Borne of Caution
NOTE: Currently on Haitus. To return on or before 6/14/2021
An irritated Pokemon might tell you to stop what you're doing. An irritated animal will probably just attack you. Pokemon, for all their power, would be open books and a breeze to care for to any competent animal handler on Earth. After a fiery death, a professional zookeeper who never outgrew Pokemon games ends up in the world of Pokemon. The entire world is thrown onto its side.
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This isn't a fair ranking by me. But im a pokemon fan boy. And vulpix are adorable. And at the time of this review I was desperately craving a pokemon story. So its probably not 5 star. That being said, its a really well done story.
Grammar is great, I haven't noticed any errors
Characters are believable and compelling.
Story is where it honestly falters. But not by much. A lot of pokemon fans are in their mid to late 20's. Its what we grew up with, and its now what our kids play. That being said, a lot of fans stopped paying attention to the series after gen 4. I stopped after gen 3. So when characters or pokemon are intruduced from later generations, its kind of immersion breaking if we have to look up who they are. Most of them are described pretty well, but not all.
Next, team rocket. Like wtf. One second we get a world on reality settings where injuries are very real. Next we get the death defying flight of team rocket with little to no repercussions. Now, in fairness, the rocket role was minor and felt more like a nod to the series. But it was still immersion breaking.
Lastly, the m.c. is a zookeeper and is good at handling animals, so those skills naturally transfer over. I can understand the general populace being worse at handling pokemon, but it was a tough pill for me to swallow that the worlds pokemon experts are surprised by his actions in the manectric arc. I mean, they've literally lived with pokemon for generations. Surely someone like the professor shouldn't be astounded by his actions or the results they produced.
Overall, this a good fanfiction to read. And if not for a couple small details, it would be a great stand alone story. I still think this is a must read because it does what it sets out to do, and is an excellent story for the genre.
I know I mostly went over complaints, but the interactions between the m.c. and vulpix not only hold the story up, but set it apart from most others.
Props to the author for making a Pokemon fanfiction that doesn't make me want to tear my eyes out, it's honestly incredible, and I could not recommend this web novel enough.
Obligatory there might be spoilers,
I don’t really need to say much about this, there are rare errors, nothing major, and the book flows very well.
The story makes sense, and the way the MC becomes stronger with Vulpix is logical and not so fast like some other books on this site. Another thing I like is how the MC doesn’t brush off the mental issue of getting fucking nuked, and it stays as a very nice plot device, but isn’t so relied on it gets old. There are a few breaks in logic in the way that MC is somehow not horrifyingly irradiated and killing everything he touches over time, but we can wave that away really easily, so it's not an issue.
The MC is unique, and the other characters are as well, as in they aren’t cookie cutter copies of how they were in the shows/games, and seem alive, and not like robots. My one complaint would be the logs, which although provides us with recaps and some more info, the repetitiveness is somewhat bothersome. To solve this I think the professor should speak more in them, so we can learn more about him, and maybe the world as a whole (not all of us have religiously played pokemon, lol). Not to tell you how to write your book though, it’s up to you in the end.
As per my usual I have no idea what to write for style, (have a free 5 star on it) but it's a great book and I fully recommend it. Thanks for getting me back into the Pokemon games as well!
And don’t let the 15 days of nothing bother you, it's worth reading even if it doesn’t start up again, which we can only hope it might. :)
I decided to read this story and I'm very glad I did! I usually don't read much fanfiction, especially stream series like Pokemon but this story was way above my expectations for a fanfiction and for a Pokemon story. This story explores the world and characters much more than the games and anime and makes them feel like real people and a real world. The story expands on existing elements of the series and elaborates on the details of how the world of Pokemon could be. Another good thing is that the main character is actually a normal person, unlike many other isekais with more childish and narrow-minded main characters. The story does have a few grammar mistakes here and there that are clearly noticeable but don't negatively affect the story much. Sad that I accidentally deleted my original review of this story and lost all of my upvotes :( At least now I know not to press the delete button ever since there's no "Are you sure you want to delete this" confirmation button.
