|Reviews for A Home Far Away|
| SparklingEspeon chapter 5 . 1/19/2020
Review of chapters 3 - 5
I know that I said I was going to go along with this as the updates came, but I couldn't wait, lol. Anyway, it reads a bit easier now that I'm not as distracted and have a good idea of what the story's about from the first two chapters, so I don't see why I should have to wait any longer?
Immediately after opening Chapter 3 I noticed that you've switched POVs from Riley to a sneasel who seems to run an orphanage? And she works for the mafia in her spare time, apparently. They're two jobs that have a lot of contrast to each other; as I don't imagine running afoul of a mafia leader/gang would bode well for all those children. It's scary to see how two-faced Sneasel is throughout the chapter- she flips between loving and kind for the sake of the children to ruthless and mean in the space of a second several times throughout the span of the chapter. It reminds me a lot of how a psychopath operates (A *real* psychopath; not what everyone confuses the term with when they use it like an insult), which is freaky if it holds any merit.
She took her kid to a mafia leader's base? o_O
Either way, several things about this sneasel don't add up, and there's a payoff to that once the reader learns that all those pokemon she cares for were 'orphaned' by her and her associates. Which is like Count Olaf levels of evil and so many levels of scary it's not even funny. I am now actively terrified of your sneasel O_O
OMG, I have *never* seen a snarky espeon before and I never knew I needed this in my life until now. Thank you for that :D
What happens to kids like Breloom once they get too old for Sneasel's 'care'? Breloom seems to be worried about it. But then again; he's not tactful at all. If you think you have dirt on the person who currently has complete control over your life and then you proceed to indirectly threaten that person with said dirt, what do you think is going to happen?
She seems to be absolutely terrified of Bisharp; however... There seem to be a few out of-character moments for Sneasel in this chapter as well. The first is that she immediately begins to break into an argument with Bisharp the moment she sees him in front of their boss. IDK but my understanding of her character is that she's generally mean to everyone around *but* the children she cares for, but she knows better then to mouth off to her superiors. In this scene, she mouths off in front of Persian, who is unarguably her boss at the moment, and mouths off *to* Bisharp. Once he leaves, she collapses against the door and remarks that she literally thought she was going to die. If Bisharp is this dangerous (And apparently unhinged; if she thought he would kill her in Persian's office), then why is she trying to set him off from the beginning? The second scene is at the end, where Sneasel's line "No problem! I'll be so discreet, no-one will even know I was there!" seems a bit... amiable for her? It might be just me, but given how grumpy she's been to everyone thus far it doesn't seem like the kind of thing she'd normally say. IDK, though.
There's a line from the 4th chapter that read as a little odd to me: "All three of the remaning pokemon thought at once, 'I'd hate to be one of the poor guards in the forest right now'. I think this might read better if the two parts of the sentence where flipped around, like this:
"'I'd hate to be one of the poor guards in the forest right now', all three of the pokemon thought at once."
The next chapter cuts back to Riley and Co., and there's a wake-up scene where... the MC doesn't want to wake up. I've seen that scene setup in a couple of other stories, but I don't think it's ever played out to it's logical conclusion before.
I am like meme illiterate, but I am *fairly* sure the line 'I wanna do a sleep' is a stealth meme you guys slipped in there...
It's been a while since I read, but I *think* it might have been stated that Kirlia was related to Gallade? Or maybe it's just been hinted at, but it's basically been confirmed here with his reaction to that scarf. It makes me wonder what Gallade is up to- he's clearly dealing in objects that he shouldn't just be doling out like concession gifts, and he seems to have this focus on Riley that he doesn't have on the other two members of his team (Which are definitely humans. Prove me wrong. :P). Something about him doesn't quite add up either...
So the next scene we see is a morning announcement, which seems to be something borrowed from the Wigglytuff's Guild but are more akin to wat I imagine the Expedition Society briefings are like? It's a sad fact of the world when a large establishment is purposefully avoiding a situation in which they must have the resources to help, but at the same time it's interesting that you're trying to tackle such issues.
I can *sorta* see the appeal of the name 'Gallade Guild', but assuming that Gallade's guild is an establishement large enough to hold political weight in 'Meluja' or wherever they are, it seems a bit unprofessional? Like prestigious academies, I would imagine that a large guild would take on a name related to the city it's in- like 'The Astrean Guild', for instance. I thought it was worth mentioning; anyway.
