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  • 1 week
    SA Reviews #113

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    "What's that in your mouth?"

    "It's a pipe," said Cyne, and jabbed the briary thing at Archonix from her comfortable chair by the fire, that flickered low and dark, and smoked more than a thoughtful philosopher at three in the morning when the rain is scattering drops in careful patterns across dust-rimed windows.

    Archonix raised his eyebrows. "And it comes with all that prose for free, does it?"

    Cyne clomped her teeth around the pipe and glared at Archonix. "You smoke one as well, you donkey."

    "Only when I'm trying to write reviews," said Archonix. "And that's discrimination that is."

    Cyne didn't answer, preferring to stare into the fire and to think long thoughts, something entirely alien to Archonix on the best of days. They sighed in unison.

    ROUND 113

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    4 comments · 2,457 views
  • 3 weeks
    SA Reviews #112

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    The low-lying fog obscured the two ponies’ hooves as they tramped through the ancient graveyard. Luna’s moon hung in the early autumn air, burning a sickly yellow.

    “I hate graveyards, Ferret,” Intern said as he tightened his rucksack. He spluttered as he walked through a dangling cobweb.

    Ferret chuckled, and hopped over some brambles. “Watch where you step, you never know when—”

    There was a click underhoof, and a grasping griffon claw burst from the loam beneath the pair. Intern leapt back, cursing. Ferret laughed, and plucked the padded foam prop from its spring.

    “Why are we even here, Ferret? That new kid, Novel-whoever, is pretty good. This is a waste of our time.”

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    6 comments · 2,666 views
  • 5 weeks
    SA Reviews #111

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “You do the honors.” Ferret’s eyes glittered in the darkness of the ancient laboratory. The ancient portal glowed with unholy violet energy, illuminating only the barest hints of her figure and the shaking person beside her.

    “Me?” Chris protested, stepping back from the portal and glancing at the giant hourglass festooned with twinkling geodes, flashing bulbs and enough copper wire to build a Faraday cage. “I’m not touching that thing! It looks like something Lovecraft and Jules Verne made on a bet! A very drunk bet!”

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    25 comments · 2,869 views
  • 6 weeks
    SA Reviews #104

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Methodical fingers fell on the keyboard. Ticks and clacks and tacks echoed through the dreary cubicle halls of the corporate office space. Bleary-eyed and coffee-deprived, Matthew sat in front of the screen with the lethargic determination of the recently dead. The computer monitor, though searingly bright, was comparatively dim to the fluorescent lights that flickered on the ceiling.

    Then Red showed up holding a squirrel-sized newspaper and a human-sized coffee mug, which was full of assorted nuts. He slugged a mouthful down and barely chewed.

    “Ha ha ha!” the squirrel said. “Turns out Pontchartrain really did track mud in the house! I love that comic.”

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    18 comments · 2,945 views
  • 12 weeks
    SA Reviews #109

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Matthew stood next to a metal door labeled “The Cool Room”. He had never seen this door before; not surprising since the Seattle’s Angels compound tended to lose and gain random rooms with astonishing frequency. He made a mental note to complain to the guys running the relativity lab to dial it back a bit.

    Pushing back those thoughts for later, Matthew grabbed hold of the handle to the door, turned, and pulled the door open. A rush of cold air blasted him, almost knocking him back. Matthew, now wishing he had brought a coat, braced himself and entered.

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    13 comments · 3,462 views
  • 14 weeks
    SA Reviews #108

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Archonix strolled through the second floor hallway of the Seattle’s Angels Secret Underground Base and Treefort.  He licked his thumb as he leafed through a stack of papers, humming Winter Wrap Up in a most Scottish manner.  Without looking up from his work, he stopped and rapped his knuckles on Corejo’s bedroom door.

    “Hey, Core, you in there?  We need your reviews.”  No answer.  Archonix looked up at the dozens of Luna pictures taped haphazardly to the door.  ‘No Celestias allowed!’ read a small poster board stuck in the middle in glued macaroni and glitter.  The light of a computer monitor escaped through the crack beneath the door.  “Core?”

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    6 comments · 1,582 views
  • 16 weeks
    SA Reviews #107

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.
     


     
    Briefcase in hand, Chris nervously entered the room.  It was bare except for an imposing desk and a high-backed office chair, the latter with its back to him.  “Um, hello?  I’m here about the interview.  Ah, about becoming a Seattle’s Angels reviewer?”
     
    “So, you’re the new guy, eh?” The voice came from the chair.  Chris watched as it slowly swiveled to face him, revealing a diminutive rodent perched upon it.
     
