Friday, January 20, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 168

I got a new tablet yesterday (actually, I got an old, refurbished tablet, but whatever--it's new to me), and have spent several hours personalizing it.  The most important question, of course, is "what should my wallpaper be?"  I don't think any of you are going to be surprised by my choice:

Yeah, it goes nicely with the theme established by the wallpaper on my laptop:

...But with the added bonus of being fanart for something I wrote, so I get a little thrill of validation every time I open the sucker up.  Go me!  Then go below the break, the better to peruse my mini-reviews.

At Faith Value, by Socks

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Starlight Glimmer doesn't find Twilight's tale about the True Meaning of Hearthswarming terribly convincing, and Twilight is forced to take drastic measures to make sure that belief in the received history is assured.

A few thoughts:  This is a fic that suffers from being unable to decide what it is.  It's got elements of a simple trollfic, but the rather sincerely somber ending undermines its ability to offend.  It could be a dark AU fic, but it makes too much of a lark of girls as Belief Enforcers to take it seriously.  Also, although I suppose it could fall under the purview of the story's AU tag, changing the premise of A Hearth's Warming Tail from "Starlight thinks the holiday is too commercial" to "Starlight questions the historical underpinnings of the holiday" seems to me like a very odd leap to make.

Recommendation:  If you like goofy stories that with dark twists (though it's not really a "twist"), this might be up your alley.  It's probably not for broader audiences.

The Wish Jar, by OleGreyMane

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  At Hearth's Warming, the Rich family has a tradition that's always carried out by the mare of the house.  Now, it's up to Diamond Tiara to carry on.

A few thoughts:  Written before DT had a canon mother (although published after), this fic gets a bit maudlin in places, but never offensively so.  On the plus side, the central tradition has a nicely realistic air, and the ending is pleasantly open-ended.  On the downside, writing is something of a letdown, with occasional tense slips and other silly errors which I found a bit of a distraction from the mood.

Recommendation:  If you're looking for something sad but not aggressively angling for "depressing" on the subject of wishes and family, this would be a good fit.  It might not be the best pick for those sensitive to writing issues, though.

Diamond Tiara's First Allowance, by Razalon the Lizardman

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Diamond Tiara sets out to spend the 20 bits her father's given her.

A few thoughts:  This is an aggressively SoL story, following DT (and Silver Spoon) around Ponyville as they eat ice cream, are ulterior-motive-ly kind to other foals, and generally have a nondescript day.  It's kind of an interesting take on Diamond's character, presenting her as much more self-aware when it comes to her image than most fics do, but for the most part, this story is well-assembled fluff.

Recommendation:  If you're looking for something unchallenging and low-stakes, this is a perfectly pleasant jaunt through some day-in-the-life stuff.  If that isn't what you're looking for... well, "something unchallenging and low-stakes" is all that's going on here, so there's probably not a lot for you.


  1. What the hell? Why would you show that publicly?

    Ohhhhhh, "SFX" Stuff.

    Carry on.

  2. See, I was never really able to make that decision with my desktop wallpaper, so it's instead... about 500 pieces of pony art.

  3. Pretty cool wallpaper, but I think mine's just a smidge better

    1. Checkmate:

  4. Wait a second.

    At Faith Value was written as a joke response to my fic Is It Real?

    Oh man, this is hilarious.