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  • 1 week
    SA Reviews #130

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


    “It wasn’t until this moment that Intern realized just how large the Seattle’s Angels compound was. Entire days could be lost trying to familiarize oneself with just a single wing, let alone the months it would take to explore the whole building. But as Celestia as his witness, he was determined to do it or so help him!”

    “Intern, you’re monologuing again,” said a voice from above. “And you’re doing it in third person.”

    Snapping his mouth shut, Intern looked up to see Red perched on top of a protruding branch from the wall. He nibbled on a nut as he regarded the befuddled temp-reviewer. “Is this what you’ve been doing all month? Getting lost and talking to yourself?”

    “No,” Intern said, arms folded across his chest. “I’ve been very productive this entire time.”

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    6 comments · 1,238 views
  • 3 weeks
    SA Reviews #129

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


    Corejo flipped through his Reviews folder one last time before making it up the stairs toward Ferret’s room. Yep, all there! He threw on a jaunty smile and strode up to her door… which was locked?

    A little red note taped to the door read in commanding read marker: OUT TO LUNCH. SLIP YOUR REVIEWS UNDER THE DOOR.

    Huh. Normally Ferret left the door open on Review Day so she could see their bright, sunshiny faces when they walked in. Whatever.

    Corejo shrugged and did as the sign said. And then he drummed his hands on his thighs. And then he looked around.

    Huh. Where were the shenanigans? There were supposed to be some wacky shenanigans that magically happened right about now at the worst possible time and inconvenienced him, because comedic coincidence dictated so.

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    5 comments · 1,526 views
  • 5 weeks
    SA Reviews #128

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


    “So, Cyne?” asked Matthew, “whatcha up to?”

    “Oh, you know, just getting some reviews in,” she replied.

    “But… there’s no school anymore. And no school means no reviews! We’re free!” he shouted, literally leaping for joy.

    Cynewulf slammed a stack of papers onto the table in front of her. “Ha! Shows what you know. Summer school is now in session.”

    “NNOOoooOOooOOOooooo…”

    ROUND 128

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    9 comments · 2,045 views
  • 7 weeks
    SA Reviews #127

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


    “Listen up, class! Today I will teach you all that is necessary to build a fanbase.” PaulAsaran spun on his heel and began to write on a chalkboard. “Take good notes. A five page essay and three mock-up reviews will be due next week.”

    A series of groans filled the classroom.

    Intern, wearing his now customary janitor uniform, stopped by PaulAsaran on his way to dump out a trash bin. In a low whisper, he said, “That’s more than we do in two weeks.”

    “Hush, you,” PaulAsaran replied. “I’m in my element.”

    “What do you mean by that?”

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    5 comments · 1,877 views
  • 9 weeks
    SA Reviews #126

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


    A loud thump announced the arrival of Novel Idea into the dreaded dungeons of the Seattle’s Angel’s complex. To his surprise, the place had been completely redecorated. To his horror, he instantly recognized the new motif.

    Detention?!” he cried. “I’ve never been in detention in my life!”

    He turned to glare at the slide he’d been just dropped down. Corejo stood above, looking imperious—or at least trying to, it was Corejo after all.

    “You can’t do this to me! I’ll do my freaky time magic thing again!”

    “School’s in session. All of it.” Corejo winked—he actually winked—and pulled a level straight out of the Acme Budget Villain Catalogue. The portal closed with a resounding snap.

    He grumbled to himself and stomped over to the desk with his name on it and plopped down.

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    3 comments · 2,049 views
  • 11 weeks
    SA Reviews #125

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


    Corejo, as a Seattle’s Angel, had experienced many weird things during his tenure as a reviewer. Multiple base explosions, the fabric of spacetime ripping apart with seeming regularity, and the slightly disturbing obsession Red had for nuts.

    Even with all that, today was already vying for his top five list in terms of stuff he didn’t expect to be a part of when he woke up that morning.

    “Okay class!” Ferret announced from her position on top of a teacher’s desk. Before her, a room full of kids and a few adults sat at wooden desk, pencils and papers at the ready. “Today beings the first day of the School of Reviewers!”

    Corejo raised his hand.

    “Oh, and I see we already have a question. What is it?”

