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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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Jul
7th
2015

Read It Now Reviews #37 – Let a Smile be Your Umbrella, Change is Good, Gone So Long, Today, I Marry My Best Friend, Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies · 7:10am Jul 7th, 2015

I’m not a huge fan of sweet or sappy stories.

Somehow, today, I stumbled into five of them.

I really need to watch my step, or else I’ll end up looking like the crusaders after one of their misadventures.

Still, even so, I found something to like.

Today’s stories:

Let a Smile be Your Umbrella by Pascoite
Change is Good by ocalhoun
Gone So Long by Skywriter
Today, I Marry My Best Friend by Jade Ring
Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies by Jake the Ginger


Let a Smile be Your Umbrella
by Pascoite

Slice of Life
3,001 words

Caught in a rainstorm again, Derpy trudges off toward home. But along the way, she finds somepony down on her luck as well, somepony who very much reminds Derpy of her own childhood. It was a good day.

Why I added it: It was in the “I Regret Nothing” write-off, and it was featured.

Review
Derpy has forgotten her key, but notices that one of Dinky’s friends, Twist, has done the same and is trapped outside of her own house in the rain. Derpy goes over to give Twist shelter, as well as talk to the filly about being different, and about bullies.

This is one of those stories which is all about the warm fuzzies of Derpy comforting another character with a problem (in this case, Twist, with a lisp); it is a cute story, and I think that if you are interested in stories that give you the warm fuzzies, you’ll like this. The name fits the character of the story perfectly, and I think that the whole story was pretty well-directed at its goal.

If I had a complaint about the story, it would be that I never really connected with Derpy as a character here; or, actually, more accurately, her voice never really connected with me. Twist had a distinct voice, but I never really got a voice in my head for Derpy here, and her lines felt a bit generic to me.

Still, I think the story accomplished its primary goal, and I think something warm might have brushed against my cold metallic heart at some point while reading.

Recommendation: Worth Reading if you’re looking for warm fuzzies.


Change is Good
by ocalhoun

Comedy, Random, Slice of Life, Alternate Universe
7,291 words

Princess Celestia sets out to reform Queen Chrysalis. Easier said than done.

Why I added it: ocalhoun is a good writer, and this was featured.

Review
Princess Celestia takes Queen Chrysalis captive and tries to teach her the magic of friendship brainwash her with her evil lies about how they can totally be friends again.

This story centers around a game of cat and mouse of sorts between Chrysalis, who definitely does not want to be reformed, and Celestia, who wants her old friend back. Chrysalis is a complete drama queen (as well as a bug queen) in it, and is very agitated about her terrible imprisonment in a rather nice room.

This is one of those cutesy stories that is never really uproariously funny, but does its best to maintain a certain amount of levity throughout the story. As such, there is amusement to be had throughout, but there is not really any proper climax, nor does the story really even have a “proper” ending, though it does seem that Celestia has more or less triumphed at the end via the power of her sister’s presence.

There were two things that stuck out at me as off in this story:

The first came early on, when Celestia took away Chrysalis’s magic. That felt a bit strange thematically; I think it might have been better if Chrysalis’s horn had been damaged at the start of the story, rather than having Celestia taking it away.

The other thing was that Luna, apparently, somehow didn’t know and was never informed that changelings had attacked Canterlot, even days after.

This story also features a lighter, softer Celestia who is not very stern at all, which is a bit strange, given that we know that the show’s Celestia has quite a bit of steel in her.

Still, none of this was enough to bother me to the point where I drifted away from the story.

Recommendation: If you like fluffy comedic pieces you’ll probably like it, but skip it if any of the above bothers you.


Gone So Long
by Skywriter

Slice of Life
2,611 words

The Royal Ceremonial Headdress takes ages to fix up. Just ages. Plenty of time to chat about love, and time, and those big steel cups they serve alongside your milkshake.

Why I added it: Skywriter is a good writer, and this was featured.

Review
Rarity talks to Cadance about savoring the moment. It brings to mind a poem by William Blake, which I have always found suspiciously appropriate when applied to immortal alicorns:

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

This story is basically a much longer version of that, as Cadance talks about her fears about the Crystal Empire vanishing once more, and Rarity talks to Cadance about the reality that things will go away with time, magical curses or no.

This is a very subdued story; there’s no moment in here which really jumped out and grabbed me, and the best part of the thing was Rarity’s milkshake metaphor, alluded to in the story summary. Even at south of 3,000 words, this still felt kind of long and a bit repetitive at times. The feeling of repetition was definitely not helped by the start of the story, which quite literally repeated itself, with a single line appearing twice at the start of the piece. And Cadance sort of blurting out existential woes, without any real trigger, felt kind of weird.

