The Gang of Five
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Fanfiction Voting 2020

rhombus · 16 · 1121

rhombus

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Voting has now begun for the fanfiction awards.  Voting will last from now to November 30 at midnight.

If you wish to vote in private, please send me a PM with your votes. Otherwise, please post your votes in this topic.

This is the voting section for the fanfiction awards only. All fanfictions that have been submitted by your fellow members for voting are listed below. Please only post on this topic to submit your vote, do not ask questions or have discussions here. For questions, please click here and comment on the rules.

You may vote on as many fanfictions as you'd like, but you must have read them first. Please show us in your review that you've truly read the fanfiction.

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Name of fanfiction: A Glider's Long Day
Short summary: In this prelude to the Great Day of the Flyers, we see a small glimpse of who Guido truly is… or at least used to be. After being tricked by false friends into trying something he wasn't ready for, he ends up losing his old life only to find a new one.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16613.0
Author(s): Sovereign
Any other comment:

Name of fanfiction: A Friendship Born of Fear and Courage
Short summary: Shortly after parting with his parents, Chomper's life with his new host family is going far from well. After many setbacks, he decides to make a move that can only be called reckless but that decision also allows him to forge a friendship that'll change his whole life soon enough… This fic is a sequel to the Reluctant Goodbye.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16833.0
Author(s): Sovereign
Any other comment:

Name of fanfiction: Separate Ways
Short summary: An unfortunate misunderstanding sets forth a long chain of events, initiating a desperate search and finally leading to a conclusion no one had would have wanted to happen. What follows is an adventure that leads to many wondrous journeys and fearful nightmares that leave no one unchanged. Follow Ruby and Petrie as they struggle against all the odds to survive the Separate Ways.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=15514.160
Author(s): Sovereign
Any other comment: Finally complete.

Name of fanfiction: The Battle Before Time
Short summary: Trained by The Lone Dinosaur, Littlefoot has grown into a legend-worthy warrior. Peek into the epic battles of a young adult Littlefoot, interspersed with childhood training, as he fights his way through The Mysterious Beyond on an equally mysterious quest to save The Land Before Time. Rated K plus for being slightly more violent than most of The Land Before Time series ... except perhaps the original movie.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16984.msg519826#msg519826
Author(s): The Mr E
Any other comment: N/A

Name of fanfiction: Weathered Gorge
Short summary: One crass comment from Gyro was all it took for Petrie to snap. But what continually bugged him afterwards was whether his callous sibling was right after all… was he a failure of a flyer, just like his father? The only way for a troubled Petrie to refute those claims and exonerate himself was to venture to where his father had lost his life… and conquer the deadly Weathered Gorge.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16592.0
Author(s): OwlsCantRead

Name of fanfiction: Snowballed Lies
Short summary: A chance encounter with a wise wanderer enabled a young child's inner propensity to get what he desired by acting in certain ways. But when those tiny lies end up snowballing into an impeccable façade that is constantly being maintained by an increasingly paranoid individual, what happens when it all comes crashing down?
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16713.0
Author(s): OwlsCantRead
Any other comment: Companion fic to Five Stages of Grief.

Name of fanfiction: Panicky Plumed Predicament
Short summary: “Chomper, the friendly sharptooth! Heh, how could I forget? Heheheheh… y-you’re still friendly, right?” Coerced into taking care of Tricia for the day, how will the pluckless Guido deal with the struggles of babysitting the infant threehorn, especially when he ends up running into a sharptooth right in the flesh?
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16897.0
Author(s): OwlsCantRead

Name of fanfiction: The Tragic Cycle
Short summary: A very difficult read on the tragic chain of events that plagued Petrie's miserable childhood right up until the Great Earth Shake.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16728.0
Author: DiddyKF1
Comment: Story is still in progress.

Name of fanfiction: Lost in Nightmares
Short summary: Continuation for A Grief Observed. Adapting is not always like a walk in the park. For Shorty, it was twice the trouble to make it to the finish line with his innocence intact. But what if the damage has already been done and irreversible? This is the next chapter in the life of a lost soul who found redemption in the most unlikely place and turned over a new leaf as a result.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16919.0
Author: Anagnos
Any other comment: Complete

Name of fanfiction: Our Past and Our Future
Short summary: Adolescence is an awkward time of self discovery as well as physical growth. Chomper seems to experience this the most because of his Sharptooth heritage. But when he and his friends meet an unlikely friends during one of their adventures, things might be turning out for the better. Series of Slice of Life Oneshots related to "Past and Future".
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16028.msg468007#msg468007
Author(s): LBTlover247
Any other comment:

Name of fanfiction: A Glimpse Beyond
Short summary: Following the Rainbow Faces' departure, a strange incident brings Littlefoot into the unknown, where someone familiar awaits him.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=17014.0
Author(s): RainbowFaceProtege
Any other comment:

Name of fanfiction: Hidden Needs
Short summary: My belated response to the 2019 Summer Prompt Challenge. We all know that Petrie's kind were likely omnivores or carnivores in real life… but what if that was also true in the LBT narrative as well? Write a story where Petrie's "little secret" is revealed to one of his friends or to the gang itself.
Link to fanfiction on the GoF: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16584.msg498416
Author: Rhombus
Any other comment:


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Menders Tale.


Sovereign

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It seems to be up to me to start the voting. Here are my five first votes and considering we have quite few participants, there'll be need for only one more post which I should have ready in a few days.

Fanfiction: The Battle Before Time

I rate it: 7/10

Because: This fic is a bit hard to evaluate but I’ll try my best. You are a pretty good writer and clearly capable of creating an original and interesting narrative. You had a very personal plot going on here and it was built quite nicely. It was deliberately outlandish and you knew how to make it work that way. Yet, this tale was perhaps even too outlandish for most readers and it was pretty tiring stuff to read through. That isn’t to say it was bad but the way I see it, there could have been room for improvement.

The premise of Littlefoot training under Doc while also having with Cera is pretty fun and something that is easy to see in LBT. However, the stuff that follows gets pretty outlandish. It is a testament to your skills as an author but the Baby Moon and supernatural fight gets pretty intense. The story has its good parts and the characterizations work quite well but the way I see it, the high tempo gets tiring. The fic is long as it is and it had pretty much no more silent scenes where to catch my breath. It was pretty much all action which made it quite heavy to read. This genre has its own appeal but it isn’t my piece of cake.

That being said, I still give you a rather high score for simply your abilities and fluidness in fusing LBT, fighting and comedy together quite nicely. I hope you won’t mind my criticism but I want to be as fair as I can. It will be interesting to see where this fic will go next as the battle for the Valley isn’t over. Overall, you did a good job in the genre you went with but magic and comedy just aren't my nr. 1 things.

Fanfiction: Weathered Gorge

I rate it: 8/10

Because: I liked many aspects of this fic. The first chapter portraying the demise of Petrie’s father in the first chapter was portrayed pretty believably. Likewise, it was good to see another take on Petrie’s issues with his family and how he tries to get over the bullying. This tale was written nicely as your stuff is but the quick ending to this fic left me with bit of a empty feeling. It just felt like there was potential for far more here but your compromise was good enough as well.

As I said, the first chapter was good as was the second one. At that point, the plot moved forward quite smoothly with certain tension hanging in the air. Petrie’s willingness to prove his worth is understandable and in-character though it was also foolish considering his young age. The premise of this story was thus established very effectively and I was left waiting for a real spectacle and a really intense conclusion.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, it just felt sudden. Petrie just flew there, almost dies after which his mother gives him a much-needed lesson. I had expected a longer story and that made the ending even more interesting but in the end, I didn’t really feel we got much feeling for Petrie’s dad, for the Gorge itself or for the whole lesson. The whole fic felt like a 100k fic compressed into 20k.

However, I still give this a decent rating as I understand it was a prompt and you still provided us with memorable moments and places. Even if I can find stuff to point out, the overall picture is still positive and your skill as an author certainly helped in making this at least a bit more complete tale. So in the end, good job as always.

Fanfiction: Snowballed Lies

I rate it: 9/10

Because: I think this was your strongest prompt entry this year. Not only did it have a closer look on the main char but it also had the best plot. Of course it was a bit easier to build on top of your breakthrough story as Five Stages of Grief still stands as one of the best LBT short stories. This time we got a close look to Mr. Thicknose and really, you did a good job on fleshing out why he did what he did as despite everything, he wasn’t handled too well in the film.

It was a good decision to have a glance to Thicknose’s childhood as that laid the foundations for his rather eccentric personality. It makes sense he was a curious and analytical kid who wasn’t spectacularly well received by everyone. Even then, he loved to gather knowledge and grew to want to share it with others as well. Later on, that became the basis for his identity as we saw in the film. You showed his point of view on his mistakes very effectively and that’s one of the strong points of the story. Especially his hurt at being unable to answer to Mr. Threehorn was tangible.

