Turns out I don't have a review ready for today. Sorry. There are three reasons for that, but I'll start with the most obvious one: Creeping Darkness is really freaking long. However, if you need your pony fanfic fix and don't know where else to turn, I've got a few suggestions. And wouldn't you know it, they just so happen to be related to my reasons for not having a review post today! Look below the break for more.
If you've got an idle half-hour to burn: The main reason I got such a late start on Creeping Darkness is because I burned through my meager buffer of posts writing something for the February Write-Off. And once I finished that, I could hardly help but go look at a few of the other entries that had been submitted, could I?
I always love seeing what different authors do when given the same writing prompt. People are able to come up with such radically different ideas based on the same impetus, and to see that kind of divergent thinking is a lot of fun (for me, at least). All the stories are 10k words or less, and they're presented in head-to-head format (two stories are pulled up at random, and you're asked to vote for the best), so the setup really makes itself accessible to folks without a lot of free time who still want to get in on some pony fanfic-comparing goodness.
I should mention that the gaps in quality are absolutely massive. I only looked over a few entries, but one of the ones I saw would probably have been a 5-star fic on Equestria Daily. Others were so aneurysm-inducing that I was unable to finish, even with my masochistic desire to give the story a "fair shake" egging me on. Still, for anyone looking to read a few shorts, it's a lot of fun.
Check it out here. You need a FiMFiction account to vote, but anyone can view the stories.
If you've got nothing to do this weekend: The other thing that kept me from my reviewing was the Wednesday afternoon I spent proofing and reviewing the last chapters of Drakmire's Lacuna. If you haven't been following this story, feel free to jump in and give it a look now that it's complete! At over 120k words it's not what anyone would call a quick read, but I highly recommend it to lovers of the [adventure] tag. Having spent so much time editing it, I admit I'm not exactly an impartial third party at this point. Nevertheless, I'll offer a few thoughts with that caveat.
This was the author's first bit of ponyfiction, and it's been amazing to see how much he's grown as a writer from start to finish. The first chapters were often excessively obtuse and tended to go wandering off on irrelevant tangents, but as the story progressed Drakmire steadily improved (which ought to be a given, but it always amazes me how many authors seem unwilling or unable to learn from experience). His ability to blend goofy and sometimes risque humor with a serious overall tone, coupled with the very organic development of his characters, has really impressed me.
And although I suppose it's not really relevant to potential readers, I was equally impressed by how willing he was to receive criticism. Not many authors thank you after you tell them that the end of their story reads like the script from a SyFy original movie (I'm quite satisfied with the ending of the finished product, before you ask).
Check it out here. For anyone looking for an epic-length story to fill a few days, you could do much, much worse than this.
Now excuse me while I go try to get some 6-star reviewing done. Regular posts are back Monday!