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It's that magical time of year: the Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway! As with most sports stuff, I'm going to assume this is of zero interest to most of the folks who visit this blog, but as a hockey fan I've got to at least mention it.
I understand the NBA has something or other starting this weekend too, but meh.
If you can draw your eyes away from the spectacle of grown men body-slamming each other into walls at 30mph, click on down below the break to read my review of Bronius Maximus's The Sky is Falling.
Impressions before reading: I think it's fair to say that a romantic comedy about Rainbow Dash and Twilight, if that description is any indication, being painfully unable to voice their true feelings for each other, isn't the sort of thing I'd seek out on my own. This author's written a couple stories that I've read previously, though, and as I recall I liked both of them well enough; that's always encouraging. And I keep grinning every time I look at that cover image, which I'm going to take as a good sign going in.
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Rainbow Dash is quite confident that she doesn't like--well, like like--Twilight, which is fine, because Twilight surely doesn't think of her that way anyway. I mean, that'd be weird, right? So yeah, totally platonic relationship ahoy!
Thoughts after reading: Truth be told, there's nothing here on a concept level that holds any particular appeal to me. This is a silly story, but it's "romantic comedy" silly as opposed to "absurdism" silly, so my usual concerns about main-six-shipping are all in play--and this story plows right into several of them. My immediate impression after reading is that this will primarily appeal to those predisposed to enjoy shipping stories, but not to most others. However, if you can look past the question of Twilight and Dash both being secretly in love with one another despite neither even knowing that the other swung that way, the questionable contrivances which force them together, the endless bait-and-switching (Twilight has a wonderful line at the end of chapter six... which is predictably thrown away in favor of status-quo obliviousness at the start of chapter seven), the artificially exaggerated source of the conflict first shown in the flash-forward prologue, and many, many more lesbian rom-com staples... there's actually a fair bit to like, here.
Although the material drifts into semi-mature territory on a regular basis (the story does open with the main six all going to a club and getting various flavors of smashed), but it often utilizes those semi-mature elements to good comic effect. Dash's narration is also a wellspring of humor, her self-consciousness and self-aggrandizement coming through clearly in the text.
On that note, the writing quality is, by and large, excellent. Not only does Dash's POV come through clearly, but Twilight's occasional interludes are differentiated clearly enough to stand apart as intended, and her segments give Mr. Maximus a chance to explore events from an alternate viewpoint--which is crucial, at times. For some reason there are an unusual number of tense slips in this story, but other than that the editing is good and the word choice does a good job of reflecting the narrator(s) without needlessly restricting itself.
The ending was a bit... odd. While it didn't bother me overmuch, I can see a lot of people being thrown by how abruptly it sums up several years in seven paragraphs to not particular effect (that is to say, those seven paragraphs don't provide any particular sense of closure, nor do they build upon an established theme of the story). It did seem a strange break from the highly directional goings-on of the several chapters previous, though, and I can't help feeling the work would have been stronger without it.
Star rating: ★★★☆☆ (what does this mean?)
I can't say I particularly loved this story, but there were a lot of things along the way which I enjoyed. That's a not-insignificant achievement, considering that the entire premise of the fic was wasted on me.
Recommendation: Look, I''m not a romantic comedy guy; I'll take my hockey games over a lighthearted star-crossed lovers flick any day. If you're like me, you'll probably find this story amusing in many places, but ultimately unconvincing. If, on the other hand, your tastes in movies are opposite of mine (and if TwiDash is your thing), then I'd suggest giving The Sky is Falling a look.
Next time: Minuette’s Lesson, by Airstream