The latter parts might have dragged on a bit as this story was a very long one for an introspective fic. Most of the scenes served their purpose, though, and the strict focus on Arbor/Mr. Thicknose was a good decision. Overall, it’s a very good sibling to Five Stages of Grief as you’ve shown that there were really many strong emotions around the events of the film that were completely cut out of it. It is nice that you’ve done so much to give us a more complete view of it and for that, this fic deserves this rating.

Fanfiction: Panicky Plumed Predicament

I rate it: 7,5/10

Because: This was a pretty simple and fun fic for sure. Guido was put in a very alien situation for him and considering the circumstances, he did pretty well. The premise worked even if Petrie had a pretty odd thought process when he implied that Guido’s day is worth less than his. Then again, I guess that’s understandable but it felt a bit bruh to me. It spoke a lot of the glider’s appreciation for jis friend to accept the job.

The latter parts were fun as well with Mr. Threehorn being just a bit apprehensive at the new babysitter. It’s clear that he doesn’t trust the glider but he has to accept the reality. Guido’s time with Tricia was quite well done (yeah, Greeny is a very good name for him) and his meeting with Ruby and Chomper was very nice. The shock at seeing Chomper was very easy to see coming and while the trio’s meeting wasn’t too long, it was good to see the secondary characters’ interacting for a while. I’m obviously biased towards that duo but their presence makes almost any fic even better. Overall, this story wasn’t the most ambitious one but it was chill and entertaining for sure.

Fanfiction: The Tragic Cycle

I rate it: 9/10

Because:
Thus far I’ve greatly enjoyed this story. It has presented us with a great version about Petrie’s early life and it has already offered us with many emotional scenes from Petrie’s point of view as well as Cerusa. It’s clear that both of them are having a hard time and it has been tough not to feel bad at them. The plot itself has been satisfactory too even if I have had a few issues with it.

First of all, you’ve done very well in portraying Petrie’s issues and his struggles to take even the first steps in his life. His inability to speak, his future fear of flying… all is very clear to the reader as are Cerusa’s efforts to both support her son and also trying to show him the cold truths of life he simply cannot escape. Petrie’s doubts about her words were also clear and it was rather sad to see him that fearful about his own future.

Another thing I liked was Rantyl but I still am not completely happy with his fate. We’ve gone through this but I still think he had a lot more to offer us than dying in chapter 2. It just felt like it happened unnecessarily fast. Also, some aspects of storytelling feel a bit too self-indulging, most noticeably the emphasis on Petrie’s alleged autism. It just didn’t feel natural to put it so noticeably on display in a LBT fic.

But overall, this fic is a good one and it has much further potential. I hope we’ll see a careful, close development of Petrie’s character as he turns from a hatchling to what he was in the film. With Donnie’s presence and the dark, awesome world of the original movie, I’m sure we will be up for a treat later on. For that, I give this story one of the year’s best ratings.




Sovereign

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And here are my last reviews. I'm sorry for giving lower ratings but these fics... well, I said what I have to say. Still, it was nice to see even this many participants this year and I hope to see many more voters in the coming month. :^^spike

Fanfiction: Lost in Nightmares

I rate it: 6,5/10

Because:
This fic… is a tough one. It seems to almost be divided into two as it started very strongly and opening many possibilities into Shorty’s deepening mental issues. It was simultaneously intriguing and saddening to see him starting to see his dead friends in his mind and that alone opened a chance to explore completely new aspects of the hapless longneck’s character. But what we ended up with wasn’t the best outcome, imo.

The first chapter showed the dynamics between Shorty and Bron excellently and I liked seeing Bron having to act both as the foster father and the herd leader and you established the duo’s troubled relationship excellently. Shorty’s mental breakdown at the end was understandable even if it didn’t make things any less dramatic for him. And as I already said, his deepening longing for his old home after being bullied was very clear soon enough. All of this was good, intense and well-written.

And then comes the third chapter. It isn’t any more badly written than the first ones but I’ll start by saying that you just don’t squeeze the 10th film into one chapter. There was a reason Shorty’s Dark Past filled it with new stuff, in order to give it more depth and to really show what was going on. I understand you meant this to be a short story but nonetheless, I just don’t think an initial in-depth perspective followed by a sprint work well in a single story.

I hate to be this blunt but also, the two first chapters proved you still have what it takes to write a great story. Here, the problem was the pacing but should you continue writing, you still have a lot to offer to LBT fics. So don’t let this review keep you down as the issues I raised up are very fixable.


Fanfiction: Our Past and Our Future

I rate it: 6/10

Because: I’m not exactly fond of giving this rather well-written fic this low a rating but after a few years of following it, my main question concerning it is: why? Yeah, I get that it is supposed to be centered around Arya’s character and you have created good dynamics between her and the Gang and that is respectable. However, things haven’t really been moving forward and at least imo, Arya hasn’t yet justified being this important a character.

In the latest chapter we mainly saw Cera being a racist towards sharpteeth which really isn’t the freshest idea in the franchise and neither is others persuading her to apologize. The thing is, all of these chapters are well-written and the chars are mainly in-character which is why I’m not giving this a terrible rating. To be sure, this tale has many things going for it and imo, you have what it takes to make great fics.

But the problems are numerous. First, we’ve thus far seen very few original ideas here which obviously isn’t the best place to be in. Second, Arya is a decent char in the way that I really don’t have any opinion of her. But that doesn’t alone justify a fic centered around her and I can’t say I’m super excited about her future. Third, the fic doesn’t have a whole lot of suspense rn. There isn’t a lot of stuff in the horizon or anything to look forward to which is a problem.

I know I sound overly negative and for sure, I mean those points. But the depth in which you can analyze a character’s motives and thoughts and how you overall build scenes are almost up there with the best LBT authors. That fact makes the relatively lackluster plot even more frustrating but I hope you don’t find my words unjust. I hope you have something in store for us in this fic as it can still be a good one if you put Arya’s character to good use.


Fanfiction: A Glimpse Beyond

I rate it: 7,5/10

Because: My thoughts are a bit divided on this one. I really like the idea of the stone working that way, quite literally being a message from Beyond the Mysterious Beyond. You also managed to get a lot of emotion to the text as Littlefoot and mis mother’s conversation was quite well built. That being said, I have a few issues I’d like to mention.

But first things first. Littlefoot’s reaction to the miraculous reunion worked really well and the warmth and longing were more than tangible through the scene. It was easy to understand just how much it meant to Littlefoot and because of that, this fic was a rather strong one. I’ve read a fic of your fics and I must say this is the best.

Yet, there are two main things that bother me. First is the fact that his mother’s only regret here is that she’s a racist. That was both a cliché and it wasn’t something that felt fitting there. It just seemed to make the whole sequence cheaper and made me roll my eyes a bit. The other problem is the ending where it becomes apparent that Littlefoot comes to believe the meeting wasn’t real. That isn’t the best way to make an impact.

But overall, this was decent work. These short, introspective stories are often quite emotional and you certainly knew how to make one of those. Despite its problems, I give this a pretty good rating and I hope to see truly great fics from you in the future.


Fanfiction: Hidden Needs

I rate it: 9/10

Because: Lastly, this was a good fic. The opening scenes of the Gang just being the Gang worked perfectly and it was a bit tough to watch Petrie trying to hide his secret. It was clear he wanted to keep the mask on and he had to go to great lengths to hide his real diet from his friends. Even then, the group had fun together until Ruby found out the truth.

And that scene was quite well written. It was nice to see Petrie being able to let others know the truth even if he was quite overly lucky that it was Ruby who surprised him. However, I’m not exactly sure why the secret was so touchy for the flyers. I don’t really see how eating fish would be a problem but okay, I guess. That was one of my only nitpicks in the first chapter. The latter part of the chapter was what you’d expect as it was never likely that the revelation would change much.

As for the second, it wasn’t really needed, imo. Very little happened there and while the final conclusion to the installment was worth a chuckle or two, it ultimately wasn’t anything special. This fic would have been better with only one chapter but I won’t decrease the rating as the second chapter still had a few good ideas and it was well-written as always.

Overall, this was a very good story from you. The first part had many intense scenes and it flowed forward naturally while also building on its promise in an interesting way. It’s clear you still have what it takes and even if it’s bit of a shame that this was your only entry this year. Hopefully the next year will be a better one but as it is, this fic was still a very worthy entry for 2020.




