New Board, and new faces. New everything, save my original goal. Here I stand, no longer confined to the boundaries of my old identity, but instead ready to forge a new fate for myself. While I do miss what I’ve lost, the gains to be made are potentially greater, not just for me, but for you all as well.
At any rate. Today’s review is one that has been waiting in the wings for some time. It’s about pirates, and freedom, and going down your own path even if the world hates you for it. It is off to a great start, and honestly looks to be one of the next few stories to really become a fan favorite
However, it’s not without its blemishes. And of course, it is my duty to aid in the removal of said blemishes. This will be short review due to the fact that it was quite good.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.As always, what I say in any of my reviews is solely my opinion and no one elses’. I, under no circumstance claim to be wholly correct on any matter in particular. Take my words with a grain of salt and draw up your own conclusions on the review presented. You are the writer, you have the power to shape the story as you see fit; I’m merely here to aid you in that regard—nothing more, nothing less. -Points of interest-*Usage of the name “Illusive” and its italics far too often—
This concern, while minor on the surface, actually causes the story to be less powerful as a whole. “Why is that?” you may ask. The reason is that by using the name so many times, the ship is given less of a flair of mystique and grandeur, and it instead becomes just a term. By using it less, you give the name a sense of grandeur while also showing us that it’s not just a ship, but almost a character of its own.
It has been brought up to my attention (by someone I believe is Umbra)
that you can use italics in such a manner. While I personally believe it does nothing to the story and causes it to drag, if it is part of the rules, it is part of the rules.*Action is a bit dragging at times—
Sky Matron is a story that tells us of an epic struggle between the orders of freedom and the forces of overbearing order. It start off with a battle that nicely sets the mood for what is to come.
Unfortunately, this same greatness is what causes the story to falter in place. Some locations have interactions and descriptions that cause the narrative to drag. I believe I’ve pointed these out in the actual document, but they still linger for longer than they should. Such scenes as the boarding of the Task Force, the sometimes purple-prose like details given to the ship, and of course, some of the battles. It would be best if you found a way to balance descriptions with interactions and narration. One such way is to be subtle. Have implications, that paint the image rather than dedicating entire sections to descriptions. The more you can imply and subtly narrate, the more power you will have as a writer. *Anatomic details—
This one is a minor, yet grating issue your story presents. You provide great descriptions for the fights, the world, and the characters, yet at times, you seem to forget that ponies don’t quite work in the same way humans would. You have mentions of ponies wielding armaments in their hooves, moving about bipedially with great dexterity, and even engaging in interactions that seem a bit far-fetched. One such instance is the general of Celestia’s forces seemingly using her flintlock without much issue. The gun is not given any description to let the reader know that it is designed for pony hooves, and she’s also seen reloading he weapon without issue, a feat that would prove difficult for a creature with hooves. No mention of her magic is made in this instance, which would be the logical thing to do for her character. Scootaloo also gets a mention, as she’s described as bearing a small blade in her hooves while racing towards the fray. This would be very difficult for her to accomplish, to the point that she would be unable to move under normal circumstances was this the case. Other ponies show this as well, including those of the Task Force, as well as a few random privateers.
Make sure that when you give descriptions to battles and interactions, you ensure to keep in mind that the anatomy is as accurate as it can be. Liberties can be taken, so long as it fits into the world you’ve painted.-Detailed Review-*Characters—
Characters are the heart of any story, and Sky Matron is no exception. Characters, despite being wildly different than their ‘canon’ counterparts, are quite well done. A few felt a bit off however. this is due to the nature of the story as a whole however.
Naturally, Rarity, while different, was quite well done. Her reasons for being a pirate are not yet fully explored, which allows for a build-up of her character. She’s determined, ready to fight, yet manages to retain the class that made her the classy and well-spoken unicorn.
Next is Dash, who still bears the same brash and daring nature, while at the same time showing a commanding side that is quite nice to view. Her actions are all for the good of the ship and its captain. Still, this being the first chapter, her character still has development to undergo. Still, not a bad start at all.
Pinkie pie is a little more difficult to pinpoint. on the one side, she’s still the same carefree pink pony that everyone loves. However, her persona here goes beyond the standard ‘party gal,’ and instead dives into the territory of an engineer/tinkerer. This surprisingly suits Pinkie rather well. Her character quirks fit this well, and a result, we have a Pinkie Pie who is both old and new at the same time. It will be interesting to see just where she goes as a character from here.
Finally, the last main character to speak of is the General. She’s perhaps the one that is the most different, her life revolving around serving her queen. She views Rarity and her crew of pirates as one of the greatest treats to Equestria, and demonstrates the zeal needed to hunt down and eradicate such individuals. The general still shows a great sense of care for her troops however, to the point that she’s willing to strike directly at Rarity and her band. She’s a competent fighter, and a wise leader. Her future development already appears very promising.
The rest of the cast is still a bit too underdeveloped for me to pass fair judgment. However, they are all on the correct path, and despite their small parts in the story, some already come off as strong individuals to keep an eye on. A very good sign indeed. *Plot—
The plot told so far begins with with a rip-roaring instance of piracy on the high skies. It sets the conflict between pirates—who represent freedom—versus the crown—which represents subjugation. It is made clear that things aren’t peaceful in Equestria, and that the world has changed to accommodate this. While the first chapter does not contain much int he way of exposition, what is there is paced well, allowing both action and context to coexist in a way that still moves the tale forward while giving the reader something to enjoy. Aside from a few moments where the tale dragged, this story is heading down a great path.
The few things that need to be changed are stated above, along with the inclusion of more background on certain aspects, such as the Elusive. This might come in future installments, so for now, its a non-issue that will be brought up should you fail to deliver on that end. *Mechanics—
Aside a few small hickups here and there, the mechanics are quite solid. Punctuations are present and used well, sentences flow how they should. No run-ons nor fragments, and syntax was adequate for the story told. Being that I’m no complete expert on this matter, I will suggest you seek the aid of Samurai, and Seidio, soon as he returns. All in all, an enjoyable start to what will no doubt be a series to keep an eye on. Goes without saying that I enjoyed it, and recommend it to anyone looking for piracy in the high skies.
Next set of reviews, I will do completely in-docs, and I will also request you are present to maximize the effect. Till then, I look forward to the next chapter.
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