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Cave's Bulbagarden's Fiction Review Thread

Introductions New
Jul 23, 2022
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  1. She/Her

Hey all, my name is Cave and I am one of the writers here on Bulbagarden. I have decided to do one of these little review threads, 1) so I can keep track of where I am up on stories I am reviewing and 2) because I understand how it can feel to not receive little to no reviews across platforms and how exhausting the lack of validation is. So here we are. I know how it feels to have someone write a review and then delete it, or for someone to promise to do a review and never do it. I will try my best to keep on top of threads.

I wasn't sure if this belonged in Writer's Workshop or in Blogs, I asked and was told Workshop but if you need to move it let me know, it is all good.

You can absolutely ask me to do a short review of your fic on this thread. However, I will only do 1 chapter at a time. If you want me to do multiple chapters, let me know. I will always start reviewing from the beginning and I will only do pokémon fictions. I do not have the confidence to review other fandoms. I also can say no.

Generally, I have no triggers with one exception: Clausterophobic fics. I'm okay with a chapter or two of it, but anymore than that and I will struggle.
My reading preferences are: Non-Ship, Non-Romance-Centric fics. I just struggle to get into them. Also, I am dyslexic, that means longer fics and chapters can take me a long time to read. It doesn't mean I won't read them, but if you request for a long chapter to be read... well... expect it to take some time.

I will try to post once or twice a week minimum. These posts may already be on posts on the thread if it is a story I am already reviewing. This way everyone's stuff stays together. Please use the index system if you want to see if I have reviewed your fiction. Everything should be listed in the index in alphabetical order by title. If, somehow, there are multiple fics with the same title, it will be by title//author.
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Review: Dead Winter

Chapter 1
As a fan of darker fictions I like the start of the chapter here, it gives off an ominous vibe to me. The use of Arceus and rot in the same sentence definitely adds to the ominous vibes in my opinion. What is Harrison’s relationship like to the King? It almost seems like he is happy to be able to take the throne, and his urgency towards the intruder is more out of concern for the castle. I think his reaction to the situation is very understandable and you do a good job of displaying his switch in form, from alive to undead. In particular, the way you describe him wanting to feel something is very short and sweet and effective. The rapid changing of those around him to attack others definitely paints the idea of a massive disaster yet to come.
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Review: From the Vast

Chapter 1
Firstly, I’d like to start by saying the first line is very gripping. The introduction of the characters is well placed and goes well with the flow of the text. Aria seems to be a very kind individual, and your portrayal of her is clear. Furthermore, I like how the split between the pokémon and humans is illustrated in a way which shows how different they are. Ruby’s concern in comparison to Lumi’s reaction makes me wonder if Lumi has had a hard time with humans in the past. I hope we find out later, and I think ending the chapter with Aria being given all the responsibility is a good way to move the story forward.

Chapter 2
The diving through the consciousness creates leads to an interesting question I have surrounding how a psychic would read a memory which a human or another Pokémon would actively be guarding. Would it be a tough dive? The fact Aria had to work so hard to reach the memory from an unconscious child feels important, and I think the description surrounding the memory is well painted. I hope Anne is able to let Aria know what she was so afraid of, if not, I hope Aria is able to find out. The ending of the chapter is a little tense, and I like how the Pokémon react to hearing how the humans are coming. What would happen if they find Aria and the others? Would they try to catch them? Blame them? The fact they flee at the end of the chapter leaves these things open ended, and I think that works very well.

Chapter 3
To begin with I think the placing of Chapter 3 is very on point. It keeps up with the momentum caused by the end of Chapter 2, with the humans coming, while balancing the fact these Pokémon are starting to tire. The big question left over here is whether the slower, hunting pace of the humans was more beneficial in the long run. Anne being around and requiring help, and carrying is definitely an additional problem, and you tackle this well. The explanation as to how the humans are trying to find her seems to fit in well with the world you have built so far.

You also answer an important question I had - Do the captured, human owned Pokémon have the same speech capacity as that of the wild Pokémon? Does their time with humans impact how they are able to speak with other Pokémon? I think the fact you have answered these questions to some degree does help with the world building quite a bit. Also, the introduction of the younger Pokémon that are a part of Aria’s life does indicate a level of parallel to the human world we know, and perhaps the human world in their own world. The psychic mind reading certainly gave me a little laugh by Candece. The question I have here is what level of mind reading would be considered allowed in public and what would not? Lastly, the lack of human presence considering how they originally acted creates a feeling of unease, and the way the chapter ends just confirms the calm before the storm.

Chapter 4
Alright, so it's been a while since I have read any of this fic, so after a quick refresher of what had happened so far, I have to say the opening was pretty much in line with what had previously happened. Anne’s pain being of great concern to the group does seem to create the divide between the Pokémon and the humans, which had been alluded to previously.

There is a lot going on regarding the dialogue and thoughts and psychic dialogue, and I am glad this gets clarified officially at the start of the chapter. That is the one thing about having psychic beings: things can get a little messy. Aria’s bond with Anne continues to shine through in the chapter. It has already been built up previously that Anne only really has trust to Aria as far as I could understand, and Anne’s attempts at communication to Aria seem to be on par with how I would assume someone frightened would act. Once again Lumi comes through to show his willingness to help his friends out. Although, he does appear to be in a much more minor role this chapter. I hope we get to see him and Anne getting to know each other at some point (and no I am totally not bias towards Luxray [one of my all-time favourite Pokémon]).

Moving to the more stylistic side of things, the writing flows pretty well. The pacing is more consistent in this chapter than that of the more action-packed third instalment, giving a much-needed rest. That being said, the chapter is pretty long. Grammatically, the chapter had very few mistakes in, which is great. The plot points connect throughout, once again bringing up how the opening connects back to the previous chapter in such a way that the concern for Anne is well constructed. Hopefully things continue smoothly in Chapter 5.

Chapter 5
Okay, so let’s talk about psychic types and memory wipes. What a way to start the chapter. I am stunned. This topic is a significant ethical discussion in pokémon fiction and often gets overlooked. I am so glad that it is being talked about this early on in fiction surrounding this narrative of potential abuse, cross-contamination, or leak of humans into the world of wild pokémon. Would you effectively steal someone’s memories away from them if it stops that person from hurting? Would that person always have questions? Would you replace those memories with something else? Such an important topic is being addressed, adding so much to the chapter.

This brings us to the relationship forming between Anne and Aria. Anne has been through a lot and is very young, so how much of what is happening does she fully understand? Her question to Aria is also portrayed well, as it is indeed important. “Why did you save me?” On its own, saving a stranger is essential. However, there is, in addition to this, the knowledge we already know about humans and these wild Pokémon. They are not friendly with one another. Early on in this chapter, a lot of the weight seems centred intentionally or not around this concept. It is portrayed beautifully.

