I’m about halfway through the Most Dangerous Game contest stories. Woo! Quality is all over the place in this contest. Few really good ones, few really bad ones, and even the in the middle ones are wobbling all over the middle of the scale. I’m still debating how many to post at a time, but I think I’m going to start putting up my reviews of them starting Monday. Assuming I’ve gotten another half-dozen or so of them read by then. Until then, check out the five fanfic reviews below the break.
I have to give this story points for ambition and for quite a bit of neat worldbuilding. It does have a lot of flaws as well. Mostly poor writing on a technical level. It isn’t a crime against literature of anything, but there were a lot of little problems. The villian is a one-note cliche that reacts the same way in every situation. Which gets really tiring. There is no reassing based on events. Every single scene the villain reacts in an almost identical fashion. Like you could switch around the villain’s dialogue and reactions to put them in different scenes and the story would be pretty much unchanged. The name six aren’t quite characterized all that well either. Biggest problem, however, was one of pacing. The story keeps upping the action and upping the stakes. To the point that I had fatigue at about the 2/3rds mark. A well paced story has moments of rest as well as moments of intensity. This story was pretty much just all intensity. The other side of this was I stopped having any investment in how things in any particular scene would turn out.
Spoiler (not really): The bad guys have the upper hand and our main characters are battered and beaten and barely standing and it looks like the bad guys are going to win, but then the main characters find the strength to fight free and narrowly escape. There, I’ve just described pretty much every scene in the last half of the story. Over and over again. It was clear that what would happen had nothing to do with the characters, or the situation, or what had happed previous in the world. It was a plot-centered story and the only thing that mattered was what the author wanted to happen next.
Still, in spite of all these annoyances I finished the story with a ‘that was really good’ feeling. Odd since I was also thinking of the problems of the story. Normally a story I find good is one that distracts me, or completely hides, the problems in it. If you like changeling stories this is one you should read. Even if you don’t like changeling stories, I’d recommend giving this one a shot.
Simple and sincere. Which is a compliment I’ve been giving a lot of stories I like recently. Should probably try to use something else, but not today! I wish this had been a littler longer like the Luna one. Yet it was nice. Nothing that groundbreaking (Twilight Sparkle having trouble being a divine royalty and all that), but a good execution of the premise.
A very silly story. Intentionally so. Some stories I’m not sure if the writing is bad on purpose or if it’s bad for sillyness, but I’m 100% sure that this one is very deliberate. I’d recommend this as a silly silly experience.
Another light and silly one. Cotton candy story. If you like the idea of Celestia letting Trixie pull off a coup, this is your story. Just don’t expect too much depth.
Wow. Really, really liked this one. A very interesting take on Daring Do. Also a good example that telling instead of showing can work if you do it right. This is a story that leaves a lot of details to the reader, yet never conceals the main story. Which is rare and something I really enjoy. I liked this one enough that I have no real complaints, major or nitpicky, about it. Also is full of the themes of the show. Highly recommended.
It’s amusing to consider this story as canon with the Daring Do we see in the show (though I didn’t like that episode much). The idea that there is a real Daring Do hiding her identity and actually having all those adventures and writing the books, then the fake Daring Do going to publicity events pretending to be the character in the books.