Another day, another review. 'Two Cups of Tea', after the break.
(Love the RariShy. LOVE IT.)
Alright, the story I'll be reviewing today is 'Two Cups of Tea' by AbsoluteAnonymous, probably the single biggest name in pony fiction besides the lovely Kkat of 'Fallout: Equestria' and the loathed/despised/dreaded Sergeant Sprinkles of 'Cupcakes' (like you didn't instantly know who they were and cream your boxers/panties as soon as you read their names). So I'm taking on the works of the celebrities. What's next, Anthropology? Beware, no fic is safe.
The story itself is part of the apparently increasing trend of RariShy fics I've seen around FiMFiction recently, though the author herself isn't known for this pairing, instead focusing more on RainbowPie. Good on you AA for stepping out of your comfort zone and into mine. I'll admit, it's a cute little tale of hidden desire, but like you don't go to the Bible for non-fiction (ooh, edgy), you don't come to me for a positive review, even for whom I daresay is my favourite author. Let's roll.
Description: Fluttershy comes to Rarity looking for advice on what to do about an unrequited crush ... but Rarity has a few secrets of her own, and may not be the right mare to ask after all.
From experience it’s usually the other way around. Fluttershy is the shy one here, but you can’t really blame Rarity for liking her because Fluttershy is, well, Fluttershy. Her cute face, her pink hair, her shy demeanor, her riding crop…oh wait, that’s just me.
Plot: During their weekly spa day, Fluttershy asks Rarity how to deal with a ‘personal problem’. Rarity is happy to comply until she finds out that Fluttershy likes a certain colt and is filled with hormonal angst over not being able to sweetly court (and then violently buck, I can only assume) him, on account of him having a girlfriend. You know how it is, there’s always someone in the way. So Rarity goes about trying to comfort her, and then proceeds to subtly seduce her…no, wait, that last bit doesn’t actually happen. Instead, it ends there, with both mares brokenhearted for different reasons, and just like Mass Effect 3 everyone gets screwed in the end, including the audience.
Characters: Probably could have been expanded a bit more, but that’s what you have to expect from an author that seems to be benefitting from nothing more than cheap one-shots as of late. Asides from my own personal gripes, Rarity was actually portrayed decently. She didn’t have too many darlings and dears like almost every other fic that features her (including mine), and was also generous enough to put her own personal feelings aside to comfort her friend and secret crush, and that plays very well with her actual character. Fluttershy however, she’s little more than depressed gripes and ellipses. Seriously…who…speaks…like…this…ever? Our [read: everyone but AsboluteAnonymous and AxeOfChaos] favourite pegasus isn’t as developed as she could be, but the author in question usually writes for the two most outgoing ponies, i.e. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, and is reasonably arrogant herself and so can’t be expected to know how a meek person or pony should act.
Spelling and grammar: 6 spelling errors (besides the intentional ones – hooficure isn’t technically a word, but I’ll let it slide seeing as I’m a part of this fan base) and 10 grammatical errors. Let’s have a look see at what could have been corrected.
Spelling: The first error is in the second paragraph (already?). ‘flutey.’ What is that even meant to be? Did you mean ‘fluently’? The second error is later in the same paragraph. Wow. Anyway, ‘skilful’. You’re missing an ‘l’ there, buddy. The third error is all the way down in the twenty-ninth paragraph. ‘cosiness’. This’d be acceptable if you were using British English, but not in that bastardisation of a language you speak in. The fourth error is in paragraph forty-one, where you decided to put a space where it did not belong. ‘any more’ should be a single word. The fifth error (you can tell I’m deriving pleasure from this, can’t you?) is five paragraphs down, in a land where the spacebar seems to have taken a break at one point and not come back to finish the job. ‘you’rewonderful’ is the ‘word’ I’m talking about. The last error is in paragraph fünfzig, where ‘away’ is missing the ‘a’. Now technically ‘scaredy’ in paragraph forty-three isn’t a real word either, but it’s used so often that I’ll let it slide.
Grammar: I’m going the whole nine yards here, this one is looooong. Most of these are sentences that were just…awkward. The fifth paragraph is ground-zero for our first correction, with the sentence ‘At least, nothing that would allow her to maintain her composure.’ You should just go ahead and splice that with the previous sentence. Then in the ninth paragraph, the author says ‘Like coming into a new world entirely, in fact’ That sentence needs an ‘It was’ at the beginning, or maybe a ‘‘twas’ if you’re feeling the spirit of Christmas a few months too early. Paragraph fourteen is but a single word ‘expression,’ which should have a semi-colon instead of a comma. In the thirtieth paragraph, ‘Almost ritualistic’ needs an ‘It was’ as well. Forty-five has ‘Selfishly seizing’ which needs to combine its powers with the previous sentence. Ninety-one has a comma that needs removal (next to ‘before’), and all the remaining errors are in the next paragraph, number ninety-two. ‘Only a brush’ should merge with the previous sentence, ‘Even as she longed for more’ should follow suit, and ‘Longed for that beautiful perfection’ should lose the ‘Longed’ and then mix with the prior sentence.
Try reading the entire grammar section aloud in a single breath. I dare you. I double dare you, motherf@#!er!
Execution: (I’m so tempted to repeat my joke from the previous review, but alas this fic doesn’t deserve that) Asides from one or two slips with what kind of English was being used (not that you could call one of them real English), the story ran pretty smoothly. No real issues here, asides from the ending. I doubt I was the only one who finished the chapter and then went to check if it was marked as ‘complete’, only to be sorely disappointed.
In Conclusion: Yet another one-shot from the semi-famous AbsoluteAnonymous. I made a comment recently on one of her blog posts where I said that she needs to get back to writing the good stuff as opposed to the plethora of single-chapter texts blocks. Humorously, she writes almost nothing but one-shots so what I said may have been [read: was] taken as an insult. I don’t know what’s worse: That I insulted my favourite author accidentally, or that I didn’t realise it was an insult until she told me. I am filled with shame, and can only resort to seppuku.
So while I kneel here with a katana planted firmly in my gut, I can only think back to my favourite story, ‘The Games We Play’ which was written by the same author, an almost perfect work of art that deserves much more attention and praise than it’s actually getting, much like The Netherlands. As I slowly lose consciousness however, my last thought is this:
Why can’t you keep writing like that? I liked that story. I don’t like stories; I tolerate and belittle them behind their backs. That one was an exception. So what the hell happened? Take your one-shots and shove them up your-
Oh right, the story at hand. Eh, I’ll give it a 6.5/10. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to call an ambulance before I turn my nice white bed sheets into the Japanese flag.
This is ChrisTheCat, signing off.