>> One in a lifetime <<
Title: Songs of the Flesh
Author: Sharon Cross
Genre: Future Fic, Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Alternate Universe, Novel
Sequel to: [<<] Specter
Summary: Duncan has a plan to abolish genetic slavery but it is a dangerous and hazardous plan that will plunge Methos' position into hell and both of them into serious troubles. Against the numerous enemies facing them, allies appear but so does a terrible threat to all life in the galaxy...
Settings ==> Following directly the previous fic, this fresco of another universe is painted with more emotions and engagements in sci-fi themes. The context is most interesting and gives the sensation that the universe that we are concerned about really lives and evolves on its own, that being the political context with the federation of planets and a political system whose rules and leaders we discover little by little, or that being the technological environnement and this boom of genetic manipulation, or the historical context we learn more about... One slight regret I could have is that it wasn't enough explored. To tell you the truth, I am fan of the Dune cycle and I delighted at the detailed and never ending description of the society. The universe of the author here really was worthy of even more attention and it isn't something that is in abundance around, unfortunately. It's only my own wish sensing that some parts could have been related with more details and less action oriented. But there is nothing to reproach to the author, she did an admirable and inspired work here.[EDIT]
The main reproach I did have, even if I forgot to mention at first is the lack of Highlander Mythology and particularly the absence of any other immortals in the story (except one 'dubious' newbie). The explanation that the universe is infinite didn't convince me. However I understand the author's intent to developpe her quite original and divergent universe.
Characters ==> In extension with their characterization in the previous fic, the characters here keep on being deep, colorful, complex, living... not forgetting consistent and coherent. The relationship between Duncan and Methos is marked by angst all along but the narrative manages to convey it without being forceful. New characters appear, mysterious and complex, belligerent or impassive... the mystery and the intrigues stay thick and unravel only little by little. The fic manages a good balance regarding the extremes of its characters and succeeds to captivate without mishandling your credulity.
Plot ==> I could repeat the same thing that qualifies the previous fic: "it begins rather simply but it unfolds rapidly more and more issues which need to be solved in turn". However this sequel begins with a lot more elements, threads and issues at stake than the first and thus the general impression is one of density and complex weaving. Still the author masters her story so that your comprehension doesn't suffer from it.
Style ==> In perfect continuity with the previous fic, there are still the same undeniable skills and imagination. An excellent balance even if I would regret a too action oriented narrative. I'm adept of more eastern ways, Asian to be precise (when more poetic, casual, still and explanatory moments slow the plot and prepare the succession of actions) but it's just my own opinion and it's a really petty comment on my part (always have to comment about something).
Interest ==> The story has just been completed very recently and I guess that the way I read it doesn't serve the fic that well since I haven't managed to stay focused in the story as I was for the previous fic. I have mixed impression on lenghty waiting and rushed passages for instance. I should probably read it again in a few months. Apart from that, I think that the developement and changes in D/M relationship is what will hook you into the story no matter what.
In conclusion ==> In my opinion, "Specter" and "Songs of the Flesh" are one and only story. The coherent continuity between the two stories is reason enough if it wasn't for the personal quest of the main characters themselves. It could be summarized as "Duncan got lost but find himself again" and "Methos finally got home". Really an incontrovertible reading.
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