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Titanium Dragon


TD writes and reviews pony fanfiction, and has a serious RariJack addiction. Send help and/or ponies.

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Mar
6th
2015

Read It Now Reviews #24 – Butter Up, Seamless, Thicker than Water, Luna, There’s a Sentient Race Inside Your Mane, Allure · 1:00am Mar 6th, 2015

Apparently my birthday is a good day to read pony stories.

The stories I read today:

Butter Up by GaPJaxie
Seamless by Terrasora
Thicker than Water by DemonBrightSpirit
Luna, There’s a Sentient Race Inside Your Mane by boardgamebrony
Allure by TheSlorg


Butter Up
by GaPJaxie

Slice of Life, Alternate Universe

Butter Up isn't Fluttershy -- but she does play her on TV.

Why I added it: GaPJaxie is a good writer, and the previous entries in the Actingverse have both been very good.

Review
The third story in the Actingverse, this is a sequel to Dressing Room and Deep Cover, both of which earned a recommendation from me. Can the verse go three for three?

The premise of the Actingverse is that the show is a live-action TV show, and each of the stories focuses on a different character. Dressing Room focused on Star Power, a shy, introverted pony who plays Twilight Sparkle, while Deep Cover gave us the cynical, manipulative method actor who plays Applejack. This time around, it focuses on Butter Up. Unlike the other characters, she’s not a child actor, but an adult playing a teenager in an apparent case of Dawson Casting – something that the fans are, apparently, very fond of. If you know what I mean.

They think she’s hot, and apparently some of her co-stars (and the studio) believe that she is the real reason older men like the show.

They watch it for the plot, you see.

This story is about Deep Cover manipulating Butter Up into going out to a restaurant with her so they can have a chat. Deep Cover spends the whole story trying to get Butter Up to open up and tell her what’s wrong, and Butter Up spends the whole time being very suspicious and bitter towards Deep Cover – and rightly so. But also wrongly, because Deep Cover really is trying to help…

I wasn’t sure what Butter Up’s underlying problem was for a good chunk of the story, and then it hit me, and I was pretty impressed.

I liked the characterization that Butter Up got towards the middle and end of the story, and we got to get a better look at Deep Cover in this, as well as what motivates her. But the real meat of the story only starts when Butter Up actually starts talking about herself, and a lot of what comes before – especially at the beginning – isn’t quite as engaging, and I wasn’t really that engaged with it until the midpoint of the story. Still, in the end, I liked it, and the discussion about sociology was fun, even if I already knew all that stuff.

If I had one other major complaint, it is that Deep Cover uses “y’all” when addressing a single person, when I should be “you”.

Recommendation: Recommended


Seamless
by Terrasora

Slice of Life

The secret to getting through life is finding someone you can be yourself with.

Why I added it: It was featured.

Review
Octavia Philharmonica stands on stage after a performance, talking to the Canterlot elite while dodging their questions about mentoring their talentless offspring and otherwise being annoying and vapid.

And then Vinyl Scratch shows up and talks to her for a bit, and intrigues Octavia enough to follow her out to the train station so they can talk more. And then Vinyl invites her to her next show, so that they have more time to chat. But Octavia Philharmonica can hardly show up at a nightclub…

This story is about Octavia’s struggle with pretending to be different ponies on different occasions, and Vinyl Scratch’s ability to show different sides of herself without losing a beat.

The idea behind this story – of the masks we wear, and how some have them dig into their faces until they draw blood, while others do so effortlessly – is a good one, but I’m not sure if I ever really ended up connecting with the story. Octavia really never quite connected with me; she always felt just a little bit bland. While perhaps that is intentional, with Octavia trying to be bland so that she doesn’t offend anyone, I just never really felt like she was much of a person to me – she goes through the motions of the plot but I never really got a very good sense of her in the story.

Recommendation: Not Recommended


Thicker than Water
by DemonBrightSpirit

Sad, Slice of Life

Rainbow Dash stumbles upon a disturbing truth about her relationship with Scootaloo. Deciding to act on this new information, she changes the way Scootaloo sees herself and her situation—and not for the better. Now Dash must find a way to get through to Scootaloo and start to repair the damage she's done.

Why I added it: The description seemed interesting and I enjoyed another story DemonBrightSpirit wrote a while back.

Review
Scootaloo is Rainbow Dash’s sister, given up at birth, and Rainbow Dash doesn’t know what to do about it or how to deal with it. And what she does do only makes things worse for Scootaloo. After all, it is one thing to be orphaned. It is another to be unwanted and unloved, when your older sister was not. Except even that isn’t so simple.

