Friday, February 5, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 119

Usually, these mini-reviews are whatever I've happened to read recently, which can make for an eclectic mix of story ages.  But within the last few days, three different just-published stories have caught my eye/been directed at me.  So have some reviews of brand-new stuff, below the break!

Fluttershy's Extremely Odd Jobs, by MythrilMoth

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Pinkie thought she had complete files on all of her friends, so naturally she's distressed to discover a gaping hole in her knowledge: she has no idea what Fluttershy does for a living!  Chagrined, she decides that the only course of action is undercover investigation.

A few thoughts:  First thought: this is the first story by the author that I've read, so this is the first time I've looked closely at his name.  All this time, whenever I skimmed past it in a comment section or somesuch, I read it as "MyrtleMoth"... as for the story itself, it's a very uneven work.  It has some frankly excellent character-based humor, and the beats of the fic show a keen understanding of how to adapt the format of the show to a written medium, even as the actual story events steer quite a bit farther into teen territory than the show ever could.  On the other hand, Fluttershy is forced pretty far out of character in order to set up some of those moments, the humor of the piece doesn't start to (consistently) come through until the third scene, and the story doesn't so much "end" as "stop."

Recommendation:  Readers looking for some light comedy which works in a few innuendo-style jokes without feeling completely tasteless will probably like Odd Jobs.  Anyone who's going to get bent out of shape by, for example, Fluttershy unapologetically putting a bear in the hospital for fun and profit, is probably not going to be able to enjoy this, though.

Shub-Caduroth, by PresentPerfect

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  It's the definition of a random trollfic; wasting time describing the actual events would be quite besides the point, now, wouldn't it?

A few thoughts:  Look, I don't get the appeal of stories like this.  I don't get the appeal of Spiderses, either; the entire idea of "it's bad, and it's on purpose, but it's not making any sort of commentary or acting as satire, it's just actually bad... on purpose," just... it doesn't seem like the sort of thing that's either enjoyable or edifying to read, and if that's the case, what's the point?  Anyway, this story occasionally pretends that it might be a mythologically-inspired glimpse at the psyche of a mother of monsters, but it's actually just a vessel for random-for-the-sake-of-random "gags," meme-ery, and the like.

Recommendation:  If trollfics are your thing, this seems to me like a good one; I disliked it less than some of the more grotesquely sexual ones I've seen, and I found it less dull than Spiderses.  If trollfics aren't your thing, you probably only needed the summary to figure out that you needn't bother.

Princess Celestia's Legendary Litany of Laughable Losses, by Prak

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Over a meal, Luna and Celestia discuss Celestia's history of personal combat... a history which, Luna is all too happy to note, is rather light on victories.

A few thoughts:  This story is basically a gleeful run through a ridiculous-but-just-canon-compliant-enough-to-work bit of speculation, to wit: that Celestia has never, ever won a fight.  It's amusing enough in that right, though I do wish there had been a little more setup; after discounting the defeat of Nightmare Moon as the Elements' doing, the examples the story romps through are all of the "contrivance" variety, and while there's a nice escalation to them, it would have been nice (and more importantly, would have given some in-story credence to the idea of Celestia's incompetence) to lead with one or two examples of Celestia getting beaten in an actual, something-approaching-fair fight.  The conclusion, meanwhile, was of the painfully-obvious variety, but was amusing enough for all that.

Recommendation:  If you're looking for something silly and one note, and which takes itself exactly as seriously as it ought to, this is for you.  Judging from the comments section on the story, though, this would be a poor choice for the "Celestia is my waifu perfect and wise" crew.


  1. I like the idea of trollfics, but have trouble reading quite a few myself. Spiderses, for example, took the poor writing and grammar too far, to the point that it was utterly incomprehensible. It's like the messages I used to get on MySpace. Is Shub-Caduroth like that, or can you actually understand what's going on?

    1. Shub-Cadurath is a perfectly legible series of non-sequiturs wrapped around a joke that I am likely the only person to find funny. :V If you want unreadable, go check out The Hot Shot and Hugh Jelly Cycles and remember: the second story is worse!

    2. I'd completely forgotten about The JaAm Cycles! Yeah, that one was a real struggle. I had better success with your reading on YouTube

      Guess I'll give Shub-Cadurath a shot, then. That'll be the first Princess Skyla fic I read

    3. I will now gleefully refer to her as Princess Skyla forever, regardless of what others may say. :D Now I wish I'd done that in the story!

    4. That's what I was planning on doing, but that McFlurry joke's got me coming around to the new name. I might just use both

  2. Who's your pick for the Super Bowl? Are people going with the horse-themed team? Is Cam Newton actually Pinkie Pie in disguise (he likes to dance and have fun, even when it can sometimes annoy others, and he seems do defy physics on a semi-regular basis)?

  3. HEY! I was making commentary on the fandom's egregious overreaction to the reveal of spoiler horse. :( Also, you spelled the title wrong. y u gota hurt me lik dis cris

  4. Spiderses was classic, worthy of Shakespeare. Y'all just don't recognise true genius when you see it.