Reviews for Silhouette of Time
Hmm chapter 56 . 3/30/2015
You know, it was tough to read through a lot of this fic, but its chapters like this that make it all worth it in the end. I'm starting to see a turning point here too.

Apollo really does care about Mikita (I'm gonna call him Micky though lol), even if he doesn't show it, and the old...err..young soldier is finally starting to feel something in that dead festering heart of his. The desire to live.

Or maybe he just wants to shoot more people in the face, either way it goes, I'm starting to understand why you chose such a heavy tone for this story. Pokemon by their very nature are wild animals, and they grew up with nothing but their own instincts to guide them on what is right and what is wrong, and Mikita himself is the closest thing that can relate to something like that on the human spectrum.

So Basically... in the famous words of somebody I can't remember and am too lazy to google atm, "in order to tame the savage beast, one must first become one."

Oh, and one last thing before I go: (Apollo makes antisocial amazingly adorable,..ok not really, but you probably get my point. You should do more of it.)

Okay, that's all I got, good luck and peace to you!

Laterz.
Ninewild chapter 17 . 7/20/2014
Your ability to write combat scenes is the best I've read in a while. I feel like I'm watching a movie.
Seas and Shadows chapter 1 . 5/7/2014
Dude... Epic start.
Lay Down Hunter chapter 3 . 3/29/2014
Why are they using weapons from today in a story that's set over 300 years into the future? I can understand that they've blown themselves up and it would take them longer to do make more weaponry, but I don't see why they're using weapons of today. It's a definite lack of creativity, that definitely doesn't make any sense.
Vryheid chapter 28 . 1/16/2014
(note- I posted that last review, is just stupid and logged me out for some reason)
Guest chapter 6 . 1/16/2014
My recommendation: If you like more gritty, violent depictions of the Pokemon universe this story should appeal to you, but isn't emotionally or intellectually engaging enough to justify its significant length.

Overview: Silhouette is an intense, violent action romp taking place in the jungles of Guyana, where an ex-soldier is tasked with recovering an ancient relic called the "Dreamstone" which could potentially shape the fate of the Pokemon world as we know it. It takes a lot of inspiration from the Metal Gear Solid series of video games and a number of popular action movies, and you're going to find a lot of references to both scattered throughout. The plot follows a twisting maze of political intrigue and bloody shootouts, primarily focusing around an indigenous tribe on the fringes of civilization.

The main characteristic that distinguished this story for me is how intensely repulsive the main character, Mikita, is. He's a ruthless, borderline psychopathic mercenary who views Pokemon as little more than disposable resources, and his obsession with duty causes him to discard his humanity in his obsessive pursuit of completing his missions. He acts like a mixture of Colonel Kurtz and John Rambo, and his seemingly insatiable bloodlust is only matched by his total indifference to the consequences of the acts of brutality he perpetrates. Sometimes it's hard to stomach having someone with such a distorted view of morality as a protagonist, but the action is well written and engaging enough that (at the beginning, at least) I found myself rooting for him anyways as he continually faces combat scenarios where he's heavily outnumbered and outgunned.

It should be said, however, that there are a number of side characters which are significantly more likable and serve as much needed foils to the gruff, single-minded protagonist. From the outspoken womanizer Cavoy to the hunted preacher Marx, his comrades feel like actual human beings with flaws and regrets I can relate to. I wish there were some interesting female characters in this story, but there's at least enough variety in the cast we do have that the flashback sequences aren't intolerable bouts of unnecessary violence. They're certainly necessary to care at all about Mikita's plight, who otherwise seems just as awful and heartless as the main antagonist of the story.

On that subject, there's nothing inherently wrong with having corrupt, dislikable main characters- a movie like The Goodfellas or a book like Huck are great example of this theme working well- but continually masking or defending the obvious faults in their personality makes them feel like one dimensional comic book villains and ruins any sort of emotional investment I might have in the outcome of the story. It feels like an excuse to delay any sort of meaningful character development and stuff in more unnecessary action sequences. There's one scene in particular that represents this dissonance particularly well, and is relevant enough that I'm willing to post it despite the very minor spoilers. An Espeon, fed up with the brutality and dismissive attitude Mikita shows her and other Pokemon, psychically grabs him and demands of him the following:

"WHO GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHO DIES? WHO IS MORE IMPORTANT?!"

This is an important question which cuts right to the heart of the novel, and it shows that the author is at least aware of the moral ambiguity of humanity's role in the Pokemon universe as a whole. Any remotely likable or engaging main character would have used this opportunity to at the very least try to defend his beliefs, if not show some sort of maturity or philosophical growth. Instead we get this sequence:

"The barrel of the Beretta went into the side of her neck, she staring back defiantly, trying so hard to force out any sort of her powers. He would spare her, but just barely, just like he had done with Covey.