I'm *fairly* sure I read about stairs in the first couple of chapters, but now there's a ladder. Is it a ladder to a different place? Am I misremembering the existence of stairs? Am I too lazy to go back and re-read to see if the stairs exist? :P Anyway, ignoring that, another thing about the ladder is that not all pokemon are going to be able to climb it. Gallade, Riley, and *maybe* Rose will be able to climb it with ease, but R.I.P. if you're a qradruped, a snake-like pokemon, or basically *anything* without hands or wings. Is there a separate entrance for pokemon like those? And if there is, why bother with the ladder?
I assume the caravan Riley and Co. are escorting is the caravan Sneasel is going to attack; especially considering the appearance of what seems to be a Certain Murkrow at the end of your chapter. (At least; I think it's That Murkrow? Riley seems to think it's a feral and he apparently wants to *eat* it, so if it's not a feral that's some right fridge horror.)
These three chapters were interesting to read. The last time I tried to read these I got thrown off, but that isn't happening this time around, luckily. The story is still mostly in its starting position, so there's not much that I know yet or can really speculate much on, but from what I can tell gears *are* moving instead of the story being stagnant for like ten chapters until the author/s figure out what they're doing and start moving the story along, so that's a good thing. I've heard good things from a few people about this story and now that I'm reading it it's my feeling that said praise isn't unearned, so I'm hoping to read through this and review more in the near future!
Listening to: Tales of Brianna - Bear McCreary
| allen Vth chapter 2 . 1/17/2020
I want to trust Gallade, I really do, but he does and say things in a certain way that just speak villain in disguise.
At least Riley will have a chance to learn things in a safe environment.
| allen Vth chapter 1 . 1/17/2020
If I had to guess, because whenever humans appear, calamity usually follows. At least I think so.
Still a fun introduction into the Pokemon world, and leaves enough questions to make it intruiging.
| Adamfics chapter 2 . 1/14/2020
Alright, I just finished reading this chapter as well, and what a long chapter it sure was, granted it was entertaining all through and never felt like too much was happening nor did I feel the sense of padding.
My favorite part about reading Pmd fics is seeing different author's interpretations of the dungeons themselves. I see you too have made up your own variation of them and I like how you're implementing them so far, though I also wonder whether the dungeons themselves will be central to the plot or just complementary to it. Time will tell.
From your depiction of their world, I see you've borrowed elements from the games while also adding your own spins on things. I also liked the expansion of some of the game concepts you've done here, like the kecleon shop for instance, so kudos on that. Chapter was overall a good read. I look forward to more.
| Adamfics chapter 1 . 1/11/2020
So, first chapter done and I must say I'm really intrigued by the premise you have going on here. It has the familiar human Mc waking up stranded in the middle of nowhere with Amnesia, but you managed to craft it in a way that it doesn't feel overdone. Honestly, I see that as an absolute win.
The prose of the story also really stood out to me. You have a knack for painting vivid descriptions, both when describing the environments as well as the character actions. Speaking of characters, you did well in establishing their personalities in what little we've seen from each of them, which I applaud you for. This story is certainly worth keeping up with.
| TehSammichMan chapter 8 . 12/31/2019
Alright alright alright Santa came within the *window* of Christmas, so I'd still like to claim my milk and cookies, no matter how spoiled or stale they might be at this point. Felt like I finally reached a good stopping point to get into this, and have quite a little bit to comment on.
I'll be getting into the actual prose before diving deeper into the actual plot-related elements, so I wanna lead off by getting this out first: most of the WU frens don't need much criticism in this regard, as they for the most part have a good grasp on grammar and other basic English concepts. Granted, there's always something we all each individually improve on, but let it be stated for the record that your prose is solid.
That being said, I noticed a shift in your writing style between Chapters 1 and 2 versus the rest of the fic up until this point. It's led me to believe you've undergone extensive revisions of those first two chapters in particular, and it really shows. Literary devices are more common and more relevant to what's actually happening, there are a lot less minuscule errors and typos, and generally I felt like it just popped.
While I'm not trying to say the rest of the fic is bad by comparison, I feel like the extra bit of flair those first two chapters had in terms of your prose helped hook me in. Everything seemed so much more colorful, the worldbuilding much more vivid, and even the paragraphs themselves so much more fluid.
Take that all as you will, but I think what I want to get across more than anything is that the difference in prose helped me get a lot more invested earlier in Riley's plight, as opposed to, say, Sneasel's. A lot of Chapters 3 and 4 came across as bland by comparison. Let me pull up an example from Riley's visit to Gallade in Chapter 2:
"The single statement took the Riolu aback as a rush of thoughts came to his mind, swarming like piranhas unlucky enough to have fallen into the water. And every one of them was asking one question, chanting it to summon the answer: why?"
