|Reviews for The Curious and the Shiny|
| The Vulture Queen chapter 27 . 8/28/2019
I laughed at puberty being the unmitigated disaster that struck. Abraxis facing some social consequences is welcome. Kind of weird that all the domestic Pokemon went to the woods area tho. Maybe just wanting what you've never had.
Blunt assessment of art is blunt and great. Also just realized that this story is about an artist and a writer. Now you just need to lean into the Classic Literature model and reminisce on alcoholism and colonialism and comment on how we're all bad deep down and the world is uncaring but at least you can screw some women sometimes.
I did like the transition bit at the start of the chapter as well. Was good. Unsure where the whole "palette of smeargle" idea came from. Good stuff.
| Namohysip chapter 27 . 8/27/2019
M continues to be one of the most interesting side characters, since he's very clearly a self-harming and generally damaged former-feral, or perhaps still a bit feral? That's a tough call, but he's definitely one of the most complex characters, despite having the fewest lines.
There are a few ties when I feel like Curio's aura sense is working against you from a narrative standpoint, particularly when she's talking to Shine. With M, it makes some sense, mostly because the commentary on his opaque aura helps because Curio doesn't know everything. But with Shine, he's a lot easier to read, and that sort of makes you fall into the pitfall of 'telling' his emotions instead of showing it, when it might not even be necessary. Just one of those times when removing some of those 'tell' lines might actually play to your favor.
[A Pidgeot arrived with a bundle of food and waited for them to collect it before zipping away in the air,]
This was a nice bit of world building to just throw in randomly again. I liked it, especially since it's more or less bite squad but for Pokemon.
Anyway, the museum segment was nice! It showed a bit more world building, and also just in general how Pokemon can handle themselves, among other things, and the whole theme of them being independent compared to how humans would normally think of them. I think the casual nature of the way Curio talks might have put a slight damper on the overwhelming feeling of all the thoughts she heard upon evolving, since it kind of took away from how dramatic it felt. It's perfectly in character for Curio to downplay it, but it definitely went against how dramatic it could have been, or perhaps how it actually was, from her perspective. That was sort of a tricky scene, I guess.
Still, it was a milestone. Curio has become a Lucario! I figure the next chapter is going to be of her trying to come to terms with that.
| The Vulture Queen chapter 26 . 8/11/2019
I actually don't have many thoughts on the Trunks interlude. Except that maybe it dwelled a bit long on all the Not Curios. Was also good to see her getting called out a bit for being a general pain. And kids having different reactions was fun! Overall tho felt like kinda filler? Unless the family's coming back. I might have moved it into a more actiony, plotty place tho instead of in the middle of another patch of exposition.
As for the most recent chapter: How dare you. Advertise it on Bauble. Barely put her in. She wins you Best Story on serebii and this is how you repay her?
So uh. What really stands out is the dragon fight. And I actually really bought Shine facing down a dragonite. Which would've sounded implausible to me beforehand. Kind of shocked that the owners didn't at least try to separate the herds or anything. Even the least valuable dragon still has to be worth a lot alive. Also v capitalist calling out the employee for valuing justice over merchandise. But at least Shine didn't get sold into slavery as dragonite food or whatever the punishment for killing a giant dragon would've been.
SN: can Pokemon be tried for murder? Could a human be tried for murder for killing a dragonite?
Also good job keeping dragon training as something very very dangerous. Makes them more distinct. Even if there's a whole "boys will be boys" vibe across the entire thing.
Okay stuff. 2/10. Please add more Bauble.
| Namohysip chapter 26 . 8/7/2019
["Believe it or not, I used to weigh a ton! I was a huge coach potato until I got back into this job."
"Good to hear, I guess?"]
Ah yes, Curio awkwardly dismissing the dialogue for an epilogue to a tie-in from a particularly talkative former main character.
