Reviews for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gravity of Perspective
Miner7365 chapter 3 . 8/3/2018
So, for some strange reason that may or may not have to do with the "what the hell was this girl smoking" line, I decided to review this chapter as well. Either way, let us begin.

First off, I see a hell of a lot more sentences starting with I then I did in chapter 2, especially near the beginning... in being honest, I almost thought you were going for some form of parallelism or something until I realized there would be no reason for you to emphasis the I like that. I did used to have this problem, to a certain extent, but I would never go more then three lines starting with I before it switched. Either way, all I can say is try to vary it up a bit, if you haven't already.

There is also the matter of the fact that you seem to be somewhat inconsistent in whether you capitalize and not capitalize pokémon names. At first, I thought you always did it, but then I noticed the fact that the second time the partner makes a joke about the Miltank it is uncapitalized. Either way, it seems odd.

Another thing I would like to quickly comment on is the main character in general. It's rather obvious that you have made him distinct from how he was in the games, for better or for worse. Now, I wouldn't say this is bad, but... I really don't see how he and the partner are going to mix per say. If anything, it seems more at this point that Espurr assumes the role of being the partner, at least for the time being. Either way, it's way too early for me to make any judgments on this front, so i'll just shut up here.

Now, onto the quotations...

"what the hell was this girl smoking?"

That's... one way to take the PSMD's character's outburst in the beginning, I guess. Kinda contributes to my whole thing I said about the main character not seeming to be able to mix well with the partner, but it is still way too early to tell, so i'll stop trying to speculate.

"I was being bushwacked and than requated for an introduction?"

This kills the reader. Jokes aside, I had to take a second to step back after reading this and figure out just what in the world it was trying to get across, which kinda ruined the pacing for the whole first introduction scene for me. Oh well, whatever. (Hell, even FFN is screaming at me with red lines to get rid of these words in the review, and while their word database is not the greatest... it really is a bit much.)

"Leah! Stop! Right! Zere! You pest!"

Repeatedly. Using. Stopping. Marks. Makes. The. Reader. Feel. Like. He. Is. Bashing. His. Head. Against. A. Wall. Like. So. I'd like to say this is a joke, but this really is excessive. I have serious doubts he would hesitate for a bit right after he said every word in this sentence, so yeah. Also, his dialogue in later bits could have been done better, since he has such a distinctive way of speaking in the games that only seems to have been replicated in terms of he being replaced with ze and here with zere, along with that o thrown at the end.

(Side Note: There is a certain line in which he says give where I think you meant to make him say go... I'm not entirely sure, but it's there. If you want to know where it is, I can tell you later, but I don't see the point in inflating this review anymore then it needs to be.)

"Of all things, what an odd thing to remember! What an odd thing to even believe in this world without humans!"

Uh... who told you that? I mean, we as the reader already know of this as a constant, at least in the canon PMD games, but that doesn't mean the character knows this. For all he knew, this is in some secluded woods only ten or fifteen miles away from his home and family, yet here he is, disregarding it to the wind. Sure, this might seem like nitpicking, but... when you have no memories and are stuck in a new environment, I don't think the average person would think "oh and I must be in a new world too duh." unless they had already played the games or something and could actively remember them like in Part from a Whole or Canon Breakage.

Either way, I would quote more, but I think you get the point. This chapter is fine, and I'm just giving it unnecessary flak it probably doesn't deserve, but hey, isn't that what we all are here for. Snarky comments aside, great chapter compared to the bullshit I was cooking up when I first started this whole 'writing' thing, and I can't wait to get to reading more when I finally decide to continue from where I left off after old man Nuzleaf turned sour and the Voidlands just ate everyone.

See you then, I guess. Maybe if i'm feeling insane enough, i'll review chapter four as well, but that remains to be seen. Either way, I'll be off now. Be back either with a chapter four review or a chapter thirty-three review in which I comment on everything. See you then.
Namohysip chapter 33 . 8/2/2018
And there we are, finally caught up. The pace was quick for a little while, though it seems that this is a bit of downtime. However, the moment of calm and reflection was necessary after all the chaos that happened before, and the stirring chaos in Lively Town and the budding heat was something that I felt was handled well. I'm personally a little confused on why all the Pokemon have such a visceral reaction to the stoned bodies as if it was an actual gore-filled murder, but I understand the intention.