Besides overall being a strong visual representation of Riley's tumultuous thoughts, this simile also serves double duty as a way to say his head is irrationally ravaging every idea, scrutinizing every tiny detail in an attempt to ensure there's no speck of meat, no possibility left undevoured.
I found literary devices like this were a bit lacking in later chapters, which is fine. It's a fanfiction after all. But I feel like a lot of the time there's a bit of wasted potential. For example, Bisharp's introduction in Chapter 4:
"He was an old, worn thing, for his species anyways, staring at the Ice-type with his piercing blue eyes - blue, like the sky before dawn."
It's a strong visual image, yes, but as of right now, any reader taking this at face-value is only going to look at the description as just that, and nothing more. The foundation is there, and it could serve double duty to both describe the physical trait you're going for as well as the hostility behind them with a relatively quick fix.
"He was an old, worn thing, for his species anyways, staring at the Ice-type with a piercing gaze-blue, like a dawn sky stripping away the night's comforting darkness."
It's not perfect, but it demonstrates both the unease it instills in Sneasel by relating it to something undoubtedly relevant to her, the night and it's slow wane. Melodramatic as it may sound, it's that kind of juice I missed in later chapters compared to the first two.
I think I've ridden that horse off a cliff, though, so I should probably move on to more plot-related points. Let's start with the strongest aspect of this fic.
Your worldbuilding, at least as early on as I am now, is unmatched in any other PMD fic I've read to date. The prose added a bit of special spice to it, but the meat itself is quite juicy on its own. You never talk down to the reader and explain concepts that, while foreign, are easily understood through context clues. As early on as I am, the characters are already feeling the consequences of events happening in the world around them, and it's so much deeper than the superficial 'oh wow there's an evil empire that's affecting things yada yada yada' that many fic writers, myself included, have used as a means of artificially inserting 'worldbuilding' elements in our stories. Despite falling into 'general' PMD traits, the overworld and dungeons never seem as static as their game counterparts. There's a culture, there are fears, there are legitimate avenues for Pokemon to use their powers outside of fighting, and it's all established up front in a very fluid sort of way. It's a PMD world, but it's *your* PMD world. So many other authors fail to recognize this.
There are, of course, aspects I don't enjoy a ton. Persian's mafia seems a bit contrived, but it's established early enough not to be an annoying ass-pull later on in the fic when the author goes looking for new conflict, and I think it's more down to personal preference. I just personally don't like the systematic violence between underlings, as it seems counterproductive and goes against what any organization is trying to achieve. But that's probably because I hate having fun and letting bad guys be bad guys.
I don't feel like there's a solid conflict established early, but I also feel like that's near impossible to do effectively with amnesiac protagonists. A more temporary goal is regaining their memories, which eventually grows into whatever world-ending conflict is bound to happen. More often, I tend to enjoy stories in which the main goal is established early on, but that's pretty hypocritical. Amnesiacs suck. That all being said, there's enough intrigue set up by your worldbuilding to hold over most readers until a main conflict is, in fact, established and addressed.
Bit of a smaller thing, but something I found myself focused on regardless, but the power progression seems pretty wonky at times. Sneasel and Murkrow are instantly established as formidable threats, if not by their behavior in Tunneling Forest by literally accidentally killing wild Pokemon in a single blow, then by how the former carries herself in Persian's mansion in sizing up Bisharp. I can understand perhaps Rose or Pyro being near the same level as these two and holding their own for a time during the caravan fight, but Riley seriously injuring Sneasel, regardless of a type advantage and an early hit and item advantage, is almost asinine. That was his third day as a Riolu? Against what is presumably the boss of an entire division in Persian's mafia? In a one-on-one fight? I dunno, just more of an annoyance than anything. I doubt it'd go that far but I'd hate it if Gallade gave Riley a Mary Sue scarf, especially when the scarf hardly even did anything in Riley's fight versus the Nidorino.
What I personally believe to be the weakest part about this fic, especially early, is the characters. For the first few chapters, Rose, Riley, and Pyro were all pretty much just entirely blank slates, and while a bit of character began showing itself as conflict with Riley's sense of adventure began, it doesn't really help the fact that I didn't have much of a reason to like any of them until maybe around Chapter 7. For a main cast, there doesn't seem to be a ton of glaring flaws that warrant personal arcs: Riley is spontaneous, at times annoyingly so. Most of the time, he's not even spontaneous in a way that makes sense for what even the most spontaneous people would do. Rose is... Authoritative? And Pyro just feels like he's there just because Rose is.
