• Member Since 16th May, 2013
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Technical Writer from the U.S.A.'s Deep South. Writes horsewords and reviews. New reviews posted every Thursday! Writing Motto: "Go Big or Go Home!"

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  • Thursday
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCLXXX

    No reviews next week, folks. I’m on break.

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    4 comments · 243 views
  • 1 week
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCLXXIX

    And so we enter 2022. Let us all hope it is saner than the last two years.

    In the past I’ve made note of my plans to go to the Life, the Universe, and Everything convention in Provo, Utah. I’d been looking forward to it for quite some time, even if I wasn’t sure just what I’d be able to get out of the event. At the very least I might finally get to meet a certain FiMFiction Norseman.

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    5 comments · 355 views
  • 2 weeks
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCLXXVIII

    Happy New Years, folks! Still at my parents' place. Will be for the next few days. They tend to keep me busy. Or, rather, I tend to let them keep me busy. When I'm at my apartment it's all me all the time, but when I'm here I feel like my attention should be on them. I'm sure they appreciate it.

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    17 comments · 403 views
  • 3 weeks
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCLXXVII

    An early Merry Christmas to the lot of you!

    The other day a story I was tracking got completed at last, and that meant I finally got to add it to my list of Long Stories and put it under the appropriate schedule. After doing that, I realized that almost the entire year of 2022 has been booked with these things. I’ve got three slots left for stories over 70k. Three.

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    15 comments · 397 views
  • 4 weeks
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCLXXVI

    Recently I had a conversation with a friend. The topic: the potential for a non-FIMFiction review blog. I’ve stated in the past that I wanted to have my own individual blog where I could both publish original fiction reviews and store my old FIMFic reviews. We then got to talking about the potential for expanding it so that it isn’t just me doing the reviews, that I instead head a team of

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    16 comments · 444 views

Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXVIII · 8:20pm Aug 27th, 2020

Before anyone asks, no, I’m unaffected by Hurricane Laura. I’d call it “dry as a bone”, but the humidity in the area would make me eat those words.

These days I’ve spent more time brainstorming than actual writing. BPH has been the exception, but it takes up only 3 out of 7 days of my writing efforts. At this point I’ve foolishly given myself four projects at once, which I knew was too much. Seriously, folks, what’s wrong with me?

Ah, well. I’ll kill the “short” story (it’s really more a “medium” story, now) and be back down to three again. Eventually. It wouldn’t be so bad if the short story hadn’t gotten away with me in terms of what I wanted to do with it, but that’s the flaws of ambition for you. Hopefully the readers will appreciate it when it finally comes out.

Not much else to report, these days. Just hoping I’ll have something to publish before the end of the year. I hate going long periods without having something published, makes me feel like I’m not doing anything, even when my wordcount charts vehemently disagree with that sentiment. For now, let’s do some more reviews, shall we?

Stories for This Week:

Fadoodling by ShiveredTimbers
Laughter by Distressing Prose
Royal Expectations by Westphalian_Musketeer
Little Octavia and the Breezies by DoubleDeadline
Limestone Pie Meets Petunia Paleo by Impossible Numbers
Melt by ambion
The Necromancer's Ambition by KuroiTsubasaTenshi
A Message From Nobody by DaWhirlhoof
You Call That A Costume? by Eddy13
Reformation of the Hives by law abiding pony

Total Word Count: 314,887

Rating System

Why Haven't You Read These Yet?: 3
Pretty Good: 3
Worth It: 3
Needs Work: 1
None: 0

Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash have been dating for months now. But when Fluttershy asks Rainbow for sex, it comes as a shock. It’s been said that Rainbow Dash is a queen of the bed, the ‘Pussy Master’ of Canterlot High. And she wants to be as good as the stories say for Fluttershy. This would be so much easier if that wasn’t all they were.

This was sweet, and in a totally non-pervy way. It’s all about evolving relationships and first steps. And while, yes, the story does get explicit in terms of what’s going on, this isn’t clop in even a remote sense. Sex, even consensual, can be a time of vulnerability, uncertainty, and of terror. That might sound odd to some of you, but ShiveredTimbers captures that reality with great skill.

