|Reviews for A Home Far Away|
| SparklingEspeon chapter 20 . 2/2/2020
Review of chapters 19 - 20
So there's another two-parter coming up, and I'm doing this review as a quick interlude thing between the *last* two-parter review. Chapters 19 and 20 both deal with incredibly different subject matters, so I'll give each one its own section and go from there.
Firstly, ~Espeon's Chapter~
When I read 'Espeonage' in the chapter bar, I had thought it would be about Weavile sticking her nose into Espeon's business (And she does; to an extent). Oh My God how wrong I was. Instead, 'Espeonage' follows Espeon around as he sews his evil plots and simultaneously befriends/spites several pokemon at once.
I officially retract my statement from earlier - Weavile has problems, but *Espeon* is the psychopath. It's scary to see how many parts he can play so flawlessly - the honest arse; the earnest henchmon; the concerned ex-guild-mon, etc. He's like a chameleon who can be whatever he wants to be at anytime; so long as he keeps all his webs of lies self-contained to each other.
The second large thing I think this chapter does is that it seems to set Espeon up as The Villain instead of Persian- Once you see what he gets up to, it's clear who's really calling the shots. And as long as he knows when to call shots and when to lay low, only one 'mon will ever know what he's doing...
Either way - TL;DR, Espeon scares me.
~Riley and Co.~
Ooh this is where things begin to merge with each other! But I'll get to that in a minute.
First I wanna go over the opening scene, in which a carbink is killed by a swanna who was apparently sent to assassinate him. I'm assuming this will become a larger thing later, as this carbink hasn't appeared before so that murder can't be the payoff to anything. Or was it just a fluke; as an excuse to get Team Hellraisers and Joker in the same place? IDK yet.
So, after that, we're shown Team Hellraisers investigating Joker's tent; although they don't seem to recognize that it belongs to Joker. I wonder why? He seems to be a publich Icon if his circus is that famous, and I find it hard to believe that someone didn't connect the dots.
Aww, poor buneary :( she's too innocent for dubious maybe-crime work (IDK if Joker actually has anything illegal on his record aside from the caravan heist; but I assume anyone from Weavile's town has at least *dabbled* in shady crap. Even the kids are probably trained murderers...)
When Riley enters the kitchen, he finds Joker preparing a swanna for dinner that night. Whether this is the *same* swanna or not remains to be seen- but if it is, then what motive would Joker have for killing it? He doesn't seem the type to pick off civilized pokemon for dinner. (Persian might do that, though...) I could totally see him eating that swanna if he had a reason to kill it in the first place, but what reason could he have? Was it after him too? Either way, I shall be looking at that plot thread closely as I continue...
So... was Joker affected *that* badly by his kitchen tent burning up, or was there something really important about that tent that I just don't know about yet?
Obviously there's a time-skip in play here, since Team Hellraisers have studied an entire set of laws and their punishemnt either ended or fell through. IDK which. I wonder if the armistice in the desert kingdom has ended yet...
And then we get a scene of Gallade alone in his office, trying to decide what to do with the information he's been given. Eventually he gets a 'vision' of Garchomp and has an epiphany, and in the end he writes Joker a search warrant. I think that's interesting for two reaons; firstly because that makes you the first PMD author to really use the idea of a search warrant, and secondly because it seems to imply that the Guilds stand in place of police stations/hold rank over them.
Overall, these chapters are good as a bridging thing, and even though the second one is more like the beginning of the next arc than an intermission chapter, I still enjoyed them both for what they were.
Listening to: Look Away - Nick Urata; Daniel handler
| SparklingEspeon chapter 18 . 2/2/2020
Review of chapters 15 - 18
And now we're back with Riley and Co. :D
These four chapters (Including both parts of 'Hunting Ground' - more on that later) seem to encompass the rest of the Kirlia's Mission/Desert Arc of your story, and therefore I felt that I should do one large review of the entire thing instead of splitting it unevenly at three. So... let's get into it :)
There isn't much that goes on in 'The Oncoming Army'; plotwise. It's the last of the setup. We get to see the 'GreatBow' in all its pre-battle glory, as well as what the enemy armies are plotting. There's some minor tension building, Team Hellraisers meets Kit; etc. I feel like I'll have more to say on this in the coming chapters, so instead I'm gonna use this chapter to focus on the more mechanical strengths and weaknesses of your story.