I feel that Leah and Sage's bond was at its new peak during the Harmony Scarves' activation, and while I don't recall the exact activation requirements for them, and while I know you're not one for sappy things like this, if they're activated by the bonds between the two of them, I'd 100% buy it without any suspension of disbelief. But somehow I don't think that's the case.

Now that I'm all caught up, I can also give you more useful feedback on your current sort of writing! And I can tell that you've improved on your pacing, but I do see some shades of old sins manifesting, particularly during calm moments, where perhaps Sage is thinking for one paragraph too long.

I think the most interesting addition that you've added to the original is the idea of the corpse-puppets. Everything else was similar or divergent-but-parallel to the canon, but the corpse-puppets, the ticking, that ethereal, eldritch feel you're giving the main antagonist? Wonderful. I hope you capitalize on this more.

I'm itching to finally get somewhere, though. My memory of the game's plotline at this point is foggy. While reading through this chapter, I thought the next step was heading back to Revelation Mountain upon seeing Nuzleaf and co., so I'm a little itchier, now, because I thought we'd finally get to the voidlands. Hope that happens soon!
Infinite Nexus chapter 33 . 7/29/2018
And I’ve finally caught up!
Oh my god, this is good! Every line is almost poetically worded. Your descriptions are fantastically vivid and I just love how you show Sage’s internal conflicts. The problem I often find with novelisations of PMD stories is that often they are a brilliant story being told by an okay author. You, though, really understand the characters and what they would be thinking and feeling and know how to show that.
This is actually my first time experience in PSMD, because I’m blind and I just know a lets play wouldn’t cut it, but this I feel is just as good as playing the games. You still make the plot twists work and I never feel as if I’m just expected to know something.
Really cant wait for the next chapter.
Also, Sage and Espurr are my OTP. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good romance.
Vore chapter 1 . 7/27/2018
Wook at them, they come to this pwace when they knyow they awe nyot puwe. Tennyo use the keys, but they awe mewe twespassews. Onwy I, Vore, knyow the twue powew of the Void. I was cut in hawf, destwoyed, but thwough it's Janyus Key, the Void cawwed to me. It bwought me hewe and hewe I was webown. We cannyot bwame these cweatuwes, they awe being wed by a fawse pwophet, an impostow who knyows nyot the secwets of the Void. Behowd the Tennyo, come to scavenge and desecwate this sacwed weawm. My bwothews, did I nyot teww of this day? Did I nyot pwophesize this moment? Nyow, I wiww stop them. Nyow I am changed, webown thwough the enyewgy of the Janyus Key. Fowevew bound to the Void. Wet it be knyown, if the Tennyo want twue sawvation, they wiww way down theiw awms, and wait fow the baptism of my Janyus key. It is time. I wiww teach these twespassews the wedemptive powew of my Janyus key. They wiww weawn it's simpwe twuth. The Tennyo awe wost, and they wiww wesist. But I, Vore, wiww cweanse this pwace of theiw impuwity.
Miner7365 chapter 2 . 7/27/2018
So, before I get to the actual review, I'll just do some nitpicking here. Since your and my styles do have... a bit of a clash between eachother, you can choose to ignore this or not, but here goes nothing.

Every paragraph here seems to start with I, or at least, most. I would heavily recommend to avoid having multiple paragraphs with the same word starting them off, since it does start to become repetitive after a while. (Of course, there is always the case of purposely trying to do that in order to emphasis the person or the word, if that is your goal, but it's pretty obvious that's not your goal here so... yeah.)

Oh, and another thing. There are also phrases like "My voice sounded odd, as if it wasn't mine." and "My entire body felt numb and unfamiliar ... almost as if they were not human." Let me try to give you a example for this one. I wake up the woods, and every muscle in my body feels tired. Most people wouldn't really go to thinking "It feels like i'm not human anymore" even if they weren't human anymore. Idk, both lines just come out as odd and off-putting here, and kinda weird foreshadowing to things that don't really need to be foreshadowed. (This is me nitpicking a decent bit, but these lines do in all honesty come out as odd... so yeah, idk, I just wanted to point it out.)

