Reviews for The Ash Connection II: The Rising
anjumstar chapter 32 . 1/10
Okay, I left a whole host of reviews on this fic way back in 2017, and I feel like they were deeply humiliating, because I'm sure that I included concrit, because that's what I did back then, and, like, for 10 YEARS before anyone let me know that that was kind of a mean thing to do. I went back and reread the review I left on the last chap (hence why I'm a guest now), and luckily that was basically all gushing. Not too humiliating, though I didn't dare look at the rest. Anyway, I'd like to apologize for any of the stupid things I said in past reviews. I especially remember saying stupid stuff for my TACI review and I can't even bear to look. So sorry.

ANYWAY. It's been 7 years of me being like this is the best story that has ever existed. Not just the best fanfic, but the best story ever. It blew my mind back in 2017, and it's just never left. It's been built up almost mythologically as this unbeatable text, but I'd never reread it because, well, obviously TAC and then this are quite the undertaking. But I've been wanting to write a story for a long time now with a more expansive plot, utilizing more characters, and I wanted to revisit how the master did it. And since the plots of both fics had stuck with me really well, I figured there was nothing wrong with just diving straight into TACII, because even though TACI is a 10/10, TACII is an 11/10. At least.

And I was blown away. Like, I'd known this fic was amazing. It's the best thing I've ever read. But it's been 7 years, I was in college then, I've grown a lot, you were really quite young when you wrote this. But if anything, it honestly got better. I'm super picky and super critical (if that wasn't obvious from the past concrit, sorry sorry again), and, like. This is perfect. I already know I'm not going to have nearly enough space in this review box to say everything that I want to say, but I have a million things to say about how well crafted this fic is.

Somehow, despite being nearly half a mil words long, it is so. economical. in what you included. Not a single moment is unnecessary. Literally, the little mistake with ordering too much pens is what leads to Torterra's death (which was still the most mindblowing moment of the fic for me. Since reading this fic, Turtwig/Torterra have become my fave Pokemon, just because what happened here was so impactful.) The gift of the heartscale ends up being the cure. Diantha's gift way at the beginning. Even just the little moment of foreshadowing with Caitlyn towards the baby. It's so interesting reading it the second time, because you catch all these moments and know that they're all leading somewhere. And somehow, none of these moments feel shoe-horned in when they happen or unearned later on when they lead to something. It all feels so natural, and I have to assume that's because you've characterized the characters and their interpersonal relationships so specifically. And let's talk about the characters.

You made me love Paul. When I think of Paul, I think of this Paul, and I love him. He might be my favorite character in this whole story. But I loved the main cast of characters you had with, I would say, Paul, Iris, Leaf, Cilan, and Drew as the top five. You made them all very distinct, with very distinct relationships to and between each other. Plus, the other, oh, 30 or so main characters (I can't relegate any of them to supporting, I CAN'T! They're all vital!) They're all so fleshed out, and part of that is due to the first book, but hey, I didn't reread that one this time, and even still, those characters didn't feel any more real than Burgundy and Georgia did.

It was actually really interesting rereading this fic, because there are a few scenes that I've reread many many times in the last seven years. Dawn and Paul's moment of getting back together after having been manipulated by Zoey. The pregnancy reveal at the end. The way Trip takes care of Cilan and Iris after the miscarriage. I've read those three bits in particular many times, and it was so interesting to read them in full with the context again. Also, I have to admit! I read this entirely using TTS. I just don't have any time to read rn (masters degree is so much reading, ugh), but I had a lot of non-language processing work that I could do with audiobooks or podcasts on, and so I went ahead and TTS'd this. And, let me tell you, the quality was horrible, haha, but even that didn't bring down the experience of reading this. It was magnificent. So the TTS reader was barreling through these events that were happening and I was just like "no, no, no, not Torterra, it' can't happen again!" And I can't believe how much of it I remembered. Aside from those scenes I mentioned, I haven't revisited this fic since then. I did read your whole tumblr account after reading it, lol, and I've recounted the glories of this fic to Pokemon and non-Pokemon fans alike, which has kept the plot fresh. But I was really shocked that I remembered almost everything. And I don't have the best memory, lol, I write chapters, send them to my beta, and then have no clue what she's talking about regarding what I'd only written a week ago. Really not the best. But your writing, the mastery of this story, and the way that everything is so connected, and paced out so well, made it exceedingly memorable. It's because everything leads into each other so well and makes so much sense. Like, of course I remember everything with Drew and his dad, because it's repeated with the other victims and ties back in. Of course I remember that that Bunneary evolved, because mega evolution ended up being the key. Like. Masterful.

Anyway, so it ended up not being clarifying at all as to how to plot out my own fic, simply because every stroke was a masterstroke in this fic, and that seems totally unattainable, haha. And you were only 22? I'm dead. Like. Dead. This story did teach me things at the time about plotting, mainly that sometimes the best thing to do is the worst thing that could happen to your character (poor Paul, Iris, and Cilan, but they're the best moments, really, and I'm not even an angst fanatic), and that these disasters help with pacing and keeping characters from figuring things out too fast. Those were good lessons. But I still have no idea how you did it. How it was even possible. How this even exists. For free. For us. And how I ever dared complain about any details? Idiot. I'm so glad I've grown.

