Reviews for The Curious and the Shiny
Namohysip chapter 4 . 12/24/2018
Hey there! I didn't realize you had this fic up on FFN until now! I left you feedback on the first three chapters elsewhere, but I figure I should start posting some chapter-by-chapters here as well, if that's not a bother to you. So I'm going to start off with just my feedback from chapter 4. I'll leave my more substantial reviews here as well as the chapters come along.

Alright, let’s take a look. This was an interesting one in that it felt like a it happened, yet there wasn’t a whole lot of actual action happening. This was a talking and chatting chapter—and it worked very well! I thought that the opening with the legend of the Sudowoodo was… well, I’m not sure what the right word is. I can’t exactly say foreshadowing, and I can’t exactly say lore, because it comes off like an exaggerated creation story. The truth of the story must have been warped into a mythos of some kind (after all, pretty sure you can’t burn rocks into ash.) But it did make for a nice tie-in to what Curio and Shine discussed later in the chapter.

Which leads me to what stands out the most out of this whole thing—Curio. This is the first full chapter where we actually get a good look at her. We get a glimpse in chapter 3, but this is the first chapter where it feels like she’s taking center stage, despite not actually being present for most of it. Her personality is definitely not what I’d expect from a stereotypical Lucario (and that’s something I can certainly appreciate) and the talk about GeL. It’s clear that Curio remembers what happened to an extent greater than Shine does here, and that disconnect added an interesting bit of drama that I imagine really changed around the interactions here compared to the old version.

One thing that I noticed (and it could very easily be due to my bias as a PMD writer) is that the human characters are very forgettable. Quilladin’s trainer was more or less just there. It seemed odd to have them present but not… “present” for the most part, but I guess that’s what it means to be Pokémon-centric, eh? For a little while this started feeling like an urban PMD fic and not something in the mainline.

Also, I’m noticing that some of your prose can get unnecessarily sprawling. There are a few examples, but here’s one that stands out immediately:
[They reached the park which had a full crowd this time with a mix of mostly young trainers and Pokémon sitting beside each other on the grass, and the stage had musical equipment set up, although the band members weren’t present yet.]
This is all just one sentence, but it covers so much that it can give the reader a hard time digesting it all. It feels like a stream of consciousness description, and this is something that I myself have to be careful of. Splitting up complex description sentences like these ones, covering multiple angles and many subjects, can help to better digest the scene. For example, something like…
“They reached the park. This time, it was filled with a crowd of mostly young trainers and Pokémon sitting beside each other on the grass. The stage had musical equipment se up, although the band members themselves were not present yet.”
They’re still fairly complex, but still not nearly as complex as the original sentence, and much easier to digest, each subject having their own portion to be properly expressed in their own sentence. The park, the crowd, the instruments. You could probably combine the first two sentences in the new version and be just fine as well—that’s just my preference for shorter prose when possible, now that I’m more aware of how sprawling stream of consciousness writing can get when unchecked.

Speaking of the park, I thought Curio’s behavior was interesting here. She’s moody when Shine brings up GeL, but then she goes off and, all day, starts inviting all her friends over to come along. And while I don’t think it was brought up for very long, I thought that was something that Shine should have considered when trying to get her to come back with him—she has a life here, doesn’t she? Or is there something that makes her feel unsatisfied about it all? Because as far as I can tell, Curio has a lot of friends and a whole network of support here. Would it be selfish of Shine, with as little information that he possesses right now, to coerce Curio into coming with him? That feels like something that I hope gets addressed more thoroughly in the coming chapter.

But regardless, I’m looking forward to how this fight might turn out. Already a brawl between the two titular characters, hm? Well, I suppose it wouldn’t be a Pokémon-centric work without a few sparring matches. See you then!
QuoteMyFoot chapter 1 . 12/11/2018
I'm so sorry this review is much later than I promised! I have problems with... well, lots of things, but most relevantly time management.

Anyway, I really loved this chapter! I think you've done a lovely job with Shine's character - he's quite a deliberate person and friendly, but you can see how his past weighs on him which leads in very nicely to seeing one lead on page 12 of the newspaper and then running off without even waiting for Tony to finish work. (Not that I blame Shine, because it sounds important. I just like it as a moment of characterisation, that he breaks from his usual careful self because Oh No.)

I LOVED all the hints about the backstory! I know enough to get that there was experimentation and poor treatment but I'm hungry for more details lol. Very excited to find out more details about that in future chapters :D

Probably my favourite part of this chapter though (and I'm biased because it's my favourite thing to with the Pokemon 'verse) is the worldbuilding! There were sooo many cool and interesting details slotted in here about how pokemon fit into the world, I adore the contrast in how pokemon are kinda integrated socially as they're allowed to use public transport if they can be reasonably accommodated, but legally they don't have a lot of standing. That is a cool little detail and also explains Shine's situation (that he doesn't have much legal recourse). I think my favourite bit of worldbuilding though was the little conversation Shine had with Adele about pokemon on the ranch learning to talk. Such a smooth way to flesh out the world, showcase Adele's character a little, *and* to clue readers one how Shine's ability to talk is seen by others (unusual and unexpected but not unheard of). It's such a great section doing so many things! Huge props!

