FimFiction Link - Short ID: 511920/sink-into-us
Published: Feb '22
'Sink Into Us' is an eight thousand-word oneshot. After the Canterlot-invasion many of the previous attackers were left comatose in captivity. An alchemist is called to the city to try and wake them up. A cursed book gives her the knowledge to do this, but the price is far greater than she expected to pay.
I admit I have little sympathy for anything to do with TF, because I find the concept itself fairly off-putting. However, I try to be a curious reader, so I figured I'd give this story a shot, the end result? Eh, it's an alright story. The prose is fairly nice, Chrysalis' appearance is a tad unnerving in a good way, and the ending is admittedly pretty nice with its rollercoaster of misdirection, before the final blow is delivered and all ambiguity is dispelled.
Still, I find the story's major plot points to be just a bit too convenient. The princesses allow the protagonist to take an obviously cursed book and, after a day passes and she looks positively terrible, totally just accept her saying that "haha I'm just a bit tired." The protag herself is way too unconcerned with the fact that her fur started to randomly fall out in patches and a cacophony of voices began to scream in her head after reading a ridiculously evil looking page in the book. One could reasonably make the assumption that the book manipulated her into not revealing that she got corrupted and the fic itself does more or less confirm this, but that just removes the conflict for me from the plot. If the McBookfin can just do anything to a pony, then why not just have it mind-wipe and turn the protag into a queen from the get go? I assume the answer is that "because then the story would be over in 2000 words," but - as the story itself says - her fate was sealed from when she opened the book, so the rest of the fic is just not particularly interesting padding until the ending. The actual transformation, which I assume interests the majority of the intended audience, happens surprisingly fast as well. For what I assumed to be something the fic would dedicate a big section to, it whizzes by in little more than two paragraphs of not even that detailed prose, diminishing its shock value.
Overall: 4/10 Due to the circumstances, please take my score with a mountain of salt. I didn't particularly dislike this story, but there is nothing here that I would really consider memorable or interesting enough to remember. I suppose if you're into TF, I can recommend it, but I think even the fans of the genre might find the actual TF content in this fic a tad too anemic.