Anyway, I'm sure I've hit my word count, so I'll leave it there, but thank you so much for this.
CherryBlossomFairy chapter 32 . 1/1
I do an annual re-read of the Ash Connection stories, and they never disappoint. The pacing, multi-dimensional characters, and writing style never cease to enthrall me. There are so many great characters and arcs. Gary achieving his research break through, Iris coming into her own as a champion, Burgundy getting into the S-Class program, and of course Ash becoming champion. We get to see so much development accross many different characters and the potential for more with Max gearing up to compete for the Hoenn championship, contests taking off in Unnova, Zoey likely getting a job at Hearthstone. Ugh, and the romances were phenomenal. Drew and May are the typical super cute romantic couple, and Leaf and Gary are hilarious with their banter and quips. Ash and Misty FINALLY got together. I also loved seeing Trip and Georgia and Burgundy and Chili get together. I am in awe with how well written and planned all of the plots came together. Thank you for this truely masterful story.
CELMYAEPYEN.06 chapter 32 . 6/4/2023
God, it took me 25 days to finish this story, I don't regret anything, it was a magnificent story, I really liked it, from when they tried to shoot Iris, until they discovered the cure, you had me hooked on the story, I couldn't stop reading, well, except for when I had to do my everyday things hahahahaha
The relationship between the characters is so great, I really like it, it's very fluid and enjoyable, so I love reading about this universe, well, for what is clear, I hope to read the third part of this story soon now with Ash from champion, I want to know what kind of things he will do in charge, I want to see how things change when he is in the lead and of course I also want to see more of his and Misty's relationship hahahahaha
We read in the next part!
Please chapter 32 . 6/2/2023
Please where is the trilogy? I read both of your stories in two weeks i couldn’t stop, I hope you are well and your writing inspiration comes back! Thank you for this beautiful story!
DianieQueen chapter 32 . 2/13/2023
Hi Lu
I just want to say I really love the Ash Connection ad I was wondering if you wre going to carry on.
Guest chapter 2 . 6/13/2022
I really like how you write Ash and Misty's relationship. I hope you write some other works featuring them too.
Guest chapter 2 . 6/13/2022
TAC 1 and 2 are the most beautiful Pokemon fanfictions I have ever read and nothing on this site even comes close to it in terms of plot, characterisation, development and depiction of relationships, the characters backstories and humour. It is so very well written. Thank you for writing this and I hope you will be back soon with the third part of this amazing story.
champion lyra chapter 32 . 2/17/2022
gosh i did not expect to get nearly as emotional as i did revisiting this. fun fact: when you were publishing this, i would look at your tumblr all the time to see everyone's reactions. my then-boyfriend (now husband! crazy!) still remembers the night you brutally killed paul's torterra and made me cry and brings it up from time to time - especially your "woman laughing eating salad" reactions.
anyways, for real, this series will always hold such a special place in my heart. thank you for the time, effort, energy, and love you poured into this.
JellyLollie chapter 5 . 12/16/2021
so. 86th time reading tac or whatever. I know this is kinda irrelevant but I have questions. I don't expect you to answer, it's just that the more I read the series, more details I spot. since the PIA evaluates gyms and other pokemon related things, would they also check contest halls and stuff? if drewco are bringing contests to Unova, the PIA would be involved at some point. Contesta could take care of that when things become more consolidated, like before you open a new hall or sth. but even when it comes to the Don George events, shouldn't the PIA be notified? like, sure, the battle tournaments are okay but shouldn't you need a different "permit" to throw a contest there? I think it would be nice to have it at least mentioned somewhere, you know? maybe drew wouldn't know about it but maybe May or Barry would because they're league kids. and someone would throw a "btw, the PIA was contacted. we're legal." or maybe have the PIA send some representatives to make the safety check-ins during the contest in Nimbasa. it's cool how characters check with the PIA on different occasions, I think I just wish I could see more of it. it looks like a very interesting organization and I'd love to see other characters interacting with it.
Pokemaster06 chapter 1 . 7/28/2021
Please don't tell me you're Marie Lu, are you?
Guest chapter 5 . 5/23/2021
F for Serena
Guest chapter 3 . 5/22/2021
Nice to see silver. Also love the effort you put into writing down that course syllabus.
Guest chapter 1 . 5/21/2021
What a start!
JellyLollie chapter 22 . 10/18/2020
okay, two sentences down, and winona says he was a e4 before. disregard previous ramblings. thank you
JellyLollie chapter 22 . 10/18/2020
hi. you don't have to answer me, but I was thinking about something... part of the problem of iris' nomination is that she was just a gym leader before becoming champion... what about wallace? wasn't he a gym leader before steven stepped down? or being a top coordinator (and being known in the coordinating circuit) doesn't give him the same problem? okay, now that I think about it, I guess it makes sense. Wallace had a name for himself and a unquestionable reputation to back him up unlike iris. okay. thanks for your time and sorry for disturbing you, lu. hope you're doing well
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