Once again I’m looking at fandom guests for a pony convention and have no clue who any of them are. One of the side effects of being so out of touch of such things. However! This time I was struck by something amusing. One of the main differences I’ve noticed going to different conventions is the difference between guests at, say, a anime con and a broad comic con I went to last year. Anime con, each guest has a list of roles and characters they’ve played a paragraph long. Comic con? A lot of the “celebrity” guests had like one role two decades ago. General science fiction cons kind of split the difference, authors being fairly accomplished and tv or movie stars that have like one thing in their name. Anyway, the funny thing is that even though I don’t recognize any of the pony con fandom names, I’m pretty sure they have longer/better/etc ‘did this and this and that’ lists than most of the famous guests at the comic con I went to.
In more local news, the big master review list broke 2200 authors. Not a nice big number like one of the thousands milestones, but I thought it was pretty neat. Also, just notice that this blog has had 1,168 Comments. Jeeze. That’s a lot of commenting.
Big Master Review List stats: Authors: , Stories , Total Reviews: 
- No Heroes Part II: The Journey Home by PaulAsaran
- Lightning’s Bolt by PaulAsaran
- No Heroes Series III: For Dreams by PaulAsaran
Still not sure about this series. This one was better than the first one, but still not gripping. Mostly it just jumps around too much. Not letting me really get immersed on much. I think this would have been better as a bunch of connected short stories. Having a decently sized short story focused on each of the characters involved would have worked a lot better.
I do really like his version of the changelings. The way that they convert ponies into changelings instead of simply replacing them. For a villain version of them it works really well.
As for the rest, I still have a bit of trouble meshing with his version/view of Equestria. Just a bit off from my own headspace about it. Such as Princess Celestia being more concerned with the rule of law than the safety of her subjects. One of the benefits of being a (bare minimum) thousand year old incredibly powerful semi-divine ruler of a kingdom is you can just order things to be done without going through all the legal hoops. Or if you want it done quietly, that’s what your secret assassins are for.
The story has some cool concepts, but I don’t really have any investment in any of the characters or situations. I kind of want to know what happens next, but don’t really care if its good or bad. The main problem keeps coming back to the pacing. Its right at the dividing line between episodic and not. Each chapter is too short and not stand alone enough to be truly episodic, but they don’t work together as a flowing connected narrative either.
Back to the good stuff. The author is really good at the slice of life and character pieces. The focus is what really separates it from the No Heroes stories.
Sure, there were lots of places I nitpicked choices the author made, but I enjoyed it and even go it a bit emotional at the end. Plus the character arc for Lightning Dust was pulled off quite well. Except for knowing exactly how they met and the whole changelings event, this story would probably stand on its own pretty well. Hm, except for Fine Crime I guess. Was nice seeing him as a character instead of plot device again. His bit is the one part I’m looking forward to in the next No Heroes story.
Between Keen Arrow in this one and Fine Crime’s backstory, one of the minor themes seems to be the monsters children see are really there. Or, more precisely, taking Fleur’s history as well, the theme of children should be listened to when they tell you about their fears and monsters.
This is the best one of the main series so far. It still has some of the trouble with the pacing, and some of the dialogue heavy scenes are a little choppy for me. I’m also still a bit unsure about including the mane six so heavily. My own preferences for fan fiction is either focus on the main characters of the show, or push them into the background and focus on the author’s characters. Really, most of my complains about this series is things I personally would have done different than more objective concerns.
I suspect that if I hadn’t read the Lightning Dust side story I would have pretty much never would have thought about her. She barely shows up and even with the side story fresh in my head I pretty much forgot that she was one of the main characters. A lot of the characters just don’t have much of a presence with things going at such a breakneck pace. I will say that this was much more a complete story. Had a beginning, middle, and end. With more than just the main plot to focus on, which is always good. Also used my favorite villain version of Discord for his backstory. Crazy and chaotic, but not violent or cruel. Just, you know, a bit crazy.
Funny seeing the same basic version of Octavia as he used in Audience of One. Even got a little distracting when she was interacting with her older sister.
I’m actually looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up. Though I must say I’m not entirely sure it’s been a good idea to read the author’s notes while going through the story. I’m doing that more now that I’m reading on Fimfiction more than the downloaded ebooks. Just have more objections to some of the things he talks about in those than I’ve got about the actual stuff in the story. Well, not so much this time around I guess. It was more of a problem in the earlier stories in the series. The wonders of the brain putting in assumed context and tone when reading plain text.
There was also a few fairly jarring scenes where one of the characters uses very violent and crude language that was really out of place for pony. However, it actually has a purpose and does a good job hammering in the character’s mental troubles better than just about anything else could. The language is jarring and doesn’t fit in the pony world because his condition basically has done the same to him.