FimFiction Link - Short ID: 5921/eternal
Published: Jan '12 — Feb '12
The degree to which the Tuna in this fic accomplishes the Herculean task of carrying it is nuts. But more on that later.
Eternal has outgrown whatever cachet it had from the young fandom days as it exemplifies a many of the worst tropes of fanfiction. Most importantly, the first two chapters are 20k words of suck. As Hanna Barbera learned with the creation of Scrappy-Doo: do not make characters whose sole purpose is to be annoying; here the purpose of the first two chapters is to be annoying. Do you want to know what the issues that are facing Twilight and Celestia are going to be in this fic? Fuck you, you get half a tidbit every 10k words while the rest of the time it meanders through 95% pointless BS, just to tease you with the mystery. In here, an enormous amount of headcanons irrelevant to the story are dumped onto what you'd expect to be the setup. Worse, the persistent oldfic trope rears its ugly head: stopping the story to get the reaction of each member of the M6 to some event.
By the end of the third chapter, you'll have a decent idea of what the problems are, but the conflict is among the worst kinds of basis for a romance story. Twilight and Celestia just won't talk to each other about said problems. The problems that they do have are good premise for a Twilestia shipfic, but the fic goes about exploring them in a perpetually obnoxious way. There is also a subplot about solar cycles which could be interesting but I ended up dropping the fic.
Now, the Tuna. Luna in this fic is excellent; as mercurial and playful as in few other fics, most of the time it is great fun to read her. Likewise, this story seems to be constantly trying to jump its tracks and become a Tunafic. Even if the author seems to frequently have to step in and get it back on its ostensible Twilestia tracks, it is constantly benefiting from Twilight's superior relationship with Luna. Many elements of >>39864661 and >>39864674 are repeatedly incorporated, and the results are much more fun to read than the rest of the fic. Unfortunately, it wasn't to last. After a long stint of just Twilight and Luna exploring various scenes in Celestia's dreamscape, the rest of the M6 force their way in and start their obnoxious chimes. I ended up dropping it partway through chapter 7, the Tuna was not Herculean but Sisyphean.
The fic's prose is frequently incoherent. One example is a metaphor in which Celestia observes that the Treebrary is well organized but Twilight's study is a mess, and indicates that it is an insight into Twilight's state of mind. However, in this metaphor, the mess of Twilight's study is called a lie while the usage of the metaphor implies that the mess reflects Twilight's true mental state. It is this kind of flashy but inchoate writing that I learned to hate from Easthorse. The author really likes writing dream scenes full of these kinds of metaphors and is otherwise very good at it, but it feels like the same kind of dream nonsense is applied to what are supposed to be "real" scenes in the fic as well, where the rules of good narration are more strict and not followed. It is due to this that it often takes a long time after a scene break to find out if it is a different character's perspective, a flashback or memory, or a dream.
I dropped this fic halfway through, when it signaled that it was going to become another Moonstone Cup, spewing interruptive M6 oneliners. This was a mistake, and I picked it up again after discovering the reason I dropped it to be a narrative fakeout. At that point, the story did not actually become any worse, although it also did not get better until much later.
The worst issues with the story persist across almost the first 100k. Besides those emphasized in the first two posts, the fic spends about a third of its wordcount in a situation where Celestia is being tormented, seemingly just for feels, tasteless and reptetitive.
I regret dropping it, though, because once the story's prime duo are reunited, the writing turns on a dime. This story features one of, if not the best heart to heart between Twilight and Celestia of any fimfic. Although the conflict that they have to overcome is one made up by the story, there are several elements of it that are not at all contrived. The story then features an extended aftermath like few others, maybe just one other.
In the end, I don't regret reading the story but as a whole I did not like it. The other story I find myself comparing it to is TMA, where much of the good stuff happens after a huge mountain of suck, and by the same logic I can't recommend someone read this. The core cast being Twilight, Celestia and Luna, the parts with the M6 that drag it down can all be skipped on account of total irrelevance, but it's not like they're easy to designate and doing so only helps the story somewhat. If you decide to climb the mountain, there is a reward at the end, I guess, but there are certainly much better fics out there with this trio.