The cherry atop this buttery blueberry cake is Fluttershy’s absolute inability to say sex-related words. Seriously, her euphemisms for ‘vagina’ are adorable. It felt so in-character for her to me, too. Watching Rainbow try to get her to say this one word had me grinning from ear to ear.

There’s only one thing I’d correct: I’m pretty sure Rainbow Dash took off her clothes two or three times in this story, without ever putting them back on in the first place. Fluttershy might have taken hers off only to magically have them back on later. Did a double take on each occasion.

As long as you’re okay with sex being the primary subject of the story, you should read this. It’s warmhearted and cute and one big, fuzzy FlutterDash moment that can only make their relationship stronger.

Bookshelf: Why Haven’t You Read These Yet?

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Alternative Title: Laugh So You Don’t Cry

At the suggestion of Dr. Horse, Derpy starts keeping a journal.

This is a story that is painful to read. It starts with the first episode of MLP: FiM and has Derpy explaining in her own words why she is the way she is and how she feels about it. Then you find out about those around her, how they act, what they do, and try to understand how she feels. It can be hard to fully grasp at times, because Derpy tries to write everything in as cheerful a way as possible. Especially when she’s not.

As a sadfic, this was truly great. Even more impressive is that it’s a journal-style story that doesn’t fall into all the traditional traps of journal-style stories. That alone would have earned my nod of approval. It’s full of character and revelations made in subtle undertones, such that you have to properly pay attention to what Derpy’s saying to understand the true meaning. The revelation of how Dinky came to be around was especially heart-wrenching, but it’s a “blink and you miss it” thing.

If you have any love for Derpy and/or sadfics, definitely read this. Also read it if you want to have a better idea for how to write journal-style stories.

Bookshelf: Why Haven’t You Read These Yet?

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Cadance is giving birth. Now. Shining Armor sits in the hall, waiting, while Applejack and Big McIntosh do their best to keep him calm.

There’s a lot of ambiguity with this one. Apparently, Cadance’s water broke while she and Shining were having dinner at Sweet Apple Acres. Yet somehow they’re having the baby in Canterlot (as proven in the last scene of the story). What, did the author forget that Ponyville has a hospital? And why were they at Sweet Apple Acres to begin with, and without Twilight in attendance? So many questions unanswered!

If you can ignore the overabundance of WTF going on, you’ll find an amusing story in which Shining is comforted by the Apples – and, as they arrive, the rest of the Mane 6 – with stories of their experiences (or lack thereof) with childbirth from a mare’s perspective. No, I don’t mean any of them had children, but it makes a lot of sense in context. It’s a piece that’s half comedy and half fluff in relation to childbirth.

Then you get to the second chapter, which does a 180 and takes on a whole new path, namely that at least one of the Mane 6 has had a foal: Rarity. If you have any awareness whatsoever of theories surrounding Rarity, you know who that foal is without me spelling it out. I wouldn’t call the events ‘dark’, but they are certainly heavy. In content only, that is.

Why ‘in content only’? Because Westpahlian_Musketeer has no concept of scene presence. The story is intensely dialogue-heavy at all the worst moments. Never does the author take the time to let us appreciate what is being said and what it means, preferring instead to rush through the events. A question is asked, an answer is immediately given. Did the character hurry to answer, or take their time to think on their words, or maybe consider what the answer meant to them, or said it in a tone of worry or cheer or fear or with a leer? We’ll never know, because the lump sum of every interaction is “Pony A talked, Pony B answered.” If Westphalian_Musketeer was actively trying to avoid as much character depth and emotion as possible, they succeeded.

The other thing that bugs me is, I must acknowledge, subjective. Rarity in this story is depicted as having gone to a university to get a degree in fashion. I don’t know about you guys, but I always considered most of the Mane 6 to be teenagers in the opening episode, with the oldest maybe hitting 20 or 21. I’m of the firm belief that Rarity already owned and operated the Carousel Boutique when she was in her late teens. With that headcanon in play, it would have been nearly impossible for Rarity to have attended a college, and since the story expressly states she was a freshman at the age of 18… well, you can’t cross them streams.

