Friday, January 2, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 64

In addition to the books I mentioned a couple of posts ago, Christmas also brought me a new throw blanket.  It's bedecked with several of those creepily big-eyed kittens that seem to be popular despite nobody actually liking them, and was intended as a gag gift.  Joke's on the gifter, though; I could always use another throw blanket in winter, and my cat is thinks it's the greatest thing ever.  Score!

On an unrelated note, here are some short comments on several things I've read recently for my own edification.  Check them out, below the break.

Chrysalis Works at Quills and Sofas, by Majin Syeekoh

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  It's all there in the title.

A few thoughts:  Look, you read the title, right?  The joke here is that Twilight goes to Quills and Sofas, Chrysalis is working there, and nobody but Twi is surprised.  Stretch that out to 1000 words, and that's this story.

Recommendation:  If you're in the market for a "joke's in the title" fic with above-average editing and precisely-average everything else, this is for you.  The rest of you needn't bother.

Pinkie Pie Style, by Moabite

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Pinkie thinks she's going to meet up with an old friend... but finds Gilda waiting for her, instead.

A few thoughts:  This is an old (circa spring 2011--hey, it passes for old in FiM-time) story, and it hasn't aged particularly well.  Gilda and Pinkie don't sound much like themselves for most of the story, and neither of their machinations ring particularly true to character.  If you're the sort of person who can get past that, though, there are a couple of nice reversals here, and the way the tables flip more than once during this story is neat in its own right.

Recommendation:  Although definitely not a story for sticklers for characterization, fans of predictable but fun twists might want to give this a try.

For Ages and Ages to Come, by Jade Ring

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  At the centennial gathering of immortal creatures, Celestia is, as host, permitted to make one request.  She asks for Twilight to be made immortal.

A few thoughts:  The author plays coy with that second sentence, but it's not much of a reveal--and it comes well under halfway through this short fic--so I feel comfortable sharing it; it's really part of the setup, not a twist proper.  Anyway, this is an interesting setup, in that it plays a political angle to a very personal dilemma, but it makes a couple of significant missteps.  First, it introduces too many characters (more than a dozen who need to be kept track of) and the PoV vacillates between them.  That's just too much to keep track of in under 5000 words, and several immortals (the two youngest, especially) end up with almost no characterization (beyond "young") as a result.  Second, the setup is far too contrived; there's no reason why Twilight should be about to die within the hour except for drama, and when one remembers that this group meets only every century (and that Celestia only gets to host every thousand years or so), it strains credulity to the breaking point.

Recommendation:  There's a nice blend of political and personal drama here, for all that; readers who don't mind a bit of contrivance and more characters than personalities will probably enjoy this story.


  1. Had a feeling that Chrysalis one wasn't much beyond the title, though I was slightly curious

    Huh, guess I'm not adding any today. *checks queue* Looks like I've gotten through all but one of the shorter fics, and that'll only take fifteen minutes. That means... I can finally finish John Perry's Mission: Implausible series!

  2. Imagine my surprise when I saw that you had reviewed it in my notifications bar.

    And yeah, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. I pretty much wrote it because I hadn't written anything in 28 days and was feeling kind of antsy... so I cracked out a quick one-shot about Chrysalis working at Quills and Sofas. I was completely caught off-guard by the response. I guess people liked the idea as much as I did.

    1. Nothing wrong with writing a quick one-shot... I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in the minific write-off!

  3. I got some excellent socks for Christmas.