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.