But again, this is a personal interpretation and headcanon. If others want to view the Mane 6 and particularly Rarity as ten years older than I do, that’s their prerogative. As such, I won’t consider this misalignment of our headcanons against the story when I rate it.

I do have to wonder what the rulers of the Crystal Empire – because they were indeed its rulers when this story was released – are doing in Ponyville having a casual dinner with the Apple Family. Or why they went all the way to Canterlot to have the baby when Ponyville has a perfectly good hospital and Cadance likely didn’t have time to take what Rainbow acknowledges is a long train ride.

The first half of this story is a fun if confusing bit of fluff centered around Shining Armor and Cadance having a (now non-canon) baby. The second half is a serious drama about how Rarity ended up having a foal with a stallion whose name she never even learned. Ultimately, I liked the first part more, because it was simpler, had some interesting and unexplored tidbits about the Mane 6, and was generally a lot of fun. The second, ‘bonus’ chapter? Eh. It was predictable and felt rushed, thanks in no small part to the heavy emphasis on dialogue over narrative. It might have been better if the author had slowed down and permitted us to marinate in the events, rather than sprint through the obvious motions.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Little Octavia is bored out of her skull. The Doctor told her not to go wandering off into the forest, but she just can’t help herself. Filly’s gotta be a filly, you know? Then she comes across some ravens attacking something she’s never seen before…

Holy shit, this is supposed to be a Teen-rated story? If you see that image and think what you’re about to get into is a cute little tale of a child Octavia making friends with cute little fairy ponies… well, you’ll be in for a surprise. The lighthearted among you may be in for some trauma.

My first thought in the early stages was “oh, great, another Dr. Who crossover. Whoop-dee-fucking-do.” But now that I’ve read through the whole thing, I don’t feel so annoyed by the choice. By the end of it, having Octavia be a Companion makes a bit of sense in that it allows us to imagine where this version of Octavia comes from, especially when aligned with the little hints provided throughout the story. Even more interesting are the potential consequences of her being unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

To be succinct, this Octavia either has no empathy at all or, perhaps, is so mentally underdeveloped as to not understand the concepts of right and wrong. Perhaps in time she grows up to be a ‘normal’ citizen. But right now?

Through visceral description and a horrifying turn of events, this story earns its gore tag. No joke, this thing shocked me in a way most horrors couldn’t dream of achieving. DoubleDeadline pulls no punches, and neither does Octavia.

If you’re interested in some scary shit, this will do it for you. If you’re interested in cute fillies and little fairy pony creatures having an adorable conversation, run away. Now.

The author did exactly what they intended, and I have zero problem with that. Yes, it’s brutal, but I also think the story is well done. Good writing, great (if frightening) descriptions, an underlying mystery to never be solved. I’ve no reason to rate this poorly. Just… reader beware.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

When Pinkie Pie informs big sister Limestone that she’s invited Petunia Paleo to the rock farm, she is most certainly not happy about it. But Mom and Dad have already agreed, so Limestone concludes she’ll have to keep a close watch on this… archaeologist.

Yay, Limestone! You folks can keep your Marbles and Mauds, give me some Limestone any day. In this story, Limey keeps a close watch on Petunia Paleo in order to make sure she doesn’t do anything wrong, like touching Holder’s Boulder. As she spends more time with the filly, however, she gradually comes to realize that she has more in common with Petunia than not. As you can no doubt imagine, this leads to what Limestone might, if under extreme duress, begrudgingly hint at being a friendship.

On top of giving us some more distinct characterization of Limestone as an individual, I also see what are either some original ideas notably similar to what others have already done, or direct references to other Pie Family-related stories. It’s hard to say, but I’m leaning for the latter, and if I’m right in that suspicion then I thoroughly approve. If I’m not right, I thoroughly approve anyway, as it still lends to a proper culture for the Pie Family’s rock farming ways.

