Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Ponyfic Roundup 44: I've Never Been Here Before!

I originally decided not to (read: couldn't be bothered to) pick a theme for today's edition of Ponyfic Roundup, and was going to just pick a motley collection of fics. Then I realised that I could make this a themed post: none of the authors whose stories are reviewed here have appeared in Ponyfic Roundup before. I've been quite lucky once again, with a pretty decent hit rate of good stuff. Of course, you may not agree with my assessments, but that just means you're wrong. :P

Pick of the fics

A Figment of Her Imagination by PaulAsaran
Daring Do, Twilight, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash
Romance/Sad/Slice of Life; 23K words; Dec 2013; Everyone
Twilight's spell to summon Daring Do from her books results in more than she'd bargained for. A fascinating story, and one I found moving in ways I wasn't expecting. There's some moral ambiguity here: I still have conflicting feelings about Rainbow Dash's part in the whole thing, but her story was certainly interesting. There are a couple of things I don't like, such as aspects of Rainbow's physical behaviour; still, if you can deal with PaulAsaran's sometimes very tell-y style, this one comes warmly recommended. ★★★★

Other stories

Carousel Designs, LLP. by Taialin
Rarity, Fluttershy and Angel
Slice of Life; 10K words; Sep 2014; Everyone
Rarity is increasingly snowed under with work. Fluttershy is increasingly strapped for cash. Could there be a mutually beneficial solution? This, Taialin's oldest story, has quite an interesting premise and I like the explanation for Fluttershy's lack of bits, but it is a little rough technically: some dialogue isn't correctly capitalised, while there are also a few stylistic flaws. Not at all bad for a first fic, though, and Taialin is a writer who shows promise. ★★★

Cutie Mark Crisscross by Everyday
CMC, Discord, Mane Six and Other
Comedy/Slice of Life; 11K words; Nov 2014; Everyone
After more crusading failures, the CMC ask Discord to make them "better ponies". He takes an unorthodox line: is he truly trying to help, just having fun – or both? This is Everyday's first ponyfic, and on this evidence I hope it won't be the last. It's pleasingly cute (Rarity's scenes with Sweetie Belle are adorable), it's amusing throughout and Discord in particular is written much better than usual. A few minor typos, but this still deserves a lot more than its current 200-odd views. ★★★★

Dream by Cascadejackal
OCs and Celestia
Sad; 3K words; May 2013; Everyone
The story of two lovers long ago, and what became of them; very much a storyteller's fairytale. This fic seems to divide opinions a bit, but I fall on the "pro" side of the fence. The rather dense writing style (one sentence has seven commas) will put off some, but it works for me, though it does just occasionally get within sight of the point at which it might become an overblown parody of itself. The ending is good enough, but it isn't quite as captivating as I'd hoped it might be. ★★★★

A Little Push by LuminoZero
Rainbow Dash, Soarin, Scootaloo and OC
Romance/Slice of Life; 7K words; Jan 2014; Everyone
Rainbow Dash and Soarin's son, Prism Bolt, is scared of heights. Can anything be done to help him? The first in a series, this story turns out to be a bit of a mixed bag. The relationships between the characters are cute, and I like Scootaloo's part in things. It does suffer a little technically, though: the opening scene is basically one huge exposition dump, and comma splices are not exactly conspicuous by their absence. As such, it only just scrapes a three-star rating. ★★★

Luna Just Learned About The Play "A Hearth's Warming Carol" by Singularity Dream
Celestia and Luna
Comedy; 4K words; Jan 2015; Everyone
Best known for maintaining the Big Master Review List, and for his own reviews, Singularity Dream makes his writing bow. Three debut stories in one PR! As the (overlong) title suggests, this fic takes liberal inspiration from a certain Charles Dickens story, and it does so with some nicely-judged humour. There's also an appropriately warm feel to the ending. It's a little lacking technically on occasion (there's some tense-mixing and the odd sentence fragment), and 600-word chapters are very short by any standards, but this is quite a promising debut. ★★★

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