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WIP Diaries of a Madman by whatmustido - M - MLP:FiM

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Styx0444, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Styx0444

    Styx0444 Minister of Magic

    Joined:
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    1,217
    Location:
    Between here and there.
    Title: Diaries of a Madman
    Author: whatmustido
    Rating: M
    Genre: Hard to place. I'll call it Adventure/Comedy.
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
    Pairings: To many to list. Sex is labeled and easily skipable.

    Summary: When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

    Links:
    - Main page
    - Prologue

    First a disclaimer: I don't read MLP fanfiction, generally speaking. Before this, I'd only read My Little Denarians and Fallout: Equestria. I've seen the show, it's alright, but not my thing. Despite that, I read through this in about four days.

    It's currently a hundred and thirty-one chapters long, 1,795,182 words and counting, since 2012. Updates seem roughly monthly.

    I went into this expecting a lighthearted comedy about crazy shit in ponyland, after reading an aside on TVTropes mentioned Celestia turning herself into a chair for a year to see what would happen. That ain't what I got.

    Twilight, apparently wanting to study dangerous creatures, builds a place for them to be held and casts a spell to summon, weaken, and bind 'the most dangerous creature on the planet'. She gets a human, name thus far unknown, who introduces himself as Navarone because he was blindfolded at the time and thought he had been kidnapped. He soon discovers that the spell apparently malfunctioned, and there's no way to send him home. He's pretty pissed about that.

    The first few chapters manage to be pretty lighthearted anyway, mostly dealing with him trying to adjust to life in an insane cartoonish world filled with talking horses. Then things go down hill.

    The concept is played mostly straight: A human is summoned to Equestria with no hope of ever returning home. The why and how are answered, the strange quirks of the show are explained in ways closer to fridge horror then handwavium. It isn't a happy story, but it's usually a fun story, if you can get past all the rape and torture.

    The writing is solid, though of course it improves with later chapters. My only complaint is some rare minor inconsistencies between chapters. The story is told in the first person, nearly always by Nav, with occasional interludes from Discord. The characterizations seem good, though again, I'm not a fan of the show, and a lot of the content is very much YMMV.

    Still, nearly two million words and I never got bored or irritated with the main character.

    5/5
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2015
  2. Dark Minion

    Dark Minion Bright Henchman DLP Supporter Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,231
    Hey - we once had a huge MLP fanbase, and this didn't receive any review?

    I'll move this based on the current votes next weekend if no one reviews.

    I am looking at you KrzaQ and Aekiel and Chengar Qordath and pdo91 ...


    EDIT: Note to self: To be moved after KrzaQ posted his review on Sunday. If he doesn't post a review, punish him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  3. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Dark Lord

    Joined:
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    1,992
    Location:
    Wrexham, Wales
    Okay, so first things first, I like the story. I look forward to updates, and read them quickly, rather than having them languish in my favourites folder for a week or two. However, I haven't ever re-read the story, although I've sometimes skipped back over chapters to figure out what the hell happened last time I read it. Whole thing about complaints is going into spoilers, because raisins.

    Bear in mind some of the 'facts' might be slightly wrong, but I'm dredging from memory here.


    But there's problems with this.

    First of all, the sex scenes, and the plot (hue) therein.
    When writing a non-sexy story, you will have readers who skip the sex scenes. Especially in a non-human story. I know that whilst a lot of the MLP fandom read "clop", a lot don't, especially when it involves non-humans (as opposed to EqG girls, or just humanised characters). And that's fine.
    And these readers who skip the sex scenes will not have read anything that goes on in the scene, meaning that any plot points that come up are ones those readers will be completely ignorant of.
    Often, this isn't an issue, because the plot will move forward quite quickly, or you can get the general gist of it within a short time frame. But it does still leave the reader trying to figure out what happened.
    For example, the Rarity and ?Pinkie scene with Nav. I don't remember the details, other than he wasn't into it. In fact, Nav was quite vehemently against it.
    Let's not even sugarcoat it, Nav was raped.
    If you skip the scene, you'll probably be able to figure it out by context - Nav is now scared(?) of those two ponies, and you just skipped a sex scene. What could /possibly/ have gone on there?

