Reviews for Guilty Sparks
magnusvictor chapter 11 . 9/10
So, since the Xenos captured Joker and Jack, you could say they..."hold all the cards"

Good thing there's nobody on the Normandy nicknamed "Ace."
HiddenMaster chapter 38 . 8/20
Oh you silly Reapers. You want to tame the Flood? Hahaha. Good luck.

Admittedly, I can think of a few ways the Reapers could control (not indoctrinate) the flood. If they put up some kind of sciency Control collar, and limited the Flood's ability to gather biomass for a Gravemind, they could in theory control them. But, these would be feral flood-dangerous yes, but nothing compared to the later phases. One failed move on the Reapers part, even a moment of inattention, and the Flood could go out of control.

Reading this, you might think I believe the Flood more dangerous than the Reapers. That the Reapers are amateurs compared to the Gravemind. That is simply not true.

I believe the Reapers are nothing compared to the Flood, and that the Flood will Eat. Them. Alive.

Anyway, interesting direction to go with Guilty Spark possibly acting as a catalyst for Forerunner's return. Images of Reapers vs Gravemind vs Didact vs Everything else is highly appealing, for some odd reason.

I think I've stressed this enough, but I will say it again: I am really really looking forward to Gravemind. Because, in this fic, we have so many big bads running around butting heads, but I want to see the heavy weight champion get in the ring.

Anyway, onto actual story of now.

I love it. You really got the Mass Effect/Halo crossover down spot. Every character is in character, and their voice even sounds right. Original characters are, as a general rule, tolerable to outright likable in most cases. Furthermore, you got the atmosphere down spot, and even captured the epicness of certain scenes like escaping the Pillar of Autumn, or the sorrow of FoeHammer's death (Also? I hate you slightly for making me relive her death again-I loved that beautiful, weapon/vehicle/live saving pilot).
Most relationships are developed excellently. Shepard and Tali's relationship is particularly good, due in part to showing their love but also not have her constantly pine for Shepard like in other fics and have that be her only trait (seriously. She is a badass engineer who fights with legends on even ground. Do her some justice, bad fanfiction writers. Look to this as an example of what to do.)

Even character development is done excellently in this series-Jack coming to accept her team as, while maybe not friends, but something more than extra guns/meat shields; Grunt getting control of a suicidal temper; Kat dealing with survivor's guilt with Garrus' help; Liara coming into her own as a leader and coming to terms that she won't be with the first man she loved; Zek putting his foot down and taking back control of his people and life; so much and more

Hell, I really have to commend Kowalski as an OC in particular; not only is he a believable badass normal, but he is a complex character with depths that rival Cannon characters whom I have come to care for as much as main stays like Tali or Garrus. I mean, he's not a ship captain like Zek, mystical warrior, or Chosen one like Master Chief or Shepard (C'mon you know this is true). He's just a marine, but damn if I don't feel for him and his unit, making it all the way from Reach to Halo, enduring and surviving all the way. His relationship with Samara is of particular note. Its one of mutual respect and friendship, and both clearly enjoy the other's company without jumping into a fast paced romance (which would be a major character break for Samara,). Personally, I'm really hoping for a big damn kiss between the two of them at some point in the future, but I digress.

Now? My criticism.

First off, you fail to give attention or develop some characters. Zaeed is a good example. I acknowledge that, old as he is, he would be unlikely to change, but we fail to see him as much more than a automated gun/inferno grenade thrower with some witty dialogue. Seriously, you could replace him with an emotionless android with the same loadout, and the story would be the same. I am not saying he would change; however, it would have been interesting to see more of his perspective, how he was handling, any friendship/contact he might have had with the other friendlies. Linda was another character with surprisingly little development, as well as Jun; yes, both were not major characters, but they were left by the sideline fairly easily and forgotten.

Part of the problem is that you have way too many characters to properly develop in under ten million words. I'm not saying you need to do that, however. Just give the other characters a day in the spotlight every now and then, and you won't have an issue. I realize you did this somewhat in the story, but I feel it wasn't quite enough. Now, don't get me wrong, you did an amazing job in handling this many characters as you did, but there is room for improvement.

Secondly, and you acknowledged it; having two significant, simultaneous plots back to back really bloated this story. If you had set it up as a side story, that would be very different and, in my opinion, much more enjoyable. Imagine reading one, picking up hints of the other mysterious plot, and then finally getting to find out in a side story. I don't know about others but, it could get me hooked (well, more than I already am). Although, it would have to be handled well; it could just as easily get annoying. Then again, despite both plots being good, it was already kind of annoying.

Finally... the fighting. Don't get me wrong; your fights are wonderful to read, and are excellently written, but the sheer frequency gets a bit tedious. Now, I acknowledge that the Halo and Mass Effect games have a tremendous amount of fighting that goes into the plot, but there is so much that I actually skipped over large amounts of it, and still got the story.

I would suggest something, but this is something I don't have an answer for. These plots fundamentally need a massive amount of fighting; its part of the core nature of the two verses. However, what you have here goes a bit overboard, in my opinion. What makes much of the story bearable is the fight breaks and character interaction. But, those reprieves require the fights, and I honestly cannot think of a better way to do it than what you are doing.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the series as a whole. 9.0 out of ten. It's definitely been worth sifting through most of the crap on fanfiction to discover this gem. Take my criticisms for what they're worth; you're the writer here, not me.

HiddenMaster out.
HiddenMaster chapter 31 . 8/19
Can I just tell you I love Zek? Out of all the OC characters you have in this, he is my absolute favorite. Hell, he's in my top five favorite characters (#3 to be precise) in this entire fic, cannon or no. Maybe it's because he's a pirate, maybe it's something else, I always start grinning whenever he shows up. It's also just really cool to see a Kig-yar really characterize very well.