    “Um, yeah, pleased to meet you.”  Chris held out his hand, a gesture met with an arched eyebrow.  “Right, squirrel, sorry.” He awkwardly brought it back to his side.  “So… you must be RedSquirrel, right?”  The rodent’s other eyebrow joined the first.  “Oh, uh, I guess that’s a silly question.”
     

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    13 comments · 1,905 views
  • 18 weeks
    SA Reviews #106

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.
     


    A lone figure wrapped in furs lay flat, exhausted, at the world’s jagged edge.

    She had done it. She had traversed numerous kingdoms and broken empires, fought immeasurable hordes, raised kings and humbled the proud, become a legend. She had seen things you people wouldn’t believe--attack ships off the shoulders of Orion, C-Beams glittering in the dark ‘round the Tannhauser Gate, the Walls of Morning and the Wailing Plains of Night. All these things, now so infinitesimally small with her final goal in sight. Just a few more stairs. Just… just a few more.

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    0 comments · 2,117 views
  • 20 weeks
    SA Reviews #105

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Of the many things Scarlet Weather anticipated on seeing when she entered the Angels’ breakroom, seeing a beet red Intern splayed all over the couch, face down, wasn’t too far off from the ordinary. Extraordinary required extra-dimensional mirror portal travel, demon invasion, and Ferret shenanigans. And with the advances being done with Scarlet’s compact, the first one would soon be bumped down the list.

    So it was that Scarlet walked past Intern, opened the fridge, grabbed a fruit drink, and headed back towards the exit.

    “Aren’t you going to ask what happened?” Intern’s muffled voice called after her.

    “No. I can come up with a few things myself, thank you.”

    Intern somehow sank lower into the couch cushions. “You’re all so cruel…”

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    9 comments · 1,388 views
  • 22 weeks
    SA Reviews #104

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Just inside the Seattle’s Angels prison compound, the new guy burst through Ferret’s bedroom door.

    “FERRET!” he yelled with a crazed look in his eye. “I just realized, we don’t have an introduction, let alone a conclusion!”

    “You know, Matthew, you aren’t technically the new guy anymore... we have Chris now.”

    “True... but still, what do we do for the intro?”

    “I don’t know, you should make something up. Just make sure it’s funny.”

    “But that’s the problem, Ferret. I’ve been thinking about it for a week and I’ve got nothing. Pretty soon, Scarlet over there is gonna start hounding me about deadlines.”

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    7 comments · 1,095 views
Apr
16th
2017

Story Reviews » SA Reviews #102 · 1:05am April 16th

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Deep in the Seattle's Angel's secret combination treehouse lair and sauna, Cynewulf finished placing the last touches on an elaborately painted miniature, blew on it gently, and set it down before making her way to take a long-awaited rest.

It is predictably at this point that something in the distance exploded.

"CYNE!"

Scarlet burst into the room, a crazed look in her eyes. "Come with me if you want to live!"

Cynewulf's eyes darted back and forth. "What is it? What's wrong?"

"No time to explain! They're already upon us!" Grabbing her compatriot's hand, Scarlet dragged her deep into the bowels of the treehouse's safe room.

One trip into the bowels of the lair later, Cyne collapsed beside Scarlet, breathing heavily. "What is it? Who's after us? Are we being bombed?"

Scarlet blinked in surprise. "What, that? Nah, I think that's just my boyfriend playing with fireworks."

"Then we... aren't under attack?"

"No, we are. We're under attack from the most deadly of enemies...." Scarlet whipped out a sheet of stories. "Review deadlines!"

ROUND #102


First love is a powerful and intoxicating thing. But even when your shared memories grant you the strongest of foundations, sometimes you've just got to admit that if it isn't meant to be then it isn't meant to be.
Pinkie Pie doesn't want to admit that, though, even if Twilight Sparkle already has.


I could go on about my reasons for picking this as one of our fics, but honestly it boils down to the fact that it was short, seemed interesting, and I was blown away by the guts to write an entire story where pretty much every line ends with the word "okay".

The premise of Butterscotch is the story of Pinkie Pie and Twilight's relationship from inception to end, told entirely through a series of sentences and how Pinkie feels about them, and I think that's an effective device. Reading the story gives the impression that despite the compressed time the events take place in, you're sitting with Pinkie as she sorts through all of her thoughts as they occur to her. And as a result, you're stuck experiencing every emotion she does - from the sudden rush of euphoria that is early love to the slow breakdown that comes as she and Twilight move in with each other and grow apart.

I'm not going to lie: if you want a fluffy ship story, and I understand if you do, this is one to put on the back burner. If you have just had a breakup, this is one to put on the back burner. If, however, you have some breakups you remember in hindsight, this is a break-up fic worth reading - not the least reason for which is that it implies there's life after the break-up. Cyne thought the ending was inherently pessimistic about the chances of finding happiness, but I'd argue as a whole the story argues that even the pain of a relationship ending isn't enough to stop us from seeking new ones.