So, firstly. Prose. Most authors don't really go out of their way to spice up prose. And most of the time that's fine. It's not *required* to have the Most Amazing Prose Ever when one writes a story, but I feel that the prose in A Home Far Away feels so bland that it genuinely does make the story hard to read at times. I feel like there's a lack of description throughout your paragraphs that means they're essentially lots and lots of things all shoved down into one paragraph. Your battle scenes - particularly the ones in 'On the Frontlines' - read as very dense and hard to get through because of that. There are also several recurring instances where you start a sentence with the present tense, and then end on past. I think it's because I've probably crossed into unedited chapters by this point; given that I didn't see *any* of this in the first couple of installments.
Either way, it can't hurt to point it out.
A scene from 'The Oncoming Army' that I wanted to go over before moving on: the majority of the chapter seems to be dedicated to the other army planning their battle tactics. Before entering the tent, you briefly give the spotlight to the nidoqueen that's going to ravage the battlefield in 'Hunting Grounds' later on. (I assumed they were like a traitor, and didn't pay it much mind.) They talk. They discuss their tactics, they briefly fight, and then you end the scene by giving the spotlight back to the nidoqueen (And by that point; one is beginning to notice that something is really off with it). I think it's an amazing way to foreshadow what will happen later, although it doesn't really *click* for me until Slowbro talks about his vision of the nidoqueen killing everyone. Either way, I think it's amazing and I had to mention it :)
So now, with that out of the way, we can move on to 'On the Frontlines' and get to the good parts!
I'll be honest; a lot of 'On the Frontlines' bored me to death- specifically, any parts that weren't dealing with the pokemon on teams Hellraisers and Camelot. Obviously you needed to use that GreatBow you set up, but in all honesty there's not really much that *happens*. It's mostly just scizor's 'mon fighting on the battlefield, while the MCs are far out of danger. In fact, it's not until Alakazam confronts Kirlia and the nidoqueen is released that anyone from either of the guild teams is objectively in danger, and that's the part where it began to pick up for me. Of course; this was near the end of the chapter, and within just a few short scenes I was already turning the page towards 'Hunting Grounds: Part 1'.
I *loved* this chapter! The nidoqueen helps maneuver your battle scene far better than the GreatBolt ever did- it's a wild card, and that means literally *everyone* is in danger. The entire battlefield is now a hunting ground. And since everyone's in danger, there's more of a reason for me to be invested now! Hunting Grounds 1 had me riveted to the screen as I read about all your characters - including both guild teams - take a more active stance in the events that happen in your chapter.
And then it gets even better, when Gallade and Blaziki/Leora show up and Gallade does his thing and he's awesome. I love the way that he decided to be smart and negotiated an armistice instead of just trying to kill Alakazam right there and then. It also solves your problem of 'how to kill the nidoqueen?', which is nicely done as well.
Overall, out of the entire Desert Mission Arc, I think that Hunting Grounds: Part 1 is my favorite chapter of the lot.
I'm a bit confused about why you decided to make it a two-parter, though. By the time that Hunting Grounds II opens, the battle is over. There's a truce, the nidoqueen is gone, and the wrecked city isn't a hunting ground anymore. It's more like the epilogue to that arc, really... especially since it looks like you're about to switch back to Weavile's crew (if the chapter title 'Espeonage' is anything to go by) next chapter.
But regardless, I *did* enjoy the epilogue as well. He was scary, but quite frankly I don't think that Gallade is going to give the lot of them anything worse than janitor duty for a week or something. Especially after he humiliated Kirlia in front of the rest of them, which probably hurt Kirlia far more than any amount of chores could.
I had a feeling Kirlia's stunt was going to be about proving his worth to Gallade. Not that I'm surprised, but for someone who tends to be pretty shrewd I'd think he'd have the sense to just *not go*.
And of course Riley just never changed. He's still so... crazy, lol. At least Gallade gave him a warning, which probably means you aren't going to run with his stupidity always working out for him?
I think the story about Garchomp was interesting. As well as the entire continent they're living on being an algamation of other continents. I do have to wonder, though... don't they ever get earthquakes from the fissures everywhere? Didn't they realize they would have to separate the land from the rockbed and the ocean floor in able to move it? Either way, that seems a bit odd.
And so Scizor is going to try to form his own guild. I just don't understand why they were being attacked like that in the first place? I know that their lake was ruined, but it seems so weird that Implentur would just turn on its own pokemon like that. It's not very good PR, and once those pokemon started fighting back they ended up spending more resources dealing with their mess and coming out with less than they would have had if they had just left the pokemon of Ashen Lake alone... Unless this is supposed to be some cartoony star-wars empire type thing?
