FimFiction Link - Short ID: 514584/a-snowy-day
Published: May '22
'A Snowy Day' is a twenty thousand and seven hundred-word HiE shortfic. Lyra is lost in the Everfree and stumbles upon a human.
It is no secret that I am not exactly a fan of HiE, so while I'll try to be as fair as possible, it's quite likely that I'll be a bit biased. What I find most fascinating about this fic is how by the book it is. You have Lyra, you have her stranded alone in the Everfree, you've got a Timberwolf attack, and you've got a Human-Ex-Machina who swoops in just the last moment to save her. It's really not that I want to be rude to the author, especially because I'm quite fond of his stories otherwise, but beyond a few small things I appreciated, this story is sadly extremely cliché. While it is great when the events of a story are so logical that the reader can sometimes foresee one or two events, in this fic I could consistently predict what was going to happen and that made the whole experience feel very formulaic and a tad hollow.
I feel the story also suffers due to its length. Lyra and the human warm up to each other (in a fairly literal way) extremely fast, only for the plot to suddenly need them to be distrustful of each other, causing a bit of emotional step-back that makes the whole thing a bit contrived. I also don't much understand the point of the Timberwolf pet Oleg tames. He serves little purpose beyond helping with a few things that the duo could have pretty much accomplished by themselves just as easily and Oleg's ability to understand the animal's speech is left fairly underutilized except for a few jokes and handwaving away the fact that DD got tamed so very quickly.
So instead of bashing it any further, I'd like to talk about the stuff I did actually enjoy:
Making the protagonist speak in Russian was a good touch. Though I haven't read that story, it reminded me of CoPE and I personally would have highly preferred if he didn't even start talking in English, leaving it to the reader to figure out what he means based on word lengths and context cues. Still, it was a neat touch and it makes the character stand out a little. The joke about Lovecraft was pretty funny and it's also a nice meta callback to the author's older works. I also enjoyed the short scenes between Bon Bon and the rest of the ponies, her panicked bickering was a delight to read.
Overall: 5/10 Not sure what to say. On one hand, this is a perfectly serviceable story, at least when it comes to HiE. It has all the necessary beats, it's not without wit, and beyond numerous typos I can't really fault anything in the prose as it's fulfills its purpose quite well. On the other hand, however, the story doesn't really do anything new beyond the aforementioned little things and I feel like if you've ever read a HiE story, you've read this one as well.