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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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Read It Later Reviews #78 – Goosed!, Stupid Direction-Face, Sick Little Ponies (And One Dragon), The Remainders of the Day, Twilight’s Escort Service · 6:54pm Jun 26th, 2017

Estee has written a lot of stories, and I’ve ended up reviewing a lot of things they’ve written. As I was writing this, I believed that I was down to the last five (finished) stories in the Triptych verse, and so I decided to devote a review set to finishing out Estee’s stories.

Turns out I miscounted, and there’s still one more left.

Still, it was as good an excuse as any to get launched on reading, and I ended up reading a lot of pony words. My next set also contains some long stories as well, including one story I’ve been putting off reading since 2014.

But enough about the future, let’s talk about the present!

Today’s stories:

Goosed! by Estee
Stupid Direction-Face by Estee
Sick Little Ponies (And One Dragon) by Estee
The Remainders of the Day by Estee
Twilight’s Escort Service by Estee

by Estee

43,126 words

The opening of the Empire has also meant the reintroduction of the species who live there. It's been over a thousand years since Equestria has been through this particular migration -- more than enough time to forget how hyper-territorial, angry, unreasoning, and just plain foul these travelers are. But it's finally the right season again, and that means Ponyville is about to get a refresher course in dealing with the second-worst thing to ever come out of the North.

...well, maybe first.

Why I added it: Estee is a good writer.

Canadian Crystal geese migrate to Ponyville and eat and leave… stuff… on everything. It is up to the mane six – minus Twilight, who is out of town – plus Spike to get rid of them.

This is a silly idea for a shortish story.

You might have noticed that this is, in fact, a novel-length work.

And no, there is no secondary crisis – this story really is entirely about them getting rid of the crystal geese.

So, uh, what happened?

Well, this story is really primarily about Applejack having to serve as the stand-in leader for the group during a sort-of crisis, which is in many ways made worse by her leadership. The actual crisis in question is an issue, but the emotional core and focus is really on how Applejack handles having to be in charge when Twilight isn’t around, and some of Applejack’s personal issues.

And you know, that is all well and good. But frankly, this story has no business being 40,000+ words long.

There are some good points in here. There is about two chapters in the middle of this story which are really solid – Rainbow Dash gets an opportunity to lecture the group about thinking and overthinking, Spike gets to give a mini-speech as well, we get to see him lecture the group and take charge for a bit as well, we see Applejack screw up and work Fluttershy into magical exhaustion, and there’s a lot of pathos in those scenes and the story feels like there’s a lot of content there. Is it a bit melodramatic? Sure. And even though it spends ten thousand words around trying to drive some geese away from a warehouse, it progresses the story, shows characterization, and acts as an opportunity for character growth.

However, this – which felt like, in many ways, the core of the story, as we come to understand Applejack’s issues and get them addressed a bit, as well as see more of some other characters’ points of view – comes about 20,000 words into the story, and there are another 14,000 or so words afterwards. There’s an entire scene involving a researcher from Canterlot which adds absolutely nothing to the story whatsoever, the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ brief appearance is a distraction which feels like it serves no story purpose, and the story itself seems to spend an incredible amount of time talking about all the stuff the geese are leaving around, putting a bizarre and repetitive emphasis on it which not only feels weird but just feels excessive.

And that’s really the story of this story on the whole – it is long, there’s a lot of stuff in the story which feels like it has no place in it, some of it literally feels pointless, there’s some random world-building which feels unrelated, and in the end, this story could have literally been half as long as it ended up being.

In the end, this story is just too long for what it is, and while I did like the central ideas in here, I can’t really recommend something so dilute.

Recommendation: Not Recommended.

Stupid Direction-Face
by Estee
20,810 words

It's the deliberately coldest autumn day in recorded Ponyville history and Rainbow Dash, who's setting up the last of the weather conditions, has the town pretty much to herself as every other pony huddles indoors, hiding from the chill. This would normally mean a morning where nopony takes a single glance at her and decides she's a talking map with nothing better to do than personally guide them wherever they need to go, no matter how many hours it takes. And in fact, nopony does.

Just one familiar, arrogant jerk of a teenage dragon who wants to know how he can get to a certain cave -- and believes Rainbow has nothing better to do than take him there...

Why I added it: Estee is a good writer.

