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for Avatar of Victory

2/27/2015 c67 aDarkOne
I have trouble accepting the idea that a MAJORITY of the Quarian people sided with the Geth during the Morning War.
2/27/2015 c67 1Arekanderu
Oh no. Poor Geth
2/25/2015 c1 lackonius
Love what you have created here. Great job with the characters and personalities. Definitely deserving of more exposure/recognition.
2/15/2015 c66 Spikesagitta
Darn. One of the sisters had to die. Well it's canon, but I hoped it might have a different outcome.
2/12/2015 c66 5Eipok
Great chapter. Keep writing this story and please don't write any more filler like the last chapter.

Also, something bugged me. You never explained how "Shepard saw more faces frozen in agony and terror, the last moments spent confused and in unspeakable pain." was possible. That sentence doesn't instill a sense of horror or dread. It only instills confusion as to what the Reapers did that would freeze facial expressions after death, and why they'd do it.
2/12/2015 c66 11OMAC001
Suck how much control Samsara had. Loved the ending for this mission. Shows Samara's humanity as well as the Ardat Yakshi. Hope the next update comes soon!
2/12/2015 c66 pucflek
This story still aint got as many reviews it . And its just getting better and better too. One would think more people would praise it.
2/12/2015 c66 goddragonking
great chapter , love the way this story is going, keep up the excellent work! Keep the good writing and hope for more updates soon and Really awesome story, can't wait to read more:)
2/12/2015 c66 1Arekanderu
Wow this as a brutal chapter. It really got me in the heart
2/12/2015 c66 10Just a Crazy-Man
2/12/2015 c66 16ChaosSpartan575
Loving this story. I like how you managed to integrate Avatar and Mass Effect so well.
2/11/2015 c65 4Newcomb
(So, I don't know if you browse DLP, but this is the review I posted there. Short version: A, this is awesome.)

*Long, deep breath.*

Okay. 1.5 million words. I just spent the better part of two weeks with this as my sole "reading time" focus. And while there's a lot to say, there's really only one important thing:

If you're a fan of the Mass Effect games - the type of fan that's replayed the game multiple times, who loves all the little inside jokes and character beats more than the actual gameplay itself, you will like this. It's worth your time.

4.5/5, rounded up.

So, this is going to get a bit rambling - because of the length of this fic, I could write 5K words about it and still forgo talking about some pretty important parts. Read on if you want to hear my somewhat incoherent thoughts about it, having literally just finished the last chapter.

First off, here are three things that almost stopped me from getting past the first few chapters, and why they're relatively minor:

1. As was mentioned elsewhere, the seemingly random renaming of characters. I see what the author was trying for, there, trying to make the integration of Avatar: TLA concepts and worldbuilding seamless, but it is really jarring at first. The story starts you right in line with the beginning of ME1, and having Shepard touch down on Eden Prime, and having Jack be part of her squad right off the bat, and having Jack being referred to as "Nilsdottir" is kind of offputting.

You get used to it, though. Like Bungle in the Jungle with its 2nd person POV, eventually you don't even notice it. And while some of the names are kind of, well, stupid (I still struggle with Joker's name being "Jet" instead of "Jeff"... just... why?), most are painless - Asha instead of Ashley, for example.

2. The canon rehash feel for the first bit


3. The way Shepard is a total dick for the first bit.

These kind of dovetail into each other. Shepard starts as pretty much a full-on Renegade. It's the classic "batarian slavers Mindoir / Butcher of Torfan" setup, and it's... not great. Shepard is a xenephobic ass at first, and is pretty much a dick to everyone, including her team.

That being said, the broad arc of this fic - and remember, we're talking 1.5 MILLION words here, is a very gradual, but very real progression into good qualities. It's something you don't really see in the game itself, since you're the one making all the decisions, and it's not like YOUR personality changes. But Shepard's does. She gets better in pretty much every way - less abrasive, more protective of her team, etc.

She's never sunshine and puppies, but she goes from, basically, a female and more psychologically damaged version of Zaeed Massani to a female version of Malcolm Reynolds. (Zaeed would fuck over anyone for revenge and doesn't care about people; Mal is ruthless but incredibly protective of his crew... and, point of fact, there are enough Firefly references in this fic where it's pretty clear the author is on board with this comparison as well.)

As far as the canon rehash-y feel goes, if it bothers you - and it bothered me - give it until the end of the Ferros arc.

