Reviews for Against All Odds
Vryheid chapter 40 . 12/8/2012
Ah, 2002. The olden days of Pokemon fan fiction, back when there wasn't some giant conspiring hierarchy of Legendaries under Arceus and Ash/Misty was pretty much the only legitimate fan pairing you could pull out of the anime. The days before Pokemon Mystery Dungeon spinoff stories or Team Plasma moralizing about the ethics of battling. It was a simpler time, when any fics based off of the games almost invariably featured some angsty young teenager plowing through all the gym leaders in the first two regions with their romantic love interest in tow. Against All Odds fits this archetype to a T, but thanks to some quality writing and interesting plot twists it's still a quality read. If you're looking for non-stop action with a heaping of emotional drama, this story will keep you engaged the whole way through.

The plot centers around Jason Creight, a young trainer from the Orange Islands who seems to be next in line for the family business of breeding and selling rare Pokemon to prospective trainers. Jason seems all for it until he discovers that the Pokemon are being brutally abused, at which point he engineers the destruction of the breeding facility and escapes to the Kanto region to start a new life. He begins his quest to conquer the Kanto league and become a Pokemon Master. All seems to be going well for him until he discovers that he's being hounded by his psychopathic brother and father, both still out for revenge. During one of Jason's escapes from his family he ends up losing the use of his legs, resigning him to a wheelchair for the rest of his journey.

This wheelchair symbolizes one of the main thematic elements of the story- Jason's inability to come to terms with his own personal weaknesses and limitations. Almost right off the bat, Jason is offered a risky surgical procedure to help him regain the use of his legs, but fate and his own personal doubts seem to be eternally conspiring to hold him back. And so Jason is effectively crippled throughout the story somewhat of his own free will, yet he has trouble dealing with his own repressed emotional trauma and abrasive personality as well. He seems unwilling to let go of his personal faults because he fears change, which routinely strains the relationship between him and the people around him, including his girlfriend Kelly.

For what was available at the time of this writing, the author reaches into a pretty deep and varied canon to build his story's universe off of. For the most part it takes place in the anime Pokemon world some years before Ash set off on his journey, but it also takes inspiration from the games and throws in some fan speculation for good measure. You'll be meeting a lot of familiar faces, but don't expect to see the old trio of Ash, Brock, and Misty to be playing any major role. However, you do (eventually) get to see Samuel Oak lay the smackdown on some unsuspecting Rockets, which of course is pretty badass. There is a big variety of Pokemon to encounter in this story and many of them have their own personality quirks, which helps keep them all memorable.

Unfortunately, the author routinely makes blatant errors regarding basic Pokemon lore and mechanics, to the point that it can severely hurt the reader's immersion into the story. Trainers using nonsensical or inefficient tactics in battle (which they do, pretty much in every single fight scene) is tolerable as long as the action keeps moving, but scenes like Gengar being threatened by Hyper Beam (despite its immunity to Normal type attacks) or the narrator saying that Umbreon has no weaknesses are just infuriating at times. Yes, this story was published before the advent of online resources like Smogon, but it feels like the author got most of their technical Pokemon knowledge from the trading cards instead of the video games themselves. A little bit of research beforehand would have helped enormously.

Much of the above can be forgiven, though, because the quality of the writing itself is up there with many of the best fanfics I've read on this site. The pacing is great, the dialogue is succinct and never feels contrived, and the characters are treated with a level of respect that makes you take their personal dilemmas seriously. I normally am not a big fan of romantic subplots in fanfics but this is done well enough that it doesn't feel tacked on and it is fairly easy to empathize with Jason's and Kelly's emotional turmoil. There's a definite overuse of paragraph divisions here but everything else reads so smoothly that it doesn't really detract from the experience that much.

Overall Against All Odds is a very good, if a tad generic story that gives the reader a good mixture of action packed battles and dramatic tension, and does it through a perspective (that of a paraplegic) that is rarely found in any works of fiction let alone a Pokemon fanfic. It's also a good look at how far both the scope of Pokemon lore and the styles of fanfic writing have changed in the past decade. If you're interested in an epic Pokemon journey with some old-school sensibilities, you'll find Against All Odds to be a delightful treat.
WyldClaw chapter 3 . 3/27/2012
i wonder if kelly will ever find out about jason's past
WyldClaw chapter 1 . 2/22/2012
oh my. as cruel as it was to ruin his family's business like that i think jason made the right move! he's the only one who treats the pokmon as they should be: with love, espect and kindnees.
ebg13 chapter 8 . 7/18/2009
Your antagonists are all really shallow and generally easily defeated. There doesn't seem to be any reason for disabled people to be barred from competition. The prejudice seems excessive. Other than that, your story is fairly interesting. I wonder how you fill the remaining 32 chapters.
Foxyjosh chapter 40 . 7/21/2008
This is truly an amazing story. I can't believe I've never dropped a review for it the first time I read it.
Foxyjosh chapter 8 . 7/20/2008
The Eevee 8. Let's see: Eevee, Jolteon, Vaporeon, Flareon, Espeon, Umbreon, Leafeon, and Glaceon. Yep that's 8.

Wow! you must be part Espeon to think up something like that before Glaceon and Leafeon where discovered. LOL.

This is still a terrific story.
icyblueicy chapter 40 . 2/23/2008
This is the best fic I've ever read. I wish there's a sequel.
Spazzcat-Katori chapter 40 . 2/26/2006

that has to be one of the most incredible stories I've ever read!
AeonFrodo chapter 40 . 11/18/2005
What an awesome fic. Very well written. Well done dude.
anonomous chapter 19 . 11/20/2004
WOW (faints froms all the excitment)
cloudfightback chapter 40 . 9/17/2004
BoneSatellite chapter 40 . 7/27/2004
This was the best pokemon story and one of the best fanfics I've ever read. [I hesitated to review for the sake of writing something more worthwhile, but oh well.] The only things that I didn't quite like about it were Jason's cliche-ish additude toward pokemon training and the fact that I was expecting an uplifting epilogue. But it was still incredible.
cloudfightback chapter 40 . 6/24/2004
it the best pokemon story ever
QOShea chapter 39 . 6/21/2004
I was reading Against All Odds, a great story btw, but when I got to Ch 40, the story cut off for some reason. Is there another place you've archived this story?
BoneSatellite chapter 27 . 6/6/2004
What the hell, though. The story's more interesting than ever before, with the suspenseful and romantic situations that the characters are involved in. Can hardly wait to see how it turns out!
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