Reviews for Memoirs: The Illium Years
gphoenix51 chapter 60 . 3/18
Excellence, that's all I can say. Pure Excellence. I've never read ANY fan fic that is this good. Not one of them has the detail, the raw emotion, or the highs and lows of telling a great story. I've been brought to tears several times so far, and I imagine ME3 will be the same, it always does when I play the game myself.

Very Well Done.
Ducks-Go-Aflack chapter 42 . 10/14/2014
This chase scene was pretty much the best action scene I've seen from you. Funny, engaging, and not too cheesy. 10/10. Would SWAG again.
Majestic-MSFC chapter 60 . 9/9/2014
I just finished reading this last night, what an amazing story. This is really on par with it's prequel and really allowed the reader to learn more about Liara and her quest after Shepard was lost. It really ties the series together and lets you see the Mass Effect series from another perspective.

Fantastic work, I hope you keep writing stories about Liara and Shepard these are great work.
I-Am-Silence chapter 60 . 8/20/2014
Fantastic story! Looking forward to starting the next part!
RheasHelm chapter 60 . 6/26/2014
Great story, especially your oc where you did not retell parts of the game.

The one thing that I actually did not find very convincing was the Liara - Shepard relationship, in particular Liara’s part in it. She seemed mentally over Shepard, ready to move on, and when Vara made her move, she probably could have scored if only her timing had been better (“I am intrigued.”, "I am not saying no. I am saying not yet.") And after Shepard’s return, despite that bout of jealousy towards Miranda, Liara still appeard to be done with him. She kind of went through the motions but her heart did not see to be in it ("I don't know if I'm the right parnter for you anymore.", “comrades-in-arms-then”). Yet all of the sudden, for no apparant reason, she decided that Shepard was it after all and the two of them were back on. That sounds like she consciously decided to sample the Human experience while keeping her willing acolyte on the backburner for future consumption. I don’t know, that seems too callous and calculating even for the changed Liara of ME2.
I have to disagree with your “no children for maidens” theory. Biologically, there would be no reason for an individual to engage in sexual activity if there was no chance for offspring. Sex carries risk - one has to find a mate, can get injured fending off competitors, etc. - and costs energy, and in nature, that energy would not be expended if there wasn’t a good reason for it, a big payoff.

I really like the parts from the future, even though you are very careful not to reveal very much. So who is Aspasia’s mother - Vara? (The original Aspasia has died I presume?) And how come Liara does not have any children of her own? Or does she? Who’s Nerylla? Lol, questions over questions.
Don’t you think at this point Liara is way past being known as “Shepard’s lover”? To call Shepard and Liara’s relationship an “affair” also does not seem right.
It’s strange that the reapers should be back.

"I could never be like the Illusive Man or the Shadow Broker. Lying to people. Manipulating them, like pieces on a game board" - Never say never...

Ok, so you say that Aspasia is not beautiful, but quite attractive and well put together. Then you mention that she looks so good that people take her for the Asari version of a dumb blonde (very intelligent despite appearances). Seems to me she’s plenty beautiful. :)
The funny thing is, you do that a lot. Almost everybody you describe is tall/short/something and not exactly beautiful. They also tend to not look like would have the jobs they do, e.g. Athana Orysae is supposed to look like a child care provider instead of a scientist. She did not have glasses and a very short lab coat on and was too plump?
At one point Aspasia wears a very low cut dress - but cleavage down past her navel? I thought Asari were enternally perky... but even if they are not, past the navel is a looong way down...

Your take on Liara’s activities as an information broker is quite interesting. It makes sense that if she want’s play in the top league, she can’t do it alone, but would she really need such a big firm? Maybe. Good thing she had her mother’s money, going 165 m into the red, wow.
You spent quite a bit of time going over the details of the firm, but you managed to keep it interesting. Impressive.
The company outing to Eternity was strange though - I’d have expected everybody to share a table, instead of Liara running off to talk to the bartender - discussing work, of all things, on Illium, where the walls have ears and you can’t trust anybody - and Nyxeris being left at another table all by her lonesome self... what was point of that evening then if not getting everybody together?

Liara’s alter ego Kalliste was neat (Hail Eris!). It was fun to see how Liara used her to channel her inner Miranda.
Her dodging the missile in Mumbai thanks to this new amazing ability of the Asari to see infrared was nothing short of miraculous. You’d think that any halfway competent assassin would account for that though.