The Ferros arc is where things geled for me, and I went all-in with this being amazing. First of all, you have Liara and Tali starting to really be major players, and they bring a kind of lightness and whimsey that the fic was sorely lacking before. Second, the end of the arc, everything that happens with the Thorian, is where you start to get a sense of how the Avatar / spirit world / Leviathan stuff has impacted the overall Reaper arc.

It hits the sweet spot - the take on the Reapers is novel enough that it changes some things in fundamental ways, but the author still dedicates the time to getting the little details that make Mass Effect great into the story.

I'm not really qualified to talk about the Avatar stuff, as I haven't watched the show and know very little about it. Some of it seemed offputting and weird, but I'm willing to chalk that up to ignorance on my part.

TL;DR: If you find some parts of the fic offputting but like the writing and the concept, stick with it until the Ferros arc. If you still don't like it after that, maybe it's not for you.

However, I will say that the fic has a great enjoyment curve. Without fail, it pretty much just keeps getting better.

Some parts do drag a little. There are a lot of battle scenes, and even with the addition of bending, Shepard fighting random mooks for pages is a bit repetitive at times. I found myself skimming some of the fights. The Fehl Prime / James Vega arc I found a bit tedious, if only because I'm not a huge fan of Vega and I didn't know any of the other characters. I ended up skimming parts of it because I wanted to get back to Shepard.

I think one reason I like this so much is that it lines up almost perfectly with my personal notion of an ideal playthrough of Mass Effect. To whit:

Female Shepard / Vanguard
Save Rachni queen
Ashley survives Virmire, Kaiden dies
Wrex lives
Save Destiny Ascension
Shepard / Liara
Recruit everyone (I thought Balek and an early Legion were great substitutions for Jacob Taylor and Zaeed - again, this hits my buttons perfectly. Jacob and Zaeed were the weak links of ME2 for me, and the author cut them out, which was perfect.)
Destroy Collector base
Save Maelon's data / cure genophage

Also, the way recent chapters have incorporated elements of the Citadel DLC was pretty damn creative and cool.

Zia being the one who's actually running through the beginning of the ME3 story with Earth / Mars was really well done; cool use of Shepard's clone. And I was really sad that it seemed the Citadel DLC story was going to be relegated to the background, but the very last chapter had an amazing flashback part with tons of awesome fanservice and fuzzy, warm feelings... just like the DLC.

Random things I enjoyed:

Nailed the characterization of Jack's general "jam out with my clam out" attitude. Gave her a solid arc and honestly a better one than ME2/3. Darker in parts, but a brighter resolution as well.

Nailed the characterization of Grunt. And Tali. And Liara! Oh my god, Liara is amazing in this. She has several laugh-out-loud moments. I still chuckle, weeks later, when I think about her musing about what happens when you pee in someone's soul. She is an insane little asari, in a great way.

The Wrex/Shepard Virmire showdown. Really well-written battle scene. Although, it does kind of beg the question - if Wrex can do that, how was any fight where they have Wrex not completely trivial? There's definitely a bit of Plot-Determined Power Levels going on here, what with the seemingly arbitrary rules about how bending works and when Shepard can use the Avatar State and how powerful it actually is.

The fact that the chapters are between 20 and 30K words.

Great running jokes and callbacks; some of them from the game, some evolving organically in the universe of the story.

Random gripe: Talitha Shepard being alive, and ending up being the girl who's about to kill herself in the "I Remember Me" mission was a bit too saccharine for me, and a bit too coincidental. Plus, it's like Talitha drops off the map forever. Shepard sometimes randomly thinks about her, but she doesn't actually do anything except provide her with a Rage Button.

Random gripe: The transition from the ME1 story to the ME2 resurrection timeskip was really abrupt.

Random gripe: The narrative moving into third-omniscient at random times to interject things like "little did Shepard know that the answer to that question would prove important in the years to come." Not the most elegant way to do call attention to plot points.


Anyway. I could literally go on for another few thousand words.

This is a good fic. The length is kind of mind-boggling. If Mass Effect has a special place in your heart, I can almost guarantee that you'll like this.

4.5/5, rounded up.
2/9/2015 c14 Guest
Oh Jack you'll get better don't worry and tali is made of hard stuff
2/4/2015 c8 Guest
Poor jack I still remember reading how she came to find out about her past and murtock at least Shepard is still a really good friend to her
2/3/2015 c7 Guest
When I saw that conversation between trash tali and garrus I was like ah! Spotted another one! Still Shepard does get better at least
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