Dark World Making

(1) "Making of A Sentinel" (Sentinel)

By CiceroCat
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 29th October 2001 (2)

When I saw that this author had written something new, I couldn't resist taking a peek straight away. This is (no surprise) another AU which is reminiscent of Susan Foster's stories, where Sentinels are well known, and Sentinels and Guides have a psychic bond which is necessary for them to function without going nuts. We don't get so much of the background here, only hints, because this story opts (very effectively) for an almost stream-of-consciousness story from Jim's point of view. As soon as I read it, I turned around and read it again. Now, that's rare!

In this story you follow Jim down the path into the torment of an awakening Sentinel, and out the other side. I like how he was stubborn and rebellious at the start (and indeed along the way) and how we are gradually shown things building up, and Jim having less and less control. It makes you wonder, though, what kind of people would deem such extreme measures to be necessary. Which we will hopefully find out in future stories. I'm not sure I wanted the story to stop at that point, there were some things that were still in the air for me (specifically, Jim's state of mind) but on the other hand, the last line was a good one.

(2) "Making of a Guide" (Sentinel)

By CiceroCat
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 28th February 2002 (4)

I was looking forward to this story, so I read it as soon as it was posted on Senfic, rather than waiting for it to go up on a web page. This tells the other half of the AU story told in "Making of a Sentinel", this time from Blair's point of view. It's probably a good idea to re-read "Making of a Sentinel" first, to get into it fresh. Again, we see a fighting, stubborn person driven almost to the breaking point, very effectively described. I particularly liked the Hunger metaphor (or whatever one would call it).

We learn a little bit more about this universe from the snippets of Blair's background that we get here, but not a huge amount. It seems clear from the points of view of both Jim and Blair that one reason they don't want to bond with anyone is they consider it a form of slavery or at the least, a loss of autonomy, but it isn't entirely clear what the social/legal status of Sentinels and Guides is, because Jim's and Blair's reactions are very subjective.

This story ends at exactly the same point as the first story, and though I can hope for a continuation to find out what happens next, and what is really going on, knowing this author, what will probably happen is that she'll get another entrancing idea and start yet another series that will never be continued (sigh).