LBTlover247

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Here's my vote! I may add more but I wanted to get at least one in before the voting deadline. :ChomperPOG

Fanfiction: Snowballed Lies

I Rate it: 7/10

Because: OwlsCantRead managed to take the short sequence of Mr. Thicknose's past and fleshes it out, making him become a more complex character than we saw in the movie. This makes him feel like more relatable character with a glimpse of who he really is. I especially love how Mr. Thicknose slowly becomes what he hated most as a kid- stuffy adults. I also like how similar Mr. Thicknose was to Littlefoot as a kid, even making that connection himself. Also, yay Rooter made an appearance!


Anagnos

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And here are all of my reviews for this year. Unfortunately, once again, I did not manage to get them all. I only missed 2 stories (and my own because you're not supposed to review those), but I'm definitely going to work extra hard next year to finally get them all done. :smile


Fanfiction: A Glider's Long Day

I rate it: 7,5/10

Because: Character driven stories, especially those that explore the backstory of the said character are among my favorite type of stories to tell. Since there are still many characters within the Land Before Time franchise that have not received as much attention as the main characters, it is wonderful to see that there are others who partake in the same activity as I do. Guido is one of those underutilized characters that has quickly made their way into our heart and it frustrates me that the film or the television series never expanded on this plot point more.

The scenes with Guido’s parents were necessary to establish at least some form of legitimate backstory for the glider. It was interesting to see that Guido behaved no differently here than with the gang in the film, as that explains that his characteristics later on were genuine on his part and not forced. The author constructed this scene almost perfectly, but it lacked the ambitiousness evident in the creator.

The suspense would come in the next part and that was without a doubt the most vivacious moment in the entire story. The faster pace clearly overtook the slower pace in the first half and made this moment all the more entertaining. The conclusion was already familiar to us from the film, but even then the author brought up something new in it; to see it happen from another perspective. There’s a very high change that we could eventually see continuation for this story as Guido’s journey has only just begun and I don’t feel his entire story has been told yet.


Fanfiction: A Friendship Born of Fear and Courage

I rate it: 7,5/10

Because:
I’d like to open up this review with quick few words. First, the author did a fantastic job of fleshing out the backstories of both Ruby and Chomper with this one and I really enjoyed watching how their friendship blossomed. They did not start out as the best of friends or even as friends at all, but rather necessary allies to one another. As I said in my feedback, friendships are formed even if the future looks bleak, and that was definitely what these characters had to go through in this story. I think many people would be more attracted to the action in these type of stories rather than characters themselves, but to me they were the main appeal here.

I think not many of us expected that Ruby and Chomper’s friendship would begin with a rather rocky start, and to me this was perhaps the most difficult section to read through. Not in a sense that it was poorly written, but the way the scene was built that it evoked this kind of feeling in the reader in the first place. It certainly took me by surprise when they were not all buddy buddy with each other at the start as one might expect. This is what I’d call good character development. The author brought out the best and worst in both of them, although I would have liked to see the strife go into greater detail.

When it came down to the main antagonistic force in the story I was left feeling a bit let down by the conclusion. Throughout the later parts it felt like they had been presented as an immovable object, but were in fact not utilized properly. If two children end up winning the day by sheer luck on their side against a more experienced adversary, it does leave the reader somewhat disappointed in the end. But considering that the villain behind the scenes (Stealth) was responsible for this attempt, we can conclude that he’s desperate enough to employ even the most dimwitted sharpteeth to do his dirty work.


Fanfiction: Separate Ways

I rate it: 8/10

Because: Last of Sovereign’s fics in this year’s awards. I must say that it was increasingly difficult to find the right words that fit into this review, as I’ve mostly already said them all in more ways than one. It certainly has been quite the exhilarating journey put together that I find myself questioning on how to best describe it. If there are few things that come to mind, it’s that this story certainly knew how and when to throw a curveball in the audience’s face at the right time.

But like all things, all good things must come to an end at some point. I was really happy to see that the story got the satisfying conclusion the fans had been awaiting for. Like all stories, it had its ups and downs, but I really feel like the good outweighed the bad in the end. While this chapter of the gang’s lives has been brought to an end, I feel like there’s much potential for a possible sequel as it left the story a bit open. Here’s to hoping we will one day see a possible next installment, but for now, it is a good time to close this story.


Fanfiction: Weathered Gorge

I rate it: 7,5/10

Because: This story had a very promising start. While the premise was not exactly new to the world of fanfiction, it managed to separate itself from the rest by creating a legitimate universe in which it took place. Many times I’ve mentioned that I’m a sucker for character backstories in particular, but there was something special about this one that completely blew my mind. Petrie’s father hasn’t obviously ever appeared in the series, nor has he been mentioned once and that already presents a rather intriguing premise.

If there was something I found lacking in the story, even if it may seem unnecessary, naming secondary characters brings more liveliness into the narrative and helps the reader connect to them more. The shift between past and present became slightly harder to interpret once the story moved on, but nothing that warranted reform. My advice to this would be to separate these two things a bit more clearly in the future. But the good things certainly made up for the few bad ones in the end. For one, I must applaud the author for making the dialogue particularly fluent.

That said, there were some things I would like to speak about. Most of all, I’d like to point out that some of the events in the story, mainly the sudden alteration of the weather, didn’t seem entirely natural and felt more like they were forced onto the reader. Now, you could say that this would work in this case, because the Weathered Gorge was anything but natural, but it still felt little outlandish to me. Ultimately, I believe this story completed its purpose, because by the end of it, all the characters had learned something very important. It would have been silly to have them go on this grand adventure and not have them learn anything from it.


Fanfiction: Snowballed Lies

I rate it: 9/10

Because: This story certainly surpassed my expectations and in my opinion is one of the best, if not the best short story we got this year. Everyone who has read the author’s past stories know that he is a guy that likes to rely heavily on the narrative. Some would say perhaps too heavily, but in my opinion it’s one of those traits that makes him unique and interesting to follow. He can go on and on about even the most minor detail in a way that makes you want to read more. I’d say this is one of his strongest qualities as a writer and not something you see every day. These type of stories have their own set of ups and downs that are usually resolved by the end of it. However, not all stories end up with a happy ending for the protagonist, and this was certainly one of those stories.

All of the events present in this story continue to only grow and weigh down on Mr. Thicknose until it finally is just too much for one person to bear alone. Once it all starts to crumble, you can’t help but feel sorry for him. He invested much of his life to the dedication of knowledge, and within short amount of time even that is eventually taken away from him, leaving him to become an empty shell of his former, lively self. This raises the following question that I’d like all of us to think for a moment; does he deserve to feel humiliated and alone in the cold world? If your answer is no, then you’ve certainly been paying close attention.

Sadly, Mr. Thicknose did possess enough willpower to push through, and because of that is forever lost. At the end of the story, his death has already affected everyone around him and the Great Valley will never be the same again. The events in this story could have been prevented with right choices, but what would the story then be about? If there’s anything I can criticize about the story, it would be the length. Obviously, not everyone will agree with me here, but the way I see it, it would have been better had the author separated the story into chapters. Since there was a lot of information for the reader to take in all at once, it would’ve perhaps even worked in the author’s favor in the end, to give the reader bit of respite and consider all the plot points before moving to the next one.


Fanfiction: Panicky Plumet Predicament

I rate it: 7,5/10

Because: I can say one thing about this story that’s certain; you will crack a smile at least one these jokes that the author decided to add in. I personally had a very hard time keeping a straight face. Guido is not often the first pick when it comes down to character selection, but the author in particular doesn’t shy away from using this adorable glider whenever he can. It is most impressive that he managed to get this story together in just five days, and I’m not saying that to belittle his success. Even very short stories can often take quite a lot of time out of your day, and I believe the author deserves a round of applause for this accomplishment.

The idea in this story was already hinted at in one of the television series episodes, but I don’t think I’ve seen a fanfiction story where it was explored, at least not quite like this. The author took a simple idea that was already established and turned it into a fantastic piece of fiction. However, there were some things I found to be lacking. I was more than little confused that Guido had no prior knowledge of Ruby or Chomper and that they were currently residing in the Great Valley. The reason for this was never truly explained to the reader, which is little weird to say the least. The first person perspective was very good, though I was little disappointed that this story offered little to no suspense. Easy way to make this happen would have been to place Guido in a tricky situation and have him find a way out of it.


Fanfiction: The Tragic Cycle

I rate it: 8,5/10

Because: This was definitely one of the more ambitious stories this year and it peaked my interest almost immediately. Ever since Petrie’s debut in the original movie, I’ve wanted to see what his life before meeting the gang was like, and here we have a pretty good inspiration for an origin story. I found it curious that like Spike, his story wasn’t really fleshed out in the film at all and because of that I believe many didn’t find him to be a very interesting character until later on. I would have loved to see Rantyl be used more in the story, but I understand that his fate was paramount in order to move the story forward. While he was around for a very short amount of time, I felt myself connect with his character. However, I wish the author would have come up with another way to remove him from the story than to have him die at the hands of sharpteeth as that’s really not original and left an underwhelming impression lingering in the air.