Well! Took me a bit longer to get to this one than I would have liked, but here I am again. Another interlude, and it was a nice little read! At first, I wasn't really sure what the point of the whole thing was, but I'll get to that later. I eventually understood why, but I will point out here that it meandered a little bit before getting to the point. But at the same time, most of the content didn't really feel like it could be cut. I really liked what you were trying to get at for Petri and Jean in particular, though I'd advise against resting your head on a Goodra belly. Apparently the slime is very, very hard to get out. Perhaps not as hard as gum, but it's up there. I wonder if they have a special solvent to deal with it.
[I licked a TV once, but that didn't taste nice.]
I mean... well... I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
[She groaned and grunted, planting her feet firmly on the floor, as if she was engaged in some invisible tug of war, until the bag expanded to three times its size. With great force, Curio eventually pulled a wheelie whiteboard out the size of a wide-screen TV, and once it was out there in the physical world, the bag shrank to its original size.]
Did... did that just happen? I know we've got Palkia-inspired bags of holding, but wow, that was a funny and fully cartoonish image.
[“Got a bit carried away with one of the Charizard.]
"That means they're dragons here, right?!"
[He’s being held in his Pokeball until he’s calmed down a bit.]
Wait, I'm a bit confused about this line. I think in previous installments within the same universe, particularly Black Paint, being in a Pokeball is much like losing consciousness or falling asleep. How can one calm down if no time passes for them?
[They are Pokemon of nature, after all."
"I'm a Pokemon, though!" He advanced closer to Adele, at level with her waist, and looked up at her. "You say that as if they can't be reasoned with. After all this about teaching Petri to speak, you're talking about them as if they're mindless beasts! Oh god, not this again!"]
And here is where I realized the point of this interlude. It took a while, but that was good buildup, especially when it was contrasted with the interactions with Jean, who seems to have a much more, well, equal-footing approach to interacting with Pokemon.
[You'll have Accy's blood on your hands."
Adele sighed and joined Shine on the bed, wrapping an arm around him.
"I'm sorry to hear that.]
I feel that the middle line here could have been extended a bit. I feel like there would be more of a pause between the two spoken lines, and that wasn't properly depicted here.
Anyway, this was a nice interlude, though I am a bit curious why we didn't get more of the previous interlude instead, continuing with what Curio and his brother would be doing. I was expecting more of that. Oh well.
| Chibi Pika chapter 25 . 7/13/2019
Heyy, it's been a while, hasn't it? But I think this was a great way for the fic to make its return, with a cute side story to ease us back in before delving into more plot. It was fun to see through Trunks' eyes for a bit-he's a lot more down-to-earth than Curio and you did a good job making his narration distinct. In particular, I noticed he's willing to point out his own shortcomings without dwelling on them a lot. Also I really liked the scene with Twig. It's a difficult emotion to express-feeling bad about not missing someone you know you're supposed to, but just just didn't know them well enough. I'm glad they'll get the chance to start things over again.
I think my favorite part was the nighttime scene with Curio, when she learns that Liam abandoned his family, and all the raw emotions she feels. It really highlights how much better the family drama is handled in this version compared to the old thread. It hits especially hard considering that the last we saw of him, he actually had a genuinely nice conversation with her, and at this point in the story, we don't know where he is at present day.
Of course, like Namo, I'm wondering how Curio wound up in Kalos and whether or not her family is still in Sinnoh. I suppose she could've just moved on, but it's hard not to wonder if something in particular happened.
Until next time!
| Namohysip chapter 25 . 6/28/2019
[I knew she recognised me. She was my sister.]
I feel like you could go without that last sentence.
Well! It's been quite a while, hasn't it? But I guess with it comes a little special epis-I mean, interlude! I'm kinda curio...us on where you're going to take us with this one, since you're already opening with the big mystery that I hope gets answered in some way soon: Curio's remarkably opaque aura, something so unnatural that Trunks finds it to be completely unheard of and foreign.
But first, a few quick remarks.
