|Reviews for Shadows|
| impoeia chapter 6 . 3/1
I'm really sad to see this story come to a close, but what a way to go! Throughout "Shadows," you've managed to dig up all the dark corners hiding in the Nulls' souls, bringing them to the light and up for our inspection in a manner Traviss couldn't, due to the bulk of writing a series and having several story threads and characters to focus on. For something as in-depth as you've created, one really needs to focus on these little moments - little pinpricks of truth that are painful and simply a painful joy to read.
What I've enjoyed most is the way you've addressed the issue of darkness. Star Wars does tend to paint "dark" as evil: selfish, destructive, greedy, envious and cowardly at heart. But what you've uncovered is the necessary darkness of someone involved in war - I'm deliberately not using the term "soldier," because a) that word implies a certain choice in occupation and b) there's more people than just soldiers who fight a war - and of people who are essentially "good." You've explored the broken corners within the Nulls and Kom'rk's chapter just really sums it all up: the cruelty that's involved in doing the job, the cold rationality that's required to survive and ensure your family survives, balanced by the steep toll these decisions take on the mind. Kom'rk had to be "dark" in order to teach men like Five-Three how to survive, and in doing so, took away the very thing that Clan Skirata complains the Republic takes from the clones - not turning the clones into men, but into "ghosts." But his conscience is still very much awake throughout that process and the final bouts of...sadness? regret? pain? all of the above?...are spots of light - *painful* light, instead of the calming, good light of the Jedi - that create an uneasy mix of swirling grey shades.
I suppose what my little color-rant boils down to is that this was an amazing series with incredible insights into characters I wouldn't dare touch with a ten-foot pole. You've captured a complexity within characters that Traviss could only hint at, and gave the more neglected Nulls a far more fleshed-out, three-dimensional feel. Through this story, the Nulls weren't just Skirata's boys; they were real men with their own wants, regrets and demons. Though nowhere near a light read, this was a ride worth every word, with plenty of my heartstrings getting plucked and torn in the process. Simply wonderful.
| Janizary chapter 6 . 1/9
What, trouble figuring out what to do with Kom'rk? The 'in the background' Null? Pish. ;)
And thank you to you for each of these chapters. Now that this is 'double non-canon' I value it that much more.
Looking forward to your future work.
| laloga chapter 6 . 1/8
Aw, I'm sorry that this collection is done, but I'm excited to see more writing from you! :)
Loved the intensity of this piece. The violence of the fight reflects Kom'rk's inner turmoil as he struggles to reconcile who he is with what he does. The brotherhood he knows is what keeps him sane, but also makes it difficult to train these "ghosts." You did a wonderful job capturing all of that.
Ohh, and that last line is phenomenal. I'm a sucker for last lines. :D
Fantastic work! Well-done. :)
| LongLiveTheClones chapter 6 . 1/7
Nicely done. Great level of detail throughout the story and love the relationship that Mereel establishes with Five-Three. It makes the whole story very sad and poignant in the end when Five-Three is lost before he can ever choose a name, and reinforces how much these black ops soldiers are truly "lost" in the end as Mereel fears. He connects with one of his trainees, only to lose him a few weeks later. So glad to see you back to writing and continuing on with this series.
| Sildae chapter 6 . 1/7
YES! Just when the Wednesday was looking hopeless, the dawning darkness that is KOM'RK!
This series is the reason I want to read the commando books, even if I'm off to a rough start with them. Because OHMYGOD is every bit of this fantastic.
*Love* the scenes you portray and the sharpness of your writing; everything is on an edge and not quite what it seems, and keeps me so off-kilter that I couldn't help but read it through at least twice before this review.
The training scene is intense and brutal, and I love his thought process as he goes through the act of it, his mental comments and the feeling that went with every action. Just beautifully written.
But your dialogue. GAH. Fan-kriffin-tastic dialogue. I re-read that part three times. Just brilliant. I think there's a hole where my heart used to be.
...And then the end. :( Poignantly done, and the emotion Korm'k feels is perfectly restrained on the surface, but boils dangerously below. That sort of dichotomy comes across so perfectly.
LOVE THIS! Standing ovation; take a bow! :D
| mooonknight chapter 5 . 8/25/2014
YOU ARE JUST AMAZING !
I search for stories with the Null-ARC and I never find some like yours :)
You write very well with something really special ;)
So I love your story ;)
| Janizary chapter 5 . 5/5/2014
Nice. Dark. I think that is part of why I like Travis' original work. It explores those things that must happen in the SW universe, but no one talks about.
Great visual on the 'pale limbs that waved goodbye' bit. That was excellent.
| JainDo chapter 5 . 5/3/2014
You added stuff!
I loved the part about pale limbs waving goodbye. I could see it. Morbidly descriptive, my favorite.
