FimFiction Link - Short ID: 33746/loyalty
Published: Jun '12 — Aug '20
The first chapter of this fic links to a AO3 edition, dunno what the differences are between this and that but that’s the one I read.
This story is, for the most part, mild. Although the author handled the tag conflict between Adventure and SoL by picking Adventure, the majority of the story is SoL. I had a good time following Soarin and Dash through the carefree sillyness in Ponyville, etc. It is apparent that the author had a really good time writing this story, the comedy is less written into wacky situations and more into the narration itself, and dialogue, reminding me of GTG. Some more highlights from the fic include the extensive expansion of pegasus magic and excellent choreography of tricks and shows performed by Dash and the Wonderbolts. In addition to a large portion of original content, the story also features scenes running parallel to episodes. Normally, this is awful but LOYALTY gets around such awfulness by having these scenes be a series of tiny vignettes, very to the point and the delivery is excellent about not overstaying its welcome. I haven’t seen that strategy before, but it’s notably effective.
The prose is mostly fine excepting a persistent issue with awkward word choices and sentence structures, usually trying for something “poetic.” A more severe issue is with the story’s obviously foreshadowed Wonderboltification of Dash and its accompanying genre shift into Adventure. The story mostly falls apart at this stage, clearly not a strength of the author’s with almost nonsensical sequencing and utterly bizarre pacing of events. After this slog, the story returns to the form that made it good, just in time to end. Fortunately, it is a small fraction overall.
While LOYALTY was apparently maintained for years after posting, it is an oldfic and was not rewritten to be compatible with later season additions like “Wonderbolts Academy.” The final chapter is a series of vignettes into a canceled sequel-sequel. That is to say, “Wonderbolt & Rainboom” would have taken place after “Storm from Afar,” an unreadable 1st person present tense sequel.