Date: August 07, 2012 9:07 pm Title: THE END
I don’t often dive into a highly detailed critique of a story. Wild flailing? Sure. Indecipherable text and non-words? Often. However, there is just so much to this story that I wanted to give it as thorough an examination as I could.
To start with, wow! Like, holy wild cats wow!! I started reading this when I was in San Diego for ComicCon. I admit, I don’t often go for the major AU type fic but this story intrigued me so I dove in. And immediately I discovered how addicting it was! It was like a bag of Oreos or Lays Rippled potato chips. I was entertained and excited and awed by the detail of this story as well as the multitude of characters introduced.
I understand that your story is hugely influenced by answering challenges, which is pretty cool because that doesn’t happen remotely often enough. And I read your bio too so I get that doing so is important to you – almost like a challenge within a challenge. And you chose well – picking challenges that have some relation to one another so that they could realistically be incorporated into a single story. As it is, for the purposes of this critique, I’m going to respond to this solely as the story I’ve read and not trying to work in all the elements of the challenge answering. In most part because, whether or not it answers a challenge, the story should be able to stand on its own merit.
I’m totally in awe of your ability to create this world. You have wonderful characters with very rounded personalities that make them interesting to read. They have a very notable distinction from the characters in Santa Barbara – a harder feel that goes along with what I’d imagine of LA life. However, there is something of a lack of interaction outside of Shawn. You have the Psych world, and you have the LA world and to steal a phrase, never the twain shall meet. Sure, there were a couple of chapters where Shawn was taking his recertification where a number of the Psych characters were present – plus the “infamous” Henry scene with Dot and her shotgun. I know there’s a practical reason there isn’t much crossover between these two worlds, but that doesn’t change that I wish I could see more interaction between them.
And since Dot was mentioned in the last paragraph, I’ll continue with her, and Henry, here. I’m not totally certain how I feel about her. In many ways, she’s usurping Henry’s place as parent. And to create a sympathetic vibe for her, Henry is borderline abusive such that she’d threaten him with a weapon. I know you defended your reasoning for Henry’s actions and, to a point, I can see that. However, it isn’t just a tweak to his emotions brought on because he suddenly discovered Shawn was John McLane. There’s always been an element to Henry that was an authority figure. He was someone that Shawn was desperate for approval from – that Shawn admired even while they battled. Now, suddenly, they seem to have lost all of that. Everything that was built between them in the last six seasons has been torn away. Instead, Shawn seems as though he has no respect for Henry and wants nothing to do with him; almost to the point that he seems to hate his father. And Henry is acting out as a petulant bully. Again, I get what you’re going for but there’s an element to Henry that is so essential to his character that I feel as though I’m missing. I think, mostly, it’s the relationship between him and Shawn. Which brings me to Shawn. And maybe that’s the real crux of it.
I can totally buy into the idea that he was, at one time, a cop with the LAPD. You wrote a very convincing world and gave him an excellent reason to want to quit that life. I think, though, what makes it difficult is not so much that he’d maintain a sort of undercover life as a fake psychic, but that EVERYTHING was undercover, including his personality. And this goes into my perspective on AU fics; that in an AU like this, more than ever it’s important to maintain the essential nature of the characters. I can be okay with Shawn having a hidden horror to his past and I can completely accept that he has a warehouse of super cool skills from his work with the LAPD. But in removing his lightheartedness and goofiness, it’s as though Shawn has died. I feel as though I don’t know this character at all. In a sense, he’s almost another OC. And again, I CAN see why you would go that direction with his character. I can understand that you are purposefully creating this new dynamic to shake up the foundation of who everyone believed Shawn to be. But as a reader, I feel as though what made Shawn who he truly is, has been lost. I miss him desperately. In reworking who he is, every aspect of every character around him has been reworked as well. For Gus, he has now become the child-like personality in their partnership; rightfully in need of protection but they no longer “click” like they used to. Shawn doesn’t seem to “need” Gus any longer so much as seem burdened by him. For Juliet, she reads more as the worried girlfriend and less the badass cop that can more than keep up with Shawn’s quirks. And she seems to be going along too easily with her boyfriend’s profound personality shift. In an early chapter, you had Shawn blow up at Henry for being the only one not to accept who he (Shawn) was now. And I have to say, I gotta side with Henry in this. Because it seems as though Henry is the only one actually disturbed that this new personality has overwhelmed his child. As for Lassiter… well, he’s still pretty much Lassiter as we know him lol!
A few small things that were rolling around in my head regarding Shawn being undercover as a Psychic. I think, mainly, it’s the way that he now consistently refers to Vick as “Karen”. Whether undercover or not, I can’t get past the strangeness of that. And if he IS still trying to maintain a cover, he should still call her “Chief” as he always has. As to being undercover (and I apologize if I simply misread or didn’t catch the reasons for it), wouldn’t it be harmful to Shawn’s undercoverness that he’s somewhat high profile? In the sense that he’s been in the paper a number of times while working as a psychic?
I’m really hoping you don’t take any of this as flaming because that’s the last thing EVER I’d want you to think. I feel very strongly about this story and, as well, about your ability to write or I wouldn’t have bothered. Even when I’m not online, I find myself thinking a lot about this story. There’s something about it that drills such intensity through my chest. It’s powerful and grips me right in the soul parts. I really, really hope you intend to add more to it. After so much teasing about the fate of Shawn’s former partner, I can only assume you “END” chapter was in inside joke. I will watch for more and please, please, please keep writing! This site is in desperate need of quality fic such as this!
Date: August 07, 2012 1:42 pm Title: ONE: The secret behind the secret
Please, please, please tell me this is not the real ending for this AMAZING story ?! That's why I only give this story a rating of 1...
Why thank you! And no, it's definitely not the real ending. XD But I do have to protest the one... it's definitely five star crack :3
Thanks for the review!
Date: August 07, 2012 12:58 pm Title: THE END
Ummmm....I didn't understand the ending. Was that the actual ending?
Author's Response: XD Nope!
Date: August 07, 2012 6:10 am Title: THE END
Well, I'm not really certain how to respond. I feel like I was presented with this amazingly appetizing meal and desert was only so-so. You built up the characters so beautifully and the story flowed so effortlessly that of course I could do nothing but read it straight through--devouring more and more. But then it stopped and it stopped strangely. So, I guess I can only hope that there is a sequel somewhere to quell some of my disappointment. This really was an amazing story and I'm not sure how it was supposed to end but I hope to eventually find out. For now, thank you for pouring your heart and soul and creative juices into the story and sharing it with us. I had a lot of fun taking this journey with you. Keep up the amazing writing.
Date: August 06, 2012 6:54 pm Title: THE END
And just what kind of drugs is Shawn on?? He went to see that weird shroon dude from Meat is Murder didn't he. LOL LOL Fun Chapter and I can see the Jo-Lynn having something to do with it. :) :) :)
Date: August 06, 2012 4:33 pm Title: THE END
Oh hell, I can't breathe...!
Not only am I choking on my own laughter; I'm also going into cardiac arrest due to shock.
"CODE BLUE! CODE BLUE! We need a new chapter, STAT!"
You see that?! You finally killed me. I hope you're happy! D;