Had to get a new phone today, since my old one decided that a big chunk of the bottom half was tired of being touch-sensitive and would rather remain totally unresponsive whenever I tried to type something on it. Why does getting a phone fixed cost more than just getting a new one? I don't know! Oh well, I guess it'll be nice to have something new, even if figuring out what to buy came at the expense of the better part of my day.
So, here's some mini-reviews. Get 'em below the break!
Electra Complex, by Majin Syeekoh
Zero-ish spoiler summary: A teenage Flurry Heart hits on her dad over breakfast.
A few thoughts: I suppose I should just be relieved that this doesn't go anywhere more unwholesome than is already promised by the description. Really, there's one joke here: Shiny is flustered when his daughter is wierdly inappropriate. Your enjoyment of this story is going to be entirely dependent on how far the main character's discomfort takes you. Personally, I found his reactions got repetitive fast and was looking for more to be done with the premise (most teens try to get a rise out of their dads; most don't do it with innuendo--shouldn't this be used to tell us something about Flurry and/or her family?), but that's a reaction to what I wish the story was, not to what it actually is.
Recommendation: If you're looking for some pretty simple entendre-based humor with an extra helping of risque (without actually turning into something really distasteful), this is short and sweet-in-quotation-marks enough to appeal. Definitely not for anyone who doesn't enjoy cringe comedy, or who's looking for the insestuous tones to be used for more than cringe comedy.
Trixie Lulamoon and the Horrendous Hypothesis, by kudzuhaiku
Zero-ish spoiler summary: A slightly older and wiser Trixie brings her ward to Ponyville to compete in a contest held by Princess Twilight, who's seeking the best students in Equestria. But although young Sumac has an idea for something big to show the princess, nervousness and interpersonal relationships occupy his mind.
A few thoughts: I was rather disappointed that the titular horrendous hypothesis was such a minor part of the story; it's easily the fic's most interesting element, and it's barely built up to, shoved under the rug as soon as it's finally presented, and basically seems to be interchangeable with "generic big accomplishment" for the story's purposes. The big problem with the entire story, really, is that it seems hell-bent on ignoring anything interesting about itself, or at minimum, papering over those elements with telly, repetitive language in favor of a series of slice-of-life scenes which, while mostly serviceable, suffer in this context. In addition to the repetitiveness and telliness, the writing also suffers from a hyper-abundance of needless conditionals, enough that I quickly came to find it distracting. Looking past the words on the paper, I did find the characters were well-crafted; simple and built around a couple of key defining traits, but vibrant and possessing an appropriate depth for a fic of this sort. And there are some really pleasant individual SoL scenes, too! But the narrative focus and the plot are clearly pulling in different directions, and the way the story ends up denying any focus to what are presented as its key plot points makes for a muddled reading experience.
Recommendation: If you enjoy low-key slice-of-life and aren't put off by having major story elements dully narrated in between that SoL, then this could make for a pleasantly relaxing reading experience. If you're more interested in high-stakes testing, Ponyville drama, and the like, though, this fic will drive you batty.