[So she did, and while Stumpy seemed worried about it, and Twig didn’t seem to care either way, Mom laughed.]
This is, like, the second or third time you mentioned this, that Twig didn't care either way, and I feel like you can cut out these mentions. I got the picture the first time, and you can probably imply it better with the rest.
[That finally got through to Twig, as he laughed as well.]
Ahhh but that being said, I loved this little micro-payoff. I was worried that there was going to be a bit more to this, but the way this wrapped up was actually a lot better. Out of everything, I think this little moment was the most heartwarming out of all of it.
Though I do have a bit of a lingering thought-and I know that you're probably doing this on purpose-that in the present day, Curio is with Shine and without her family. She mentioned not being the sort to settle down, and in general is always on the move, so that could be one reason. Or perhaps something happened to make her not able to stay for long. Certainly makes me wonder how this is going to inevitably conclude.
But overall, beyond that, I don't have a lot of thoughts here. Most of the world building was similar to the first arc, and while interesting, it didn't provide a lot of new stuff beyond just setting the scene for where Trunks lives and, of course, how Curio is currently living out her life. Looking forward to the next part.
| St Elmo's Fire chapter 3 . 5/25/2019
["What do you want with Luccy?" she said, glaring at him]
Missing punctuation here.
[Luccy rapidly nodded their head and their trainer]
You have Shine refer to Luccy as "him" just before this, so the pronoun choice seems odd. To avoid confusion, it might be easier to just say pokemon can tell the gender of other pokemon and use the correct pronoun from the start.
[Shine leaned in as close as the space could allow on the opposite side of the table, stopping him from outright pouncing on the Lucario. Shine was starting to run out of options and this was his only lead, else he would have to throw himself back into the chaos of the night. To restrain himself, he took a deep breath and sat back down on the bench.
"If you don't tell me where she is, then I'm afraid we'll have to take this outside, your trainer be damned. I have to apologise for this, but for the final time, I can't let this opportunity pass me by. So tell me now and-"]
This seems a bit sudden. Maybe it's just that the tone of the story has been pretty relaxed so far, but I don't feel the sense of urgency here. He's said he's worried about losing her trail, but I don't really feel that emotionally. To show-not-tell, it might be good to have Shine's narration get more frantic and disorganized as we approach this point; from the previous chapter to now, he's been very thorough, calm, and logical in how he describes his surroundings and formulates his plans, which doesn't match the image of someone desperate.
His desperation is also a bit odd when his lead is "You don't find Curio, Curio finds you." That implies it's out of his hands and that if Curio wants to find him he doesn't have to do anything. It might be better to have him react to that in some way, maybe thinking it's wrong and he wants to find Curio on his own terms.
["My friend Curio is lost. Me and my trainer's team have been trying to find her for days. We were originally supposed to pass by here straight to Anistar when she started an argument and left in a huff, and she tends to create trouble when she's in a bad mood. I apologise for anything of ill she's caused you, but we've been trying to remedy that by getting her to come back with us. It's only in her nature, I'm sure you understand, so please, it's important to fix the mess we made if it will help her stop causing havoc, or fighting with other Pokemon in the street, or trespassing windmills."]
This itself seems a bit long-winded; I get that Shine is supposed to be very eloquent and formal, but a shorter story might work better this time, especially when time is supposed to be of the essence. (And while talking is a free action, it is a little weird that Luccy only responds after he's finished, when the very beginning should have pinged as a lie.)
[Luccy said, pointing,"And you'll see her on the outskirts there.]
[Millions of Pokémon died every day, maybe more.]
Wait, really? That seems like a lot, even accounting for how many species there are. Thousands, maybe.
The "life flashing before his eyes" bit felt a little too expository; it felt more like reading a summary of the events rather than how he actually experienced them. Part of it is because the details are so vague, which may be necessary at this stage in the story, but it might be good to inject a little more emotion into it; more complex sentences perhaps? The setup for it is also a little melodramatic, since it's obvious to the readers he's not going to die here.
