Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Ponyfic Roundup 8

Have we all recovered from the Season 4 finale now? Okay, maybe not quite yet. But a nice bit of fanfic is surely just the tonic if you're worrying about post-season blues. I've made one slight tweak: from now on, I'll be rounding the word count to the nearest thousand to make a story's length easier to see at a glance. Otherwise, the setup here is the same as usual: five stories read, all reviewed and one selected as the cream of the crop. Off we go!

Pick of the fics

Hard Reset by Eakin
Twilight, Spike and Chrysalis
Dark/Adventure; 37K words; Jan 2013; Teen
I don't often read Dark stories, but this was recommended to me and I'm quite glad that it was. Twilight finds herself stuck in a time loop, and can only escape from it through death. But there's a changeling invasion on, so die she does. Repeatedly. Written in first-person present, which works better than that usually does – partly thanks to Twi's world-class snarky narration. I didn't care for a shippy element, and one side pony's character makes little sense unless you at least know of the Winningverse. A little overlong near the end, too, but still a very worthwhile read. Includes an alternative ending that's much darker than the main one. 8/10

Other stories

Drunken Rainbow by Rainbow87dash
Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Mane Six and Other
Comedy/Random; 3K words; Nov 2012; Everyone
Rainbow Dash has a drinking problem, and Fluttershy wants her to sort herself out. Written in a very odd style with staccato sentences: it could work, but unfortunately the fic is desperately badly proofread (if at all) and that's just too distracting. Not as distracting, mind, as the completely what-the-hay ending. The Other tag should actually be an OC one, and I don't think an Everyone-rated story should have an f-bomb out of nowhere as this does. 4/10

Moonspire Run by titanrising [sic]
Rainbow Dash, Spitfire and Scootaloo
Adventure; 14K words; Feb 2012; Everyone
An old story, this one, with some odd stylistic decisions; repeatedly using "sky pony" as a synonym for "pegasus" being the most striking. Spitfire – the pre-drill sergeant version, given the story's age – challenges Rainbow (whom she needles by calling her "Rainboom Girl") to a race through the dangerous Pinebone Forest to the mysterious Moonspire. A little wordy for a racing-themed story, but fairly well done nevertheless. 7/10 

My Sediments Exactly by Twinkletail
Maud Pie, Big Mac and Pinkie
Romance; 3K words; Mar 2014; Everyone
After the "Maud Pie" episode went out, this fic was written within the day – and considering that speed, it's rather nicely done. It's MaudMac shipping. Yes, really. I'm not sure there's really much else I can say to add to that! Quite amusing, though probably a once-only read. 7/10

Princess Celestia Gets Mugged by BronyWriter
Celestia, Luna, Shining Armor and OCs
Comedy/Slice of Life; 19K words; Jun 2013; Everyone
Princess Celestia takes the day off and asks Luna to cover for her. She disguises herself as a pegasus named Sunny Skies (surely a reference?) but ends up getting mugged and then kidnapped. She knows she's not in real danger, partly because her kidnappers are bumbling idiots, but Luna is going spare. Perhaps a little too much facehoofing (you'll see) but a fun read. 7.5/10

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