/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

Small-town Charm

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 158936/small-town-charm

Published: Jan '14

Review in No. 40791369
Ponyville is overrun with spiders. Millions and millions of spiders. Spiders that Twilight Sparkle does not like, not even a little.

There's nothing malicious or even mysterious about the spiders. Every five years, they return to their place of birth to mate. That place just happens to be Ponyville, which has developed endearing folksy traditions around the event.

I appreciated the effort spent developing the atmosphere. The descriptions of spiders crawling in ponies' manes, of foals playing with the spiders, and so on are well done. They're the strongest part of this fic.

The plot is weak. It has a simple structure: Every day for a week (days 2 and 6 are omitted), Twilight visits a different member of the M6. Every time, Twilight says she's not a fan of the spiders. Every time, the other pony says she likes or at least doesn't mind the spiders. In a development that will shock only 13 year olds, Twilight realizes on day 8 that she's now used to and even kinda likes the spiders.

I'm not complaining about obvious endings (I write stories like that, too). When the ending is obvious, the fun part of the story is watching characters develop. And Twilight does develop a little, slowly growing accustomed to the spiders over the course of the week. But the author's plan was for Twilight to like the spiders at the end, and by day 7, time is running out; Fluttershy is the last of the M6, and even though the reader can see that Twilight is tolerating the spiders better, she's still ranting, "I want them gone!" She's not going to like the spiders unless somepony bucks her in the head. Which is what Fluttershy does (in a polite, Fluttershy-esque way). It's not really compelling. I actually thought Fluttershy sounded insulting, though I know that wasn't the intent.

While I think Twilight warms to the spiders too suddenly at the end, the rest of the plot is fine. And a story of this length was never going to have time to portray a really gradual transition in Twilight's feelings, so I don't want to be too harsh. A lesser fic might not have even tried to give Twilight a real character arc.

Overall, I'd say the fic has modest goals, and it achieves them reasonably well. 7/10.