Moving on, the following chapters, while shorter, were actually among my favorites. Cerusa is obviously trying to do everything in her power to keep her children safe from all harm all the while having to deal with the tragedy of her mate’s death. The loss of their father is equally unpleasant for all of them, but that doesn’t stop them from having a bit of fun as children ought to. Despite Petrie’s status as the runt of the litter, he is starting to slowly form into the flyer we know from the film. While Cerusa may not be entirely comfortable with the idea of her children having to view their uncle Pterano as some sort of a substitute father, it is good for them to have someone to look up to. Especially Petrie’s bond with his uncle has made things little more flexible for the whole family.

If there’s one thing this story does very well, it’s that there doesn’t seem to be a moment wasted. Petrie’s early life has been anything but pleasant, but there will come a time when his luck will turn around. At the same time, Cerusa is not really helping her son to cope with his feelings by making him feel worthless. Even if that wasn’t her intention (which should be obvious as she’s his mother and cares for him a great deal), some of the things she’s said should have been left unsaid. There will be many more problems for young Petrie in store as we wait for things to kick off in the following chapters.


Fanfiction: A Glimpse Beyond

I rate it: 8/10

Because: I quite liked this story. While the premise isn’t exactly anything new, there’s just something special in a way the author created this story in the first place. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the best way I can try to explain it is that the author certainly didn’t miss her chance of having a bit of fun with the story and the way readers might interpret it. It is obvious that we as the audience know a lot more about the hidden factors in play than the actual characters do, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to figure it all out. I especially love the way the author can play with the reader’s mind and even make them anticipate or predict the characters’ actions or thoughts by pure guesswork.

The feeling of the unknown became even stronger as the story moved on from Littlefoot’s inner battle with his emotions to the sudden appearance of his deceased mother. I said in my initial review that this scene forced me to consider some aspects of the story I had not previously even thought about. Later on I asked myself why now of all times did I start to ask these questions? Was it something in the story that made me doubtful of my own views or words, or did it perhaps stem from something else entirely? This fact is yet again reinforced in the conclusion as it once again forces the reader into an almost uncomfortable position when trying to figure out the story at the point of it all. This may sound like I’m trash talking the story, but in reality I am not. All of these events in the story have just kickstarted my detective instincts. This is something that has never happened to me before and it honestly boggles my mind that it is happening now.


Fanfiction: Hidden Needs

I rate it: 8,5/10

Because: This will be the last fanfic review this year from me. This was yet another story with a fairly exciting and new premise in the world of fanfiction. The initial scene had a very important job to set up the things to come and the execution of this was handled well. There were not any major issues that I could spot. Although the reader might be already partially aware of the upcoming events, it is not so black and white as one might think. As we might have expected, once Petrie’s secret is laid to bare, the others don’t react so well. But here’s where it gets interesting, because all of them have different reactions fitting of their character. Littlefoot still sees Petrie as the same flyer that he’s always been. Spike reacts with fear upon this revelation. Chomper is trying to make sense of it all. Ducky and Ruby’s indifference to the entire thing as if it didn’t matter one bit to either of them. However, Cera’s was perhaps the most intriguing. While the threehorn reacts in anger, it is not directed at the flyer, but rather at the secret he tried to hide for so long from his closest friends. I can easily see that they’d be hurt by this.

Always true to their nature, the gang come together to ensure Petrie’s mother that it doesn’t matter to them if Petrie has to consume meat in order to survive as their kind’s nature demands. I don’t believe this action surprised anyone, but the way they ultimately made it work might have. The little backstory segment provided the very reason why Volant feels like hiding their true nature is the best course of action, as she doesn’t wish her family to be exiled from the Great Valley if someone were to see them in action. This story certainly kicked off with an amazing start. However, I did not expect that this supposed one-shot would be getting another chapter soon after. I must admit that I was slightly disappointed that there was not a large confrontation that emerged in the wake of the news about Petrie’s family. I’m a sucker for drama and it certainly would have made things more interesting in the long term, but ultimately I feel like this story ended on a very good note.



''Let your heart guide you. It whispers so listen carefully.''  :MomCompassion


The Mr E

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Oh boy ... I was looking at the wrong section waiting for the award nominations to come out, hence the delay.  Anyway, here are my votes so far.

Fanfiction: Our Past and Our Future
I rate it: 7.5/10
Because: So far, this story feels like it could have been one of the better Land Before Time movies (not that that's a requirement for a workable fanfic).  Navigating a friendship with a sharptooth always has potential for fascination, which you explore quite well.  Arya's introduction as part of the cast sold me, and Cera's treatment of her was as wince-worthy as it was satisfyingly resolved ... for now (wince).  It's easy to forget that Cera is officially described as 'sweet but strong-willed', and you gave her a little more depth than we usually see by portraying that.

I'm sure the plight of growing up as a sharptooth among leafeaters has been explored in many stories, but I thought it was well done in Chapter 2, 'Lessons'.  It is easy to forget that, being an omnivore, I would be far less bothered by Chomper eating a fish than his friends would be.  I think that detail is somewhat easy to forget, so kudos for remembering it.

There are some pretty adorable moments contrasted by poignant ones.  'The Coldest Day' stands out as the most moving chapter so far, perhaps masterfully so, and by 'moving', I mean (insert excessive man-tears here).

Personally, I can't criticise much in this story.  Minor grammatical errors are understandable.  The wordsmithery could be a bit more engaging and I would enjoy seeing more heart-pumping adventure, but in short, I really like this story and I expect it to improve as we go along.

Looking forward to seeing more!


Fanfiction: A Friendship Born of Fear and Courage
I rate it: 6.5/10
Because: Interesting take on the beginnings of Ruby and Chomper's relationship!  It's hard to imagine them having anything dissimilar to the brother/sister dynamic, but it makes sense that they could have had a rocky start.  Good job thinking to portray that and fleshing it out.  The interaction between Chomper and Ruby's family was understandably painful to read.  The end was rewarding, but logical in its imperfect closure.  After all, we can't expect Chomper to have a perfect relationship with Ruby's family all of a sudden.

The scene-building was quite good!

My biggest issue was some of the execution, which made it hard for my mind to flow with the story.  You clearly have a good vocabulary, but a fair number of moments were more wordy than they needed to be.  Perhaps that was an effort to fully encapsulate what was happening, but it elongated the moments and interrupted the fluidity a little too much for me.  I've made that mistake a number of times, trying to be clear/thorough and sacrificing readability in the process.  Some words and phrases were repeated a little too frequently, such as "by the second", "knew full well" and "(he/she/name) was beyond (adjective)".  They're good phrases, but overuse can become conspicuous ...  which I'm sure I've also done without realising.  Another example of repetition would be:

'Pearl sighed deeply before starting to speak.

“My love, calm down. Let’s try to live a moment at a time. We don’t know anything about how things will turn out.” She said, causing the other omnivore to sigh deeply and look at the ground.'

Using different words for the second sigh, such as 'exhale wearily', or excluding the second sigh would have helped ... unless this writing pattern is in part meant to mimic the speech pattern of fast runners, as much of it is written from their perspective.  If so, refining that writing technique so that it does not interrupt the flow could be a very interesting read.

I don't recall sharpteeth knowing how to communicate with leafeaters (except Chomper), but perhaps you've established something in your continuity of which I am unaware.

Referring to the sharpteeth as 'two footers' when everyone present falls under that category was a little confusing.  Perhaps you were referring to them in a general sense, much like how you can call them dinosaurs without being redundant.

The brief battle was a nice touch.  I was somewhat surprised that the duo stood a chance against three fast biters, as I recall Ruby being at least 3x smaller than Screech and Thud.  However, I suppose there's nothing to say the predators were as big as Screech and Thud.  Besides, if a rabbit's bite can do a fair amount of damage to a human, it's reasonable that a small sharptooth's attacks could be pretty nasty.

Ruby's reason for stepping up to the challenge is plausible ... perhaps more so than many of the times the gang has made perilous journeys unattended.


I really liked how the fast runners have a complex sharptooth protocol besides 'RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!'

The fast biters' reluctance to talk to, far less encourage the company of a threehorn, was a nice nod to how differently things work in The Mysterious Beyond.  Perhaps that's one of the reasons why Ruby's parents wanted her to figure out how dinosaurs in The Great Valley get along.

All in all, the execution made it hard to follow, but it was a good idea expanded upon with a good storyline!


DiddyKF1

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Well, I guess now is the perfect time for me to get some votes in.

