I have a 10 year old My Little Pony fanatic who reads every My Little Pony book that comes out. Dynamite has done an excellent job on these books in the past, giving us full color drawings with all the Pony fun. This is her rating after reading Friends Forever, Volume 1:
The book contains four, fully illustrated, full color stories.
The first is a bit silly and over the top, featuring the ponies trying to outdo each other in a dessert cook off. My daughter felt it was just a bit too weird, with the ponies acting more like fillies and being immature. The desserts were just too silly for her.
The second story, about the Cutie mark Crusaders getting their cutie marks, felt a bit off to her as well since characters (Discord, Celestia) randomly show up for no reason and the story lacked coherence. Some of the ponies were useless (e.g., Apple Jack just sat there watching the bubble get bigger without doing anything). She felt the ponies were kind of weak and ineffective, even though they had just defeated discord.
The Third story is about Twilight’s birthday and they are trying to get her the perfect telescope. This story also felt a bit ‘off’ to my 10 year old – she questioned why would Princess Celestia suddenly go on an adventure to get a Telescope? It contradicted the TV series, making Celestia far too powerful in the book (she could have just defeated everyone in the TV series if she was as powerful as shown in the book). As well, she makes Spike do everything. She didn’t resemble the animation Celestia.
The last story is about creature catchers. My daughter loved this one best because it had a nice story that didn’t go too silly or too serious. She also felt it had a lot of imagination and the jokes were very funny.
Overall, she said she liked this one least of all the recent Dynamite offerings but rates it 3 stars. The artwork wasn’t what she was used to with the My Little Pony universe (characters looked different/were drawn differently than the animation) and that they looked like fillies rather than grown up ponies. As such, she feels this is good for younger kids who love having My Little Pony read to them and perhaps this was meant for kids younger than her.
Reviewed from an ARC.