After Ponyville had to deal with a major flea and tick infestation, Rainbow Dash and the rest of the weather team set up for an early deep freeze to kill all of the little bitey jerks. With everyone at home, cleaned and huddled up under their blankets, their windows all cast open to let in the cold air from outside, Rainbow Dash is all alone.

Well, except for some jerk of a dragon who comes to town looking for directions to a certain rather familiar dragon.

He doesn’t seem to remember Rainbow Dash, but she sure remembers Garble.

Still, she can’t let him hang around town – he might run into Spike or someone else he recognizes, and besides, he’s a total jerk. So it is up to her to lead him to the newly-coined Dragon Mountain, no matter how much of a jerk he is, and maybe learn a little bit more about him – whether she wants to or not.

This is a story which is part worldbuilding, part character-building. We learn a bit about dragon culture here, why it kind of sucks to be a dragon, and about how ponies deal with fleas and ticks. We also learn a bit about Garble as a person, and see certain insecurities and flaws in his personality.

And of course, we get to see that the egotistical jerk who only talks about himself doesn’t end up being the best of company for Rainbow Dash, who definitely doesn’t see any irony in her annoyance at his bragging about how he is the most awesome dragon ever.

Not any at all.

And this serves to cast Rainbow Dash’s own thoughts and personality in a new light.

Where this story kind of falls down is in being a bit repetitive – the story is 20,000 words long, but it doesn’t feel like it tells 20,000 words of story. It doesn’t end up feeling like it is all that long, but there was definitely a fair bit of hammering on the same point about Garble and his personality and whatnot.

Where it shines, however, is in its use of Rainbow Dash’s character – her thought processes are fun to read, and seeing her reactions to Garble, as well as her totally missing the irony of the situation (possibly on purpose), is fun. Her attempts at keeping Garble safe and encouraging him, even though he is a jerk, does show a very heroic human core to Rainbow Dash’s character, and by the end of it we come to understand Garble a bit better and maybe even feel a little bit sorry for him – even as we still recognize that he’s not a very good person.

I also suspect that the ending of this story will be something that folks who enjoy the idea of dragon culture being very different from pony culture will enjoy, and just how messed up dragons are (and perhaps why they are so bitter about the oh-so-friendly ponies).

Recommendation: Worth Reading if you don’t mind slow pacing.

Sick Little Ponies (And One Dragon)
by Estee
Slice of Life
43,814 words

Everypony gets sick sometimes. A number will try to ignore it. Some fight through it, even when they shouldn't. Others make sure they succumb as quickly as possible, and that everypony around them knows it. One or two might refuse to admit anything's wrong at all. But eventually, everypony will fall ill.

Seven short stories.
Six sick Bearers.
And one dragon.

Why I added it: Estee is a good writer.

As noted by the story description, this is really seven short stories, all of which are unrelated to each other and are stand-alone pieces.

Twilight: Magic Minus Magic is the longest of them, and isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. There are thieves in Ponyville, and Twilight is suffering from Rhynhorn’s, a unicorn disease which makes her magic go haywire whenever she uses it. About a third of the story is about the thieves and is pretty gritty and unpleasant (in the sense of “these are genuinely bad people, not funny MLP bad guys”), while the story is a series of mildly comedic scenes about Twilight trying to get around the fact that she can’t use her magic and being upset about it.

The result is that this story feels like it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be; we see the leadup to the climactic scene, but tonally a lot of the rest of the story is more comedic. This is one of those things that never quite felt like it came together for me as a piece; there were some individually solid scenes, but as a whole unit, it feels kind of lacking. And at 12,000+ words, it feels like it is on the long side for what it is.

The real question is whether or not something which has some good scenes, but doesn’t quite come together as a piece, is something which you want to spend time reading as far as this one goes. Estee fans will likely appreciate the world-building here, but if you haven’t “bought into” Estee’s Triptych verse, this may leave you a bit cold.

Fluttershy: A Thousand Little Nurses is a short piece about what happens when Fluttershy gets sick. You might guess what from the title of this piece. It actually still feels a bit overlong even at 3.4k words, but the idea is decent enough. This is something that fans of Fluttershy’s animal affinity might enjoy, but if you aren’t really interested in examining some of the ramifications of that, it probably doesn’t hold much for you.