Basically what it says to be, a OC insert (which may or may be not a Self Insert) in the Pokemon world, but incredibly well done for a fanfic to the point i actually loved every moment of reading it, including even the grim start and those vivid & horrifying flashbacks.
Lee has a passion for Pokemon, something he has never outgrew as he is still playing even while being an adult with heart for animals which stems from his passion for pokemon, and relates to his job as a professional zookeeper. Sadly this nice life is abruptly interrupted as nuclear disaster strikes and all he knew and cared about is wiped away in an instant, but thats not the end, as he finds himself in the Hoenn region of the pokemon world for some unknown reason, with massive scars both physically and mentally from the dramatic event that he witnessed and by no means should have survived, yet did. Thankfully for him he is not alone, for there is his trusty Vulpix from the most recent playthrough as support, preventing his total collapse.
Well, as said, the MC is mentally scarred from losing everything, and likely would have broken without Vulpix being there, thankfully he is quick to adapt to the new situation he is in, with his memories from the game and anime aiding him in this new world, with the MC making important decisions like sharing his knowledge about handling animals & his secret to one of the professors. Yet he also makes mistakes, as he is just a normal person in a world he only knew from games and anime, and just being there changes things, and then there is the topic of him being from another world, which he quite struggles with keeping it all secret, fumbling really hard at times, which is made all the harder by the presence of his companions who join him on his journey.
I feel bad for Lee though, it would take just so little for him to totally break down, he just keeps having those horrid memories about that moment, where everything burned. I hope for him that he can somehow recover and live his life in the pokemon world, as going back is no option anymore, bar an absolute miracle happening.
Given this is a fanfiction set in the same timeline as the pokemon games and anime, that also means characters from there appear in the story. And it can be a hard thing to manage to keep their personalities faithful, even with all their exaggerations, which the author manages rather flawlessy here while making the characters behave realistically yet faithfully to themselves, no easy feat at all!
Best written however are the Pokemon, and most especially Lee's. They just feel like actual characters instead of being just two dimensionally like the games tend to portray them (no fault to the games though, hard to do it well), i just love how the author has portrayed Vulpix here, without her, Lee would be just done for, she is such an emotional support for him, preventing him from emotionally falling apart due to his trauma, she just carries so much weight on her. Then there are his other Pokemon which he has acquired, though revealing them would be quite the spoiler so ill leave it at that, just sufficient to say that they are quite interesting, with one of them being rather stubborn and disrespectful, and the other well.... decidated to battle and growing stronger.
Well the setting, for a fanfic it is actually very well done and faithful to the original Pokemon setting even if there were some small changes like blending the game and anime plots together, which makes things rather interesting. And unlike the games & anime the regions arent that isolated with pokemon from newer regions even appearing in the story. Having the anime being part of the story also means Ash & co are having their trek through the many regions of the Pokemon world, which runs concurrent with the MC in this case, even having some encounters with the MC. I love all the additional realism & depth that the author has added to the pokemon world, which is quite lacking in that because the games are first and foremost just a game, not an actual story sadly. Expect quite a lot of adventuring in this story, as the band makes its way through the world, in a way a parallel to Ash & Co. And since its a pokemon story, the battles such as gym battles, trainings and even tournaments cant be missing from it at all, its what made the franchise great in the first place! Oh also at times the weird Pokemon logic is being used, which the MC comments on, anyone familiar with the Pokemon games & anime should recognize those moments quite fast. Interesting is to see just how much it all changes just by Lee being there having his own adventure in the pokemon world, since already a couple significant changes have happened in the story. And it looks like Lee is going to play a role in the main story, despite him trying to avoid continuity issues by staying out of it all. And then there is him knowing those 'secret' mechanics and other knowledge from the games, which arent common knowledge, to the point of even being considered legends, but they do apply, with the MC being quick to notice oddities like that and deciding to take advantage of it, which can be a major plot point for this story as he has the potentional to change so much with all that knowledge.
