I’ve got to come up with more amusing things to put in these intro bits. Hopefully I’ll come up with more to put here before this goes live. Assuming I remember to check it. Either way, there are reviews below the break for your reading amusement. One of them is a bit on the long side and I hope that typing it up on my tablet didn’t lead to any amusing auto-correct confusion.
Big Master Review List stats: Authors: , Stories , Total Reviews: 
Alright, THE MASTER LIST, aka the big master review list, has just passed another big number. Pretty impressive given I’ve only been working on it for a little over a year. Trying to go back and pin down dates for my own amusement. Looks like I first decided to mess around with a list around 5th March 2014. Been harder pinning down exactly when I moved over to the spreadsheet instead of a plain text list. Was a few months later I believe, I know that by the 19th of July I had gone over to the spreadsheet and it was so much easier. I don’t even want to think about trying to do all the info I’ve got now in just a hand-edited list.
- The Dusk Guard: Beyond the Borderlands by Viking ZX
- Ἐλπίς by Bad Horse
- Rain by FlameOfFaith
Decided to see how this was going even though it’s not technically finished. I picked the perfect spot to jump in as well, since the first part of the story just wrapped up. So I got a good stopping point. Which is the main reason I don’t like to read incomplete stories. I don’t like having to wait to find out what happens next in a story. This was something of a cliff-hanger, but it did wrap up all the little loose ends so I don’t feel like anything major is hanging off a cliff, as it were. Just, you know, the major stuff that’s going to be going into the middle of the story.
Continues to have none of the actual dusk guard showing up. Except for the teeny tiny bit at the very beginning. Really, the first part of this one is basically an unrelated story except for it being set in the same world and involves one character from the previous book.
Aside from that, it’s pretty cool. Moderately interesting characters, neat ideas, cool slowly revealing plot.
Not sure if it was because I read the first five chapters previously, or what, but the pacing seemed off. I always wanted to know what happened next, but I also felt a little bored in places. Like I wanted the current scene (at those points) to hurry up and get to the next one. Not because the scenes themselves were dull… Just… Still trying to figure out the precise nature of my reaction. In the first Dusk Guard book the start was pretty slow, moreso than this one actually, but I didn’t mind it nearly as much. I think it was because that was much more focused on the characters and world. Whereas in this story it was pretty much all action and adventure, with characters as a strong second place focus and the world a close third. So we get little bits and pieces of character development, but nothing like the full bore focus on it that the first Dusk Guard book had. Which would be fine if it was those returning characters. However, when it’s a somewhat similar team-building series of events but with none of the real in-depth character exploration, it doesn’t work nearly as well.
I’m still looking forward to the rest of the story of course. Want to see the characters we got to know and love from the first story get tossed into things. Plus the villain that gets revealed is pretty cool. Speaking of villains, so going to steal the basic outline and ideas for the evil Sombra cult of unicorn supremacists for villains to put into my rpg worldbook. Also gotta think about the implications that the ancient gryphons had magic of some sort. Probably would have been one of the questions if I was joining in on the author’s series Q&A posts.
It actually put me down a somewhat amusing line of thought. I so wanted them to awaken King Sombra and find out that he isn’t a unicorn supremacist. He’s just an evil tyrant that wants to crush everybody under his hoof, unicorns and non-unicorns alike. That’s not what happened, but it was an amusing train of thought.
All in all, a good story. It’s main weakness is that the first story of the series was so strong with character building that this one feels a little shallow by comparison.
Later Edit: Please read the comments on this post for more. The author brought up a good point, and I tried to refine my thoughts about it a little more. To briefly clarify: when I say a little shallow by comparison I mean that if the first Dusk Guard story was a 9.7 on a 1-10 scale, this one is 9.2 on the same scale. For the rest, it’s not a problem with the story or author, but a lack of effective communication on my part about a very vague concept in my head that I expressed poorly. As well as this, like all of my ‘reviews’, is less a reasoned objective thing and simply my reaction to the story right after setting it down.
This is one of those stories that isn’t a story. More specifically the text on the page is not the story. A summary of this would be short, simple, and shallow. The story itself is short and simple, but incredible. I’m sorry I took so long to get to this. This wasn’t a major life changing experience or anything. It was just a very well written story about a very interesting idea. Probably one of the best immortal/cosmic Celestia stories around.
Simple slice of life of young Twilight Sparkle learning a new spell. Realistic, not exaggerated young Twilight pulled off quite well. The whole thing was very believable, especially Princess Celestia’s thoughts. Though certainly not her as wise immortal. Celestia here is basically just a normal pony trying to deal with the young pony she’s responsible for.