Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 61

So, how about that new FiMFic update, eh?  Recommended stories, and a new search thingamabob.  A couple of thoughts:

1) For the recommended stories, I like the idea, and I don't mind losing the "other stories by the same author" bit on the side; I figure if someone likes one of my stories enough to want to read another, they'll probably do so whether or not the story is actually there on the side of the screen when they're finished.  Not sure how the recommendations are set up, but I noticed that most of my fics link back to at least one other story by me--I don't know if that's a feature or a bug, but either way.  I'm also not sure how much I trust those recommendations at the moment, but if nothing else, it's got some potential.

2) I know I'm not the first to notice, but how am I supposed to search for blogs with the new search feature?  That's not an idle complaint; I used that functionality just a couple of days ago to find PresentPerfect's review of Forever Young, for example.  We'll see if something pops up to replace it, I suppose.  The interface for searching fics looks nice, though.

Anyway, on to story reviews!  Short takes, below the break.

Mr. Lonelyheart Meets Miss Lovestruck, by scoots2

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Cheese Sandwich is brought to Apploosa to put his party sense to use for Braeburn's impending wedding to a heretofore unseen bride.

A few thoughts:  This wasn't a terrible story, but it was all over the place thematically.  It goes from comedy to drama and back at the drop of a hat, drops some shipping cues that go nowhere (at least, in this fic--there's a sequel which I didn't read), occasionally jumps into philosophizing, and then ends with a straight-up punchline.  It's an odd beast, is what I'm trying to say.

Recommendation:  Readers who like Cheese Sandwich and don't mind a story which can't decide how seriously to take its premise will probably find this uneven but interesting.

Sinners in the Hooves of an Angry Goddess, by Avox

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Cadance and Twilight eat Luna's pickles, and things escalate from there.

A few thoughts:  Crackfics don't usually work for me, but... yeah, okay, this one didn't really work for me.  I'll give it this: it reveled in its absurdity, and didn't ever drag.  But ignoring (as opposed to actively parodying) characterization has never really appealed to me in stories, so stuff like this, well, doesn't appeal to me.

Recommendation:  If, on the other hand, you enjoy crackfics, give this one a go; it's quick-paced, has some good jokes, and has all that swearing, raunch, etc. that makes this "genre" what it is.  There's just not much here for anyone not specifically looking for that.

You Really Bug Me, by Bronydad

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Hoping to get Dash a bit more interested in their butterfly excursion, Fluttershy challenges Dash to a contest: to see who can catch the most butterflies.

A few thoughts:  This story is fluff, plain and simple; the sort where you know exactly what's going to happen, and how it will end, before you're two paragraphs in.  That's not to surprising, I suppose, given that the author apparently writes these stories for his two young daughters.  It's the definition of simplicity in structure and style, and while I found it kind of dull as a result, I'm a thirty year-old man; while this doesn't have the effortless whimsy of some great children's lit which makes it accessible to all ages, it is the sort of story I can see young children enjoying, and which doesn't talk down to its audience.  The latter is something I greatly appreciated as a child, and still do today.

Recommendation:  This is just too plain and predictable to recommend to most readers on its own merits, but if you have a child yourself (who like ponies), this might be worth sharing.


  1. Think I'll pass on all three this time. I've got less time for reading now, and Present's been giving me plenty enough fics to last awhile (I'm sure I'm not the only one here seeing all those Writeoff Association notifications this past week). I need to quit adding so many of them to my list! Two of 'em went a couple years without any dislikes, until I came along

    Also, "recommended" only has one "c"

    1. I'm going back through the last few weeks of comments now that the weekend's here and I've got the time, so let's just make this a blanket "thanks, I'm an idiot" for whatever else you've caught for me recently, eh?

      Thanks, I'm an idiot!

  2. I used that functionality just a couple of days ago to find PresentPerfect's review of Forever Young

    Yeah, the lack of blog searching is something I didn't even realize was missing. So now you'd have to contact the blogger, if you can even remember who they are, and ask them to search their own blogs, if they're as organized as mine are. :|

  3. I think the only way to search blogs is use google for it. Seems like the big master review list has gotten even more useful if someone is looking for a review. Assuming you can remember either the title or the author of the story you are looking for, anyway.

    - City of Doors guy

    1. THE MASTER LIST is really the only place I go to anymore when I want to look up reviews. I got used to going there before Chris put up the mini-reviews page, and I've found it to be extremely helpful.

      Occasionally, I'll pop in and it's sorted by story name, rather than author name. Then I'm sad, since I'm usually looking for more by a particular author.

    2. This one? You can reorder it however you want, you know. Quite useful for finding all the stories reviewed by one guy.

  4. Yup, that's the one. I can't interact with it, though. Well, except to click on the names links. It's probably my ancient work computer, though. Everything works poorly on it because they insist on never updating anything. It still has Internet Explorer version seven, or something in that area. It's like living in the stone age.

    1. Well, sorry to hear you can't interact with it. Does the ctrl-f search function work for you? Because that's the easiest way to find anything.

      I usually sort by title, then author to reorder it after adding more stories. So if you see it sorted by title I'd recommend checking back in just a few minutes to see if it's by author once more.

  5. I must admit that I really liked You Really Bug Me. Possibly I was just in the mood for some easy-reading fluff at the time; I sometimes am. I wouldn't put it in the same class as something like In the Place the Wild Horses Sleep, but I did enjoy it enough to favourite it.