FimFiction Link - Short ID: 510256/no-room-in-this-hell
Published: Jan '22
'No Room In This Hell' is the one thousand and seven hundred word prequel to 'But Would Anything Matter?' A zombie apocalypse hits Ponyville. The M6 put up a desperate struggle against their former friends and neighbors.
For what it's worth, I didn't dislike this story. The fight scene, while brief, is fairly tense. Dash's struggle against Pinkie is sad. I also commend the way the author portrays gore. Death is presented in a fairly unfiltered way, but without going overboard and thus unintentionally turning things comical. The design of the zombie-ponies isn't bad either, though razor-teeth isn't particularly original. I think it might would have had a greater impact, if the author took some more time in detailing how messed up their appearance is.
On the other hand, this story feels like an "unfortunate middle child," so to speak. It neither really begins the overarching plot, nor ends it. Instead, it just drops the audience in the middle of action, giving little context or explanation to why things are the way they are. Similarly to its sequel, it too doesn't really go into details about where the infection began or how it got to Ponyville. Which to me implies that perhaps the author either didn't consider it important (which would be a bit of a shame) or intends to write one more episode, an origin story of sorts. Something like that could tie things together nicely, however, until that happens, we're left with things mostly hanging in the air, which I can't help but find a bit frustrating.
Still, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, the fic's fatal flaw is its length. The author is good at writing prose. Other than the creatures perhaps needing a bit more elaboration, things are described well and the writing plays heavily into invoking the feelings of despair. However, due to the shortness of this story, said feeling just doesn't have time to really run its course. In less than two thousand words four of the M6 is brutally murdered or turned. That is, in my opinion, simply not enough time for the reader to really become invested. It's not that I felt indifferent to the characters' suffering, but the story ended before things really sank in and thus I don't really feel as shocked or saddened as I could.
Overall: 5/10 If you're just looking for some carnage and despair, packaged in one small bundle, you'll most likely enjoy this story. However, if you're looking for greater substance and context, you'll be left wanting. My recommendation ultimately comes down to which group of the two you belong.