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2/13/2017 c3 10Vile Slanders
Well, I had to take three separate cracks at this chapter to properly absorb everything transpiring. I may have been slightly drunk during ONE of those three reviews, but the other two reviews were legitimately sober attempts. So ignoring my inebriated idiocy, I will instead cite the concerns I recalled from the first sober attempt.

One: There was some difficulty in transition. We go from fleeing a mischievous ghost in chapter 2 to painting a house in chapter 3. It's a bit sudden and unexpected. Again, my recommendation for easing the transition is chapter clinching. Namely, at the end of Chapter 2, add a line in which Annabel begins to reminisce on her family. This will provide "direction" for the transition, so that it doesn't completely take the audience by surprise.


But I don't want to stop! This is so fun!

I can't see your name in gold letters in the corner. What kind of painter doesn't sign their work?

-Is this Annabel reading her parents' thoughts? Given Annabel's "ability," that's the conclusion I managed to reach after some head-scratching, but there's no in-story clarification to accredit or dissuade my conclusion.


"What did you do, if you couldn't find your passion?"

-This seems to be a personal thought of Annabel's, posed as an open question to the audience. The problem is, this story is being related in third-person narrative, with the central perspective being assumed by Annabel. In first-person narrative, such open questions to the audience occur smoothly, because there is no confusion as to who is "asking" the question and who is being "asked" the question. But in third-person narrative, the author needs to use "direction" to specify the uncertainties.

A (cheap) example:

"Consumed by doubt, Annabel began to wonder: What did you do, if you couldn't find your passion?"

Currently, my single most weighty concern for the prose is the lack of "direction." A lot of your dialogue occurs without specifying any details as to who is saying what. While I'm not suggesting that you amend this by employing "talking heads," a little more:

"Oh, the tragedy!" Mom said teasingly.

-Would go a long way towards tying up those loose ends.

Other than that, I find the backstory quite revealing of Annabel's character. Here we have a happy little girl in a young family, presumably all living on their own for the first time, taking pride in their team-effort of restoring an abandoned house into a proper home. This chapter is both touching in its familial bonding and relevant in its mundane-day-to-day-life portrayal.

We also see no end of little "quirks" regarding Annabel. Her willfully overworked father may be something of a trope, but the vast majority of tropes (like stereotypes) are generally well founded in normalcy. A lot of kids grow up feeling disconnected from their fathers, due to their father's commitment to their career. This makes the strained relationship between Annabel and her father all the more relatable for the audience.

Annabel's "burnt-out" stage near the end of the chapter also betrays a certain idealistic frustration harbored by the character. Annabel started the chapter all "here's to sunshine and rainbows tomorrow," but at the end of the chapter, we see Annabel succumbing to a "yet another day of storm clouds and rain" type of attitude.

We can also identify a personal weakness in Annabel's ego near the end of the story. Annabel identifies her parents as being impossible superheroes for their sheer tenacity and expressed passions, and Annabel finds herself wanting in her own lackluster passion.

...Somehow, I get the impression that Annabel's delicate self-esteem is going to play a (decisive) role in Annabel's decision to become a trainer. I suspect that Annabel is going to undertake her "Journey" as a means of proving, or rather discovering, her passion.

I'll have to take a gander at Chapter 4 sometime tomorrow. hopefully June, Miko, and Mel will be introduced in a flashback sooner or later, 'cause these characterless names are driving me absolutely nuts.
2/12/2017 c12 Upon the Night Sky
Mr Cinders still seems pretty cool, he's always kind to Ann and V, even though I'm not really sure what's up with his business, haha. And wow, $500 (real life money) for an evolutionary stone is soo expensive, makes me wonder how rich Champions and other strong trainers are. xD They're really easy to get in the games though, I had 100s of each in Platinum (loved mining in the underground). But that wouldn't be realistic, haha.

The two payment cards (supplies and play) are a cool idea, especially how there's a weekly limit on supplies so you don't get stuck from using all your money.