[A moment passed between them. Shine kept silent, not knowing what to say, and Curio cast a glance at Shine's direction. It came back to him. Her green eyes glowed in the dark, like they always did, and even the new scar across her muzzle didn't blemish her face. It was the first time they made eye contact in five years. That moment of serene silence broke as Curio burst into laughter.]
I feel like the last sentence would have more oomph if it was a separate sentence; "long paragraph followed by short" tends to work well for humorous undercutting.
Curio is a delight, as expected.
| St Elmo's Fire chapter 2 . 5/24/2019
Finally getting back to this!
["Oh dear," Accendare exclaimed. "Are you alright there? I wasn't that bad, was I?"
I feel like the terseness of "No response" coupled with a paragraph break makes this look too serious or dramatic. Since the idea seems to just be that Shine is too dazed to respond, maybe describe it more from his perspective, like "Shine couldn't muster a response"?
[Perhaps on instinct, as someone he expected was well read probably had the most information about local affairs,]
This feels a bit awkwardly phrased to me. This sounds more like logical deduction than instinct – since Shine's thoughts are quite logical and cerebral overall, it might work fine to just have think a well-read person is a good choice, rather than him wondering if it's some subliminal instinct.
[That neither confirmed or denied Shine's fears.]
I believe that should be "nor" rather than "or".
[Some says she took down a Garchomp single-'andedly, or pawdedly.]
[he had to focus on the task at hand, or paw.]
This is a really cute echo.
[He hadn't come across her once in Sinnoh since their escape, or any other subject for that matter despite his constant searching,]
This part is a bit confusing to me – I'm not sure what "or any other subject" is referring to. He hasn't come across her in Sinnoh or any other subject, or hasn't come across her since their escape or any other subject? Might be clearer to pare this down to just "He hadn't come across her once in Sinnoh since their escape despite his constant searching".
[the sickly scent of honey]
Should that be "sickly-sweet"? If honey just smelled sick, it probably wouldn't be very attractive to pokemon.
["Congratulations," she said with a smug grin, "You passed the idiot test.]
The "you" should be uncapitalized here, if the dialogue is meant to be one sentence.
[Shine stood on the pads of his feet, teeth bared.
"Alright, you've got a lot of explaining to do, miss. Why did you attack me?"]
The dialogue should probably be paired with the action here to make it clear who's speaking – I initially thought the dialogue belonged to the leafeon due to the new paragraph.
["Marguerite!" The coarse voice called out again.]
The tag sentence probably shouldn't be capitalized here.
[I thought I'd hear the end of that lousy Lucario.]
Should that be "heard"?
[Had enough trouble with the Claws trying to steal them as it is.
Now, me and Marguerite]
When continuing multi-paragraph dialogue, a start quote is required at the start of each new paragraph.
["Excuse me," Shine said,"Is Curio here?"]
Missing space here.
["Perhaps," The Venusaur groaned]
Errant capital here.
[Curiously enough, there were also drawings on the walls of different kinds of Pokemon, doodled with various coloured markers, with a crude style that vaguely reminded him of her work.]
Bits like this make me feel like having him remember her works better – while it's not necessary for him to remember her well given how they eventually meet, it lets you add more details like this. Right now, it feels unclear and inconsistent how much he knows about her – he says he barely remembers her in the first chapter, but this seems like the kind of detail you'd only be able to recognize if you spent a lot of time with someone. It adds more to this chapter for him to reflect on their history together, especially since it's otherwise just him wandering around without many leads.
[If he knew his name, he must've known Curio for quite some time, long enough for her to tell him more about Shine than he himself would admit.]
This is also an odd line with the changed backstory – if she knows him well enough to spill secrets, it logically follows that he must have known her pretty well too.
