Getting the urge to push myself. So for at least a week or two I’ll be putting up a post every day. With only one story in each, to spread out my backlog for as long as possible. Why did I decide to do this right when my to-read list is about five really long stories? Probably the same reason I watched the anime Hunter x Hunter twice. My brain hates me. This post will have two stories in it, because the second one I didn’t have much to say about. Would be really silly to have a single post that’s only two sentences long.
The start was pretty good, the ending was great, and all the middle stuff kind of meandered around and averaged an okay. Pacing on the early parts of the story is a little mish-mash. Starts off good, but then characters are having reactions like a lot of time has passed and that isn’t the case. Nothing big. Just occasionally I would wonder if I missed a few chapters or something. It really is a sensation that I’ve only gotten this strong one other place, an anime called Neo Ranga. The sensation that there is a story, and a coherent one, but it’s all happening off-screen and we are only getting peeks in brief reactions. Derpy Doo and Cloud Kicker’s romantic relationship should have been much more focused on in the first half of the story. The writing on the story was fairly consistent, which I appreciate. There didn’t seem to be much variation in it, it wasn’t great but it was consistent enough to be a style thing and not lack of skill thing. Well, there is a skill thing, but the style bugged me more often than lack of quality did.
Worldbuilding bit I liked was the idea of the pegasi clans. That some families keep track of family history, bloodline descent, that sort of thing. Some do, and some don’t. Just like unicorns keep track of their nobility, pegasi keep track of their clans. Unicorns a much more point A to point B sort of thing with a linear line of succession and the pegasi much more all over the place with a sprawling clan structure. Turns out to only be the one clan, but I like the idea anyway. Certainly going right into my headcanon for ponies. I’ve run into a good number of stories that deal with pegasi culture, both present and past. Only really a handful that deal with unicorn culture, and most of them pretty much just comment that the unicorns have a culture and then use it as a blank space to fill in with generic fantasy nobility. The pegasi stuff we actually get to see. I might have to add that to the kinda-sorta MLP derivative short story I’m working on.
I will say a lot of the relationship stuff, especially the talks and life lessons, seemed a bit shallow to me. Maybe it’s my utter lack of experience on the topic, but the big speech moments seemed more cliche than not. Sincerity was there, but not the word-crafting skill to say what the author wanted to say in a meaningful matter. I got more meaningful emotional reactions from Fallout Equestria then I did from this, and there is a non-trivial overlap in the themes between the two stories. Which is about the only thing the two have in common. Still, I can see why it’s fairly popular and a source for characterization in all the other fics I’ve read that use this angle for Cloud Kicker.
Oh, and one last thing. I did like how this story blended events from the show. It managed to be involved without either overtaking the events or being completely off-screen heroics. For the slice of life stuff in Ponyville, mostly involving Fluttershy episodes, we get a re-telling of those events that has some details different. Like the same events are being told by someone else who doesn’t remember it exactly the same. I felt that gave it a pretty good feeling of immersion. For the big event, the wedding, it was handled a bit differently. In this case the specific events of the show are barely touched on. This story focuses on how a particular section of the city deals with the changling attack. It manages to be neither completely useless and it doesn’t manage to save the day from behind the scenes like a few other fanfics I’ve run into.
One warning, if you don’t like relationship drama you will probably want to stay away from this story. About 3/4ths of it is characters yelling at each other over misunderstandings, overblown reactions, and other stupidity caused by too much emotion and not enough rational thought turned up to 11 to serve the story. I don’t particularly like that stuff, so the story never grabbed me. I kept wandering away to do other things while reading it. Yet I liked the characters enough when they weren’t being dumb that I kept wandering back to see how things would work out. Spoiler: You have to wait until the very end to see how anything works out. Not a single thing is resolved before then. It gets kind of annoying. You’d have a event, then emotional reactions to that event, then shouting arguments, then everyone would calm down and say they need to talk about things, then a scene of something else, then the next event. Gah! It got somewhat annoying the constant build-up, then nothing is resolved. Though never enough to make me put the story down.
Pretty good. Not as good as The Sun Shines Brightly, but in the same ballpark.