    “Yeah, uh, what is even the heck? Why do we have a reviewer school?”

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    15 comments · 1,921 views
  • 13 weeks
    SA Reviews #124

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


    “Look,” said Red, “I really think you’re going about this the wrong way.”

    “Oh really?” said Matthew419. “How would you suggest otherwise?”

    “Don’t dangle me by my tail off the edge of a fifty-story building?”

    A spotlight peered up at them. “This is Intern!” Intern shouted up through a megaphone. “We’ve got the building surrounded! Drop the squirrel and--”

    The megaphone squealed loudly, and there were sounds of a scuffle before another voice shouted at them once again. “No no no, don’t drop the squirrel!” said someone who Red thought might be Ebon Quill. “I mean, do, but first, just step away from the ledge and we’ll talk!”

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    12 comments · 2,685 views
  • 16 weeks
    SA Reviews #123

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


    The pillars rose up around him, towering over Corejo like judgmental parents. On top of the pillars stood the Pillars, looking down on him like disappointed parents.

    “This council of Equestria’s first league of extraordinary gentlecolts—”

    “And three gentlemares!”

    Starswirl rolled his eyes. “Yes, quite.” Clearing his throat, Starswirl continued, “find you, Corejo, guilty. Stygian, read him his sentence.”

    Stygian, who wasn’t standing on any of the pillars, unfurled a scroll and began reading. Corejo could have sworn his voice sounded familiar. “You are hereby sentenced to review on a tight deadline. You will have to forsake the niceties the Seattle’s Angels grant their employees in order to make your due date.”

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    13 comments · 3,461 views
  • 18 weeks
    SA Reviews #122

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


    Paul paced about the thing laughably referred to as his office. He could get about four steps down before having to make a turn, and that’s assuming his line of motion was just right. He glanced at his clock, grumbled some phrase unfit for the world wide web, and continued his pacing.

    “Hey, Paul!” The door swung open. Since this was the smallest office in the history of offices, that resulted in the door smacking Paul in the face. With a hand over his bleeding nose, he turned his glare upon the visitor, one Novel-Idea.

    “You were supposed to be here hours ago.” Except it came out something like “Ou er spsed here hrgo” due to the current state of his nose.

    Novel shrugged. “Blame T.O.M. We gonna do those reviews or what?”

    Paul stared incredulously. “Ou evn’t dn urrs?”

    “Not yet, nope.”

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    6 comments · 3,005 views
  • 20 weeks
    SA Reviews #121

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


    The room was lit by faint orange candlelight, barely enough to see by, but the sole occupant didn’t mind. In fact, he prefered the dim glow as it added to the mystique and allure of his persona. Words and phrases came to him more easily in this atmosphere, not to mention that it had a soothing effect on his mind. Everything in place, Ebon Quill raised the quill that was his namesake and dipped it into an inkwell. He held the quill to a piece of parchment, hands poised to write the first word.

    The door to his room burst open and a bright light flicked on.

    “Ack!” Ebon Quill’s first word became a jagged line across the paper. Fuming, he scrunched up the ruined parchment into a wad and tossed it into a nearby waste bin.

    “Jeez, man, how do you even see?” Intern asked as he crossed the room where Ebon Quill sat.

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    8 comments · 2,959 views
Jun
11th
2017

Story Reviews » SA Reviews #106 · 2:03am Jun 11th, 2017

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.

Bravely, she climbed them, all one hundred and seven point four stairs, and behold--on a raised platform he sat, the End of the World, a Tired Old Man. The wind picked up. It whipped all around her, pulling at her coat and tearing her furred ushanka from her head, but she did not care.

“Sage!” she called, her voice ragged and all but drowned out. “Tired Old Man! What must I do to know the meaning of life? What is the greatest of all things?”

The Tired Old Man opened one eye and huffed.

“Well that’s easy. Always write your reviews BEFORE the deadline.”

“No, I mean like—”

But whatever she said next was drowned out. The storm picked up. The Tired Old Man shrugged, and then held out his hand. Nervous, the lone heroine pulled a roughly bound scroll from her bags.

“I have brought these scant tokens… that you might tell me your wisdom, Old Man. Here are my reviews. May the Gods find them favorable.”

ROUND 106


 
The Filly Guides believe in three basic tenets:
 
Love your fellow mare.
 