Applejack: The Sweet Apple Acres Infirmary Blues suffers from the same issue as the first story – it feels like it is two different things stuck together. Most of it is a mildly comedic piece about Applejack struggling with being bored while being sick, and then at the end it goes off into sentimentality with Applejack and Apple Bloom. Again, like with the first story, this had some good ideas, and I thought that the end was solid, but the beginning felt kind of drawn out. There’s some decent payoff, but the first chunk of the story does drag a bit. Still, Applejack fans may like the payoff here, and she is well-voiced.

Spike: Nothing to Worry About is very much an Estee-verse story, as the Flower Trio panic while Spike is sick, thinking that Spike is going to do something awful (again), while Spike just is going off for some tissues. There’s some comedy here, but it is dependent on an overlying layer of darkness, which lends it an odd toned – it isn’t black comedy, it is comedy which is directly laid over a more unpleasant Equestria, which gives it some strange tonal dissonance. It is also somehow over 8,000 words long, despite feeling like something which should be much shorter.

Of all the stories in the collection, this felt the most like it was Estee indulging in world-buidling rather than telling a significant story; it is establishing character for the Flower Trio and the head of the local police force, as well as the way that the world reacts to dragons, but it doesn’t feel like it has a great deal of internal payoff. It isn’t that there isn’t any payoff at all – it is classically anti-climactic – but the fact that we already know that there isn’t going to be a real payoff because we know Spike is sick means that the story is really lacking in any sense of tension, while the odd dissonance between the dark world and the comedy (which isn’t dark at all) just feels kind of weird.

Fans of Estee’s verse will likely appreciate the world-building, but I’m not sure how much people who don’t like Estee’s rather grittier Equestria will get out of this.

Rainbow: The Great Plague Vector Stunt is kind of odd in that the title has nothing to do with the story itself. You’d think that Rainbow Dash was going to get a bunch of ponies sick, but instead she actually has Meniere’s disease, which is totally non-contagious and everyone knows it. Instead, the story is focused on Rainbow Dash trying to audition for the Wonderbolts – there’s a practical flying exam of sorts, a series of stunts you’re supposed to show off for the Wonderbolts to gain admission to the Wonderbolts Academy (placing the events of this story chronologically some time before that episode back in season 3), and Rainbow Dash, due to Meniere’s disease, can barely even fly straight. If she can’t try out now, she’ll have to wait fourteen whole months to do so again, and she just isn’t going to let that happen. Not if she has anything to say about it.

So she drags herself around to her friends to try and find a cure, because come heck or high water, she’s going to get into the Academy.

This might sound like a comedy, but it isn’t. The story is actually a drama – while there are some minor comedic elements (particularly in Rainbow Dash’s internal dialogue) the story is pretty focused on what a bad idea this is and how determined Rainbow Dash is to succeed anyway, as well as everyone else’s concern about her.

This was probably my second-favorite story in the collection; it shows off Rainbow Dash’s personality, determination, as well as her stubborn stupidity at times, as well as just generally how awesome she is.

Pinkie: The Party to Temporarily Suspend All Parties is a straight-up comedy fic about Pinkie Pie coming down with crumps, a childhood disease, as an adult and having to get shut up for two weeks in her room.

So what could be better than throwing a big gigantic party before she has to shut herself away from the world for two weeks, right? I mean, it is a childhood disease; everypony else in town must have gotten it a long time ago, right?

I have to admit that this story may have been a bit obvious in what it was, but it made me smirk.

Rarity: The Lady On Her Not-Quite Deathbed is another straight-up comedy fic, this one about Rarity being a drama queen about being sick. She’s clearly dying, and everyone else is clearly just trying to cover their emotions about her terrible state.

This is Rarity dramaing on medication and it is glorious to behold. Rarity is wonderfully hammy and the story made me smile pretty much from beginning to end. If you like Rarity being a ham (and really, who doesn’t?) you should at least check this part of the collection out.

Recommendation: I’d recommend the Rarity story; the Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie stories are both worth reading, while the others are more likely to appeal to narrower audiences.

The Remainders of the Day
by Estee

Slice of Life
36,060 words

Libraries have a way of accumulating excess reading material. Periodicals pile up. Ponies who fail to sell off their own books at stable sales decide donations are easier than just waiting for the next go-round. And of course, a truly dedicated librarian will be adding tomes at every opportunity, until the shelves are full -- and then some. There's a cure for this situation, and Twilight's been avoiding it for a few years.

Time's up.

Why I added it: Estee is a good writer.