The same applies even for your villains. Sneasel is a bit more nuanced and I don't have a ton of complaints, but characters like Murkrow only seem to exist because Sneasel does. Persian and Bisharp just seem like evil bad guy caricatures. Overall, I have a very hard time getting attached to any of these characters, and whether or not it was intentional I was rooting for Sneasel and *only* Sneasel throughout the entire caravan fight. Kirlia is a nice change of pace as we get to learn more and more about him, and Gallade is my favorite so far, despite his lack of screentime, and even then it's mostly for the bomb-ass oneliners he gives.
All in all, your core characters should be the building blocks of your fic. I get a fic being centered more around the world than the characters in them, but having a core cast that's relatively weak compared to your side cast is the quickest way to make sure a reader isn't invested in what happens to them, and by proxy, the story itself.
I wanted to give myself ample time to get the review itself down so I could meet the deadline, which is why I only made it as far as Chapter 8. Again, sorry for taking so long on this. Been a busy last couple of days, but I'll be reading more as time passes. Hope the rest compares to the quality I've seen up until now.
| SparklingEspeon chapter 2 . 12/23/2019
Review of Chapters 1 - 2 (Rewrite)
In all honesty; I had tried to read this before several times in the past pre-update, and I was having trouble latching onto the story because it seemed like the chapters themselves were much too short for the amount of things included in them. I always had to stop around chapter four because I had completely lost the story and no matter how many times I went back and re-read it I just couldn't follow it properly, for some reason. These rewrites/overhauls seem to have cleared that up for the most part. This time around I got it all perfectly :)
There are some hand-wavey bits in here from time to time, like how Riley has trouble doing everything under the sun with his new body (Including eating! I don't think I've ever seen that in a PMD fic before...) but then somehow reading whatever the pokemon's language is perfectly fine the moment he tries. But for the most part the story doesn't seem to pull punches and events play out to their realistic, logical conclusions rather than being overly grimdark or extremely cartoony. One thing that seemed a little 'off' to me is how he just woke up in the middle of this field, and he discovers that he can't remember anything, and then all the sudden his name comes back to him and instead of freaking out he thinks that's *cool*. Unless it's a coping mechanism of some sort, that doesn't really ring true to me.
I think it's odd that Riley remembered a little of his human life right off the bat, but still has amnesia. I would assume that's meant to be taken as proof that he's not just some whacko pokemon who woke up in the middle of a field and lost their memory, but thanks to a certain other author's fic *now I can never be sure again.*
The setting loses that 'PMD' feel entirely for a more gritty take, but it's also realistic that there might be some bias against human-turned-pokemon for some reason, just like bias runs rampant in the real world. I'm assuming something specific happened in this world, though; given Rose's cryptic reference to 'they'. I wouldn't be surprised at all if she and Pyro turn out to be Humans as well, given that they have names too and if I were Gallade, I wouldn't leave him with normal pokemon he could inadvertently spill his secret to.
IDK why I kept confusing your audino with my audino, lol. Yours is far more cheery and well-prepared, but she works in a fully-functioning guild establishment, so that makes sense. I wonder if she'll be used past 'first-aid-'mon' over the course of the story. The use of the gemstone as a light is interesting; although I don't know of any gemstones that naturally glow enough to be used as a light (Real or from pokemon).
My; Kirlia seems snappy. Obviously he's in a hurry, but even so. I wonder if he's related to the guildmaster somehow.
I think it's hilarious that the wild pokemon have a cute name like 'wildies', but in literally every scene they've been in so far they have posed some kind of threat to Riley and Co.
I wonder how Pyro managed to walk through the grass with that tail of his and NOT turn the place into a proper wildfire. Especially since you acknowledge later that he couldn't sleep in a bed due to it. Maybe they went around it? But you don't seem to mention that...
I think it's odd that even though this obviously isn't the first time Gallade has entertained a human, it's Riley who gets that 'precious relic'. Gallade strikes me as the kind of pokemon who has a reason for everything he does, so I highly doubt that was a gift of the moment. Perhaps manipulation tactics to get him to join the guild?
LOL, pokemon board games. That is amazing :D
That salute... Assuming it's the United States Military salute, Gallade shouldn't recognize it unless he is also human. #o_O
Poor staff… I assume that’s to be expanded upon in some way?