The places you described near the volcano sound gorgeous! I'd be cool to live there. Is the volcano extinct?

I love Azu, he's really cute. Do rabbits exist in their world? Usually in stories there are just pokemon or a mix of real life animals and pokemon, since you technically can't make comparisons if they don't have rabbits, haha. Also I think you made a typo, in "no[w] way was Azu that strong."

The discussion about releasing pokemon and what happens to them was interesting, since there'd be actual consequences, rather than just disappearing forever like in the games. And how some pokemon just don't evolve for some reason.

A bit confused about the chansey comment.

Also, 24 badges is a lot! But wouldn't the first 6 badges or so in each region be pretty easy to get, if you already have the 8th badge in another region, since you'd be over-levelled for the majority of them?

The part with poke balls having trackers and how people deal with stolen pokemon was interesting. In the games, only the evil organisations steal people's pokemon, but it would make sense that ordinary people would try, too, since people steal items in real life, so why wouldn't they steal pokemon as well?

I can really understand Anabel's feelings of shame/inadequacy/anger at their comments, in not having earned any badges. I would have reacted in a similar way. It's interesting to see that there is, in fact, stigma, against trainers who don't have any badges, and how people really do judge you based on how many you have. And I totally agree with V's comments, on how they're just doing things out of order and how the farm experience would help them immensely in training/raising their own pokemon. Plus, they've just started, and those other trainers started years earlier. I really liked the scene where V was comforting Anabel.

Looking forward to the next update! :D
2/12/2017 c11 Upon the Night Sky
Sorry for the super late review! I've been quite busy lately, and I wanted to take the time to read it properly. :)

So exciting to see that they've finally gotten their eevee! And "battling Tangela" got me confused for a second but I laughed realising what she meant. Their eevee's nicknames are cute. When they evolve, will Ann and V give them different nicknames, since they would no longer be eevee?

Loved the part where they were questioning whether they loved their eevee/if the eevee actually loved them, and how Anabel could sort of sense their emotions but not really. Since sometimes you don't need to be able to do that to know how someone/a pokemon feels, and the situations they met might not have been ideal, but it doesn't make their feelings any less genuine.

Training pokemon sounds really difficult, especially learning new moves. In the games, it's really easy, but in real life, you're dealing with another living being, and it's hard to know when's the right time to be strict with them. I can totally understand why Ann feels terrible in punishing her eevee, and not knowing if it's really the right thing to do. And Eeveea potentially learning Iron Tail, that's super cool!

Omg, fossil pokemon! Really interesting to see your take on this, it makes sense that they would not be completely accurate and be super difficult to keep alive, not to mention being worth millions of dollars. In the games I always saw fossil revival as some magical thing that had no problems, haha. It was nice to see that Mr Cinders didn't get angry at them for sneaking in.

That ending of the chapter though, hopefully everything ends up alright. I'm still a bit confused, is it because of the fossil pokemon and his potentially shady dealings with customers?

Next chapter review will be up soon! :)
2/6/2017 c3 Radio Free Death
[Up, d- Anabel frowned. Something was wrong. She turned to scowl at the now silent radio.]

So up until here I'd assume maybe some of what she was saying in italics are thoughts, but I'm not so sure after reading 'something was wrong'. It sounds way too formal for a little girl to think. If it's emphasis, it can get a bit confusing when you highlight whole passages rather than individual words.

This is a lovely scene with Anabel and her parents and painting the house and hungry to belong somewhere. Unfortunately, I had to reread the chapter several times to follow, as the fragmented paragraphs can sometimes make things hard to follow
2/5/2017 c1 17Negrek
Okay, let's get to it. I appreciate that this story starts off right in the action, as it were; you could obviously have set things up to give us more backstory on Ann and V's situation, but I think that you do a nice job of incorporating bits and pieces of it throughout the chapter. Enough to get a sense of the general shape of their situation, but leaving plenty to be revealed later.

