Oh look, more reviews to add to the master list. Just stumbled across the blog Problematic Reviews and it looks like they have a decent amount of pony fan fiction reviews. So time to tromp back through the archives and add it to the big master list. Hopefully it won’t take too long. In fact, I’ll probably be a good way into it by the time this goes live. If you’ve got any favorite stories (or are an author), head over to the big master list and see if your story is one of the ones they covered. And done. That didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would. Only ended up adding links to like four or five reviews. I’ll have to think about adding some of the non-list reviews to the list for a bit more added breadth.
Once again I find myself hitting a plateau of effort needed to maintain the list and decide to add to the workload. At this rate I might end up going back to attempting to add every fanfic that every reviewer reviews. Hopefully it won’t come to that. Was way too much work, and I wasn’t actually reading any of the reviews.
Wow. This was really good. I would probably recommend this as non-pony fanfic reading. It felt a lot like a ‘normal’ novel-type story while I was reading it. I’m lead to believe this was one of the primary sources of the ‘Lyra is obsessed with humans’ stories. That’s wild speculation on my part, so don’t take it as truth. If is is true, I can see how this story helped that particular idea get stuck in the fandom. This is a story that has a reason to be popular. The parts about Lyra interacting with the human world are excellent. Which is good since they make up half of the story.
This story also got me thinking about how much exposition a story should have. In a more general sense that is. I kept thinking that I would recommend this story to non-pony fans. Almost nothing that happens in it needs backstory to explain it. As a ‘lost traveler’ type story we are more or less learning about things along with the main character. Yet, all her confusion comes from the human world being different from the pony world. The pony world of Equestria is not explained at all, though I suspect a reader would be able to pick up most of it in general terms at least. If you were writing an original story with this concept you’d want to put a bit more worldbuilding at the beginning of the story. I’m just not sure how much more. I’m of the opinoin that exposition should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Yet, for fantasy books in particular, you need to tell the reader who some things work to allow them to be immersed in a story. I think getting someone who doesn’t know anything about My Little Pony to read this story would be instructive. See just how lost/confused or not they get, and how much they figured out about MLP by reading this.
Back to the story itself. I liked the ending. Both the big dramatic climax and the epilogue and after. The dramatic ending was cool and made sense without being really hit-you-over-the-head obvious. Whereas the very end wrapped back to the beginning, thematically not literally, and gave a good sense of the story being over, but the characters and world(s) would continue on after the last line of test. Story wasn’t flashy or complex, but I enjoyed it a lot. Even if you don’t like the whole Lyra/human thing, this story might just change your mind. Or at least you might enjoy it despite that dislike.
Everything above was written more or less right after I finished it. I read a few other reviews of the story just before typing this up and have to agree that the story does have major problems. My reviews try to be ‘immediate’ reactions without giving me any time to think or analyze, just my raw experience reading the story. So yes, if you shine a critical light on this story it pretty much falls apart on a couple of levels. I still enjoyed reading it and think it succeeds at the single most important part. Which is entertaining the reader, which it did in my case. Was enjoyable enough that I didn’t even notice most of the problems with it. So, recommended if you can turn off the analytical part of your brain, I guess.
Another interesting one. It is something of a abstract philosophical piece. Well, not exactly philosophical. Dreams and reality blurring together. I found the writing to be pretty good. Effectively depicted smooth reality/dream transitions. Does feel incomplete in some ways, but the obvious problem is not the story. Still, wish I knew a little more about the events around what we see in the story. It did remind me of the story Theory by shortskirtsandexplosions, which is another story of Twilight Sparkle having mental troubles as her friends visit her. It doesn’t have much pony stuff/nouns in it, places, magic, etc. Pretty much just the mane six and the princesses and a white room. But I would say this has a lot of the theme and feel of pony. A focus on friendship, relationships, and a general optimistic feel to everything. Which is probably what I’d define as the core of ‘pony’ for me.
I’m pretty sure this is the first real Sombra fanfic I’ve read. Last Stand Of King Sombra doesn’t count, and you know it. This is basically a backstory/origin and is quite interesting. Has some worldbuilding bits I had not considered. Like the idea that Princess Celestia and Princess Luna fighting would have brought out the windigos, and they would have come from the north through the Crystal Empire. I also really liked Sombra’s talent/magic and how just a bit of corruption could turn it into what happens in the show.
Twilight Sparkle is adorable as a young foal. This was a very sweet/cute/adorable moment between young Twilight Sparkle and big brother Shining Armor.
This one is sad. I found it well-written and touching. Might just be because I’m a sucker for in-universe fiction (letters/notes/etc) such as this. I do like the idea that Twilight has other friends outside the mane six. Those five are as close as family, but she would have other friends and acquaintances. She would love someone to talk magic theory with, as an example.