"Это оружие дает мне силы." This gun gives me the power.

"Кто я дает мне право решать." Who I am gives me the right to decide."

I feel like this is a cheap cop-out of an answer and a very disappointing climax to the tension which had been building up between these two characters throughout the story. This moment was a perfect opportunity for the writer to explore the moral complexities of this issue, and instead the drama is tossed aside in another ridiculous display of over-the-top machismo. These sorts of scenes are prevalent throughout the story and really dumb down what I think could have otherwise been both an engaging and intellectual experience.

My other quibble is less significant but revolves around the lack of polish throughout the story. The writing is good, but there are enough spelling and grammatical errors throughout that it becomes distracting at times. This is so I'm not expecting literary masterpieces here, but it would have paid the author to read through each chapter he wrote before publishing them on the website. The good news is the writing improves significantly later on in the story, to the point where these sorts of errors are almost unnoticeable within the last 10 chapters or so.

These complaints are in many ways overshadowed by what I like about the story, starting with the author's respectful use of the Pokemon canon. In Silhoutte the mons we all know and love are not mindless battling machines but also aren't just anthropomorphized versions of human emotional stereotypes. The contrast between the cult-like Godfathers with their Pokemon allies and the rigid, human dominated military forces is one of the more interesting themes throughout the novel and makes very good use of these Pokemon as a plot device. They act as both menace and savior depending on each character's point of view, and I got the feeling the Pokemon themselves had their own agenda which was being cleverly concealed throughout the story.

Another part I liked about the story is the author's willingness to show, not tell, the atmosphere of chaotic violence and overwhelming sense of destiny which dominates throughout. The present day Mikita scenes are probably my favorite because there's so little dialogue. Simply reading about him trying to adapt to a harsh world he really doesn't understand is exciting in an Into the Wild sort of way. One scene I particularly enjoyed was where he tries to tame two Nidoran children by sharing his food rations, not realizing their highly irate Nidoqueen mother is patrolling nearby. The unspoken act of these two separate species going from outright hostility to making a small degree of peace with each other is probably the highlight of the whole story, and works through body language and action rather than an overly stuffed script.

Overall I enjoyed where this story has been going and will likely check it out again in the future, but I feel like the flashback sequences have long since overstayed their welcome and I'm more interested about Nikita's reaction to the Pikachu colony than anything else. If there is at least some crack in Nikita's uncaring, egotistical personality I might actually start to find him a likable or engaging character, but I really don't care whether he lives or dies at this point. Heck, I'd probably enjoy this story a whole lot more if Crowe was the main character instead of Mikita. Still, it was an interesting ride thus far and I hope the author continues publishing work on here in the future.
dashdashdashdash chapter 1 . 10/10/2013
This seems like it's going to be really good. I can't wait to read! :3
Gholam chapter 25 . 8/12/2013
This chapter was great. A fight scene, and some psychological torture! Thanks for updating
Gholam chapter 23 . 8/2/2013
Mikita as a "by the books" kind of guy? Well they're screwed. Great chapter :)
Gholam chapter 22 . 7/22/2013
Firstly I think it's criminal that you're not getting more reviews for this, and secondly I loved this chapter- Lieutenant Mandibuzz had me pissing myself and the fight scene with the Feraligatr was amazing. Keep up the good work please :)
Gholam chapter 20 . 7/7/2013
Really, you pulled the Nazi card? I mean people are always going to be prejudiced against those different to them but Nazism surviving a nuclear war is depressing. But nice chapter all the same :)
Gholam chapter 19 . 6/28/2013
'and most other days he was arrogant, ignoring both emotions like a good soldier should.' Loved that line. And the scene with the Raichu in the field was brilliant. Thanks for another great update :)
Gholam chapter 18 . 6/18/2013
Well I have to review now don't I? :L But anyway another interesting update, a bit of backround information is always nice, keep it up please :)
Gholam chapter 17 . 6/12/2013
Nice chapter, nice to see that he isn't TOTALLY indestructible. It's a shame you're not getting more attention for this story, the plot is good and it's well written. Also to clear up any confusion over my last review, I meant pokedex entries, not oilseed. I don't know why that changed...
Gholam chapter 16 . 6/3/2013
Another great chapter. Very surprised that you still don't have more reviews though. Also was interesting to see that you took the oilseed entries for size, always thought that they showed most pokemon as being to small but when talking about mutated animals it makes a lot more sense. Anyway great chapter, loving the story so far and please keep it up :)
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