In the end, the whole thing is just an excuse to philosophize, to communicate a lesson, via the medium of Rarity and Cadance, and it kind of shows, which made it hard to be extremely enthusiastic about.

Still, it is a well-written one, and I’m really glad to see Skywriter writing again.

Recommendation: Not Recommended, much as I want to do otherwise.


Today, I Marry My Best Friend
by Jade Ring

Romance, Comedy
3,064 words

Lyra was a city mare, seeking solace in a small town.

Bon Bon was stuck, just wanting to get away.

Fate brought them together. Fate made them best friends. Fate made them so much more than that.

And today, fate seals them together forever.

Why I added it: Jade Ring is a good writer.

Review
Lyra and Bon Bon exchange their wedding vows and get married.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of this, but while it was labelled comedy, it was more the sort of comedy you hear at a wedding.

And – confession time – I hate that kind of humor.

I suppose hate is too strong a word. It is meant to be cute and funny and truthy, but in the end, for some reason, this sort of folksiness has always rubbed me the wrong way.

This is a sappy wedding story, and focuses very heavily on the interplay between Lyra, Colgate, and Bon Bon. It is well-written, but it is a fairly standard wedding story piece, and I, as mentioned, am not terribly fond of such things, and this goes nowhere that other such stories don’t. Consequently, it was hard for me to really muster up much enthusiasm for it.

Recommendation: Not Recommended


Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies
by JaketheGinger

Romance, Slice of Life
2,433 words

A web of lies can make for a heavy heart. When the pony you love turns out to have hidden their whole identity, what does that mean for a relationship?

Why I added it: It was featured.

Review
Apparently I stumbled into sappy stories this evening somehow, which isn’t exactly a genre of work I’m enamored with. This is no real exception; focusing on Lyra working through whether or not she actually loves Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops after finding out about her secret identity, this story felt far too straightforward. Lyra is upset over Bon Bon’s secret identity; Lyra goes to walk by herself and runs into Cranky and has a conversation; Lyra decides that it doesn’t matter in the end and that she loves Bon Bon.

But the story doesn’t really feel like it resolves the central questions that it raises. Cranky asks Lyra why it matters, but in the end Lyra never actually finds out whether or not it does; she just decides that she loves Bon Bon, and that’s what matters. But the reason she was upset over the secret being kept was that she felt it exhibited a lack of trust, and in the end it isn’t really worked through, it is just love-bombed.

Recommendation: Not Recommended.


Summary
Let a Smile be Your Umbrella by Pascoite
Worth Reading

Change is Good by ocalhoun
Worth Reading

Gone So Long by Skywriter
Not Recommended

Today, I Marry My Best Friend by Jade Ring
Not Recommended

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies by Jake the Ginger
Not Recommended

Pascoite always seems to think I hate everything he writes, but today, his was the best of the lot – Let a Smile be Your Umbrella is not the kind of story I ordinarily enjoy, but I actually found myself liking it.

And I was very happy to see that Skywriter has started writing again, even if I cannot find it within myself to be enthusiastic about his story.

Still, I somehow found myself reading a bunch of stories which I had a hard time being enthusiastic about.

Next time, I think, I shall try to find something I really like to dig into. But until then, I hope there’s something here for those of you who like such things.

Number of stories still listed as Read It Later – Important: 65

Number of stories still listed as Read It Later – High Priority: 273

Number of stories listed as Read It Later: 1618

Comments ( 6 )

Another list, I'll take a look at the ones you recommended.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Jade Ring's a good writer, y'say?

Well, it seems I've reviewed three of their stories, of which I left a downvote, an upvote, and a fave. You may be on to something! (So many sequels, though!)

3214760
Yeah, they're big on their own personal verse (or verses?). Dear Sweetie Belle launched one, I'm not sure if Morning Glory is a separate one or not, but I don't recall Morning Glory really referencing anything from the Dear Sweetie Belle series of stories.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

3215512
DSB is unfortunately the story I downvoted, so that leaves a lot unreadable. :B

3217144
Have you read Morning Glory? That's pretty much the basis of his other verse. It is basically a bunch of morning-after shipping shorts. I gave it a WR, but it was before I started doing reviews, and it has been a while since I read it.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

3217327
Nah, I think I put it on my RIL tho.

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