I'm also wondering how Implentur might be connected to the 'humans are bad' rule. I'm *fairly* sure they had a lot to do with it in the first place. I also just want to know more about Implentur in general. Like, do they have every single continent in the world lined up in their large Frankenstein thing, or did they just cherrypick? How is it divided? Where does Meluja sit in all this?
IDK what Dusknoir is doing at the end, but that is *creepy*…
And now I shall leave you with this inspiring quote from the end of 'On the Frontlines':
["The Nidoqueen screeched with rage at the lack of gore around him..."]
Overall, very interesting! I think this was the first large battle of A Home Far Away, and this early in I imagine it's not even scratching the surface yet. I shall continue :D
Listening to: The Hidden World - John Powell
| SparklingEspeon chapter 14 . 2/2/2020
Review of chapters 12 - 14
...Oh my. That went fast. In these three chapters there's nary a word nor a scrap of Riley and Co. to be seen, but I think it works well that way. For now, the mafia plot is the more interesting of the two, and now that you've namedropped the guilds into it I'm slowly beginning to see how they might tie together.
So, the first scene of this chapter is Sneasel taking Breloom to Joker's show (Which is apparently a circus and not a battle event?). While the gesture/scene are interesting, I think this is another case of your prose working against you. All these acts are flashy and flamboyant, right? I feel like just stating what happened without any added flair isn't really doing it justice. I didn't get any of the wonder that Breloom did from it, and I have a feeling that lies more in the way this scene was presented instead of the fact that all the circus acts are cliché.
I also feel like Sneasel sort of switches masks again at the flip of a hat, but that seems to be a staple of her character by now, which seems to suggest that she really *is* some kind of psychopath. It makes me wonder how you're going to handle her character going forward- we're apparently supposed to empathize with her because out of all the mafia pokemon in that town she's the 'best', but at the same time it's not really easy to empathize with someone who is just so two-faced she's rotten through and through. It's just freaky how she has a 'mask' for *everyone* - even the sableye.
So, after that, Breloom is unwillingly sent home while Sneasel goes to Sableye's general store and drops off the package. Here, we get to see the first glimpse of how scheming Espeon can be - now that I think about it, I don't think he *would* just let Sneasel and Breloom leave like that if it wasn't eventually going to pan out in his favor.
I do have a question, though- in order to get to Scarlet City where the package needs to be dropped off, Sneasel and Murkrow use Espeon as a quick teleport to get there. Only... Both Sneasel and Murkrow are dark-types. So, my question is... how does dark-type blocking work in this universe? Does it even work at all? Technically if that rule's in place and hasn't been messed with Espeon should not be able to teleport them.
And of course he disappeared the literal second he showed up. He's stingy like that, isn't he?
["Chapter 13 - the Mad Jack"] ;)
Their client is Bisharp (Apparently THAT Bisharp that Sneasel's so scared of), but once they enter his office/store, she immediately begins to start fights with Bisharp's secretary (And soon after, they DO fight). And then Bisharp walks in, and this is probably the second time in fourteen chapters that I've seen Sneasel genuinely scared. My only question is: Why did she do this in the first place? Surely that spite thing she has going on with Mandibuzz doesn't trump her (completely justified) fear of Bisharp. Or does she just not think ahead much? It clashes with the more scheming side of her we see in the next chapter.
So, mid-battle Sneasel evolves into Weavile due to that thing she got from Sableye. She then continues to duke it out with Mandibuzz like nothing ever happened. But she's never been a weavile before, so it makes me wonder how good she would be still fighting with sneasel techniques? I just don't think she could get back up and continue fighting after that...
So there are other guilds outside of Astrea? That's interesting... I wonder how many. Just the two, or are there more like five?
My god; Bisharp is freaky. You would totally believe him when he says that he's considering scalping someone, and he has sarcasm to rival some of Espeon's quips. I wonder how he'd keep weavile meat from a dead weavile cold, though...
OMG. He's just unhinged. Obviously he lost like his SO or something, but he' still crazy. You even seem to imply that he went axe-crazy on the other members of the building he's in once before...
