For anyone who doesn’t know, got another new reviewer just starting off. Okay, like starting off almost a week ago. CCC: cleverpun’s Critique Corner #1. In fact, in the time since I wrote up this intro and now, he’s put out another one. CCC: Cleverpun’s Critique Corner #2.
And now for the random thought of the day from my pony-obsessed brain. What if… What if Princess Celestia is trying to rule a cruel oppressive dictatorship… and just doesn’t know how? Like, ponies are so happy and peace-loving that they honestly have no idea how to be evil. King Sombra was evil just because he used mind-control magic to force the Crystal Ponies to keep working through the day instead of taking twenty minutes out of every hour to polish and shine themselves to look good. I’m almost tempted to write that as a Tyrant (but clueless and incompetent) Celestia story.
I’m thinking the setup is this: Tyrant Celestia tells Twilight Sparkle to handle all these dangerous things because she’s trying to betray her. She knows that Twilight might actually become powerful enough to go against her in the future, so she keeps sending her into suicidal situations hoping that will take care of her. So far, it hasn’t worked and Princess Celestia is running out of ideas.
- Twilight Spackle by Estee
- Sparkler’s Secret by BronyWriter
- It’s OK to Be a Pony by David Silver
Estee has one or two writing quirks I really don’t like, but other than that she(?) (how does my brain assign gender to names on the internet? No clue) is one of my favorite ponyfic writers. This story is another reminder as to why. It really shows a version of Twilight that matches what we see in the show, and is the version I most emphasize with. Mostly because this Twilight is one I see so much off myself in. A pity I don’t have becoming a princess to look forward to as a reward for dealing with my neuroses. I’d even go with a gender change if it came with magic powers and long life.
Back to this story. It’s got a bit of humor, but it’s the kind of humor that is you gotta laugh or you’ll cry. Or you are a horrible person who likes laughing at misery. I both understood and had to facepalm at Twilight’s logic and behavior in this story. So highly recommended. It’s got pure character based storytelling with strong emotions and none of the author’s annoying stylistic bits to dilute the enjoyment.
Hmm. Not as comedic as I was hoping once I figured out what was going to happen. It’s played straight with a fairly rushed conclusion. So, um, not sure. Decently written, just fluffy and doesn’t fit into categories well. Not even really a straightforward slice of life moment. Not bad though, so you will probably enjoy reading it at least a little.
Wasn’t sure at first, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It was never at the level of I couldn’t put it down, but I found myself wandering back to it between other things during the day. Those of you sensitive to technical quality should be forewarned. It’s not a mess, but on the other hand it’s not really all that polished either.
As for the content, it’s this odd mix of short stories and long form story. A lot of the chapters are stand alone bits, a few multi-chapter plkt arcs, but no real narrative line through the whole thing. Yet there is plenty of continuity. The stand alone bits happen in order and will involve previous characters and might reference previous chapters directly or indirectly. It’s basically a whole bunch of loosely related character studies circling around the basic premise. Like Versebreakers if all those stories had shared continuity.
The downside to this is no real narrative focus. Things just kind of come and go as the author meanders around. All the brought up events get resolved, but for example there is a fairly serious magical problem that gets built up. Then it gets solved and never really mentioned again. Once you learn to just go with the flow it can be entertaining, but you have to get used to nothing really being long term important.
Oh, and Blueblood shows up at the end and is a friendly and polite guy.
I would have liked to get more of this actually. Seeing how a few of the later characters keep developing would have been cool.