When perusing the floor plan, Riley looks at the pool of water at the bottom, and comes to the conclusion that it’s for ‘fall protection’. That makes me wonder if he has any idea of what he’s talking about: from thirteen floors up, that water is gonna be like a brick. Although, the fact that you CAN fall from the thirteenth floor makes me wonder how the guild is set up. Is it like the Wigglytuff’s Guild from PMD Explorers, or is it closer to Gold Division from PMD SR?
I’m not very sure I wanna know what happened to Gallade’s eye; even if it’s bound to be plot relevant at some point…
I’d thought the ‘painkillers’ were weird, even after it was revealed that they were in fact sleep seeds. After all, if Riley’s jaw is broken, how can he chew it properly?
Overall; your actual prosewriting isn’t terrible. It’s not Tolkien-esque, but it’s not Rowling-ish either. You are good at description, though- you don’t go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on until I feel like skipping pages to see if it will ever *end*, but you also bother to write actual paragraphs and not just ‘single sentences; boom, done’. A few of your descriptions (Like how the field clashed with the mountains in the distance) even managed to give me a strong case of the ‘wows’, so you really accomplished a lot with the prose! :D Whether it was what you WANTED to accomplish remains to be seen….
Your pacing is good too. I never felt like it was too rushed or too drawn out. Of course these are the overhauled chapters and previously I couldn’t even begin to decipher them, but the new version looks good. IDK about the older ones and I’m a bit scared to read on in case I somehow lose the plot *again* but I’m sure they’re paced well too.
It's very interesting for just the first two chapters! I like the idea of Humans not being liked in the PMD world, and I want to see where that goes for sure. Riley, Pyro, and Rose (Who I’m going to go out on a limb and say are all humans and your three main characters) are fairly likeable and look like they could grow into compelling characters with some more time and development. Gallade is also mysterious (As I’m sure he should be), and I wonder why he shelters all these humans within his own guild knowing that it could bring about his ruin at any moment. I’ve a feeling it’s something to do with his dead friend…
I might just go along as the overhauls are done so I don’t end up getting all turned around again, but I will be reading ahead at some point! It’s very well done and you have my fave (Just not my follow because that clogs up my email ); ) for sure!
| Vryheid chapter 46 . 12/7/2019
A Home Far Away is a grand and sprawling expedition into a colorful world of political intrigue, mythology and fantasy violence set around the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. This isn't a typical PMD fanfic plot setup of a couple of plucky young Rescue Guild recruits off on a grand quest to stop a cosmic disaster that threatens all of reality, though there's plenty of dramatic battle scenes and dangerous adventures for readers who enjoy reading some detailed action. The story as a whole is very ambitious, with a lot of carefully constructed plot threads and worldbuilding throughout, and while there's a few times I don't necessarily agree with some of the writing decisions the author makes I find the lore and characters compelling enough that it kept me hooked through the nearly 400K words worth of chapters that have been released up this point.
The first story begins by alternating between our Riolu protagonist Riley's introduction into the carefully sheltered world of Rescue Guilds and the tale of a sour-hearted Sneasel with oversized ambitions trying to build up a criminal enterprise. It quickly becomes obvious that these two characters and their companions are going to interact at some point but how their fates end up colliding ends up being both unexpected and entertaining. This kind of structure also sets up what becomes a running theme throughout the story- seemingly unrelated or minor plot threads and characters being sprinkled throughout the story only to have their true significance revealed as more of the world's history is and lore is understood and as major overarching plot events develop.
I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to stories respecting the lore and source material that they're based on, and the story generally does a good job. Type advantages and game mechanics aren't taken too seriously here, with martial arts-inspired strategy and technique being prioritized in fights over traditional "gamey" mechanics like what stats a Pokemon specializes in and who has a supereffective moveset. I do raise an eyebrow when Riley does something dumb like immediately banking on Iron Tail against a fire type or another Pokemon that obviously resists it but the characters use these moves in clever way s that elevate it above anime-inspired nonsense where type affinities barely mean anything at all.
The effects of items and the mechanics of mystery dungeons are much more closely representative of their in-game equivalents, but are toned down to once again focus on individual tactics and strategy being the primary factor in whether or not a battle or adventure is successful. An example is how Oran Berries act more as basic first aid and energy stimulants rather than singlehandedly saving Pokemon from the brink of death like they can in the games. Given how ludicrous some of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon's game mechanics can appear when taken to their logical extremes this is probably a good thing, though purists might complain that a certain character should have been able to use a Reviver Seed to come back from being decapitated or that Pokemon shouldn't be able to evolve without some goofy ritual like visiting Xerneas first. It's probably generally best to ignore these types of folks entirely.