Definitely read this if you have any love, or at least curiosity, for Limestone Pie. Also read it if you’re interested in learning a little about Pie Family history and the true story of Holder’s Boulder, at least as Limestone recalls it. But mostly, you should read this if the idea of the belligerent, grumpy Pinkamena Pie of the family (because you know Pinkie’s sisters were intentionally modeled to reflect her assorted fandom personalities) having to interact with an adorable, excitable foal.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good!

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
The King and the ChangelingWHYRTY?


1,980 Words
By ambion

Twilight is sick. But it’s not just any sickness. This one is special, and it calls for special measures. Luckily, she has Princess Celestia there to help.

Altogether now: 3… 2… 1… D’awww!

This was adorable, and in more ways than one. The setting is highly unusual, enough so that you’re hooked into it the instant you realize what’s going on. The story gets its strength from both the weirdness of the situation and the vividness of its descriptions. The depiction of a sick Twilight half off her rocker makes it impossible not to find the whole thing adorable.

Then ambion tops it off with some typical TwiLestia friendshipping that feels all the better and more endearing thanks to all of that.

The only thing that gave me pause is that it isn’t clear when this is set. Based on the cover art, I thought it was when Twilight is still a little filly bouncing around Celestia’s heels (although I recognize now that she's way too big in that picture for such a conclusion and I don't know why I thought that). But the story explicitly declares Twilight to be an adult. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure this is set before Twilight leaves for Ponyville, as none of her friends are mentioned but her ‘tower of books’ gets referred to repeatedly. Still, it takes some attentiveness on the reader’s part to figure that out.

If you have any love for Twilight being adorable – and if you don’t what the heck is wrong with you? – then you should absolutely read this.Granted, with over 30k views already, you probably have.

So read it again.

Bookshelf: Why Haven’t You Read These Yet?

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
A Ballad of Eeyup and NopeWHYRTY?
Sun BlockedPretty Good
Tricks and TreatsPretty Good

Dusky Down is a traveler, and today that means going through the town of Pasture to escape a rogue storm. It turns out that Pasture has a bit of history; they say a necromancer stalks the forests, constantly threatening the town with his evil. Dusky isn’t inclined to believe the fearmongering, but she also knows that some legends are based on truths. Her attempt to get out of town as quickly as possible, however, falls short when a certain mysterious unicorn comes into her life.

Now this is more like it, author!

The Necromancer’s Ambition is an adventure in which our intrepid traveler meets and finds herself befriending the dark mage, who turns out to not be what anyone was claiming. Working together with just about the only friendly locals that exist, they work to protect the town of Pasture from a large gang of bandits with very specific goals.

I loved Ivory, who was a delight to behold in most of her scenes. Though defensive and fearful, her desperate need to make a friend who isn’t a zombie is endearing all on its own, to say nothing for her endless kindness to a group of ponies who, for all intents and purposes, would prefer to see her dead. Dusky is no slouch in her own right, with a troubled past, a penchant for getting into trouble, and a fortunate knack for also getting out of it. Then there is Blaze, the firebrand of a militia guardsmare with delusions of heroism ready to be doused in the icy waters of real world experience. Together, these three mares make for a nice package I look forward to meeting again.

I can’t think of any serious downsides. The story is fun, with the author demonstrating a good sense of tension. There are strong action scenes that take into account a pony’s specific anatomical tools, and just a smidgeon of magical shenanigans. Then we get the ending, which isn’t so much an ending as it is a “this was just the beginning” sort of conclusion where you know a sequel is coming.

And it has, so I will eventually be reading it. Too bad it’s huge, so I won’t be seeing it for years. Still, it’s definitely on my list.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good!

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
Tiny Equine in EverfreePretty Good!
TreasureWorth It

Twilight Sparkle is beyond bored. So when something begins to interfere with Equestria’s magic from outer space, she can’t help but want to investigate. Luckily enough, Celestia, Luna, and Starlight detect it as well.

This story theorizes what might happen if the Pioneer 10 or Pioneer 11 probes landed on Equestria – or any sapient species’ home planet, I suppose. For those of you unaware, the Pioneer probes were given special plaques intended to communicate with aliens and, if they could be deciphered, indicate where Earth is in the galaxy.

