Reviews for Gods and Demons: ad terminos terrae
St Elmo's Fire chapter 19 . 11/24/2017
["Fennekin is so cute!" Skye said. "I'm going to name her Blaze!" She grinned as the fennekin yipped happily.

"'Blaze' is the most popular nickname for fire-type starter pokémon," said her pokédex in a lilting synthesized feminine voice. "Current central database counts ten thousand, seven hundred, and eighty-eight fire-type pokémon registered with the nickname 'Blaze'."

Skye frowned cutely, pausing for the dubbed-in laughter to subside. "Oh. Well, how about Ember?"]

XD This feels like something out of Unoriginality. Interesting to see what pokemon journey media looks like in their world.

["A pun, or play on words—"]

I see you are channeling Pterry. :D

[the purification of the abused and brainwashed pokémon called "shadow pokémon" that were sometimes used by criminal organizations.]

Yessss Orre reference. Pokemon Colosseum was my favorite.

[Right, that was how pokémon speech worked—it was partially telepathic, so it needed special devices to record it. Pokémon could speak to anyone, regardless of language, but could only understand ordinary audio recordings if they could skim the meaning off the top of the mind of someone listening.]

This is an interesting detail.

This was a good breather chapter after the intensity of the last arc. It's nice to finally get substantial information on Matt. The pieces are starting to come together!
St Elmo's Fire chapter 18 . 11/24/2017
[The gray man raised a hand as Moriko made it to the tunnel, but he and other spun]

Should this be "the other"?

[and picked up other man bodily.]

And again here.

Woah, things have really gone off the rails now! I loved the detail of the battle, it was really like something out of an epic. And that was only a lieutenant? I also love that someone calls out the Mysterious Plot Dispenser. I do love the vague hints of that character archetype, but they can be so frustrating too. XD Really excited to finally learn more about Matt's situation.

Also, I like the ant pokemon! It makes a lot of sense that ants would be so diverse, and the theme and diversity you've given them are really great. It's clear you put a lot of thought into them!
St Elmo's Fire chapter 15 . 11/24/2017
aaaa I love all this mythology stuff. It's been too long since I've read proper high fantasy, I've missed this.

[that is, food didn't mind as much]

I think you dropped a "she" here.

["It's complicated," Matt said, "you're paying for the license of the pokémon]

This feels like it should be two separate sentences.

I like all the pokemon and the growing party. I think you're doing a really good job of giving them all distinct personalities and viewpoints.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 14 . 11/24/2017
["Old" breaches have been used successfully to travel backward to Terra, but they expose the user to what is hypothesized to be a hostile extradimensional environment that is wholly unexplored and uncharacterized.]

Hmm. Is this Ultra Space, or did you write this before Sun and Moon?

This is fascinating, and a really good way to explain the disparate data we see in the games, as you said. (Other than "the writers don't care", of course. :p) I've always been partial to the "humans are aliens" theory, but that doesn't explain why the pokeworld is so similar to Earth.

But aaaa, this still leaves so many questions open! I can see why Matt is so eager to learn about the Second Crossing, I am too now!
St Elmo's Fire chapter 13 . 11/24/2017
[A voice that sounded like Matt's: implying pokémon aren't people?]

This made me cackle. I'm just turning out to have more and more in common with Matt. XD

This was a really cool chapter! Curious what's up with those dreams, and Vleridin sounds like she'll be an interesting addition to the group. I do love grand mythical guru types.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 10 . 11/24/2017
["No, it absolutely is—protein expression markers aren't quite as dry when they're being recited by balloon staring at you at night."]

Should that be "a balloon"?

[The other pokémon had been curious, approaching carefully one at a time to smell and touch it carefully, even other trainers' pokémon, who could be standoffish toward pokémon outside their group.]

This sentence is a bit confusing; I had to read it twice. It sounds a bit like "the other pokemon" are also smelling and touching "other trainers' pokemon". Might be better to separate this in two, like "Even other trainers' pokemon, who... ...were interacting with the baby" or something.

[Russ pointed them out; he had always been interested in plants, even before plant-type Sylvia, but soon they were passing species he'd never seen, not even in a book. Not all the regions had been fully explored, and the continents were different than on Terra: there were still plants to be discovered or properly described.]

This is an interesting detail.

[The gym was old underneath the modern trappings. She imagined the adepts of the second crossing squaring off with no shield to protect them, and no healing machine for afterward. You could pull back time in layers like paint or wallpaper and find the blood and the bones.]

I like this!

[her pokémon-bright hair and eyes markied her]

Typo.

[Water pokémon without limbs should be levitating at this level, sacrificing energy for mobility, or their trainers would only use them on a water field.]

I live for these details. Suddenly, the weird game conventions make sense!

That was really intense! I thought Tarahn might actually die. Poor Moriko! I wonder what's going to happen next, now that she's failed a gym battle.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 9 . 11/24/2017
Prof. Alder - any relation to a certain flame-haired champion? Also yesss, more worldbuilding and another female professor.