Your prose does strike again a little bit, though. When Bisharp is opening his chest, the prose suddenly veers away from that and back towards this weird obscure shrunken celebi head on his desk. If the main object of interest is the chest, then why do I care about a grotesque shrunken head on his desk and how long it's been there? Unless you're trying t imply that Celebi was his SO, but that wasn't really clear.
But... yeah. Takeaway: Don't cross Bisharp. Also don't REE at his secretary.
And now we reach the most complicated chapter of the set. It seems that there's been a timeskip of sorts (Perhaps for Weavile to get used to her new body?), since Weavile has jumped all the way from being scared of Bisharp to plotting against Persian. To do this, she will apparently use her orphans to spread discord about Persian throughout his ranks, then just fell him herself and take her spot as the new leader? Not a very well thought out plan; honestly... Also, she forgot completely about Espeon, who is clearly 'n' with Persian. My; did that come to bite her in the arse later...
OMG. What. Sneasel/Weavile took over that spot of orphaning pokemon and raising them to be criminals from someone else? This has now progressed to Man With a Beard But No Hair and Woman With Hair But No Beard levels of evil.
And obviously nothing goes as planned, but was that really a surprise? It seemed too easy anyway. Espeon *says* it was a joke, but why do I absolutely believe him when he says that you will get maimed for returning a book late? ANd just *not* believe him when he claims he's joking
It was a little hard for me to tell where Breloom's present thoughts after he checks the book out from the library and Shroomish's flashback begins. You might either want to italicize the flashback, or just make them different scenes?
So Espeon is the leader of another faction? And that's why he lurks around Persian so much? I wonder why he lives so close to Persian, though... The other four leaders seem fairly spread out amongst Meluja.
Speaking of Espeon, in fact; how *did* he know what Sneasel was planning? She's a dark-type, so I'm assuming he didn't like flick through her memories at some random point in time. What I'm *guessing* happened is that he read Breloom's mind, got the entire plan from there, had Breloom murdered by that bannete, then passed Spearow, spared him because 'Playz the Games :D', then sent Sneasel to pick up Breloom. THe fact that he was apparently in a coma for a while is interesting too... Very fishy.
Interesting about the guilds. Obviously Gallade's Guild in Astrea has different problems, but it makes me wonder if they ever participated in this battle between rescue guild and mafia division, or whether they decided to opt out because of how it might look on them politically. The guild near Scarlet City has one of the Mafia's most volatile members living right under their noses as well, so it surprises me that they haven't made any significant strides against the Mafia yet.
I think that I knew Breloom was dead (For reals this time) from the moment Bannette mentioned 'mushroom', but what surprises me is how nonchalantly Weavile takes it. I get that she's two-faced, but she clearly did care for him... I just don't see her shrugging it off like that. It doesn't feel right, after she's played favorites with him for so long...
Also, does Bannette consider that a dissection? More like mutilation.
Quite frankly; I'm not sure what Weavile hoped to gain from this. Even if her plan went well and she DID get the position, it feels like she wouldn't last long there anyways. Someone like Espeon would probably find a way to kill her.
Overall, these were a very interesting set of chapters that advanced the plot in large ways and threw several characters off their groove. We don't get to see any more of Riley and Co. (For the moment; anyhow...), but that's okay. I'm fairly sure they're going to pop up next chapter; anyway...
Looking forward to reading the rest of this (Really!) :)
Listening to: With Love Comes a Great Waterfall - John Powell
| SparklingEspeon chapter 11 . 2/2/2020
Review of chapters 9 - 11
I think I'm beginning to like these chapters a lot more now! I think that these three flowed better than the last ones did, and several things that were problems in earlier chapters have improved here (While others look like they are here to stay...). I'll go in order, from the ninth chapter to the eleventh.
I'm not really sure I'm a fan of the opening prose. You have some amazing moments (like the mountain bit in the beginning of the story), but you also have bits where it's genuinely hard to read the prose because of the way it's written. I feel like right before they meet Scizor is one of the places where the prose completely breaks down, and an entire paragraph just consists of how Team Camelot walks over the wreckage. There's even a sentence that starts in present tense and then flips back into past ["Luxio's a cat, so..."] by the end. I assume the amazing prose from the first two chapters is from your edits, though; and it seems to be getting better, so I'm not too disturbed.
Suspicious; isn't it? Interesting how pokemon who don't live at the Gallade Guild are shocked that he's hosting children; which suggests some kind of standard he might have held in the past but abandoned for some reason. Obviously it might be just because Gallade wants to shelter the Humans and they keep ending up as children for some reason, but if not then it draws a parallel between the Gallade Guild and Sneasel's 'Orphanage' that is quite bone-chilling when thought about. I suppose Scizor can't really question it, though. He needs any help he can get..