And that's okay.

It is a sad and often talked about fact that things tend to fall apart. Relationships, buildings, people, you name it. Entropy gets to us. What starts as a little crack in your wall ends up being foundation trouble and then… Well. To get presumptuous about it, Things Fall Apart.


This story starts out pretty happy. It’s essentially Pinkie talking to an uncertain and “offscreen” person, perhaps even herself. She tells us the story of her and Twilight’s relationship in a series of 1-2 sentence bites set off by judgements--”That’s okay” or “That’s not okay” etc etc.


I’m gonna be real with you here. This story made me sad. It made me really, really sad. It ruined about an hour of my Good Friday. My comrade and I disagree slightly as to how hopeful the ending is--she says that it’s hopeful and that--I quote her abuse of Camus--“We must imagine Pinkie happy” whereas I had a rather more dismal take. Either way, this story is worth reading. Even if it will make you incredibly sad. The sort of call-response format does start to stretch on a bit too long but the author manages to keep my attention with it.

10/10, would brood on the impermanence of all human interaction again.


Under the last tree at the end of the world, two ponies discuss the events that led them there and what the future holds.


You know who I like? Kitsunerisu. You know why I like him? Because this is why.

The Holiday at the End of the World is the story of Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie waiting under a tree for the rest of their friends to show up so they can have a party. It's snowing, everyone else is late, also the world has ended.

Why the world has ended is only semi-important, but for now all you need to know is that the world's pretty doomed at the moment. Or might be. While Rainbow's mostly frustrated with snow that isn't cold and the stress that comes from being community leaders in a time of constant crisis, Pinkie is hopeful. She focuses in on hope, listing all the possibilities that are emerging that will make the crappy world-ending snowfall less terrible. Rainbow is still frustrated.

That's it, that's the story.

I'm a sucker for hope in the face of nihilism - stories that embrace the idea that things won't necessarily get better, but we should always strive for them to do so anyway. This story is a great example of that. Even Pinkie is forced to admit that optimism can't always solve everything, but once she and Rainbow have said their piece they still end up in the exact same spot: waiting for their friends to join them at the end of the world. Despite the fact that the world is terrible, they're still going on with life.

I miss Kitsune Risu. I miss his writing. I miss his face. I miss watching Korean reality TV with him at like 2 in the morning.


But this story isn’t about any of that. But it is relevant--this story is about what happens after. Not just the world. What happens after, well, anything. It’s about moving on. Or not moving on. It’s about that.


The world is kind of screwed, and I’ll leave the reason why up to you to discover--I think you’ll like the why’s and how’s--but those also aren’t important. What is important is that the Mane Six are alive if not well, and that they are still coming together. Things have fallen apart, yes, but not forever. They may or may not improve. Things are not certain in a world where the snow isn’t cold and everything is changed.


What I liked about this story, and what I always like about Kitsune Risu’s stories is character voice. No one writes a conversation quite like that. Are the voices of the characters perfect? Nah, but who cares? Because this conversation with these characters is golden. What they say is golden.


Go read it.


There are two types of ponies in the world: dog ponies, and cat ponies.
Anyone with two eyes in their head could easily determine which categories both Applejack and Rarity fit in. But, when Rarity must take a last minute business trip to Manehattan, it falls on Applejack to take care of Rarity's beloved pet, Opalescence.
The problem is, Opalescence doesn't like Applejack.
Opalescence doesn't like anybody


I read a story this week about babysitting your girlfriend's cat and everything going wrong.

It was pretty good.

In a perfect and just world, that's all the information I'd need to provide about Catastrophe. It's a very silly story complete with cartoon-tier comic resolution, and talking about it really doesn't sell why it's fun to read. Nonetheless, I feel I'm obligated to at least try to spotlight why I gave this one some heavy chuckling throughout.

Our story begins with Rarity and Applejack climbing out of bed after a night of pleasant inebriation and intercourse, and sets the tone immediately by establishing just how much Rarity dotes on her cat - and how little Applejack gets along with her. Rarity is then called away to Manehattan on short notice, forced to leave her little darling with Applejack.

This goes about as well as you would expect.

If you're a big fan of slapstick comedy done well, this is certainly worth a pick-up - and if you've had a bad day, I suggest it as a little pick-me-up. Absolutely worth your time.

This story is straight-up slapstick of the sort that isn’t so terribly far removed from what an episode might try, and all set up in a coozy bit of shipping. Premise? Applejack has to look after her new girlfriend’s cat. But Cyne, you’ll say, don’t you have to be ridiculous to get that much conflict out of a cat?