Besides those two lines, a lot of words seem weird in there usage here... like...

"That though gave me pause."

At first I swore this was supposed to be "That thought gave me pause." Which still sounded weird but better. But then I realized you probably meant to say this weird sounding sentence instead.

"That, though, gave me pause."

It's... still bad, and really weirdly worded, but it works somewhat better. As for "gave me pause," this entire chapter seems to have a tendency to have a weird verb paired with a noun that it doesn't fit with, or just weird wording in general. I'll give you a few more examples, for reference.

"I felt fatigue nip at my muscles" (Are you sure it's just the muscles there being nipped at there bud... I mean, Cara Mia and Cotangent do exist, if you want your hemipenes and your... other stuff satisified.)

"My head on a swivel" (Well now I can't get the image of his head at a 180 degree angle looking back at someone out of my head. That's swell...)

"A very strange sensation overcame me" (... you don't say? It be'a strange thing, 'ammit, to be a'seeing strange and a'very in the same sentence, much less a'serious as this. It'd be a'very strange thing indeed.)

"More minutes of this mental spiral would commence..." (Uh... on the topic of the swivel line, now I can only imagine how much of a 'spiral' this really is... but seriously commence is not a great verb for this. Also for some reason the word commence makes me think of a space ship taking off more then anything so... idk. Perhaps it's some really weird foreshadowing?)

Besides those, there is also the case of redundant added information, like i'll show you below.

"I sighed inwardly with relief." (... Honestly don't get why else he would be sighing here, so that information seems redundant. And I can't really imagine what a inward sigh would look like... except for maybe it being him breathing in, but that isn't sighing so...)

"My voice sounded odd, as if it wasn't mine." (Already know I mentioned this one already, but it's still odd for someone to immediately think their voice doesn't belong to them... idk, it just seems like a really weird choice.)

"... and help clear the mist out of my soggy brain ..." (Disregarding the fact clear should be cleared here, I can only imagine what the hell this brain has been through at this point, with it somehow making this poor boy sigh inward, swivel his head 180 degrees, go down a literal or unliteral mental spiral, depending on how much it made use of that swivel neck this guy has, and all of that. Really, this brain has to be the antagonist or something, considering how many bad things he has done already, swivel necking this kid, forcing his lungs to take in air when they are supposed to be sighing, really, this is a man vs. self plot you got going here. But in all seriousness, I feel seriously sorry for this kid. This poor, poor kid... I can only imagine how much swivel neck syndrome he's going to have later in life, if his spinal cord doesn't snap by the end of chapter 3. I can see it now, "Kid possessed by Darkrai himself, ender of time and hell bringer himself, turned kid's neck 180 degrees in old Nuzleaf's house. The end is near! Run! Run! Save yourself! Pray to our lord and savior Dialga to stop this! The time gears are doomed! The Bitter Cold is back! A meteor is coming! The sun is rapidly approaching! SOS! Hemipenes everywhere! Everyone is about to fucking di-")

...

...

...

I... probably went too far with that... but i'll have to admit I had a absolute fucking blast writing that. Though, take it with a absolutely massive grain of salt... it that wasn't already clear.

Either way, nitpicking aside, this is a decent first chapter. It has its problems (namely, a seemingly lack of commas and poor word choice in places.) But i'm assuming this is more first chapter syndrome then anything else. It sure it ten times better then my original trashy prologue ever was, so yeah... it's fine.

In any case, swivel necks and moist brain people aside, i'll be out. I'll give you a more serious review when I finally get PSMD done and can read through this without fear of spoilers. Until then, seeya.

...

...

...

I wonder, is swivel neck a sign of Ligma?
Namohysip chapter 27 . 7/26/2018
Well, looks like things are starting to diverge a bit from the game's plot a bit more, now. About time! Starting from chapter ~22 or so, I could tell that you were eager to finally get some new content in rather than following the rails. The strange ticking noise, the possessed corpses, and so on, were an interesting addition. "You're running out of time, Sage," was one of my favorite lines from this fic so far. Good job.

