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first weeks of the year in three parts

It was a very Crusade Yuletide - I think all three people who requested Crusade received fic for it. Until reveals, I was convinced mine was written by alexcat which turned out not to be the case.

(I received a lovely Galen & Gideon piece. <3)


Books! Specifically: rereads, as one of my New Year's Resolutions is to do more rereading and less uh reading?

- The Summer Witch, Louise Cooper (fantasy)
Plot in a nutshell: Young woman in agricultural society gets married to elderly husband and creates a fantasy love who teaches her magic.
Verdict: I appreciated that the husband was a nice guy, not interested in sex. He marries the protagonist for her company, which the protagonist finds a relief at first but then slowly grows to resent. I found myself having some mixed feelings about this bit, because on one hand, there's obviously nothing wrong with people wanting sex, but on the other hand, the way Carys's desires were expressed (and ended up ruining her life) felt a little uncomfortable to me. Possibly, that was on purpose, but then, the morale of the story is ... don't want sex? Don't want magic? Erk. Still a keeper, because I do tend to like this author, and for the better part, I did like this book.

- Our Lady of the Snow, Louise Cooper (fantasy)
Plot in a nutshell: Young woman in training as a religious sister gets married to mentally disabled prince and slowly discovers her deity may be dead.
Verdict: Dropped after the second rape in about ten pages. Erk. I don't remember these books/this author as, well, having this kind of stuff. (It doesn't help that one of the two rapists ends up forgiven by his wife/victim, and I just - no. There may have been some interesting thing here about religion and feminism, but I'm not sure if the story went there, and I didn't enjoy the book enough to find out. Dropped.

- Burning Bright, Melissa Scott (SF)
Plot in a nutshell: Political intrigues during three days of Carnival on a planet resembling Venice. Also: aliens and RPGs.
Verdict: I dreaded this reread, because on the first read (ten plus years ago), this book blew me away. An RPG that all the cool people played! Political intrigue! Aliens! People being completely casual about same-sex sex and relationships! It pushed so many of my buttons. Annnd, it still does. Not quite as many, perhaps, but I still loved this, which was more than I'd hoped for.

- Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, Jonathan L. Howard (fantasy)
Plot in a nutshell: Snarky, ill-tempered young necromancer makes a bet with the devil to win back his soul. This cannot end well.
Verdict: Cheating a little; I recently got the fourth book in this series, which seemed a good excuse to reread this one. It's probably been less than two or three years, though. Still fun, in that way some books about bad people doing bad things can be. It helps that most of his victims are not that nice, either, to put it mildly. Johannes is never actually sympathetic, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy seeing him take on abusive boyfriends, overbearing bureaucrats and, of course, the devil. The backcover blurb is kind of horrible, and if the humor isn't your cup of tea, this book will fall very, very flat. (A keeper for me, is what I'm saying, and recommended, but with the small caveat re: humor.)


Started on a rewatch of Boston Legal, of which it turns out I only own the first and third season. Hm.

Denny Crane.

This entry was also posted at Dreamwidth.


( 8 flourishes — Tell me stories )
Jan. 26th, 2016 07:32 pm (UTC)
I SERIOUSLY need to get back to reading. I wanna finish the "Cut & Run" Series eventually, but I totally lost track. I might have to start over, but that doesn'T matter :D
Jan. 27th, 2016 06:40 am (UTC)
Well, I spend two to three hours every workday on a train, so I kind of have it easy; I don't need to set aside time for reading.

Cut & Run vaguely rings a bell - is it a long series? (As you plan to read/finish it, I gather it's fun/enjoyable/something you'd rec?)
Jan. 27th, 2016 08:10 pm (UTC)
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.

Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he's paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it's hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.

Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again — this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer's knife.

That's practically what the first book is about. ANd it's a M/M romance :)
Feb. 1st, 2016 03:53 pm (UTC)
A-ha, now I remember: lightreads has been reviewing this series. This would make the second rec from the f-list, then; might be time to hit the bookstore. ;)
Jan. 27th, 2016 04:04 am (UTC)
I remember reading 'The Summer Witch', which was interesting. 'Lady of the Snow' I didn't like at all. :(
Jan. 27th, 2016 06:52 am (UTC)
The character (and concept) of Robin was something I very much enjoyed in The Summer Witch, and the book as a whole is just rather different from most other fantasy on my shelves. (It's not quite a romance, but it borrows some elements, which probably influenced my expectations/assumptions, especially regarding Carys's eventual fate.)

The whole 'dead deity' aspect of Lady of the Snow felt like it could have been interesting, but ...
Jan. 27th, 2016 05:18 am (UTC)
Re the second Louise Cooper book: yes, that. I was surprised, some years back, after reading another of her singletons, to realise just how often the trope of 'therapeutic' rape shows up in her work (it's even in the Time's Master series). Some woman or other is regularly having to be forcibly devirginised over her own protests, to save her life or sanity or something. I haven't been able to go back to her work since then - sadly, because it's not omnipresent, just very frequent, and there are some other aspects of her work that I like very much.

I feel rather relieved that someone else has spotted it; now I know I'm not just reading too much into things...
Jan. 27th, 2016 08:47 am (UTC)
Drats. I was hoping it was just a one-book thing that hadn't quite registered with younger me on the first read.

I own about half a shelf of her books, so I guess I'll proceed with caution and see how things go. (I don't think she was quite the first female fantasy author I read, but she was one of the first ones, so I feel a lot of nostalgia when it comes to these books.)
( 8 flourishes — Tell me stories )