[Dead bodies in the alleys. Only small Pokémon like Rattata and such]
When I read the first sentence, I initially thought he meant human bodies. It's good to see him place equal value on pokemons' lives – which is a low bar considering he's a pokemon himself, but sadly I haven't seen it passed as often as I'd like.
[all her mind could bare to tell them]
That should be "bear", I think. Bare means naked.
I don't recall any major differences from the original, but this is otherwise still good. I'll repeat that I loved the chess match.
| Anime Nightwing39 chapter 4 . 5/6/2019
This has been a super fun read so far!
| Namohysip chapter 24 . 3/31/2019
[who had evolved into an Ambipom and Marowak]
So, this is a minor nitpick, but I'm a little curious as to why it wasn't mentioned exactly what M looks like now. So, does he have a helmet... skull thing now? Or-I mean, I more or less was hoping Curio would remark about that or something, since he was maskless until now.
[They were fine, but what about Liam? How was that the last time Curio spoke to him? And why just Liam? What about the rest of the family?]
Oh good, Shine is wondering the same things I was. Good job being the reader surrogate, Luxray!
So, overall, this was an interesting cooldown chapter, in a way. I mean, it was an interruption at the same time, but boy, I wonder if Curio's throat is dry at this point or something. I don't have a whole lot to comment on overall, since I thought the exchange went pretty well, except I'd obviously like to set some time aside from our Kadabra. Holy crap, what an ego! I was honestly a little surprised at how sudden this came along. Like, I know there was commentary about him having a superiority complex, but not to this level. Really drove it home, I guess.
I thought that the "epilogue" story about Curio's father and the rest of her family was pretty interesting, too. The fact that Liam had run off and abandoned them, and then Curio's response to that, definitely shows that there wasn't much of a resolution at all between them despite everything she suggested to the interview. It was a clever allusion to how a narrative can be twisted in certain ways by simply omitting details, and how it is in reality versus "reality." For the most part, Liam made that bed himself for how he had reacted to Curio's... everything, though. So I'm not really surprised at Curio's reaction, but on the other hand, Liam's guilt makes me wonder if there had actually been potential to reconcile if Curio ever found him, or if he had slipped into his old ways, or if he simply died by now. If Curio's mother is getting on in the years, then there's no telling with Liam.
Anyway, that's all I've got here. Nice chapter, but it's really making me realize how long this arc is!
| Chibi Pika chapter 24 . 3/31/2019
A lot of fun details in these past few chapters! I really like the way you have these cute scenes serve multiple purposes. Like Basil receiving macarons leading into him explaining how he wants to become a chef but couldn't do that with his trainer because of how strenuous the trainer life is. And how the bit with PZ beating Curio at Melee leads into a small bit of backstory for him, and a hint of what his passion is. Stuff like that. Oh, and Shine being good at reading, leading into that creation mythology, which itself seems to be teasing at some of the core themes of the fic related to the relationship between human and Pokemon, and how GeL is trying to change the role that Pokemon play in society.
It's pretty great that Curio got recognition for her studies! But then ohhhhh my gooooodd Abraxas... I... if anyone needs to eat a Groudon dick, it's him. Anyway, not a bad spot to jump back to the present, as we've just finished up the first year of studies and prepared to go into the second year. Plus it gave Curio the chance to share what happened to her family in the end, and I kind of like that it got to stay between her and Shine, rather than being in the interview. That entire scene was just cute, period.
Until next time~
| Namohysip chapter 23 . 3/25/2019
[“Eh, maybe I could make these games too at some point]
As a fellow programmer, look at mods first, my man. It’s like the fanfiction of the programming world, where you have the crutch of someone else’s foundation.
[Roleplaying? Isn’t that for nerds?]
[represents antimatter, and therefore has the ability to travel between dimensions]
Wait hold up, antimatter and interdimensional travel aren’t even remotely related! If anything, antimatter was something attributed to Giratina and the distortion world as meant to be a sort of “mirror” to reality, which plays into the whole ‘anti’ theme, not actual dimension trav—bah whatever, it’s just some guy’s writing anyway. I’ll take his advice and question his words and bite his hands. Speaking of which…
[Bite the hands that feed you. Strive to create your own societies, cultures and art forms, and defy those who try to define you as mere beasts.]
