Friday, July 4, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 43

It's the Fourth of July!  Go eat some hot dogs!  Light some fireworks!  Punch an Englishman in the face!  Make sure you apologize to him afterwards, though; Americans have enough of a reputation for rudeness already.

EDIT: I'm also celebrating with this family tradition.  Figured I'd better get a picture of the finished product so you could all appreciate it properly.  Jello: is there anything it isn't good for?

Mini-reviews, below!

Spring is Dumb, by HoofBitingActionOverload

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Rainbow Dash goes shopping, but definitely not for something for Rarity.  And definitely not because she has something to apologize for.

A few thoughts:  This is how I imagine relationships work in Equestria.  Liberally seasoned with blatant mistakes, but with an uncloying sincerity at its core.  Dash's actions before and during this fic are comically exaggerated, but the core of what she's doing is easy to relate to, and gives this fic's conclusion a charm that a straight comedy would lack.  I absolutely loved this story.

Recommendations:  Unless you're absolutely 100% allergic to main six shipping, you should check this one out.  It's funny, well written, and just a little sweet.

Legality Abnormality, by alexmagnet

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Twilight comes across a book of Equestria's most bizarre laws--a history which paints Celestia in a rather new light.

A few thoughts:  There's a good idea here, but what I found more than once was that this fic didn't fully utilize its setpieces.  For example, one of the laws Twilight reads about (and which we get to see being enacted, via time-skip) is Celestia making it illegal for ponies to look at the moon, shortly after she banished her sister.  There's great potential there to get into how Celestia's dealing with a traumatic event from a humorous angle, but Abnormality plays it as straight comedy.  That's pretty representative of this fic as a whole: it has a good framework, but it never goes deeper than surface-level jokes.

Recommendation:  For readers looking for a simple, slightly random  comedy, this might be worth reading, but folks looking for a story that invests in its premise will probably be disappointed.

The Tree That Blooms In Darkness, by Cloud Wander

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  The history of the world, as told by the Tree of Harmony.

A few thoughts:  I really liked how this story took the idea of a creator which can't really relate to the trials of the world's inhabitants, and ran with it: what this story shows in few words is how the Tree exists on a plane so far removed from equinity (and life, generally) that, despite a general goodwill toward those creations, its actions aren't always positive as the creatures it's affecting would understand it.  There's a scene involving two diamond dogs near the end which doesn't seem to fit cleanly with the rest of the story (it's much more about those diamond dogs than it is about the Tree, when that focus is unquestionable elsewhere), but what's left is a fic that enjoyably shows an alien intelligence trying to do right by its creations.

Recommendation:  This would be a great selection for fans of the mythic stories and alien perspectives, though those looking for a more straightforward protagonist might be a little put off.


  1. >Punch an Englishman in the face!

    Instead of physical violence, could I just point out that apparently we're better at soccer than they are now? Even though we don't care about soccer - to the point that we call it "soccer"?

    You know what, that'll just lead to physical violence. I'll just punch him in the face. Much quicker.

    1. Oh, did we do well in that World Cup thingy or something?

    2. We got through the first round, put up a fight in the second, and lost to Belgium, but everyone's excited about this because I guess it's more than anyone expected from us. :B Apparently, we should support the Netherlands now.

  2. > Punch an Englishman in the face!


    1. I apologize, you tea-drinking, tax raising poof!

      *resumes drinking and setting off explosive charges in own backyard*

    2. Oh hey, fancy meeting you here.

      Also, last time I checked, you were an Englishwoman. So ya got nuthin' ta worry 'bout.

    3. First you guys taxed molasses and sugar, then you made us buy stamps; and without sufficient representation, too! Thank God our current government doesn't do anything like that⸮

    4. I was gonna say: the government that emerged after the rebellion taxed you more then we ever did.

  3. Can I just say that I'm still shocked whenever you remind us you're from the US? Somewhere along the line, I got it in my head that you're Australian, and I can't shake that.

  4. Hey, I've already read and favourited two out of three this round. That's pretty good for me.

    Guess I'm going to add Tree That Blooms to my list as well. I'm not particularly at a point where I want to make my list LONGER right now, but it looks short, so I'll give it a go.

  5. About the Diamond Dogs in Tree that Blooms in Darkness:

    I've been taking the one Dog's line "At last, I can breathe" as a reference to the scene at the beginning of the story with the Tree and the first tiny creature. Reincarnation and all that... :)