I also noticed that you couldn't resist FINALLY breaking from first person to do a scene with Espurr and Nuzleaf. Not sure how I feel about that, though I do see why you had to do it. I feel like the scene went on for a little long, though. Weird as it sounds, I feel like you could have ended at:

"If you don't mind, I could steadily use your help with somethin',"
"And that something is?"
"Finding Sage."

Boom, end chapter. The rest of it felt like something that drew on awkwardly after that really powerful one-liner. It could have been implied by a scene break. Maybe the remarks about being radiant, and those important bits, could have happened BEFORE that line. But "Finding Sage." was definitely the line that could have ended the chapter in a powerful way, in few words, while saying a lot. But then again, 'few words' isn't really your style, so I see why the scene continued.

Now then, let me get through some quick remarks about "The Clouds and the Canyon" while they're still fresh.

This could have been two chapters. Maybe it's a matter of personal taste, but I feel like there wasn't really a need to lump in their time mapping out the canyon with their escape in the sky. They felt too distinct, and I'm not really sure why this is all one giant chapter.

I'm also a little disappointed from a characterization standpoint that Sage and Leah are having a remix of that same contrived argument they had back in chapter ~3 or so. I thought Leah was past that crass carelessness by now, especially after the Onix situation and the events that followed down the line. It seemed like an odd character regression for them to have that sort of argument all over again.

As an aside, it seemed mildly out of place that Sage and Leah were quietly celebrating the implied falling-death of the wild Ursurang, even if it was terrorizing them.

Now then, regardless of that, speaking of chapter ends from before. This was a strong end to a chapter, another one-liner that builds some suspense for the next. While you can't overuse the trope, doing it now and then, and the way you did it, was quite effective. While the story as a whole is still a similar and slightly-shifted version of the canon, the unfamiliarity of the scenery finally has some semblance of not EXACTLY knowing what's coming next.
Ambyssin chapter 33 . 7/26/2018
It occurred to me that, perhaps, I ought to actually start looking at other PMD fics on this site, despite how much it hates me. Your profile page mentioned this is your first story, something I can relate to, so I read it, despite constant page crashing. Hopefully this actually publishes. Or it might not matter at all, since you could just completely ignore me. It's okay, you wouldn't be the first or the last.

So, I have no prior experience with PMD stories that retell the canon games. As far as I could tell, you were sticking pretty closely to the source material out of the gate, save for some slight differences like the brief feud b/w Sage and Leah and the ship teasing with Espurr. That did initially make some of the lines that were ripped right from the game read a bit awkwardly (Leah's "ya big Miltank" stuff came to mind). But this petered out when we moved onto Lively Town and you decided to take more creative liberties. I thought the whole Fogbound Lake chain of events was a nice mix-up and Volcanion was a great choice to use given how ignored it is by the general fandom. The whole zombie/undead element getting added to the stone conundrum was also an interesting (and unsettling!) turn, though if I'm honest Sage's voice made those scenes a bit cheesy for me. More on that later, though.

That isn't to say all the original stuff is a slam dunk. From my perspective, I find the political and economic worldbuilding to be more of a miss than a hit. It's started to crop up a bit more with this recent chapter and the Not-FBI being belligerent government officials. But my problem with it stems for the fact that you really haven't explained the stuff... just had some characters make passing mention of the fact that there are governments. If you're going to commit, I'd like to see you go all-in on it. What does the governmental structure of these continents look like? Do they all hate each other? Just how long after Rescue Team/Explorers does this story take place? Where does the Expedition Society rank in all of this? As it stands, it reads to me as awkward social commentary... or even an attempt to tick someone off who's unnecessarily passionate about politics. Someone else mentioned this, but the Snubbull and fidget spinner things felt especially mean-spirited. For that matter, all of the memetic jokes were cringey (Smugleaf, page 420, etc.), so I hope that was your intent.

Onto the characters, then. I commend you for keeping the supporting cast well-rounded for the most part. Gimmick characters like Ampharos feel like they have some depth to them this time around and newcomers like Team Carbon have notable personalities, like Mincinno's crass, standoffish nature or Helioptile's general peppiness. I, of course, like the Gen VII cameos and got a kick out of our main duo calling themselves Team Prism given we literally have a Prism Pokémon.

