Reviews for Vanguard of Vengeance
1529 chapter 17 . 6/30
This is an interesting start, but the Council and human decisions make no sense. Does humanity in this story have any pride or capability? Because that is not what is being written.

At this point, a SPECTRE (who is also Turian) has been allowed to both nuke a human colony as well as destroy another human SPECTRE candidacy and humanity's response is to hand over command of a human ship to another Turian SPECTRE? There is no way in hell that would happen, if only to prevent massive riots and unrest within the Alliance. If the United States and the United Kingdom still exist on Earth (and they should, following canon), this would be the kind of decision that would result in the Alliance splintering. Leaving out everything else, Eden Prime and all those who had relatives there would be calling for blood.

The only realistic response to this by humanity would be going public with the information, that would force either greater human involvement, break the Council (likely), or force humanity to withdraw from the Council... there is really no other option, because this story has put humanity in the position of the Quarians and the Krogan.

It's a good story concept, but humanity's response was really ridiculous, they pretty much rolled over and played dead... that isn't something humans do.
darkerego chapter 16 . 9/14/2015
Just started reading today and I'm hooked. Looking forward to more!
darkerego chapter 8 . 9/14/2015
Excellent. I hope this story gets more updates.
darkerego chapter 5 . 9/14/2015
This is excellent!
darkerego chapter 2 . 9/14/2015
Very interesting
Garnet Seren chapter 1 . 10/28/2014
The use of naming a specific gun is a very nice touch, it lets the reader envisage the scene more clearly. As is your description of using biotics. It’s not something I think I have really read before, and you do so very well.
The phrase ‘This time lightening herself’ seems a little off. I’m not completely sure why, but it seems a strange use of phrase, and broke the flow a little. Which was a shame as it had read excellently up until that part.
The description/complaint about the bombs is a nice touch, my only critique on the idea would be that Eden Prime is the first time the squad has encountered geth, how does Alenko know what the engines of one of their torpedoes would look like?
Overall, a really good idea and well written piece, with just the odd instance of needing a tweak.
theherocomplex chapter 1 . 10/23/2014
Choosing Eden Prime as a starting place, rather than on the Normandy, is a good, energetic choice, which trusts the intelligence of your readers. However, by explaining things that your readers already know - such as Kaidan being a biotic, and in the Alliance, and Ashley being the third member of the squad - you immediately lose the energy you started with. Unless you've changed canon (Nihlus is still with Shepard, or Ashley isn't a solider, etc), you don't need to go into a great amount of detail with characters we already know. Too much exposition slows down the story.

There's a great deal of telling, rather than showing - we're told that Shepard is having a bad day, but we don't know how she feels about it. How does her body react? Is she tired? How does she feel now as opposed to Torfan? Is she injured? What makes this day so horrible? If the readers are shown the answers to those questions (or even just one or two), we get a much deeper - and more sympathetic - window into her character.

I would recommend speaking your dialogue out loud, if you don't already - lines like "You're the Alliance's first Spectre candidate" don't sound like anything Kaidan would say in-game, and it's a bit clunky and awkwardly phrased. It's also more accurate to say that Shepard is humanity's first Spectre candidate, based on game canon and dialogue.
Palaven Blues chapter 1 . 10/22/2014
"was having a very bad day."

"She'd had worse, of course, she still"
comma splice. Second one should be a semi-colon.

"She felt the familiar hot buzz build up in the back of her skull "
very nice description of biotics

"a marine with the local garrison."
Marine is a special title that should always be capitalized. Like Spectre. Except Marines say this IRL.

"fired one handed."

"We'll leave that assessment to the white coats once we take it down," Shepard said flatly, "We've got to move, Nihlus will be waiting."
You've got this entire thing with commas, as one long sentence. Not all of it is correct like that.
"We'll leave that assessment to the white coats once we take it down," Shepard said flatly. "We've got to move; Nihlus will be waiting."

"Private Jenkin's life."
His name is Jenkins. The possessive is Jenkins's.

" It's ascent "
Its, no apostrophe.

"her radio buzzed, the flanged voice of the Council Spectre,"
This is all kinds of incomplete. "The flanged voice" is a subject, then it doesn't do anything. Need a verb.

