Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mini-Reviews Round 211

True quotes overheard in the lunchroom from the fifth-grader's table:

"I'm so savage, my first word was 'Harambe!'"

I weep for our future (also, wasn't Harambe last year?  Does it just take a year for memes to filter down to the elementary-schoolers? Or at least, to the elementary schoolers in flyover country?).  Anyway, mini-reviews below the break.

(Also: no reviews Friday.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!)

Mind Your Elders, by Denim_Blue

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Celestia and Luna receive a visit from a representative of the gods who created the world and all other worlds... and to their surprise, that representative is Pinkie Pie.

A few thoughts:  This story lays the portentousness on thick from the start--"needlessly vague" is the best descriptor of the princesses' dialogue in the first chunk of the story, and the narration is heavy on emotional cues and reactions.  Things pick up a bit in the middle when the conversation with Pinkie lets the author do a bit of worldbuilding, but the entire tone ends up feeling extremely self-flagellating on Celestia and Luna's parts.  And the ending is abrupt in a way that largely pre-empts its attempted depth; it's hard to have much of a reaction to Pinkie's decision when there's so little to set it up, and when the lack of time spent establishing Pinkie as "not just a pony" makes it feel more like a return to status quo than a break therefrom.

Recommendation:  If you enjoy portentous musings and seeing a bit of fear from those nominally in charge, this might tickle your fancy.  But if you're put off by rushed developments and "as you already know"-style dialogue, this probably isn't your fic.

Freedom Flourishes, by The Hat Man

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  A tale of a group of crystal ponies who fled the Empire before it vanished for a thousand years--and of the family they left behind.

A few thoughts:  The early going on this story feels a bit forced; the author's hand in making everything as difficult as possible/necessary is a little too obvious at times.  For that matter, a lot of story elements come off as pretty predictable--there's a neat and potentially powerful idea here, but the tendency to emphasize movement and action-oriented dialogue over emotion and reaction doesn't let that side of the fic fully blossom.  However, it does nail its ending, landing on a sweet, slightly-yet-appropriately-for-ponyfic-silly, and all-around heartwarming note.

Recommendation:  If you can't summon some of your own empathy for friends and family trapped on opposite ends of a thousand-year timeskip, this fic probably won't do enough to sell you.  But if you enjoy more event-based storytelling and will pardon a bit for a good finish, this is worth a look.


  1. Now you've got me thinking about how I would react if some of my great-grandparents from 1017 showed up on my doorstep.

    1. By that point, practically everybody would be your ancestor. It doesn't take many generations before the number of great-...-great-grandparents (on a naive "double the number per generation as you go back" calculation) utterly surpasses the global population at the time. Heck, that alone would probably only require about 28 or 29 generations.

      That said... now you've got me thinking about how they'd react if brought to our time.