Them’s fighting words. The first part, at least. The second part seems a lot more constructive than the first, which, tonally speaking, seems almost out of place compared to the rest of the passage.
In any case, overall, this felt like the first real break of a chapter in what felt like a while—or maybe that’s just because now that you’re caught up to the older version, the uploads have become slower. But regardless, I thought it was warranted, even though not a whole lot really happened this time around. The lore was an interesting touch, though, and given how much page space was dedicated to it, I’m wondering just how much is important going forward.
| Namohysip chapter 22 . 3/17/2019
[they had left the island before the storm with a Gyrados]
So, wow. This was a really intense chapter despite so little happening. Curio got the news, and… that’s pretty much it, really! Everything else that followed was just a reaction to it, and I’d say that despite this, the least and simultaneously most happened in this one chapter compared to all the others. It did feel a bit odd, tonally, at how mournful Curio got as if her family had actually died, but at the same time, I think it was justified pretty well. Without the technology necessary to communicate with them, it isn’t exactly easy to find them again.
As an aside, introducing the names to everyone and making them vaguely akin to their species was probably a good move, otherwise I’d struggle with actually keeping up with them all so fast.
That was it. A flash flood of memories washed in from the island. Those got the creative juices flowing.]
Okay, so here’s the line. I sorta didn’t realize it until I took a mental step back, but you made the prose here very frantic and short and terse, and that was amazingly effective at subtly getting into the head of Curio. Actually managed to get me a little worked up while reading along with her during her actual outburst, slamming a rock into the false sky. Very, very good job with this scene, in my opinion.
[I'll be here to
mediate the situation in case anything gets out of hand.]
Accidental line break?
["Please," Shine said, "If you ever want to talk, I'm here for you."]
So, I’m actually a little disappointed that this wasn’t elaborated upon a bit more. I noticed in this scene in particular that Shine was actually speaking out more, and was actually trying to go to Curio to comfort her. And that was an almost complete reversal from how he was not a few chapters ago! Yes, it’s perfectly in character and I know exactly why, but I sorta wish there was more of a pause from Curio or the others about this night-and-day change to the guy. Especially since this is a total reversal of the scene before with Curio and Shine, where it was Curio comforting him. I guess only a few lines would have been nice, like commentary from Curio, but… hm. Subtlety works as well, but I’m mostly surprised that the others didn’t seem to have as big or as acknowledged a reaction as I would have expected.
Still, overall, solid chapter once again. I’m not really sure where this arc is supposed to end, but this feels like the emotional climax of it, or at least one of them. Looking forward to the next~
| Namohysip chapter 21 . 2/26/2019
[Wait, so that means you can’t name a Metapod Pe]
You actually did it.
This was a nice breather chapter for the most part. I didn't really find myself getting too involved with it compared to last chapter, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. If you were at that level the whole time, I'd honestly start getting a bit fatigued. Instead, this breather helped me take a step back to look at the daily life of this arc again.
The highlight, of course, is what Curio had been building up toward for the duration of the chapter-very good theme, by the way, basically encapsulating something that had been foreshadowed to this whole time. Names! How Curio and Shine got it. The way Shine got his felt just a bit convenient, but hey, that's how things happen sometimes. Curio's was nice, and I thought it was a bit funny that Curio was aware of her own fake outs.
Shine finally speaking up, and actually smiling and befriending Curio, had a very well choreographed payoff. It was sudden, and then there was a time to react, and then it sorta slid down into a cozy familiarity. It was good. But that being said, well... we don't really have that breather for long. I think you did well to (intentionally or otherwise) address a concern I usually have with these breather chapters: Will the next one also be a breather?
No. It will not.