"of the Spirits "
lowercase. If it's "the," "a," "an," or anything like that, lowercase.

"The Spaceport"
And again, lowercase.

"some… delays"
need a space before the ellipses, too.

"You heard the Spectre, double time it marines."
"You heard the Spectre. Double-time it, Marines."

" Nihlus' "

""Damn it Kaidan,"
Damn it, Kaidan,
Direct address gets a comma before and after, if possible.

Check all your instances of Marines (should be capitalized). Also, double check apostrophes and such. Strunk & White gives the rule for the S even if it ends in S. Overall, very nice, solid chapter. Very effective. Could possibly use a little more description, maybe. Oh, and make sure if you have one person's dialogue, you don't have a different character's action in the same paragraph. Each character gets their own. Overall very nice chapter, though.
Lady Amiee chapter 3 . 10/19/2014
Oh my God. I need you to teach me how you have learned to write Javik so well! His voice was the clearest I've ever read, and bloody hell I loved it. They way he kinda bounces off Shep, I can just see their partnership / friendship being explosive and intense to read.

The dialogue is really strong and well put together, with a lovely natural flow that kept me happy and content as I read through. I couldn't find a single fault.

The only issue I have, and it's more of a personal thing, is the length. I hate reading long chapters, and I know this isn't massive, but it still felt a little long imo. Anyway, not really a negative, but I have to do some crit, lol.
quantum-enigma chapter 2 . 10/2/2014
CHARACTER: Shepard is determined to endure, fight, and escape the cave.

STORY: She discovers a hidden extra-terrestrial setting and culture.


[...] get herself together, [t]hink!
[...] ghosts of her old [teacher] gone.
Her heart still raced from the descent. [Her] mind raced with it as she stared off into the dark. (Reword with: ‘Her heart and mind raced from the descent.’ We already know she’s been looking around and staring into the dark.)
She reached around herself, groping for a light, a weapon, anything to shed some light on the pit she had fallen into. (Why else would she be looking for a light? I doubt for a cigarette. Reword with: ‘She reached around herself, groping for an object that could give her light.’)
[T]here’d be hell to pay [...]
The walls were a deep and oily black, smooth almost in their entirety[,] except for [where] deep lines seemed to have been etched in, [forming] strange patterns. (Or: ‘etched in strange patterns.')
The surface seemed almost to absorb any light which fell on it, leaving strange and contorted shadows that danced as if cast by a candle.
(This line only makes sense if you want to establish that the wall is literally stretching in places, or the source of light is moving. I’d just delete it.)
[...] on the hard[-]packed floor.
[...] walk become a single[-]minded [...]
[...] piercing cry drove itself [through] her like an ice pick.
[...] colonist husks[,] but [...]
Some were little more than skeletons, skeletons that showed signs of many pointed teeth. (Is skeletal physique the most noteworthy find described in the sentence, much less the entire paragraph?)
[...] from a root[-]like growth [...]
Shepard hazarded a [glance] [...]
wrinkled[,] but unscarred.

(Cinematically tense scene, by the way. Good work.)

closed a two-fingered claw around her [ankle].
Her eyes followed it up the leg, her eyes eventually [...] (Delete second instance of ‘her eyes’.)

On to the topic of the particle rifle. First Shepard is armed with a knife, which she uses to take down the first Collector.

Soon after there's a time skip in the story, and you write: "Close to her chest, she clutched at the strange and angular weapon she had scooped from the ground."

Shepard finding the particle rifle was too important to skip over and reference so casually, because she's in a desperate situation. She is injured and alone with few resources to defend against multiple enemies. Finding this gun is a big deal.

Matters are confused a little later: "Shepard had held her knife before her like a long sword. . ."

There's zero mention of her putting away the knife and taking out the gun before the line: "Shepard pointed her weapon at it, pulling hard on the activation stud."
quantum-enigma chapter 1 . 9/22/2014
This chapter respected the Eden Prime mission from the first game, with enough minor divergences to keep things borderline fresh. It reads maybe a bit too much like the novelization of a video game script for me. The action, while certainly well-written in itself, threatens to drown everything else at times.

