"Spirit Wind" (Sentinel)
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (1)
I have mixed feelings about this one. It was reccommended to me, I can't remember by whom or where, and it certainly starts off well. We open with some good character interaction between Jim and Blair, some insightful anecdotes, followed by a misunderstanding brought about by false assumptions. I like that, because it simply means that communication wasn't clear, you get drama-conflict without having to make out that one character or another is horrible. This misunderstanding then continues where one character tries to send the other one a nonverbal apology -- which is completely misinterpreted. Again I liked that, because it shows the weakness of not spelling things out.
Unfortunately, we then get a touch of doormat-Blair (no confidence, I-am-not-worthy), followed by the Blair-has-a-tortured-past motif, neither of which I see in the series. We also fall into the fanon Jim-stops-breathing-when-he-zones motif. Simon here is a bit more unsympathetic and abrupt than I thought he would be, but I could just be thinking Simon is nicer than he really is. On the style front, it says at the start of the story "Draft", and one can tell by the occasional typo, missing word, awkward phrasing, and other similar mistakes. Not a lot, just some.
On the good side, there's lots of Jim angst, particularly well done in part IV where Jim is really haunted, some cool dreams, Jim having to cope with a community of people who know he's a Sentinel, a cool Indian name for Blair, and some good supporting characters.
The last third is more adventuresome, and kinda lost me, particularly the extremely unprofessional nurse at the very end.