|Reviews for Gods and Demons: ad terminos terrae|
| Equitia chapter 8 . 7/31
Soooo, I actually read this fic a bit ago, and I was going to review and then I didn’t. I’m going to quickly go over my feelings before I read the updated prologue and chapter 1 on TR. Sorry if this is moderately incoherent.
My reading experience is that I read a chapter or two a day until Chapter 8, took a general reading break for about a week, then finished the rest of the fic in about two and a half days.
I found the first chapter very strong. Moriko’s situation made me tear up a little. Just Moriko’s town had a lot of culture? Idk, I felt it. Loved Moriko, loved Russel. Great opening buuuutt I feel like it’s a bit different from the next portions of the fic.
I felt as I read that this fic had two very distinct sections, which I realized was because the first half was actually completely rewritten, while the next came from a reboot. So, it makes sense, but very noticeable in reading. Anyway, the first half I feel like is more focused on setting and worldbuilding with the gang traveling around the region. Less plot, no big character reveals, so while we get development of course it’s nothing super dramatic. (Comparatively.) Not bad, but for me these kinds of things lead to a slower reading experience. Even though I enjoyed the chapters as I read them, I wasn’t compelled on. For me, I felt compelled around Chapter 9 to start binging. That was when Belladonna and Vlerdin showed up and really liked them both so lol.
Anyway, chapters 2-8 were good, but a little slow. Again this is personal preference, I also think that my expectations were just a teensy bit betrayed. Chapter 1 has a lot of character focus on Moriko, so I was primed to expect similar from the rest of the fic. I’m not trying to say that the next seven-ish chapters had too little character focus, but the first chapter had me expecting a bit more than I got. My favorite moment in these chapters was Moriko’s battle with the Grass gym leader. The artificial Pokémon hit all my buttons and Moriko’s steep disadvantage and Rufus’s evolution were mmmm good.
Belladonna and Vlerdin. Vlerdin is just best girl and I love reading her, but Belladonna. Belladonna. Just on her own, I like Belladonna’s character, but the way she plays into Moriko’s insecurities was nicely set up and mmmm I liked those parts. And that was without really even guessing much about Moriko’s backstory; I knew she felt alienated because of her race, but thinking back about her reactions to Belladonna after knowing about her parents oooooh boy. Can’t wait to re-read those sections.
I like Vlerdin, I mentioned that. I also liked the chapter with the boars; the concept of a Pokémon kid gaining immense power and the visual images that came with a fire boar running around was nice. And development with Moriko’s half-sister was nice in a subtle way? I can’t go into everything in detail or else this review would never come out, but yeah I liked those bits.
Moving on. Like I said, the second part felt really distinct from the first for reasons that have to do with how this fic was written. The transition was a bit rough, but nothing terrible that can’t be patched over since you’re going for a rewrite. Mostly it was just some worldbuilding elements being explained, except I had already picked up on them during the first part. The only thing that really confused me was Moriko proceeding to casually ensoul Vlerdin throughout the rest of the fic. I had gotten the impression that ensouling was A Big Deal, so when it just happened that threw me off.
I ABSOLUTELY ADORED the paraslit arc. So much was happening, the plot was beginning to show its head, the battle was huge and large scale and Matt’s past had come back and it was just off-the-wall bonkers. Those chapters were more “what the actual fuck” than anything I had read in a good while. This arc definitely cemented the binge.
Russ’s change after the paraslit arc felt a bit abrupt? Idk, it’s just the change from being the literal nicest to what-an-asshole felt a bit too stark. He came off as fine immediately after in the hospital, then his dickishness felt unsubtle at the gym afterward. I think it needed more of a transition or him wavering a bit; it came off weird.
Matt’s backstory. That poor dickhead. I love him.
Belladonna’s return! The Black Queen! Linden! Linden bonding with Paraslit! Moriko’s and Russel’s and Matt’s changing dynamics. I really liked this last section. So many things were happening and it was just fucking great.
The finale was magnificent. It felt the most perfect culmination of the story so far – all those worldbuilding elements coming together, straining Moriko’s and Russ’s relationship further, Matt facing his demons, the most epic battles, gods getting their faces punched. I was internally screaming the entire time.
So, all in all, this fic started slow for me but then got insanely good and it was great. It has the best worldbuilding and I would recommend to anybody. This review is actually longer than I thought it would be, so I’m ending it here. Didn’t really proofread, sorry about any typos.
I plan to be keeping up as you post updated chapters on TR.
| NebulaDreams chapter 2 . 5/25
Hi, so I’ve been meaning to check this out for quite a while since a few people mentioned your story to me before. I’m glad I did, but I’ll get in to the specifics first.
So, for the prologue, I was a little lost the first time, since it didn’t seem to connect to much, though I expect it’ll come into play later on when the creature is presumably freed. By taking place in Kalos, it does introduce Gaiien in a natural way, leading into its next chapter, so that’s one thing I appreciated. Another thing I’ll point out is that it presented its talking Pokemon in a rather blase way. I will say the confusion around what Pokemon are capable of, how they can talk, and how exactly they function in this world carries over to the next chapter, but by the end of chapter one, I was hooked anyway, so it didn’t bother me as much.
Moriko is a very relatable character and it doesn’t take long to get invested in her plight. From the uncertainty she faces in her future path as a trainer (also interesting that training is looked down upon as a pipe dream compared to other jobs in the industry), to dealing with her abusive aunt, as well as the general trouble she faces fitting in with her peers, I got into her shoes quite easily.