...OMG. Riley is like Eren Jaeger levels of crazed and he doesn't even have a vendetta... I am genuinely scared of him now. He's incompetent, but so so twisted...
On that note; in fact, he seems a lot like an anime protagonist. He doesn't really seem to have that many character traits outside of being arrogant/happy-go-lucky about things, and a lot of his dialogue takes on that particularly goofy over-the-top style that many animes would use. On it's own it's not a problem, but compared to the relative reigned-in way the rest of your characters speech it makes him stick out like a sore thumb. Unless that was your intent? Making him that way on purpose to stress how he's a human while the rest of them aren't? In that case, well done :)
A Ralts? So... that either means that the 'Desert Knight' married a gardevoir, or that ralts is adopted. I'm really sure it's the second one. And considering that said ralts is only a child and Scizor's army wants it dead, I'm fairly sure that ralts is either (A) somehow related to Gallade in an unflattering way, or (B) a Human. Kirlia also kills him under the assumption that he would readily give up Ralts' whereabouts if tortured, which leads me to believe that Ralts is less his biological child and more a chess piece on a board to him. Unless Kirlia just made a wild accusation and stabbed Cacturn out of nowhere. How odd.
So 'the highlands' are basically PMD Scotland. Interesting that you tried to circumvent having a character be from an IRL place by substituting an IRL name with another IRL name... Post-Apocalyptic PMD Theory? It would explain why humans seem to be hated so much here.
Also, I wonder why he wouldn't want the others to know that he's a Highlander.
Oooh interesting. We finally see Gallade begin to break his act/façade that he's had going since the beginning of the story. Obviously; that trial was rigged. Gallade just chose the right pokemon and manipulated the vote so that he could end up with the outcome that *he* wanted. He says that he just wants to find his son, but I assume it's also because (calling it) everyone on Team Hellraisers is human and he doesn't want that getting out, and maybe something else too.
…I *knew* they were related. I just... knew. That does put some context to Kirlia's actions- this might be a stunt to impress Gallade and prove his worth or something. Either way, I'm really sure that reason is going to play into his *actual* reason for going on this trip in the first place. I'll keep reading to find out...
We don't know enough about her yet, but Kit seems like she'll become another member of Team Hellraisers fairly soon; also drawing some parallels between Riley's crazed adventurelust and her own apparent recklessness. Of course, she still might remain a side character that leaves in like three chapters or so, but if so the great big introduction you gave her seems odd. It feels like she's a tad more important than that...
...And someone's onto them. Obviously it isn't Murkrow, and if there was still an invading army I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't have attacked by now, so... who is it working for?
...Odd. I thought Breloom died. I just don't really understand how he could have survived what happened to him in the desert... Didn't Pyro literally take a bite out of him? That kind of bleeding isn't something that can be patched by a few bandages and suddenly it's all right again.
Even after five chapters starring her, I don't think that I really know Sneasel at all. I feel like she changes from being a loving mother figure to a hardened criminal to a whiny subordinate at a moment's touch, and I'm not really sure what to make of what's underneath. She clearly cares for Breloom, but is willing to admit and openly talk about the fact that she killed his parents and is essentially brainwashing all her children around him. She's supposed to be a discreet thief/thug, but mouths off to her superiors and starts whining the moment she's given a job she isn't being paid in poke for. I just... don't know what to make of it all? I feel like I don't know the real her, and these are all just masks she puts on depending on who she's talking to. Of course; given her character credentials, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if that was intentional.
I had been wondering who Joker was. I think he'd been namedropped like once (?) before his debut on the caravan, but it was just so sudden I actually had to go back and re-read it just to make sure that I wasn't missing things and this floatzel really did just appear out of nowhere. He seems to have a very nonchalant attitude to things. Irresponsible, but apparently if it happens on time? I'm assuming the 'show' he's about to do is a battle show, of course.
Return of the snarky espeon! :D
…So what is he, exactly? Firstly, I thought he was like Persian's henchmon/secretary, but now he seems to run the library AND keep first aid on him, and it's even mentioned that he 'owns the town'. Except that he's pretty much either on or encroaching upon Persian's turf. Unless they share it? Or does Persian work for Espeon? Maybe this is a different town? It seems odd that Sneasel wouldn't go straight home, though... I'm tying my brain into pretzel loops trying to solve this, lol.
