Pony Stories 323

19 Jan

So, been trying to read Background Pony to polish off the one million words reading goal this month. Which at the moment has the official record of 823,071. Been really pushing myself, so an average month of ponyfic reading is probably around half of whatever I end up with. Pretty sure I’ve actually read over a million words at this point. That doesn’t count stories I didn’t finish, the amount I’ve gotten through Background Pony, and in non-pony stories I’m trying to get through House Of Leaves. Anyway, Background Pony. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to finish it this month, might not even finish it at all, because I think reading it actually triggered my depression. Not while I was reading it. That just made me sad. But like the day after I read a chapter I feel crummy. I read a chapter or two every day for a few days and have the worst bout of week-long depression I’ve had in months. Now… I don’t know for sure it was Background Pony, but it is an odd correlation and it’s not something I really want to test. If I’m right I’ll have another week of horrible depression and I don’t want that. Just found it odd. Maybe confirm it next month or something.

Big Master Review List stats: Total Authors: [1871], Total Stories [4078], Total Reviews: [6273]

Now, ponyfic reviews from the distant paaaasssssttttt~

  • Diamond Tiara of The Royal Guard by Hopeful_Ink_Hoof
  • Foreigner by AugieDog
  • The Poetry Of The Layers by JMac
  • The Break of Dawn by Cryosite
  • Thweet Geniuth by JMac
  • The Tricky Part is Getting Sweets to the Right Place by Hipster Pony Raven Horn
  • Titanomachy by Biochi
  • Minor Details! by Tchernobog
  • Friendship is Optimal – Firewall by Midnightshadow

Diamond Tiara of The Royal Guard by Hopeful_Ink_Hoof

Not as sweeping a story as I was expecting. A little rushed in places, but doesn’t skip anything like some authors would to get to the ‘good bits’. Has two explicit sex scenes that I believe are their own chapters and mostly skippable. Wish there had been more fantasy/magic stuff. The characters were all from mlp, but everything else was just generic. I did enjoy most of it and actually found Diamond Tiara’s character arc believable, if a little rushed.

Foreigner by AugieDog

This was pretty good. I’d even put it in the same basic category as Celestia Code, though not quite as high quality. Same basic genre though I’d say. Ancient mysteries and all that. Was also a very interesting look at how other races might see ponies. Plus I liked Gilda as a character here. She was written as a very multifaceted character that you could see developing from what we saw in her brief appearance in the show.

The Poetry Of The Layers by JMac

This was fun, though you would only like it if you enjoyed both the Maud Pie episode (I liked it quite a bit) and enjoyed the fanfic Quizzical. So, something of a niche work in an already fairly niche field. I enjoyed it and if you’ve had both of the required source materials you might enjoy it as well.

The Break of Dawn by Cryosite

This was very short. It really is just Twilight watching Celestia raise the sun. Seemed a little unanchored. The author put some thought into the whole ritual, but we know from the show that it is just an act of will/magic with no real ritual build up. The story feels like its missing something that remained in the author’s head. Still, the prose was nice and the imagery was good. I’d recommend it mostly because of how short it is.

Dear Twilight Sparkle by Donnys Boy

Sweet Applejack and Twilight shipping story. Fairly well written, if not long enough to really build up the attraction. Is fairly focused on Applejack trying to confess. Still, her feelings for Twilight are presented in a very believable manner. Plus I liked how she found Twilight’s post-crash checklist adorable to watch. Worth the read if you like that sort of thing.

Thweet Geniuth by JMac

Okay, got to get the big complaint out of the way first. See that title? That’s how Twist’s dialogue is written through the entire story. It was somewhat painful to read and by the halfway point I was pretty much skipping over everything she said. Besides that, I enjoyed the story. I like Quizzical as a character and the author does a good job writing character interactions. Most of my minor complaints are about things I wanted to see more of. I like stories about Twilight being a mother figure, that was my favorite bits in the previous story of the series. Not nearly enough of that in this one. There should have been more buildup in the middle to turn ponies against Quizzical, not just a single montage. The villain was a little too, well, normal for my tastes. The sabotage was all very practical and reality levels of mean/evil. I like my pony villains to either over the top (Chrysalis), horribly cliche or amusingly trivial (Trixie) and this story was just kinda in the middle.

The Tricky Part is Getting Sweets to the Right Place by Hipster Pony Raven Horn

This get points for being a unique pairing. I haven’t seen Trixie and Bon-Bon anywhere else. Other than that, fairly typical shipfic. Sweet, slightly awkward writing in a few places, not much context. I enjoyed it enough to want to read more, so that’s at least a partial recommendation.

Titanomachy by Biochi

Eh, the start was just too scattered for me to get into it. Switching place and perspective every other page or so. Princess Celestia losing her temper at her sister with little buildup. I’m sure it gets to exciting adventure stuff later, but the first 10% of it failed to grab me.

Minor Details! by Tchernobog

This was extremely enjoyable to read. Twilight and Applejack shipping story with the plot of one of my favorite Stargate episodes as the plot. Did a good job portraying both Twilight and Applejack. Though did have one minor plot hole, but I only realized it after I was finished reading. The backstory of Canterlot weddings being cursed was fun as well. Would make a fun episode, except the pacing would be all wrong.

Friendship is Optimal – Firewall by Midnightshadow

Start is fairly rushed? Feels like a whole bunch of character buildup is missing. Lots of these stories do the ‘fall in love with a pony’ plot as a way to connect the character to Equestrian. It works a lot of the time because it’s such a strong motivation, but it is getting old and cliche. This story lacks the subtlety of a good FiO story. Not to mention the main character is basically just words on the page, no real feel to him at all outside of any particular scene. It really does feel like the story is missing two out of every three chapters. Then the end is rushed and has our main character telling CelestAI how she needs to do certain things to be successful. Basically, a very human focused end. Even in Always Say No, where the human was doing things for her, it was from a clearly subordinate position and it was clear that it was as much for him as for the tasks he was completing. Final verdict is that the author just isn’t a good enough writer to handle the more interesting and subtle bits of FiO. It’s all presented matter of fact with none of the ethical dilemmas or twisty logical puzzles or hyper-smart AI shenanigans that an FiO story should have. I mean the epilogue has a bit from CelestAI’s perspective and its just a antagonist considering the success of her plans.


Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Ponies, Reading 2015, Reviews


2 responses to “Pony Stories 323

  1. Professor Whooves

    January 19, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I gave up on “Titanomachy”. It was far too showy and dramatic from the start. Raw exposition pops up everywhere (“Discord’s lilting voice appeared inside the monarch’s mind directly as vocalizing was both impossible in his current predicament and unnecessary for communicating with a creature as magically sensitive as an alicorn.”) and the characters refer to each other in ridiculous fashions (“old fiend”, “dearest Twilight”). Chapter 10 showed no improvement (“She began a focusing meditation, it was designed to help a unicorn perceive the flow and structure of complex enchantments.”), so I dropped the fic.

    • Griffin

      January 19, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      Yeah, that was what got me as well. I’m sure there is a good story there… Just have to find it under all the exposition and prose. Glad it’s not just my downward trending mood though.


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