Anyway, I'm going to go through some sentence-level nitpicks before returning to broader concerns.

[ Total darkness led way to blurred shadows. ]

"Gave" way, perhaps? Not sure what else you might be going for.

[ The tent frabric rippled, a silver glint catching the zipper. ]

Probably the zipper itself was doing the glinting? You might say a ray of light caught the zipper (and made it glint silver), but generally glints don't catch things.

- I assume you don't mean to have invented a new device in "torchlight?" You'd usually call it either a torch or a flashlight, not an amalgamation of both. "Torchlight" is literally the light that comes from a torch, not something that emits light.

[ The ground slammed hard against her shoulder... ]

Normally you'd say "her shoulder slammed hard against the ground," since the ground doesn't move.

[ A stick almost as big as V had appeared in V's hand. ]

I had a looot of trouble with this sentence. I take it V *picked up* a stick that's nearly as tall as she is? You might consider rewording to make that more explicit, something like, "V had picked up a stick nearly as big as she was." The "appeared" made me think the stick literally appeared in her hand (like, the gengar was transformed into a stick for some reason and popped into her hand to freak her out), and then she dropped the because she was freaked out that it had just appeared there. It took me a few reads to get what I think is the correct interpretation, that she'd picked up the stick for protection (or something), then dropped it when she noticed *the gengar.* All in all I found those paragraphs unclear.

[ It, he spoke every word, like a professor, except evil. ]

Cute sentence!

Overall, I think you did a nice job with the gengar encounter. It was a very tense scene, and while at times it got a bit disorienting, I think that's appropriate, given that Anabel was pretty overwhelmed and frightened by the whole experience. At times your phrasing is a little odd, and you really get creative with the formatting in this chapter: loads of italics, dramatically breaking things off with dashes, and then . All these devices let you control the flow of the narrative and how readers take it in, but I think you maybe went a little overboard here. As far as weird phrasing goes, I always recommend reading your work aloud as part of proofreading, if you don't already do so; it can help a lot in spotting clumsy sentences.

In general I liked how you got information across "between the lines," so to speak; you get across a lot about the girls and their situation with more hints and implication than sitting down and expositing about it. I liked the little sketch we got of Anabel's torchic just from the brief mentions of him-there's both the sense of how much he means to Anabel, as well as his personality. I also liked the contrast in how V and Anabel dealt with the ghost, whether V was actually being hugely naive about it or not.

I definitely wouldn't have guessed Anabel was the Anabel from canon if you hadn't included the final author's note. Of course, I'm terrible with names, so I probably wouldn't have remembered there's a character named Anabel at all, so I had to go look her up anyway after reading this. Not clear at this point whether you intend to stick the her anime role or also incorporate the stuff in Gen VII, where she's a member of the International Police-I mean, I doubt we'll be seeing her grow up that far, but laying the groundwork for her interest in battle... frontier-ing/policing.

In any case, I think this is a promising first chapter. It maybe ends a little abruptly, but there's definitely stuff happening and coherent characters forming, and there's a sense of where the story will go from here.
2/4/2017 c10 Upon the Night Sky
Wow, the farm sounds pretty big, with a lot of different environments needed for raising Pokemon. In the games, the breeding places are quite generic. Breeding and taking care of many pokemon is definitely a difficult job.

I like the world-building (?) here, with the Dittos, the dynamics on the farm (Azumarill bring the boss, separating pokemon since there's a food-chain) and how each pokemon has a distinct personality. The concept of 'Speedies' was interesting. The part where Mr Cinders was talking about genetics and potential (kind of like natures, abilities, IVs) was cool. Ann and V's experiences with taking care of pokemon here would help them immensely in the future, I'd imagine.

Glad to know that Mr Cinders is a kind person! It's cool to see him help Ann and V with creating the story to tell their parents, even though lying is generally bad. But I can understand why they're doing that, instead of telling their parents the truth.