Twilight is used to the Canterlot Archives, a place which stores old books and never, ever throws anything out.

The Archives are ultimately the only proper library in Equestria, and she wants a proper library of her own. That means getting more space and never, ever getting rid of anything, ever.

The Mayor has other ideas, particularly given the many, many redundant copies that the library appears to have.

So she gives Twilight an ultimatum – get rid of some books, or else. And there is just the perfect tradition for doing so – a remaindered book sale.

Twilight doesn’t like this idea, not one bit. It isn’t what a proper library would do. But in this, the mayor of Ponyville is technically Twilight’s boss.

And worse, there’s always the possibility that she won’t be able to sell the books at all, and that they will have to meet with a much more final fate…

This is a story about a book lover having to part with books, having to do something she really doesn’t want to do, as well as her perspective on what books mean and why she believes that they should never be destroyed. But it is also about Twilight getting over herself, and coming to understand just what it is to be a real librarian, even if she doesn’t have the mark for it.

Like a lot of Estee’s stories, this is a piece which is heavily focused on characterization. Like a number of Estee’s stories, this story also suffers from the primary Estee story flaw – a certain level of lack of focus. There’s a solid emotional core here, as well as a bit of insight into what Rainbow Dash thinks about books as well, and a lot about Twilight’s friends trying to help Twilight out – but there’s also some stuff in here which feels kind of like worldbuilding for its own sake, or tie-ins to other things that Estee has written that don’t necessarily feel like they further story as much as they might. This story manages to clock in at 36,000 words, almost a full novel length – but it does not feel like it has a novel’s worth of content or character development, and it drags a bit in places, particularly earlier on in the piece.

That being said, the story also manages to carry itself. There are a lot of interesting ideas in this, and there’s a lot of character insights, even if they are often very specific to the Estee-verse versions of the characters. Twilight is, in Estee’s verse, a much sadder individual than she is on the show, and this story really highlights her social incompetence in many ways that don’t really feel all that consistent with the show, but is the way Estee presents her. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is a divergence – if you like the happier, more optimistic Twilight from the show, this story is likely to disappoint you, as this is not that Twilight. There’s also some little tweaks to some other characters – particularly Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash – which are noticeable, though less so in Rainbow Dash’s case.

This story shows Twilight’s friends being good friends and trying to help her out (even if not in the way that Twilight wants), and particularly highlights her ties with Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash. It addresses some heavy subject matter, like the idea of an author’s words outliving them and how sad it is that they might disappear forever from the consciousness of most people by never being read, and that sort of thing casts a long shadow over the second half of the story, even as Twilight faces the music (or the book sale, in this case).

The pacing on this story is a bit odd, especially because the real emotional strength of it doesn’t really start to become evident until the end of the second chapter. I also have to say that part of Twilight’s final solution to try and avoid destroying the books feels like it undoes some of the character development in the story, and that the strongest part of the emotional climax was before that, as well as in the Rainbow Dash sections.

If slow pacing bothers you, you may well feel your attention wavering before you get to the real emotional meat of the piece, which really feels like it kicks off almost ten thousand words into the story. This piece is undoubtedly longer than it needs to be, and that will definitely be offputting to some folks.

But on the whole, I do have to say that the emotional content was solid, even if the story took too long to get there. The final three chapters are stronger than the first two, and while the ending does have its flaws, there’s enough elsewise that it does right that I was willing to forgive it that.

Recommendation: Are you willing to tolerate almost 10,000 words of story before getting to a solid melancholic emotional core? If so, you might enjoy this. If not, avoid.

Twilight’s Escort Service
by Estee

Slice of Life, Comedy
16,761 words

Twilight's just received her official government escort license, which allows her to legally take on passengers during a teleport. Unfortunately, the fee was hideously expensive -- enough to completely wipe out all her spare bits. And there's a major purchase coming up which she refuses to put off. So what better way to raise the money than by giving her freshly-approved skill a workout? After all, it's winter, it's cold, ponies will get home all the faster, and since Twilight knows what 'escort' means, so will everypony else.

It's probably best not to bet on that last part.

Why I added it: I read it a long time ago.

Twilight really wants the first edition of a new book that is coming out. After taking a test to become an escort – a professional pony who teleports ponies (and deliveries) along with them – she is dead broke, as the fee for the test rises with the more ponies you attempt to escort, to avoid ponies having accidents while testing.