Fanfiction: Separate Ways

I rate it: 9/10

It's really difficult for me to write a more refreshing review since I kinda already voiced my strong opinion on it in my previous reviews, but I think the gut-wrenching finale and conclusion to this already powerful story only makes it all the more deserving for a high rating from me this year. We've seen all the horrors the Gang could have thrown at them, and yet in the end the survivors each get an ending they deserve to this horrific chapter of their lives. The author always knew how to throw cliffhangers and uncertainty whenever possible, and it did a great job at making us beg for more like I couldn't wait for the next episode of my favorite TV show to come on. It was sad that one of my favorite stories in this fandom has finally come to an end, but in my opinion it will go down in history as one of the best adult fantasy-esque stories in LBT fanfiction history. :)petrie


Fanfiction: Weathered Gorge

I rate it: 7/10

Time to make up for the fact that I never reviewed this one.

This was certainly an interesting take on one of the many theories of what happened to Petrie's father and how it put such a deep impact on family life. The story generally seemed to go at such a quick pace with Petrie's daredevil quest to prove his worthiness and the subsequent revelation that he and his father are nothing alike.

To be honest, though, I'd have to agree with what Sovereign said about the story feeling just a little rushed. The flashbacks felt somewhat empty in that we never really saw Petrie's father after he disappeared into the abyss beneath the Gorge, and I felt there could have been more to fit into that empty void, but in the end, if there was anything that made up for this story's rather short length, it was the ending.

It was fascinating to see how Skylar's powerful words managed to change Petrie's views on himself and his family (for the most part), and get him to accept himself just as he is. It also brought an interesting viewpoint into Shylar's own troubled past and how she learned from her mistakes to become a loving mother that would do anything to keep her son out of harm's way, even if it means going back to a place where she almost died just to save her son from suffering the same fate his father did. This all brings great character development in both of them, and I think this succeeded in doing Petrie justice. :petrieLOL
Suddenly, I've written so many fanfics that I can't possibly list them all! :P



Ducky x Petrie forever! :)petrie :duckyhappy


The Mr E

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Fanfiction: Weathered Gorge
I rate it: 9.9/10
Because: Chapter 1 - There is a magnetic quality to this story that drew me in from the beginning.  The memories interspersed with narrative works very well.  I've never imagined seeing that side of Petrie's mom.  The story flows very well.  It only briefly seemed to drag near the end of this chapter, perhaps because I was wondering why Skylar was vocally venting her thoughts to that degree.  However, I now see that it was a necessary plot catalyst.  I expected Petrie's father's demise, but it was more unceremoniously poignant than I anticipated.

Chapter 2 - Yyyikes ... Early on it was obvious that Gyro and Roll were shaping up as S-grade griefers, but that verbal assault took things to an unexpected extreme.  Cera is a walk in the park by comparison.  The fact that Petrie's speech pattern isn't shared by any of his siblings (if anything, their eloquence seems slightly above average) accentuates the impression that he's a bit of a pariah.

The literal nature of being 'grounded' is a funny touch.

Petrie's spur-of-the-moment cleverness is an interesting foil to Gyro and Roll's claims.  It was fascinating to see such a cunning side of him.  I don't think they even realised how thoroughly he outfoxed the others.

Chapter 3 - Petrie's introspection was effective in creating the impression of the time it took for him to reach Weathered Gorge, yet it did not strike me as boring.  It was an effective calm before the storm, quite literally.

The action that followed was a satisfyingly intense read.  I'm mildly disappointed that it didn't end exactly the way Petrie envisioned, but I guess that's true to life.  The Weathered Gorge itself is an interesting concept.  This allegorical setting almost serves as its own antagonist, seemingly sinisterly conjuring a cocktail of horrors in an effort to claim its prey.  I guess it's the Bermuda Triangle of the prehistoric world.

Chapter 4 - "ugh this was supposed to be a one-shottttttt"  I can totally relate to that lament, but despite its experimental nature, this fic turned out wonderful.  It had a good moral that came naturally without being forced.  Though Petrie was the focus, his mother had a fair share of character development herself.  I wasn't expecting us to delve this deeply into the personalities and interactions of his siblings, but it was a pleasant and effectively executed surprise.

In summary, this fic may not be a theatrically proportioned tour de force, but it's its own kind of masterpiece that I found equally satisfying!


OwlsCantRead

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My school semester's finally out, so I can finally work on these fic reviews. :duckyOK

Name of fanfiction: A Glider’s Long Day
Rating: 8.5/10
Review: The plot of this one is actually a rather standard “kids being kids” story which could honestly have been supplanted into any other story and used for any herd’s characters, but what sets this story apart is its novelty — a pre-amnesiac Guido is its main character. This instantly gives the story an uneasy feel, as the reader gets a sense of unease knowing how the story will end but not knowing how things get to that point.

Just like how peer pressure and the desire to fit in can drive someone to do something they typically wouldn’t, Guido’s cautionary tale is a typical cascading situation which quickly escalates out of hand and one that wouldn't be out of place in any other story. And in a final ironic twist, Guido does get the do-over he hopes for when he shuts his eyes in regret, albeit at the cost of his memory and identity. Perhaps what lends this story the most tragic air is that the story completely glosses over Guido’s old life after it opens in the Great Valley. It’s subtle and implicit, but the fact that the story doesn’t give a care to focus on Guido’s family and former friends once Guido loses all memory of them by keeping things from the glider’s POV really highlights how in the LBT world one’s life could be ripped apart in an instant, setting into motion a paradigm shift which cannot be reversed for any bystanders affected by a massive change like Guido’s untimely disappearance. It really hits home just how much Guido’s amnesia changed his life, even if the glider himself will never be aware of exactly how much he lost.

To conclude, this story is something that I can’t believe no one has gone into yet, and overall a decent take on Guido’s backstory. What’s perhaps most ironic about this take on Guido is that his apprehension and fear when left for death is what likely carried over to his cowardly persona post-amnesia. It is also a very open story, with its ending directly leading into LBT12 while giving no hints as to what happened to any of those who knew him in the past. Guido’s past is something I intend to explore myself, and I say this bittersweet tale really sealed the deal in giving insight to Guido’s past before ripping it away and landing him in the present.
Would it be possible for swimmers and flyers to get more love around here? Both figuratively… and literally.






That one guy who writes LBT fanfiction and accidentally makes them five times longer than he'd originally intended.


OwlsCantRead

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I fell asleep in the middle of writing this by accident in the afternoon, thus why I am l running late gah.

Name of fanfiction: A Friendship Born of Fear and Courage
Rating: 7.75/10
Review: Ah, another story idea the fandom practically demanded — one of Chomper and Ruby before they came to the Great Valley. I will admit that I prefer the predecessor fic The Reluctant Goodbye as it details the actual meeting, but I do like the idea of this story, which focuses more on the intentions behind Chomper’s (now absent) parents, which while rational shows the side being coerced need not feel obliged to take it lying down. In fact, the story title pretty much spells out what Ruby has to face — reluctantly forming a friendship first from fear, before forging a true finalized bond out of a sense of protective courage.

What’s interesting about this story is that it portrays Chomper and Ruby—two usually close friends—at odds with one another as a carry-over to Chomper’s parents blackmailing Ruby’s parents to take care of their son. It’s definitely a realistic resentment, and it shows a side to the two which we don’t usually see considering Ruby is usually cordial to Chomper by tying in an aspect of her personality from the series — her love for her family.

I will admit, I do find it a bit gauche that the two were forced into a terse bonding situation over a shared sharptooth attack, even though that was the most realistic option. Maybe it’s personal bias, but I feel that a much longer multi-chapter story which features a more slow-burn enemies-to-friends introspection would better sell Ruby’s turnaround over a teeth-clenched sharptooth escape… despite how much more likely the latter is, especially given word count constraints. It works given the context, for sure.

For what it’s worth, this fic did already carve into a niche which most ignore, Ruby and Chomper’s slowly growing friendship as predator and prey, so I will credit it and the author (who usually does stuff like this) for that. And as it follows Ruby’s decisions and choices to be independent of her own protective parents, it is probably a perfect book-end sendoff for an author who is undoubtedly a fan of Ruby.

Name of fanfiction: The Battle Before Time
Rating: 7.5/10
Review: I’ll just preface this review with an apology — the Lone Dinosaur arc (and large scale battle fics in LBT context, come to think of it) was never my personal cup of tea for Land Before Time stories, so it probably affects my judgement for this story more than I let on due to that specific plotpoint being the entire basis of grown-up Littlefoot’s character.

Well, I’ll start with what I like. The fight scenes are definitely descriptive, and that caught my eye as I myself am an author who tends to mix between descriptive and introspective dialogue just to make sure that a reader does not lose track of where characters are in a scene, kinda like a choreographer managing people in a play. I like that there is some intrigue over what happened in the timeskip to lead Littlefoot to his current mindset, but I will admit that is also one of the drawbacks of this fic — it is a prologue story to a larger AU, War Before Time. As a result, the plot points and intentions are somewhat vague on purpose, so that the author can guide prospective readers curious and befuddled about things over to the main story instead.