The scene with the customer and the dratini sounds troubling. I also liked how you brought up some questions like, what do people do with the pokemon (since they're not trainers, like what happen with Riolu) and why so many get transferred.

Interested to see what happens next! :D
2/4/2017 c1 10Vile Slanders
Well, I read your profile bio on this story before I took a crack at it, and I can completely empathize with your fond sentiments regarding said story, regardless of its youthful conception.

This was somewhat difficult to read in certain areas. Chiefly around the Gengar's dialogue, and secondly being the improper use of exclamation marks in dramatic syntax. Other than those two nit-picks (the Gengar dialogue may actually be resolved via reader familiarity with the author's style), the story is quite sound and well written. Did I mention original? I probably should have started with citing "original".

Two ten year old girls, alone in the wilderness, presumably on the first day of their Trainer journey, and something horrendous occurs. That horrendous event being the theft of their starters, and the culprit responsible for said theft happens to be a rather amoral Gengar, who may or may not be acting independently of a human influence.

Yeah, I think that qualifies as original.

Also, the characters fully embrace a ten year old's mentality. We have Anabel sharing a hyperbolic correlation with the audience regarding a number of formally unintroduced characters. Anabel shares this correlation as though such characters' personalities should be familiar to the audience, even if the audience doesn't have a clue as to who Nico or Mel are. Anabel's honest naivety is a common characteristic embodied by many prepubescent children, and you did an excellent job of capturing that innocence.

Beyond that, my only real concern applies to the chapter's structure. The beginning of the chapter does an excellent job of introducing the setting, but the following character introduction is a bit of a stumble in the dark. Maybe it's a personal bias of mine, but most character introductions exhibit a far more illustrative formula. Here, we're left to "feel out" the characters' introductions through their interactions with each other and the world around them, which would be fine...

...If there was a little more interaction going on. On top of that, many observations the audience could have made with a more boisterous portrayal, such as V's boldness, are instead relegated to another character's commentary, which further detracts the audience's presence from the story.

Again, everything critiqued above should be weighed with suspicion of bias, BUT...

The chapter's ending needs a mere line or two more to bring said chapter to a proper close. Some form of resolution, a determination, an exchange, an admission... Something more to hint at the plot's continuation.

"Nothing but darkness, low bushes, and those sharp painful roots. He (The Gengar) had vanished."

That can't be the end of the chapter. Where is the following scene were both V and Anabel form a plan to get their starters back? I'm not necessarily suggesting a dramatic cliche along the lines of "We'll get them back, I promise," but a little hint as to the characters' next move would massively improve the chapter's ending.

Oh, on one last note: I like seeing Gengar, and all the Ghost-Types in general, receiving the cultural taboo treatment in pokemon fanfiction. I honestly feel as though assigning superstition (whether said superstition qualifies as credible or not) to pokemon is something neglected by both the canon and much of the fanfiction. It's refreshing to see the sentiment embraced in someone else's fanfiction.
2/1/2017 c9 Upon the Night Sky
Job hunting is difficult as always, haha. I'm glad they were able to find one in the end, even though it's located in a rundown area. I liked how you described the place, it's kind of scary to be there, but judging by the interior of Mr Cinder's farm, it's not as bad as it seems. People have to make do.

I actually think he's a pretty good guy, sure, he's kind of intimidating and gruff, but you can tell he cares about pokemon ("You're dealing with lives"). The eevees seem happy and healthy, too. Also, I think you accidentally left off a space in 'The kit[]was so little'.

I like how you made his farm into a good place, a lot of the time in stories, the dark, scary areas are just cliches where evil lurks in every corner. But I can tell in this town, people are just trying their best.

