Reviews for Speculum
Estoma chapter 2 . 5/27/2013
The way Nai cares for the pokemon is really very sweet. He seems a nice OC that you've created. Well done. I can imagine him quite clearly, seeming a little lacking in social skills/social awareness but a good character at heart. Perhaps he is better with pokemon than people?

[The odd cube around his pants reminded Nai of the pendant tucked under his shirt.] This line I don't quite understand. The cube around his pants?

The way Nai speaks in third person is quite disconcerting, however, I was getting used to it by the end of that chapter. Just a matter of personal preference. Just out of interest, why have you made him speak like this?

["What about my Pokemon," N asked warily, looking to see Nai rubbing the shell of Carracosta's stomach with some odd fluid.] Here I would use a question mark when having a question in the dialogue.

Interesting chapter, and I'd be happy to read on.

Estoma chapter 1 . 5/26/2013
Okay, I'll start by saying I am nearly fandom blind. Maybe fandom fuzzy. It has literally been a good twelve years since I watched a few of the cartoons. But it's always good to read something different.

Despite not really knowing what's going on, I am being pulled in. The dragon and N are intriguing. And it's then a nice transition to the lighter, happier sort of scene with Nai and his pokemon. That worked quite well I think.

Not sure how many of the characters are canon, but all the sames seem to fit in together really well. That can be tricky, to make the names sound realistic. You said Nai was your OC? I wouldn't be able to tell; he seems to fit right in.

Minor quibbles here: in the seond last paragraph you said Nai could see N's grey, indifferent eyes though the man was riding on the back of a dragon. I don't think he'd be able to see his eye colour from there.

[ one of my friends thrown aside like a doll.] This bit here, I'm not sure what you're meaning, about the friends? Do you mean one of the pokemon?

["Are you saying I am immature Zekrom," N asked with a slight curt edge to his voice.] Here I would follow the question with a question mark. Also, it's a usual convention to put a comma before someone's name, eg, 'Are you saying I am immature, Zekrom?' Up to you of course.

dshcioasdv chapter 1 . 5/24/2013
I feel that I should tell you this before I review: I don't watch Pokemon, but I do play it. I'm not sure if that'll make an impact, though, because I understood this chapter and there was nothing really confusing about it.
I've never read a Pokemon fanfic before, so I decided to take a chance and start this one. I'm really glad I took that chance! This is so cool! I liked the way you described N's relationship with his Pokemon and the way his views of humans relationships with them changed as he got older. I like the idea of a savior for the Pokemon and a king that would bring prosperity to them.
I liked Katrina Walker's introduction. You showed her relationship with her brother very well and it was a good exposition for her character.

Now for the nitpick:
I noticed a few missing commas in this paragraph, which I will insert in parentheses
"N sighed. He could not deny that(,) could he? "How is it you wonderful creatures can see through me so well?" he asked wistfully. There were no formulas to solve this, no wonders with which to understand this in a simple concrete manner. And he disliked that.(I)mmensely he disliked that and he didn't know what to do about it. There were so many things about this world to like and to dislike(,) and very few of them made any sense(,) (s)uch as the wind which nearly took his hat."
Great start to the story! I look forward to reading more.
thats-a-moray chapter 4 . 5/22/2013
Ah, it's good to be back! *cuddles N*

[He was kind of skittish and definitely a rather weird person.] I think just 'definitely a weird person' works better. It's funnier, too. Also I can't really see the word 'rather' in Nai's vocabulary.

["Nobody's letting him figure it out either."] It's pretty amazing how Nai can see that. I was pretty sheltered as a kid, so I know what it's like trying to fit in with other people. Most of the time it does feel like nobody is giving you time to figure out what you're supposed to do. They treat you as if you should know, as if by instinct, and it's horribly confusing. I feel for N.

[He chuckled to himself at this and sat up.] Why does this make him chuckle? Is he happy to have slept in a human bed or is it something else?

[Once, N had heard that the Zoroark had spent many years in the illusion of a human. He did not believe so, but the Zoroark never confirmed or denied such a thing, it had to be taken as a rather profound and oddly jarring truth, for a Pokemon who followed the path to the separation of humans and Pokemon at any rate.] That's really interesting. I'd love to hear more about Zoroark's back story, if it ever comes up. _

["Sometimes, you must break what you love. You will be a king someday, and a king that will break the spirits of his people."] That is goddamn chilling.

