Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 185

Sorry for the lack of post on Monday; I spent the weekend up north, and forgot to set this to post.  And by the time I got home on Monday night, it was already almost a day late... so at that point, it felt like it made more sense to just call it a loss and move on (and move it) to today.  Mea culpa!

But now, your extended jonesing is over; get some mini-reviews, below the break.

Heritage, by bahatumay

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Rainbow Dash finds out that her mom was an earth pony, which means that she's basically an earth pony, right?  Her girlfriend, Applejack, isn't quite so eager as one might expect to see Dash going whole hog on showing her earth-pony-ness, though.

A few thoughts:  If I had to chose one word to describe this story, it would be "predictable."  Once the premise is laid out, the story proceeds along a precisely typical path, with Rainbow comically failing to demonstrate the traits of an earth pony, even as she pushes herself to the limits to get through days of applebucking, early morning sexcapades, etc.  On that last note, the shipping here is never really grounded; it's just a fact of the story, and given its front-and-center nature, this probably isn't a good fic for non-shippers in general.

Recommendation:  Within the shipfic (or at least, the Appledash fic) subgroup of readers, this would be a fine choice if you're looking for something light-comic which hits its beats exactly the way you expect a story to hit them.  It's not a great choice for broader audiences, though.

There Goes the Neighborhood, by georg

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Zeus welcomes the two newest immortals to Olympus, but discovers a small problem when he greets them: they're horses.  And soon, they're creating a lot more problems for the king of the gods...

A few thoughts:  This is a story that has some fun with its (real world) mythology, without ever getting into anything terribly obscure; that might make it feel a little slight to those with a deep appreciation for/knowledge of those myths, but it keeps the story accessable to the larger audience while still not feeling like a "for dummies" fic.  It does take the author a little while to place the story for readers' purposes--it's not at all clear at first if this is concurrent with the show, pre-equestria's-existence, or somewhere in-between, and that doesn't really get straightened all the way out until near the end of the story--but the deific comedy (and exasperation) are the real selling points here, and they're an unquestionable strength.  Plus, the Lyra/Orpheus brick joke never got old for me.  What can I say, the whole "BEST FRIENDS" thing has grown on me.

Recommendation:  If you're looking for a sprawling god-grounded comedy that pokes plenty of fun at the foibles of ancient religions (or at least, at their dramatis personae), this is definitely worth a look.

A Crow Looked at Me, by No Raisin

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Princess Celestia reflects on Twilight's coming passing.

A few thoughts:  Based on the author's story description, I was expecting this to be mostly about the promised fairy tale, either directly or as a parallel to the current situation.  Instead, this is largely a reflection fic.  Unfortunately, it's highly melodramatic at all times ("The room was dimly lit, but just enough to her liking. [I honestly would have done anything for her. If she wanted a sundae made from special ingredients that could only be found in Tartarus, I would get them for her. Personally.] I could hear her breathing in the night. It was took loud. No mare of your age should be struggling to take in air like that."), which dampened the effect considerably.  The story also makes liberal use of diary cheats (e.g. crossed out words), which I find affectatious.  I did find the conversation between Twilight and Celestia about literature (and specifically, what separates a short story from a fairy tale) interesting, but felt larger story it was a part of was mopey at the expense of substance.

Recommendation:  Unless you enjoy Celestia angst, this probably isn't one worth specifically seeking out.


  1. "Unfortunately, it's highly melodramatic at all times ("")"

    Wow, could you even fit more melodrama in a sentence that long?

    1. Oops! Better actually add that quote, eh?

  2. >Mia culpa

    Who's Mia, and what did she do wrong?

  3. You know, after writing There Goes The Neighborhood, I've become much more nervous about lightning...