April 23: Novel-length Harry Potter/Lord Peter Wimsey crossover fanfic. Jerry, Winifred and Hilary go to Hogwarts, Professor (Harriet) Vane is the Potions master, I don’t know what Lord Peter is doing here (except woo Harriet), but he must be something high-up in the Ministry of Magic because he’s “Mr Wimsey” not “Professor Wimsey”. Violet Cattermole is in Slytherin, Reggie Pomfret in Hufflepuff! Surprisingly readable, the smut is very good smut too. It does make me want to write the Lord Peter Wimsey/Young Wizards fanfic that I’d write if my brain let me, because Lord Peter is much better suited for the other kind of wizard. Harry Potter/Young Wizards works too, as in the story with Hermione ending up in the Young Wizards universe which I read on February 29. Eventually, the story left me shattered and I could only comment with “Wonderful”.
April 22: Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch. Impulse buy: it’s been on various wishlists forever but now I was reading the transcript of a podcast and suddenly needed it. Very nice to read, but not as much new information in it as I expected (that may be because I already know about linguistics, and the internet, and things like that). She deliberately put exact dates in it, “2010s” rather than “now”, because (she explains) she expects it to age and become a historical document. At about 50% there was suddenly a chapter that read like a final chapter and it was, because all the rest of the book was notes!
Yet another Valdemar anthology, the latest, Choices. I didn’t exactly pick it, it was next up on my Kobo, but I got sucked into the first story just as I was going “meh, I’ll read this some other time when I’m really starved for Valdemar”. That first story is excellent, and a few others are nice as well, but most of the rest is either part X of a series I wasn’t reading anyway, or set in a period or demographic I’m not interested in, or just plain meh. The last story, by Mercedes Lackey herself, is also good except that a trans woman persistently gets misgendered until she actually transitions physically (by magic). One thing I really don’t like, even in the pleasant stories: trying to convey dialect by spelling. Makes it harder to read, and reading it aloud usually just produces ordinary English!
April 21: An unmemorable “after the end of Fire and Hemlock” story that read as if someone wrote it with All The Smut and then cut the smut out, leaving an insipid framework of … well, nothing much? Won’t link to it.
April 20: Exile’s Valor, because I don’t like to leave a story arc unfinished (unless it’s DNF anyway of course). I don’t like it as much as Exile’s Honor, though there are excellent parts in it –Myste disguised as herself!– because Mercedes Lackey drags in everything, from Romeo and Juliet to the invention of ice hockey (or is it hurley?) … that last is actually useful at the end. Also, fat shaming (2 instances that I marked). Very fast-paced ending that still doesn’t read as rushed, though it has only partial closure. Nice low-key romance (and I don’t mean the queen and her prince).
Quote, which seems to be particularly apt as that’s what I would have been doing in the early hours of Sunday morning at the feast after the Easter Liturgy with select friends: “We are going to get drunk,” he announced. “We are going to get genteelly drunk, pleasantly drunk, and we will remain in that state with careful application of food as well as drink. We will not drink ourselves sick, we will not drink ourselves stupid, or maudlin, or unconscious, and I will make personally sure that when we finally seek our beds, we will do so in a state that will permit us to sleep and wake without hangovers. Are you with me?”
Earlier reading notes: