FimFiction Link - Short ID: 247622/twilight-good-night
Published: Feb '15 — Nov '17
Twilight, Luna, Luna and Twilight, Tuna. This is a good Tunafic, and these are the best parts of it. This fic is very character focused, and in the case of Twilight, she is at maximum bookhorse. While she is often reading, the fic stands out by including excerpts of relevant books. For Luna, the fic includes a huge variety of headcanons; whether they are hits or misses, they are outstanding in their variety. One in particular is the pushing of Luna as matron of the arts, a fanon that pops up from time to time. As a longfic, this realizes the concept to its full potential.
While the fic, to its great credit, focuses primarily on Tuna, the quality falls off the further away the characters are from them. As a Tunafic, Celestia is the closest to the characters and most important secondary character. Towards the beginning, Celestia seems unnaturally cold towards Luna, as if the sisters only possible interaction is verbal sparring. But, she warms up nicely once Twilight arrives.
One unusual talent displayed by this author is the ability to write naturally flowing conversations between characters not bent towards ending the conversation. Explicitly, this means a lot of smalltalk and meandering topics. As the cast extends further from Twilight, this is a more serious problem as these long conversations include tens of thousands of words of irrelevant "filler." Besides Luna and Celestia, the character depth that is added to Cadance via headcanons is neat, especially one that allows for her to be centuries old while fitting her depiction in the show. It is more of a problem with the amount of irrelevant "comedic" antics that she and Shiny bring to the story, though, and I think show-Cadance is better.
More severe are some of Twilight's friends. This fic doesn't follow the oldfic formula of stopping the story to get the reactions of the M6 in turn for each event, but it does do something similar just by breaking Twilight's interactions with them down across multiple chapters. FS is yellow, Rarity is just a mean airhead, obsessed with gossip while Rainbow and AJ just bicker endlessly, contributing nothing to the story.
Twilight is written well, insightful, clever and persistent but these qualities vanish when she's in a room with Spike. It's like they have to share IQ points as the author attempts to write Spike in his "best" presentation, having him provide quips and humor. Fortunately, it's almost like the author noticed this and quickly applied the improvement of writing him out of the story after a couple scenes.
Initially, I was going to call out the AU tag as inappropriate, as all of the numerous headcanons and expanded characterization can be twisted and bent to comply with S3, especially with some timing but in the end the sum of them does seem to justify the tag.
The OCs are all terrible. As usual, the skipping of all scenes that include Worst Pony is mandatory.