I wrote up some reviews of stories from fimfiction, and thought I’d put them somewhere I could link to them (as opposed to the closed forum where they originally were).
Synopsis: Humans. Truth or myth? Ancient lost civilization or just an old pony’s tale? No pony has ever seen one, and most haven’t even heard of them. But Lyra knows that these wonderful creatures are more than just old legends, and she’s going to find out… and possibly drive her roommate insane in the process.
Review: This was one of the first completed epic-length fics I read, and it’s partly what pulled me in to the concept of ponyfic as a whole. The story does a stellar job of taking what’s essentially a throwaway joke about a random pony in one of the show episodes (showing a pony sitting in a distinctly human-like way) and expanding upon that, turning it into a full-blown, understandable backstory with its own plot threads tacked on. Judging by the number of references to Anthropology I’ve seen in the other stories I’ve read, this interpretation of Lyra has more or less become fanon, if just because of how well-realized it is. Admittedly, the ending is a bit derivative, but overall it’s good, well-written, clean fun.
Synopsis: Seven years after the end of the series, the Elements have gone their separate ways, while remaining close friends. The birth of Fluttershy’s first foal (in Windfall) and a startling new magitech development (in Earth and Sky) bring the gang back into each other’s lives, underscoring the changes that have taken place while reinforcing the bond they share.
Review: World-building and extrapolation are key to this story. Believable older versions of the Mane 6 (and other characters from the show) interact in ways that show character growth while still recalling their more carefree versions from the show. “Windfall” is more or less a short vignette; “Earth & Sky”, on the other hand, feels almost like hard sci-fi to me, in the truest sense of the term — chronicling the impact a single new invention has on the characters and society as a whole. Some very touching moments are to be had as Archmage Twilight, franchise-owner Rarity, Wonderbolts Captain Dash, farmowner spinster Applejack, and mothers Fluttershy and Pinkie react to the changes that life inevitably brings while trying to absorb the implications of an invention that will change the world.
Unfortunately, this story is still ongoing, so we’ll have to see where it ends up. So far, the journey is more than worth the wait.
Synopsis: Many years after sending her beloved protege to Ponyville, unease sits heavily on Princess Celestia’s heart as her relationship with Twilight Sparkle seems to have cooled despite all they’ve accomplished together. On the advice of her sister, Celestia sets out to investigate and resolve the lost connection with her most faithful student. What does it mean to be a Faithful Student…or a Princess of the Sun?
Review: I’m not sure I can do this one justice. This is a sweeping psychological magnum opus that frequently brought me to tears while slowly growing from a slice-of-life tragedy to a mythic fable that encompassed all of Equestrian history. It explores themes like the significance of names, the masks we wear, the inevitable tragedy of immortality, the dangers of guilt, the deeper meanings of true friendship… the list goes on. The story takes the “magic of friendship” and turns it on its head, taking it immeasurably deeper than the show, maturing it by tempering it with the realities of adult life. Contains some of the more heartbreaking — and heartbreakingly beautiful — moments I’ve seen in a piece of fiction to this date.