Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 65

I don't know how things are in your part of the country/world, but things have gotten cold over here.  In fact, they've already canceled school for tomorrow (which, since I'm typing on Tuesday afternoon for a Wednesday post, is now today!) because of the temperature.  Don't want those kiddies to freeze, after all!

In unrelated news, I counted more than a dozen of "those kiddies" walking around in shorts yesterday.  Me?  I broke out the thermal underwear back in November.  Whatever; if they want to freeze, that's on them.  Anyway, mini-reviews, below!

A Good Princess,  by HoofBitingActionOverload

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Chrysalis has successfully replaced Cadence, and is invited by Celestia and Luna to consider what to do about some changelings who have been found living in Equestria... changelings who aren't part of her hive.

A few thoughts:  Given what we see in the show, I guess it makes sense that Chrysalis isn't much of an impersonator, but she's so bad at her nominal job here that it becomes distracting at times.  On the other hand, her double meanings can be quite fun, even when they are as unsubtle as all get-out, and as a character piece, this does a nice job of painting her motivations and attitude toward both her race and Equestria's.
Recommendation:  Fans of villain schemes which sail between the Typhon of cheesy mustache-twirling and the Echidna of unbelievable over-justification will probably enjoy this take on Chrysalis, her motivations, and her attitude.

Primal Fear, by Aragon

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Rainbow Dash is not afraid of the monsters in the Everfree.  And she'll prove it.

A few thoughts:  The author describes this as an "experimental" fic, and it's heavily reliant on minimalist pencil-drawings to augment the story (don't try reading this without the images).  I don't know much about visual art, but this didn't work for me very well: it's clearly intended to provoke a particular mood, and for me, it didn't.  Unfortunately, this was a product of me not buying into the art, rather than a failure of the text (which is spartan, slightly surreal, and generally does its job), and I don't feel well-equipped to explain why.

Recommendation:  If you're intrigued by the idea of a creepy, dreamlike illustrated ponyfic, I suggest pulling up the story and looking at the first few pictures.  If the style works for you, give this a read.

Necro-Semantics, by Wise Cracker

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Twilight figures out why Celestia and Luna are immortal.  The answer is not expected.

A few thoughts:  The best thing about this fic is how it sets up questions and answers them, mostly via Twi's deduction, like ducks in a row; there's something unquestionably satisfying about the steady problem-solution format.  The worst thing about this fic is that it's transparently a series of puzzles (most of which are Twi-applicable only; a few of those can be puzzled (nyuk) out by the reader, but most rely on information she parcels out as she answers each successive question), and can pretty much only be appreciated on those terms.  It's got a nice goofiness, but it's hard to call it a story so much as a call-and-response headcanon dump.

Recommendation:  This is firmly in "if that's the kind of thing you're looking for" territory: if you want to read some light-comic worldbuilding in an engaging format, dive in!  It doesn't do anything to sell itself to readers not specifically seeking that, though.


  1. Wow, I literally just finished Primal Fear, how weird is that? Of course, I listened to it, and was creeped right the hell out, so there's that.

  2. A Good Princess sounds like one for my list.