As such, there’s clearly only one solution – for her to advertise her services to Ponyville.

Needless to say, her posters don’t come out quite as intended…

This is one of those “comedy of error” type stories, where someone makes a mistake and then its effects launch off the trouble for the rest of the story. In this case, Twilight going out and “escorting” ponies to their destination, then vanishing off before they can properly articulate their confusion. Meanwhile, Rarity and Applejack – who know all too well what Twilight means, as well as what everypony else in Ponyville is going to think she means – have to track down their friend who can go from point A to point B without crossing the space in-between – and without shattering Spike’s innocence in the process of getting his help.

When I first read this story, I didn’t particularly care for it. Three years later, re-reading it, I enjoyed it a lot more than I did back then. The situation is silly, Twilight’s poster is hilarious, Rainbow Dash’s reaction is even funnier, at least one of the ponies that Twilight “escorts” is a character who we see more of later, in other stories (Rachette, the local magical device fixer) and she is kind of adorable here, and Rarity and Applejack’s own feelings about the situation are made quite clear and are also funny.

Where this story suffers is in a couple places. For one thing, it is long for what it is – you might think it is stretched at 16k words, and you’d be right, except that it isn’t stretched quite as much as you might think. Rather, the actual setup for the story feels like it takes quite some time, and I’m not entirely sure that I really understand Twilight’s obsession with the first edition of a book. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, doubly so given the situation in question. It is used as a means of setting up for the story – she needs that money – but… it feels kind of flat to me, like a made-up reason, while the escalating escort test cost seemed like it made a bit more sense.

The other thing is that the story does feel a bit tonally odd in places – as with all of Estee’s stories, there’s a sort of undercurrent of sadness in a few places that might feel strange to some, and there’s also a huge scene which is basically nothing but the “it isn’t what it sounds like” gag which is undermined by the fact that the reader already knows this fact.

Still, this story actually hits pretty well on the humor in a lot of places, and it does a pretty reasonable job of escalating things on Twilight’s end without repeating itself too much.

Recommendation: Worth Reading if you don’t mind a slow start.

Goosed! by Estee
Not Recommended

Stupid Direction-Face by Estee
Worth Reading

Sick Little Ponies (And One Dragon) by Estee
Rarity’s story Recommended
Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie’s stories Worth Reading

The Remainders of the Day by Estee
Not Recommended

Twilight’s Escort Service by Estee
Worth Reading

And there we go! Almost 160,000 words of Estee stories, all reviewed in one post.

The next Read It Later post will also include a number of longer stories as well. I’m done putting off reading them.

Or so I say, anyway.

I’m going to be housesitting next week, so perhaps I shall manage to get some writing of my own done. I really need to get some stuff finished, as I have many stories to tell.

Number of stories still listed as Read It Sooner: 193

Number of stories still listed as Read It Later: 613

Number of stories listed as Read It Eventually: 2122

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Comments ( 12 )

You know, you do a lot of reviews for "because XXX is a good writer" that end up with stories not being recommended.

I can't remember whether I've said that before. I kind of feel like I have? Maybe it just stuck out more because all these stories are the same author, and none of them came out with glowing recommendations.

I only end up recommending about 10% of what I read (2289 stories read, 269 recommended or above) and only about 40% of what I read gets a Worth Reading or above.

Estee has written 11 stories which got a Recommended or above out of 65 stories I've read. That's 1 in 6, which is about twice the expected background rate. That includes three highly recommendeds. In addition, there are 33 Worth Readings. So that's 44/65, so 2/3rds are Worth Reading or above, which is nearly double the background rate of what I generally read (and note that I almost entirely read stories that I think I might like for some reason).

So this would place Estee as a well above-average writer.

Just because I don't care for everything someone reads doesn't mean they're not a good writer.

I've always found that Estee's writing breezes by for me at a rate that belies the word count. It's rather like Aragon's in that respect, and virtually no others. Of course, I'm basically the physical incarnation of the Continuum's target audience, so I'm not exactly the most unbiased source.

Estee's stories are not laborious to read, so their inflated wordcounts aren't as bad as they might seem at first glance as they're relatively quick to go through. That said, their lengths do sometimes dilute their impact, especially when the long length is in part due to stuff that feels kind of extraneous. Goosed was a particularly egregious example of this, as there are several things in it which didn't feel like they did a lot to advance the emotional core of the plot but which took up quite a bit of space.

