Author at The Sibilant Storybook

Almost A Sentinel (Sentinel/Champions)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 2000
Zine: Sentry Post
Issue: 6
Tags: Novel

Now that this story is up on the web, I can direct your eyes to the zine review that I did of the zine containing this story.

Red, Red, Wine (Highlander)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 28th January 2003 (2)
Tags: Short Story

I went over to Sealie's page looking for something else and ended up reading this instead. It's a short piece with an inquisitve Duncan, an elusive Methos, and leaves you quietly pondering. Nice.

Twenty Four Hours (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 25th September 2000 (3)
Tags: Novella

This was very good. One of the most convincing stories of this kind that I've read. And what is "this kind"? That very popular staple in TS fic, where one of Our Heroes is deathly ill, and the other hovers at his bedside. In this case, it's Blair who is ill, and Jim who hovers. But the consultation with Doctor Robyn definitely shows in all the glorious detail that is given:
    "Mavis, I've got an adult male, 29, 150 pounds. One day history of fever to 105, stiff neck." Reaching for a small light he peeled back an eyelid and shone it into the kid's eyes. Blair groaned painfully. "Photophobia; nausea and emesis times three; temperature 105; pulse 120; respirations 35; blood pressure 00/60 and a GCS 2-4-4. Sat 98% on three litres via nasal canunula. I.V. placed."
    Jim was boggled by the alphabet soup.

But, no, it isn't all medical jargon. We have some strong original characters; Blair's doctor and one of his nurses stand out. We also have a touch of the mystical, which is subtle enough to leave us free to choose either way. Was it all in his mind or not? Probably not, but he'd be the last to admit it. Which is just our Jim all over.


(1) Our Unconquerable Soul (Sentinel/Poltergeist the Legacy)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 25th September 2000 (1)
Tags: Novella

This was good. I enjoyed this better than the other PtL crossovers I've read so far, possibly because this was much more of a Sentinel story than those others, but also because the author resisted the urge to explain everything about these "guest" characters, even in the bits which were from their point of view. They really were guest-characters, and that's the way I like it.

I liked the subtlety of certain things here -- particularly the open question as to whether Blair was Sensitive, whether he was tuned in to Jim's reactions, or whether he was just a really good observer. Likewise, the natural and supernatural explanations for things, side by side. I liked the references to things, like the Adams Family, and Narnia and people discussing the books they're reading, and all the other little details here and there. I liked watching them piece things together -- Jim's senses were used really well, as well as Blair's researching abilities. Not to mention Blair's... pluckiness. Things weren't too easy -- they had to work for answers -- even the Legacy people had to work for answers, instead of coming across as know-it-all and explaining everything.

I enjoyed the original characters and the portrayal of Father Callaghan as someone solemn and serious and sad and concerned without being a fountain of angst.

I was sort of surprised, given the closeness between Jim and Blair here (evidenced at least by the Sentinel-Guide bond), that this is apparently only set three months into their relationship, but I liked their interactions, and the way the actually discussed things. But would Blair really eat bacon sandwiches? (-8

Addendum: nominated for favourite horror/scary story in the 2001 Cascade Times Awards. Nominated for favourite series also.

(2) Death in the Family (Sentinel/Poltergeist the Legacy)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 25th September 2000 (2)
Tags: Novella

This one is a sequel to Our Unconquerable Soul and is only a crossover with PtL to the extent that it has Father Callaghan in it. This one was even better. Again, you have the subtlety of the mystical stuff in it, again you have the careful details. The things I liked best about this one was the Blair-angst that he had to work through (and the way that Blair's withdrawal affected Jim) and the plot, turning from what looked like a simple serial kidnapping, to something with a touch of dark magic, to something that was both more and less simple than either of these. (And the only hint I can give is, that if you liked this story, go off and read the novel "The Perilous Gard" by Elizabeth Marie Pope, which had a similar scenario) Three cheers for the way that Blair holds himself in his perilous situation, and being himself finds the way forward. I would really like to see more in this series.

(3) A Hope Amidst Sanguine Desolation (Sentinel/Poltergeist the Legacy)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 12th May 2001

This one is a sequel to Death In The Family and also to Twenty Four Hours as well, even though that story isn't officially in this series, this is set not long after, while Blair is still recovering from his illness. Again, this is barely a crossover with PtL, with only Father Callaghan making much of an appearance from that. This is also a little crossover with another series but to say what series would be a spoiler. This was sure good. A little hard to get into at first, but soon I was completely caught up. I like the strong supporting characters in this; they support, whether original or canon. Good Jim, good Blair, good Jim and Blair. Both of them are caring about each other, both of them have hangups, and both of them freaked out about things, but not both at the same time! Also good was the way that Blair hadn't yet bounced back from what happened in Twenty Four Hours, sleeping and lacking energy, as usually happens after a serious illness. A few mysteries were left to tease us, which makes it imperative that another story be written, don't it?

(4) Watchman eye and watchman hand are spun of water, air and sand (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 7th May 2003 (10)
Tags: Novel

While the other stories in this series could be considered slightly AU, this one could be considered more so, because, if things put in place here do get followed through with, it makes certain events in canon very unlikely to happen -- hopefully. I really liked this one, because it dealt with something that was so waiting to happen -- Jim's refusing to deal with his past traumas is a bomb waiting to go off, a vulnerability which he refuses to acknowledge; and this time he fails to dodge the (figurative) bullet. I love it when plot is rooted in character like that; so very personal, yet fitting. It was also nicely subtle, as Blair wonders about the possible causes of Jim's behaviour, whether it be natural, supernatural or psychological. Again, the author manages to get a good balance in her Jim and Blair -- friends who care without being soppy, both with faults and strengths; times when they communicate and times when they take things all wrong.

I also liked the feel of all the research -- though the author said at the end that she couldn't find a lot about what she was looking for, it didn't feel sparse or lacking.