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The Path of Strangers (Sentinel/Champions)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 13th March 2001 (2)
Tags: Novella
Characters: ?Character/Jim Ellison
(235K, 39760 words)

When I saw at Cascade Library that someone had written a Sentinel/Champions crossover I dropped everything and read it. Nothing like a crossover to get me interested. As long as it's a good one. And this was a good one.

I was worried at first by the warning "Not Naomi-friendly" but it proved to be a false alarm. So far as I could see, there wasn't Naomi-bashing going on, just a less-than-perfect Naomi, only human, with human failings.

One of the interesting and intriguing things about this story could possibly irritate some people -- the fact that things tended to be hinted at, rather than be spelled out, particularly at the start and at the end. I liked that, even when I couldn't figure everything out. Subtlety rules! A couple of bits of confusion where I wasn't sure if I'd missed something or the author had (like, when did Megan get told about Blair's mother?) but nothing I couldn't live with. There are wheels within wheels, and not everything is as it seems. As would naturally be the case if such an organisation as Nemesis is involved (here cast as the spy network of spy networks, not as simple as it was in the actual Champions series, where things were usually more black-and-white).
    Simon grunted, and folded his hands together. "Have you ever heard of an organization called Nemesis?" he asked, carefully avoiding the sharp blue eyes.
    There was a long moment of silence. "I can't discuss that, Simon," Jim said as he slowly resumed his seat.
    Shit. Abruptly Simon sat forward. "If we're going to get at what the hell is going on here, then you are going to have to discuss it."
    "Sir?" Jim's carefully blank face said more than enough about his opinion of that.
    "Jim," Simon replied, waiting.
    "I -- I can't."
    "Your partner's life is at stake."
    "I swore an oath, Simon," he said, torn.

I liked the visions that Blair had; particularly the paths of possible choices, and the discussion of free will and destiny -- very cool, not too heavy. There are other fun and interesting moments, but I can't quote them because they're too full of spoilers (like Jim's omigod moment, or the bit in the foyer of the FBI building, the points at which various people Realize Things... this is fun.)

I also liked the extrapolation and extension of the Champions abilities, which seemed reasonable enough, even though they weren't in the actual series to that degree, they'd had a lot more time to perfect what they were able to do. It's fascinating what happens to Blair, and the intriguing statements at the end -- I wanna find out what happens next, how Blair reacts to it all, how Jim reacts to it all, I want more!