The other characters were really neat and I like the details showcasing the bond between trainers and pokemon, like Tony grooming Shine and Adele hugging Petri without even noticing the slime or being bothered by it. I love seeing humans and pokemon having a genuine friendship in fics instead of pokemon only being battle pets so this was so great.

I only have one minor complaint, which is that to me personally it felt a little bit jarring for Shine's dialogue to be in italics when he's using human tongue and without italics when talking in pokemon tongue(?). I understand why you might want a visual aid to mark that distinction but for me it was a little bit confusing and I actually found I understood perfectly who was talking and how just from context. It feels weird because humans talking human isn't in italics but Shine talking human is? However, that is a really minor quibble and it didn't get in the way of me enjoying the chapter at all.

Hope the antis will leave you alone in the future. Looking forward to more!
Jeff Excellence chapter 1 . 12/5/2018
I quite liked what was on offer here! I'll start by speaking of what I thought was the greatest strength of this chapter: the characters. Crafting OCs is a difficult skill, having so many of them at the forefront of your story even more so, and anyone who can pull it off as well as you have here has my respect. You've worked with your blank canvas very well, and I greatly enjoyed what became of it.

For one, Shine is clearly an interesting protagonist with a past that I'm hooked by - you've revealed just enough about it and his feelings, his memories towards it, that we have a good idea of how its scale and how it has affected him. His interactions with Tony, I must say, were... adorable, and I think the camaraderie between him and Shine was endearing, so well done on that. More on-topic, though; your mention of the documentary and Tony's work ties in well with Shine's backstory, and I must say, I'm hooked.

You've also tied Shine into the rest of this fleshed out world quite well through the newspaper part of the story, and I'm interested to see how (if at all) Rex Revolver's retirement or the media's anti-Scraggy discrimination ties into our protagonist's quest to find out his true identity. I will say, though, these little details that flesh out the world? I like them. I also am quite a fan of Bauble, and affectionately dub her "a little shit" - she's cool, and I enjoy the straight man/comic relief dynamic between her and Shine. As for this part of the story, I think the newspaper element of the story worked well with introducing Curio, and it made the exposition make sense in the context of the story. GeL, too, is an interesting prospect; between Tony's work there, the stated PR disaster, and Curio's reappearance (which I think ties in quite nicely to that), I wonder what exactly the role they'll play in the story going forward is.

Your description of the ranch and characterization of Adele was also quite nice, even if she was a minor character; I should also comment here that overall, you've done a really good job of making the world feel alive. The conclusion to this chapter, I thought, was well done; for one, I thought the shock at Shine having so much money was an interesting one - going off how you've described him, I, too, would be shocked at the sight of a scruffy one-eyed Luxray being quite loaded. I think Adele's relationship with Accendare seems a very cute one, too; this fic is just full of nice little details like that. I also think you did a good job with the final sentence, and I'm hooked to read more.

Overall, you did a superb job with the vast majority of the chapter. I think your prose and your flow, while sometimes erring on the side of exposition, work well with the story here, and you've set up a great cast of characters, an interesting hook and a wonderful world for this all to take place in. You've done a great job, keep it up!

(Two side notes: a) don't let the batshit fandom drama keep you from writing - getting such an in-depth and glowing review as the one posted by Elmo is, regardless of who exactly it's from, something to be very proud of. It was a good chapter, regardless of whatever the hell is going on with this website these days, and you should be proud of it. b) nice Steven Wilson quote - I haven't heard much of his solo stuff but I do quite like what I've heard of Porcupine Tree ;))
Stylepoints Zero chapter 1 . 12/5/2018
Looking at your work I have to ask. Are you really desperate enough that you want St Elmo's Fire, a user who repeatedly violates the sites rules, and has pissed off around seventy percent of everyone on here as your primary reviewer?

If so I feel bad for you.
Fire4Heaven chapter 1 . 12/3/2018
So, you promote on dozens of sites to get readers while St Elmo's Fire effectively cripples you for getting actual feedback?
Blades of Chance chapter 1 . 12/2/2018
[Hm, I actually didn't find that to be a big problem. Chapter 3 isn't a very long delay, and I actually liked the hints of Shine and Curio having a history we weren't privy to; it adds mystery, which is a good hook for early chapters.]

You really need to block St. You are starting to look like a crazy author.
St Elmo's Fire chapter 1 . 12/2/2018
[However, there were a few flaws that some couldn't get past, as they couldn't identify with Shine's quest to find Curio, since he is shown to care a lot for her as he looks back at her fondly, but the problem is, since she doesn't get properly introduced until Chapter 3, that resulted in a lack of investment towards the story.]

Hm, I actually didn't find that to be a big problem. Chapter 3 isn't a very long delay, and I actually liked the hints of Shine and Curio having a history we weren't privy to; it adds mystery, which is a good hook for early chapters.

Oh, we open with his escape, though! That's a good change. In addition to being a more intense opening, it gives us a better idea of what's going on.

[Tony, who was already dressed in his anti-static gear, into the bathroom where he sat down on the smooth floor and allowed his trainer to rinse him off with the shower, taking extra care to suppress his electric field.]