A minor complaint with this story would be that it requires quite some editing, there are major typos throughout the story, such as names being all misspelled or sentences sounding very weird. Bar that though this story is very readable grammar wise, just needs that edit to smoothen all those typos out.
Writing is just so much better than those fanfics that can be commonly found, its better to compare it to some of the better written webfiction on this site and elsewhere, and belongs to the peak of fanfiction. Its quite clear that the author is either a skilled writer, is talented or both, since because of how smooth this story reads (bar the grammar), like without a hitch even, it drew me into it incredibly quick, from the very start even! Each chapter is a blast to read, as long as they may be, even the action scenes are just great, and then there are those moments where the scars show up.... the feels, i did not expect to feel this much emotion from a pokemon fanfiction.
Releases tend to be infrequent, but on the other side chapters are seriously long, which more than makes up for it. Though i already carve more!
Basically full five marks for this story bar grammar.
Even if you do not like fanfiction at all or have not read any before this, like me, i would still recommend you this story, even more so if you are in any way a fan of pokemon, whether currently or from childhood, It is worth the read many times over if you are familiar with Pokemon.
Like others reviews said, this is not a great fanfiction. It's an absurdly good story set in the Pokemon universe.
Great main character, someone we can relate in the situation hes in. A normal, funcitonal person, set in a very dangerous enviroment, beeing realistic about the dangers hes facing, but not dropping the excitement this new world can and will bring. So far, side characters are fine, and what you would expect.
The pokemons thou, they are great CHARACTERS, which is amazing. Not some brain dead murder machines, but characters that have a story progression, even with their limited vocabulary. Props to the author on that note.
Wolrd setting is intersting so far, but nothing too fleshed out. Its more to up to the reader to have some prior knowledge of pokemon franchise world
Grammar and structure is good, no major/visible mistakes, and a good and solid style, at least in my perspective as non english speaker.
Looking foward to read more and how the story will progress.
Love the work so far hope you come back soon. (Personal opinion and question)
How has he not named his pokemon yet other names?
Basically, he has been calling his pokemon by their breed name.
To me, and I am not sure about others, it feels kinda distant with his pokemon.
For instance, people who own animals for food purposes never name them. It creates an attachment to them, making it harder to kill later on.
While pets or important animals (including zoo animals) receive names to differentiate them from other species versions. Thus, in a pokemon world, where most all pokemon look identical to one another (which is odd in and of itself biologically speaking.)
I also feel that it could be added to the story really nicely. Such older trainers are more likely to do this than younger ones. They wouldn't quite understand the significance of naming their pokemon.
Or it could even be a thing that shows more significance based on naming them, such as them not naming them would lead to a weaker bond with the pokemon (in cases of pokemon needing friendship or such to evolve or learn a skill)
Sorry for the long thing; it is just something that's been popping up in my head since the beginning of the story.
Thus, ends the random thought bubble
I was riding high on this story up until Chapter 7 which, while it didn't ruin the story on its own, sort of popped the bubble I'd been in while reading it. Ultimately, this feels like a good-faith attempt to take the world of Pokemon seriously that falls short in critical ways.
Style: This is actually part of what drew me in to start. The story does a good job of delivering exposition and integrating the character into the world in an organic way. Good use of flash-backs, flash-forwards, interludes, journal entries, different perspectives, and so on to keep things interesting, without feeling disjointed. The only place where it really falls flat is in its descriptions, or lack therof. You'll probably need to keep a tab open to google the names of people, places, and Pokemon from the story. It's particularly frustrating when it comes to sizes, when a Pokemon is described as being bigger or smaller than a "normal" specimen, and the reader has to look up what that translates to themselves because the story never established a baseline.
Grammar: Generally pretty tight, but in need of maybe one extra spellcheck. I think I counted three distinct spellings of the word "vixen" in one chapter.
Story: This is where things started going wrong.
First, the tone is a bit all over the place. For certain characters, violence can be described in almost lurid detail, while others get treated like cartoon characters. Sometimes the MC is traumatized and in denial about how he was isekai'd, while at other times he treats it as a source of dark humor, seemingly without consistency.