Structurally, the chapter seems fine. The flow and pacing are on point, as always. One small thing I have noticed is when there is a fair amount of dialogue, it isn’t always attributed. On occasion, this has led me to re-read the section to make sense of who is speaking, although I am often able to figure it out. Honestly, though, that is the major grammatical thing I have noticed; the rest seems perfectly fine. Additionally, Anne’s nervousness in speaking to Aria is portrayed very well through her stutter. The description is well-placed and adds to the world and characters. Also, I am glad we get to see Lumi again, even if it is more towards the end of the chapter.

Chapter 6
Chapter 6 starts seemingly different to the chapters before it. It introduces some characters who I don’t recall being mentioned before. These character’s goals and ambitions seem unknown with the exception of them seeking someone – Anne. This definitely adds to the ominous atmosphere which was absent in the previous chapter, which acted as more of a respite. I assume the other characters they met or have come into contact with are human. The comparison between the two locations seems pretty significant and maybe it will come into play a little later as it has been highlighted in the chapter as pretty important.

The dialogue is pretty solid in this chapter, and the character’s relationships and emotions aren’t fully on display it seems. The chapter definitely gives off a more cautious vibe. The frustration and hostility echoes later in the chapter through the use of language and dialogue. The emotions we do see in this chapter are more hostile, and advances the plot of the story nicely.

Chapter 7
The beginning of the chapter opens with a significant reinforcement to the story. Anne’s reaction to being touched is very consistent with what we already know about her past. The author clearly knows how to make connections and build upon characters and their history. In contrast, the ending creates a strong sense of unease. The events individually aren’t too horrific, such as Blossom’s panic attack and a tea-shaking attack. However, the combination created by the author raises the stakes well. Anyone who has ever had a panic attack knows how awful it feels, and how your senses get all messed up. The difficulty to deal with other things going on while having one is represented well in this chapter.

In regards to the writing style, the chapter’s flow seems alright. The ending taking a sudden turn is interesting and does throw the flow off a little bit, but the intention of it works out well. I did notice a typo with what I assume to be Rowlet missing the “R” toward the end of the chapter, although it could be referring to an owl instead as owls are mentioned in the chapter. There is nothing major there; it happens. For the most part, however, the chapter’s grammar and spelling is consistently on point throughout the chapter.

Lastly, looking into the characters themselves, it is nice to see Anne bonding with other characters. The introduction of the Decidueye family, being Dartrix and Rowlet is great. I have also noticed the inclusion of real-life animals in the chapter, in particular an owl. Therefore, in this would, do normal animals co-exist with pokémon? Holly seems a nice addition and the potential bonds she will create with would be great, if this continues later on. The dialogue in the chapter is well-written and the character’s personalities come out in droves.

Chapter 8
Chapter 8 shows the combination between real-world animals and pokémon, which was alluded to in Chapter 7, with owls peering through the window. In Chapter 8, there are mentions of dogs, which are connected to the human village and a vital part of the plot so far – Anne and her escape from the human village. The two sides of the story and the plot are depicted very well by the missing poster, which Olive and Lumi find. It is interesting how these two are witnessing the human world, which is significant. While it feels like more of a side story, it is interesting compared to Anne’s side and the focus on her. Their connection to the humans, especially Lumi’s reaction and interactions with the human boy, is sweet, and it is nice to see a kinder side of the humans compared to what we have seen and assumed about them.

Later in the chapter, Anne’s house’s explosion is decisive and well-constructed as an all-or-nothing situation. There is no going back, only going forward. Ending the chapter with Lumi leading the charge as it were back out into the human world opens up the fiction to some extent. As previously most chapters have ended in a more contained manner, this is far more dangerous. The characters are more exposed to the threats out there. Hopefully, they will find a way to make life better for Anne and get justice for her once and for all.

Interlude I: Rupture
Okay, so I’ve gone back and am doing the interludes, which did add some more context to what was going on. I like how you have portrayed Tom here. You have clearly depicted his emotional state and his core hatred. As proclaimed earlier in chapter 8 by the other characters, he has himself to blame – Has his emotional state been amplified? If I recall he was an antagonist, but I don’t recall him being a primary villain – at least up until this point.

Throughout the interlude, he seems to be growing internally more antagonistic to those who have hurt him – not to make a pun – but perhaps he will play the roll of a vengeful spirit (despite still being alive). It is interesting how he is blaming everyone else but himself (pointing the blame more so on Lisa), which says heaps about him as a person.

Lastly, I love the way this interlude ends. The way each line is almost carved with his hatred is so perfect. It comes across as if he is just constantly reinforcing how he feels, drilling it in to himself. A self-fulfilling hatred.

Chapter 9
This chapter seems to introduce us to some potential allies. I feel like the introduction of Gallade and Goodra to the story is the most important element of the chapter. I am getting some detective or poké-police vibes from them, especially the “trying to figure out” part of Gallade’s dialogue. The concerns regarding Anne being a potential young trainer are interesting as they open up another conversation about whether all humans would be treated the same if they needed help from the pokémon.

The reappearance of Holly as the energetic light, almost like the character who asks some questions or puts herself in situations which lead to world-building, is very welcomed. Her character is very well-written, and her kindness shines through. Her care for Anne and others around her is an excellent trait. Although there is a small section in which Holly is talking to another pokémon, due to the missing tags, I am not quite sure whom; I assume it is Marco. I think if these tags were added, it would improve the flow of this section of dialogue. All in all, though, the description and additions to the plot are great. The description of what these pokémon feel meeting a human, one of the biggest potential threats these wild pokémon could come across, is very well constructed.

Chapter 10
The mysterious magnemite watching all. Did it see what Aria had done? I love how ominous this little guy’s presence is. I really hope magnemite’s witnessing comes back to haunt the group as a little plot twist at some point. With the house of horrors gone and Aria not feeling any guilt for her potential involvement, I hope this will allow the author to add to the relationship between Anne and Aria. Will Anne be okay with her former home being destroyed? Lots of questions have been opened up.

I also love the wrap-around back to the debate, I believe, in chapter 5 and the ability to remove or alter memories. This callback is great as it is such an important ethical debate. Ember, having had their mind wiped, yet being an important part of Anne’s life, makes me wonder if Anne and Ember had seen something they maybe weren’t supposed to. Lumi’s relationship with Autumn is an interesting one; while most relationships appear to be upbeat and friendly, the impression I got here is they aren’t really friends, and they are very different personality-wise, which is a fresh dynamic.

Grammatically and structurally, the chapter is written well. Although, some dialogue was a little confusing at times due to the lack of tags or the same speaker being given a new line of speech. Other than that, though, it was consistent and had no major issues.

The plot has moved significantly in this chapter, and I like that. Cinder, from what I gather, has done something awful. The memory wipe. The group’s caution around confronting Cinder I think, is rightly warranted with the explanations and justifications as to why confronting Cinder isn’t a good idea just yet is well thought out. Just from how the dialogue is constructed around confronting Cinder, I get the impression that Cinder isn’t the kind of pokémon to play fair in a fight – especially through the lines by Autumn about it turning into a throwing match being way too late. I am going to end by saying the final line is a strong one. The author has made it very clear that Aria is dedicated to solving the problems created by the humans and pokémon who have hurt Anne. Seeing as Aria may have been responsible for the house going to pieces and had no regrets earlier on, we know she will stop at nothing for Anne.