Leah reads like a more fleshed-out version of the SMD partner. She's got the energy and enthusiasm in spades, while her reckless nature has been given more of the spotlight. And the talk with Sage in which she confesses to missing home shows that things are clearly starting to take a toll on her. I think she's entertaining to read and I'm curious how you'll approach some of the late-game stuff with her.

Sage, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record of other reviews, it entirely comes down to the prose. While I do appreciate his more guarded nature and his general confusion and frustration at his situation... especially when he ends up in danger... his voice can be exhausting. This is an odd one for me, because this is actually something I personally think became *more* of a problem the further I got into the story.

There are just too many times when you treat us to several paragraphs of Sage just thinking about his situation and it's gotten really repetitive. I get it, by this point. He's confused why he's here... he's disturbed that the Big Bad knows more about his past life than he does... etc, etc. That really doesn't need to be brought up once a chapter and given three or four paragraphs of exposition on. Like, for example, this last chapter has at least five or six instances in the first scene were Sage draws attention to how tired he is, when one or two would've sufficed. Your energy is better spent somewhere else.

Adding to that is the prose's composition itself. Now, maybe part of this comes down to personal taste, but when I think of a first person story, I think of prose that feels conversational. Something that I would say to a friend or colleague. Sage's voice is quite the opposite of that. And, again, this is something that's gotten more noticeable instead of less. You inject a lot of uncommon words (or SAT words, if you will) into Sage's voice. While it's certainly vivid, it actually makes it hard for me to paint a clear picture of what's happening. The Harmony Scarf evolution scene was rather confusing for me. And some of the descriptions for Steam Cave felt more like a physics lecture than a Pokémon fic. If I could make a suggestion going forward... if you want Sage to keep doing this introspective stuff, either break it up by having him do something other than walking or have him talk his concerns out with another character, like Leah. I had fun reading the dialogue, but some chapters there are only short bits with long chunks of exposition in between.

That's all I've got. Don't know if it was that helpful... assuming you even looked at this. Perhaps I'll pop up again in the future, as this was an entertaining read and I do enjoy reading fics for fun.
Zion of Arcadia chapter 2 . 7/17/2018
I… I don’t really have much of anything to say about this chapter. It was much ado about nothing. To be quite frank, I have always had a strong dislike of direct PMD adaptations – it’s one of the reasons I held off on reviewing this story for so long. And this chapter is just… the opening of PSMD, but without the Mystery Dungeon. So just PS, I guess. Lol.

Because the chapter’s plot follows the game, the character of Sage pretty much has to carry the entire thing by itself. And, I mean, he’s okay I guess? He strikes me as a classic everyman, and the fact that he has amnesia further scrubs him clean of any specific character trait for me to latch onto.
Then I was hoping for more interaction with Nuzleaf to begin building upon their relationship, something that never really happens in the games due to the nature of the player avatar. But I didn’t get that, either.

The scene where Sage fiddles with his vines was probably my favorite moment. It was a fun bit that took advantage of Snivy’s body and typing, something I always enjoy reading in Pokémon stories.

I also liked the use of repetition when Sage realized he’d turned into a Snivy. It’s a literary device that I favor quite a bit, maybe a little too much, haha.

“I'd even wretched a few times to the point where if I had any food in my stomach I undoubtedly would've left it behind in the forest.”

I believe you mean retch. Regardless, I’m not sure why this was glossed over. It’s the type of thing that should be expanded upon. Why? Because it’s a vulnerability that explores Sage’s current struggles to adapt.

Plus it provides an organic means for Nuzleaf to do… something. Something that further establishes whatever you have in mind for their relationship. Especially since an entire paragraph was wasted describing a bunch of Beeheyem.

Finally, a note about the pov. I usually prefer writing in 3rd myself, but lately I’ve been trying to branch out. A mentor of mine gave me some good advice in regards to first person. Just because its first person narration doesn’t mean you forgo third person sentences. Here’s an excerpt from The Jungle Book:

“Father and Mother Wolf died, and Mowgli rolled a big boulder against the mouth of the cave, and cried the Death Song over them; Baloo grew very old and stiff, and even Bagheera, whose nerves were steel and whose muscles were iron, was a shade slower on the kill than he had been. Akela turned from grey to milky white with pure age; his ribs stuck out, and he walked as though he had been made of wood, and Mowgli killed him for it.”