Matt is really interesting. He feels like he'd typically be the hero of a story like this - someone who's interested in the deep mysteries and his special heritage. But seen from the outside, he just looks surly and weird. He makes a good foil to Moriko and I'm curious to see where they'll both end up.

["If someone killed my trainer I would not rest until I killed them," Maia said, her head high and her fins the color of sunset. "I would make of my body a blade and follow them to the ends of the earth. I would follow them to other worlds where they say pokémon cannot live. I would follow them into the next life and the next, and I would kill them again and again without rest until the world ends."]

Woah. And his pokemon is just as intense.

Also really interesting to get more information on ronin and general pokemon behavior. It's nice to know pokemon will abandon trainers who cross a line. It fits the sanitized picture painted by the games but is logically justified by your making pokemon so intelligent. Just in general, you're doing such a good job of addressing all the pokemon treatment concerns. It's really nice to see how the people of this world think about so much.

["How dull," the minutes-old pokémon said.]

Plot twist! I wonder if it's going to go with Moriko.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 8 . 11/24/2017
The plot thickens! Really interesting stuff here. I like the lore of the caligryph and its magic spell, though pokemon with external objects are always weird.

I see on your tumblr that caligryph have a lot of unique moves. Will we get explanation of those?
St Elmo's Fire chapter 7 . 11/24/2017
["Behold my treasure, my lady of thorns. The royal family of Nalea commissioned an alchemist-adept, yea, long ago at the dawn of days, to create elementals that did not tire and did not sleep, and waited only to act on their command. Rangers find them, sometimes, wandering. From death, life; from silence, a word; from stillness, action. Can you stand against the akanthamaton, Moriko of Port Littoral?"]

Ooh, I love dramatic challenge speeches like this. You see them a lot in RPGs, but not enough in Pokemon.

That was a really cool battle, and it's nice to see things going Moriko's way for once. The description of the evolution and Moriko noting the way his features have changed was really great. I liked Maia's explanation of why pokemon fight for trainers, too.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 6 . 11/24/2017
[She peeped at little at the two of them]

Typo.

[Moriko and Russell headed to the caf for a late breakfast.]

Not sure if that's supposed to be an abbreviation, but it looks like a typo.

Ah, I did think it seemed too hasty of Russel to catch that dirfox. I'm interested to see how this plays out.

[Tak was initially rebellious, but started to respond to commands and flew circles around Bjorn]

Who is Bjorn? The springbuck? You don't mention the name before this.

I like how relevant you're making the battles. You use talking pokemon well there; because they're their own characters, it adds a whole other dynamic to the process.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 5 . 11/24/2017
You have the non-line scene breaks in this chapter.

["Sup," said the grimass.]

Typically an apostrophe precedes this, since it's short for "What's up".

["Why, though? Why give it to a trainer? Shouldn't it hatch and then decide where to go?"]

Ah, so eggs typically hatch on their own? That's a nice way of avoiding that particular bit of canon awfulness.

This whole scene was really good. Light-and-dark duality pokemon are usually overplayed, but I like how you characterized these two. And the super special egg feels like something right out of the games. XD I feel you could have described them better, though - I pictured them bipedal and human-sized, not at all like the pictures.

[That happened sometimes with pokémon with a high standing based on their own power: having an egg drained it, so they had to be quite secure or unworried about rivals to have an egg themselves. Being the minor parent was less of a commitment of energy, though it seemed the celestiule contributed time and affection, judging by her grandchildren's regard for her.]

This is also a nice adaptation of the egg mechanics. It looks like you're portraying pokemon as more magical than biological, like spirits more than animals?

["I'm going to sue Digital Monsters for false advertising," Russ murmured. He hadn't bothered to get up; he was stretched out and lying on Sylvia, who was snoozing in the shade, her claws twitching as she dreamed. "You had to fight off wild pokémon with literal sticks in the Legendary series. They'd overwhelm your team if you spent too much time outside of a town, and you had to repel them. I wonder what 'repel' is, anyway?"

"It's pee," Moriko said, quoting a meme. "It's always pee."]

XD I love your jabs at the games.

["I always wondered what makes them wander.."]

Incomplete ellipses here.

["The real treasure was the friends we made along the way, Dr. B," one of the grad students said piously.

"The real treasure was hot, greasy fast food when we finally get out of here," another said from his cot.

A third: "The real treasure was shut up."]

Oh, grad students. XD

(Also, another female professor, woo!)

["So…" Russ said eventually, "That was quite a run you made here.]

This shouldn't be capitalized, or the speech tag should have a period.

And ah, the plot thickens. Really curious to know what's up with Matt.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 3 . 11/24/2017
[A couple of machamp were carrying heavy bags of fertilizer to the greenhouse when they parked their bikes; they waved at them and the pokémon waved back with spare hands.]

This is cute.

["Russ," Vic said, sudden.]

Should this be "suddenly"?

[Vivek as he was titled Professor Mulberry IV]

Oh this is interesting. The tree name is actually part of becoming a professor? That seems a little strange - I always assumed it was just a theme with no in-universe significance, and I can't think of why they'd do this.

