FimFiction Link - Short ID: 238566/there-is-no-luna
Published: Jan '15
'There is no Luna' is a three thousand and one hundred word oneshot. Twilight reads a forbidden history book and realizes something doesn't add up.
I admit what initially caught my attention about this story is that it has its own FAQ. I mean, you rarely see such a thing even with longfics, so I was curious how something this short could warrant one. After reading the story I am led to believe that the plot is clear enough in and of itself, but apparently the author was pestered so much that they decided to create one regardless.
The prose is nothing exceptional. I had no trouble reading and comprehending it, but it felt a bit too dry to be any memorable. To be fair, there is clear evidence that the author tried going into details, but I feel it still stops short on being immersive enough.
The story, however, is much more interesting. Had it not been marked AU, I would probably be complaining that it requires a very lax interpretation of the canon to fit it into the world, but like this I consider it a fun, if a bit contrived idea. The Elements are a very under-explained part of the world, so making them so powerful and so (arguably) morally grey is a pretty engaging choice. I liked how the fic isn't afraid to show Celestia's long age and how she complains about only being able to delay the catastrophe by a little, even though to everyone else it's a thousand years.
In terms of base concept, I really dig the story. However, I feel it stumbles on one particular thing: The whole plot is practically one lore-dump, arguably two, and then it ends on a vague resolution that leaves things hanging in the air. This isn't necessarily the end of the world, considering the fic's score, it seems plenty of people walked away satisfied and I still had fun reading the fic, but it sapped most emotional investment I could have had from this story. Everything Celestia and Twilight talk about are irrevocably in the past and the looming threat in the future is flimsy at best. While the main "plot-twist" (if we can call it that) definitely warrants the Dark tag, I feel portraying it from Luna's perspective or showcasing the past as a flashback would have been far more effective than what we ultimately got.
Overall: 5/10 Very neat concept, but I found the execution unengaging. Can still recommend for the interesting angle on the princesses, but for me at least it left plenty to be desired.