Reviewer: TechnoPoet Signed
Chapter 1: one
This story definitely deserved the best K/S novel award.
It's a perfectly heartbreaking story. The entire thing with the creature was written very well, each bit of pain, and each small glimmer of hope, and the reactions to it afterwards. It makes me feel very bad for Spock, everyone prodding him exactly where it hurts - the bond, and his human emotion. Even doing it for a good reason, as McCoy used it against him to keep him alive, was excruciating pain for him (but written very well).
I liked the ending. It was the most heartbreaking moment of the story, but in a way, it wasn't as sad as when the creature first started ruining things. Nearing the end, I could see that it was starting to reach the point where they couldn't get back together, at least not in this story, so it wasn't as shocking as it possibly could have been. But I do like how it ended with McCoy's perspective, and him having some small hope that things would someday bring them together again.
That Spock had been planning to leave Kirk even before the creature had inhabited his mind was a painful but inevitable revelation - I think no matter what the situation, Spock would have eventually broken down in some way and acknowledged that he needed time.
This is the type of story that one would think would need a sequel, but I think it works really well as it is, with its sequel being Star Trek: The Motion Picture. There was once a story similar to this that tried to link itself to TMP, but it just didn't seem like it would turn out right, whereas this story is written in such a way that I can see how it could explain their reactions towards each other in that movie.
Brilliant story, I definitely enjoyed it!