Oh, well. I know what'll put me in a good mood: another round of reviewer reviews! This time up it's Griffin (on FiMFic, Singularity Dream), best known for keeping up the Big Master Review List, and quite the prolific reviewer himself.
But is he any good? I investigate, below the break.
The subject: Griffin's Pony Stories reviews on his website.
Posts examined: Pony Stories 726, Pony Stories 725, Pony Stories 724, Pony Stories 723, and Pony Stories 722.
Reviewer's schedule: Nominally daily, though it's not uncommon for a day or three gap to appear after a week or two of sustained posting.
Format: A brief personal anecdote, followed by reviews of one or more (usually one to three) fics. These reviews are generally a single paragraph, though occasionally they'll expand a bit larger (especially for longer stories, which are almost always the sole subject of their posts), and focus almost exclusively on the reviewer's reactions to the work.
Rating scale: None.
What's the goal, here?: Griffon makes no bones about his blog being more of a means of capturing opinions than an attempt at objective reviewership. And that's fine! At least, it's fine when it's not masquerading as something it isn't, and there's no masquerading going on here. As such, the goal is mostly to express what the reviewer thought of the work, with minimal focus on separating personal feelings from universal flaws.
Reviewer style: Succinct, with clipped sentences that are occasionally reminiscent of a paragraph-ified list of bullet points. Griffon doesn't go in for much explication on most matters, instead making a few observations that culminate in (or in some cases, flow from) a statement of his overall opinion. The most common explication is to either expand on his thoughts on what might happen after the story (or as a result of actions taken in it), or to briefly sketch how he might have done a scene, plot point, or whatever differently were he writing the story. Reviews also often, but not invariably, include a very brief summary of the core story concept.
What a strong review looks like:
A good look at goddess Luna. One of those ponyfics that isn’t quite an actual story. It being a single short conversation between Twilight and Luna. Yet still was a very sweet moment as Twilight struggles with being in love with a cosmic force in the shape of a pony.
This briefly gives us the main selling point, describes the general story structure, and opens with a six-word summary statement which frames the rest. It's spartan by design, but communicates everything it's trying to clearly
What a weaker review looks like:
A good Sunset Shimmer story. I liked the version of Sunset that the author builds here. I’d love to read more stories about her, but from what I gather most of the stories in this particular Alternate Universe are scattered around time-wise and not sure how many of them actually involve baconhair littlehorse. Still, both Sunset Shimmer and Twilight Sparkle (and assorted secondary ponies) are constructed quite well.
Here, Griffon never actually gets around to saying what was good about the story! It has well-portrayed main characters, evidently, but without knowing what "the version of Sunset that the author builds" is actually like (Angry and jealous? Full of self-doubt? Actually the CMC in a clever disguise?), I suspect this is a review that even the reviewer himself won't find particularly helpful if he looks back at it a few months from now.
So, should I read this?: Griffon's biggest selling point is quantity, rather than depth. If you're looking for a highly detailed breakdown of a story... well, that's explicitly not what this is. But if you're more interested in summary judgement on a wide variety of works--similar to looking at the critical blurb on a movie's Rotten Tomatoes page, if you want to think of it like that--then this offers a steady supply to peruse.