Chapter 11
Chapter 11’s start is amazingly powerful. The strength and stress on the words is very memorable. The fear that Anne must be feeling as this force is coming and there is little she can do about it must be intensely terrifying. Her reaction to being around Ember again is beautifully written and one can tell how much their relationship must have mattered. This chapter definitely weighs in more with the description and I like that a lot. Even the chapter’s title, “Guilt” is clear at depicting what is going on.

The plot moves well in this chapter, opening up Anne’s world in such a way that had been very dotted before. Almost like a new door and new pathway is opening up for her. Aria’s guilt definitely does appear in small segments in how she acts in the latter half of the chapter, particularly how she is unable to smile after lying. I think the topic of lying is dealt with in a manner which suits all here. I personally believe that lies aren’t inherently bad. It is what one does with a lie and how one uses the ability to lie which could be good or bad. I do feel like her lie here is justified.

Lastly, I want to address the section about Cinder. Cinder’s darker side seems to become softened or almost excused in a way by others. She has been painted by the author as someone who is very powerful, but the characters depict her as an overprotective mother. Does the truth lie somewhere between being an overprotective mother and having some sinister goals? I hope we delve deeper into the life of Cinder and explore more about her background and her motivations in the next few chapters.

Chapter 12
Firstly, I’d like to point out how nice it is to see new characters being introduced in this chapter. A wider cast can lead to more chaos, conflict or a much wider range of emotions. The little Riolu is a perfect example of this. Reya seems to be written pretty young and full of energy, which contrasts with the mood set by the adult pokémon as of late. The mood is explained by the author as them being drowsy, which makes sense given everything going on in their lives right now. Regarding the dialogue, what is said works for who is saying it, and for the most part, it runs together in a smooth manner. However, the missing tags explaining who is saying what has led to me having to re-read certain sections of it. Despite my reservations surrounding the missing dialogue tags, the grammar throughout the non-dialogue sections is great and the description where used works well.

I think later in the chapter comes another very important debate. The discussion on feral pokémon and, to a further extent, what pokémon consider to be humans, feral. Now, I think this topic is handled well by the author, as the debate is turned on its head when the discussion of the extreme alternative is brought up. It seems to create a nice bit of tension as well as show how deep the divide in the world is between the humans and the pokémon. Lastly, I think ending the chapter surrounding the line, “now as for humans as living beings” is very ominous. It appears almost as if Geigar is looking down on them. For example, if it was to be said about dogs, “now as for dogs as living beings” from a human’s perspective, it seems like the humans are classifying the dogs as human beings, rather than acknowledging them as sentient beings. I am not sure where Geigar is going to go with this. I suppose we will find out.

Chapter 13
You make it very clear that Anne has had a horrific childhood when the first thing she does after an accident is immediately apologising, even though she could have been badly hurt. Furthermore, I love how innocent Bell is, talking about how Candece could take Anne in. You always make the characters likable in each chapter.

The grammar in the chapter is pretty solid. I think as time has gone on, the grammar in the chapters has become clearer, and since the clarification a few chapters ago regarding the difference between psychic talk, and speech the clarity has improved.

I was a little surprised to not see my favourite character in this story in this chapter, Lumi, but I noticed he has a bigger role in the next chapter, so I am pretty psyched to see that. That being said, I am glad this chapter focuses more on the relationships with Candece, Bell, Embers and Anne, and it gives them a chance to be fleshed out some more.

The change of focus at the end to Cypress and Marco is nice, as it introduces these characters in a different light. It is clear Marco knows Bell very well, and how the little Ralts feels about the world around her. It also potentially gives a further insight into how Bell would act if threatened. Would Bell act on her own and be independent of adults trying to help her?

Chapter 14
The opening of Chapter 14 is very impactful. The concentration on the votes in back-to-back sentences reiterates clearly the importance of the situation the characters have gotten themselves into. Aria’s care for Anna is on display as her attention is drawn to the voting situation. The apparent division between the pro-Anna and anti-Anne camps is worrying for her future.

The dialogue throughout the chapter is clear cut, and it is good to see a contrast in the pokémons’ thoughts and feelings. Most notably, Rose’s accent makes her stand out amongst the crowd, and generally, she comes across as a nice character through the use of her dialogue. The way she talks about Adam changing – or what I assume to be growing up – and things becoming less fun for her is very emotionally direct and impactful.

The characters' actions align with their established beliefs, but there are some unexpected twists. Lumi, for instance, is clearly aligned with the Anti-Anna camp, a revelation that surprises given their friendship. The introduction of Rose and her memories of Adam adds a fresh perspective to the prevailing negative view of pokémon like Stunky, Stuntank, Trubbish, Garbodor, Grimer, and Muk. Adam's decision not to immediately capture Rose is a testament to his genuine care for her, a surprising element that enriches her backstory.

Lastly, the chapter ends on a much darker note, and the introduction of a phantump is great. Phantumps are really cool and underrated pokémon. They are often forgotten about in favour of other ghost types. I like how you make Yaksha seem to take the lead in the discussion with Aria, (being a banette). It allows for Sage’s personality to shine through. Also, having Yaksha explain Sage’s backstory shows the amount of trauma Sage must have gone through regarding their death.

Interlude II: Interlopers
Interlude II is definitely a different beat to the chapters it is in between. It gives off a spookier vibe, and I think that’s a nice change of pace from what’s going on more centrally with Anna and Aria. I assume these Feral Ghosts are indeed ghost pokémon with ghost typing and not just ghosts of other pokémon. Then again, it is mentioned further down that the teens think they have spotted the ghost of a Gardevoir. Does this world have a defining difference between a ghost and a ghost pokémon? I assume the former are not catchable with poké balls by humans, or interactable with by the pokémon villagers – at least in a meaningful way.

Regarding the characters, Chucky appears to be an interesting name for a Murkrow at first, but it does seem to suit him. I don’t know if you intended to make the connection to the iconic character, Chucky (seeing as Murkrow are generally seen as scary, at least according to the lore) or not. The personalities of Izzy and Lee seem clear enough, with, Izzy coming across as the logical thinker, and Lee being the braver one. I think you make this clearest when they get attacked near the end by the ghostly Gardevoir.

Lastly, I think you deal with the functioning of the society in an interesting way here. The differentiation between a feral and a non-feral pokémon is simple but effective. I think it would be interesting to have Chucky a little more curious about his non-feral counterparts, like trying to rummage through their things, but other than that, their interactions seem realistic given their circumstances.