[His heart, which he hadn't even realized had been thumping incredibly loudly, seemed to relax the tiniest bit.] Awwww.

[Oh, how he hated these things. It wasn't as though great, beautiful dragons belonged inside tiny, ugly spaces any more than small Pikachu and Piku was perched carelessly on Nai's arm. N found that unfair.] N has a good point here. Even though he's naive, it's fascinating how he sometimes gets things totally right.

Excellent chapter! Can't wait to see what their journey brings!


[It was a testament to how much he was listening that Ne didn't jump.] N
RikuIsKing chapter 1 . 5/11/2013
Hi I'm not fandom blind per-say, but as far as Pokémon, I've only ever seen the first few season's Gary Oak was in then I stopped. But I've never stopped playing the games, so this should be interesting. Maybe you can be the one who can get me back into watching the show. No? Onto the review! :D

-Nai is a very deep character and I like him already. I enjoyed how he spoke about him in third person, because it gave us more insight into his life and mind. From his own thoughts and feelings, not someone else's. Even though he is an original character and I've never been to fond of them, but you have been granted an exception. Just because I like deep thinkers with a troubled past.

-{That's right… it was a dream. Or perhaps… it was a nightmare. Years passed and I grew. I was crowned a king, hailed a hero. As far as I knew, this was fact.} I like this bit. The whole writing of it was thought provoking because Nai seems just as confused as the reader about his whole situation, but he also had a simple elegance, just as the writing of this and I thought it contrasted very well.

-{For you they are one and the same..."} Place a comma after "you"

-{"No," replied the Electric type neutrally, as calm as ever. "I am saying you need to grow. You humans are the ones who decided people are mature or immature."} I love this part! It shows how humans always try to act superior to everything else among them, but when in reality they are not and have to be put in their place. The Pokémon clearly shows how both creatures have different thought and feelings, but are still one in the same.

-{I like how both scenes tie in at the end to offer an interesting start to your story. But as if I'll read more? Well that will honestly depend. You're writing is better than some I've read, but it's far from the best. I DON'T AIM to put you down by this but I'm just saying it could use a little bit of work, mine could too really.}

Love, Riku
Hurlstien chapter 1 . 5/11/2013
I like the short sentences used in the first paragraph, they're to the point and easy to read. You have gotten N's story across quickly and and clearly which is good considering most of your readers already know his past.
2nd paragraph: You have the word "friend" twice too close together and they over lap their word territory, perhaps try "comrades" or "companions"?
I like this: "his voice deep and sharp, an icy pool", its a lovely metaphor.
In the 5th paragraph you have "dream" twice too close together. Perhaps just swap some words around and replace one "dream" with a synonym: "It was a grand ideal, a beautiful vision. And I accepted the dream and all of what went with it." But it's up to you.
In the 26th paragraph I think it would sound better if you put "and" instead of a comma.
7th paragraph from the bottom there should be a comma after "However".
Lol, I liked this bit: "The Pikachu looked down at her and shrugged as if to say: not my problem toots." Just a Pikachu thinking like that was quite amusing :)
4th paragraph from the bottom you've got: "That would be sad but… that meant Nai could make a friend too." Instead of "that" maybe you could just use "it", that way you wouldn't have two "that"'s too close together.
I loved the last sentence, it was a great way to finish off the chapter :)
MangoRamune chapter 1 . 5/7/2013
I haven't played Black/White or their sequels, however I have read Pokemon Adventure. As far as that goes, you are true to his character. N is annoying, just as he should be. I have yet to see a characterization of him, canon or no, as anything but a kind of wishy-washy, naive person who has high ideals but doesn't really know enough about the real world to bring them to life or even to understand if he really wants them to come to pass like he thinks he does. And as much as I often want to punch him for it, there is a rather tragic portion to it that you did well to highlight at the start:
It's not his fault. He is the poster child for being a product of one's upbringing. As much as I want to dislike him, I can't help but feel sorry for him because he really is just a lost manchild trying to take in the complexity of the world through the narrow perception he was basically raised to have.

That all said, I don't think you have to worry about his characterization. That is spot on. What's better, I think N's manner of speaking suits the way you write characters who are in turmoil very well. You alternate between a semi-omniscient narration to a kind of third-person flow-of-consciousness for a line or two and then you move on. It gives us a feeling of slowing homing in on a certain character's thoughts while still having that omniscience.

