It's interesting how little time there is to do things during the Summer. In between vacations and such, time can really fly. However, there is a "calm before the storm" during these few weeks so I say we review two 30,000+ word, Equestria Daily featured stories starting with Chrono_Ryono's Whispers. Well, the second is about 90,000 words so I'm going to try to hide under a rock and try not to think of the sea of reading that awaits me. Nevertheless, I have plenty of good things to say about Whispers. From the excellent dialogue to the interesting characters to the outstanding grammar and structure, it's hard to not recommend this story. But what's the use of recommending it when you'll (hopefully) read the review anyways? Onwards to the review!
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Whispers by Chrono_Ryono
Incomplete (Last Updated June 13, 2013)
Stressed by the growing rift between herself and her sister, Princess Celestia confides in her brightest student of the era. That fateful night, the legendary battle between sun and moon shakes the foundation of Equestria... but what really brought them to that point? And, after the fact, are the repercussions merely the prelude to something even worse? Read it here.
Tags: Dark, Adventure - Rating: Teen (Sexual Themes)
Word Count: 47,000 words total
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It's not hard to remember the whole "a thousand years ago" ordeal with Celestia and Luna. Their back story is interesting and sentimental at best in the show, but Chrono_Ryono really did something more with it. He took it beyond the basic sister relationship and made it a much deeper and more emotional ordeal. Without spoiling anything, Celestia's supporting role is excellent and she really connects with the main character. In the end of the day, Arcanus is well built because his back story ties in with the main conflict and Celestia's extremely well. The way he relates with another pony really makes him a superb character to lead this story with. The other supporting characters are well done too with their characters being just as well baked. If I had one complaint about the characters is that the story starts out focusing on Arcanus but then it switches to Celestia in the second chapter while they are in the same scene. It's definitely not a change in point-of-view, which would further hurt the story considering Celestia is a supporting character, but because the story is in third person, it left me asking: where's the main character in all of this? It left me confused and feeling like Celestia played an important part when the story mainly revolves around Arcanus. It's a minor issue but one that should be avoided for the sake of the reader.
Being such a dialogue driven story, Chrono_Ryono played it safe and made the conversations personal and overall easy to follow. Some of the settings and locales are not visualization well but I never felt that Whispers failed to establish its mood and tone. The dialogue sets it by staying comfortable and friendly in some places and touching and thoughtful in others. The reader can feel the intensity or calmness of the situations through the dialogue and feels organic on execution and topic.
Note: Just as a fair warning, all, if not most of, the dialogue is in the Royal Canterlot speech, or Old English. Be advised if you find it difficult to read or do not like it. However, I am not reducing points from the final score because of it.
As said earlier, Whispers does have the problem of not visualization its scenes well. It's not a major blow to the story because of its dialogue driven nature but it quickly becomes apparent in an action scene in the second chapter. The reader doesn't really get a feel of what is happening and for being a major plot point, the tension is badly expressed. I definitely recommend it is polished and possibly improve its pacing in the mean while. Otherwise, scenes are setup pretty well and mood setting was never a big issue.
Pacing, oh pacing, will your riddles ever be truly solved? Whispers actually did well in this aspect. Taking a slower, more comfortable pace for a romance during the first few chapters sets the tone just right. The story progresses slowly as well with a rather lengthy five chapter introduction of characters, plot, and overall setting. This is absolutely not a bad thing and considering how some authors put together a history lesson in the form of a massive pill at the beginning of their stories, building off a personal story starts off much better.
However, the lengthy introduction presented a rather large problem. Whispers spent a lot of time focusing on a conflict that has nothing to do with it's main one. While it is building character and the likes, I was confused with what direction Chrono_Ryono is taking this. Is it a romance? Is it an adventure? Or a story that has lost its focus? Now, before you get to deleting and rewriting the early chapters, what really matters is the transition from personal story to the epic conflict of a divided nation. You thought this was a negative point didn't you? Nay, good readers! Whispers did it and it transitions most splendidly! I fell in love with the character and then cheered them on in their grander adventures! Bravo Chrono_Ryono!
Okay, it's three in the morning so it's time to wrap it up. I enjoyed reading Whispers and I look forward to more chapters with anticipation and delight. The cast is diverse and their interesting personalities are delivered brilliantly through the outstanding dialogue. Whispers takes its time to develop and grow with it slow and lengthy introduction but makes up its slow progression by focusing on a more personal conflict. I would definitely pick this one up if you have the time. This has been Admujica. Thanks for reading and have an amazing last week of summer.
Whispers gets a score of: 8.5 out of 10 - Excellent
A well built and interesting cast deliver a superb performance with some minor visualization issues.
Writing Quote of the Week
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”― Virginia Woolf
A shout out to Cold Blitz for giving me the opportunity to make him a banner for his page. I had lots of fun making it and I hope you enjoy it!