Looking forward to the next chapter! :D

(Eevees are really cute! Plus it'll be interesting to see what V will evolve hers into. Also, I sincerely hope I'm not wrong about Mr Cinders, haha.)
1/29/2017 c8 Upon the Night Sky
(This is Guest 1, I finally decided to make an account! Thanks for giving me the initiative, haha. No problem, I understand that you don't want to clutter your story with author notes/replies. :D)

You portrayed the tension in this chapter very well. V's situation with her mum and Gene, in how she wants to see who he is for real and how she feels that her mum doesn't really trust her anymore, is very realistic. And how Anabel can see that Valeria's not okay, and offers to Journey together. That part made me smile. (Also, I think you left off the word 'to' in "It's easy [to] act nice when you're happy.")

Also, I really liked how you describe the realities and difficulties in Journeying, its history (how it taught people to respect life, why it's given to children, that was really cool), as well as the contrasting opinions people have of it. In a game, it's easy to just travel around, catching and battling pokemon, but in real life that would actually be really challenging, and many people wouldn't be supportive of it, as it is in-game.

The part where Ann had to confront her grandma and her parents, I was super anxious reading it! It's really hard to confront someone, especially if they have differing opinions or it's about an important decision. I was so happy it worked out (as much as it could) at the end!

Also Anabel spending five days making a raincoat for Valeria, and how magenta is now her favourite colour, that was super sweet. :D

Looking forward to the next update!
1/27/2017 c8 12kintsugii
You could get in a lot of trouble." (ch. 5)
One of the punctuations there is wrong, I think. A lot of the dialogue after that uses as well, and I wasn't sure if that was because telepathy or typos.

[This had better not be , shivering with water up to her stomach] (ch. 7)
I think you accidentally a word here.

Otherwise, wow, this story has taken off since I last read. I like the side details that you introduced here: the child-bullies felt a lot like real child-bullies, in the sense that their taunts/insults were genuinely things that small children would shout at each other. Sneaking in a lot of the characters' wrecked homelives from the point of view of another child was a really clever idea, and I think it made those particular bits of story a lot more effective.

The justification for journeying in the most recent chapter was really, *really* good. There was a lot of good stuff in these chapters but this was by far my favorite detail. It really ties in with how Hoenn is more in-tune with the nature/pokemon aspects of things, and I love the detail that pokemon will trust children and not adults. It adds up to a fairly realistic reason for people sending their children off into the wilderness when you've clearly established that it's pretty dangerous to do so.

This is more of a personal style preference, but I found your flashback chapters a little hard to keep track of. Having the dates there helped, but getting the timeframes straight was hard to keep track of. The character development/establishment in these chapters was wonderful, and I'm glad you included them, but the structure of the story feels a little disjointed when you jump from the first chapter to all the backstory back to them dealing with the events in the first chapter.

That being said, this has been a fantastic read so far. You clearly have things planned out very well, and I look forward to reading more!
1/25/2017 c7 Guest 1
(I'm the same Guest as the first one, just going to add '1' to my name in case more guest reviews use 'guest' so you don't get confused who's who, haha.)

No worries, I don't review much (even though I should), I'm going to make the effort to try and review every chapter! I've actually been reading and writing fanfiction for like 5 years, but I've never made an account, haha. Anyway, onto the review!

I can totally understand why Valeria is reluctant to accept Gene, and you portray that well. It's also super heartbreaking to see her feeling like she's at fault or not good enough for her mum. I've read that it's quite common for children to feel that way in those situations. :(

I really loved the part where Valeria wanted to bottle some of Anabel's laughter and keep it with her always. It made me sad-smile. It really shows how important they are to each other and how everything's affecting her.

Anabel's emotions regarding the entire situation, the fear she felt when V disappeared and the Jennys had to find her, how she's moving away, and how Anabel could feel the adults' fear (which is a big deal since adults try to hide it to not worry their children, showing just how bad the situation is. I really like how you keep pointing out how it's kind of weird from a child's perspective), I really felt the same kind of suffocating feeling she was going through.

This chapter's atmosphere was really on-point and it really made my heart ache.

Looking forward to the next chapter!

