FimFiction Link - Short ID: 518724/nightshift-2-shift-harder
Published: Jun '22
'Nightshift 2: Shift Harder' is a four thousand and nine hundred-word oneshot. Princess Twilight is sleepwalking again, this can only result in a catastrophe.
I would say this story is everything the original 'Nightshift' was, but more. From the beginning I really enjoyed the painstakingly detailed description of the restaurant knowing full well the reason why the author is going to such lengths is because soon enough it'll end up completely wrecked. And lo, I wasn't left disappointed. Sleepy Bookhorse's organized destruction is even more spectacular than before and I feel like this time the author conveyed the whole "she's creating a miniature cosmological model" concept better, which largely flew over my head in the original story. Her ruining everything, but in a way that still makes sense in a way is excellent characterization and I also like how Alicorns being more powerful than normal ponies is never directly stated, but rather shown in several varied ways.
Speaking of, in terms of characters I feel like it is a bit of a tossup between this and the first part. While when it comes to active characters obviously 2 wins, I enjoyed the banter of 1 so much that I'd say I probably liked both parts about the same from this perspective. I do have to mention though that I absolutely loved the waitress's (literally) tiny "oh dear"-s, I feel like the use of formatting there added a lot to an already very likeable character and the way she bookended the chaos was cute and funny. The Prench Maitre de's reaction was also very fun, especially when she starts speaking English (ponish?) with how out of left field it comes. The callback to the cashier of the first fic was also a nice touch, she hasn't got that much characterization in the original, so it was nice to see her again, even if for only a short cameo.
The highlight of this fic for me was the almost fight-scene that happened between Twilight and the restaurant's owner. On one hand, obviously it's very funny how it's basically nothing more than a glorified food fight; on the other, the very notion that it's this well-written and surprisingly tense becomes comedic as well. If one were to replace the cakes and foods with magical bolts along with a few other minor touches, you'd get a fight to the death.
Overall: 7/10 If this sounds nice to you, but you haven't read the original before, I'd implore you to do so first. You'll appreciate the jump in quality all the more that way. There is nothing strictly necessary in the original fic to understand this one (after all, at the end of the day, it's still one long-form joke,) but the combined experience is definitely worth it. Aside from that, easy recommend for anyone who likes lighthearted, well-written comedies where catastrophe might strike, but ultimately no one ends up hurt (aside from their pride.)