly) his cheeks and around his mouth. Saves the was and passivity.

* * His skin was entirely the wrong color, making him look like an animated corpse. - Other than having a was in a paragraph heavy with passive voice, I get no mental image from the words... entirely the wrong colour.

* *beautiful on Thessia, but they were too closely spaced and too deep-set under a heavy brow. - but for being too closely spaced and deep set. I know being is as bad as was, but at least it's not was again, maybe. Just a lot of it in this description. Which, by the by, because its a mini info dump... I have now completely forgotten most of it. Long blocks of description just don't stick with people. Because she related it to pulling her up, I remember strong. I remember blue eyes under a heavy brow. Besides, would she be doing a mental inventory of him at this time? She has bigger issues.

* *There was a tremor that shook the whole tower, - A tremor shook the whole tower.

* *"He needs to move faster," said the quarian apprehensively. - Tali shows apprehension better than anyone I know. Said apprehensively does nothing to set Tali in the scene for me. She is a floating voice. If she moved, as Tali does, to show apprehension, she would appear and take her place in the scene for me.

* *Lots of was through the fight scene. Fight scenes need to be active, even if Liara was a passive participant. Most of them are simple to remove. They are a much larger population in this chapter than others of yours that I have read.

I love the realism of being trapped inside a stasis field for four days. Yeah, no one is coming outta that smelling or looking like a rose. I like the realism of Shepard too... that he isn't Mr. Sauve Handsome. I like that her impression at first leaves a journey for us to follow to get through how it changes.

As always, characters and action are skillfully drawn. Thanks so much for sharing your talent and story.
theherocomplex chapter 13 . 8/23/2013
Oh, Liara. The image of her cradling her mother's body will stay with me for a while. Her memories of her protected childhood are making me tear up.

My one complaint is that through both sections - on Noveria and then back on the Normandy - Liara's still keeping everyone at a distance. This is the first time it's really impacted me, as a reader. I want to feel more of Liara's grief and her growing regard and attraction for Shepard. Oddly enough, I feel as though we've seen more into Shepard's character than Liara. He's warm and appealing, capable and assured - but Liara is cool, a little too collected. It was so nice to read that about her frustration and *want* at the end of the chapter - that glimmer of heat was very welcome.

And oh, your Shepard. He's fantastic. I hope you don't mind if I make him my canon MShep.

You really leave me in awe, Sharrukin.
MizDirected chapter 2 . 8/22/2013
The action, as always is excellent. Fast paced, easy to follow so that I can actually get involved in it rather than going... waiiiitt... how did she get... wait? where is she. LOL The dialogue, strong and completely in line with the voice in my head from the games. Awesome chapter of running like heck and kicking butt.

* * I twisted in my seat, craned my neck, and saw a geth dropship diving out of the clouds like some enormous insect. - First spot for some emotional punch. Physical reaction? just a few words to put us inside her at that moment.

* *I checked my omni-tool, retrieved my sidearm from its compartment under the dashboard, and opened the canopy. - awesome moment for a beat of click over. Emotion . . . click over . . . solve the problem. Put that mind to use.

* *Some instinct must have warned him. He turned his head in my direction, and through the binoculars I could see his eyes narrow. Too late I remembered that if I could see the krogan, the krogan could see me. - here is a serious ooooh crap moment. This whole three line section before, this and the line after. Excellent moment to show her youth and then her courage,

* *"Only three," I told myself. "You can manage three." - a couple words of emotional reaction here would be great. Heart rate speeds up, slows down as she finds a reserve of courage... whatever.

* *There was a blinding flash of blue light. - A flash of blue light seared into my eyes, blinding me? Maybe just a little more punch than the was.

Excellent, fun, exciting chapter. Awesome stuff. Thanks so much for sharing your talent and vision.
MizDirected chapter 1 . 8/21/2013
Wonderful first line. It sets everything up. I love your writing. Love reading a story that sparks a (albeit, in this form one-sided) conversation about the piece in my head rather than getting bogged down in grammar etc. Love that. I love writing, love stories, love talking about writing, so . . . yeah, this is what this review amounts to. Me discussing the few pieces of the story where I thought some emotion and personal connection could help. :) Thanks for sharing your talent.

So, as to punching up the passion without losing the tone. I saw a few places where I would have liked Liara's feelings about things as well as her thoughts.

* *So it has been with Shepard, and I think that's a matter of grave concern. - How does she feel about his memory being twisted and the real man, the man she loved, being lost? Perfect place for grave concern to be paired with what it would mean to her personally. We only connect to the past, truly connect to it through the lens of other people. Textbooks versus biography. I want to see this history, to connect to it through her lens. Sure, she's going to work to be as even handed as possible, but asari are about connection. Even sex is about touching one another's minds and hearts and souls on a really intense level. So wouldn't she want to connect the future to Shepard? To make him, in some small way as important to them as he was to her?

So it has been with Shepard. That both fills me with grave concern and grief that the man might be lost in face of the legend. If we are to survive the years to come, we need Shepard again . . . but we need the true spark (soul . . . whatever part she was the core of him, except core because that's meh.) of the man, not what centuries of fabulation have made him. For surely, that man . . . (words . . . who stole my words? And yes, that's an -ly word. lol) did not need to be deified to be remarkable. (Except written so that it doesn't suck. Bah, I suck. But, maybe it shows what I mean? Hangs head in wordless shame)

* *I knew Shepard. He was my comrade-in-arms, my friend, my lover, and my bondmate. With Urdnot Wrex now in his grave, I may be the only being still living who was once close to him. - second opportunity for some passion, just to colour the words a little to show that she really cared about him. The way she describes him here, he could be anything. Once close to him... yeah well, she's been close to a lot of people, I'm sure. Was this connection no different than any other of her friends? Is she only writing this because she believes the history needs to be told, or because she also doesn't want the man to be lost? Maybe he was just one of a bunch of people in her life. Maybe he's not someone who was a great passion, but if he was, I would like to get a sense of that. Surely, some of that still lives within her. Some part of her still misses him? Maybe?