OCs something I typically shy away from, but the Pokemon universe is one of those where everyone has their own little story to tell, and it works out well so long as the characterization is done well—a problem I don't think you will have. I look forward to seeing Nai and N (and Keenan and Katrina) interact.
Gilva Lepista chapter 1 . 4/24/2013
First of all, a disclaimer: I have not watched Pokemon since the early days (Ash, Misty, Brock, etc.), so I will be unfamiliar with most of this canon.

The story and the characters are interesting, but the language is confusing to the point of distraction. I have some idea what's going on now, but during the first read-through I was having a lot of trouble staying focused on the story. I don't normally do this, but I feel it is necessary here:

reading his mind without doing so - reading his mind without meaning to / reading his mind, but without really reading it (I'm not sure which it's supposed to be.)
"You are brooding N," - "You are brooding, N," (In my head, I had the image of a giant teal N-shaped statue with grouchy eyebrows.)
He could not deny that could he? - He could not deny that, could he?
"For you they are one and the same and you know that." - "For you, they are one and the same, and you know that."
"We Pokemon are not always so wonderful N," - "We Pokemon are not always so wonderful, N,"
The words he could grasp but the meaning… - He heard the dragon's words, but could not grasp their meaning. / Though he heard no words, the empath's meaning was clear. (Again, totally unclear what you're going for.)
it was too late for that now wasn't it? - it was too late for tat now, wasn't it?
"Are you saying I am immature Zekrom," - "Are you saying I am immature, Zekrom?"
"That is incorrect human," - "That is incorrect, human,"
"My reasons are my own and not the whims of a mortal." - "My reasons are my own, not the whims of a mortal." / "My reasons are my own; not the whims of a mortal."
"If you believe so," N finished, ending the argument. He could not see this as possible but he wanted to avoid an argument with the legendary. - (First he ends the argument, then, one sentence later, it's impossible to avoid an argument? I'm at a loss here.)
The base desires won out over all in the end, as they usually did for survival. - In the end, his base survival instinct won out over all logic, just as they always did.
still disoriented from when he had crashed into the fence only moments before. - still disoriented from crashing into the fence only moments ago.
However it is not right to tackle each other into trees." - However, it is not right to tackle each other into trees."
"Honestly you're here to protect my brother…" - "Honestly! You're here to *protect* my brother..."
"Take Piku and the three of you go play by the pond all right? - "Take Piku, and the three of you go play by the pond, all right?
His partner only rolled his eyes and then stiffened, ears shifting straight upward. - At first his partner only rolled his eyes, but after a moment he suddenly stiffened, ears shifting straight upward.
Piku and the Poochyena were crying out their anger but Nai stared in silence - Piku and the Poochyena were crying out their anger, but Nai stared in silence

That being said, I love N's background, and find Zekrom extremely intriguing. Despite the fact that I never would have figured out whether Nai was a Pokemon or a human if I hadn't checked the A/N again, I found him to be a very cute character. He contrasts nicely with N, so it will be interesting to see the two interacting.

All in all, a badly-edited but well-written story. I do hope that you are willing to do a bit of revision, because you have some spectacular characters here, and I would very much like to sit back and enjoy them :)
little red cardigan chapter 2 . 4/9/2013
[It kinda made him think of a hurt Pokemon.] - From the first chapter, I remember N gravitating more towards Pokemon who were hurt. It seems by this statement here that Nai and N somewhat share the same thinking-process. I'm intrigued as to how these two characters will get along as the chapters progress.

[N however, was terrified.] - For some reason, I thought he would carry a more indifferent disposition. You know, the 'I-don't-give-a-crap-about-anything personality, but again, I'm not familiar with this fandom and I have no idea how he should act like. Nai strikes me as the more optimistic, happy-go-lucky type, so I'm thinking that their personalities with definitely clash later on if there's more interaction between them.

[However his eyes were odd, turquoise in color and wide] - First tea-colored hair and now turquoise eyes? I really love your usage of color in this story.

["Can Nai say hello to him?"] - So Nai speaks in third person. Weird, but strangely funny.

[smiling without a mouth] - Really love this expression right here.

[ "Aw that's okay. Lots of trainers don't know about the vitamins thing and Pokemon usually clean themselves.] - He surprisingly sounds intelligent to me, but the third person talk sort of deters that a little.