This story is picking up fast now. Let's see if I shan't do three more chapters...
Listening to: New Tail - John Powell
| SparklingEspeon chapter 8 . 2/2/2020
Review of chapters 6 - 8
And I am back once more :D
These three chapters were interesting; I think. The story has moved on from the small fish and now we're really getting into the interesting stuff! There's a lot to cover (As always), but because the chapters seem to be split up into the ending of one event and the beginning of another, I'll cover them both in their own sections.
I think that the comment about the bouffalant having his life on the line by running that fast is clever- animals like horse have been known to literally die on their feet if they're pushed too hard. I also briefly wondered how much faster rapidash were than bouffalant, but then I realized that the rapidash wasn't tugging an entire caravan behind itself. lol.
I assume Pyro killed Breloom? It's horrible... but in all honesty, he was so reckless and lacking tact that I doubt he would have survived long anyway. As sad as that is to say. I don't think Sneasel knows yet either... I'm guessing her reaction will either be a long rage-fit in the woods, or shrugging it off because 'life' and 'he was stupid enough to insist on taking the mission with her'. IDK yet.
Something that I noticed (Particularly when Riley fights Sneasel) is that sometimes your fic tends to be a bit... anime-ish? Not that there's a problem with that, but you seem to have latched onto this one thing that pops up a lot in anime and drives me crazy- characters constantly belting out long, wordy lines of dialogue that basically amount to:
"I want you ded fight meh!"
"Oho, then come as close as you like!"
I think that the battle between Riley and Sneasel sort of dips into this a bit- Riley gets his One Punch in, and then he sort of lowers his guard for a second. Given how seasoned a criminal Sneasel is, I'm surprised that she didn't just cut the banter and attack Riley right there and then. Instead, she... trades banter? And blatantly announces her next attack to him? She had *no* qualms about killing that empoleon three chapters ago, so I don't see why she wouldn't just get rid of him unless she had some petty reason like 'it wasn't in my paycheck to kill pokemon'.
I'm surprised that mission went as well as it did; in all honesty. Obviously Sneasel is a bit too discreet to wreck the entire caravan (That can't really be said for her teammates, though), but did she really only want the joy seeds?
~Kirlia's Secret Mission~
My god; Kirlia is *crazy*. All that for a glory joyride that's probably going to come back and bite him in the arse later in his career if he even survives it? Not to mention that this is clearly something really shady- the Gallade Guild already stated that they would remain impartial in this entire event, so Gallade sending help because a friend of his is on the losing side is both the breaking of his word and probably an infraction of the law too. And knowing that... Kirlia basically acts like a rowdy teenager and takes his boy-band for a joyride through the mountains into enemy territory. The only problem is that he seems *far* too disciplined for that, so... I'm kind of wondering if he has an ulterior motive for it and just duped Riley into thinking it was something stupid. But then again; Kirlia doesn't seem like the type of pokemon who would just drag a pokemon into something like that... IDK. I just really think he's hiding something.
The beginning of the second scene of chapter 8 reads as a bit Lemony Snicket to me. IDK why; I just read that and thought 'Snicket' for some reason lol.
"There aren't many times when one will jump out of sleep outside infancy. Nightmares are far and few between for most, and even then not every single one of them is terrifying enough to get a physical reaction out of the body. For instance, a benign dream about receiving a poisoned cone of ice cream from the local ice-cream dealer is unlikely to cause you to sit up in your bed in horror, while a dream about being chased by murderous alligators is more than likely to be met with many sleepless nights afterwards and checking under the bed for murderous alligators. However, I am sorry to say that the nightmare that plagued Riley that night was neither benign nor about murderous alligators; in fact, the events of that very dream would go on to haunt him for many more years."
So... yeah. That probably wasn't very helpful. It was fun to write, though :P
So, something that I think is going to become a recurring thing in your fic is the way that your battles are structured. I feel like at best; they're a bit goofy but still entertaining nontheless, but then you have like that fifteen paragraph battle between steelix and aggron, and I'm wondering why that was necessary? I don't know Steelix. I don't know Aggron. Why should I care about them duking it out when there are characters I care about in a wagon only a few miles away? I think you could get away with shortening this a little so you can get to Scizor faster (Which I assume is the *real* point of this scene?)
