Another innocent fic falls prey to my condescending gaze. This fic, though...it's different from every other story I've reviewed in my time here on the site. How? It has multiple chapters. Cue dramatic music. 'Words Failed Her', after the break.
(*looks at picture* What is this, Silent Hill?)
Alright, the story I'll be reviewing today is called 'Words Failed Her' by Nonsanity, a fic that screams 'I AM ORIGINAL' from the rooftops. However, unlike many other fics that do this, Words Failed Her is actually a completely original concept. No, really. I've yet to see something even remotely similar to this. However, originality doesn't always mean talent.
It's charming in it's own way, and I could say many good things about it, but like you don't go to the DMV for people who give a rat's ass about you, you don't come to me for a positive review. Let's take the plunge.
Description: In a world full of magic, mere words can carry viruses. When reading any correspondence or signpost could infect the unwary, and cases are starting to turn up around Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle casts the one spell that can give her time: the Curse of Illiteracy. Now she has to figure out how to stop the epidemic... without being able to read.
Plot: Princess Celestia is renovating the Star Swirl the Bearded wing, and is sending all of the books held within Twilight's way, because that's a smart thing considering that she has a baby dragon that burps fire at random moments. While Twilight reads, utterly fascinated, Mr. Cake desperately calls for aid due to a mysterious affliction that has...er, afflicted Pinkie Pie. They fins the bouncing pink pony trotting around the kitchen muttering cooking instructions to herself and acting very dull. Mrs. Cake tries to see what Pinkie was reading, but as soon as she does she instantly falls under the same spell. This eventually results in Twilight heading home to find Spike with the same condition. It's there that Twilight discovers that written words are screwing with pony heads. As a desperate precaution (she is in a freaking library, after all) she casts a spell upon herself, and is rendered unable to read. From there...well, that would be telling.
Characters: Everypony is as accurate as they can get, considering that they're all freaking zombies. The majority of them are repeating the last words they read out loud due to the affliction, and so there are few characters with personalities. Twilight is the only character with more than five lines of dialouge that aren't repeated over and over. I feel that the author kind of cheaped out on this one, only having one character to focus on and making the others absent. Where the hell were the rest of the Mane Six? I choose to complain about this because if I chose anything else character-related to complain about...well, there are literally no other options.
Something else I thought should mention is that in the second chapter, we learn a little about Star Swirl the Bearded in that he doesn't like plums, because their juices ruin the words in books. Now that doesn't sound like a big deal to you guys, but to me it is. In one sentence, the author gave me insight to a great and mystical being who has very not-so-great and not-so-mystical pet peeves. For some reason, I very much liked that.
Spelling and Grammar: The total amount of errors in this fic are being counted as we speak...the results are in...7 spelling errors and 4 grammatical errors! Congratulations! You aren't perfect!
Spelling: In chapter one, paragraph eleven, 'Sugarcube' was used. Those are two separate words, even in the store title. The exact same mistake was made in chapter one, paragraph fifteen. In chapter one, paragraph sixty-three, the space bar took a quick smoke break with 'worse,unique'. In chapter one, paragraph eighty-four, there was the word (if one can call it that) 'puplless'. That is not a word, put in a hyphen. Don't turn into Shukumei in her hyphen-hating ways. In chapter two, paragraph nine, 'Sugarcube'. *sigh* In chapter two, paragraph twelve, 'bakeware' was used. No, that's not a word either. Finally, in chapter two, paragraph one-hundred and two, the space bar was fired after repeated smoke breaks, one of which ended with "Whathappened?"
Grammar: In chapter two, paragraph thirty-one, there was a slight mix up in that 'Lets' was not 'Let's'. In chapter two, paragraph seventy-seven (ooh, lucky you), 'guardian,' was used. The problem isn't with the words, it's with the comma. It should be a semi-colon. In chapter two, paragraph eighty-five...'whomever'. Thank you for trying to be grammatically correct in a way that none ever is anymore. It's admirable, really. But at least get it right when you attempt it. It's 'whoever' in that particular sentence. Finally, in chapter two, paragraph one-oh-one, the space bar came back to wreak some disgruntled employee havoc with "Okay, ".
Most of the errors were in the second chapter, and the first chapter had a few spelling errors with perfect grammar, but the third and final chapter was completely error free. Probably because it's only 279 words in length. Not much room for error anyway.
Execution: This entire fic could have been, I don't know, lengthened a bit. Mr. Cake shows up distressed in the seventh paragraph, and before that it was mostly idle dialogue and descriptions. The entire fic is just over 6,500 words in length. It's shorter than the Anglo-Zanzibar war, for Christ's sakes. There was also italics overuse. If you use italics every few sentences, then it really begins to lose effect.
In Conclusion: If you're looking for a fic that's original, then proceed through the pearly gates in the form of the link. If, however, you want a fic with several good characters, an airtight plot and decent length, then 'Abandon all hope, Ye who enter here'. Out of ten, this fic would have recieved a 6/10 for all of my observations. However, I laughed way more than I should have at the plumbs comment, so I'll up it by half a mark. 6.5/10 it is.
Now class, what did we learn today? That's right, Jimmy, we learned that originality is not always synonymous with quality. Good boy, have a cookie. For the rest of the readers, be honest with me. How many of you knew what the Anglo-Zanzibar war was before I mentioned it? The same question goes for John Pemberton in my previous review. I bet I educated you.
Oh God, imagine me as a teacher. The kids handing in poorly written essays and my responses reducing them to tears.
...where do I sign up?
This is ChrisTheCat, signing off.