Second, the mechanics of the game don't get translated very well, especially when it comes to battling. This is what snapped me out of it in Chapter 7, as the chapter features a battle that turns the battle system into arbitrary mush.
First, the battle very much breaks the action economy. At one point, Zinnia has her Pokemon using 3 moves at the same time before Lee's gets even one attack in. Second, her Pokemon's moves work in ways they clearly weren't supposed to, such as being able to trap Lee's Vulpix inside of Protect, and being able to chain multiple moves off of a Bite by simply refusing to let go. Third, it relies heavily on talking being a free action while also ignoring the MC's ability to telepathically command his Pokemon; both at the start of the battle and after Zinnia pulls her cheap shot, the MC sits back and patiently waits for her to get her snappy lines in before telling his Pokemon to act.
Finally, the plot thus far is heavily reliant on convenience. Just because the characters lampshade his good/bad fortune whenever something incredible or improbable happens to him doesn't make it any less of a crutch. I've lost track of how many times the MC "conveniently" spoke his thoughts aloud where someone plot-relevant could hear him.
Characters: This is where the story really fell apart for me. I want to talk about the MC, but first I need to talk about Zinnia.
So, she picks a fight with the MC because she thought he was "stuck-up", during which she exploits the rules by having her Pokemon play possum before ambushing him, and goes out of her way to brutally put down his Pokemon in order to teach him a lesson, including continuing to deliberately injure his Vulpix after it's already disabled (to such a degree that it's not fully healed after a stay at a pokemon center), because she needed to let off some steam due to the stress of the mission she's on. And for good measure, she continues to taunt him after the battle for not laughing it off.
Let me repeat that: she pretends to concede so she can attack while his guard is down, then continues to beat on his Pokemon after she knew the battle was over. All of this because her stress made her want to lash out, she didn't like the look of him, and decided torturing his Pokemon would teach him a "lesson".
After which, she mumbles excuses at him followed by a forced, insincere apology. Then she coerces him into taking her along on his journey. He is, of course, completely fine with this.
This kind of illustrates what's wrong with the MC: despite all the potential of his background and circumstances, when the plot needs to happen he acts like every other slice-of-life isekai protagonist. He's worse than poorly written, he's generic, and with how little (positive) characterization the rest of the cast gets, there's hardly anyone to root for. The only other character with any real personality is Brendan and...yeah, no.
I give this a 2.5 overall, because despite the problems it can probably be a decent popcorn fic, assuming you're willing to pick out the occasional burnt kernel.
I've read probably over 200 books at this point, on royalroads alone. Some multi thousands of pages long. And this book is special. I don't just mean that it's good, which it is, but something about it is different. An extra tinge of something that makes the book more real.
There's some extra layer at work here. I think a big part of it is the normalcy. Lee is a person. You may think "well, yeah." but I would point to many books on here, good and bad, and the characters do not feel like real, normal people. Usually cuz they aren't. Azarnith healer, Legend of randidly ghosthound, he who fights with monsters, none of these protagonists are normal people in normal circumstances.
But that's not the case with lee. I think the little spark with this book, what really set's it apart from others, is somehow, the author pulls you into the story and then what you meet with isn't someone with a singular emotion or some powerful protagonist, it's just Lee. Just a normal man.
I've always had an aversion to FanFics, but I decided to give this a try on a whim, and it absolutly changed my view of them.
True, alot of fanfics aren't that good, but now atleast I know that among the piles of them, there will be gems like these. Please don't drop it :)
Usually I don't read fanfictions on this site, but this one piqued my interest, and boy am I glad that it did. This story is well written with a good premise. The story has a good bit of combat, but it isn't the main focus like so many other stories. Rather, it is more about how Lee lives his life, which just so happens to include Pokemon battles.
The characters are all well written and thought out with their own nuances. I've been enjoying watching their relationships grow, and I can't wait for a certain addition to warm up to everyone else.
Overall I recommend this if you have any interest in Pokemon!