I'm going to be completely frank; Riley is one big idiot. Yes, *technically* he's only a day old, but he's no baby and he's made that clear several times. And yet at the same time he's proven over and over that he literally couldn't defend himself to save his life; even getting lucky with Sneasel when that cart tipped over. And if that *one* act of chance gave him enough arrogance to try jumping off a *cliff*… well; I'd think that says something about his maturity at large. He just 'assumes' thing, like the 'fact' that Rose and Pyro are acting as his guardians when he was the one who forced them into that position (And Rose even made it quite clear that she was annoyed with him for doing that), or that he could just jump from a cliff like that and survive. He doesn't even do it as a last resort; he outright *relishes* it... I'm just waiting for it all to crash down upon his head.
I like Scizor so far. I think it's nice that you didn't overdo his accent, and he seems about as reasonable as Gallade while being about three times less shady. Granted; we don't really know much about him yet, nor why he seems to be on the losing side of a war (Which probably implies he's on the rebelling side).
SO, overall, I think that it would be a good idea to sum up my main points here:
Bad things: I just can't bring myself to like Riley. He's so arrogant and so stupid and yet at the same time *nothing* is his fault unless he's happy. I really hope that going forward the story begins to tackle this, instead of just letting him be. I also think that you sometimes tend to veer into anime-ish filler dialogue a bit, and your battles can drag on sometimes.
Good things: I really liked the characters of Kirlia and Scizor. I like the amount of intrigue that surrounds them both- Kirlia is reckless- but is he? Scizor is *definitely* benign- but is he? I'm intrigued to see where their characters go. The story setup seems interesting, and you seem to be heading in a direction that suggests Riley won't be able to get away with his bad behavior for long... I'm looking forward to seeing that. You haven't really tackled the 'humans are bad' thing yet, but I still think that's interesting and I'm *really* sure that whatever is coming next will deal with that in some way, shape, or form.
That last scene of Scizor watching (what is presume is) Kirlia's wagon riding up to their base is the most amazing hook ever!
I must read on O_O
Listening to: That's Not How the Story Goes (S3 Version) - James Newton Howard
| allen Vth chapter 19 . 1/23/2020
I don't understand Espeon, saying he won't interfere in Weavile's plans, yet gives Persian the heads up even if it was uneeded.
I can understand why warn Leavanny if they were friends or something along those lines, but to me, it's like he's betting that Leavanny won't find anything or will stay out of it until a major event occurs.
| allen Vth chapter 17 . 1/23/2020
That leg tearing reminded me of Tokyo Ghoul, and for good reason. Two titans clashed and my was it a show! And Riley did good despite having a short appearance. And the patience to show up in the most opportune time. And the banter with Kirlia is always fun.
Good thing too that Pyro and Rose have little to be depressed about...now to face the Guildmaster!
| allen Vth chapter 15 . 1/22/2020
I really hope Kit and Riley have the chance to further interact in the future, because the two have spare energy to handle each other.
Also, that's a lot of big names this chapter dropped. So many strong Pokemon gathered for this thing like a final clash. I just pray that both guild teams come out of this alive.
| allen Vth chapter 14 . 1/22/2020
the life of a criminal ain't easy, or pretty. Weavile's little uprising failed before it could even rise; goes to show she needs more connections and allies than her little group.
Weavile was affected by Breloom's death, but Murkrow really hit it off with the tears. I also feel bad for the death kid, he wanted out but was offed as he was about to.
| allen Vth chapter 12 . 1/22/2020
it's funny how both stories, from the guild and this syndicate, seem to collide or at least be close to.
| allen Vth chapter 11 . 1/22/2020
It's been a while, but it's good to see more characterization from these characters.
| allen Vth chapter 9 . 1/22/2020
Love every little interaction. And Scizor will have no choice but to take this kids more seriously.
And boy is that counter strong.
| allen Vth chapter 6 . 1/21/2020
Rough, that's all I gotta say. For someone who just started, he did quite good, and perhaps if Joker wasn't there, then they might've won.
| allen Vth chapter 5 . 1/21/2020
Even if it's over-eagerness, at least Riley's enthusiasm will make him progress fast. It's a shame this might be a dangerous encounter.
Now I'm curious about this war and when it will affect the story, and if Rose and Pyro will be permament team members for Riley.
| allen Vth chapter 4 . 1/21/2020
So we went from shaddy as hell Guildmasters to Assassin groups and drug distribution...I'm liking this.