(Also, I apologise if this review doesn't make much sense, I struggle with phrasing, haha.)
1/25/2017 c1 26Vyrazhi
Bonjour! Long time no see, and as always, I will give you my thoughts. :)

I was never into Pokemon, so this tale is hard to follow. That's my fault, though. Your ever-keen description and engaging dialogue make this a fanfic tale that's far more well-written than many I've seen in other universes. As for me, I've been busy with my original novel, minus my "Star Wars: Rogue One" hate mail story. Write long and prosper! -Vyrazhi
1/25/2017 c2 Radio Free Death
[Just yesterday, they'd chased a sandshrew, and you should have seen Torchic with his little torchic legs, speeding like he was about to conquer the world. Then Treecko had gotten in his way and the two pokemon had started battling each other, the sandshrew forgotten. Her and V's starters were always fighting, like they had to decide who'd come out on top. Torchic won of course. There was little that a grass type could do against a fire type, but Treecko was stubborn, and Anabel had been bitten by flames getting between them.]

This is so adorable I can't even

It really feels like having pokemon in general is more hassle than it's worth, which is great because so many stories offer no conflict aside from other trainers and wild pokemon. They have their obedient starters, but here you have to earn the pokemon's trust to have them obey you. I also like that their fighting is referenced several times throughout the story as the reason why both girls couldn't just capture more pokemon to protect them.

[People didn't all start off with a starter: they could buy a pokemon, or use a family one, or one somebody else had caught, but a Professor still had to approve it.]

Why would they need to have a professor approve? What if there's no professor in town? Do they have to make the journey to his place or can they just do a videocall?

["I can buy a tent."
"No way. I… I move around too. It's part of sharing."]

The way Anabel tries to pave over the frustration and anger she's going through right now is very realistic. They're both pointing fingers at one another until Anabel realizes it's not getting them both anywhere.

["We've got to find a job. In Lavaridge, Ann. We could buy a pokemon. It doesn't matter if it's old or ugly. It just has to be good enough for us to catch more."]

I wonder if this would actually work, since it's established several times by the girls that pokemon wouldn't obey trainers that didn't personally catch them.
1/25/2017 c1 Radio Free Death
[Anabel jolted upright, a violent shiver coursing up her spine. She reached out blindly for her nightstand's lamp switch. Her fingers stilled at the feel of hair. V's hair. She let out a big breath, reminded of where she was.]

I really like this as the introduction to your characters. It sounds better than the opening of the scenery, which feels like it's been the default starting point for stories nowadays.

[Her starter was totally the kind of pokemon that would break out just to annoy her.]

It's the little things like this that make this story better than most OT stories. The fact that pokemon have personalities of their own and are actually active in their lives. It says a lot that she assumes her pokemon broke out rather than it getting stolen.

[The ghost's ugly grin grew broader,]

How many times should the gengar grin? I swear his grin grows with each passage. He should basically just be a smile and a ball of gas at this point.

I really wish the chapter was a lot less disjointed. There's a lot of separation between dialogue and action, usually from the same character, so it took a few rereads to follow who said what and what was going on.
1/23/2017 c6 Guest
Just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying your story! I'm super shy and awkward so I don't review often, but I wanted to say something because your story is really compelling, I couldn't stop reading.

I love how you've developed your characters (especially Anabel, Valeria, and their parents), they're so real and individualistic, and flawed and complex. Your story is immersive because they feel alive, plus your descriptions and perspectives are creative and unique. I can really see things happening from their perspective as a child. The emotions your characters feel, I felt them too. And I love how you write Anabel sensing emotions from others, like fear feeling like cut glass. I'm really interested to see how her psychic powers grow.

And the part about Valeria's father, I had an inkling about what it was, and when I read the word spoken by the doctor, my heart jumped. You portray their pasts and the effects on them really realistically. Too many times have I read a story where a character's past was used for shock factor, so it was refreshing to see it being done compassionately.

Also I was just wondering, you use double arrows sometimes instead of quotation marks, what do they mean?

I'll definitely continue reading this. Can't wait to see where it goes! :D
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