I’d say that while that served its purpose in creating more questions than answers, it does suffer as a standalone story as a result. I remember when I first read it last year that I was left confused about various things that were happening as it seemed more of an informative info dump as a result. So in the end, while the story is certainly functional prose, I will have to lower the rating as it is probably best enjoyed with its companion fic (and because I never was a Doc or Lone Dinosaur fan, sorry I was always the wrong target demographic for this).
« Last Edit: November 27, 2020, 01:36:31 PM by OwlsCantRead »
Would it be possible for swimmers and flyers to get more love around here? Both figuratively… and literally.






That one guy who writes LBT fanfiction and accidentally makes them five times longer than he'd originally intended.


rhombus

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I will be extending the review period by five days at the request of one of the authors who still wishes to make reviews.  Accordingly, the time to review the stories will conclude at 11:59:59pm on Saturday, December 5.  So please remember to get your reviews in by that time.  :)


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Menders Tale.


RainbowFaceProtege

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I'm pleasantly surprised to see the voting period has been extended--I'll try to read and review more stories if I have the time! :rhett_smile

Fanfiction: Panicky Plumed Predicament
I rate it: 8/10
Because: Of all the LBT shortfics I've read, this is definitely one of my favorites. I was drawn in right away by the author's ability to capture Guido's voice. It's not easy to stay in character as a first-person narrator, but you pulled it off beautifully. As for the story itself, its plot may not have been groundbreaking, but it was very fun, and I laughed more than once while reading it. :lol When I watched the LBT TV series as a kid, I always wished the Guido-babysitting-Tricia scenario would have been shown in an episode...lucky for me, you've produced the next best thing! And in five days, even? That's quite a feat (especially to this person who rarely can finish writing anything)!



OwlsCantRead

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Name of fanfiction: A Glimpse Beyond
Rating: 8.75/10
Review: I really, really like this story, even though it capitalizes upon the post-LBT7 fic trend that has been going about in recent years (I’ve seen the ending and post-events from that film in particular adapted a lot in the just past three years alone), but the story delves into a supernatural aspect that hasn’t been seen or given focus since the first film.

Now I’ve seen Littlefoot call out to his mother before in the first movie, implicitly in LBT5’s Always There, and occasionally in the sleep stories of fanfic, but as far as I can recall this might be one of the few—if not first—times that he actually gets a face-to-face conversation with his mother. Not a dream, not talking to the stars up in the Great Beyond… an actual apparition of his mother. And it is that sheer emotional weight and the closure he gets which carries this story completely, to the point where I expected Littlefoot to shed some tears, and indeed they came.

As for the reunion speech, I like that Littlefoot being altruistic and open-minded enough to forge interspecies friendship beyond superficial means was explicitly mentioned by his mother as her own shortfall, as it is this optimistic view of Littlefoot and the growth he undergoes and winds up teaching his friends (like Cera and Petrie at first, later Topps) that culminates and sums up his entire character as an impartial leader. It shows that the valley’s youth like him are able to take steps which would bring the different species of the valley and beyond together, which is arguably the overarching unspoken moral of the entire Land Before Time franchise. Overall I really like the depth and closure that this talk gives, but that admission by his mom is the highlight for me. :)

But aside from that, the only thing which kind of hurts this story for me is the interjection of the Rainbow Faces right at the very end. I hold the opinion that the entire scene could be omitted and would actually help the story, as I find that their sudden introduction and said interference by them leaving the events of Littlefoot’s reunion vague robs the impact and closure he gets by reverting to status quo right at the story’s conclusion. But when all is said and done, this fic is a touching reunion between a mother and her son, and that part was executed in a most excellent manner indeed.
Would it be possible for swimmers and flyers to get more love around here? Both figuratively… and literally.






That one guy who writes LBT fanfiction and accidentally makes them five times longer than he'd originally intended.


rhombus

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A Glider's Long Day
Rating: 9.0/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16613.0

This was a lovely story that attempted to provide us with an explanation for one of the great mysteries of the fandom: where Guido came from before he lost his memory.  The idea presented in the story was both simple and effective (Guido has loving family; does stunt to impress awful friends; stunt goes horribly awry and leaves Guido elsewhere) but it is the smaller details that make the story shine beyond its simple premise.  Namely, that this story shows that Guido's personality was not affected by the injury, only his memories; and second, the unspoken contrast that Guido is shown as rather cautious in his waking hours, but does dangerous antics in his sleep.  With the additional possibility that in the future the shadows of Guido's past will come back to him, this makes the story quite intriguing indeed.


A Friendship Born of Fear and Courage
Rating: 8.0/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16833.0

This story presents to us how the friendship between Ruby and Chomper began in the continuity which was established in the Separate Ways continuity.  Though this part of Chomper's past has been explored in other fanfictions, this story presents a narrative of this time which fits into the darker tone of the Separate Ways continuity.  As I said in my initial review:

Quote
"It soon becomes apparent to us readers that the start of Chomper's time with the fastrunner family was a rocky one, with the sharptooth first being greeted with a sense of burden, and then actual contempt after the mishap with the initial escape from the fastbiters.  How both of these dinosaurs react here (and Ruby's parents as well) is quite jarring when compared with the depiction presented in the television series, but this showcases to us the general premise of this story: Not all things begin in the same manner that they end.  That is certainly true in this case and I think that you present this initial growth from allies of necessity to the beginnings of friendship quite well."

I did like how this story filled in some of the details concerning the Separate Ways continuity.  It added quite nicely to our understanding of these characters and how they have changed over time.


Separate Ways
Rating: 9.0/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=15514.160

How is one to succinctly summarize a story like Separate Ways?  It is a story several years in the making that has told a riveting tale of growth, betrayal, despair, hope, death, and love.  With a large cast of characters, with OCs fitting in nicely with the established cast, the story wove an expansive narrative with a bittersweet tale.  Though not everyone survived the story, those who did earned their survival through shear perseverance against forces that they could not fully understand.  As I said in my final review:

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"All in all I do think that each character's chosen path in life fits their actions in this story and their personalities.  Littlefoot is to return to the valley to reclaim his needed place, and, as is keeping with his character, he is bringing Ruby's two siblings with him.  I think we all know that he will ensure that the valley ends up accepting those two at least for a time.  For Petrie, he is finally going to return to his family and, perhaps informed by his journey and the fixation on familiar ties in the flyer herds, will in time bestow some of his life lessons to his siblings.  Ruby, meanwhile, seems set to wander for at least some time.  Though for her this is not so much a sad ending as a chance for her to learn what lessons she feels necessary to be on her own.  Then, once she feels confident on her own, she plans on returning to her family.  There is certainly the potential to explore their individual journeys going forward, but this is the suitable ending place for this story.

In life there are seldom entirely sad endings or happy endings, but rather various shades of bittersweet.  For the journey these characters have followed this is as kind of an ending as could be expected, and it does indeed suit the general narrative of this story - which is uncompromising in showing hard truths and making characters face the realities of their mistakes.  This story was always enjoyable to read, even when it put our characters through difficult situations, and, in some cases, brought them to a tragic end."

Though it is especially bittersweet to think that not only this story has run its course, but also that its author has departed our community, this story does stand as a testament to your writing ability and talent, Sovereign.  I do hope that, wherever your travels take you, that you continue to pursue your creative pursuits.


Weathered Gorge
Rating: 10/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16592.0

Sometimes the stories which cause us the most grief are the ones which have the greatest impact.  Despite the difficulty you had with this story, rest assured that the results were truly magnificent.

This story begins with the tragic tale of Petrie's father and the deep impact that it had on Skylar.  Though her depiction in the first chapter could be seen as OOC, it is justified in that it shows how much her mate's loss impacted her personality.  The uncharacteristic depiction of gore in this part was also justified as it encapsulated the horrifying instant in time that Skylar realized that her mate had parted from the mortal realm.

This initial setting of the scene lays out the events in the remainder of the story: Petrie again suffering at the verbal barbs of his siblings; the deeply disturbing realization of how his father died; and, finally, Petrie embarking on his journey.  All the same, the reactions of both Petrie and his siblings are understandable from a psychological perspective, as are the way in which they go about the events that follow.  Your ability to weave everything together is highlighted in my review of the third chapter:

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" Joking aside, I quite like how you handled the three arcs in this chapter: the escape from the siblings; Petrie's emotional contemplation; and the struggle in the gorge itself.  Each of these arcs transitioned quite nicely into the other, with Petrie's emotional struggle being the glue that holds everything together narratively.  First, we have Petrie's thoughts and scheming as he tries to escape his siblings.  I like how you highlight his need to out-think his siblings as opposed to using any kind of physical prowess.  This also gives us a more in-depth focus on how he views his siblings: from the most toxic to those who only have toxic moments.  With the escape being completed, however, we then see him fix his thoughts towards himself in a self-critical manner, and then towards even his friends when they compelled him into doing things he did not want to do.  This thought process then further highlights the significance of Petrie casting aside his snuggling stick - he wants to cast aside the old Petrie and to be what (he thinks) his father was not.

