I've been wanting to put together a formal pokéfic rec list for a long time now, since I've had the pleasure of reading a lot of great stories in this fandom and would love to share them with others. Unfortunately, I kept putting it off because of the work involved in collecting the links and writing everything up... Until I got the idea of doing it in chunks instead of all at once! I'm going to look to add five stories a month until I run out of ones to feature, then probably update the list yearly. As we go along I'll feature one or two in-progress stories I'm following as well, for anyone else who enjoys keeping up with 'fics while they're still being posted.
To start off, I thought I'd put the spotlight on a couple of older chapterfics that have only recently started updating again:
Gods and Demons: ad terminos terrae by Keleri - Gods and Demons is an OT 'fic set in the fanregion of Gaiien, a sparsely-inhabited place with only the beginnings of an organized Pokémon League. When Moriko and her friends set out on their pokémon journey, they're prepared to face a hostile wilderness and difficult gym battles, but it soon becomes apparent that something far more dangerous is taking hold in Gaiien. The region's dark myths may not be so mythical after all, and knowledge long lost to humans and pokémon alike may be more important now than ever before.
Gaiien is a wonderfully well-conceived setting, with its own cultures, lore, and a boatload of cool fakemon, and Keleri makes full use of them throughout the 'fic. This is a story that feels like it couldn't take place in any canon region, and the wild, ancient feel Keleri gives to the region plays perfectly with the story's darker themes. All around tight writing, interesting characters, and a wonderfully twisty plot make this a standout among trainerfics. This incarnation, a reboot of a much older, and already plenty solid, fanfic, is only just starting, so it's the perfect time to jump in if you enjoy following along with trainerfics; and if you get impatient for more material, the old version is still up for you to enjoy, with new chapters being added while the rewrite catches up.
Rainbow by SunLight - Mai is a Kimono Girl in training, a transplant from Goldenrod City trying to come to grips with Ecruteak's deeply secretive culture. Soon her simple desire to become a dancer is complicated by the unspoken but sometimes deadly rules of life in Ecruteak and mysteries from her dead mother's past that refuse to stay buried.
SunLight does a great job of digging into the culture of Ecruteak City, with its traditionalist bent, the connection with Ho-Oh, and ghosts both literal and metaphorical. The story plays out like a murder mystery of sorts, with Mai slowly uncovering clues both to her own past and to what's really going on under Ecruteak's refined facade. It's an atmospheric 'fic, and SunLight's depiction of Ecruteak makes it feel like a character unto itself. This story combines a rich setting with a layered, multi-threaded plot, and it looks as though it's only a couple chapters from the end. Hopefully I'll get to see how everything ties together and add this one to the main recs page soon!