[Yet what Nai was talking about were things N had never heard of] - Probably because N has isolated himself from humans for a long time now.

[ Nai beamed. Clearly, he didn't notice her expression twisting her mouth, looking at N with thinly veiled dismay.] - Nai's so adorably oblivious. I wonder how a nickname like Nai comes from a name like Keenan though.

[ losing their shine for a dimmer aqua] - Beautiful imagery.

["All you've cared about is Pokemon as beings, as existing. You've never stopped to figure out what that means."] - Wow, so cryptic. This very question will be answered in further chapters, won't it? I'm excited to find out what it means.

["He's deaf to the cries of the innocent,"] - This was funny! It says a lot about this Simon character.

["You're that N are you?"] - Well, N's still a prince, so it makes sense for some people to have heard or recognize him. And by Simon asking N to take Nai around the Hoenn region, does that mean that they will be travelling together now? It'll be very interesting how their friendship will develop, considering these two are such polar opposites with one similarity. Another well-written chapter by the way!
StormRex Lancer chapter 3 . 4/1/2013
Okay...I have to admit it big time. You have made me sympathize with N. Big time. I have always regarded N as one of the biggest asshole in gaming because of the way he stands. But this chapter just makes me sympathize with him. Nai's siblings, especially that stupid prick called Simon who seemed bending on getting rid of N, and even to a certain extent, tainting Nai's innocence. I mean, wow, Simon is on a whole new level of DOUCHEBAG! Sorry, I mean a character who wanted to so much as to get rid of a person's innocence by associating with a misubderstood person rather than a criminal is just...douche.

I also liked N's struggle between being a freak of nature, and being a human because of Ghetsis's parting words. it proves that he's human, the fact that he wanted to redeem himself after the humiliating under the player's hands back at Pokemon Black. Geez...speaking about it, you are pulling a Spec Ops: The Line! You created Simon as an embodiment of me hating on N! That was rwally, really smart, because it made me feel like a douche bag for hating on N...really, really clever. Kudos to you, really smart.
StormRex Lancer chapter 2 . 3/31/2013
Okay, I love the way you potray the continuation of how N is regaining learning about the means of humanity, and how humans and Pokemon can work together in tandem. His confusion in understanding Nai's emotions, and his innocence. I like that Nai's innocence seems to be, to a certain, reminding N about his past. I mean N's past is also brought to love Pokemon, isn't it?

If there are some problems, it has to do with your sentence. there are a lot of sentence that was bunched up into one paragraph. It might get really confusing, and I have to look at it once more to really grasp how N is feeling and Nai's innocence and why he has that source of innocence, the fact that he was a son of a day -care center man.

What you can do is to separate those paragraphs into smaller paragraphs so that reading can be easier. Plus, it will help if you start dialogue in a new paragraph. :)
Helicarriers chapter 1 . 3/30/2013
I've been wanting to read Speculum for a while - I'm a pretty big fan of Pokemon and I know the Black/White storyline, so I'm really interested in seeing where you take this.

Your characterization of N is great. The first italicized part really helped to set this in stone. I especially like how N, when he was younger, had a more simplistic relationship with Pokemon and thought of them as friends and family, but as he grew older, he learned that things were far darker and more complex than he previously thought. Things like this often happen when we grow up, and I'm really glad you included such a truth here.

I did get a little confused by "N?", though. I feel that bit of dialogue should be separate from N's action of looking up. I also think it could be a little clearer that N was riding on Zekrom, because I didn't realize this until the part where they began to land ("the human on his back"). There were a few other things that tripped up my reading a bit, mostly when it comes to punctuation. "He could not deny that could he?" might do better with a comma after "that", for instance. "We pokemon are not always so wonderful N," would do better with a comma after "wonderful". It helps separate the name from the statement in that piece of dialogue. These are minor things though.

Anyways, back to the story! I really love Zekrom's dialogue; it has a certain quality - knowledgeable, and maybe almost condescending - reminiscent of a godlike figure. It fits Zekrom well. When it comes to Katrina and Nai, I thought the introduction was done well. You placed them in a situation that seemed realistic and in doing so, it shows how Katrina is easily aggravated by her brother - who is clearly a troublemaker. So good job on characterization. It took me a moment to make the connection that Nai was a nickname for Keenan, probably because I've never heard either name before. But otherwise, I loved this part.