Which brings us to the Weathered Gorge...

The name is a double-entendre, but instead of its second (hidden) meaning being risqué, it is actually dangerous.  A fact which Petrie had figured out all too late.  Doubling down on his mission to conquer the gorge and not turning back when he had an opportunity (ironically, like his father) he is now in the situation where he must fly for his very life.  Though the ending of this chapter on a cliff-hanger is a bit of an odd choice (I could see the entire Weathered Gorge scene being its own chapter) I understand why it was structured this way.  In showing all three arcs in one chapter we get to not only see the entirety of Petrie's thought process, but we also get to see echoes of his father in his own actions.  This insight is made clearer in the current setup, and, as such, I think structuring it this way was the right call."

The ending of the tale was quite well done and brought the story to a satisfying conclusion.  As I said in my original review:

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"First, I would like to say that you have very nicely covered a huge range of themes within this final installment of the story.  When covering such themes as parental abandonment (even involuntary), resentment, pride, and uncertainty, it is easy to good lost in the stew of emotions just as the characters are lost in the narrative.  However, your story (and this chapter) has expertly covered these heavy themes in a way that was both easy to follow and did those themes justice.

The part that especially impressed me in this chapter was the character development in Skylar, as she had to rise to the occasion in order to save her son.  A heroic moment, contrasted by dark memories.  The resulting long-ranging conversation, about Petrie's father, Petrie's siblings, and Petrie's own impulses, was an interesting one that shed a lot of light on his family dynamics and Skylar's own development as a character.  The ending antics of Pitch and Gryphon, and Petrie's acceptance of things, shows a more positive side of Petrie's sometimes troubled family dynamic.  In the end he realizes that he is simply plain ol' Petrie... but that is a liberating experience in itself.  Ultimately, it will be up to him, and him alone, what being Petrie means."

As such I have no hesitation in giving this story the highest possible rating. :)


Snowballed Lies
Rating: 9.0/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16713.0

This is another story that hits hard, though in a good way.  In many ways this story serves as a character study of Mr. Thicknose and a harsh lesson on the potentially dangerous impact of words.  We get to see how Arbor was a curious child, both gifted with intelligence and cunning, but lacking in the opportunity to seek out his curiosity directly.  Rooter's words have a deep impact on the child (Rooter's words often seem to do so) and Arbor takes them to heart. 

Mr. Thicknose begins to take on the role we know him by soon after the death of his mother.  He is the teacher, the know-it-all, the herd advisor, and he is content.  But a reputation that takes years to build can take only a moment to destroy... and a decision made in the heat of the moment ends up costing him dearly.  In the end, Ducky's harsh words are what push him to the edge, and unlike in canon he does not get a second chance in this story.  As I said in my original review:

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" At the risk of not doing this story justice, I must conclude by saying that this is easily one of the most powerful character studies submitted for a prompt challenge in the last year.  Yes, it focuses on one character; and, yes, it ends tragically.  However, it is one of the most powerful character studies that I can remember.  We all must be careful in keeping true to ourselves, and to not let our pretenses become our reality.  For when we allow ourselves to "become the mask" so to speak, we diminish ourselves in the process, and set ourselves up for a fall.  It is best to be humble and, if we are to take meaning from our roles or work in life, to also put it in its proper context; and to never resort to false pretensions to back up our self-image.  In canon Mr. Thicknose had a second chance, whereas here he did not, but in either case his story provides us with a powerful lesson."

Though in my opinion this story does not quite have the same polish and flow as Weathered Gorge, it is still a powerful story and one of the best character studies posted to the forum in quite some time.  Thank you for sharing it with us.


Panicky Plumed Predicament
Rating: 8.0/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16897.0

The true strength of this story is the spot-on characterization of Petrie and Guido.  The Guido presented here is a very organic character, with a very clear chain of thought.  He analyzes things in a very logical way from his perspective, but his focus is often on aspects of a situation that others ignore, and vice versa.  This leads to his awkwardness and the occasional over-cautiousness when confronting new situations.  Despite this he ends up rising to the occasion.

Petrie is also well-explored in this story, with the focal point being his friendship with Guido.  As I said in my original review:

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"This story also highlights the friendship between Petrie and Guido, and the unforeseen consequences of asking a rather unfair favor from a friend.  Though Petrie is reluctant to accept Guido's request for a favor in return, he does eventually accept his friend's request.  This actually makes me want to see more interactions between Petrie and Guido from Guido's first-person perspective."

Between the awesomely alliterating title, humorous interactions, Guido's spot-on awkwardness, Petrie putting Guido in a bind and then getting his comeuppance, and how all of those aspects are put together seamlessly, Panicky Plumed Predicament is an enjoyable read.


The Tragic Cycle
Rating: 8.5/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16728.0

The Tragic Circle is one of those stories that is born of a single ambitious idea, which ends up having many interlocking facets that may not have been expected in the first chapter.  Petrie's life pre-discovery by Littlefoot and Ducky is one of those mysteries of the series, along with Spike's parents, Guido's backstory, and Chomper and Ruby's first moments of friendship.  The mystery of Petrie's early life is further heightened by aspects of his family life that show up throughout the series: the flyer worship(?) of the Bright Circle; his difficult relationship with his siblings; his speech impediment; and his uncle and his entire backstory. 

In the story Petrie's father makes an impression, but it is a short one.  Which, in many ways, can explain many of the problems in the flyer family.  It is never easy being a single parent, especially when one's love is killed in a most horrible way.  Though this is not the only issue that has affected Petrie, it is a piece of the puzzle. 

Cerusa's own sense of loss and desire to be a good parent and to fix Petrie's issues is, in its own way, exasperating Petrie's self-esteem issues.  This is something that (thankfully) she seems to be attempting to mellow out on in the latest chapter.  Additionally, Petrie does have moments of happiness with child-like play and his interactions with his mother and his uncle.  Though I suspect that darker clouds are on the horizon before the Bright Circle shines light into Petrie's life again.

This story has shown great promise thus far and I have high hopes for it going forward.  I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.


Lost in Nightmares
Rating: 8.0/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16919.0

This story works very well as a character study of Shorty and Bron's relationship, and Shorty's mental state before he goes through the events of the tenth film.  Along the way, I feel that you have done a good job at managing the focus of the scenes and pacing the narrative so as to build the setting.  A good example of this can be found in the first chapter, as I said in my original review:

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" I quite like how Shorty's situation is not the first area of focus in this introductory chapter, however, as the first portion allows us to see how Bron's herd has developed and hints at some tensions in the group as a whole.  This hints at trouble ahead for Bron, but this is when trouble of an entirely different sort arrives...

The shift to Shorty's perspective is well made, in my opinion, as we get to see him deal with his insecurities.  Hope intermingles with past despair.  Uncertainty mixes in with love.  Unfortunately it is in this time of self-reflection that antagonistic bullies intervene... and one just has to go one step too far.  The situation right now looks dire and I hope that Shorty only has to deal with having an assault to his name, as opposed to something more severe.  But, considering what Shorty has been through, this turn of events is very believable."

The events of this chapter lead quite organically into how Bron's handles the situation, which both showcases his competing duties as adoptive father and herd leader, and then into the revelation that Shorty is seeing things that are no longer there.  This in turn leads to Shorty's diagnosis, which showcases how and why he reacted the way that he did to Littlefoot upon their first meeting.  Though the last chapter had a lot to take in, I think that you made a good choice in keeping the chapter as one unit and keeping the focus on Shorty as a character.  This managed to take a narrative with a lot going on and ensuring the focus on firmly on Shorty's development and personal growth.  As such I think this story did a fine job of shedding light on Shorty's past and his development as a character.


A Glimpse Beyond
Rating: 8.0/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=17014.0

Stepping outside of our comfort area is how we grow as authors, and I think you did a great job in developing a story even though the premise was outside of what you are accustomed to for a story. 

The beginning of the story highlights Littlefoot's curiosity after the rainbowfaces make their disappearance.  This functions to establish that Littlefoot is more connected with both the supernatural and the unseen wonders of the world than his friends.  As such we have an indication as to why Littlefoot is the one to make a connection with his mother again.

The idea of having Littlefoot meet his mother again, even in spectral form, in a personal chat is a new one in the fandom, I do believe.  I have seen variants of her being resurrected (not a premise I enjoy personally) and relaying messages, but a one-on-one chat seems to be an innovation.  The resulting conversation, and Littlefoot's great reluctance to go (even requiring him to be dragged from the spectral realm) showcases both his love and stubbornness when his friends or family are involved. 

