Title: Triumvirate Author: Renaerys Rating: M Genre: Adventure/Romance Status: Complete Library Category: Pokemon Pairings: Ash/Misty, Ash/OC, Gary/Green Summary: In an untamed world filled with monsters and beasts, four young people discover that true horror lies not between gnashing jaws, but within the hearts of men and women just like them. [Realistic Pokemon AU] [Mangaverse w/ some anime and game influences] Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11266745/1/Triumvirate So I've been on a Pokemon kick recently, thanks to Let's Go and updates to Traveler and searching for something to fill the hole left behind by The Game of Champions. This is not that story. But it's still halfway decent. The characters are aged to adults, and they all have superpowers (of course), Team Rocket is true evil, Lavender Town is Haunted, blah, blah, blah. But where the meat of the story lies is, as always, with the Pokemon. They are true Monsters here, and their scope and danger isn't to be underestimated. Pros: Well written violence The blood flows, the humans are living, moving parts of a fight, the chances of injury and death feel real. I may have an overactive imagination but I could see these battles clearly in my mind. The characters practice and work towards their skill but it doesn't spend 16 chapters on it (a mild, clear time skip happens, and is good) Solid writing The author avoids most of the traps and pitfalls that fanfiction falls into with regards to grammar, sentence structure, etc. This is clearly not their first work. Unique and interesting gym battles The reason for gym battles with the Leaders and the fights themselves are well done (it all has to do with the threat of Team Rocket). I especially enjoyed Surge's gym being a fight surrounded by deadlier Tesla coils. Well plotted Foreshadowing, strong character presence throughout, clear lines of story leading to the conclusion, with enough mystery to keep you invested. Doesn't attempt to rationalize and explain every tiny detail of the world While certainly an enjoyable aspect of some Pokemon stories, we have plenty of that elsewhere and the author knows it. What rationalization and exposition that does exist is within the context of the plot and well done. Cons: Super-powered protagonists everyone I haven't dived too deep into the chaff of the Pokemon fanfic world, having stuck mostly to our library and a handful of personal recommendations, but it feels like "Aura" is a prevalent part of the more cringy fanfics. This story has some version of it. But from what i can tell, it's relatively well done. Simply explained and well executed. I only included it on the con list because it can be a deal breaker for some. Dialogue can get a bit odd at times The dialogue feels a bit slang-y and extremely casual at points. While fine, it is enough for me to notice and frown a bit. The story also has a sequel called "Elephant Graveyard" up on AO3 that I haven't started yet, but that story is not yet complete. Give this one a shot. While it's not perfect, it's definitely at least a 4/5 from me.