Now again, but in first person:

“Father and Mother Wolf died, and I rolled a big boulder against the mouth of the cave, and cried the Death Song over them; Baloo grew very old and stiff, and even Bagheera, whose nerves were steel and whose muscles were iron, was a shade slower on the kill than he had been. Akela turned from grey to milky white with pure age; his ribs stuck out, and he walked as though he had been made of wood, and I killed him for it.”

How many words did you have to change?

I’m not really saying you’re writing first person wrong, it’s more just a general tip that I found helpful and that I figured I would share with you.

Anyway, that's about it. Might take me a while to get another review out, because I have a million and one fics on my to-do list. But I'll try to get back to this. Hopefully the divergence from the game plot picks up soon.
Zion of Arcadia chapter 1 . 7/17/2018
Okay, I'm going to try and get both the prologue and the first chapter done, since the prologue is so short.

First, that opening paragraph: holy mother of run-on sentences. I counted the words in each sentence and got 12, 22, 25 (!), and 17 words, with few commas to separate independent clauses. Let's break it down to understand why, exactly, it's so bad. I'm only doing this because you asked for ways to improve, and I happen to believe the opening paragraph of a story is extremely important.

"Two figures overlooked a broad landscape that stretched itself out before them."

I have the least issues with this sentence. My only quibble is that 'a broad landscape' is vague and could mean a great many things.

"Grass that had once turned brown and lifeless in the once blazing heat waved in the gentle northern breeze, full of life."

Oh boy, where to start. The grass was once dead and at one point it was (once) extremely hot, but not anymore. Condense, condense, condense! You describe the grass as 'once lifeless', and then end by describing it as 'full of life' - you've essentially said the same thing twice. It's clunky, repetitive, and, worst of all, confusing for the reader.

"The sun sat in its rightful place governing over the Earth, showering down beams of light peeking through the clouds racing across the sapphire sky."

... I like the personification of the sun, as if it's a king and the earth is its vassal. But the second half, with the beams of light and the clouds in particular, is utterly disconnected from the royalty metaphor you're going for. If you want to write about the clouds, make it a separate sentence. It's too much.

"The breeze carrying the clouds brought a chill to the air circulating around the pair of friends."

The clouds again, oh my lord. Them being carried by the breeze has nothing to do with the pair of friends being cold. Take that portion out and nothing would be lost. You've essentially wasted everyone's time. Never waste the reader's time, that is rule numero uno.

I know I said wouldn't bitch too much about old prose, but I needed to get that off my chest. The only other thing I'll add is that varying sentence length generally makes it more pleasing to read. Moving on.

The dichotomy between the tranquility of the setting and the somber attitude of the two Pokemon is nice. It sets up the question in our minds - if everything appears good, why are they so troubled? Getting the reader to ask questions is how you get them hooked, because they want to find out the answers to said questions.

I liked the dialogue. It's mostly formal and some might find it floral, but personally I enjoyed it. You also establish a repertoire between the two characters right off the bat: one is deeply concerned, while the other is trying to reassure her (and, it seems, himself).

And finally, the prologue raises a conundrum. What use is peace if it's only temporary? It's an interesting idea to explore, and it definitely grabs my attention. These two have knowledge of terrible events in the future, and they want to try and prevent it. Now, I will say I tend to strongly dislike time travel stuff (kind of funny since Explorers of Sky is one of my favorite games, but I digress), but I'm intrigued enough by the premise to give it a chance.

Overall opinion on the prologue - I liked it. I want to find out more, so it accomplishes its main goal. I also see what people mean when they describe your style as wordy. But, aside from that PTSD-inducing first paragraph, it's nothing so terrible that I'm tempted to quite reading, not even close.
UnholyPens chapter 4 . 7/14/2018
Woo, lookit this! It may have only been two chapters, but I got around to reading again, and this time, not for my own benefit. I just figured I'd stop in to try and read, since I've been on a major stint lately. Johnny Got His Gun has been in my bag for months...

Anyway, it's not much different from Super yet. YET. I recall it being slightly different, but whatever.