Chapter 15
Chapter 15 illustrates a multitude of layers regarding the relationships between the characters, I think, in a much broader way than prior to chapter 12. Specifically, Autumn seems to be at the centre of the relationships that are being tested due to her stance on Anne. Most notably, her relationships with Zephyr and Oliver seem to be important to her. Her relationship with Geigar also seems to be significant, and her care and trust in him are clearly indicated. I think you do this well by using Marco’s stance on Anne and Geigar’s reflections on it. Meanwhile, I feel like Autumn’s relationship with Oliver is a little more unpredictable – him raising the question of “what if” is definitely something which cannot be forgotten. I wonder how often a situation arises where one of their own gets taken by a human and what they would do about it.

Overall, I think your writing style does match the contents of this chapter (and chapter 14) in such a way that makes it objectively clear which character has what intent. There are little to no stress points in the story – by which I mean overuses or repetitions, which helps keep the plot moving in a straight line – although, I do admit to skipping the interludes etc. Grammatically, the story seems clean and makes sense, and I haven’t spotted a spelling error so far. I can more or less follow who is speaking and when without having to do several double takes, which is something I find common in stories – so thank you for making it very clear.

It is definitely difficult to balance a vast cast and maintain the story’s focus and objectives. Occasionally, a refresher of who is who might help, especially if it is a character who has disappeared for a while – and as your chapters are long, it can feel even longer periods before a character re-emerges onto centre stage.
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Review: Mercenaries of Dawn

Episode 1 - Chapter 1
This story seems to have an exciting spin on your typical rescue team set-up. The concept of mercenaries is interesting and provides almost a slightly more cautious or hostile approach to the world around these pokémon which is intriguing. The chapter starts with a showdown between a single pokémon and their five assailants, which gives me PMD vibes– a throwback to being attacked on a beach with the time relics. The chapter ends by completing the focus shift from our Azumarill victim to, I assume, what is to be our main protagonist, Rex. Rex seems interesting enough. It is hard to tell too much about him at this point, seeing as it is only the first chapter, but the end brings us to the idea of this grand adventure that is about to occur, nicely seen through the use of a caravan.

Structurally, the story reads pretty well. Each paragraph and section adds to the previous section consistently and tidily at a well-thought-out pace. My only gripe is the dialogue tags. I often see it and am guilty of making the same mistake, but the way I was taught by someone I once met was action = full stop, speech wording = comma.

For example,

He whispered, “My name is Jeff.” Jeff rubbed his hands together. “I like money.” The amount of money in Tom’s pockets was unknown to Jeff, but quickly, he added, “Do you like money too?”

The characters so far have seemed reasonable; as stated above, Rex looks interesting enough. The author has made it clear very early on that there is a bond between Colin and Allisa, which is excellent; the big question we are left wondering
is where Rex fits into all of this. Will he meet them again? I suspect it's possible, given their early introduction to the story.

Episode 1 - Chapter 2
Opening this chapter with Rex staying with Colin is a great decision. It gives us a chance to learn more about Colin and Rex. Colin is already starting to become my favourite character - being kind and genuinely seems like a good guy. Also, in this opening, we get a little bit of world-building, like some place names and some general mapping, although I hope this gets expanded upon later, as in a PMD world, places can seem very compact at times. Later in the chapter, these place names are mentioned again, specifically emphasising a place called Blackridge. I am glad the author justifies its importance to the characters. However, I am not quite sure of its significance regarding the plot yet.

Foster the Furret seems an excellent little addition to the story, even if he doesn’t seem to be in the frame for long. I like how the author uses Foster to create specific plot points and add to the worldbuilding. At least he is coming along for the trip at the moment. I hope the author further uses him to explain things about the world we may not understand. While Foster and Colin take more of a front seat with Rex in this chapter, Allisa seems to take more of a back seat, and I assume this is due to her staying while the others head off in the next chapter, as alluded to at the end. It's not necessarily a bad thing—just an observation and assumption I have.

Lastly, regarding the story's structure, the pacing is consistent with the first chapter, although I am unsure about the plot. I assume something important is coming up with the mysterious ruins mentioned at the end of the chapter, but time will tell if this is the case. Grammatically, the only thing I have noticed being slightly off is the dialogue tags, as mentioned in the above review. Therefore, overall, the grammar is good, and the spelling is on point.

Episode1 - Chapter 3
The lead-up to this chapter’s writing in the little Rex’s notes at the top does give me cause for concern for the safety of Rex. That cute little Furret planning something evil? Please, no, he is too cute for that (Furrets are cute). I like this opening; it throws a little potential spanner in the works. However, as these are just Rex’s notes, I’ll move on to the main event.

The plot seems to have thickened slightly, with plans thrown out the window. The introduction of Quentin the Electabuzz is pretty neat, as Electabuzz feels very overlooked in the world of Pokémon. Also, I cannot help but be reminded of Quentin from Nightmare on Elm Street, which is an excellent set of movies. His character gives off the impression that he knows what he is talking about and that the others should follow him. His explanation of the dungeon’s status and connection to the ruins, as mentioned in the previous chapter, leaves many questions. What are the ruins? Why are they in a dungeon? For someone to have reached the end to find the ruins, the dungeon must have been cleared, so why isn’t it cleared? Also, I like further down how we find out that Foster fears heights. I hope the author plays on this much later in the story, as it would be a great call back to this early-on section.

Plotwise, I am going to be honest: if I were a pokémon and there was a place called Murky Pass, I wouldn’t be going there, primarily if bandits are known to be around there. So these characters are investigating around it, and this dungeon is written in a way that shows just how important it is. Toward the end of the chapter, we get to meet the Altaria. The Altaria is written and described in a way that gives off early boss vibes. This is great, it gives Rex and the others an actual threat to deal with, even if the Altaria retreats for now.

Episode 1 - Chapter 4
Chapter 4 of Episode 1 features more of my favourite little Furret, which is a major bonus, at least until…. Well… anyway. I love the adjectives around Foster running, I can picture him zooming off right now. I also like how you up the stakes in this chapter. Especially when poor Foster gets whacked pretty badly. The place these guys are in is a real death trap, huh? Fire and steel threats lurking about. I assume it is going to be super dark too, to make it far easier for them to accidentally uncover one of these threats.

We get to meet a major threat though, don’t we? I love how you make the Zoroark incredibly strong off the bat. It gives me some Homelander entrance vibes – and that scene of them and Foster getting hit is unforgettable.

Be aware of missing commas, we don’t want a “Let’s eat grandma” situation. It only happens once or twice in speech, but just so you are aware of it, an example is “You alright Rex” – there should be a comma after alright. Remember, if you are addressing someone, the comma goes before their name; if you are doing an action to someone, it does not. I am glad the rest of the tags were adjusted though to fix the errors pointed out previously, although a few errors still exist on that front, it is now much cleaner.

I am a little confused by the ending, but I think that is supposed to be like that, right? Rex has just reawakened from it all. I think the slight disconnect works well. It’s almost as if parts of Rex’s memories are missing.

