Reviews: Round One · 1:46am
As we all know, Fimfiction.net is a huge repository of stories. So huge, in fact, that at over 60k stories, it is a true hurdle and almost impossible to really find the good stories that get lost in the long queues, and trash, that gets posted along with them.
In an effort to correct this, Seattle_Lite proposed the creation of a group of reviewers that would endeavor to fish these ‘lost treasures’ out of the archives and give an honest opinion about them, with the purpose of sharing them with all and giving them a fair chance. These reviewers were found to be as objective and professional as we could find. Individuals with the honest mission of searching for stories without our direction or influence. We call them: Seattle's Angels.
The stories themselves all have their home within Fimfiction.net, have NOT been on the Featured Box for at least the last 3 months, and have never been showcased in EqD.
The reason for this goes back to the ‘fair chance,’ since not all good stories make it there. A certain amount of quality-check is required, of course—all reviewers have to agree that each story deserves to be showcased in this manner, and will entertain you with their brief impressions on why each story deserves this spotlight.
Our only involvement, as staff members of Fimfiction.net, besides putting the team together, is to post the reviews on the front page. The reviewers have the first and last word on the fics chosen, and we trust their judgement and objectivity to show through and encourage people to give the stories a chance.
Pipsqueak gasped for breath, short legs pumping furiously. The massive, steam-powered machine was nearly through the turn, and he needed to be on it before it sped up again.
There are a litany of cutie mark acquisition stories out there, but few discuss something that is arguably just as important to ponies: their names. Lucky for you though, Pip[ does just that. Disillusioned and determined, Pip boards the Friendship Express to escape his meaningless existence—or being called names... whatever. When he hops into an empty car however, he finds something he wasn’t exactly looking for.
Pip is a delightful, heartwarming, and occasionally humorous little story. It may be on the short side of the spectrum, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in pure heart. It’s a bit like your grandmother’s chicken noodle soup. Sure, it’s probably not the greatest soup you’ll ever eat, and you’re pretty sure there’s at least one piece of uncooked chicken in there, but you know eating it that it was made with love. It tastes good going down, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and it’ll probably help you get over a cold.
It’ll only take you half an hour to read, at most, so you’re really missing out if you skip over this. Give Pip a chance, you might be surprised at what you find.
Pip stows away on the Friendship Express to escape the constant teasing he faces at home and runs into Equestria’s two most well-known salesponies. What could go wrong?
This story maintains a fun, light-hearted tone while still addressing the serious and relevant topics of bullying and self-worth, and I thought this was a great way to approach the subject. The dialogue is entertaining and fast-paced, as one would expect from the world-famous Flim Flam brothers, while still moving the story along.
Short and sweet, much like the protagonist himself, Pip is an entertaining story with fun twists and a good lesson at the end without being overbearing or heavy-handed. Kind of like the show itself, right?
Pip is cotton candy: unsubstantial, but sweet. Here, you have a story that clocks in at about two thousand words. It comes in, does its thing, and gets out of the way.
The story isn’t much more than a single dialogue exchange, and the spot-on character voices are what you’ll remember about it. However, what I like best about Pip is how it maintains fidelity to the show's tone and characters without being overly dependent on the show for its plot. What happens in Pip is something new—not a rehash of ideas hinted at in canon, but a real expansion of Equestria. That is the kind of story from which new fanon is created, and that is what Pip is.
If you enjoy cute, show-style stories and snappy dialogue, I think you'll get a kick out of Pip.
Chrysalis bent her face close to his and blew gently against the hairs in his ear. He trembled.
“Now dream,” she whispered.
What’s that you say? You’ve seen a hundred fics about Chrysalis and changelings? Well, that may be true, but I doubt you’ve seen one that stars Time Turner and isn’t a Doctor Who crossover. It’s just your luck then that Chronomistress: Out of Time is here to deliver on that obscure need. When Time Turner discovers a dark secret about Ponyville, he and Minuette (Colgate) must work together to stop Chrysalis while dealing with existential questions about the validity of their reality.