* *Yet much of his success can be attributed to sheer good luck. He made mistakes, he was sometimes foolish, he was often uncertain, he was afraid, he suffered, he bled, and he died. A god he most certainly was not. If there was anything of the divine in him, it was that spark of inspiration that sometimes spurs all of us to heights we once thought impossible to attain. - this reads like a reason not to read it. Of course, she is going to say he's not a god, and that yep, a lot of things were luck, and he was mortal. But... this word kills it. IF there was anything of the divine in him . . . that one word, even though the sentence is true, drains the importance of Shepard. It diminishes him when she's actually saying the opposite. But what did Liara think made him who he was? What did she feel made him special? Here in this long list of why he wasn't. Yes, she doesn't want him to be deified, but she is going to want to emphasize that there IS a reason to remember Shepard. There was something in him that we should be attaining to. Isn't that why biographies get written? We want to connect with the past through the adventures and passions and flavour of that person. We are looking for that special part of them that we might just be able to find in ourselves.

* * One last spot for a connection: This is the story I've never told before, the story of my time with Shepard. - Why hasn't she told it? If it's just because she's had a lot of other stuff on her plate and she never got around to it, then okay, I don't need to know. But if it's because it was something she was holding on to, something she felt would be diminished if she told it, anything that helps me connect emotionally with both Liara and Shepard, then hit me with it. It doesn't have to be a soppy outpouring, just a few words that show me why this story is different.

Wouldn't an asari (basically matriarch because she had a following so young) know that and use it? Just things I wonder about because your story is so good, and your writing is so flawless that my mind has time to wander along these lines and wonder about all this stuff. I love the Illium Years, but started that for a time that I wasn't familiar with rather than reading the events of ME1 redone. But now, I am here because I want to see that Liara.

theherocomplex chapter 12 . 8/21/2013
Oooh, now we get a little smolder! But of course Liara is much better at prioritizing than I, so she's focused on staying alive. Probably better that way.

My heart aches for Liara; you communicated her distress - so far rigidly controlled - over confronting her mother beautifully, but economically. The pacing is also excellent - we know what's coming, but you don't rush us toward the climax of events.

I really admire your choice to use Tali as the squadmate who takes the shot. Silent, but ever-efficient. It's also a nice way to avoid conflict between Liara and Shepard, which would have been the result if he had killed Benezia.

And oh, "Little Wing". DONE. GOODBYE.

Great chapter. I'm officially gnashing my teeth with envy, sir.
Lady Amiee chapter 7 . 8/17/2013
This gets better and better the more I read. Your character growth makes me so envious, she's gone from being shy, timid and a little naive to slowly getting stronger. I just love her voice, I know I say this with every chapter, but seriously, for someone who's never really connected with Liara in the game like me, to enjoy a story about her so much, is truly a credit to your skill. This chapter really made me want more, so well done, lovens it! No crit, cause guess what I CAN NEVER BLOODY FIND ANY!
Inkess chapter 14 . 8/17/2013
What, you seem to imply here that there's more to the asari resembling the Greek culture than lazy developers ripping off existing human societies? It's not the turians resemble Rome or anything... :P

Seriously, though, I LOOOOOVED this chapter. Liara finally got to assault that bowl of noodles. She deserved it! Your descriptions of the assault had me laughing out loud several times... and when Joker showed up it was priceless.

I can't tell you how much I like this. It's exactly how I imagine a game retelling: just the right amount of humor, emotion, canon and original events. Plus, your writing style is so easy to read through I wish for more at the end of every chapter no matter how long or short it was. Great, great work!
bluekrishna chapter 12 . 8/15/2013
aaaaaawwwwww, right in the liara feels. this was much tighter and more suspenseful than the actual gameplay. i don't know why people have such problems with fic writers writing a mostly canon scene. i happen to like reading the many different versions put forth by the inhabitants of this site. every new nuance coloring the game i've grown to love with subtlety and grace. plus, i think that's where we all started. the urge to 'fix' canon. the desire to flesh out beloved characters. it's only natural.

anyway, beautiful chapter with no typos that i noticed. the original dialogue blends into the game dialogue seamlessly. tense and emotional. kudos!
theherocomplex chapter 11 . 8/13/2013
You've done a great job, as always, in showing us Liara's growing confidence and capabilities. I really enjoyed seeing Tali's ultra-effectiveness, and your Shepard's was never in doubt.

I keep noticing how your readers are held at arms'-length; you have engaging characters and you've got a good feel for action and movement, but I feel like I'm observing everything from a great distance, or through glass. I'd like more of an idea of what the characters are feeling, even if it's through Liara's perspective. I want to feel more for these characters - I want Liara to show me how it felt to see Shepard get hit with the venom, or how visceral her reaction was to seeing the rachni.

Of course, that's what I want to see. If your plan is to keep that distance because it's how Liara is seeing these events, then keep on with what you're doing - it's working!

Technically, you're pretty much flawless. Your writing feels deliberate without being over-wrought. There's a steady building of background tension that I know will explode when they finally confront Benezia - and oh, the pain then.
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