Pacing felt a little rushed, and I spotted some mistakes, but I'm gonna disregard those, since I'm already aware of your current situation. So, pacing aside, I like the atmosphere you've got going. The dungeon felt kinda weird, but whatevs, you warned me about that.

Is it bad that Espurr is my favorite character so far? Cute, and dominant, prefect traits, hehe.
Namohysip chapter 19 . 7/10/2018
I think this is a good place to stop and give a review! And you know what, I’ll make it a long, in-depth one this time, too, because this turning point warrants it.

Things are finally changing pace ever since chapter 17, I feel, with the introduction of the petrification. And while things haven’t fully gone off the rails just yet, I am seeing the story slowly inching its way out of those guided paths. To add, I’d like to point out the entire extrapolation of the journey from Serene Village to Lively Town, and how that journey, as a whole, really conveyed the exhaustion that took place for their movements—at least for the first half of chapter 18 or so.

That brings me to one issue, though. The chapters didn’t convey the exhaustion of the protags alone. It also conveyed some exhaustion from me, and it stems from one of the grand pitfalls of first-person narrative: Sage’s internal monologue is driving me insane. It never, ever, EVER ends. And while some of it is good—a lot of it, really—I feel like just the sheer volume of it all, combined with how densely packed these past two chapters in particular have been with it, made some of it feel like it was on repeat. This is especially perplexing because the same doubts are expressed in dialogue at the end of this chapter, and it’s done so succinctly with the same information, and even an answer, that I don’t really know why so much effort was put into the monologue in the first place. Sure, put a paragraph of his doubts to build toward and foreshadow those worries he brings up with Leah… but you don’t need to build a pyramid over it.

There were actually two areas in particular that I felt were odd choices to have monologue, narratively speaking. The first happened near the middle of 18. Sage is reflecting on an instance where he and Leah had a run-in with three fighting types at once, and Leah nearly fell to her death. Whyyyyyy not have a little scene for that? I feel like showing that scene would’ve been a lot more exciting than reflecting on it, especially surrounded by the tedium of the monologue before and after it.

The second scene wasn’t necessarily that something didn’t get put in, but that something did. Chapter 19, Onix fight. It uses Dig and catches Sage off guard, and for a moment, I thought I was getting into some good, fast-paced fighting; later on, you indeed show Leah’s adept nature paying off again. But what I don’t get is what happened between. Between Sage being hit by the Dig, and then Leah reacting with her genius item-Move combo, is FOUR paragraphs and some change of Sage getting his injury, and then reflecting on that injury. It killed the pace. Frankly, by the time Leah actually got to her move, I almost forgot the fight was going on. “Oh, right, Leah,” I think, was the thought I had.

So in summary, the pitfall of falling so, so deep into Sage’s psyche made these chapters perhaps 25% longer than they should have been. While there is some benefit to knowing him so intimately, I’m definitely getting some Snivy fatigue.

All that aside, however, I would like to give a special highlight to the nighttime scene with Leah singing. Yes. More of this, please. I’m a sucker for quiet moments in the dark, just being together, perhaps with words, perhaps with not, but just decompressing after all the protags have to go through, no matter the circumstance. If there’s EVER a time to have a lot of monologue, reflection, and so on, it would be during scenes like these. Listening to Leah sing, thinking about what it means—sure, it went on a tad long, but I’d give it a pass. The serenity of the atmosphere is the exact kind of place for reflection, and sprinkling it in a moment of calm in the chaos was the perfect time to do it.
MasN2 chapter 33 . 7/5/2018
I guess I might as well drop one final shot. Again, I'll keep this to the point.

The story speaks of potential. There's a bunch of places that were written very well.

But this story also has problems. The problems are varied. Some concern plot. Some concern pacing. Some concern word choice. And they are a lot of places that aren't bad, but aren't good either. Mediocre.

As a result, mixed feelings. If I wasn't reading this thoroughly as a result of the discord server, I would have dropped it as a result of how it follows the games early.

If I got over that, the good parts of the story were good enough that I'd read it all the way through, but the bad parts frequently enough for me to skim a good amount of it.

Don't take this too critically. It's far better than I can write, and it's far better than the average story on the site, as low a bar as these are.