It should go without saying that the story is well written, but since many writers on in particular tend to lean towards the "quantity over quantity" approach I'm happy to say that the chapters do not dip in attention to detail or style anywhere in the 40 chapters I read through. Dialogue feels natural, grammar is clean and easy to understand, and the imagery and descriptions we get of places and characters are colorful and memorable. I counted maybe 3 or 4 minor misspelled words and a few awkward sentences here and there, but the overall flow of the story is consistently strong and the style as a whole feels very professional. Any trivial hiccups in this story can be easily ignored as an inevitable byproduct of a fanfic of this size likely not warranting hundreds of hours of scrupulous editing.
If I had anything to complain about regarding the lore in this story it's what I call Overpowered Psychic Syndrome. Silver Resistance (one of the most popular PMD fanfics ever published) was notorious for this trope and I believe its influence has crept into many other PMD fanfic writers. Simply put, Psychic Pokemon in this story are treated as veritable Swiss army knives of overpowered skills and abilities such as telepathy, mind reading, telekinesis, memory alteration, long distance teleportation, and the ability to knock out pretty much anyone instantly with Hypnosis, while other types like Fire Pokemon can shoot out bursts of flame or whatever their elemental type is and generally not much else. Not only is it an issue of Psychic Pokemon and abilities being ludicrously strong, it's that other types just aren't that interesting or explored anywhere nearly in-depth in comparison. It also makes battles involving Psychic types seem a little contrived when they conveniently fail to use some of these skills such as Hypnosis whenever the plot demands said battle extend for more than a couple of paragraphs (such as Kirlia's fight against Riley in the forest).
The world of A Home Far Away is filled with violent wars and a dramatic backstory but since Riley is practically a blank slate when he first arrives and we primarily see the world through his perspective, we only start with vague glimpses of the major conflicts facing the world or even who should be considered a major antagonist. The story is designed so that the reader ends up growing in perspective and understanding along with the main character, rather than taking the easy way out and dumping a bunch of narrative backstory on the reader early on, which makes it very easy to relate to Riley as a character despite his quirky personality. Many PMD stories have a habit of including some "Council of Legendaries"-esque side chapter where Mew and Arceus and the like come together and conveniently spill the beans on every major plot element and secret plot spoilers at work, but so far MadderJacker has pretty much stuck to his guns when it comes to not revealing anything the main characters aren't aware of which I believe has paid off in the long run as making the gradual explanation of the story feel more significant.
Any minor faults the story has with lore depiction or grammar can be forgiven if the characters are entertaining, and I'm happy to say that it's genuinely fun to read them talk and interact with each other. It's easy to brush off certain characters like Kirlia or Rose early on as the stereotypical elitist jerk or haughty disciplinarian, but the complexities in their personalities unfold as they spend more time interacting throughout the story. The dialogue is natural and the language has some details to it that make it feel exotic like any PMD world should be. Even Riley, who early on comes across as a fighting obsessed thrill-seeker who doesn't listen to caution or reason develops a significant amount of maturity and introspection as his experiences and memories begin to influence his worldview. The story doesn't dip into sappy romantic undertones as a replacement for meaningful friendships, either, though I can't help but feel that there's eventually some relationship angst that's going to happen between Rose, Pyro and Riley. We'll see if enough of the story is ever released to make this a reality.
I could go on a very long time about specific details I noticed but I wouldn't want to spoil the plot as the unexpected reveals are particularly critical in A Home Far Away to enjoying the story properly. I'd recommend this to both readers new to PMD fics and people like me who have probably read one too many of these as A Home Far Away has its own distinctive flavor to its writing that you won't quite find anywhere else.
| David BaGuetta chapter 44 . 12/2/2019
take your time btw good story
| Just-A-Reader0Love chapter 45 . 11/27/2019
This is a great start to this chapter. Been a while since I reviewed, but here we go. : )
Checking back in with pyro and rose, things are not going their way at all. Day in and day out of abuse taken out on the two. All for an event that neither could have predicted. Safety in numbers while the world collapses. 10 straight days of this madness, of travel through to and through a desert.
