FimFiction Link - Short ID: 523474/wetter-forecast
Published: Sep '22
'Wetter Forecast' is a nine thousand and seven hundred-word oneshot. AJ and Twilight go to a different country where weather isn't controlled.
I wasn't really sure what to expect at first. Though the description does hint at what happens in the fic, I was still a bit surprised to see it open in-medias-res with Bookhorse and Applehorse in jail. But after the initial surprise, the story does a pretty good job at slowly expanding what exactly happened in the previous three days. Hell, I'd even say the biggest issue of the fic is actually how it "reveals" the fact that the duo doesn't deal well with the random weather a bit too generously. Don't get me wrong, the fic doesn't overstay its welcome and it even made me laugh at one point (98 -> 99), so I think it largely does humor right (the insanity stuff was also pretty funny) -- but it did kind of feel like it made the same joke three times and, if the rest wasn't this good, this would have bothered me quite a bit.
I enjoyed the author's worldbuilding when it came to the Republic. The way it contrasts with Equestria and how its inhabitants consider the latter a country of insane control-freaks is a funny warped mirror to how it's usually portrayed. Arguably this could've felt needlessly contrarian, but Celestia acting levelheaded in the end cemented it as lighthearted instead of mean. The Griffon interrogator too was an enjoyable character.
I did find it quite weird that Twilight did not speak the Griffish tongue. I understand that it plays into the story, but the narrator even mentions that its the language of science and, if anyone, Bookhorse would surely know it by heart. This isn't a dealbreaker by any means, but I found it a bit odd. I also found it weird that Twilight speaks of "baroque" and "gothic" architectures. On one hand it's obviously out of the scope of a fic like this to establish in-universe architectural ages, so this is a reasonable compromise; but, on the other, it just felt a bit too human to me and leaving them without names would have worked better in my opinion.
I very much appreciated that this story handles Twilight and AJ as nothing more than friends. While I don't mind romantic plots, it's a breath of fresh air to see, that (despite several chances of it happening in the fic) there is never a love-related detour and instead their growing desperation is constantly in focus.
Finally, this one is largely a nitpick, but the fic constantly refers to the two main characters as "the little mare" or "the big female" and though it isn't exactly LUS, it still felt a bit awkward to me and in most of these places just using the characters' names would have worked a lot better I feel.
Overall: 7/10 It is a nice little comedy. The jokes mostly hit, the choice of topic feels fresh, the few OCs who appear are likeable, and the fic still features a climax despite its very low stakes. Can recommend.