Do onto others as you would have them do to you.
 
No filly left behind.
 
And somewhere between those three would be the rule that any Filly Guide must have all their basic merit badges by the end of their first year. Then again, that rule may be written between the lines of the welcome pamphlet they hand out at orientation. Who can say?
 
What can be said is that out of all the little fillies of Troop Two-Oh-One, Tag-A-Long has just one scout short of just one simple badge. Easy-peasy.
 


One would think the act of selling Filly Scout cookies isn’t hard. You go door to door, recite a few practiced lines, trade cookies for bits, and even say “thank you” with an inordinate amount of childlike cheer.

But add a Crusader into the mix, and something’s guaranteed to spontaneously combust for no good reason, or otherwise go wrong in some spectacular fashion. Like Scootaloo. Especially when it’s Scootaloo.

The good news is this story is quite true to keeping to the spirit of the show. It reads simply, doesn’t get too involved in suspense, and I find it an enjoyable read that any good cookie monster can appreciate.

The bad news is I could use some cookies, and I think I have a box of thin mints stashed away in my freezer somewhere.

People still eat them frozen, right? I hope that’s not old-fashioned yet.

This story is one of the few stories that I feel absolutely safe referring to as episode-like. It’s short-ish, charming, and focuses on my second favorite filly in the Crusader trio--Scootaloo.
 
To be honest with you, Scootaloo scoota-scooting is basically good enough to be a fic by itself. But Flinx has a fun little story here that anyone who’s ever been charmed into buying way, way too many girl scout cookies can appreciate. 10/10 cute happy Scootaloos.


 
Sunset takes the bus from school out to Applejack's place. With a brief detour in between.


The title told me this was going to get surreal, yet the description made me default to the Magic School Bus. Sorry, but that’s the bus that knows how to take detours.

As for the story itself? It’s mostly the former, though it’s also got a bit of the latter.

I didn’t watch much of the Twilight Zone, but from what I recall of it this story follows the format fairly well. It won’t surprise you with its structure, but the substance inside is where the fascination lies. It’s warped and twisted and weird and…well, mesmerizing and deep-thinking as it takes a moment to discuss one of the most common phrases you’ll hear in the show.

In fact, you’ll hear it in the opening theme song five times, every time. Unless you skip it.

You shouldn’t skip it. Skippers listen to “The Wheels On The Bus” on a loop in Tartarus.

I love the Twilight Zone.

I’ve watched most of it and plan to watch all of it maybe eight dozen more times. (The original show, mind you, tho the reboot had great moments!) I love Rod Serling’s smooth voice and his firm grounding in the pulp stories of his youth. I love his ability to turn morality plays into legitimate modern art.

So this fic already has some things going for it, from my view. Firstly, as a sort of send up to the Twilight Zone of yesterday, this story is very firmly in its predecessor's storied tone. It is almost distant, in that sort of faint surprise and unease that marks Weird Fiction of the 30’s-50’s. Everything either starts or becomes a little suspicious. Can anything be trusted? Perhaps not. Like any good Twilight Zone episode, there’s a twist at the end here. I won’t spoil it, but it’s both chuckle-worthy and oddly very touching.

Which of course, is a perfect feeling to have at the end of a bus ride into the Twilight Zone.


Twilight wasn't one to sit alone in bars and stare at an empty glass. On the one rare occasion she found herself in that position, however, she thought to herself that though breaking up with somepony hurt, it was far worse when it didn't hurt at all.


Breakups are usually a mixed bag of emotions. Anger, sadness, joy, fear, and disgust all tend to play their part inside, but the worst is when one feels nothing after a breakup. Some try to fill that empty hole in the heart by being with other loved ones, while others will drown their sorrows in a brown-bagged forty or a bar.

But when the liquor doesn’t fill the hole in the heart, what’s left but to lament? For Twilight, that’s where this story hits hardest: reflecting on how time passed, the dwindling sparks of fleeting romance, and the end that seemed well and truly inevitable.

Everything here is conveyed with purpose, from the cloudy thoughts and clear speech to the regrets and memories. Read this tale with as much care and devotion that’s been put into the words, and prepare for an emotional roller coaster from a mostly emotionless mare.