The description of making the firepit is really well done, as well as the talk of spices. The empty yet lively feel of the desert is a nice contrast. Always be cautious of the wilderness, lest wilds or bandits get the better of you. Both dance around the question neither want to say.
Pyro’s opinion of Riley, it is interesting. He knows that Riley didn’t ask for all this, he was just swept up in it. He was starting to learn from his mistakes (and has grown a lot now, but pyro doesn’t know that.) Pyro considered Riley a friend, but there is a feeling of faint jealousy whenever Pryo brings him up. It is supposed to be Pryo and Rose, not Pryo, Rose, and Riley.
Pryo is in denial of what is true, it just … can’t be, right? He has to make sure, going back through the ages in his mind.
Ah, the mind of young Pyro is quite different from Pyro nowadays. He lived in a snow-covered mountain range. The broken speech and internal thoughts … Pyro was a wild? That is quite the development, I would have never thought that.
Ah, a budew attacked by a poochyena, and a feral fight between lizard and dog, bloody and brutal, not to mention quick. So charmander pyro is a tiny bit civilized behind the wildness. Ah, waste not in the wild.
Oh, so 4 days ago in the memory is when charmander pyro learned to talk. Due to a dream, one with a voice, , nomadic deities or the ancient serpent, interesting. Hmm, the great serpent, sounds strong. Hmm, serpents hide under the ice. Yikes, that be a charizard. Stun spore and dragon rage fend off the beast for now.
Oh, so pyro was the runt of the litter and the charizard is his mother, but why would it pursue the both of them? Into the serpents den, better chances it seems.
Music for you!
Valkyria Chronicles II OST - Faint Youth
Escape Through the Snow - Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red/Blue Rescue Team
Amazing work, keep it up!
| KeinNiemand chapter 44 . 11/7/2019
I've just finished reading this chapter, and I really like this fanfic so far. It took a bit to long early on until things really started happening/things started gettig revealed. Also it seems to me that riley only one his last fights (nidoking and kirlia) becouse of plot armour (he got a powerup right when he needed it, he won becouse he got power by having fried he used the power of friedship which is basicly just plot armour). Also why are items used so rarley? Kirlia could have won if he used his petrify orb against Riley.
All the humans seem to come from earth and I wonder if there is any connection to the mainline pokemon world? Also Riley remembers a lot more that he thinks he does, he know things about pokemon, and even remeberd some of riolus possible level up moves when he first used force palm withch means he was defininly a pokemon fan. I wonder what would have happend if he rememberd playing the pokemon games or even remberd the PMD games (If he ever played them) the knownlege from the games could be really usefull and I'm a little bit disapointed that he hasn't unlocked his full memorys.
I skiped ahead and saw in an authors note that this story is on hiatus and I really don't want this fic to die, I really want to know what heppens next. Also you said you where going to rewrite stuff and I don't thinks that's a good idea you should focus on writing new chapters unless you are only rewriting a very small number of chapters. Also you should post some kind of update (on your profile or maybe in a chapter that you edit over and over) to let people know that this fic isn't dead. I can't wait for the next update (even tough I have to). I hope you read and answer this review (getting answers to my reviews motivates me to write more)
| levelwhat chapter 46 . 10/24/2019
I remember you being worried about newly-christened-Pyro’s dialogue feeling awful to write, but to me it came off as good. It’s broken enough to convey that he’s lingually challenged and never too perplexing to decipher. Especially stuff about being partners. Cheesy yes, but heartwarming also.
Seeing Luxio and Kirlia and Buizel was nice, a nice reminder when everything seemed simpler T-T
The voice that speaks to Pyro and Our Sun (arson?) in the mystery dungeon, I’m theorizing, was likely the same voice that gave the charmander sentience. And with the latter’s naming convention, I’m guessing the “fell star” mentioned earlier referred to Pyro. Some sort of omnipresent being who looks after pokemon in mystery dungeons? Someone trying to give Rose a partner, in order to orchestrate something hugely out-of-scope?
In any case, I hope Pyro and Rose make it back to the guild and can recompense. With how all these pieces are falling, Riley and the two is going to need allies, and they’re going to be hard-pressed to find it in others.
So these last few chapters were all you? Everything sounds so clean and deliberate, like you’ve been dying to use certain lines and setpieces (especially that entire encounter between Bisharp and Kirlia/Mergo like holy shit) since thinking them up before beginning AHFA.