Episode 1- Chapter 5
I like how you incorporate the relationship between Rex and Foster throughout the chapter, with Rex taking charge, and Foster being the support. I wonder if this will change at some point, when Foster’s skills become more important than Rex’s leadership? Either way, they have found themselves in a little bit of a mess, and I enjoyed the way in which their predicament was described.

The introduction to Samiel was perplexing. His self-discovery process, where he had to examine himself to understand his identity, was an interesting choice. However, his conclusion that he was too small to be a Cinderace, without considering the possibility of being a Raboot, was a bit confusing. Clarifying his thought process could help the reader better understand his character.

The introduction to Foster's (my favourite furret’s) fate here is so sad. I wish we’d gotten more time to know him. Was it ever established as to why Rex has yet to evolve into Blaziken? Is it an age thing in this world, or a strength thing? That would add a lot more depth, I think, to the world’s structure—as both have their merits and drawbacks.

Regarding the time skips and introduction to the kirlia, I am glad you made it very clear when it happened, although I am not sure what is real and what isn’t. I cannot recall if the time difference between this adventure and the present day was mentioned in a previous chapter, so it might be worth considering adding a notation depicting how long it has been – if it is real, anyway. The jarring nature of it, if some of the sequences aren’t real, are very well written and place the reader in Rex’s shoes (if he wore shoes, that is).
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Review: When the Day Met the Night

This one shot is written in the second person, which is incredibly hard to do. It takes a lot of focus, and I respect the effort to do so. The ending is nice, short, and to the point, finally giving a name to the second person we are supposedly. It is a happy ending to a happy one-shot. The dialogue is also short and sweet and done well to keep with the themes of the one-shot. The characters seem okay. We get to meet Hau briefly and his background briefly, which is nice. A short build-up of how things ended up how they are is nicely written. The grammar is on point throughout the one-shot, and I didn’t notice anything major or even minorly abnormal. Overall a nice little one-shot.
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Review: The Promise

One shot
Honestly, I didn't expect this to go the way it did.

The emotion behind each action the trainer does is well conveyed and gives a good idea of what this experience meant to her. This theme is carried throughout the chapter, and with her backstory set in place very early on, or at least elements of it, we, the reader get to see some of her motivations. Furthermore, her nickname, "Ghost Girl" is neither described as being negative or positive, which I suppose leaves the whole situation up to the reader to interpret. Working in such a place would certainly leave a mark, especially at night - pokémon around you or not. A lot of people would find it very unnerving. Regardless, I like how she is portrayed and able to use her knowledge and home ground to catch the pokémon.

A nice little read.
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Review: To Catch 'em All (And Live To Tell The Tale)

Chapter 1:1
The opening of this story is interesting, as the professors included at the start are Prof. Rowan from Sinnoh and Prof. Oak from Kanto, and not Prof. Elm from Johto. I wonder if there is a specific reason why Prof. Elm. Isn’t the one meeting up with Prof. Oak. Furthermore, I like how you built in the other regions through Prof. Birch from Hoenn.

In regards to the personalities painted of the two professors. The more upbeat and wisdom of Prof Oak contrasts with the serious nature of Prof. Rowan. I think the most notable however, is Prof. Birch being energetic. His first scene depicts him as incredibly jolly, compared to his more serious counterparts. This is very relatable to how a player would meet him in the game, scatty, and not what you would call a typical professor.

The chapter’s ending is interesting. I like how it paints the reader into the beginning of a trainer’s adventure, finding the professor. However, I am not too sure about the grammar of the last sentence. It seems a little out of place, as the character focus has shifted for a single line. It is assumed the man mentioned in the last sentence is Prof. Birch. It might be better to mention him by name if this is the case.

Lastly, the dialogue in the chapter was good, and felt realistic to read. The characters behave in a relatable manner throughout the chapter, and their relationships are clear throughout the chapter.

Chapter 1:2
This chapter seemed intriguing enough. The fact that Oak seems on edge at the start gives a good indication that he is expecting something or someone - or has a bad feeling about what is going on. The choice of exeggutor as his pokémon here is interesting, as it is an often very overlooked pokémon (despite being pretty decent). I assume this is a Kantonian exeggutor and not an Alohlan one. To add clarification, it might be worth adding a little bit of description surrounding exeggutor's appearance.

Grammar-wise and spelling-wise, the chapter seemed pretty consistent. The spelling, especially, was precise. I did notice one misspelling of journeys (spelt as journies), though. My one issue with the grammar is in relation to dialogue. Sometimes, it is slightly harder to track who is talking as you don’t tag who is talking. A vital example of this was the first three sets of text between the aide and Oak – and this is mainly because there is a bit of description without dialogue in between two sets of speech. This becomes a little more confusing at the end when you have Prof. Oak, Mr. Pokémon and Ethan all present – so a little clarity here would really make the ending smoother.

Lastly, the pace of this chapter was consistent and well planned out. It gives a clear impression that the characters are not in any immediate danger, despite the spookiness or high alert earlier on. There wasn’t any choppiness to it, which helped with the flow of reading it.

Chapter 1:3
The plot of this chapter seems to focus the story. The portrayal of the goal designation is natural, and we get to see more of the characters interact in one way or another. I am glad that Red makes an appearance, seeing as he is the pokémon trainer. Although I wish we’d gotten to see even more of him earlier – however, as the focus of the story right now is on that of the professors, it is understandable as to why that isn’t the case.

You formed the relationships between the characters well here, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation between Red and Dawn, which seemed to set some precedence for the upcoming chapters.

The dialogue tags were generally better in this chapter than in the previous chapter. However, there were times when a tag would have been helpful. Furthermore, sometimes you add a new paragraph to a section where it isn’t required – for example, you will have a section of speech followed by a second paragraph of actions related to the character who had spoken – you can keep these together. In some cases, it may improve the flow of certain sections.

Overall, though, the chapter is well written, and I hope the next chapter continues to build upon what has been set out here. I hope we get to see some more of professor Birch and professor Elm interacting – mostly because they seem to have slightly different personalities which could coincide nicely, but could also lead to a chaotic resolve to a situation.
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Review: Something About the Night Sky New

One shot
Firstly, the characters chosen are interesting figures in the pokémon universe. Lucian is one of the characters who I have noticed gets overlooked a fair amount – and I believe this is somewhat true of Shauntal as well. The forgotten members of the Elite Four. I am glad you decided to give these characters the spotlight in comparison to some rather more actively known characters (like N, for example). I do have a question regarding them. If Lucian and Shauntal are both active members of their respective region’s Elite Four, when do they get time to see each other? The impression I got from the first few paragraphs is that this isn’t a very common thing – at least in person.

Regarding grammar and spelling, upon a few readings, I didn’t notice any obvious or glaring errors in the text, which made reading the story a good experience. However, I did find myself having to look up a few words here and there as they weren’t what I’d consider to be common words. Perhaps I imagined it, but was there a nod to the famous Perks of being a Wallflower among the lines surrounding Shauntal? Regarding the speech-related grammar, I am glad that the tags lined up and were easy to follow, as that is often tripped over.

