Friday, August 29, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 48

I got a cavity filled yesterday; it's about the fourth or fifth I've ever had, which I figure makes me pretty normal.  They're all on my upper teeth, though; when you look at my dental x-rays, the upper set is a giant wall of metal (I've got several fake teeth up there too, courtesy of some childhood trauma), and my lower set is 100% all-natural.  I'm starting to wonder if it's luck, or if I'm secretly bad at brushing the top row.

On an unrelated note, mini-reviews!  Get them below the break.

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Scootaloo's been getting all the attention ever since Rainbow Dash started being her "big sister."  Tiara's determined to one-up her, and the only way to do that is to be a big sister... which of course means she needs to go purchase a little one from the hospital baby shop.

A few thoughts:  This story leans very heavily on contrivances; to name the first of many, Tiara trots into the hospital maternity ward, picks a baby, and it just happens to be one that the mother was already planning to put up for adoption.  This string of conveniences is ultimately used as a plot tool, but the story doesn't strongly invoke fate as it progresses and resolves, so that tension is never fully addressed.  Also, and this may just be me, but detailed (though not graphic, particularly) segments about the many bodily functions associated with newborns and their mothers were something I found a turn off, and a shift from the otherwise wholesome-comic mood of the piece; the main characters have their flaws and foibles, but the story is unambiguously about growing into responsibilities and maturing.  It hits those last notes strongly, however, and flavoring that growth with Tiara's self-centered single-mindedness proved a good meld.  The ending was very sweet, moreover, and wrapped everything together quickly but satisfyingly.

Recommendation:  Don't be fooled by the title; this isn't your everyday "pony verbs noun" story.  I'd recommend it to readers interested in a light and funny, but sincere, look at what being a mother means.

Worth It, by Pascoite

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Celestia keeps nagging Twilight to make an important decision, but it's another conversation entirely that helps her make up her mind.

A few thoughts:  I read this in its >750 word form, and thought it was pretty good.  Sometimes when authors expand minifics, it's clear that they've just padded them enough to get them past FiMFic's 1000-word minimum, but Pascoite really expands and improves upon this in its short story form.  If I were coming into it dry, I'm sure I'd have been fooled by a nice bit of misdirection regarding Twi's choice, but everything still comes together nicely.  The opening section doesn't tie directly to the end, but there's a light connection there which gave the story a little more lightness than fics about immortality often have.

Recommendation:  This is definitely worth reading for fans of immortality-themes who are tired of angst and hyper-drama; there's a pleasantly deft touch here.

Princess Trixie, by alexmagnet

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Trixie decides to overthrow the princesses so that she can wield supreme executive power, bwahaha.  Celestia and Luna decide to let Twilight handle this one.

A few thoughts:  There's a lot of excellent humor here; the casualness/mild annoyance with which the princesses treat the situation, and Trixie's aggressive failure to realize that she's not being taken seriously, provide plenty of comic fodder.  Moreover, there's a nice bit of introspection near the end which, if it seems a bit abrupt to me, is also tonally very nice to have present.  My big problems here were an occasional descent into lowest-common-denominator gags and memetic "jokes," and some variable voicing  (at times, the characters seem perfectly exaggerated but recognizable; at others, over-explaining and cursing pull them rather farther afield), but I laughed more than once, which is what I hope for out of a comedy.

Recommendation:  Sticklers for voicing should give it a pass, but if you're looking for something silly, full of madcap logic, and over-the-top while still recognizably Equestrian, this would be worth checking out.


  1. Only one I've read of this batch is Worth It, thanks to John. I don't read a lot of Pasco's fics, but I enjoyed that story well enough.

  2. I had the misfortune of having a childhood dentist who must have been buying a boat, from the number of amalgam fillings that I have now. Now I have two crowns where the fillings sheered off (the insta-crown process is so cool, and not as expensive as I would think)

    (On DT Buys a Little Sister): Ponyville, the land where a Sonic Rainboom gave the Elements their cutie marks, Cranky Doodle and Mulinda found each other, and the earth pony Cakes have a unicorn and pegasus twins, is the land of amazing coincidence. I tried to show DT's 'talent' as what was behind her sudden urge to have a baby sister just at the same time Rose gave birth, but I didn't want to use the sledgehammer too much. (although I could not help making DT deal with poo and nursing)