Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 141: At Your Every Turn a Scandal

Read it Later story count: 484 (+5)

And... breathe. Always. After a couple of themed editions of PR, it's time for me to catch up with one of my mixed bags of short fics. A fair number of middling-to-good stories this week, but that's just how it goes sometimes. First, let's give the fics a little respect with the usual list. Stay with me:

Life, Love, and Jupiter's Moon Europa by Vertigo22
The Easy Way Out by Mysterious Stranger
I AM an Adult! by Summer Dancer
No Longer the Greatest by Rambling Writer
Pros and Cons by Steel Resolve
Rainbow Dash and the Pie Sisters by KingMoriarty
My Little Pony: Corrupted Fandoms by Matthais Unidostres
Remember by Prince Conjure
Magical by bigbear

★: 2 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 4 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Life, Love, and Jupiter's Moon Europa by Vertigo22
Cadance
Comedy/Random; 4k words; Dec 2016; Teen
Europa appears above Equus, and it's up to Princess Cadance to find out why before it hits.
That's one hay of a short description, but it's not misleading. A very, very stupid comedy about Cadance chasing all over the place and being insulted by what seems to be a vast extended family of idiots as the end of the world nears. Some of the stupid jokes are funny, but that's really all there is to it. ★★

The Easy Way Out by Mysterious Stranger
Twilight, Rainbow Dash and OC
Comedy/Human; 1k words; Oct 2013; Everyone
A human turned pony asks Twilight Sparkle to send him back home. Luckily, Twilight is perfectly capable of doing so. But is it really a good idea?
Unfortunately, this doesn't go where I was hoping: Twilight arguing against the human getting home for his own sake. Instead, we get a very short, occasionally amusing but mostly forgettable story about Equestrians being particularly annoying. ★★

I AM an Adult! by Summer Dancer
Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Spike and Starlight Glimmer
Alternate Universe/Comedy/Random/Slice of Life; 2k words; Dec 2015; Teen (Sex)
When Twilight stalks and harasses a little girl, she gets a more realistic reaction.
Ah, back to the S5 finale for the first time in a while. This is another very silly story, but for the most part this one works. There's a particularly ridiculous (in a good way) song reference at one point, and the whole sonic rainboom thing is resolved nicely. I'm less a fan of the final scene, but the story's worth a quick read anyway. ★★★

No Longer the Greatest by Rambling Writer
Rainbow Dash
Drama; 1k words; Jun 2016; Everyone
An aged Rainbow Dash contemplates the history of the rainboom.
Another of those "Rainbow being thoughtful" fics I like, this one is fairly understated and has the nice gimmick of Dash passing (unofficial) judgement on current contest flyers while she reminisces. I'm not sure how many readers will get the "Bannistrot" reference, but I appreciated it. Not too keen on a brief reference to Fluttershy, but this is still a nice, slightly bittersweet, one-shot. ★★★

Pros and Cons by Steel Resolve
Discord, Tirek and Fluttershy
Comedy/Slice of Life; 2k words; May 2014; Everyone
Discord has found Tirek, and is about to parade him back to his friends for their love and adoration. But an offer is made, an enticing offer... He'll need to talk this one over with a friend.
After a slightly irritating start (there's too much slightly adapted show scene) this S4 finale fic, narrated by Discord, becomes more fun after he goes all [AU] and decides to talk to Fluttershy before making his decision. As with many (most?) Discord fics, his voice doesn't always entirely convince, but it's better than most. It's not exactly going to stun you, but it's fun enough. ★★★

Rainbow Dash and the Pie Sisters by KingMoriarty
Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Maud Pie, Sombra and Crystal Ponies
Alternate Universe/Adventure; 8k words; Dec 2015–Jan 2016; Teen (Gore)
With the Crystal War finally over, three veterans gather to reminisce about the early days, and the part they played.
Clearly it's S5 finale week: this one's from the "Sombra War" timeline. A sequel to Iron Wing and the Demolition Crew (PR 119), it's set after the war but largely consists of the characters looking back to before the first fic began. I think it does a solid job of explaining how the ponies came to fight together, and there are several very nice touches: Maud not only talking about but even to rocks is a highlight. We also discover just how Dash lost her wing, and it's gripping. False steps are few, though Maud calling Rainbow "sir" just reminds me of Peanuts, while a Bible verse in the mouth of one character feels really out of place. Like the first story, it's grim and gory in places, but not unbearably so. Iron Wing was a strong three; as I like this one a little more, it slips into four-star territory. Recommended, but only if you've read its prequel. ★★★★

My Little Pony: Corrupted Fandoms by Matthais Unidostres
Mane Six, Scootaloo, Celestia, Luna and OC
Adventure/Alternate Universe/Dark/Sad/Tragedy; 7k words; Jan 2012; Teen
Lauren Faust plans to destroy Equestria because of all of the grimdark FanFics
Yes, really: Fausticorn is a central character in this story, which helpfully includes a list (twice) of where all the grimdark characters referenced come from. These range from the still-infamous (Cupcakes, Rainbow Factory) to long-forgotten fics I'd barely even heard of (Endless Gifts, White Demure). It's mostly pretty terrible, though I do confess to laughing when Luna yells "CEASE AND DESIST!" after Fausticorn steals her line. Harmony (from The End of Ponies) has a fairly substantial part later on. And at the end, there's a bonus song apparently based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Movie. So, er, yeah. This happened. ★

Remember by Prince Conjure
OC
Random; 1k words; Mar 2016; Everyone
A tribute to a year on this site, and the two best friends a guy could have.
It's always awkward when you read a story for review that has personal significance for the author, and you don't like it much. That's my situation here. This story is apparently Equestria Girls-set, given the mention of CHS at the start, but lines like "Got you, fam" and "You're boned, mate" don't feel as though they have much to do with MLP. Also, someone tell me what "I'd rather just take that L" means; I'm guessing it's a school thing I'm too old/British to know about. As for the fic? It's probably deeply meaningful to those referenced – but I can't see it doing much for outsiders. ★

Magical by bigbear
Twilight, Mayor Mare, Derpy, Bon Bon and Carrot Top
Slice of Life; 4k words; Dec 2015; Everyone
Rumors race through Ponyville when the townsfolk are afraid Twilight’s new spell threatens to uncover their secrets. With her friends away, can Twilight face the the music for what she’s done?
A cute story to end on. With a little tweaking, this could feel quite episode-like, though it is occasionally a bit awkward in combining an early-series tone and a (nearly) modern-day Twilight. It's clearly written by a fairly inexperienced author, but most of its issues are minor and would be simple fixes. I like the concept, and I like the warm-heartedness of the story, which feels nicely Equestrian. The implications of what happens are potentially pretty large, and it would be interesting to see a sequel exploring them. Also, Carrot Top plays a small but significant role, which is a nice way to prepare for next week's PR! ★★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: Carrot Top Edition. Featuring more than two fics!

2 comments:

  1. I very much appreciate your review of Magical. You mentioned that, "...most of its issues are minor and would be simple fixes." I would be very interested in any details on the issues and how I can improve. What would be the best way to contact you to get additional feedback? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! You're very welcome. The best way to get in touch is through Fimfiction PMs. I'm "Loganberry" there -- actually, I think you added me the other week! I'm very busy for the next few days, but I *will* reply as soon as I can. :)

      Also, I've noticed a little mistake of my own: getting your name wrong in the review! Sorry about that; fixed now.

      Delete