With such a heavy-handed message to deliver, Chronomistress can sometimes get bogged down with details and its ending leaves something to be desired. However, like a road trip with your best friends, it’s more about the journey than it is the destination. And in that regard, Chronomistress delivers in spades. With gripping scenes and captivating imagery, D.G.D. Davidson has managed to craft a thought-provoking and interesting story that left me wanting more.
With a possible follow-up on the way, Chronomistress: Out of Time is well worth your, well, time.
Chronomasters, changelings, and clumsiness—an odd combination, but one that works extraordinarily well.
That’s what stands out to me—how incredibly well these elements come together to form an engaging, exciting story that left me wanting more. The characters are particularly well-developed in such a short amount of time, making them both believable and endearing in their own quirky ways. D.G.D. Davidson uses the situation to create doubt that drove me to read on, and though this is longer than most one-shots I’ve read, I could hardly believe it when I suddenly came to the admittedly abrupt end.
Overall, a great story with great characters in a thrilling situation. All I can say is, I hope there’s a part two.
Chronomistress is gold. Davidson's strong world-building skills are on full display here as he unveils and describes a hidden side of Equestria while maintaining an unsettling consistency with the canon. Lush descriptions surprise and enthrall the reader, and no line is a chore to read. Meanwhile, the storyline has more twists than a soap opera and as much suspense as a primetime television drama. And all that is to say nothing of the writing itself: the prose is some of the best I've seen this fandom produce. Davidson writes with professional aspirations, and it shows.
If you like action, if you like fantasy, if you like suspense—hell, if you like ponies—I suspect you'll find something to like about Chronomistress. It's not one of the best stories I've ever read, but of the stories I've read that aren't the best stories I've ever read, it's one of the best.
Fluttershy bent to pick up the bag of apples in her teeth, but hesitated. She looked past Applejack’s shoulder. “Maybe I’ll come and buy more apples tomorrow.”
Never a Rainbow is an interesting look at what might’ve happened, had Rainbow never performed the Sonic Rainboom. It may not be the first story to ever do this, and certainly won’t be the last. However, what makes it stand out, to me, is its ability to weave such a compelling and captivating story in such a short amount of time.
More than just making it stand out though, Never a Rainbow’s length is what makes it so enjoyable.
Think “My Little Pony” meets “It’s a Wonderful Life” as told by two of the latter’s side characters, and you have “Never a Rainbow.”
Rainbow Dash’s Sonic Rainboom was instrumental in bringing the Elements of Harmony together. So what if the Rainboom never happened? What if the intrepid speedster never existed? This story examines what the lives of two of our heroines would be like if not for the rainbow explosion that changed their fates. How will their destinies change without the Element of Loyalty? You might just be surprised at what stays the same—and what is different.
Never A Rainbow, like Pip, is a two-thousand word short told almost entirely over the space of a single conversation; unlike Pip, it is tragic and thought-provoking, at times startlingly so.
It's difficult to say much about Never A Rainbow without spoiling some of its most rewarding surprises... but, we're trying it. The story concept strikes me as one that, while it may have been done before, is worth doing more than once. The conversation in the main scene flows with remarkable facility, and watching the play of the characters' words and thoughts is enjoyable. The story's main attraction, though, is the gradual unveiling of the actual events it describes. These events, both those made explicit in the text and those left to the reader's inference, are depressingly probable given the story's premise, and I feel I would enjoy reading a much longer story or two set in its version of Equestria. The feeling that persists upon finishing Never A Rainbow is one of having been shown a terrifying image—a single morbid, still-photograph from a much larger slideshow of suffering.
To anyone who enjoys thinking about the nature of Equestria, what-if questions, questions of identity, or alternate universes, I'd recommend this story as being well worth its reading time.
*** Please note: The reviews are done by a group of individuals whose only relation to fimfiction is that they have proven themselves to be dedicated and honest members of the community and are providing the reviews for the post—because that’s what this is about: the fimfiction community. None of the Fimfiction Staff members are endorsing or promoting the particular authors, reviewers, or the stories reviewed; we are just providing a means for others to find good stories they might have missed.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PM the reviewers asking them to review your story. There are lots of them, so have faith in them and in your story, they'll get there. As well, please do not request to join the Angels. They are super exclusive, and will hunt down more members if the ranks need bolstering.
~WD & Seattle_lite