FimFiction Link - Short ID: 301668/negotiations
Published: Nov '15
'Negotiations' is a four thousand and six hundred-word AU oneshot. Twilight pleads mercy from the U.N.
To quickly toss the technicalities out of the way, I found the prose okay. Nothing particularly stuck out to me as particularly eye-catching from both a positive and negative way. The whole thing is very utilitarian, focusing almost entirely on describing the things and characters present, without giving much thought to detail their appearances. I personally prefer stories leaning far deeper into literary devices, but I'll rather take easily comprehensible simple prose than a purple word salad.
As for the plot... I have trouble scoring or even reviewing this fic in something resembling an objective way. As a story belonging into its own little -verse it works well and if the idea of an almost cartoonishly-evil Equestria excites you, feel free to just drop the review and go for it, we'll probably disagree on our opinions and that's alright.
However, if you're like me and struggle to suspend your disbelief about the very different Equestria this AU features, you're unlikely to find much to enjoy here. As mentioned just above, my biggest issue is just how irredeemably evil the pony side of the conflict appears. The author tries to balance things out by mentioning how some defected to the human side and by making Twilight utterly oblivious to Celestia's true intents, but all this led to is a complete perversion of characters we grew to like into imbecilic and/or outright evil parodies of themselves. Just to name two examples, the actions of ponykind caused the death of over 3 billion humans and Celestia's secret plan is something not unlike you'd find in a 'racially motivated' 14 years old's notebook.
But even I put this to the side, the fic was just simply not very engaging to me. The titular negotiation lacks the sort of tenseness one would expect from a desperate bid to avoid complete destruction. The human side agrees to practically everything Twiggles asks for and vice-versa. In a way the story has a "hopeful" tone of new beginnings and making amends, falling in line with the morals of the show, but because it is so short and lacks the necessary nuance to depict any sort of high-level political maneuvering, it just kinda felt like two characters scowling at each other while otherwise cooperating perfectly well. Even the big reveal left me cold as by then it was thoroughly established that Celestia doesn't shy away from genocide, so I couldn't really relate to Twilight's shock. If anything a mare as smart as her should've already figured out what's going on and being blindly loyal only goes so far in terms of believability.
Overall 3/10: I say this with no offense to the author, but I struggled to take this story seriously. Neither the characters, nor the plot appealed to me and, unless blatant HFY and edgy ponies appeal to you, I cannot recommend it.