Monday, June 20, 2016

Mini-Reviews Round 140

No new episode, so no new Carrot Top.  Life is cruel.

Find what little solace you can in my patented patent-pending utterly unprotected, legally speaking, mini reviews, below the break.

Rainbow Dash and the Wild Hunt, by Norsepony

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Rainbow Dash dies, and is given a choice: join the mythical Wild Hunt, or serve as its prey.  Naturally, she does the stupidest thing possible.

A few thoughts:  Most of the humor here comes from playing grandiosity off against idiocy (and, occasionally, bureaucracy).  That's a brand of humor I'm quite amicable to, and so, I enjoyed this story quite a bit.  It would have been nice if there'd been a little more setup with the hunt outside of its leader, but the product as-written is perfectly coherent and cohesive.  I also would have liked to see a more clearly comedic introduction--Dash is an idiot from the start, sure, but it's not immediately clear how the reader should take her death--but really, that's a quibble: when the first line in the story's description is "Rainbow Dash gets killed by some jerk in a storm cloud," you probably should be expecting much in the way of genuine drama.

Recommendation:  For readers who enjoy serious situations being derailed by rank idiocy (or who just enjoy seeing Dash be a rank idiot), this would be an excellent choice.

At Least There Was Good Coffee, by PartyPie

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  March Gustysnows is stuck in Ponyville right before Hearth's Warming, and some fiend has made off with all the Rich's presents!  Can she solve the crime?  Will she make it back to Whinnyapolise?  Are Ponyville ponies just, like, ridiculously incompetent when it comes to both crimes, and solving them?  Spoiler alert: the answer to all of those is "yes."

A few thoughts:  This was written for me some six-odd months ago, for the FimFic Secret Santa, and I just recently found that it'd been posted as its own story, so here we go!  I must admit that I'm a bit biased toward this fic, as it not only stars Minnesota Pony (complete with plenty of the vocal tics and disdain for those who don't handle snow as well as us), not only has Carrot Top in it (even if PartyPie accidentally misspelled the name as "Golden Harvest,") and not only is hilarious, but it also does a wonderful job of riffing on Ponyville's (lack of a) law enforcement system.  Take this exchange, where Carrot Top asks March about the Flim-Flam brothers:

     “Has anyone reported them to a bureau for fraud or anything?”
     Golden Harvest went wide-eyed. “We can do that?”
     “Darn tootin’ you can. Did you not know that?”
     “Well, usually problems just get run out of town or Twilight and her friends blast them with a rainbow. Then Pinkie Pie throws everyone a big party.”
     March Gustysnows stared in disbelief.
As you can sorta see from this example, there are some missing commas.  Talking heads are at times an issue in the story, too--there's a lot of dialogue that goes unattributed, sometimes for several lines while three or more ponies are talking--but if you can keep track of who's talking, it does lend the fic a rapid-fire, frenetic pacing that fits the comedy-caper structure well.

Recommendation:  I was very pleased with this the first time I read it, and I enjoyed re-reading it just as much.  If you're looking for a sweet-hearted bit of holiday silliness and don't mind a few slip-ups in the construction, this is one to check out.

Celestia lays an egg, by TheSexyMenhir

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  In the middle of court, Celestia goes into labor pains, ultimately plopping out an egg.

A few thoughts:  I don't know why this was on my to-read list; probably someone reviewed it, and made it sound better than it was.  Well, like more than it was, anyway: the joke here is "Celestia screams OOC stuff in pain, while the ponies around her are incompetent, and then there's an egg."  That's... that's pretty much it.

Recommendation:  To the story's credit, it doesn't pretend to be anything other than a one-note joke--I should have listened to the description, instead of the review.  Anyway, if the summary sounds funny to you, go for it.  If not, skip this secure in the knowledge that you aren't missing anything other than exactly what you think you are.


  1. That last one is perhaps my fault. :V

    Chriiiiis, you forgot the link to the middle one! D: How can I read it now?

    1. Never fear, the story's here!

    2. Woopsie! All better now.

  2. I actually remember Celestia Lays An Egg and upvoted it. Somewhere in my collection of notes and snippets, I was hoping to make a sequel with Princess Twilight.

  3. Chris, I just wanted to say thanks for finally reviewing (and roasting) Upheaval: Breaking Point. I remember asking February 2, 2014 for Chris to review it. He said ". . . I'm sitting on something like 30 stories that are all several hundred thousand words long, and I just don't have the time to read them back-to-back-to-back. . ." So he actually does manage to catch up on his reading list (at least partially)! Just give him a few years XD. I'm a whole month behind on Chris's reviews myself.

  4. "...utterly unprotected, legally speaking, mini reviews, below the break."

    Chris, I know you're distraught over the Carrot-less weekend, but that doesn't excuse comma abuse. God invented em dashes and parentheses for a reason!

    " probably shouldn't be expecting much in the way of genuine drama."

    Wild Hunt sounds good. I'll add that to the ever-expanding queue. Now I just need to find time to actually read :/

    This is totally unrelated to horse words, but I just got a copy of Magic Mirrors by John Bellairs! Really excited I can finally read The Face in the Frost

  5. Just realized you mistakenly put rounds 67 and 103 in Fandom Classics instead of mini-reviews. Also, there are two 37s, so over a hundred of these are off by one