FimFiction Link - Short ID: 463533/fine-print
Published: Mar '20 — Apr '21
So I just finished Fine Print in three evenings.
I vaguely remember some discussion on it here in the past couple of weeks/months, but it looked relatively interesting so I avoided paying too much attention in case people were posting spoilers (as I'm going to now). So I don't know if people were complaining, but for my part, I enjoyed it immensely. Maybe in a couple of days after I think it over a bit I'll be able to point out some more detailed criticism, but right now while it's fresh my impressions are mostly that it was great from start to finish, and also I love Roseluck now.
Possibly the one aspect I didn't really like was the ending. I was looking forward to the MC making the choice of sticking to Equestria, but then he was forced out by everything going to shit. Discord's spiel about "it was his choice to take the Everwake!" makes sense from a chessmaster perspective, but rings hollow in terms ot actual character choice. As Tracy himself complains, it would have been better if he'd known, and his insistence that he still would've done the same doesn't quite carry the same weight as actually seeing him do so would have. I'm honestly not sure why Starscribe wanted to force things like that - in-universe, there's no issue, it doesn't feel contrived and there are no plot holes, but from a narrative meta-pov I don't see how this is better for the story.
Anyway, that's my only "complaint", and since in-universe there are no actual issues it still didn't actually hamper my enjoyment (if anything, I think it's just a bit of missed potential). Even the timeskip epilogue was fine - and I know there was also some discussion about epilogues being stifling, and normally I agree, but in this case it was pretty clear that Spark and Rose were going to settle down into a mostly quiet family life, while leaving the option open for traveling together, visiting the Echo Caverns for Spark or the Peaks of Peril and other remote places for Rose's flowers, etc. - but the epilogue doesn't rule any of that out, either. I'm only curious about Janet's fate, but then it's probably for the best that the ending wasn't further burdened with that plotline.