4583787 One thing to remember about TD is that simply to have him read *and* review a story makes it worth a peek, even if he throws rocks at it. (but nice rocks, smooth and very aerodynamic). If he "Not Recommends" it but goes on for quite some time describing why, that's certainly worth a look. And Recommends gets an almost instant click.
(Checks the Big Master Review List)
Short stories and comedy like Egg (3k words) and My Brother, The Tooth (1k) naturally have an edge on the longer serious formats because of sheer bulk, which is why my short "Prankster Princesses" stories have more reviews of his than the longer ones like The One Who Got Away(22k) or Drifting(101k).


4583848 That's a pretty glowing recommendation. Some reviewers seem to like nearly everything they read, which, for me at least, has caused me to stop clicking most of their recommendations - especially after I couldn't finish several of the ones that came most highly praised.

This is my own personal experience with video game reviews, and is a major influence on my own rating system. It is also why I don't have a "meh" rating - basically, the way I see it, what is the point of it? People who are reading reviews are either doing it because they want to see other people's opinions about it (in which case, such recommendations don't matter as much as the text review) or because they are looking for something to read. With so many options, why spend your time on something that is "meh" when you could read something that is actively good?

It does put more of a burden on me in some ways (if something is just okay, does it get a Worth Reading, or a Not Recommended?) but it also (I feel) makes my reviews more useful to people who are actively looking for stuff to read; something which is Recommended is a cut above while something which is Worth Reading will, at the very least, not feel like a waste of your time.

Hopefully, anyway. Obviously YMMV; everyone's tastes are a bit different, and I'm just one person. I hope that my reviews are useful to folks, though, at least. I'd rather not recommend something someone would enjoy than recommend something that they didn't, as the latter costs them more than the former. Though of course, it is inevitable that folks won't like everything I enjoy and feel is good.



I think you did, cause I remember this same conversation and answer.

And will what TD says seems solid, I think there is a particularity with estee. which TD it's generous enough to define up in the review:

Like a lot of Estee’s stories, this is a piece which is heavily focused on characterization. Like a number of Estee’s stories, this story also suffers from the primary Estee story flaw – a certain level of lack of focus.  

You can have for example, recently reviewed  A Mark Of Appeal . It's a great story, it has some great deep concept, some marvelous parts, and all, but then, suddenly, you have entire chapters that are pure world-building of Estee universe that's barely related to the main story, or to follow the backstory of what seems a just random or secondary character, or sometimes it's even just something that seems so anecdotal (almost like a short story inside the fic) that it's hard to imagine how they serve to expands anything. It's not just that's it's "slow paced", that's, of course, a question of personal taste, but that it seems to have other purpose (one would guess, expand Estee universe) rather than work for the proper story.

This was indeed one of Estee early stories, and I think he improved in that (and other) regards, but I have seen it other times later anyway.

And in my personal experience it’s what leaves me with an undecided mind. I want to read Estee’s stories, to try to catch those great “juicy moments”, but I end no so enthusiastic about some of his overall fics, since they kinda end “dulled” by the “unfocused” parts, and yet, I loved the juicy parts so much, that I still want to keep reading more of him.


And in my personal experience it’s what leaves me with an undecided mind. I want to read Estee’s stories, to try to catch those great “juicy moments”, but I end no so enthusiastic about some of his overall fics, since they kinda end “dulled” by the “unfocused” parts, and yet, I loved the juicy parts so much, that I still want to keep reading more of him.

Pretty much. The best Estee stories are the ones that stay on track and manage to integrate the worldbuilding smoothly into the story, rather than just feeling like there's a whole scene written from the point of view of Mr. Rich so we can understand Mr. Rich's character better for reasons completely unrelated to furthering the story.

and I’m not entirely sure that I really understand Twilight’s obsession with the first edition of a book.

This is something that makes perfect sense if you've spent a notable chunk of your life around one or more bibliophiles, and very little to anyone else. The story, I feel, reflects this appropriately.


Naw, just your garden variety used book dealers. The exact degree to which this is true varies from book to book, but firsts tend to be scarcer than subsequent printings, and are more prestigious and valuable to collectors for it. Doubly so if any content gets revised between printings, or if the author/book goes on to hit it big, or if the illustrator changes between editions. God help you if the hardcover is a limited run. And that's not even getting into the rabbit hole that is condition.

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