Reviews for Ballad of the Masses
MizDirected chapter 11 . 4/6
I knew it. The silence from Aelia and Sanders was doom. Doom. Marcus should have questioned it. Should have thought of it at least. Now they have vipers in their midst. Well, that takes care of Aelia, poor Marcus. So ... yeah. I really am hating on you right now. lol. Grrrrr. GRRRR I say! This is going so so badly. *sigh*

Could have used some more indepth POV stuff to really get the mood going, to ground me in what and why and all that good stuff. Susan is the more removed observer, and she is very intuitive, so being deeper in her would have been awesome. :D Really would have dragged us through the muck. And even in his POV, Marcus needs to have part of his brain on why his squad isn't working. Sure, it's easy to say that it is because of Susan being a new quantity, but that's letting himself off the hook far too much. Yup.
MizDirected chapter 10 . 4/6
Gah! Just ... gah! Damalia is so screwed. They are all so screwed. Why? Why are you doing this to me? I am skeered to keep reading. Poor Zaeed, but more than that ... poor Miranda. What the heck did they do to Miranda?

Oh and won't Liara flip out that her work is being used that way. Man, Shepard just sorta made a big ol pile of mess with the whole coming back and messing about thing. GAHHHHH!

The head hopping was truly distracting this time, as it was pop pop back and forth, but not as distracting as the GAHHHH! I hate you a little right now. Just saying.
MizDirected chapter 9 . 4/6
Lovely first time for Susan. Paulus surprised me as well ... and something tells me that Paulus surprised himself in the meld. :) It's a good thing. Not much to say here as the ancient enemies are present but not terribly egregious as you delve nicely into the characters for their growing friendship/relationship. So yeah, you'll be trying to kill me later. Thanks so much for that.

I like Susan's waffling back and forth a little between nerves and excitement/desire. She's young and these things would occur to her. It's very realistic.

The ... well, we'll just pull the alien lovers card on their endurance etc. :D Yeah, that's it. Aliens ... they don't need rest breaks.

Little less was and a little more imagery would be great for the Embrace Eternity part. :D. Had you written this scene now, I know how it would have gone. :D Anyway, continuing to enjoy the story. All the lemons for us the last couple of chapters. :D ALL the lemons for us. It's sweet, so yeah, I know you are just building up to kill me. *sigh*
MizDirected chapter 8 . 4/4
Oh sure, twist the dagger for the horribleness to come. You truly are diabolical. Attach our people to the doomed. Nope, I'm not falling for it. Not falling for the whole they are going to go through some hard times but get their happy ending ploy. OH NO! You are too evil for that.

Not sure how much I like the Aelia / Marcus dynamic. I shall reserve judgement on that. Not sure if it is play or ... yeah there is something about the way she was acting this time compared to before that has me creeped out.

Speaking of creeped out ... Damalia ... yeah, that isn't going anywhere good. She's got too much superstitious wonder going on. Seriously, if she is the one who kills Paulus and Aelia ... you are so doomed! Seriously, I will hunt you down and DOOM! :D
MizDirected chapter 7 . 4/4
Hmmm an all-race council that is just as sadly ineffectual as the three/four race one was. Sending Spectres. Hmmm I can think of two characters who will likely end up added to their ranks. :D

So yeah, so head hopping and lots of telling. Really did enjoy the description of Marcus's sniper-time event. Would have loved to have that level of immersion for the whole thing. :D Cuz you know mah fierce love of the immersion.

Really got no sense of what they found or encountered on that moon, hitting the end like that, but I can understand the desire to avoid another long fighting sequence. Did the rest of Marcus's team make it out the other way, or is this supposed to be a mystery at this point? He sent a message, but there was nothing about whether he knew she was there, or was just assuming, with no concern as to whether they had made it through. Onward to discover what they traced from that signal. AJT I understood, but rest of the cryptic crypticness was cryptic.
MizDirected chapter 6 . 4/4
Marcus watched his brother work the charisma he had no small supply of on the asari with a small smile on his face. - muddled sentence is muddled.