Ooh, that's a nice detail. I hadn't thought of the logistics of washing an electric-type, so it's really cool to see that engaged with.

This scene is also a really strong opening. The cute, light domestic scene contrasts with the dark opening to show that Shine's in a good place now, and you immediately show how good of a caretaker Tony is, also establishing that pokemon-trainer relationships here are more equal than we're used to.

I think it's a little weird to have pokemon speaking human language use a different format than humans speaking human language – it makes a sort of sense, in that pokemon will spend most of their time talking in pokespeech, but generally it's clearer to the reader for a specific type of speech to be consistent across the story. Italics would be a bit disruptive for long conversations in pokespeech, though – I would maybe recommend using different symbols than quote marks? The story Amnesia by Farla, which deals heavily in pokemon translation and the differences between languages, has pokespeech in curly braces but no other formatting.

Oh, and Tony is specifically doing the documentary on GeL? I forget if that was stated in the original, but that's a good detail. It again shows how much he cares, and ties into Shine's own motivations – he's now helping Tony with a cold case by tracking down Curio instead of just kinda leaving him in the lurch.

[He had quite a bit of fun teaching Bobby arithmetic and parts of the human tongue]

You haven't mentioned Bobby yet, so this is a little confusing. It's minor enough that it still works, but you might want to add a quick aside about who Bobby is.

["Yes," he said with a smile, "It suits you."]

If you mean for this to read as "Yes. It suits you," the narration here should end with a period. If it's "Yes, it suits you," the "it" should be uncapitalized. Basically, preserve the structure of the dialogue through the narrative interruption.

[ It was pointless to explain to someone of Bauble's fleeting interest all the intricacies of the judicial system, and how there was essentially none for Pokemon, allowing the police or trainers to take matters into their own hands, for better or for worse.]

Good detail to make it clear what's the state of things. Once again, I like that you're engaging with this.

[the most burning question, amongst many others was]

There should be a comma before "was" here, I believe.

[without Tony's help or anyone else in Ambrette town that knew him]

Missing capital on "Town" here.

I feel like there might be a bit too much waffling when Shine leaves the note – it's kind of a no-brainer, but it takes him a little while to think over exactly what he should do. It might be better to streamline it – I think if you just have him leave a note, it's pretty obvious why even without him thinking about it. There's also a lot of second-guessing that doesn't really go anywhere – while it is a good point that he's staking a lot on an uncertain outcome, it might be better to just have him go for it if his second-guessing doesn't change anything. I think it might work to put more emphasis on the time limit – if he's certain that he has to leave immediately in order to catch Curio in time, you can justify him making rash decisions more easily.

[When he first heard of the ranches, he didn't know what to expect with how it was organised, however]

I think this should have a semicolon in place of the comma.

[Where in Arceus' crack did you find that much money to buy one?]

I'm not normally a fan of swearing by Arceus, but this is hilarious enough I don't mind.

[Perhaps it was easier for humans to get slime off their clothes, but he winced at the thought of getting it stuck in his fur.]

This is really cute. I love humans being perceived from an outside perspective.

[She placed him in one of the empty backseats of the saddle which were mostly fit for humans but not Pokémon that weren't bipedal.]

This is awkward, I think – maybe split it into two sentences?

This is excellent, and a definite improvement! You have a much stronger opening now, and more hints towards the greater plot.
Lurker45 chapter 1 . 12/1/2018
I sevond them.
SunMoon6798 chapter 1 . 12/1/2018
A warning seeing how your starting a new Pokemon story. Be warned of St Elmo's Fire is the Pokemon fafiction bully. There is literally not a single story on this site that doesn't have his nonsense review. He claim everyone who opposes him are nothing but one user who stalks having nearly the whole fandom against him.

He the one stalking the Pokemon fandom by going to its category and only targeting the new writers effectively destroying them from writing in a degraded attempt to destroy the fandom.

Please block him for yourselves. He's untrustworthy. Watch he's going to post some nonsense about "sock-puppets" as he's that predictable and is well known lair.

Hell, he's even going to say this bullcrap [KingPyle is a sockpuppet of lstwill56, who was banned on my sister's forum for using racial slurs and is now spamming the category as revenge.] or the even more crazy nonsense {Sockpuppet of Hybrid of Fate}

Which is funny as Istwill got removed for being a Neo-pagan while he is friends with an actual fascist.

Oh and if he goes on about this [ see you've been visited by KingPyle. My condolences. Authors have continually told her to stop doing this but she just won't leave people alone.]

Trust me I won't have to put those two unless he didn't put them in his reviews because he can't take no for an answer.

Plus, I have written a story and shown him that I'm not but he chooses not too.

He's been told to leave people alone and even made up the sockpuppet nonsense in a desperate attempt to discredit those that tried to stop him. Which is rather petty of him but hey he's a pathological liar.

His review will start off with a nonsense of him giving out constructive criticism when really its all flames. Then maybe he'll move on to you summary, or talk about the nonsense of Pokemon nanes, dailogue or some other nonsense. Best to block him.
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