Reviews for Speculum
CheddarTrek chapter 1 . 1/20/2013
This is a neat introduction to your story. I must admit that I am not overly familiar with Pokemon, but I did play partway through White (up to the Final Four). If I recall correctly N is the kid who was in charge of Plasma/Rocket and had a deep love of pokemon, and who believed he was genuinely doing the right thing?

Good choice for a protagonist.

I like the way you have your prologue set up. You start off with some thinking on the past, which help remind the reader who N is and where we are at in his story. You follow with a current scene of N talking to Zekrom, his primary pokemon (I assume) and a Legendary with apparently as much intelligence as a human. You end with some characters I'm not familiar with (original characters of yours?) messing around and going about their normal day just before it gets interrupted by N and Zekrom.

Good pacing.

Your writing itself though I think could use a little polish. It's good, and better than most of what you see on ffnet, but it's not fantastic.

For example, this line reads strangely even though I know what you meant - "I did not feel like a cradled newborn, as I was with Anthea, but worthless, like one of my friends thrown aside like a doll."

Some of your phrasing also seems awkward in dialogue. That's a good thing with Zekrom, since he's not human it might be nice for him to not sound like one, but with N it's more noticable. Sometimes saying everything outloud can point out awkward points.

Oh, but this is one part that I really liked, seemed exactly like the sort of thing I'd like to see you doing to highlight differences in how humans vs pokemon think - "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 really liked that bit.
Green Phantom Queen chapter 2 . 1/17/2013
First off, I'm liking the characterization of the kids. Nai's really energetic and seems to be so blissfully unaware of Zekrom's true purpose and instead starts spouting information on breeding while Kat acts as the protective sister. I'm also wondering why Simon would ask N, the son of the head of Team Plasma, bring his brother to Hoenn. Something's just not right.

Anyway, this is the beginning of something that will be most unusual. Although I don't know the premise of Pokemon Black and White 2, I'm still interested to see where this goes.
thats-a-moray chapter 2 . 1/16/2013
So happy to see this story updated!

"N however, was terrified." I think there should be a comma after N.

"(which he had no clue what it was)" Don't need 'which'.

"However his eyes were odd, turquoise in color and wide, full of a brightness that to N felt nostalgic and painful." Excellent, just... excellent.

"Also they need to be cleaned like this shell needs to be shiny." This is missing some punctuation.

You do an amazing job showing how skiddish N is. I'm not familiar with all the characters in Black and White, but based on my limited knowledge I don't find it difficult to piece the puzzle of N's life together. I just want to hug him. Too bad he would probably squeak and run away. I especially love how jealous he feels when he realizes that his Poke'mon can be happy without him.

"like a rich beer that if you savored you could taste the musk of in the air." Does N drink? This comparison seems a little odd because I couldn't imagine he would. Then again, I might be wrong.

Wow, that is quite sudden. I'm curious to see Simon's reasoning behind this request. I probably wouldn't trust N with my little brother.

Thanks for mentioning me in your author's note, I'm glad I could be of help. You also reminded me that I needed to favorite this story. Keep writing!
Sgt Rypht chapter 1 . 1/14/2013

*cough cough*

Let me be the first to say that Nai is so adorable. From the moment I heard him talk, mentioning himself in the third person, I thought this kid is my favorite thing ever! A part of me enjoyed seeing N struggle mentally as he tried to comprehend a pint-sized, cheery version of himself. It was like he was looking through a mirror and that mirror was a person that he could have been if Ghetsis didn’t touch him.

Needless to say that, it was a good read. A lot of people tend to pair N with Reshiram, and it was nice to see that he was paired with Zekrom instead. I do like how Nai treated Zekrom like he was any other Pokemon. I think that showed his love for the creatures in general. I’m looking forward to reading more about our little dude and his adventures along with our already interesting N.

I do like how the writing style reflects the character. Just try to keep yourself above the threshold between simple and elegant. You did a good job with that chapter, but I’m just trying to keep you motivated. Don’t let yourself slip too much into flowery when working with Nai. I know you, but just keep it in mind.

Aside from a bit of repetitiveness, it was a great read! Keep it.
ribby77 chapter 1 . 1/14/2013
I only know Kanto and have only FireRed so I'm a stranger to most of the characters though I know most of the pokemon.

I really liked your introduction, as it gave us a nice backstory, especially your description of the father, and the effect the pokemon's suffering has on N.

That's right… it was a dream. Or perhaps… it was a nightmare.: This was an excellent line. Really dramatic, the sort of thing that urges me to continue reading.

I enjoyed the contrast between the scene with N and the scene with Kat and I think you made each scene about the perfect length. I really liked the dialogue throughout however

"As creatures grow older, most begin to hide the truth from others. In response to that, the skill of reading to find that is honed as well."