No, Friend, you do not. Cats are fractious creatures. They are made of sharp points and explore the world with their teeth. I had to break up two fights between my awesome snuggle-champion Luna (who Protects) and my mother’s cats just in writing this one review.


So suffice it to say that Applejack is trying her best and I sympathize, even as a cat person. If you’ve ever tried to take care of someone else’s dog or cat before, you’ll recognize a lot of this story’s feel. Even if you haven’t, it’s an enjoyable little adventure for a rainy day, and it’s well done.


Working mornings was a thing Tea Leaf had initially hated. Dragging yourself from bed to the showers at 5 in the morning to help open the doors at Tip-Top's Cafe in downtown Canterlot was a less-than-ideal situation for most, but she had come to enjoy it for a single reason; a regular of the Cafe by the name of Fleur De Lis. Sure; there were other regulars, but she stood out from the crowd in many ways than one. Their little chats held as Steam Wand, her partner in coffee and tea related crime, prepared Fleur De Lis' typical order had come to be the thing she waked for; the rest of her shift and University afterwards were merely side-effects.


Coffeebean wasn't on my radar before I read this. That was a mistake. I can't believe this story has less than a thousand views after being featured.

The Usual is the most chick-lit thing I think I will ever recommend, and I love it for that. The main characters are a glamorous photography model and a less-than-glamorous twenty-something working her way to a culinary degree while she makes a living at Legally Distinct From Starbucks. One of them is madly in love with the other, as expressed through the most magically good of customer service and chit-chat. Nobody is hurt, and everyone is happy by the end.

This story's a chai latte for the soul, in other words: a bit sweet, a little cloying, but once you take a sip you just can't stop until it's done.

What makes the story work on a level most fluffy ship-fics don't is that Coffeebean knows how to write early romance in a pretty convincing way, and also how to work with settings to build characters. Most shipfics in this fandom seem to take place between characters who live alone in reasonably large spaces and have enough money to just blow on dates when they come up. I was surprised by how unusual it felt to read a ship story where someone teaches their object of affection to make pizza.I love that Tea Leaf has a roommate. I love that someone questioning their sexuality plays out in a way I can say from experience is pretty true to life.

This is worth a read. Get on it, people.

The Usual has all of the things I like. Which makes sense, cause it’s the usual. Get it? Like, it would be comprised of things I like--


Moving on. This is, in some ways, your standard slice of life ship fic. Girl meets girl. Girl falls in love with girl. Girl makes girl coffee. But what separates it from the pack? Two things, mostly: It manages to do a canonXOc ship extremely well and it invites you quite insistently to invest yourself emotionally in its lovable protagonist.

Tea Leaf is just lovable. She is. Extremely lovable and full of purity and goodness. You root for her. You “aww” over her. You want her to be happy forever and ever. Coffeebean is a good writer, and if I had only one fic to prove it, this would be that fic. They have done such a brilliant job of creating a vibrant and above all fun cast to play out this heartwarming story. I cannot recommend this one to lovers of shipfics enough. If more romance writers were writing this way on this blasted site I would be neck deep in fics again.


"So in summary, you built a combination treehouse and sauna, convinced me and everyone else to move into it for a day, set up a box of fireworks labeled 'absolutely do not touch' in a conspicuous place, let me finish painting a miniature, burst into the room, and banged my head against five different exposed pipes—"

"Six," Scarlet corrected helpfully.

"Thank you, six exposed pipes—all for the sake of that deadlines punch line?" Cyne asked, placing the last of her reviews on the pile.

Scarlet thought this over for a moment. "Pretty much, yeah."

Cynewulf massaged her temples. "I'm honestly not sure where to begin."

"I was! I started by finding a tree," Scarlet chirped proudly.

"...Why?"

"Because I had to throw this plan together at the last minute and I couldn't think of a Revolutionary Girl Utena parody."

Somewhere in the distance, fireworks went off.


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Report Wanderer D · 1,423 views ·
Comments ( 8 )

I'm sure the new [site_url] bbcode's gonna be neat, but the site isn't updated to actually use them yet...

--Sweetie Belle

I approve of these stories.

Thank you so much for bringing 'The Usual, by Coffeebean' to my attention, otherwise I would've missed that gem of a romance story.

Oh, thank you very much for pulling Butterscotch out of the dust and into the bright light of day. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on another one of my stories—it really does mean a lot to me. It also means I really should now scuttle over and make a recommendation to return the favour. :twilightsmile:

(Also, just to help you out on your little disagreement—I can categorically state that my intention was for the story to have an ending that was suggestive of a more positive future).

H-Holy shit. I... I'm flattered. I blushed the entire time while reading this. Thank you both.

Interesting picks. Certainly weren't on my usual radar. Good finds! =D

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