In case you missed it, my inaugural Seattle's Angel's post went up over the weekend! Head over there, and you can read my and RedSquirrel's fic recommendations (contrary to what the blurbery might suggest, I didn't actually select all four of the fics we featured), including one story that's never been reviewed anywhere else--even here!
And if that isn't enough reviewing for you, have some more reviews! Specifically, reviews of the mini- variety, which you can find below the break.
Kill Phil, by TheAshenKnight
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Pinkie Pie is a secret assassin, and has just been handed the most difficult assignment she's ever faced: take out Philomena, Princess Celestia's phoenix. Specifically, it's a difficult assignment because phoenixes are 100% immortal--hard to kill what can't die.
A few thoughts: I was hoping this would really revel in the ridiculousness of its premise, and maybe deliver some biting dark humor. Unfortunately, although Pinkie does have some good Pinkie-ish dialogue scattered throughout, the tone of the piece just doesn't work; the fact that she's a hitmare is played straight, and casual murder is never really reconciled with (or even played against!) her personality and characterization. It's also a somewhat disjointed fic, though to be fair, I was expecting some of that considering that it is tagged Random.
Recommendation: If you're interested in some silly conversations and a brief glimpse at how to fail at assassination repeatedly, this might well tickle your fancy. It's not for anyone who's expecting anything to really be done with the "Pinkie's a contract killer" premise, though.
I Dream of Apples, by Dan_s Comments
Zero-ish spoiler summary: A young man, out for a stroll after losing his job, finds a magic lamp. Inside is a genie--a genie in the form of a gorgeous, blond-haired woman named Applejack.
A few thoughts: Sadly, the story's narrator is totally insufferable; a pretty typical example of a first-person designated hero, he's a snappy, snarky, quick-on-his-feet military mind who can magically intuit all sorts of useful information which he has no obvious way of knowing. There's some potential in the idea of a doomed romance facilitated by Discord, and I can even see some readers enjoying his comeuppance (though it felt like far too much of a "take that" for me to appreciate, personally), but the protagonist naturally permeates everything about the fic... and that means that when the protagonist is (unintentionally) unpleasant, so's the story itself.
Recommendation: If you have a high tolerance for SQUIDs (thanks again, JohnPerry!) and want to see a character out-clever his situation, consider this story. Otherwise, definitely pass on it.
Behold, the Princess of Thorns (Also Fainting), by MidnightDancer
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Roseluck incidentally, accidentally invents a technically-new form of magic. And "new magic" comes with an automatic wings-and-horn upgrade.
A few thoughts: This is unabashedly a ridiculous comedy, full of quick setpieces for the sake of a joke. Personally, I think a lot of those jokes are pretty funny, but a lot of them are also dependent on the reader finding "Twilight's still not too thrilled about Celestia making her an alicorn without any warning" amusing. Take this exchange:
Roseluck paled. [...] "I... I seriously did not mean to do that."Well, that and the "Roseluck faints a lot" joke you were probably expecting from the title. The story ends on a rather lackluster note, it must be said, but I'll give it full credit for hitting its key comedy concepts a few times, then wrapping up before it gets old.
Twilight nodded. "I know. But you did! And as Celestia taught me, actions have consequences! Don't be so gosh-darn good at something unless you want your body warped and twisted and large amounts of responsibility put in your lap!" She lit her horn, deftly snagging Roseluck in her levitation as she wove the ascension spell.
Panicked, Roseluck pedaled her forelegs uselessly against the magic. "W-What?"
"Cs get degrees," Twilight deadpanned
Recommendation: Did you find that quoted bit funny? If so, you'll probably enjoy the rest of the fic; even when it's not on that particular topic, the comedy quotient remains similar. If not, you don't need me to tell you not to bother.