Friday, March 17, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 176

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Go out and enjoy your terrible, terrible green beer if you must; just try not to throw up on me, if you please.  Or if you're not the over-imbibing type, do like me and make yourself some corned beef and soda bread.  Okay, so I'll have a beer or two with that as well... but at least it won't be green beer.

Either way, check below the break for a couple of short reviews, one of which is even seasonal.

Lyra and the Little People, by Not_A_Hat

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  On the day they first meet, Lyra tells Bon-Bon her cutie mark story--a story a little heavier on mythological tricksters than the average pony's.

A few thoughts:  If you've ever read Darby O'Gill and the Little People, the inspiration for this story will be obvious, but the author does just enough with this plot to make it feel setting-appropriate.  The just-so nature of the humans (yes, they're humans) and the strange rules which govern them feel at home in Equestria, and there's a nice contrast between the narrative tone of Lyra's story (as told by her) and the framing around it.  My only real complaint is that, at it's core, it is a story I've read before... but it's one I enjoyed before, too, and it's been gussied up just enough to make it feel... if not original, then at least "sufficiently so."

Recommendation:  Fans of fey stylings and folklore should definitely give this a go, especially if they have fond memories of Darby O'Gill.

Withywindle, by psychosis

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Fluttershy goes into the Whitetail Woods to meet an old friend (and an old willow) from back when the woods were known as the Old Forest.

A few thoughts:  The author plays coy with who Fluttershy's meeting, so I will as well... but if you recognize the title, you already know.  Anyway, I read this story specifically because I have a particular and excessive fondness for that character, and although this fic is really just a Fluttershy scenelet, it did scratch that itch.  Unfortunately, writing is a big letdown; misspelled words, telly narration, repetitive phrasing, and more make this story feel more tedious than it really is.

Recommendation:  If you get the title reference and are as intrigued by it as I was, then this might be worth a few minutes--it's barely 1000 words, so it's a small enough investment in any event.  But if you're looking for strong construction or a significant plot, this fic isn't what you're seeking.


  1. "Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

    Clearly, you don't live near a pub. :(

    As for the Withywindle story... didn't do it for me. Nice enough, I suppose, but I agree with the problems you described. Also, I am one of those shocking souls who didn't really get into the crossover franchise in question, so it didn't scratch any particular itch, though there was some nice scenery description.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Chris! :)

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, even though it was derivative.