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Hello, everyone! This is GJ301. So here’s that other project that’s LONG overdo. I very much apologize to PepperScratch as well as PaintingStrides for getting this out so late. I’ve had so much to manage that it slipped my mind completely. It’s just like Chronicle, where I keep you waiting, but then the tory never continues, and then I never reveal what Matt has been up to, or how the kids gained superpowers, or how Andrew’s father is holding up after his son… sorry, I’m still bitter that there’s no sequel. The point is, I at least have it up now, and I’m glad that it’s finally done. This time, I’ll be reviewing the literary winner, and while I enjoyed both PaintingStrides and pretty-pegasus-wings’s works, there can only be one winner, and we have to analyze one of them. Either way, I congratulate both artists for working very hard. So without any more delay, and I do mean ANY more delay, lets analyze:
Peppermint Contest -- Entry (Part 1, Prologue)#pepperscratchccc
It was cold. Oh, so cold. Peppermint wandered through the forest, her ears perked and her knees buckling with every step. It was so cold.
There was light. Like light at the end of the tunnel, as bright and as brilliant as fire, but remained as beautiful and so terribly sad as that of moonlight.
It was cold. It grew even colder.
Snowflakes fell from the sky, the light shining through each dot of snow, like glass, fell from the sky and turned to dust. How strange. Dust. Dust as terribly cold as the howling wind, as sad and as beautiful as the moonlight, and as bright and spontaneous as the fire.
The needles of the branches, stuck in the mare’s mane, fell and prickled at her feet from the ground, like h
Peppermint Contest -- Part 2 (Chapter 1)#pepperscratchccc
Chapter One -
Peppermint rolled out of bed, groaning. Somehow, she ended up on the ground with her blankets wrapped around her, looking very displeased. Her alarm was ringing obnoxiously, and picked up her pillow with her magic and threw it at the ‘snooze’ button.
Suddenly, the window burst open, bringing a pegasus with dark-blue mane through with it.
“RISE AND SHINE!” He yelled.
Peppermint groaned and let the pillow fall on her face. “Why do we have to be up so early?” She said, her voice muffled.
“It’s the Summer Sun celebration! You were supposed to stay up all night--”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. To see the sun rise. Big deal!” She glanced outside at the inky-black sky, dots of stars scattered, barely visible because of all the lights that ponies had lit.
The stallion’s ears folded back, a worried expression painted across his face. “You. . .missed a really good gig in Canterlot. Why was that?&
Peppermint Contest -- Part 3 (Chapter 2)
Chapter Two -
Why am I always so. . .self-aware?
Why do I feel distant, as if separated from everyone else?
Why do I feel as if a stranger is staring back at me from the mirror?
When I look at myself, I stare in disbelief. “That is me. That body is where my soul lies.”
Why do I feel the prick of a needle in my cheek, the smell of hospitals?
What are the strange and abrupt pains I feel spontaneously?
Where am I?
Please. . .please help.
Where am I?
Please. . .
Peppermint watched Soarin fly towards Canterlot with her response, telling them she was on her way. She was busy purchasing a last-minute train ticket up to the city, and she hopped onto the train, sighing as she stared out the window.
The train car was
Peppermint Contest -- Part 4 (Chapter Three)#pepperscratchccc
Chapter Three -
It was cold, and hot, all at the same time.
“Wha--Who. . .?” Peppermint began to ask all at once, her head filled with questions.
“No time to explain. There are more on the way.” Interrupted Ditzy, “Let’s go!” She went over to the window, waiting for Peppermint to follow. She didn’t know whether to trust her or not.
Peppermint looked her over. She was a grey pegasus with a small frame, and her mane and tail were about as golden as the sun. Her eyes were orange, like the color of a sunset--but they were cross-eyed. One faced slightly down, while the other stared at her. They were both determined and focused, though, despite their nature. Her face was kind, but brave.
Peppermint tenderly took a step tow
Peppermint Story -- Chapter. 4Chapter Four
So. . .so cold.
“Run!” Ditzy screamed, and they all turned and ran out of the cave. The Cyberpony followed behind as the ponies galloped towards the forest. Peppermint looked at the distant Canterlot castle. It’s lights were shining bright, what it usually looked like during the Summer Sun celebration. But as they approached the forest and the trees began to sprout around them, she noticed something else. There was a green tint in the corner of the sky, just a glimmer. She shook her head, thinking it was her imagination.
The cyberpony was teleporting now, from place to place, so it could reach them faster. It stayed under the cliff that hung off the side of the mountain, sticking to the shadows. It was harder to spot there, and the ponies could only run and hope it wasn’t immediately behind th
So I’ll take this chapter-by-chapter, starting with the prologue. For starters, I enjoy how well you establish the environment as being incredibly frigid. I can even feel the goose bumps on my skin rise just by reading how chilling the outdoors are. I also admire how you explain how each aspect of the outside appears and feels. I’m also left anxious when Peppermint just drops to the ground while someone is calling her name. It adds some level of suspense.