On the one hand, it’s fun conceptualizing how ponies might react to the Pioneer Plaque, and DaWhirlhoof focuses the story on the princesses’ and Starlight’s attempts to interpret our strange monkey symbols. It’s important to note that DaWhirlhoof apparently wrote this with the insinuation that Equestria Girls isn’t canon, as Twilight fails to instantly recognize the drawings of humans on the plaque. That may cause annoyance for some people, and it certainly threw me off guard, but as long as you can accept the conceit, it should be fine. In the author’s defense, it helps a lot with the purpose of the story to make such a decision.

Of course, in reality an alien species would likely spend months, if not years, analyzing the plaque trying to figure out its meanings. The ponies figure out three of the four symbols in less than an hour. I suppose I can forgive that, since it might have been harder to make an interesting story using a realistic time scale. I certainly approve of the idea that they weren’t able to figure it all out in one sitting though, and how the ponies make certain assumptions about humanity. Such as that we wouldn’t have sent the probe unless we were dying as a species, which is an unexpectedly dark conclusion considering how positive the ponies have been so far. It’s also interesting hearing them discuss their interpretation of molecules with their own terminology, a nice touch that not only fits the overarching theme of the story, but also casts significant consequences on the way ponies can manipulate magic. That last part alone is enough to make a person’s head spin.

Speaking of consequences: Luna still moves the stars. In a universe where our Earth exists. Think about that for a second. Then try to imagine this beyond powerful creature somehow not being able to affect the Pioneer probe in any way. Oh, wait, take it even further: they used magic to redirect it to Equestria, but somehow can’t use magic to manipulate it after it landed. Wut?

I also note that the characters are surprisingly foolhardy about the whole thing. Weird, unknown thing in outer space causing weirdness with our magic? Let’s bring it down to Equestria and check it out! I can’t think of a dumber reaction. I don’t care how curious you are, this is how people die. Possibly in droves.

Speaking of bringing it down, I have to wonder how the heck the Pioneer probe survived re-entry. I seriously doubt it was designed to do that, and there’s zero indication the princesses did anything to help. They were mostly just “let’s tug it into our gravitational pull and see where it lands”.

My point in all this is that if you’re coming into this expecting anything resembling scientific realism – or even for the story to obey its own rules – you will be disappointed. I can think of a few critics I know who would tear their hair out at how things go down. If you really want to enjoy this, the best thing you can do is not think about it too hard. Indulge in the concept behind it rather than the ‘hows and whys’ behind it. If you try to look at it in any other way, it’ll probably drive you insane. I like the story in general, but those caveats are warranted.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

You Call That A Costume?

19,780 Words
Eddy13 failed to provide cover art.
Requested by Eddy13

The Humane 7 decide to celebrate Halloween in style. Twilight, however, thinks they aren’t ‘in style’ enough, and so casts a spell meant to make their costumes as realistic as possible. Naturally, the spell backfires; now everyone is literally what they dressed as! It’s up to Twilight, Sunset, and Spike to resolve the problem.

If I had to put this down to a specific genre, it would be “teen fiction”. Not only is the story wholly unrealistic, but it is clearly designed with a specific rating in mind. It reminds me of all those Goosebumps stories I used to read in bulk before realizing how silly, if not outright dumb, they were. My point being, if you’re here looking for a story about what would really happen if a werewolf and a Mr. Hyde went on a rampage through EqG Canterlot, this won’t do it for you. Really, the story is almost entirely comedic in nature, even if Eddy13 makes at least some attempt for it not to be.

To be fair, I get the feeling Eddy13 knew exactly the kind of story they wanted and wrote with that in mind. In that regard, they succeeded more or less without flaw. And why not write for that demographic? It’s a perfectly legitimate practice, and I’m sure if I were that age again I’d have loved the heck out of this. In truth, I might still have loved it were it not for the sheer, contrived unbelievability of everything that’s happening.

Let’s just take the example of the dog. We’ve got personality-swapped Rarity and Applejack climbing over a fence to get away from this bulldog. And this bulldog is… uh… jumping higher with every leap? What? Sure, you can theoretically improve your jump height through months and years of constant and steady training. But if you jump right now, it won’t be any higher than you jumped yesterday, much less thirty seconds ago. By this logic, climbing over the fence is pointless, because in ten seconds the dog will be able to vault it. Unless you randomly decide this new breaking of the laws of physics doesn’t apply the instant the girls are on the other side of the fence, of course.

