Almost to a big round number! Wonder if I should do something special for it, even though it’s utterly arbitrary since I was doing fanfiction commentary before I started numbering them and there pretty much is a random amount of fanfics in each one. Nah, think I’ll just keep working on tinkering with the list instead. Today is another giant story from the list so helpfully provided by Professor Whooves, this one is A Bluebird’s Song. It’s a Twilight and Rainbow Dash romance with secret conspiracy plot!
Decent story. Well, pretty good story that I had a mountain of nitpicks about. It was good enough that I was immersed in the narrative and emotional invested in the characters, but the writing was juuuust poor enough that my brain had a lot of time to notice all the tiny flaws while I was reading. Not my favorite Twilight and Rainbow Dash romance story, but I still enjoyed it. Mostly. The first part of the story started off really strong. Maybe it was just the comparison with Archmage, but the first few chapters felt really well written to me. Sadly the rest of the story goes a little downhill. Not a lot, just enough to notice.
This story doesn’t make the mistake of having sentences or paragraphs whose only purpose is to move from one thing to another. I never felt that the story was bloated or stretched out. However, it could have probably been half as long and not lost much. Plus a lot of it felt like original fiction instead of pony fanfic, so there’s that as well. At least three times there was a event, scene, or piece of dialogue that seemed to be included simply because the author seemed to think that it was required. A checklist item of sorts. In other places it felt like just one piece of something was missing. Like 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10. You can see the general pattern and skimming it you might not notice it right away, but there might be a constant nagging feeling that something was skipped. Mostly in the lack of explanations for certain actions.
Twilight Sparkle seemed a bit out of character more often than most. Cynical is not what I’d use to describe her even on a bad day, but apparently that’s how the author sees her. The part where I almost stopped reading the book was when Twilight had this bit of dialogue in a moment in the story when things haven’t turned out well for someone else: “I don’t have any faith in miracles.” Right, right. Because her mentor is a goddess of light, she’s literally saved the world through the power of friendship and good faith more than once, and even in this story she’s re-written the laws of pegasi magic (sort of), and found true love pretty much by random chance. Of course she doesn’t believe in miracles. What proof does she have they exist? This really, really felt like the author thought that scenes like this have to be written a certain way (seen in countless generic dramas) regardless of characters or anything else involved.
I did enjoy the tiny bits of pegasi worldbuilding that we find in the margins, mostly with the interaction between Rarity and Fluttershy. I would have loved more of this and I’d half-guess that the author has some interesting headcanon for the pegasi that should have been included more. The anti-pegasi and anti-unicorn groups were a nice touch as well. A bit violent for the show, but if you softened them up a bit they would actually be a pretty good off-screen worldbuilding element that could exist in the show. The idea that pegasi flight is pure magic and doesn’t need the wing flapping is interesting, but I don’t like it myself. The wings should be at least involved in the process of flight.
Good story, personally had lots of nitpicks with it, needed to be edited down to about half this length. Worth it if you like Twilight/Rainbow Dash shipping. Though I liked Spellbound Fireflies better, personally.