I didn't notice POV flipflopping. It seemed to hug Marcus pretty tightly. Although there is the odd slip ... ie:

Susan saw a welcome sight out there, a craggy shape, familiar and good, she grinned and yelled, "Grunt!"

Ewwwww Jacob in goo. Hmmm what are these crazies doing? Asari matriarchs running a cult of Shepard? with mercs? That's just plain weird! OOOOHHHHHH! but it explains the crooks on the Cerberus uniforms. Good grief, what is the galaxy up to now? 10/10 madness. Such madness!

Lots of the ancient enemies ... the usual suspects, but you know about them so, I shall leave that.

The flirting between Susan and Paulus ... I didn't get a really good sense of their interactions, probably because none of it was their POV so I couldn't get involved in it. Marcus is an outsider to that interaction, so it keeps us as an outsider as well. And it takes place during a bunch of fighting, so there is that as well. But I really would have liked just a little bit more immersion even from Markus's POV. Maybe wondering if his brother could resist Susan's charms and krogan-like mannerisms, which Paulus shares. Or whether Susan knew of his brother's asari fixation ... or how odd it was for his brother to be drawn to asari ... although I seem to recall something about one of the squad really liking asari. You know what I mean? Just insights that root me into that growing thing, whatever it is at that point. Flirtation ... teasing ... whatever.

So, the mystery starts to form into an adversary. Very very interesting. I'm eager and curious to see where it all goes.
MizDirected chapter 5 . 4/3
Bad Varga! and ...

Varga, but surely you can count up to five. - snerk!

"Nice one. You shot the janitor." - this got a belly laugh

He was interrupted by a loud explosion ... likely fleeing the rest of Aralakh Company. - long sentence is impossible long. Needs to be broken up.

Paulus waved her off, good mood restored by the fighting as it always was, - I was okay with the mid chapter break to Marcus, but this now hops to Paulus. And if you intend to kill him off, don't put me in his head. You have stolen your fair share of my tears.

She looked up into those goldish faces with their very different markings and smiled, - then back to Marcus and then Susan so yeah. Lots o the hopping at the very end.

Poor Susan. She saves their asses ... albeit a bit late, and then has to take all the flack because she takes over. She showed good tactical thinking covering Varga's booboo.

At this point, five chapters in, I find myself wishing for a little more sense of the characters. They let me dip my toes in the water, but then snap be back out.

The action was solid right up until the super long sentence where you tossed out the were in a fight for their lives. That, right there, is where Marcus's reactions and emotions and sensations etc would really let me into his character. :)

I like how these orbits are colliding, with the mystery of these mercs and the weird Cerberus types hanging between. Good stuff.
MizDirected chapter 4 . 4/2
So, the galaxy never quite figures it out. I wonder what it means that even in our most utopian imaginings, regardless of the franchise or setting, we never can actually imagine utopia. I suppose I could be hopeful and say that we always need to struggle to be more, but I think we just instinctively need an adversary. Could we even comprehend the truly pacifist?

So, there are some of the ancient enemy here, and I don't mean Cerberus. :D Some missing commas between independent clauses and conjunctions, some strange dialogue tags, was's, adverbs. The gang. Nothing that truly made me stop and go ... what?

I love that the next generation discovered a vestige of those who came before. A moment that will no doubt lead to interesting stories, hopefully nothing too fanciful. The way Aleia was behaving skirts uncomfortably close to a cult of Shepard. That would be truly unfortunate, but in a lot of ways, with the way the war ended in your setting, not avoidable, I think. I loved how Marcus had a hard time reconciling the uncle he knew with the one on the screen. A lot had happened in between those moments to change Garrus.

And Zaeed ... gross man, you don't hawk on the floor. Just NO! But it's good to see that even at what? A hundred or so, he's still Zaeed. And love Marcus's reaction to him.

