FimFiction Link - Short ID: 173638/deadlight
Published: Aug '14
>"Now you," she said, turning back to look me in the eyes, "a single wrong move and I promise your ashes will be too fine to touch the ground."
'Dead/Light' is a very short thirteen and a half-thousand word fic about Twilight and her less than graceful coping with the fact that she kicked the bucket.
I have to admit, while this fic isn't very good, there is much I've liked about it. Twilight's initial escape from her tomb is quite well paced and the author spends enough time to show us the effects of claustrophobia and the realization that you are indeed suffocating in a tightly sealed hole with no help coming. Twilight's escape is smart and fits her character. I also like her and AJ's first interaction, when the latter puts a stethoscope on the former to show that she has no heartbeat. It's practical and down to earth, fits AJ perfectly.
However, from here on my enjoyment diminished severely until nearly the end of the penultimate chapter. Twilight's denial (implied to be amplified by the Lich-spell) causes her to act like a complete idiot and violently lash out against anyone who dares to claim that she's dead. Most of the middle chapters are thus spent with her hurting her loved ones and even bystanders. It's really bad. Even if she is under a spell and zombie horses don't have that much of a moral compass, her nearly murdering her family in cold blood and never even contemplating her situation, all while swearing madly is just such a far cry from the character's usual persona that I can't take it seriously.
Thankfully these uncomfortable parts don't last too long and we finally reach the climax, where things get a bit better again. The "circle of truth" Celestia conjures up is a total asspull, I'm not even going to argue otherwise, but regardless seeing Twilight finally break down in front of the undeniable truth has a great dramatic punch. Discord's tiny scene too is a much needed tinge of comedy that makes the drama following it hit you so much more.
However, the epilogue chapter is once again a mixed bag. I like the descriptions of Twilight fully embracing her Lich form by getting rid of her innards. The whole "teleporting it into a volcano" idea is very practical and very much how she would think. I also like that unlike some other fics, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, some of her friends are still unwilling to accept her, which is realistic. But despite all positives, the ending is soured by its abruptness:
>I'm a zombie horse now. I don't want to be, but I can figure things out. The end.
Considering there is a cancelled sequel, this might have been intentional, but to me it felt like the author had no idea how to continue and thus opted for a cop-out.
Overall: 6/10 Some questionable chapters sandwiched between a bombastic intro and an at least mostly competent epilogue. Because the story is so short, I can recommend it, but only if you can stomach some extreme OOC behavior.