All right, I’ve now read another few fimfics that fall into the “really good” category, so here are my reviews:
A Friend of the Night (finished)
Synopsis: It’s been a few weeks since Luna’s returned from the moon, and all is not well. She’s become more introverted than ever, rarely leaving her room and obsessing over work. Celestia hopes that studying Twilight Sparkle’s Friendship Reports will at least help her get out of her shell, though an unusually talkative servant may just help in that regard… and is anypony else getting strange feelings from that statue out in the gardens?
Review: While not necessarily as epic or mind-blowing as some of the other stories I’ve reviewed so far, A Friend of the Night does an excellent job at essentially providing a “director’s cut” version of the show up through roughly when Luna shows up in “Luna Eclipsed”. Ever wonder what Luna was up to offscreen while the main characters were doing their thing? This fic fleshes out her character as a vulnerable, isolated alicorn whose thousand-year absence impedes any connections she might make, and (in typical MLP style) brings the whole thing to a heartwarming conclusion and a lesson well-learned.
All-American Girl (ongoing)
Synopsis: “My name’s Daisy Jo Martinez. I was born – or so my birth certificate says – on March 30, 2012. I’m married with two kids, my husband’s a Naval officer. I’m originally from a town just outside of DC called Winchester, Virginia – apple capital of America, yay, go me. I’m a Republican – that tends to shock a lot of people – and I’m a practicing Catholic – and that tends to shock more people than the first, and like I said, I’m married – I think people start passing out at that point. I’ve lived a happy, charmed life and I’m proud to be an American.”
“And as you can also see, I’m a pony. Well, physically anyway.”
Review: This is by far the best two-worlds-coexisting story I’ve read so far. Unlike certain other fics (*cough*ConversionBureau*cough*), All-American Girl doesn’t take the “humans are inherently evil, ponies are inherently good” stance that seems to pervade other entries in this genre. Instead, the heroine is a pony who got mysteriously teleported to Earth as a foal, and was raised by loving adoptive parents for a decade and a half before the Equestrians figured out how to recreate the event and opened portals to our world. Now, the nations of Equestria have effectively integrated themselves into global (now transdimensional) politics, to the point where Equestrian and human soldiers fight side-by-side against mundane and magical threats. High drama, believably-flawed characters, and good worldbuilding abound.
Why am I Pinkie Pie?! (ongoing)
Synopsis: Okay, I don’t know if anyone can hear this, or read this, or whatever, but I’m trying my best to use Pinkie Pie’s legendary fourth-wall-breaking powers to try and get a message out. If you can hear this, I need help. I’m in Equestria, and man, this is strange. But I’m also stuck in Pinkie Pie’s body, for some reason. Yes, it’s just as weird as it sounds. And now, I need your help… because all the ponies in this town think I’m crazy!
Review: Aaaaand now for something completely different. Given my previous review choices, I have a penchant for the epic, the moving, the feels. This… is none of those things. Instead, it’s an impeccably well-written jaunt into the mind (and body) of my least favorite main character, as a brony suddenly finds himself effectively possessing Pinkie Pie, with all of the baggage that entails. His struggles to convince anyone, anyone at all that he’s not really the pink pony while fighting off Pinkie’s tendency to… well, be Pinkie had me giggling like a madman the entire time I was reading. The first-person meme-aware perspective really clicked with this for some reason, as the protagonist struggles with the cognitive dissonance that ensues whenever he manages one of Pinkie’s trademark nonsensical feats (such as catching random ponies trotting down the street in formation after him when he begins to hum the Smile song under his breath).
What’s fun is that this fic started out as a completely random side-project that the author used to distract himself from the writer’s block he was having on his “real” serious writing project. As it turned out, Why am I Pinkie Pie swiftly eclipsed his main work in popularity, and is now sitting at more than double the amount of likes on FiMFiction.
Bonus review: Do Not Serve These Ponies (finished)
Synopsis: Lyra knows the truth. Lyra knows that a shadowy conspiracy dating back to the very dawn of Equestria is responsible for manipulating every major event for the past two thousand years. And Lyra does not care how many museums she has to destroy or how many transdimensional rifts she has to open in her quest to inform the public.
Review: This is a story I feel conflicted about. On the one hand, the first three or four chapters are absolutely glorious, balls-to-the-wall, laugh-out-loud crazy, written in a style vaguely reminiscent of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. On the other, the story takes a pretty significant left turn in the fourth chapter, jumps the rails, and devolves into something that’s merely strange, instead of hilarious. As such, I wouldn’t put it into the same category as the other stories I’ve reviewed (which I view as all top-notch), but I’d still put forth that you’d be missing out if you skipped this one.