You’d think this was a Scootadoption fic, and maybe you’d be right – but right now, it isn’t, and I'm not quite sure what it is going for. The story is incomplete, and while the ideas behind it are decent enough, I’m not sure that I really ended up engaging with it as it jumped from one place to another. On the other hand, I guess I was left wanting to know what was going to happen in the end, so maybe it wasn’t too bad after all. Still, I’m not sure if I can recommend it – maybe the whole thing will get tied up satisfactorily, maybe it won’t.

Recommendation: Read It Later


Luna, There’s a Sentient Race Inside Your Mane
by boardgamebrony

Comedy, Random

A fellow pony notices that Princess Luna may have a serious problem: there is a small, sentient race inside her mane and they have been living there for quite some time. Luna must decide what to do about this.

Why I added it: It was too ridiculous not to read.

Review
Luna never washes her mane, and consequently has allowed intelligent life to evolve and colonize the stars and planets within. This wouldn’t be so bad, if they hadn’t declared war on each other.

This story is dumb. Pretty much the whole story is given away by the title, as it goes more or less exactly how you’d expect. Frankly, it doesn’t even do anything all that original; the idea seems original, but yet somehow it still feels like it has a bunch of obvious jokes, and frankly, there is some weirdness in it (like, for instance, Luna being around seaponies at the time it happens) which is frankly unnecessary and distracting.

But still, I have to admit… I laughed. :fluttercry:

Is it a good story? No. But you might like it anyway, if you like completely obvious, random comedy, and given its short length (1,600 words), you’re not spending a whole lot of time on it.

Recommendation: Worth Reading if you don’t mind the obvious, but you aren’t missing anything if you skip it.


Allure
by TheSlorg

Sad, Slice of Life

While visiting Twilight Sparkle, Rarity stumbles across an old book that, upon first glance, seems to provide a detailed insight into time-worn customs on the preservation of beauty and grace. Eager to expand upon her knowledge, she takes the book home with her.

She soon discovers that the book offers more than she ever could have imagined, and its secrets can be hers...

...if she's willing to pay the price.

Why I added it: Cerulean Voice recommended it to me.

Review
Rarity finds an ancient book about beauty tips and fashion amongst the new books Twilight has received, but the book isn’t just about sewing and getting rid of wrinkles. There’s a spell in it, a spell that promises youth and beauty, but at the cost of an equal amount of life at the end.

Rarity doesn’t want to die an old, wrinkled hag, but is she really so vain to sacrifice her lifespan in exchange?

This story is about Rarity’s struggle over whether or not to actually use the spell, and if so, how many times to use it to maintain her youth at the cost of age. It isn’t perfect – I feel like some parts of the pacing in it are a bit off – but I think that the central struggle was a good one overall.

Recommendation: Worth Reading.

Summary
Butter Up by GaPJaxie
Recommended

Seamless by Terrasora
Not Recommended

Thicker than Water by DemonBrightSpirit
Read It Later

Luna, There’s a Sentient Race Inside Your Mane by boardgamebrony
Worth Reading if you like obvious stuff

Allure by TheSlorg
Worth Reading

That was a decent enough set of stories. I really need to start breaking up or culling my “High priority” list, as it is growing too much, too fast.

Now, on to writing!

Number of stories still listed as "Read It Later – High Priority": 253

Number of stories listed as “Read It Later”: 1541.

Comments ( 8 )

Everything's bolded. Is that intentional?

Edit: Nevermind (?)

2852649
Sorry, you got it just as it went up. I should have used the preview function; one of the s was missing.

I'm glad you liked one of my suggestions this time around :twilightsmile:

If I had one other major complaint, it is that Deep Cover uses “y’all” when addressing a single person, when I should be “you”.

Depending on the region, "y'all" is also used singularly. It's most common in Louisiana, though it pops up now and then in Georgia and Texas (namely east/southeast Texas).

If I had one other major complaint, it is that Deep Cover uses “y’all” when addressing a single person, when I should be “you”.

No. You should be you, and I should be me. That's how the world works, it's how it should be!

...I was aiming for Pinkie, but I think I wound up with Dr. Seuss here.

Happy birthday! :twilightsmile:

Maybe, depending on tomorrow's prompt and the judging, the Writeoffs will end up getting you a late present. Either way, enjoy the day!

2855740
Thanks~ And yes, I am looking forward to the write-off.

2852833 This.
I was going to comment that too, but I scrolled down and found someone had already noticed.

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