However, I do have a few criticisms to make. Firstly, I have an issue with the constant repetition of words. For example, you use the word “cold” for a total of thirteen times in this chapter. When you describe something more than once, try using a different word each time, like frigid or chilling or icy. This might seem random, but a good example of this is Nostalgia Critic’s review of The Phantom of the Opera movie. When they comment on Beth’s singing by spewing phrases like “amazingly adequate” and “remarkably passable” and “phenomenally serviceable”. Notice how they use different words each time. They avoid sounding repetitive by reciting synonyms for amazing and okay, which this chapter could have done more of. This also goes for when you used the phrase terribly beautiful three times.
Another criticism I would like to make is that the descriptions of the stars, branches, and moon could have all been written in the same paragraph, because that’s the point where you’re defining the setting and atmosphere.
We then have the first chapter, and I have to say that this one is written slightly better. Something I like about it is the characterization. I enjoy how you portray Soarin as friendly and enthusiastic. It’s always important to keep canon characters as their usual selves. I also find it interesting that Peppermint feels unmotivated to attend the Summer Sun Celebration due to it being nighttime. For the first half, it makes me urgent to figure out what the reason behind that was.
My biggest criticism is that when Soarin enters the scene, you should establish sooner that it is him. From the line that he burst through the window to the first time Pepper refers to him as Soarin, I was wondering who the heck this character was. You could have a line that said, “Pepper instantly realized it was Soarin.”
Another analysis is that when you reveal that Octavia is the one quoted in the paper, write it as, “said Octavia Andante, a friend and roommate of DJ, claimed” instead.
Next up is chapter two, and this one is fairly written as well. I enjoyed the italicized dialogue at the beginning. It genially alludes to the fact that Pepper might be in the hospital, and while I could be wrong, it still creates a sense of necessity.
I absolutely love the sequence where the train shuts off and the cyberman approaches Pepper so slowly. I felt chills down my spine as I read about the pony dropping his paper and coat in the middle of the darkened train.
My only critique for this chapter is that there are certain parts where pepper doesn’t sound terrified. When she says, “Ha! As if”, she sounds to be a bit playful rather than fearful. Perhaps have her stare frighteningly at the machine and say, “Um, I don’t think I want to.” It would be more consistent. I also got this same vibe when she imitates the robot. It’s too silly, especially since the last few paragraphs had a horror feeling to it. Perhaps have her just say “you will be upgraded”, in her normal voice. That would be taken more seriously.
The third chapter is also very much engaging. I love how you portray Ditzy Doo as this badass hero with high intelligence and bravery. It seems very ironic for her character! On top of that, I also appreciate the intense atmosphere. Now that we understand the threat that these cyberponies pose, everything feels more ominous and uneasy. Having more characters than just Pepper and Ditzy works, because all of them could bounce off each other in interesting ways.
If I had one criticism, it would be to give the side characters more personality. I like what you do with Sugar Berry, making her incredibly timid, but I also wish we could have a bit more development from Snowflake and Trainman. I would love to see how they interact with everyone else.
Finally, we have chapter four, and this was a pretty nice place to leave off on. There was so much excitement with the cyberponies gaining up on all our heroes, and my breath almost stopped when the light blasted Pepper, and thought that she was about to die. It was also pretty funny that you had the Doctor tie into all of this. The scene on his ship was a nice scene to relax with after all that commotion.
My one critique is that the Doctor should be shown to be intent on helping defeat the cyberponies. He just simply leaves without stating what exactly he plans on doing. I would love to hear him talk about how he wants to save the day along with Ditzy and Pepper. That would be greatly compelling!
Also, I can see that you’ve stopped here for the time being. If you do plan on continuing the story, then I would greatly suggest take some of the criticisms I have into consideration. Have the characters interact more, explain why pepper feels so down about not attending the celebration, and I want to see how these robotic jerks get defeated! Maybe we could even get a scene at the end where pepper just jams out at the festival! I don’t know, they’re just some suggestions.
Overall you have some great material here, and while some parts could use work, I think it could lead to something legitimately awesome! I would give it four stars out of five. Keep up the awesome work, PaintingStrides!
Well, folks, that’s my review! Again, I deeply apologize for taking the longest time ever to complete it. But I hope that you all enjoyed reading the review. Be sure to check out more of PaintingStrides work! You’ll find plenty more MLP fan art, as well as literature and pictures of horseback riding! Also, don’t forget to visit PepperScratch’s profile, either. If you like OC’s, comics, and contest entries, then this is the artist you need to check out! Once again, I thank you all for reading, and I’ll see you all soon!
|I am an avid writer, critic, and filmmaker. I mostly like to review artwork, which would typically be MLP-related. I also enjoy posting things that are related to award shows, like the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, and Tonys. Sometimes, I might even create an award show of my own!|