Friday, March 30, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 52: Black and White

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

All I can think of when I see that cover art is Michael Jackson.  Not that that's necessarily a bad thing; I've always thought Black or White was one of his better songs, despite its cheesiness.  Heck, I like it because it's so cheesy, and in any case that face-morphing thing was pretty cool twenty years ago.

After the break, my review of Melionos's Black and White.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 51: Two Ponies

To read the story, click the image or follow this link  

I don't really have anything noteworthy to say up here.  Um... I just had a couple of maple sugar-flavored cookies?  They were really good.

Below the break, my review of Twilight Snarkle's Two Ponies.

Monday, March 26, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 50: Out in the Cold

To read the story, click the image or follow this link  

Jesus Christ, fifty reviews?  When I started this back in October, I had no idea I'd still be at it nearly six months later.  I also had no idea that there were a significant number of folks who'd be interested in following my journey through the fandom's highest-rated stories.  I don't know how many regular visitors I actually have, but the site averages more than 2000 page views per week now.  Not exactly Equestria Daily numbers, but pretty darn good for a pony fanfiction review site, IMO.

So thank you, dear readers.  Thanks for inflating my ego with your praise and attention, thanks for keeping that ego in check and helping me improve with your criticism and corrections (and for presenting both so politely and, dare I say, professionally), and thanks for directing your friends and fellow readers to this site.  You guys are awesome.

Now, on to a hundred!  Below the break, my half-centennial review of EsperDerek's Out in the Cold.

Friday, March 23, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 49: Shaman

To read the story, click the image or follow this link 

Zecora time!  Honestly, I didn't like her character all that much when she was introduced; speaking in couplets is just too gimmicky for me.  But that's neither here nor there.  What's here is this bit you're just now reading, and what's there is the review proper.  After the break, TheMechanic's Shaman.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thoughts on Thesauruses

I've noticed a trend in fanfiction lately that has me concerned, and as the title of this post suggests, it has to do with the use of thesauruses.  That said, my problem probably isn't what you think it is--as usual, I appear to be of the minority opinion on this issue.  To find out what has me cheesed, look below the break.

Monday, March 19, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 48: Celestia's Teeth

To read the story, click the image or follow this link   

I didn't think Saturday's episode, Dragon Quest, was all that bad on the whole.  Some of it was contrived and overly ridiculous of course, but there were plenty of redeeming moments.  But I was really bothered by the way the moral was presented at the end.  If it had been something like "you don't need to pretend to be something you aren't just to fit in," I'd have been fine with it.  But the lesson Spike learned seemed to be more along the lines of "being a dragon is a bad thing, and you should be happy to be an honorary pony."  I know I'm over-analyzing to a ridiculous degree, but that sounds to me way too much like the exhortations once foisted upon African-Americans to "act less black" on the grounds that all aspects of white American culture were superior and that speaking, walking, or praying "like a black" was less than acceptable.  The fact that there were (and are) plenty of examples of violence and inhumanity in African-American culture doesn't excuse this line of thinking, which paints an entire race and racial identity with the same sweeping brushstroke, and to me the fact that Spike hooked up with a half-dozen jerks doesn't excuse him or the ponies for deciding that "acting like a dragon" invariably means being a violent, abusive monster.

Or maybe it just says something about me that that's the first place my mind went.  In any case, my review of Celestia's Teeth by Abalidoth, after the break.

Friday, March 16, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 47: Thunder and Lightning

To read the story, click the image or follow this link  

And we're back on schedule.  For now, at least.  I suspect most of you don't much care if I get a little lax with my updates, but I know myself too well to be complacent--if I don't have a deadline, even just a self-imposed one, then I don't get anything done.  The M-W-F posting schedule isn't just for reader convenience (though that's a factor); it's because if posts were made "whenever I feel like it" then this blog would die within a couple of weeks.

My review of Avery Strange's Thunder and Lightning, after the break.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slight delay...

Okay, here's the deal: this past week has been kicking my butt, and I'm just now getting home.  I haven't had time to even start reading for my next review, and rather than try to skim through it and rush out a half-assed post, I'm going to postpone my review by an estimated 12-18 hours from its usual post time, depending on how heavy tomorrow turns out to be.  As long as I still get it out on Friday it counts, right?

Sorry for the delay, hopefully I'll be able to get slightly less behind on my everything over the weekend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 46: Nocturne

To read the story, click the image or follow this link 

When I was cleaning out my desk drawer today, I found a doubling cube from a backgammon board.  Which wouldn't be too strange, except that I'm pretty sure I don't own a backgammon board, and haven't for years. Where did this thing come from?  I'm kind of a messy person by nature, but it hasn't been that long since I tidied up around here.

My review of CupcakesNom's Nocturne, after the break.

Monday, March 12, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 45: Sweet Apple Capers

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

I love mythological references as much as anyone (and more than most, probably), but I know I'm not alone in feeling a little unnerved by the casualness with which Tartarus was introduced into MLP canon.  Do the "monsters" imprisoned therein include Cronus?  Maybe that's why Celestia and Luna are princesses and not queens: Cronus and Rhea ruled together, and Cronus ate each of his children (the alicorns) as they were born, until Luna was able to escape and overthrow him, freeing her siblings from his belly and imprisoning him for all time.  So they still hold the titles themselves, but are banished and powerless so long as Cerebus guards the gates of... wait, uh-oh.

Then again, maybe that isn't the direction the show's writers are going with this.  Call it a hunch.

The RPGenius's Sweet Apple Capers: a review, after the break.

Friday, March 9, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 44: Simply Rarity

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Rarity time!  Following close on the heels of Carousel, we have another origin-type story.  Find my review of Somber's Simply Rarity after the break.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 43: A Study in Rainbows / The Hound of Ponyville

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

This post actually contains two separate stories.  After waffling a bit, I decided to post both together; even though the second story stands completely separate from the first, they are so similar in tone, writing style, and characterization that I really don't have enough to say about The Hound of Ponyville that isn't true of A Study in Rainbows to justify giving it its own post.  I will, however, rate the two independently.  When I come across sets of stories like this in the future, my decision to post them collectively or independently will be based on a combination of how well they stand alone, and how much I have to say about one story that isn't true of the other.

Totally not influencing my decision in any way is the fact that multiple visitors to this blog will be lining up outside my door with baseball bats if I don't hurry up and get to my review of Simply Rarity.

Thanqol's A Study in Rainbows and The Hound of Ponyville, after the break.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Episode Talk: S2E19, Putting Your Hoof Down

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I felt the need to stick my foot in my mouth.

More so than usual, that is.

Anyway, some two-days-after reaction to the latest episode, after the break.

Friday, March 2, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 42: Carousel

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

I just recently discovered that there's a reality show/contest to find the best tattooist in America.  Every week the tattooists have to put a particular style of tattoo on a volunteer client, and the worst one gets sent home.  Now I'm not the sort to run out and cover my body in indelible ink, so it's true that I just don't understand the appeal in the first place... but where do they get these volunteers?  Who offers to have their body permanently marked up by reality show contestants?  That just sounds like eight different flavors of bad idea to me.

On what I assume to be a completely unrelated note, I present my review of Vanner's Carousel.