I don’t mind waiting if what you guys are each planning will be this good. I believe in you. And good luck to RJ in what she's planning! In the meantime I’ll take your advice and R&R others; everyone’s making an inspiring amount of trouble helping each other, it would be rude to not rev myself up and meet that same effort.
| LukerUpgradez chapter 8 . 10/11/2019
Hmm... These two chapters were alright.
I think my favorite part of these was definitely Riley’s escape. It’s easily the most notable and humorous demonstration of who he is as a person, and he’s very enjoyable to watch like this.
Though I have to voice... I think that there’s a bit of a pacing issue. Chapters 7 and 8 are clearly a transition point from the beginning of the story to the first major story arc, and I couldn’t help but think through the whole thing that this is a little fast. I mean, Riley and the audience really haven’t been here long at all, and we’re already swan diving into the war plot? It just feels a little sudden to be getting here, and I think it both helps and hurts the story. On one hand, you’re getting to the important content fast; but on the other hand, you’re losing time that could be used to ensure the strength of the cast. We haven’t really had time to reflect on the central characters, and I think it’s really hurting some of them, Pyro especially. Additionally, it sorta made the previous storyline with Sneasel feel less impactful due to having no emphasis being put on that previous fight.
I also think there is a minor issue here with perspective characters. Your prose is great and it really makes the story, but I think you often miss opportunities to really dig into a focus character’s head. It makes characters that might otherwise be very interesting come off as a little flat, like Scizor.
These problems haven’t ruined the story at all; they’re not hard to get over. But it did make me less engaged when reading, which makes me sad. Here’s hoping it’s uphill from here!
| Team Ion chapter 45 . 10/1/2019
That chapter name! It's gotta be Pyro and Rose!
Oof. Exploud, immediate hatred. Pyro isn't doing so good, but Rose is somehow worse.
Poor Pyro. We haven't seen a lot of him, but seeing how he's handling this massive change of everything.
Gosh, I'm so nervous.
He's figuring Rose out. Or, well, he's accepting something he's probably known the whole time.
Charmander? What? He's a charmeleon... this is someone else?
I think... what?
Oh. OH! A dream/flashback. Pyro was a feral pokemon? I think. I don't think he was a human, although that was my first thought.
But still, wow. A feral. And a voice gave him speech? This is really interesting. Never heard of something like that up to here.
Naww, he likes words. Partner, that's a cute moment.
A charizard! Was he expelled because he could talk? The poor thing.
And he's immediately willing to defend Rose. Man I always knew I liked Pyro!
Pshahaaha. Oh Rose, trying to threaten.
Ah... poor Pyro. I wonder how they survived THIS! But I'll be greatly looking forward to the next chapter!
| Ambyssin chapter 2 . 9/30/2019
I mean, yes, you could call this a slower opening, but there was never one part that really overstayed its welcome with this chapter. Things move pretty swiftly from Riley waking up and getting sent off to the dungeon with Pyro and Rose to the small amount of exploration to the brief skirmish with Nidorino (was that the same as last chapter or am I crazy?) to getting conscripted for the guild.
There are a couple of small things I noticed here that might just be throwaway lines, but got eyebrow raises from me. The first being the somewhat regal-looking office for Gallade. Coupled with Riley's remarks about Gallade's handwriting, it makes me feel like Gallade had held some sort of greater authority than just Guildmaster. Like, maybe something government related? Or maybe I'm forgetting something. Dunno. But I do think it may, in some ways, be related to the scarf that's been passed onto Riley. I get the feeling Gallade's partner is significant in some way, despite them being dead. Unless it's Rhyperior and so they're "dead in spirit," but actually alive. :V
Another bit that got me was a mention about explosives. Like… blast seeds or genuine technology? Considering the team rides to the dungeon in a trolley, there's a bit more tech to your world than I think I realize.
I know this was another older chapter, so mechanistically I'm sure you've improved. There was still a lot of redundant word usage and you were going awfully far out of your way to avoid using the word "said" in dialogue attributions. Oh, also, way too many adverbs. Sometimes you used two adverbs in a row. That was… odd.
Something more specific for me, though, is that Riley's memory loss feels… inconsistent. The amnesia gets brought up, yet Riley's clearly able to remember game elements — and bringing in things like actual levels, even for meta, is a personal pet peeve of mine that I strongly dislike seeing in fics — and envisions himself being like a kid playing outside when he's in the dungeon. How would he know something like that, huh?
Well, in any case, I'm starting to see Riley's thrill-seeking for myself. It should be interesting, especially since it looks like Rose won't tolerate that kind of nonsense from him if the sleep seed is any indication. Good work!