And now we are on a collision course with Susan. Nice. Should be interesting. This new, multispecies Cerberus should prove an interesting development. I look forward to everything except Paulus and Aleia's inevitable demises. :D Yeah, I don't trust you. Not one bit.
MizDirected chapter 3 . 3/17
They accepted her once they'd seen her in action, saw how she mowed down the mercs that had run to ground here from the Vagabonds that patrolled the space in this sector of the the galaxy. - awkward sentence is awkward

And the music continues and binds Susan to Grunt. Love that. And love that even though he isn't sure how or even what it is he's seeing ... he is seeing Shepard in Susan.

This chapter struggled a little, and it's just because with you having to move Susan so far in such a short time, the narrator voice takes over and its default is telling. My suggestion if you ever decide you want to rewrite is to start in the swamp. Trudging through that muck is an excellent excuse to have Susan examine how she got there. We naturally would in that circumstance. That way, you can dig into her, give us the experience of being Susan and still bring us up to date with the history.

I am really eager to see how this all comes together. I could not have anticipated Susan joining Aralakh Company, so that was an awesome development. Cool beans.
MizDirected chapter 2 . 3/2
He was twenty-six and death was no longer a stranger to him. He danced with it, he dealt it, it had become a friend to him. - Love this and the bookend, but wish for the was's to be gone for something even more gripping.

So, Marcus is all grown up and merrily killing and making love. And nothing can possibly go wrong, right? Noooooo. Everything will be fine. I'm sure.

I enjoyed the dynamic within the team. I'm also very sure that nothing can possibly happen to Marcus's beloved little brother. I know I am going to be shaking angry fists at you, and probably sooner rather than later. I love, of course, that Garrus is still very much with Marcus. We often don't realize how much we impact someone's life. It's a beautiful thing.

Can't wait to see what they get up to, despite the presence of the old enemies. Yes, you know who they are. ;)
MizDirected chapter 1 . 2/28
I have to get this out of my system ... then it will all be good. I am Inigo Vakarian. You didn't kill my father, prepare to die. Okay ... I'm good now.

I cried. Cried like a baby, a hungry, angry baby. And then laughed. The kids were adorable and so ... darned kid-like.

And I'm glad Javik came back. I get why he left, but was glad that eventually he figured it all out.

Inigo, the tactless one, opened his mouth and Marcus cringed inwardly, "Why are you so puny?" - who says this? Little rearrange will do the trick.

And how much do I love that Garrus basically created another him in his nephew. That's awesome! And it seems Susan inherited her mother's mouth. She and Aethyta should get together. :D They can lament or laud their fathers' influence.

Wonderful beginning that has my finger twitching toward the next button.
jpgFury chapter 16 . 9/19/2014
I am soooo very glad I found this lovey story! I have been eating up the chapters after getting fully dragged into the story line. And what a brilliant plot so far!

I am on the edge of y seat eager for the next bit at the conclusion of every chapter and am constantly surprised by the direction you take me. That is not to say it isn't coherent - because it most certainly is - but the plot and characters are all so new and interesting that i can't see what's coming next - and I love that

I got pretty teary at chapter 14 though... That was brutal But it worked really well.

Can't wait to read more!
Joryn282 chapter 7 . 8/3/2013
I enjoy this story. I look forward to catching up on it. See what happens to all these characters. Couldn't really see anything for crit. I did get a kick out of Vorcha counselor. If it screeches "Prothean no like you!" at some point I will laugh.
Joryn282 chapter 6 . 6/25/2013
Some more fun banter between the characters. I like the addition of having one of Shepard's old companions see something familiar about Susan. Also, well done on that. It's difficult to get someone to feel sympathy for Jacob.

About the only think i noticed was one spelling error. Sixth paragraph down, toward the end of that paragraph, you spelled "till" with only one "l". I know it's a nit-picky thing and other than that I didn't really notice anything else.
Joryn282 chapter 5 . 6/21/2013
Good chapter. I like the interactions between the characters and your action scenes are believable and flow well. I'm looking forward to seeing parts 2 and 3 of this story. You've obviously taken this story pretty far in that case. Blueberry of headbutting fury!
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