Coming up next on Problematic Reviews

Coming up next on Problematic Reviews

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FiM Fiction Review - Mare of the Mountains

Interesting. Very interesting indeed. History was always one of my favorite subjects in school and, as a result, I was overjoyed to watch Hearth's Warming Eve of Friendship is Magic only to be annoyed at how many questions Equestria's history books like to leave as [let the fanfic writers obsess over plot holes here]. That being said, I do wish to see more FiM Fictions that expand on Equestrian history or therefore lack of. What am I getting at? What I'm trying to say is: bias aside, I think Posey's Mare of the Mountains has the potential to be one of the most anticipated pieces of fan fiction of the year. I have many complaints, such as the slow introduction and poor scene transitions, but I can't say I'm too disappointed. The dialogue is excellent and the main character has potential with an interesting yet simple back story. As I said, I look forward to Mare of the Mountains but I rather tell you why in the review. Let's get to it shall we?

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Mare of the Mountains by Posey
Incomplete (Last Update July 22, 2013)

Long ago in the magical utopia known only as Dream Valley, the ancient goddess Megan left her little ponies for a world unknown. Without her, the ponies devolved from a united coalition of friendship into the three pony tribes known today. After centuries of fighting and the loss of the valley to the windigos, the dust has finally settled and a new power in Ponyland—the Unicorn Aristocracy—has forced the pegasi back into the skies and the earth ponies into servitude.

Deep in the Unicorn Mountain Range lies the Little Rock Mining Camp, where a young earth pony mare feels as though she's finally found her purpose in life. But when tragedy strikes and her life comes crumbling down, she has to find the strength within herself to fight back and the will not to succumb to revenge. Read it here.

Tags: Adventure
Rating: Teen

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I found it fascinating how Mare of the Mountains' description discusses large and complex issues regarding government and politics, but the story begins very simply. I feel like stories that start off with a large history lesson of how things came to be often disconnect readers from something much more important: the characters. Some writers like to have a huge scheme going on and forget to make the reader care with deep and well built characters. In this case, Posey really scored by starting with an interesting character. Mud Slide has a dream for her future, but also has her own struggles with the other characters. However, the keyword in all of this is potential. I am interested in Mud Slide's destiny but I can already see two large problems. Firstly, the plot is already deviating from the personal story (which we will discuss in a minute). Secondly, how will she be affected by the main conflict as well? Mare of the Mountain started off well by focusing own the characters but will it continue that way? Hopefully.

I can say, without a doubt, that Posey really knows how to write dialogue. The characters are showcased excellently through not only their actions but also their dialogue The way they treat each other is excellently expressed through the dialogue without lines feeling forced or cheesy. Conversations flow nicely and transition from exposition to dialogue nicely. Very nicely done, Posey!

For all the potential that Mare of the Mountains has, I felt that the first paragraphs were weak and didn't do much to progress the story. Even with the well built characters and strong dialogue that backs it up, the introduction to the world and plot line is lacking. I'm thinking the problem really is that the story starts out very personally. Yes, I praised it before but it only really benefits character development. Nothing truly important happens until the end of the first chapter. I think it's important to present the main character and quickly develop him/her, but when character development complete slams the brakes on the main conflict or doesn't let the conflict begin at all, then I have a problem with it .

Last but not least, Mare of the Mountains is not choppy but badly structured. Scene transitions are confusing and some line breaks are not always placed properly. Formatting is pretty important for helping the reader and a lot of the section spacing in Mare of the Mountains is not done well. Most of these formatting errors are few and far between, but there isn't any section spacing at all in this story. Section spacing, such as those used in between the intro, story summary, and body of this review, greatly helps with structure and helps the reader know when scenes transition and the likes. So, considering how important structure and formatting is, where are this story's section spaces?

Fine, I'll wrap up this review before getting back to crushing my friends at Civilization 5. Mare of the Mountains is solid. I'm pretty excited for its world building potential but straying away from the bias side of things, the characters are well built and the dialogue is excellent. Formatting and structure are in need of some work but it's nothing too bad. Lastly, I felt that too much time was spent on a personal story that had nothing to do with the main conflict; even if it does develop the characters. In conclusion, I want to see more of Mare of the Mountains. This has been Admujica. Thanks for reading and have a great week everypony!

Mare of the Mountains gets a score of: 6 out of 10
Definitely going in the right direction but not without the need for some polish
Read it here.

Writing Quote of the Week
“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.”
― Lloyd Alexander

Random Spotlight

A thank you from the bottom of my heart to Haylizbeth for this amazing vector of my original character, Amethyst Clockwork. I love Haylizbeth's art style and her commissions are inexpensive and excellently done.

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