I’m quite intrigued by the timeframe in which this meeting takes place and what that would mean for their feelings towards one another. Has the Sinnoh incident surrounding Team Galactic occurred for Lucian, and has the Unova Incident or Incidents surrounding the attack on the Elite Four and Alder happened? This aspect of the plot has definitely piqued my curiosity.

Lastly, I am glad you managed to capture the characters' personalities clearly. They have some contrast, which makes telling them apart when they are talking simplistic. The way their relationship is depicted feels realistic and not forced, as they bond over something they enjoy rather than having an outright awkward conversation.

Overall, a good one-shot.
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Review: ¡Patito! New

Alright, so Ferdinand is cute. I like the way his logic is constructed - you can tell he is very young via his thought processes, and it is done very clearly too. It is interesting how he cannot determine the difference between hair and feathers early on – but later he can (while learning how to use water gun). I noticed that there was a mention of good and bad humans early on, which indicates he does have some understanding of right and wrong. I think this puts Ferdinand in an interesting stand point, as he is young, and is a little confused by certain concepts, and overwhelmed by others - as noted later on by the mention of having three parents - but is able to determine his own morals, at least to some degree.

Grammatically, the piece read fine, although I did notice a typo of Ferdinand in one line in particular. These things do happen though.

"Barely a few days had passed, and Feridinand’s new den was already under attack."

I am also unsure if this was meant to be in brackets or not, because it comes across more as an outloud statement.

Sick? The hospital?!?! The hospital was only for very sick or very hurt people!

The pacing seems consistent throughout, with the time jumps being welded into the text rather than outright depicted by a divider. It seems to work in this story, as the focus is on a specific event and not multiple events going on.

I think you do a good job at depicting the discovery of the human’s names. It almost came across as the first time you’d hear your parents call each other by their first names rather than as “Mum” and “Dad” to one another. It makes the perspective of Ferdinand feel more natural. The contrast between the beginning and ending is pretty large. The mood is a completely different shift, and I think that shows a lot about how Ferdinand has changed throughout this short piece.

The relationship between the parent and child is interesting. It’s well constructed and it clear that Ferdinand has a strong bond with them. I am surprised we don’t see any temper tantrums, or over-questioning of why something is the way it is from Ferdinand, especially at a young age – having younger siblings myself, I remember having to deal with the constant ‘why’ and even a few other scenarios. It’d be nice to also see one of those ‘child-logic’ situations be brought up – ie: something that would make sense to Ferdinand, but would be a challenge for the parents to solve – I think the closest you get to this is with the talk and thoughts surrounding Tziráchi. As I have already mentioned, I think you handle the whole parents and their first names thing very well. It is also good to see the parents acting in such a way to comfort a young child.
Review: Scissorhands New

This one-shot has an exciting set of concepts. For example, having the whole piece written in the second person is a clever way of giving the readers the perspective of the narrating character. I think the opening paints a clear picture of how the character feels – the emphasis on wanting to be alone is undoubtedly reciprocated, and a realistic feeling that one who has just been told they died would feel. The existence of the cold statements only adds to the sense of loneliness that seems to surround the narrating character. However, it isn’t clear who is saying these things – I assume these were told to the character prior to their disappearing act into the cave.

Grammatically, in terms of commas, etc, the piece reads really well. I acknowledge the author’s note stating that you are Spanish, and thus, some of the English might be wrong, and that’s okay. There are a few scattered instances throughout where the wrong extension of the stem verb is used. However, this mostly seems to be concentrated in the first third of the story. The further down you read, the less of these mistakes are visible. Furthermore, there are a few cases in which an awkward phrase was used – which I understand what you mean – but there is a better way to say it. For example, near the end, use ‘At moments’, which is fine, although a better way of saying it in the context of the sentences would be ‘There were times’.

Lastly, the characters themselves seem interesting enough. Mewtwo’s self-imposed emotional restrictions are an exciting way to look at how they feel. Their losses and trauma are clearly affecting how they act towards others. The introduction of the little girl into their life is nicely written and somewhat sweet. You clearly depict how much she means to Mewtwo – especially adding the detail of how she cared for the sick pokémon.

Overall, an interesting little one-shot on the Mewtwo situation.
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Review: A Beautiful, Brilliant Panoply New

I think this fic is interesting. The focus on the new year is pretty unique – and the mention of the ritualistic behaviour done by individuals regarding the new year as part of superstition gives a clear idea of how their world operates in that sense.

Unfortunately, I did struggle to read some of this fiction, not because of the grammar, or the words being used – but the formatting. Currently there are no spaces between paragraphs and the text itself comes across as a wall. There are no indents in the paragraphs to mark where they begin as an alternative. Once this is fixed, it will be much smoother to read.

Character wise, I am glad Lucian appears here (as he appeared in one of your other fics). The way that Lucian and Shauntal interact with each other is nice and realistic. It seems to connect to some extent to your other fic (Something about the Night Sky), in the sense that their relationship seems to be reinforced between the two fics. I like how you depict how kind Shauntel is, especially when she is taking care of the freezing cold and wet Lucian.

Overall a nice little one-shot painting their relationship.
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Review: The Iron Mon New

Chapterless Fiction
I’d like to start by stating that Iron Man (or Tony Stark) is my favourite avenger, so the concept of including him in the pokémon world intrigues me. Combining the two universes does open up a lot of possibilities, and raises a lot of questions, such as: What constitutes a weapon in this world? What common machines from the Marvel Universe would be replaced by pokémon, or vice versa. You certainly have a lot of potential with the world building, if constructed thoroughly, it could allow you have flexibility in regards to what would work, and what’s best to alter accordingly.

Description wise, I think there is some in here, like the uniforms and the more technical aspects of things, but what does the room where Tony has been taken look like? Is it grey, black, white? You say it is dimly lit, but if he is going to work in there, how? What do the lights look like? Are they flickering? Is it a pokémon that is doing the lighting up? What does Tony feel, or what is he thinking? A lot of these things could be solved by the infamous line of: show not tell.

Furthermore, looking at the grammar in the chapters and the formatting, I think a review of these would improve the readability and smoothness of the story. What do I mean by this? An example of something that could be done grammar wise is to make sure the different speakers are split. The general rule is: for each new speaker there is a new paragraph. This will just make it easier to see who is speaking, and to register the change in tone. Similarly, when switching between an author’s note and the chapter’s content, maybe use a divider line (indicated with the ‘HR’ in BBCODE), or have an annotation to indicate where the author’s note starts, and where the story starts.