I'm really looking forward to seeing Kom'rk's posted ;)
| laloga chapter 5 . 5/2/2014
Another fantastic, grim piece! As others have said, you do a phenomenal job of capturing the less-than-savory aspects of the Nulls. But they *are* trained killers, after all, and they do their jobs well. I liked Ordo's detached perspective, how he tried - several times - to *feel* something for the nameless woman, but he could not. Perhaps he's too desensitized to death? Perhaps it's a self-defense mechanism? (If he felt too much, he would get distracted, and then probably wind up dead.)
The fact that he "took a break" between killing the spook and disposing of her body, to call Besany, was telling. It makes me think he *is* affected by this, enough so that he could not immediately deal with the aftermath of her death. It was like he needed a little "pick-me-up" before he could clean up after himself.
The comm calls at the beginning and end were a great way to bracket the story, and like impoeia said, it's difficult to imagine that Ordo really is "fine" after all that. But again, maybe it's a mechanism to keep him going, or simply something he's so used to, he doesn't know what else to say in response to the question.
I do have to wonder how he knew he had the *right* target if he didn't know her name. :P Maybe there was some other identifying aspect to her? I know it's not super important, (and the Nulls don't make mistakes :P), but I got curious. I liked how Ordo made it clear to her that she was "nothing." Expendable. It's ironic, because usually that's how the clones are perceived. I'm guessing she didn't recognize him as a clone? I imagine not many people would, given the fact that they are generally wearing full body armor. :)
This was gripping and well-written. Phenomenal work! :D
| LongLiveTheClones chapter 5 . 5/1/2014
Love the way it ties into the previous piece.
Amazing the way all of the brothers' work together and the call to Besany in the end is perfect. The image of the limbs spinning away into space is chilling. Such a perfect image. The Nulls do such a hard job and I think often we don't think about those that keep the rest of us safe. We just take it for granted. Very well written. The pale limbs that waved him good bye. Wow. The only white in the darkness at the back of his mind. Love the way you come up with this stuff.
| impoeia chapter 5 . 5/1/2014
I love how you so unapologetically explore the darker sides of characters we've come to love and perceive as the good guys. You can be a good guy, of course, and still have your demons and the balance you strike is impeccable.
I think of all the chapters, Ordo's has given me the most shivers. This is, I think, what Etain sensed about him, this willingness for violence and a lack of remorse for his actions. It's just plain scary what a person can rationalize and with Ordo especially, because you also know the love he harbors for Besany.
The inclusion of his comm call to her was, by the way, brilliant. Way to draw a line between Ordo, as he is on missions and Ordo, as he can be when he's with the people he loves. But there's also something profoundly sad and sweet in those last words to Besany. "I'm fine." The rational mind questions how someone could possibly be fine after doing what Ordo just did and yet... *Sigh* Counting all the underlying layers of meaning and possible interpretation those two single words have sparked in my mind would simply take too long. But I think they sum up Ordo, in all the ways he's damaged, but also in all the ways in which he is a good and caring being.
Another absolutely brilliant chapter. I can't believe this collection will almost be done. I'm so looking forward to what you'll make out of Kom'rk, but I'm also sad that his will be the last chapter. Ah well. I'll still enjoy every word of it, no doubt.
| laloga chapter 4 . 3/17/2014
Oh my Force...this was phenomenal! Love, love, LOVE the combative language you used to describe hacking; it fit perfectly with the parallels you drew between the language of "hacking" itself. (Slicing, cracked, etc.) I totally felt like Jaing was *fighting* with his body, though his battle was fought with his mind. It was intense, dark, gripping, with shots of humor in Jaing and Ordo's banter, and Jaing's own sarcasm. (Loved the "fireball" line!)
Brilliantly done. :)
| Parker Fallon chapter 4 . 3/16/2014
I like this story, a lot. I've always liked Jaing and his attitude, and this pictures the darker side we see very rarely.
| impoeia chapter 4 . 3/14/2014
As usual, another wonderful chapter.
I never really thought of hacking in those bloody terms, but when I read your piece I thought: "Well, yeah. Totally makes sense." It puts a whole new spin on what Jaing does; takes away the clean functionality of fighting a war from some remote location and letting the tech carry out the orders. I thought it was very poignant and rang true with our times. And it puts Jaing squarely into the same bloody corner as his brothers; still a soldier, still killing, though through different means.
The last paragraph was especially nice. For all his success, there's something of a disadvantage of having to fight a battle from a computer terminal. You get the rush, the dump of adrenaline, but no real output for your stored up feelings; no satisfaction, so to speak. Like you said, he doesn't even get to see the fireball.
Great chapter. You did a wonderful job with Jaing, as you do with all the Nulls.
| Janizary chapter 4 . 3/12/2014
Nice. I was both happy and surprised when I saw this update in my inbox. Looking forward to the next update.