This line seemed a little awkward, perhaps due to the repetition of 'that' in the second sentence. I would suggest maybe leaving out the first 'that'.

I think if I were to give you some criticism then I would say that I could have done with some more description. I suppose most of your readers would know what a Zekrom looked like, but I wasn't really sure, other than that it was black and a dragon. I also didn't even realize that they were flying for quite a long time. Some description of "the powerful beats of the dragon's wings" or something like that might have been nice. Other than that though, I liked everything.

I thought your ending was particularly effective
Great Angemon chapter 1 . 1/3/2013
That was a very nice story. I thought it was very well written.

I did notice a few SPaG errors, but nothing big. Only one or two.

Again, I did enjoy this story, and I hope you write another story like this.
RedheadedMarina chapter 1 . 1/2/2013
As someone unfamiliar with Pokemon (all I know is that you "gotta catch 'em all"), I liked the beginning section of this story as it gave me a bit of insight into the world as well as the protagonist's experience with growing up. I also like your use of sense and visual imagery.

The balance between the first section (exposition), second section (Dragon and N) and third section (Katrina)
is very well done. Each has its own rhythm, own feeling. I especially enjoy the juxtaposition of the dreamy beginning, the conflicted-yet-still-fantastical middle, and the crashing-down-very-real end section. Makes the cliffhanger ending with the two "worlds colliding" so to speak, that much more fun. Nice job!

"like one of my friends thrown aside like a doll" (this sentence is redundant-I would change it to simply "felt thrown aside, like a doll")
"For you they are one and the same..." (place a comma after "you")
"In response to that, the skill of reading to find that..." (again redundant. I think you could delete the "in response to" and simply say "...hide the truth from others. The skill of reading to find that...")
TenyumeKasumi chapter 1 . 1/2/2013
Well, the last Pokemon game I've played was Emerald and the last episode I watched was during the Johto season but I'll try my best!

First of all, I must say I like Nai! He sounds so cute and innocent. And takes joy in the company of others - especially Pokemon. He's eager to make friends with everyone too, suggesting a bright and uplifting personality. If it's not overly done, I believe his character can become a strong one if you build him right.

However, the bit that bothers me in terms of the writing style is punctuation. In the beginning, it seemed to me that there were quite a number of commas. Not that all of them were wrongly used, but perhaps you might consider other punctuation marks? Like '-' or ';' to avoid overusing any one of them too much. One error that did stand out in my eyes was this:

"Are you saying I am immature Zekrom,"

As the sentence is a spoken question, the comma should be replaced by the question mark. But commas are okay to use when the writer 'breaks up' the spoken sentence. For example:

"Are you saying," N asked with a curt edge to his voice "that I am immature, Zekrom?"

However, commas didn't seem as prevalent once the dialogue kicked in so it's not that big of an issue, don't worry. :D

Now about the dialogue - this could be a misstep on my part since I am unfamiliar with N's character, but his speech seems rather formal and a little stiff. This way, it is rather difficult for the reader to relate with him. Does he always speak like that? However, rest assured that expressing a character that can relate with your audience is well within your ability - just look at how you presented Nai! He was well done, in my opinion. :D

I am afraid though, I did not understand the last sentence. Did you mean to say 'almost not registering'?

Nevertheless, your range of vocabulary is good! Just enough description and brief detail and no purple prose. The plot is well placed as well. I think by broadening your use of punctuation marks, this fic would improve significantly. Keep it up! :3
thats-a-moray chapter 1 . 1/1/2013
Love the conversation between Zerkrom and N. I've never played Black/Black 2, but I know a little bit about the characters and in fact I read N's page on Bulbapedia just a few days ago. He struck me as a very interesting character so I'm glad to have found someone writing about him. From the sound of things, his personality here is spot on.

Piku gives 0 f***s. I like him.

Your prose is a pleasure to read. The scene between Zerkrom and N was strangely soothing. Great work.

Pet peeve: I really dislike the use of the word "male" to describe N. Male and female have always felt like poor terms to describe human genders in stories because they sound so scientific. To put it another way, I would say "the male Pikachu" but I probably wouldn't say "the male trainer." I would say "the boy trainer" or "the young man." It just sounds strange to me, like it makes the character more of an animal than a human. Also refering to Zerkrom as "the Electric type"... I know this is getting deeper and deeper into pet peeve territory, but Zerkrom is so-much-more than just an Electric type, if you get my meaning.
Green Phantom Queen chapter 1 . 1/1/2013
Having heard bits and pieces about the storyline of Pokemon Black and White, I sympathise with poor N. The guy was nothing more than a pawn for his father's schemes and he fell for it hook line and sinker.

This is the beginning of a great story and the SPaG is nice. I'm liking Katrina's personality as someone as outgoing and energetic. I wonder how N and Katrina will react to one another. This is going to be an interesting story for sure, and the title Speculum sounds beautiful and mysterious. Great job
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