You know how to write biotic powers. Those were the most interesting parts. Shepard feeling the effects of implant activation and over-exertion were nice touches.
V-rcingetorix chapter 2 . 9/14/2014
So, Javik is discovered 3 years early? An interesting premise.

It looks like a bunch of Collector people were sealed in with Javik, or did the radiation bomb get everyone too? *mental note, do NOT detonate a radiation bomb inside the house*

Shepards' use of the Particle Beam weapon demonstrates either how easy it is (point-and-shoot) or how talented Shepard is at working weapons. The game has the gun unfold a bit, but not too much.

One question, how did Javik become separated from his gun? And why aren't there more guns around if there were nearly a million Prothean warriors stashed there?

Good chapter, keep it up!
V-rcingetorix chapter 1 . 9/10/2014
Well, certainly a interesting way to make the Virmire mission redundant. Lose Kaidan in the first 20 minutes of gameplay ... or his he now related to Jenkins?

There was only on real grammar error: *had to halves* I think you mean, "had two halves" right?

Just as a flow issue, earlier there is a statement: "... she barely flinched as she fired ..." While it is perfectly correct, repeated use of the word "she" bumps the liquidity a bit. Maybe, "firing the shotgun one-handed, barely flinching at the recoil."

Otherwise, very good. The descriptions are concise, yet descriptive (you avoid the Les Miserables trap), and the main ideas are conveyed without trouble.

The story has potential. Keep up the good work!
bluekrishna chapter 2 . 9/9/2014
Oh snap! Javik makes his debut with a dramatic flair. Everything we can expect from our favorite angsty prothean. Good chapter with few errors (mostly the same old, missing commas, etc). I like how you've isolated femshep here. Hope to see some bonding with this pair as they fight to survive huskified protheans. About the only real crit I have is the proliferation of was/were and adverbs. But so far, the story has me intrigued. Can't wait to see what happens next.
bluekrishna chapter 1 . 9/7/2014
"Taking advantage of a lull in fire as Kaidan leaned to unleash a torrent of covering fire..." muddled. there is a lull but then there isn't. needs clarification. maybe add 'enemy' before the first 'fire.'

"Advance!" again she dipped..." not a speech tag, so capitalize 'again'.

"The shockwave threw them back in every direction." seeing as 'shockwave' is the name of a biotic ability, this can seem confusing. maybe, 'the shockwave of her nova' would be better. cuz, shockwave is a directional attack, like a ray, with your character at the point of origin. 'every' direction isn't really an apt description of what it does.

"A small spaceport just peaked above the hill..." *peeked. i mean, peaked sort of works, but peeked is the better match to this idiom.

"Kaidan Alenko was a capable yet guarded officer..."
"Ashley Williams, a marine with the local garrison." while these bits of exposition get the job done, that is, tell us who these people are, they break the flow of your story, the action pauses while these sentences are read. this information could be seeded in dialogue, or to be honest, left out completely. we, the readers of mass effect fanfiction, already know these characters. unless the information is something we don't already know, something not canon, then it's not exactly something that we couldn't do without.

"Clear!" her squad mates moved..." not a speech tag, so capitalize 'her'

"You heard the Spectre, double time it marines." could be broken into two sentences for better emphasis. also, there should be a comma after 'it', as it's a direct address to the marines.

" these things without asking?" she added a sharp rap..." not a speech tag, so capitalize 'she'.

kaidan go boom? KAIDAN GO BOOOOM?! well, that's an interesting twist. not many kill a squaddie in the first engagement.

anyway, pretty good start to an au fic. certainly didn't see that coming. also, vanguard is an awesome class. i don't play it half as well as it deserves, but it is hella fun. all that charging and nova-ing. so fun. but that's beside the point.

got lots of passive verbage in here, as well as some very soft POV sections. like the part about the geth's intelligence losing cohesion because of their many casualties. how does shep and co. know this? pretty sure this is the first time humanity has encountered geth at all and that shep doesn't learn about how their collective works until tali shows up. so, this sentence seems like it's from the geth's perspective. i'd probably cut it completely out. it's not really necessary for the story at this time.

but still, pretty interesting beginning. i shall enjoy finding out where this is going. especially now that Sir Buttchin seems to have been killed off. i say seems, cuz you never know with core characters. lol.
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