Near the end, there were some great details like Piku and the Poochyena noticing N's arrival before Nai does. It was pretty appropriate, since Pokemon draw many similarities to animals, and animals often notice strange events before people.

And the very last line made me curious about what will happen next.

All in all, I really liked this first chapter! I'd consider reading it over to find some parts that might do better with more punctuation, but otherwise, excellent job. I look forward to reading on and seeing what happens! :)
Madam'zelleG chapter 1 . 3/29/2013
Just a brief disclaimer that I'm one of the 2% of the RLt who doesn't know anything about any Pokemon whatsoever. *cowers in shaaame* ;)

"I wouldn't dare to want to be parted..." I found this to be a very interesting way of phrasing it. I was a little confused for a moment, but when I stopped to consider it, I really liked what you did here. There's an awesome feeling of just how attached to these characters he really was and it really works to your advantage as a way of starting off the chapter/prologue.

"...Father returned" Oooh, dear. Something tells me that this can't be good.

" one of my friends thrown aside like a doll." This ran a little awkwardly for me. Having two "likes" right in a row like that made the flow jar up, just a bit. But that might just be me.

"..deny that could he" should have a comma after "that"

"...nearly took his hat" LOL, I love that as an example! Such a trivial thing, but it is just another thing to dislike. Of course that's all a matter of attitude...

" wonderful N," should have a comma before "N" because it's a direct address.

"...not my problem toots" Same as above

"...almost registering the universe unhinging..." I LOVE this as the end of the chapter. It's just so ominous, and the images are perfect! Really nice choice on your part!

As a first chapter, certainly very interesting. I look forward to moving on to the next!

Cheers, dearie!
little red cardigan chapter 1 . 3/26/2013
I loved reading the beginning of N's background story. It was sad that his mother died (or left) him at such a young age, practically handing him over to a father who was the opposite of what he was supposed to be to N. I'm glad that he's found his Pokemon, that he's bridged an understanding between himself and the creatures above all other human contact. That being said, I wonder if he ever gets lonely distancing himself from people of his own kind.

[As I sat there fidgeting he spoke, his voice deep and sharp, an icy pool.] - Now, I've read many times about eyes being described as icy pools, never tones and pitches, so this was new for me in a good way. I'm quite intrigued on how this story will progress.

["It is a trait of the empathic to look past the flesh."] - You know, I've always had this inner feeling that animals can read us humans better than we can to each other. It makes much sense for Pokemon to have that inward ability to look past all exteriors and predominantly focus on what's within the human being. I really admired the way you worded this out.

N has teal-colored hair? Nice.

["You chose me because Father created me for the purpose of you doing so."] - The reason behind N's birth sucks. Well, this really explains why his Father has been so detached and undeniably un-involved in N's life.

This was very well-written, especially with the details and the unique interaction between N and Zekrom. There weren't many SPaG mistakes, other than the few minor technical issues.
ReadingBlueWolf chapter 2 . 3/24/2013
I like the visual of the hair as green as the tea. That was really nice. I like that you showed N hadn’t taken care of himself with the smell comment. That was really nice. I like the switch from Nai’s peppy personality to the cautious, untrusting of N. So, Zekrom was only able to communicate with N but Nai can hear him as well? That’s interesting. I wonder what it means. I like how the dragon is smiling without a mouth. I like the visual of Nai delicately touching the scales and grooves in between each. That’s really, really nice. The life in Nai is really pleasant and a great match against N who has suffered a lot in life. I also like how bold he is. All the newer pokemon! So many new names! I know the original 151 or whatever and then a few after that, so all of these are an exciting new adventure for me to learn about! I like Carracosta. He’s pretty cool. I like how he lets Nai wash him. I really like this. All the thoughts with N about his pokemon and about Nai. It’s really neat the way you show his thought process. I love the voice being compared to a rich beer. I find it interesting that Simon wants N to take Nai away. What is that all about? There was a lot of set up in this chapter and I liked it a lot. I’m sure I missed important parts because I was wondering about other things. Anyway, I really liked this. It kept me reading until the end and I’m wondering where it goes from here. Will N be able to tolerate Nai for an entire trip? Will he even take Nai? Will Nai mature in N’s care? What changes are in store for both characters and what’s going to happen to them? I’m really curios and I like this a ton!
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