    Also, because it has to be mentioned, is that a lot of the sex gets really kinky. Lots of fetishes, and not all of them will be for everyone. Genderbending, probably vore, tentacles, rape, BDSM, semi-con, inter-species (duh), gay, lesbian, group (probably)... And I'm sure there're others.

    Secondly, is the edits made.
    I was reading as this story updated through Nav's journey in Egypt, and his abuse from ?Kat.

    But then later, when Nav is telling the story of just how badly everything went to Celestia, because he thinks that she's abusing him because he isn't a pony, and therefore 'useless', there's mentions of something along the lines of a word cut into his back, or branded, or something. But the word isn't outright stated, and wasn't mentioned at the time I read the chapter in which the abuse actually happened.

    Maybe this isn't an edit, maybe this is just me not being able to pick up the subtext, but there's been a few of these going on through the story, which meakes me think otherwise.

    Thirdly, the characters.
    Like most kids shows, MLP doesn't have a huge cast. You've got the mane 6, Spike, the three other princesses, and a few family members/close friends. But you don't have a huge amount of people.
    Navarone (the author uses it as his handle for AiE, and can be found on pastebin under it) solves this by coming up with hundreds of new characters, of all different species. HE also comes up with new species, and huge amounts of other worldbuilding - the spiders, monkeys, elementals, arctic haunted base, etc...
    This isn't a huge issue, because you need a large cast, and they're not all caricature, but it could be off-putting to some, because there's so little canon actually used.

    All that said, I do really like the story. It updates regular, and is a good quality. If you can get past the infrequent rape scenes (OTTOMH, somewhere around five ~ish), it's a good story. Be aware there's a shitload of world-building, which means a shitload of non-canon characters, places, events, and so forth. The main character's a human, has lots of sex with basically every canon race from the show, and with a huge list of different kinks. The story could also DEFINITELY have been told in fewer words.

    I only really talked about my issues in the spoilers, but only because I don't really know how else to phrase praise than "it's pretty good, and worth giving a try". Easily one of the better ones in the fandom, so 4.5/5, rounding up to 5/5

    It does get better later on, so I'd rec sticking with it for a while.

    Also, unless the prologue's been made non-canon for the story, might be worth linking to that, not chapter 1?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  4. Dark Minion

    Dark Minion Bright Henchman DLP Supporter Retired Staff

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    Yeah, I changed it.
     
  5. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    There's been bugger all good to read in the fandom for the best part of a year, so I found other things. I'll give this a go, though. I'm a sucker for a darker and edgier version of childrens' shows.
     
  6. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    These days I'm too busy writing to actually read much. I'll see if I can check it out though.
     
  7. AmishGoat

    AmishGoat Squib

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    I went ahead and read this a few weeks ago despite never having had any experience with MLP before.

    As mentioned above, the story is insanely long. Ridiculously so. That said I rarely felt that the fic dragged on. Probably because the story seems to alternate between fast paced plot developments and long stretches of character and relationship development. Not sure how well that would work for other types of fics, but it worked fairly well here and kept things fresh.

    Since I've never seen MLP before, I can't really say how much canon is included. My impression is that there are less and less canon characters involved as the plot continues, to the point where some characters seen in the beginning seem to be nearly forgotten.

    World building is where this fic really shines though. A lot of thought is put into how this world is set up, as well as the attitudes and behaviors of races and individuals. Going through the history of this world is perhaps my favorite part; there were a couple kind of cliche ideas that were written really well. That said, the fic telegraphs a lot and is predictable; I could guess outcomes of developments with better accuracy than I should have.

    The only real gripe I had was the main character's recurring self pity routine which made the fic feel less grimdark at points and more 'edgy.' A little overdone, but not enough to prevent me from enjoying the main character's perspective.

    As mentioned by above posters, this fic is a fairly dark fic. Would not recommend this if you aren't looking for some grimdark interspersed with lighter bits now and then. Otherwise my overall rating is 3.5/5 rounded up.
     
  8. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    High Score:
    9,373
    I got about a dozen chapters in before I dropped this. There are good parts to it, but I just can't get over the writing style. It's far too bland and errs towards telling instead of showing a lot of the time.

    That said the plot is fairly interesting and the OC human is mildly well done.

    I'd give it a 3/5, all told.
     
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