/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

How Equestria Fell

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 515891/how-equestria-fell

Published: Apr '22

Review in No. 38532663
'How Equestria Fell' is a one thousand and three hundred-word oneshot.
In this complete in-medias-res of an adventure we are treated how Luna grieves for her son - an OC called "Clockwork Relativity" - who was born after Luna was raped by Sombra and is seemingly the author's self-insert. If this last sentence seemed very information dense, that's because it is and the story itself front-loads most of these revelations in the first few hundred words, along with revealing Luna's deep resentment towards Celestia and even Twilight because neither of them was willing to legitimize the child and thus allow him to become immortal.
The whole thing feels like the author is recapping the events of a several hundred-thousand-word longfic, which to my best knowledge doesn't exist. How and when did Sombra do what he did? What sort of life did Clockwork lead? How exactly did Luna try to convince Celestia and how did she decline her request? All questions that should have answers, but the story merely steps over them in no time. Things only turn weirder from this point forward as the author pastes the lyrics of the song 'Luna's Soliloquy' verbatim which takes up a good fourth of the fic's wordcount.
The story then attempts to establish some intrigue by portraying the tension between Celestia and Luna due to her bastard son, but because Celestia doesn't even appear in this story until the very end, the whole thing is done through largely expository sentences, sapping most of the impact from this revelation. To put the cherry on top, the story with Twilight trying to make amends by legitimizing the now-dead child which completely backfires and sends Moonhorse into a rage, causing her to turn into Nightmare Moon and murder Twilight. As the author explains in two short paragraphs this causes the now-M5 to die and Equestria to completely collapse, implicitly leading to G5. Also, apparently despite all this Luna is still alive and well and is implied to be left well alone, since the story states she visits her son's grave every day.
This story is genuinely baffling. I see the seeds of a potentially intriguing fic here with monarchical politics and the pain of raising and losing a child who only came into existence due to an atrocity. Hell, I'd even risk saying that Luna snapping under the pressure and ruining everything could make for a harrowing and memorable end to a tragedy. However, because everything mentioned here is established so awkwardly and without much nuance or time allowed for things to simmer for a while, the reader is left with a deeply unsatisfying plot that bites more than it can chew while featuring several OOC characters and a narrative that moves at a faster than breakneck pace.
Overall: 1/10 I wish I could say anything nice about this story, but aside from its concept having some potential, the execution is just poor. Can't recommend.