The only part of the story which seemed a bit out of place was the interference by the rainbowfaces, but I think that it makes sense in context and hints at there being more at play here than even what we have seen in this story.  This hint of a potential wider storyline which could lead to a continuation of the story is a very enticing one.  Whether this remains a one-shot or develops into part of a wider narrative, this was an enjoyable read.


The Battle Before Time
Rating: 7.5/10
https://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=16984.msg519826#msg519826

Before I elaborate on this review there is one thing that I want to clarify first, and that is that your prose and ability to write dialogue and humor effectively is very well developed.  Even though the basic premise of this story is something that is a bit polarizing in the fandom, you have done a good job at capturing the mannerisms of the characters and making believable dialogue.  That being said, the outlandish nature of the story will make it a bit difficult for some people to get into.

The first thing that stands out when one reads this story is the rich description of both the scenery and the mannerisms of the characters, which paints an impressive lifelike picture of the world depicted by this story.  The pacing of the battle scenes is well done and easy to follow, as is the alternation between the past and the present to weave the story together into a cohesive tapestry.  I cannot reiterate how hard this is to get right, as it is all too easy when using this method of storytelling to get the reader lost.  But you managed this alternating pattern quite well in order to provide a linear narrative while not following a strictly linear timeline.

That being said, I must admit that the good parts of this story which I have previously mentioned, and also the fun interactions between Cera and Littlefoot, do seem rather incongruent with some other elements of this story.  Though it is hard for me to tell how much of this is due to something objective or is just due to my subjective preferences.  The supernatural fight, for example, kind of brought me out of the narrative which ruined the flow of the story.  Though it might have worked better had the story been broken up into a few chapters with more slow scenes to allow for the elaboration of the supernatural elements of this story and their introduction.  As it was the second half of the story was very heavy on action with few moments to allow the reader to collect their thoughts.

All of that being said, you have very obvious writing skills that are a joy to see in action.  Even though the premise of this story was not exactly what I would normally read, your writing still made it interesting to read.  As such, even though my score is merely on the upper end of average, I would strongly encourage you to keep writing.  You have very clear talent and (especially if you diversify your stories to include canon stories without supernatural elements as well) I have no doubt you will develop a wider following in the fandom.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Menders Tale.


OwlsCantRead

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Name of fanfiction: The Tragic Cycle
Rating: 9/10
Review: Here’s another relatively unexplored concept in LBT worldbuilding for this one — Petrie’s past before he meets with the gang. This is also one of those stories where the reader will already have an inkling of how it’ll end (and the description and title flat-out tells you even if you can’t infer it). As a result the Doomed by Canon trope again takes effect, and it is because of said foreknowledge of knowing that things will not end well that the question of how Petrie reaches the state that he’s in by the time the events of the first film happen ends up being the main draw of the fic.

And is it a very effective hook, indeed. This author in particular always has a more emotional take on the character when it comes to Petrie, and while said behavior can seem lavishly overboard at times, in this case his fright and panic seems to work rather well as the emotional state of the flyer and his family slowly exacerbates over time. Cerusa and Petrie’s relationship (Pterano to a smaller extent) is the main one shown here, as the runt of the litter is a disadvantaged one, both physically and mentally, necessitating his mother’s care just to survive after his father's untimely death.

I find that the title of this fic, The Tragic Cycle, fits surprisingly well for not just its protagonist Petrie, but also for its deuteragonist Cerusa, or Mama Flyer. While it does seem like a series of conspiring events slowly ensnare and trap Petrie in an inescapable cycle of despair, I personally find it very intriguing how Cerusa is unwittingly responsible for Petrie’s plight as well. Here we see a younger and more impressional flyer who is still in denial, who doesn’t quite have the restraint and wisdom she does in future. By suppressing and attempting to cover up Petrie’s weaknesses to her child and the others around him, she unintentionally ends up setting the stage for the dysfunctional sibling relationships that the author is known for, and the uneasiness the reader feels when they realize just how badly things are going to do and the hope spot between Cerusa and Petrie that things will get better consistently being squashed as reality strikes is… pretty distressing.

In essence, the “tragic cycle” which Petrie is trapped in is stirred by both his own personality and his mother’s attempt to circumvent Petrie’s lack of flying and behavior from causing him social problems, in a way making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s only tragic because we truly see how, with a few changes and slightly more self-confidence and luck, could Petrie have escaped from that cyclical torment and end up with a much better childhood. Why I score this story so highly is because of how eerily and realistically it depicts a picture-perfect family falling into disarray and vehement chaos… it is like watching a trainwreck happen in slow motion. Definitely a great look at Petrie’s possible backstory which gives light to the flyer's passive and cowardly personality and a worthy addition to author Diddy’s own take on his favorite LBT character’s tenuous family relationships.

Name of fanfiction: Lost in Nightmares
Rating: 8.75/10
Review: Bron and Shorty. These two longnecks have quite the relationship, don't they, and it’s one that is really brought to the forefront here. While I’ll admit that my expectations from the initial set-up didn’t go the way I anticipated the story to, I am perfectly fine with the novelization approach the final chapter went for. Though I still think there is some disconnect between the first two chapters and the last one, all that aside I really like the overall story, both distinct halves of it.

There is definitely more herd politics involving Bron balancing his love for the rascal Shorty and his herd duties, as well as a focus on Shorty’s abandonment issues through finding friends within the Bron's herd in the first half, which is lessened in the final half. However, there is still a payoff for those decisions, as all of it culminates with what Shorty thinks is Bron’s reaction when he finds Littlefoot in the LBT10 half of the fic, with a distraught Shorty understandably thinking he would be replaced and turning reproachful towards Bron’s actual son. It is an understandable fear, and one which is played up masterfully well through the use of Shorty’s fearful inner thoughts and hallucinations.

I am a fan of introspective stories from the character’s point-of-view in the movies, so the final chapter being Shorty’s take on his meeting, rivalry, and eventual friendship with Littlefoot in The Great Longneck Migration is one I really enjoy. While the final chapter could work as a standalone, Shorty’s crushing fear or being alone and left behind is emphasized in the first two chapters after his traumatic experiences in the prequel and not being able to find anyone to confide in aside from Bron. It is because of this that I find the latter half of the final chapter very satisfying to read, as it is a heart-to-heart which finally allows him to find his place as Littlefoot’s brother and Bron’s adoptive son. In conclusion, I believe that this is best read with its prequel A Grief Observed as the two fics together provides some much-needed insight to Shorty by giving him a backstory where he lost everything and found the courage to gain a family back.
Would it be possible for swimmers and flyers to get more love around here? Both figuratively… and literally.






That one guy who writes LBT fanfiction and accidentally makes them five times longer than he'd originally intended.


OwlsCantRead

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Rush transcript of this one to make the deadline. :petriemad

Name of fanfiction: Hidden Needs
Rating: 9.5/10
Review: Petrie-centric stories really stole the show this year, huh. This was a prompt exchange which was assigned back to the same author who made the prompt, and ironically in this case I think there is no better suitor to write their own idea, so perhaps it was just fated that it would be shuffled back to the author.

It starts with a scene which sets up the story idea well enough, that based on Petrie’s own species the flyers would mainly be fish-eaters instead of the leaf-eaters that they are in canon. Combine that with Petrie’s personality, and the crushing weight of hiding a secret of diet eventually grows too much to bear, especially as he gets suspicious during the pinecone game. I think the choice of Ruby and Ducky being the ones to catch him out works narratively, as one is the most mature and in a similar position to accept it, and one is his childhood friend who also accepts him graciously, even if it’s through passive-aggressive banter.

When the gang itself finds out the truth when Petrie is coerced to confess, I expected as much. What I didn't expect was them getting Volant to confess it by using Chomper and Ruby as proxies so that the flyers can continue their arrangement. It is a good long-term solution, and actually gives credence to the fact that the adults had known all along, namely Mr. Threehorn, who kept it hidden to avoid panic in the initial trip as the help of the flyers was more important. This gives the flyers much more depth in their partnership with the valley elders, as it implies everyone kept silent to avoid shaking up the status quo.

Overall, this fic is very tightly woven. You really feel like you’re in Petrie’s shoes reading this, plus Petrie and Volant’s confession to the gang was rather well written, with the same emotional weight and curiosity one would expect from the gang. The added chapter is more standard Petrie family banter, but overall this is a very good take on the “hidden carnivore” idea which plays on the fact that Petrie is still Petrie, despite his diet.
Would it be possible for swimmers and flyers to get more love around here? Both figuratively… and literally.






That one guy who writes LBT fanfiction and accidentally makes them five times longer than he'd originally intended.