I like Monochromatic’s writing a lot.

However, the main reason this story is worth a look is not my personal feelings about Monochromatic’s gallery but as an example of just how engaging dialogue can be. Dialogue is a very difficult thing to write. It is so hard to make it sound natural. What feels natural in the composition will often lose its organic sense in the reading. Good dialogue in stories can honestly be what makes the whole piece! Bad dialogue can almost destroy an otherwise good story--I’m lookin’ at you, H.P.--and it’s often the thing weakest in young writers. So whenever I find someone who can really, really write it, I pay attention. As should you! Rarity and Twilight’s back and forth works on multiple levels, and it manages to sound like exactly what I would imagine characters like this saying in such a time and place.

“Supernova” is a story about a relationship that has fallen apart. Why? That’s up to you--it genuinely isn’t important. What is important is that it has, and that by circumstance or design the fractured ends of it are here to have a candid-yet-coy talk about something very painful. It’s heartfelt. It will make you chuckle. It will make you very, very, very sad. But it’s worth a read.


When Discord begins drafting all unicorns to serve in the military, young Celestia and Luna are given no choice but to flee their Unicornian home as refugees. But when Celestia discovers that they don't have enough money to pay both their ways to safety aboard the ship, she is forced to make a decision: return home and risk losing her sister to their cruel kingdom...
 
... or pay Luna's ticket and walk the desert pass alone.
 


You want to know what a good way to build a world is? You forge it with blood, sweat and a will of iron. And once you’re done, leave a little signature to mark what you’ve crafted so others know who made it at a glance.

The mark left by LUNAUSESCAPS (my apologies, I couldn’t resist) on this world is one to recognize, as the craftsmanship of this dark, despairing land under the thumb of Discord is reflected heavily in how hard Celestia works to ensure survival for Luna and herself, the history told from Celestia’s perspective, and how things spiraled downward into the present situation. Each detail is as focused and deliberate as a precise strike of a hammer. Getting wrapped up in the weaved threads of imagery is all too easy before you’re ensnared and immersed into a world that’s cruel, unfair, and definitely suffering a shortage of cookies.

Surviving in a place that mercilessly drafts Unicorns young and old into military service is playing with more fire than the hottest iron smelter, and Celestia decides it’s now or never to save her sister from a gruesome fate that’s already claimed a keystone of her family. Saving herself from this fate, however, puts her at odds with a harsh desert passage comparable to that of a certain desert walker.

She shall fear no evil when all is said and done. What she does next remains uncertain, but whatever step she takes carries more purpose than when she started.

I am all too eager to imagine where those steps will take her.

“Ain’t no grave can hold my body down.”

That’s spoken in this story, and honestly it could be the tagline. I chuckled at it when I read it first, but it was hard to forget later on. Whether it’s fitting or not as a reference, it is definitely fitting as a summation of LunaUsesCaps’ portrayal of a young, hardened Celestia.

The world is harsh. Celestia and Luna live under a repressive regime, one that would snatch Luna away in a heartbeat to serve in the endless campaigns as a living weapon. Unicorns have their uses, after all! Celestia, fearing the coming of a new war, can only secure passage for her sister. For herself, she chooses to walk the long way around, through the desert.

There’s something mythic about this story. Something old, and something… well, almost biblical. In slightly different wording one could imagine reading a story like this transcribed from an ancient scroll in the library of Alexandria. Celestia’s journey is a journey as much into death as anything else, and it’s conclusion will perhaps surprise you. Or not! Either way, it is a good ride. What can I say? I’m a sucker for myth.


The Tired Old Man at the End of the World blinked at the scroll as he held it in his hands. The winds continued to howl, hungry and bitter, thirsty perhaps for the time they will be loosed.

“Well?” said Cyne after a moment, trying not to fall over in her exhaustion after having climbed all the way up the impossible cliffs at the edge of Morning to deliver her reviews.

There was no answer. The sage squinted and then turned the scroll over the other way.

She stared at him.

Finally, he shrugged and chunked the thing over his back. The scroll was caught immediately in the gale and was lost forever before Cyne could manage to even cry out in alarm.

“Eh, I can’t read it anyhow. Penmanship’s terrible,” the sage said, grunted, and then went back to his nap.


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

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