A review?! · 2:19am
Ok, so not on the scale of a pro reviewer or anything of the like, but someone over TV Tropes had written a review of Equestrylvania -- which seemingly disappeared after I'd changed the name. I only learned of its existence thanks to my brother who found it while googling the story's old name, MLC.
Anyhoo, the review, short as it is, can be found here. To my delight, it's actually negative -- and I'm delighted simply because finally someone agrees with me on some issues regarding the story.
Yes, the entire first arc to Adventure -- while beautifully written -- is shameless filler that flirts with semblance of plot. Adventure's first arc (why don't we just call it "Boredom Incarnate"), while rich with setup, has no payoff, and in fact the payoff only comes during the upcoming books. If I could do anything over again, it would be redoing Boredom Incarnate...
...but I can't fix that for two reasons. One, it wouldn't be fair to just toss out a whole arc's worth of world building. And two, come on, I spent almost a year fucking writing that, and for what it is I like to think it's some of my strongest writing.
Anyway, while I do agree with him on Boredom Incarnate, I disagree with his opinion on the first book. There's action, yes... but this guy seems to think action should be the main focus. I'm not a fan of this line of thinking, as there's so much more to a story than just the action. Simply because Castlevania is an action game series doesn't necessarily mean I can just inject action wherever I want. You would not believe how easy it is to slip from my telltale gothic prose to See Spot Fight. (Though as EqV2 proved, I can at least figure a way to make the fights seem interesting. The Wharg battle and the Whisper White fight was some of the most fun I've ever had in writing!)
On another note, I'm not sure if I conveyed this correctly, but the first book was almost completely about Twilight. And Twilight Sparkle is an intellectual -- something that gets overlooked way too often in canon. I've always felt she should fight more intellectual battles. We saw that in Magic Duel, and it was awesome. I just honestly wonder why they decided NOPE TWILIGHT MAKE THINGS GO BOOM BECAUSE TIREK AND PLUNDER ROOTS AND THAT HOW WE WITE STOWIES. An enemy that could engage her in a "Light Yagami versus L" situation would be the perfect adversary for Twilight.
So that's what happened, basically: Dirt Nap and Actrise were essentially what TV Tropes calls "Puzzle Bosses." There was no way for Twilight to beat them in a straight-up fight. She had to outsmart them -- and when she did, the result was epic.
As for the downtime mentioned in the review... well, it would strike me as odd if Twilight and company could just instantly know where to look for Dracula's body parts. So the slowing down was necessary, if only because this close to the finish line, Dracula's forces wouldn't really let the Mane Six have it easy. Plus, a commonly disliked character from a commonly disliked entry in the series is their only ally so far from the Castlevania stable.
And no wise-and-mighty Celestia to give them direction. They don't have a whole lot on their side.
Plus, the downtime lulled the characters -- and therefore the readers -- into a false sense of security, a bubble which Actrise waltzed in and broke. It was sudden, shocking, and terrifying. Easily the most intense part of the book, despite not much really happening.
I guess what I'm saying is, I really appreciate this guy's opinion, even if I disagree with him on certain points. That's cool if people don't really like the story, but if so, I hope it's at least on the merits of the story itself instead of what people expect of the separate ingredients.