That’s just one example of Eddy13 ignoring reality. Let’s not forget Pinkie-Hyde damaging property in a wave of mass destruction to the point of setting buildings on fire and facing zero legal consequences for it.

Moving on, we find Eddy13 also ignores canon. Specifically, by having Sci-Twi able to perform magic. Which… she can’t do. Unless there’s something from the comics, but most of us just watch the show, and in the show Sci-Twi was never able to do more than levitate objects, and then only when in contact with her magical geode. Don’t expect there to be some explanation of how Sci-Twi suddenly has magical powers beyond that, as there won’t be any.

Then the story breaks its own rules. It is stated and shown, very clearly, that the girls are transforming into exactly what they were dressed as. Worse, they forget their past lives. ...except for Twilight and Sunset. The only explanation given for why they are immune to the memory problem makes zero sense. Somehow we’re supposed to believe Twilight kept hers because she ‘wasn’t really Midnight Sparkle anymore’, except she is because that’s how the spell works in the first place. The author doesn’t even try to explain why Sunset didn’t go full-on Starswirl the Bearded.

And then there are the grammar issues, which include incorrect verb tenses and using words that clearly don’t mean what the author intended them to. The worst of it all, however, is the lack of dialogue grammar awareness:

"Well, I am sorry" Applejack replied "But teaching that degenerate ruffian a lesson took priority" she looked up to see the corner they were coming up on "And besides, it looks like it isn't necessary anymore. Look".

This ‘sentence’ captures nearly everything wrong with Eddy13’s dialogue-related grammar. I count sixseven mistakes in this little piece alone. Where are the commas? Why is the capitalization out of whack? What the heck is that final period doing outside of the quotes? Worse, the errors are consistent throughout, meaning the author apparently thinks this is grammatically correct. Eddy13, I strongly recommend you look into correcting this for future stories, because it is about as big an eyesore as can be. And since 95% of everything happening in this story is dialogue (speaking of, learn to write more narrative, author), that’s a lot of pain.

Now, I say all of this and I know it sounds really bad. On the contrary, I think the story is okay given the apparent audience. If you’re interested in low-stakes stories where you know from the beginning that things will be fine because that’s obviously what the author’s going for, then this will probably be good for you. But Eddy13 will have to pay a lot more attention to their plotline with an eye for realism, the canon they are building from, and the rules set down in their own story before they can get a high rating. 

Bookshelf: Needs Work

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Queens Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash have been summoned to the Queen’s Summit by the Homeguard. Since the warring changeling queens have failed to elect one, a new Prime Matriarch is to be named by the Home Guard, and all queens must attend.

I was supposed to have gotten to this ages ago, but a mistake on my part led to it being neglected until now. A shame, I would have rather read the series closer together. For those of you unaware, this AU had Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash turned into changeling queens, and by this point they joint-rule a hive known as Phoenix’s Roost in the Everfree as staunch allies of Equestria. For this story we get to watch as ardent (religious?) fanatic Queen Polybia essentially declares war on all the other changeling queens in a mad rush to ‘purify’ the changeling race. In the process, we have crazed anti-changeling zealots in Equestria wreaking havoc, an attempt to reform the mad Velvet Sparkle, Princess Luna proving yet again how badass she is, massive battles, and a crap-ton of necromancy. As usual, law abiding pony tries to do a whole lot in a short time.

Some people have suggested to me that this series gets ‘bad’ after a certain point. I’m not sure what specifically they are referring to, but if I had to guess it would be the ‘epic-ification’ of the circumstances. Gargantuan tatzlewurms spitting magic energy beams, Princess Luna summoning multiple tantabuses (tantabi?) in battle, changeling queens morphed into hideous egg factories, and weapons that turn off all magic on a city-wide scale are just a few examples. One can be forgiven for thinking the author is making things too big to be believable. There are the contrivances too, such as Night Light, through extreme coincidence, unwittingly adopting a royal changeling, or the return of Bright Mac and Pear Butter for no reason other than fan wankery.