But hey. The site is small enough and good stories rare enough that I can say that this is in the top 100 of all pokemon stories. Not sure about 50. Probably safely in the top 20 if you confine to PMD specifically.

And perhaps that matters. I've been in the top 20 in my fair share of things in the past, some niche, some not as niche. We all have one top 20 to be in, right?

And if you enjoy writing this, keep going. I've seen you've been at this for a year, and doubt that you'll stop now. Every chapter you post is a chapter I'll be reading. They'll probably be someone better. That's no problem. There's people better than I at the things that I consider my strengths. But what makes us all unique is the combination of things we can do. For everything I do, someone can do it better. But no single person can do everything I do to the extent as well as I. I'm sure that this is true of you as well. It's not any one thing you do, but every part of you, which makes you unique.

Don't let it go.

MasN
MasN2 chapter 25 . 7/5/2018
I didn't want to review. I really didn't. But I feel the need to say this. You dropped a cliffhanger at the end of chapter 24. It's chapter 25, and you are just leaving it floating. pls.

That's all I have to say. Again, there's other things that warrant comment. The Espurr part in particular, I have both good and bad things to say. But I'll save these for when I'm in a better time for it. Where I can cover more stuff, instead of just bits and pieces. I'm not one for half-measures.

If there's anything else I feel I -really- feel the need to say, you'll be seeing it in the next hour or two, because that's how long it will take for me to read the story. Otherwise, unti-
MasN2 chapter 22 . 7/5/2018
Third burst. Err.. "burst".

Um, brief thoughts. Firstly maybe it's because it's been 2 hours since I last read, but time skip at the start was a bit abrupt.

Then.. the Krokkrok interruption again, too contrived again. The chance of two events happening at each other's time as opposed to before or after is less, and this is not representative, like most fiction. Again, where the unlukely becomes predictable.

And then after that..

..there's more stuff to say..

..just not driven to say it..

..your writing style..

..falling into patterns..

..saying things..

..would be what I said before..

..I don't want to do that..

..also still..

..still a bit tired..

..also still..

..still more stuff to say..

..already went from zero reviews..

..despite all that reading..

..to this, my twenty-first..

..I'm not used to it..

..used to just reading..

..judging less, especially details..

..more enjoying the ride..

..more data collected..

..I..

..I want to be that again.

So, might not be a third "burst". I don't want to comment on everything now. I'm going to read it the full way through, may or may not comment on anything interesting as I see them. Maybe later, no promises, I'll go through these again when I'm less tired and will review.

Until next time. Until again.

Or until comes the time where that possibility ceases to be..

Until then.

MasN
cynsh chapter 32 . 7/5/2018
Okay, I've almost caught up with everything, but this seems a good place to stop.

I'm sure this concern has brought up to you before (including by me in my last review), but these last few chapters have brought it out even more. There's just... too much description. Too many fancy words that aren't needed, that often take away from or confuse what you're trying to describe.

Something I realised is that Sage's 'narration-voice', to give it a name, never really changes. Even in this chapter, when he's unsure whether he's alive or dead, he's describing everything with the same descriptive, close attention to detail as ever. But... would he really be thinking all this? Wouldn't his narration be more panicked, confused at what's happening? Maybe I'm wrong. But for me, the way it's written reduces everything, even genuinely interesting moments, to the same one-pace.

Another minor thing that bothers me, but probably no one else, is how TMs have been thrown into the equation, without giving us any idea of how they work or what they even are in this story.(Admittedly, Sage mentioned being offered Leaf Storm a while ago, so there might have been some explanation there. But it's been a while, sorry.)

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things I like here. How all of the different PMD game's worlds are within reach, some of which already being explored. The supporting cast are all characterised really well. The story is familiar in ways, but at the same time I couldn't predict where it's headed next, which I certainly wasn't saying last time (hehe...).

I also may be slightly fatigued from powering through a number of your chapters in the last couple of days. But the problems I've felt with over-description have been around for a while, which suggests that isn't going to change. Obviously, I'm not gonna say you should write your story differently, since a lot of people clearly enjoy this style, but for me... it's just a little off.

I'm not sure if I'll read any further (reading seems a lot more difficult when you've got your own story to write, hmm...), but best of luck with all the writing you've got planned!
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