I am loving the hell out of this so far, and I owe you a review or three from like ages back. I clicked on this thread out of curiosity, and boy, was that a mistake! I'm meant to be working on Champion Game (which is WAY overdue for an update) right now, but I got stuck. This story drew me in right from the beginning, which is something that doesn't happen often with fics. So well done on the beginning. I haven't actually read more than a few pages of your works before, which I regret somewhat now. This is mostly due to a not-at-all misplaced sense of envy of your writing skills and disgruntlement that you are, in fact, clearly better than me. I was hoping to have a rival of some sort in you, but I . . . well. Anyway, this is as much of a concession as you're going to get from me. Gosh.
So, the fic itself. Well, to begin with, the concept. The world. The characters. Um, that's not making things any clearer. Let's go with the world. I don't know how much of this crosses over with your other fics, but this is my first encounter with your real-world-plus-Pokemon shebang. First off, it works. I am usually somewhat leery of real animals and Pokemon in the same fic. I barely even notice here, though, which means you've managed to blend the two pretty seamlessly. Same goes for the geography and culture - from the brief snippets of history you've given us here, I can see a rich, fascinating world. Nordic/Anglo-Saxon deities and pagan festivals in Unova? It's . . . absurd, but it's just crazy enough to work. And work it does. I believed Eostre when reading this; I saw the rush, felt the tradition and the tension.
Okay, the concept. While it may seem unnecessary to mention it, I did come up with a concept rather similar to this once. I'm struggling to remember details, but it wasn't Pokemon. It sort of involved going to sleep on one side of the world to instantly wake up 180° E (or W) of where you were as a completely different person, then vice versa at the end of the day. Hmm, might be different enough to dig up and have a shot at. Anyway, I digress.
To begin with, in any kind of art or literature I am fascinated by the concept of dualism - which is one of the reasons I loved Black and White so much. I can imagine the whole 'truth vs ideals' thing coming into play here, but who knows? I basically love you to bits for blending the two Unovas like this. I want to know more: do the Unovans in Jared's world have alternate dream lives like Lauren's do? He didn't mention it, but he probably wouldn't have cause to. Maybe he will when Halley wakes up tomorrow. :B
Ooh ooh, you know what this reminds me of? The Goron Temple in Phantom Hourglass - and well, a number of other similar ideas in games and literature. In the Goron Temple level, you can't get through the traps because the switches to deactivate spikes and lower bridges etc are in another hallway you can't access, and vice versa. So you have to control another character through the alternate passage, switching back and forth between the two to beat enemies and nullify traps. Matthew Reilly did it in his book Six Sacred Stones in an ancient Chinese temple in much the same way. Eee, duality again! Anyhow, that's how I can imagine this playing out; I picture Halley escaping with both Jared and Lauren, but not independently. Maybe to a certain extent, but I get the feeling they'll need each other's help.
For that matter, what's up with Halley? My head is breaking when I think about this, but whatever. It's possible that there are actually two Halleys that switch places when they sleep - ie the Halley that Lauren rescued will wake up today in Black City wondering what the f*ck happened. Or, uh, you know what? This is making my head hurt a bit much, so I will leave the issue for now and assume that all will be explained in time.
Your characters in general are strong too, from what I've seen of them. Dialogue is realistic and consistent, with believable variation between characters. I love the name Cordelia, and knowing you, I am hoping for some Lear parallels. *crosses fingers*
Well, I don't have much more to say, other than to briefly note that I have a very close friend named Lauren which makes reading this slightly uncomfortable. But that's not your fault, naturally. I just thought it needed mentioning. I'm not even sure why. Have a pleasant day, and I look forward to reading more. Your brand of humour is rather engaging, but I will elaborate on that in a further review; if I say everything now, there won't be anything left to say later beyond commenting on the story updates. :L
So peace out.