None of this is bad, at least not objectively. I for one enjoyed most of it; by this point in the series I’m more inclined to go with it than be critical. What I am skeptical about is how much law abiding pony is trying to cram into it. A lot of tangential threads exist with no resolution, making you wonder why they were ever brought up in the first place. And this isn’t the first time for the series; if anything, it’s a long-running trend that defines it. What is the point of the tree ponies, or the sphinxes? As far as I can tell, there is no point, despite the fact that each had a story that introduced them as if they might become main players in the overarching plot. Oh, a handful of the old characters make cameos, but if you introduced an entire race in a project this large for no reason other than cameos, something is wrong.

I get it. The author is going for a ‘realistic’ slant (in direct defiance of the gigantic, magic-spewing, undead tatzlewurms in the room). In reality, meeting a new race on the world stage would eventually lead to business as usual. Yet for the sake of a story, you don’t introduce characters, act like they’re going to be important, and then brush them aside as needless from then on. Which is exactly what this author does consistently. I’m placing odds at 90% we will, at most, hear Grogar’s new name in the sequel and then never hear from it again.

The best way to sum up this story in regards to the series as a whole is “more of the same”. That doesn’t make the events uninteresting – far from it – but it does mean a lot of these events will likely be treated as footnotes at best in the sequel. Then again, with the return of Twilight Velvet and the unresolved issues of Pear Butter, it’s possible the author intends to actually follow up on a plot thread this time. Maybe law abiding pony is starting to learn a little more about ‘storytelling’ over ‘worldbuilding’ and ‘crazy action sequences’. One can only hope.

I’ll certainly be reading the sequel. If this story has anything going for it, it’s that constant desire to know what is next, even if “what’s next” usually doesn’t involve the things any of the story’s audience actually want. I enjoyed this one, as I enjoyed the other ones, but its effectiveness as a story is questionable to me. I hope the next story provides a greater sense of finality.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
For the HivePretty Good
Of the HivePretty Good
Aegis of the HiveWorth It
Culling of the HivesWorth It

Stories for Next Week:

The Perfect Little Village of Ponyville by McPoodle
Until It Goes Away by sidewayz2013
No More Magic by Darksonickiller
The Kissing Booth by CategoricalGrant
The Beach Kinda Sucks without You by elPossenreisser
Golden/Silver Shine by Regidar
Skyward Yearning by SPark
Forsaken Shores by garatheauthor
Seconds Late by FerociousCreation
The Worst of All Possible Worlds by TheTimeSword

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Comments ( 18 )

Apparently I've read The Necromancer's Ambition already, but I have no memory of doing so. Maybe I binged it when I was tired, or something?

Another week of nothing I've read, but damn does that Derpy story really sound like it's up my alley.

I'm rather enjoying hurricane season. It's nice to hear the roar of the ocean at night. We don't get that often in Kansas...

(This one's bigger than most, isn't it?)

Wow.:twilightoops: Didn't expect to get such a brutal review. Also, kind of a bummer that my story is the only one on the list that "Needs Work". I honestly thought I had explained the rules better. And yes, I was going for a comedic demographic. When one writes a story involving the trope "Becoming the Costume", it's mostly used for comedy. And as for Twilight using magic, well, I didn't really ignore canon so much as I was unaware of it. You see, I haven't really fully seen the EQG series, but thought I got the general gist. And since I saw Twilight use magic in a clip of the climax of "Legend of Everfree", I assumed she could use it fully. My mistake.

Anyway, sorry my story didn't go over big with you. Hopefully, the other story you have on your "To Read" list, "Always the Quiet Ones", will be more impressive. It's without a doubt one of the most popular stories I've written.

Arr, matey, me timbers be well an' truly shivered by this 'ere review! 'Ave a flagon o' grog on me, messmate! On account of I went an' poured it on meself by accident, ya-ha-ha-harr!

