Author at Sentinel Smarm Sanctuary

Lucidity (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th September 2000
Zine: Observations On The Function Of A Modern Sentinel
Tags: Novella

This story was recommended on one of the TS lists I'm on, a while back, and I made note of it, but never read it until now. Thanks, whoever you were, I would have missed out if not for you.

This story reaches the depths of angst and the heights of smarm, without being over the top. I felt wrung out like a wet rag after reading it. I'd classify it as slightly AU simply because you can't have gone through an ordeal like that without being changed, but the depth of commitment we see here in this story isn't seen in the show. But, ah, it's lovely. I like my angst leavened with smarm, and my smarm leavened with angst, and this definitely does the trick. Because I probably wouldn't have believed the smarm, if it hadn't been mixed with the angst. Half of the fun of this was that it wasn't the tired old kidnapping routine, and that there wasn't any torture or cackling psychopaths (thought there was a psychopath, just not a very talkative one) and that the senses stuff was essential to the plot. I prefer angst to hurt, I'm not really into h/c.

Blair here looks up to and admires Jim, a Jim who is compassionate and protective and just, but not an Uber-Jim. There's some good introspection from Blair's point of view, casting a look on his previous carefree and uncommitted existence, and his differing present.

"For the first time ever, Blair's view of his own future was invested with more than merely curiosity and acceptance. He had quiet, deeply held hopes and sharp, desperate fears, and he regarded the change in his outlook with bemusement, not quite sure if he thought it was a good change, a bad change, or merely a difference."

And that's not the only bit of good depthy character stuff.

There are nice touches in the description here and there, like "he pulled the steak from the meat drawer and moved it up to the freezer compartment, wedging it next to the two others already entombed there." There are some good, imaginative uses of Jim's senses, which makes this even more enjoyable -- heck, the show isn't called "The Sentinel" for nothing.

Addendum: nominated for favourite angst story in the 2001 Cascade Times Awards.