Now, that the cat is out of the bag and the Reapers want the flood... nice. Could be fun.

Although, I am REALLY hoping they don't know about the Gravemind. Because, if they don't and inadvertently unleash/create one... things could be very very fun.

Part of it is the fact that I would love to see the Reapers actually freak out about something more dangerous than them, to come to the horrifying realization that They. Are. Outclassed.

I mean, I will give the Reapers credit where credit is due-they are undeniably powerful across both verses, and are horrific threats. But... a fully developed Gravemind is worse. Part of this is due to the nature of the Flood. Unless you destroy every spore, it can return. Reapers, despite their power, on the other hand, die permanently if you manage to bring one down. Flood don't do that.
HiddenMaster chapter 30 . 8/19
A couple of comments on this chapter.

One-I love the climax with Bash and Blast. While we never even hear them speak, they truly develop their own personalities without ever even being in the spotlight-a truly commendable feat in writing, and, as one writer to another, I congratulate you. I don't think I could do them justice. Secondly, the "rivalry" they have with Team Liara, repeated confrontation after confrontation, is perfect. The final confrontation is satisfying as hell to read, and I even feel for Blast as he stands over his bond mate's corpse. All without one damn word of dialogue. Just bloody brilliant.

Two-Liara's team has really come together here, and I really enjoyed all the character development here. Everyone, whether cannon or original, is 3-dimensional. Although, I never felt much of any connect with... what was his name? Ben? He had so little interaction with Liara, and while I understand her guilt over his death and understand she would have known him much better, I myself just shrugged when he died.

At first, I kind of groaned when Liara's segments came up-I love her as a character, but, well...

Sorry. However, I love her growth arc here, and she has shown herself to be just as awesome as Shepard on her own, and even got her own style going here. Now? I love reading about what's going on in her end of reality. You've really got her character down, and I couldn't do it any better myself. Although, I hope you don't follow through with a Wrex/Liara romance. I've got the mental image of Wrex and Eve together, and well it has always bothered the hell out of me to see assari with non human/quarian races. Yeah yeah, I know i cannon they can be with just about anyone as a norm, but I still get squicked out by the thought of an assari and a Krogan, or dear God an Assari and an Elcor, together. It makes me inevitably question... intimate times together, and then that just requires brain bleach.

Speaking of which... We must see full tank mode Elcor fighting. That is all.

HiddenMaster out.
HiddenMaster chapter 5 . 8/14
Loving your stories, but I did notice one thing that bugs the hell out of me. Specifically, Balak and the batarians. Okay, I get that Balak has a massve hate on for all of humanity and thinks we should all die. I can understand that-he should die a painful death, preferably starting with his genitals, but I get his perspective.

What I'm trying to understand is his reasoning. Humans in this dimension have screwed us over. Let's go to a parallel reality where humans, who don't even know we exist and have never done jack shit to us, and help out genocidal fanatical aliens with a completely different technological base murder them all.

I understand him wanting any humans in the ME verse to die. Fine. Whatever. However, how the hell can he justify it to himself as "helping" the Hegemony by hurting and killing humans who have no relation of any form to the ones currently "screwing" his people over. That would be like someone who heard about the Nazis in our world going to World of Warcraft and murdering every human there.

I mean, yeah, you could reason that the human of the Halo verse are the "same" and pose a similar threat,but that's shaky at best. Yes, I understand Balak is a fanatical douche bag, but he isn't an idiot and even to his extremely biased perception you'd think he'd question this shit a bit more.

Now, I'm fairly early on into the story, and this might be explained handily later on, but this just doesn't quite add up.

Although, I suppose it could be explained away as Balak being indoctrinated (he wasn't in ME 3, but this is an AU, so whatever) or him just wanting access to Covenant weapons.

I suppose I'll cut off here.

HiddenMaster out
Jarvey chapter 38 . 7/16
Man, what a read! Looking forward to the next installment
Umbra.Venator chapter 38 . 7/16
Damn this was a good story, looking forward to seeing the Halo 2 version :)

Keep up the fucking epic work! :)
Unknwn Prsn chapter 38 . 7/3
Great story, best Iv'e seen on this website. Not much more to say except that I can't wait for the next part of the series.
Alfonse08 chapter 4 . 6/21
About time we get to the real meat of the story. Still, I hope Joker comes out of this mess okay, EDI is probably going to be pissed when she finds out he was taken. Never piss off an AI.
Alfonse08 chapter 2 . 6/1
The shit is about to hit the fan HARD. Looking forward to seeing some major ass-kicking.
Alfonse08 chapter 1 . 6/1
Not a bad way to start a chapter, looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for this story after reading your previous one.
silverhawk88 chapter 23 . 5/16
Ya know, I don't like Balak at all. He is a Batarian, through and through. But he is the one who recognized the threat of the Reapers in the 3rd game due to his Civilization being destroyed and gave the remainder of the Batarian fleets to the gathering of ships. He really had to swallow his pride there. I hope your version of Balak will see that in time.
silverhawk88 chapter 38 . 5/5
Holy crapbaskets! So The Reapers are after the Composer? Dang man? Stroke of genius there! Looking forward to next story in this series!
Guest chapter 24 . 4/20
Now this is one hell of a nail biter of a chapter, kick ass job!
Guest chapter 38 . 4/4
Oh. My. God... The reapers want the fucking composer.. Although, that would make sense since the composer creates artificial beings from living beings. Also the gonna try and mess with the gravemind! Jesus Christ... I wouldn't be surprised if the flood managed to somehow alter the "Inquisitor"s perception or something, I mean the gravemind bitch slapped a hologram! I'm sure the gravemind could do much worse...
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