Hey, thanks for taking the time to review one of my stories. I'm kind of surprised to see such a high rating, but (I typed this sentence a few times and decided to just stop flailing.)

Thank you again.

Or maybe you've read so many stories they've all become a blur and you just can't recall everything you look at.

...from experience.

It was pretty good. Give it a go! Assuming you have time to.

Yeah, that "super destructive you're all gonna die" storm surge didn't happen, as expected. No major weather event is going to be as bad as the media declares it will be, because they always have to report the worst scenario "just in case". If they're going to be wrong, better to overestimate. You'll panic gullible people into mindless hysteria, but get more ratings, and in the 0.01% chance you're actually right then you've saved lives.

I don't know if I'd call this "bigger than most", but it was briefly a Cat-4. That's enough for even my parents to agree to evacuate the area; they'll shrug off a Cat-3 because we know from experience the house can take it, and it won't get flooded. But I checked the stats. Louisiana hasn't been hit by a Category 4 or 5 storm since 1969 (Harvey in 2017 was a Cat-4, but it hit Texas). The house was built in the early 2000's and had never had that kind of stress test before, so they chose not to risk it.

Good news is that my parents' place survived the encounter with little more than some superficial damage. Mom and Dad designed that thing sturdy. Bad news is that the yard is apparently a total wreck that will, in my mom's estimate, take two or three weeks to clear up.

I go for honesty, even when the review's negative. As to the rules, you explained them thoroughly enough at the beginning to make what happened with Twilight break them. It makes no sense for Twilight to not be what she dressed as when that's exactly what the spell did in the first place. You can't say "this spell makes you Midnight Sparkle" then say "but you aren't really Midnight Sparkle so it didn't work". Twilight's situation created a new rule: if you're not really what you dressed as, then the spell won't work on your mind. So why did it do so for everyone else? None of them are even remotely what they dressed as personality wise, so the spell shouldn't have altered them in that way, by the logic of what's happened to Twilight. You can't have it go both ways because of some arbitrary "I said so".

Regardless, I have every intention of reading more. For all I know, you've improved since that story, and I'd like to see if that's true.

Huge thanks for the review! (Especially to a tiny author who ain't worth the time.)

I can definitely agree that I was inconsistent even within the fic, and a lot of people pointed it out. The only reason I can think of for why is that I was more focused on fun and the concept than the technical aspects. And yeah, they probably should've had a better reaction than just "tug of war" on it. Well, the princesses anyway; Starlight has shown she's impulsive, so maybe..?

As for the accelerated timeline, I did that both because of brevity, as you said, but also because MLP already works on extremely short timespans. An example being that Dash mastered a difficult flight trick in 2 days (Newbie Dash.) Granted, she is a prodigy, but still.

And I didn't write with the intention of Equestria Girls not being canon (I think the series is actually pretty good.) I suppose I just forgot it existed while I was writing. Coconut brain.

Overall, thank you for the positivity! I understand it has a lot of issues, which I can only blame my self for. Still!

Well, for the record, "Always the Quiet Ones" came before "You Call That A Costume?". Still, hopefully you'll approve of it whenever you read it. Perhaps you'll find the chance to read it in October, in honor of the vibe it gives.

In this case I was referring to This Is Gonna Be a Blast!, which is linked to You Call That A Costume? as its sequel. But you're right, Quiet Ones is on the list. I forgot about that.

And there's always the cursed memory of the disastrous 1900 Galveston hurricane hanging over the heads of meteorology and weather reporting.

My father has his own version of Pinkie Sense that leads him to automatically and instinctively talk about the book Isaac's Storm every time that particular hurricane is mentioned. I expect him to text me any minute now to ask if I've read it yet (I have not, but not for lack of want).

I'm pretty sure I had to read that book at uni.

Hey, thanks for the review. I dare say it had more dramatic flair than the fic itself. :rainbowlaugh:

And yeah, the sequel's length got away from me a bit. It's something I knew would be large going in because of the size of the draft material used, but I still sorely underestimated the volume of revisions required (including expansion to fill in a number of plot holes) to get it into a readable state.

Well, I want to hear of these rarity theories now, belle seems to obvious so it must be someone else.

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