Tarahn, from what I’ve seen of him so far, is a delight. Despite this being set in your fan region Gaiien, bringing new Pokemon with it, it was easy to visualise what the Pokemon looked like. It’s not so clear whether Pokemon can come out of their balls at will (at least, I assume that’s what happens with Tarahn), so whenever they suddenly appear, it’s a little jarring. But back to Tarahn, his interactions are cute, his dynamic with Moriko is great (especially in that ending), he just warms my heart, okay? Forget Russ whatshisface, Tarahn is best boy.
It didn’t take long for the journey/inciting incident to start either, so in general, it made for a propulsive first chapter. My only issue is that the story can be dialogue heavy and a little sparse on description at times. I haven’t had much difficulty visualising the scenes themselves since you give enough of a mental image for the reader to follow along without describing too much, but sometimes, I wished there was more to break up the dialogue to give characters pause.
But all in all, really liked this chapter, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.
| Anla'shok chapter 25 . 5/10
Poor Russ. He doesn't deserve this.
The others should bodily restrain Moriko if they don't want her to go, not expect her to shoulder alone the responsibility of letting her friend die. Cowards.
The whole scene with Nocturna, the demon and Celeste was great. It also really nailed in the role of Gym Leaders as a stabilizing force, and the necessary compromises. The chaos and loose power of this pokemon world of yours makes it really fascinating and memorable.
| Anla'shok chapter 24 . 5/10
Linden having demon-immunity makes her father look less bad for allowing her to travel. Although by now, Moriko et al. should realize they should be asking more questions instead of waiting until people tell them stuff.
Again, it's fun to see that the actual adults in this fic are the pokemon.
I'm glad Russ and Moriko's pokemon refused to put up with their bullsh*t. Moriko's cowardice regarding Russ' behavior is increasingly infuriating now that we learn that she fears that it's enhanced by a substance. If she does believe that, then he needs help, what's she waiting for, for someone to get physically hurt? How does she expect the 'real' Russ will feel when he gets back to normal if he's allowed to run wild unchecked and hurt his friends. I'm rooting for that girl to find some courage (and matt too).
| Anla'shok chapter 23 . 5/10
Matt being emotionally sixteen actually makes him make a lot more sense, lol. He's still a mess, but I have hope for him.
It's actually quite a change from the early chapter when it seemed that Moriko was the one all over the place, and now she's probably the most stable of the three (well, the bar isn't all that high to be honest).
Belladonna steals this chapter and just got way more interesting.
I love how Vleridin is all like 'who cares about pain and discomfort, I want power!'. Also, it cracks me up that the pokemon are the most emotionally mature of the bunch.
| Anla'shok chapter 22 . 5/10
It's so frustrating to see Moriko think that because she thinks Russ has reasons to behaves like he does, she feels she has to put up with it and swallow her own needs and feelings. But well, I guess boundaries must be learned and she started out with very low self esteem. Matt seems to finally be good for her, and I like that she feels secure enough to ask him questions instead of catering to his fragile feelings. Also, go Maia.
I can't be sure if Russ is just Russ at his worst or if it's something more sinister. It's more interesting if he's just actually that selfish and can't handle Moriko not needing him. Perhaps he can grow, but that should be his problem, not Moriko's. The fact he tries to get over the horror with bluster and focusing on a normal journey makes him more sympathetic, but he still deserves to go alone for being such a berk.
Matt's reaction to Russ sleeping around with guys confused me.
Linden is either a genius or about to create a lot of trouble. Of course she's convinced she has figured out what everyone else is failing to see. If only Moriko could have half the girl's confidence.
And cool worldbuilding with Celeste.
| Anla'shok chapter 21 . 4/30
It speaks to the quality of the buildup that when Moriko turned into Vleridin, I bought it. Same when she attacked the demon.
The ghost town and the demon made for a wonderful atmosphere. Linden Jr is cool comic relief without being over the top.
My favorite thing in this chapter was removing the trainers to give the pokemon a chance to shine.
| Anla'shok chapter 20 . 4/30
It's hard to add layers of worldbuilding without going overboard and I really like how you're weaving it all in the story. It's complex but no too confusing either, and I'm excited to see it unfold. The payoff of the last two chapters after such a cryptic beginning has been pretty great.
Russ and Moriko's relationship has taken a turn I like. He's not the best of friends but he's not awful either, and aggressively latching on to battling and normalcy is understandable considering what he's been through. But Moriko finally managing to stand up for herself was also wonderful.
I'm curious to see what this 'free' Matt is going to be like.
| WyldClaw chapter 12 . 12/26/2019
what an exciting chapter
| WyldClaw chapter 13 . 5/13/2019
That whole ensoulment thing Vleridin did with Moriko was freaky
| WyldClaw chapter 14 . 5/11/2019
that was outstanding
| WyldClaw chapter 5 . 5/9/2019
who or what killed that trainer
what secret is matt keeping?
| WyldClaw chapter 3 . 5/9/2019
i think matt will be a good traveling companion
man angela and her cronies are jerks
| WyldClaw chapter 24 . 5/9/2019
that was excellent
| Anla'shok chapter 19 . 7/21/2018
Haha, I'd missed Tak.
This chapter was a very welcome breather. I don't think Moriko has been so relaxed, ever, and finally, we have answers (and satisfying ones!). Hurray.
Thanasasian's culture clash was awesome.
Poor Matt, I hope they break the curse. Maia's attitude also makes more sense (I'd first thought she just had an extreme personality, but now it's grounded).
It's great to see Russ healed, and I enjoyed the glimpse at in-world pop culture.
Also, definitely take the experienced kid with archeological knowledge and the powerful metagross. You'll need them (her dad's crazy to allow her to go, though, but I guess they'd live in Kanto if they didn't have an unhealthy love of adventure).