I’m somewhat conflicted about you having Liara meet all these people from the game - Zaeed, Jack, Mordin (great line - “Don’t need luck. Have science.”), Veetor, Cortez, Anaya, Samara, Morinth (Tana’s death at her hand was really sad.) On the one hand, it’s cool to see them make an appearance, but on the other hand, it became it bit much after a while. I mean, what are the odds?
Speaking of Morinth and Samara, that part was outstanding, even if blaming virtually all instances of cold-hearted and ruthless Asari on 1 % of the population carrying and expressing AY genes to some extent seems extreme to me, both in the number of people affected and the very broad range of symptoms that you cite. But once again, the basic idea makes sense. (Although then what is the reason for such traits in Humans - a common ancestor?)
Morinth’s real name sounds nice - Mirala T’Sarien.

I don’t think that mass accelerator rounds are guided missiles/torpedoes. I'm pretty sure they are just ballistic projectiles (Sir Isaac Newton is the meanest mf in space!).

Liara’s archeological expedition on Thessia was cool. I also liked how they went through all those historical records to hunt for the origin of Shaira’s artifact. It made it feel real. And then they watched Indiana Jones, haha, that was hilarious.
I really don’t think that the Asari would actually behave like the ancient Greek in that symposium. It’s one thing for the translator to use all those Greek terms, but this is just not believeable to me.
Oh, and if I never have to see “arete” again, I’ll be very happy.

Chapter 48 was cool, good idea.
“I think the Reapers are allied with the orcs of Mordor”, Feron in Room 101... lol.
“Cannae”, on the other hand... that was a bad day for Rome...

“pouring herself into a gorgeous jade-coloured skilk gown, roughly the consistency of dense smoke.” Great image. :)
KiwiJB chapter 44 . 4/12/2014
Dude.. I have only just found the memoirs series and have been reading them pretty much non-stop. Loving your interpretation of Liara's perspective. It rings so absolutely true to character. Of course thats just my take .. but then that's all I'm really qualified to comment on .. :)
FasterGhost chapter 60 . 1/31/2014
The fact that the leadership of the alliance does not seem to be composed out of idiots gives me hope for the future :) This ruse feels a lot better than Shepard being locked up like some criminal.

This story has been a pleasure to read. I have to say it must have addressed almost every question I ever asked myself regarding the two year gap and almost every logical discrepancy and "How?" question about ME2.

Remarkable work and I would recommend it to everyone! Thank you for writing!

I think I will take pause for a day or two before starting on the third novel. Although knowing myself and the superb quality of your work, I think it will be much shorter time than that :D
FasterGhost chapter 59 . 1/31/2014
Damn, this was really emotional... especially the conversation between the batarian governor and Shepard :(
FasterGhost chapter 58 . 1/31/2014
Oh no, this really complicates things...
FasterGhost chapter 57 . 1/31/2014
So they learned the truth about Kenson's team before hand... I am curious to see how that will change the story.
FasterGhost chapter 56 . 1/31/2014
I am sure Aspasia will be a great CEO now that her family dreams finally came true.

In the end, it was really sad how batarians ended up destroying themselves. Not that they were pleasure to deal with before, but still.
FasterGhost chapter 55 . 1/31/2014
Beautiful perfect wedding! Only blemish was that Aethyta wasn't there.

But you are really scaring me saying that she lost Shepard after the war... You keep saying that they will have a happy ending, so I am going to believe you :)

Right know the only thing I can think of is that Liara is completely lying in that book and Shepard actually pretended to be dead after the war for some reason and they lived happily ever after in secret... But then you already said some stuff that contradicts this, so that leaves me completely confounded :D
FasterGhost chapter 54 . 1/31/2014
They are finally free of Illusive man. And Liara can stop pretending to be dead too... so that means the big day is coming! :) :)

I loved that she gave Illusive man the chance to redeem himself even though he ultimately refused.
FasterGhost chapter 53 . 1/31/2014
Nice to see the crews mingle a little :) And now of to the war...
FasterGhost chapter 52 . 1/30/2014
Hope Miranda makes the right decision in the end. And Shepard is right... he does not need Cerberus any longer :)
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