Lastly, I think it is very interesting to use Team Rocket as the villains here and not Team Plasma. I wonder why you chose them? I like the fact this subverted my expectations, because when I think of evil scientists who would benefit from Tony’s work – I think Team Plasma – and Colress. I wonder if Colress will have a bigger role to play later on, as you state Tony, in this world, is from Unova. I’m also glad that you are using the normal Team Rocket outfits rather than the Rainbow Rocket outfits. It brings a nice sense of nostalgia to the plate. I assume you are connecting the Movie Iron Man (2008) to the pokémon world rather than the comic book version (1968).

Overall, an interesting concept and I hope you are able to build it up.
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Review: In All the Right Places New

This drabble creates a very well-constructed atmosphere in such a small number of words. The description that is used to depict the relationship between Leaf and Lucas. In particular, I like the attention to detail that you have included regarding Lucas’s personality through his tie choice. I wonder how much of Professor Rowan’s personality canonically strict and to the point personality had impacted his portrayal in this drabble. Furthermore, I like how you manage to balance Leaf’s more elegant nature with how she feels towards Lucas.

In this piece, like Lisianthus said, the formatting is much better and the paragraphs are clearly marked. Furthermore, the grammar is clearcut and correct for the most part throughout. Although, I believe in a few cases an additional comma, or semi colon could break up some of the sentences a little. However, that is more of a nitpick than a major concern.
Review: Snatcher New

This fic definitely reminds me of those real-life horror stories – the ones where an individual’s loved ones are right beside them in the woods, they turn around, and their loved one disappears. You do a fantastic job at reiterating this underlying sense of uncertainty and eeriness throughout through the subtle hints. Another thing you do very well is expressing the unease and sense of danger through the simple act of Emmet being good at hide and seek – something that could easily turn into a disaster in an area which is not well known by the characters as a whole. This underlying danger factor is made far more concerning due to the existence of pokémon in the world. The fact that a drifloon, hypno or other pokémon could seize a child on a whim emphasizes how much you must have considered how Emmet’s talent is very much unideal.

You handle the pokémon threat well in the nightmare sequence, in which your description makes a vivid picture of how things can turn ugly very quicky – I wonder how often do pokémon attacks occur in this world? The way that Skyla, and Elesa in particular are incredibly excitable, especially around the mention of a Zorua almost gives the sense of false comfort. Their over curiosity leads me to other world questions, such as: are children, and teenagers taught the risk of specific pokémon? Are they taught about it, or is it a taboo topic? Regardless, throughout the piece you do a great job of separating the two twin’s personalities. Ingo comes across well, and as the kind of person you’d want in your corner if you were having a bad day, while Emmet comes across as more distant. Having completely different personalities does clearly define them, and I think that helps particularly with the impact of the ending.

Grammatically, everything is smooth and fluent, although there is a point later in the story (After the Hallow’s Eve) where some paragraphs have merged into one. There are no spaces between them, or there are back-to-back speech marks with nothing in between. The latter did throw me off a little bit regarding who was speaking and acting. Despite this, the pace had just about the right amount of change – with the nightmare sequence and the ending adding tension and pressure via the change of pace.

Lastly, the opening and ending do give a very creepy vibe. I like how the ending makes you want to read the story back through and try and spot potential clues as to what has gone on and since when. Generally speaking, the ending is, what I consider to be, a brutal snap to the reality of the world at hand. Something which a lot of horror stories lose track of along the way. I feel as if you nailed that. I did struggle to follow the time passed between the beginning and heading, but I get the impression that a considerable amount of time had passed between them, mostly due to the mention of them not being kids anymore, and their known positions by the end of the story. The Ingo we meet at the beginning has definitely changed by the end, or at least that’s how he comes across. I am left wondering how he will continue to cope, given the ending, and the horrors of what he has bared witness to.
Review: Rollercoaster New


This poem hits the nail on the head when it comes to experiencing one’s first rollercoaster ride. You manage to depict a lot of emotions in a short amount of time. The reference to waiting times seeming like an eternity is spot on, and the connection you make with this and the rider’s nervousness is very relatable.

I must admit I am unfamiliar with the grammar rules relating to poetry. It looks fine, though. I did expect to see some commas at the end of each sentence, but I believe that’s not necessarily a rule. I am not sure about the two lines:

As I begin my trial by speed
That the drip we are climbing is The Big One

I feel like there should be some punctuation at the end here, just because it is the end of the stanza. However, feel free to disagree.

You state that this was inspired by your first rollercoaster ride, which begs the question of what type of rollercoaster it was. A standard metal one or a wooden one? I think that would have been a curious description point to add to the poem – as someone who has ridden both, I think they definitely feel very different.

Overall, I enjoyed this poem, as it was very thought and memory-provoking: it reminded me of my trip to Anaheim, California – and my time on The Ghost Rider rollercoaster.
Review: Mewtwo Fanfic New

Chapter 1
The concept of the chapter is compelling, in the sense of it being a memory and not an active event. You do a good job of making this clear in two ways: outright stating it, and secondly making a clear shift in tense.

The description that you have provided in a short chapter is well constructed, and does paint a good grasping picture of the memories that Mewtwo is going through at the time of these memories being created. In particular, how you portray him coming to terms with his current situation, and the daze and uncertain situation he had found himself in. If I understand this correctly, Mewtwo can move around to some extent, as implied by his soothing of his headache, I wonder if this was an oversight on the behalf of those who captured Mewtwo in the first place.

Unfortunately, the formatting does make some of the text slightly hard to read, as the dividing lines between each paragraph, be it by an actual divider, a blank line, or an indent are missing. This sometimes happens on the forums for whatever reason. If you were to edit this, the paragraphs would be much clearer to read.

Lastly, Mewtwo’s personality is very clearly depicted. The mention of all of his feelings rushing into his mind upon waking up, and becoming aware of his unfortunate circumstances is very reminiscent of the older pokémon movies, or at least that’s what comes to mind. The repeated anger and hate seemingly influence how strong his psychic abilities are clearly show how much of a danger he is to others and himself.
Review: A Contemplation New

This fic takes a step back from what I’d call the busy world, and I like that. The discussion about Space is constantly up for debate and being investigated in our own reality; I like how you bring it up in the pokémon world – mainly as a pokémon such as deoxys exists. Lucas entering the forefront of such discoveries would be a charged announcement. I like how you show that through his walk through Eterna Forest and how it is converted into a rush to prepare for his exciting new job.

The job you’ve picked out for Lucas does seem to match what is generally known about him in the broader poké-verse. He is someone who deals with data and studying (as traditionally, he is Rowan’s aide). However, I don’t know how much this fic leans on to the original background of Lucas. Furthermore, I like how you mention Mossdeep’s space centre, as Hoenn was the generation where I’d say the space pokémon began (deoxys versus rayquaza). Also, with generation four being the generation where the literal Space legendary (palkia) was released, centring the fiction in Sinnoh is neat.

