Friday, June 20, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 41

When I read a story, it's usually after I download it to my e-reader, rather than on an actual computer screen.  So, since I'm downloading it anyway, I'll then save a copy to the computer itself, in addition to the one I put on the reader (which I almost always delete after reading--otherwise, it gets too cluttered).

Anyway, the point here is that I've got something like a thousand epubs (from FiMFiction) and HTMLs (from gdocs) of fanfics I've read since I started doing that.  I dunno, I feel kind of weird having that much fanfic on my hard drive... but I'm not planning to stop, so I guess that number's only going up.

Anyhoo, here are a few of the more recent additions to that ever-growing list.  Below the break, just like always.

Blueblood's Just Zis Guy, You Know?, by Nemospecific

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  A look at the real reason Blueblood was such a ponce at the Grand Galloping Gala.  Specifically, a different "the real reason" in every chapter.

A few thoughts:  Redemption stories are one of the staples of any fandom; take a minor (or sometimes, major) character who's pretty clearly a villain and/or jerk, show that it's not his fault because he was abused as a child/his actions were the result of a series of hilarious misunderstandings/whatever, the end.

So what I loved about this fic (currently sitting at six chapters, and still incomplete) was that it took this tendency to its logical conclusion, writing about how Blueblood is really a wonderful guy, except that he was replaced by a changeling.  Or he was drugged.  Or Rarity spent the evening hanging with his body double.  Or... well, you get the idea.  The concept is heavy with self-awareness, but the stories themselves are comic but not cloying; I had a lot of fun reading through these.

Recommendation:  I chose to read these at a pretty slow pace; since each chapter necessarily covers a lot of the same ground, reading the whole bunch in one sitting will likely grow tiring fast.  But if you're in the market for a redemption/comedy to consume serially, this is a nice set so far.

Lulamoon's Castle, by Bookish Delight

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Trixie returns to Ponyville to show Twilight that she can win a duel even without the Alicorn Amulet... only to find Princess Twilight Sparkle and her tree/castle waiting for her.

A few thoughts:  This is a SoL story in the "a little bit of everything" sense; some comedy, some sadness, a hint of romance, and some day-in-the-life stuff to boot.  I didn't think they always played nicely together--the romance, at least, felt like a real afterthought to me, though it's kept pretty light--but Delight does a fair job balancing all the story elements and making them feel like a single story.  The editing is great, but there's one odd technical decision: each chapter has a title, but that title isn't always at the start.  Sometimes, it's nearly a third of the way into the chapter.  At first I thought the author was going for a Monty Python homage, but after finishing I think a couple of chapter prologues just really got away from him/her.  But that hardly ruined the story for me, and one thing Castle does really well is scene-setting; throughout, descriptions are clear and vivid.

Recommendation:  Those who like their fics well-rounded (rather than one-note) will find this to be a good example of how to accomplish that without going to novel-length, but folks looking for something a bit more focused or tightly-fit might prefer another story.

Dear Friend, by Estee

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  A selection of junk dragon-mail.

A few thoughts:  Look, these are just some ponified Nigerian Prince-type messages; there's nothing more to see here.

...That's really all there is to say about this.  It's exactly what you think.

Recommendation:  Look, if stuff like a Flim and Flam-themed Amway letter will make you laugh, go for it.  Heck, I grinned a couple times reading this.  But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for anything else--or for that matter, to anyone looking for an actual story.  This is a joke, and it's fine for what it is, but that's all it is.


  1. I'll have to give that Blueblood one a look. Sounds like my style.

  2. The first two sound pretty good. *downloads to kindle*

    Yes, I do the same thing as you, and checking my MLP Fanfic folder, I see 799 files. Huh. It does feel a bit weird. My Gutenberg folder has... 796 files. Damn! I think I may have a problem.

  3. Yeah, I've got the same problem. Up to about 1600 pony fanfics in my calibre library. I probably should delete a lot of them.