["Yes, that's part two—that will let you challenge the first gym and keep up to four pokémon. Once you get to tier four you can have six, and send me extras, but I don't recommend it until you have a couple of high-levels. Otherwise it's like having six kindergarteners with razor claws."

Russ nodded sagely. "Four deadly kindergarteners, though, that's fine."]

Ha! I don't normally like arbitrary limitations in pokemon training, but this promises more focus on the individual pokemon, and puts trainers on more even footing with each other.

[She tried to remember how it had been when she was a middle schooler, if it had always been like this, with the yelling fights and capricious reversals that left her dreading coming home at times. It must have been; they'd taken her to get a starter as a preteen, and she and Angela had even been friendly, once.]

It sounds like this should say it must not have been like that?

I like the narration here a lot more. The pace is less breakneck, and I'm getting a better impression of Moriko's thoughts and her surroundings. (Also, female professor, woo!)

I like the discussion of the other regions and general trainer behavior. This feels like a good middle ground between THROW YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS INTO THE WILDERNESS EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE and the grimdark NO KIDS ALLOWED murderfests, especially since you're emphasizing that Gaiien is a particularly wild region rather than making this the norm for the whole world. Also promises that this will be different and more interesting than the original regions, if they can dismiss Kanto as having "nothing to worry about".

[In the more populous regions, many wild pokémon had partnered with a trainer for a few seasons and then returned to the wild, powerful and attracting notoriety within their societies. It was common for young pokémon, especially those socially low-ranking, to seek out a trainer, and they usually had a clear expectation for the advantages a human trainer would provide.]

This is also neat, and gives good grounding for how the relationship works and what pokemon are getting out of this.

[Russ revealed that he'd packed a small bag of marshmallows as well and they set them roasting on sticks, and Rufus requested and received one that was black and on fire.]

This is cute! Do fire-types typically like burnt food?

[She'd tried to—fit in? gods, that sounded pathetic]

Seems like you should capitalize "Gods" here.

Matt is interesting. He delivered some good exposition, and this promises some interesting interactions with Moriko. I'm really intrigued to know more about the second crossing people and how they're different.

His attempt to be the tutorial was also cute - was that a jab at the games? ;) It makes sense for his character, and does a good job of showing how he's book-smart but bad at socializing. (Also really nice to see that trainers care when pokemon don't want to be caught.)

["Hark at this brave soul that wants to fight a cocoon," it replied. "Do you steal from infants as well?"]

Ha! This whole conversation was great. I like that they actually help it in the end.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 2 . 11/24/2017
[Kids often wanted the premade bars in the shape of cartoon animals or pokémon]

Animals *or* pokemon? That's interesting. I know from a later piece I saw on your tumblr that there's a population that only entered the pokeworld recently; is this marketed at them, as a reminder of home?

[that melted grotesquely, the colors running and gumball eyes dropping out.]

Ha, so true. XD Ice cream bars always make such a mess. I've never really seen the point in stylizing something you're going to eat.

["Supposed to be every day but you know how it is with school," Moriko said, "he gets bored and just chases pidove in the city all day."]

This sounds like the second dialogue should be a separate sentence.

["Oh of course it's not!" she threw up her hands in a cascade of bangles.]

This should have a capitalized "she".

This is interesting. I like the more fleshed-out world you're creating with the alternative career options and not everything revolving around battling. I did feel sometimes that the story moved a bit to fast - except for the last scene, I didn't feel like I was really in Moriko's head, just watching her. The scenes describe actions and speech, but don't go much into Moriko's emotional state, so there's not much to break up the immediate action. Maybe I'm just too used to more rambling styles? (I read a lot of Terry Pratchett and Salman Rushdie, and Farla's narration is pretty introspective too.) I think a little more description might have been helpful - I don't currently have a good idea of what the rest of Moriko's family looks like, or her house, or her pokemon. I know Description Paragraphs can be awkward, but it might have been nice to ground us with one before the scenes with Rachel, Russel, etc. (The hairstyling too, I think - she's styling herself up, so her appearance should be important, but the description is minimal and I couldn't picture anything very specific. I don't think you even tell us what the dress looks like beyond that it's "shapeless", which is itself pretty vague.) I find that helps me orient myself in the story, like a little pause where I can get adjusted to a new element before all the pieces start moving. Currently this feels a bit too much like I'm being dropped in the middle of something.

Curious as to where you're going with talking, sapient pokemon. Humans seem to be treating them fairly well, but treating a talking thing like a pet just feels emotionally weird to me. (Tarahn also seems a bit childish - are you going with the interpretation that evolutions correlate to life stages and maturity?) I do like that they all seem to have names.
WyldClaw chapter 25 . 11/10/2017
Oh no! How will moriko be able to save Russell from the gray prince?

I loved how they freed the demon Pokémon and Celeste made that deal with it
Gerbilfriend chapter 30 . 11/6/2017
Ahhh its over. I love this ending. I really wznt to read about her at school now...
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