I know I’ve brought up formatting before, so I’m going to tell you that the formatting was fine in this piece. The grammar was well constructed, and the sentences made sense. The pacing was consistent throughout. There were a few words I had to look up the meaning of, which did interrupt me a little bit, but that’s more of a nitpick than an actual flaw with the story at hand. You did a great job.
Review: A Rainy Day in Chun-Nan New

Throughout this piece, the description is very well written. It creates a wonderful scene for the discussion between Silver and Blaze. The tone is set nicely by the rain. Although I do confess I am not very familiar with the Sonic fandom, I believe you got their character traits down pretty well. Particularly paying note to Silver’s reaction of being fascinated by the room they ended up in.

While reading through it, I noticed that there are some instances where you don’t need to start a new paragraph, as what is in the next section is an action associated with the person who is speaking. This can disrupt the flow of what’s going on a little, as it introduces a small gap when it isn’t needed.

The opening felt like they had some different tones, with the opening being more charged with concern. At the same time, the ending delivers a level of relief and respite, perhaps due to Silver’s reactions to what’s going on despite the worrying circumstances for the characters.

Is Silver intentionally keeping his distance from the Sonic-Eggman incident going on in this setting? Or is he biding his time? If my understanding is correct, his character is known for being driven by good intentions and setting things right. I am curious as to how the current situation with Blaze has changed his mindset, especially as he is stopped in his tracks by Blaze mentioning the downpour going on. Lastly, I wonder how the ambush happened, as it is mentioned almost in passing by Blaze. I think adding a few details about what went down in the ambush would be a good way of showing how much or how little of the event Blaze managed to comprehend before Sonic took off after Eggman. Primarily, since she is relaying this information to Silver, you could indicate how reliable of a narrator she is, regardless of her alignment.
Review: Wallace En Paldea New

Chapter 1
This piece so far has some carefully constructed content, and I get the impression there is a lot going on in the background of these characters, which may come back into the forefront. As someone who has been affected by something similar to that of the content warning list, I am curious as to how you will deal with it when it comes up - but I am sure you will handle it well.

Regarding some of the content, and in particular the ongoing conversation. The conversation surrounding Rika’s nationality caught my attention immediately. Her response does give a good indication of her personality. She seems less bothered by it than Wallace. I wonder if that’s because she’s used to it being a part of her. Also, that raises the question of how nationalities are distributed and assigned in this world. Judging by what Rika has said, I assume it is done by birth and only by birth – rather than where one has lived – and I presume Rika is yet to pursue alternative citizenship. Furthermore, how Wallace interacts with Hassel is interesting, referring to him as Mr rather than just his name. Is there any particular reason for this? Since he doesn’t do the same for Rika.

The grammar is good, as is the spelling. There are a few cases where it feels like you are repeating some words, even if you aren’t quite doing so. I think this is most apparent when describing the colours and the books. Instead of art books, you could change it to its aligning category potentially. This could assist with what comes across as re-occurring words – although it might be unable to be helped. There were one or two cases where the new paragraph wasn’t strictly necessary, but it wasn’t significantly noticeable, and the flow was not interrupted, which is good.

The implications you have left regarding the bruises on Wallace is interesting. You do an excellent job of displaying his feelings on the matter. Would Rita have suspected there was something there? The fact you emphasise his conscious awareness of the bruises and he actively puts forward an answer to a question that isn’t directly presented indicates the emotional battle Wallace is dealing with and how it is playing on his mind, if only subconsciously, at that moment.

Chapter 2
Character-wise, I am glad Wallace gets to meet and interact with Salvatore. Salvatore was my second favourite character in Scarlett and Violet and it’s nice to see him in action. I think you nail his personality really well, and their interaction definitely gives off a good impression. I suspect and hope he will become someone that Wallace can lean on in when he needs someone he can rely on. Someone once said to me that if you speak to someone in a common language you speak to their head. If you speak with someone in their native language, you speak to their heart. I think you manage to get that sentiment across well at the end, through Wallace’s want to talk about his own native language. The fact that Salvatore is willing to listen to him on such a topic, I feel is important for Wallace, and I think you have created some nice stepping stones for his friendship and mentor-student bond to grow from here if you choose to go down that path.

Wallace just felt lost, lost and small.

Grammatically I did notice a few things that may work better if changed slightly. The order here doesn’t quite sit right with me. I think if you switch small and lost around it would sound slightly better. I think it is because one is describing Wallace himself, and the other his situation. Also, you may have unintentionally repeated small, be it in the first and third paragraphs. Maybe changing one of them to something like: overwhelmed, or engulfed, perhaps even isolated. All of these words, I believe, while not directly a synonym of small could be used to give that same impression.

I like how we get a little bit more of the underlying worldbuilding in this chapter. How one would get a vest on a spheal, out of curiosity? I suppose their technology has created a way to get specific items of clothing and equipment which are suited to all kinds of pokémon. Regarding service pokémon, are there any pokémon that would be deemed unsuitable to be a service pokémon, IE: houndoom, hydreigon, magcargo, etc? Just from a worldbuilding perspective, I think this is a fascinating topic that you could bring up again and investigate further if you wanted, even if it’s just something in the background.
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Review: A Dream Vacation New

Firstly, I like the selection of characters here. Cynthia, Lance and Steven all have varying backgrounds from what I understand. I like the connection and comments surrounding Lance and Cynthia’s garchomp, as it is one of her most iconic pokémon and with Lance being a dragon type specialist there is room for bonding there. I also like how you call back to Cyrus. That one whisper from Cynthia surrounding Cyrus not having remorse gives a good indication about her personality in this setting. It gives me the impression there is some regret, or thoughtfulness crossing her mind, which you back up a few lines later.

While reading, the grammar for the most part seemed fine. The spelling was great. You used a variety of words and often avoided repetition, which worked well at indicating the character’s maturity and understanding towards one another. These characters, I assume, are in their adulthood and not late teens or early twenties? (I assume because of Cynthia’s current connection to historians.)

Although, when I was reading I did end up stumbling over a few sentences. For example:

There had been a shortage of starter Pokémon at the time of her own journey to set off.

This sentence is a little fragmented and it feels like something is missing here. I understand what you are trying to portray, but the sentence itself sounds slightly off. I think you might be missing the word ‘with’ at the end. It may be better to start with the second clause here instead. IE: ‘At the time of her own journey, there had been a shortage of starter Pokémon to set off with.’ That way the following sentence has a smoother connection. Feel free to disagree, however.

Furthermore, throughout the piece I noticed some minor inconsistencies in speech, something which we are all guilty of. This is the rule I was taught, and I think the easiest way to divide it is into tags and actions. Tags have commas and are lowercase, and actions have full stops and a new sentence. For example:

“I like pokémon,”he said in agreement.

Compared to:

“I like pokémon.” He raised his glass in agreement.

Lastly, I like how the ending portrays Steven and Lance helping Cynthia, through her love of dessert. It shows they know her very well, and that they will always be there to support her. It was a clever twist for them to be in the shape of the three starters from Sinnoh – a good reminder of where one started their trip. Leaving their desserts for her to choose first is incredibly sweet and a wonderful ending for these characters.
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