Reading notes, week 20

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May 16: The Case of the Spellbound Child by Mercedes Lackey. It took me a while to realise it’s Hansel and Gretel, probably because there are two other subplots first, eventually irrelevant for the main plot. But it was satisfying, with only the villain turning out to be unlikeable (though some other people were a bit uncouth). Pet peeve: spelling out dialect on the page, even worse than in the Valdemar stories in Week 17. And ML (or a character) accidentally (or deliberately) misgendered and deadnamed a trans man a couple of times. Interesting way of being trans, though: take over a body of the appropriate gender when the spirit it belongs to vacates it.

May 13: A Very Grumbly Day: Winnie the Pooh/Star Wars. Stormtroopers attack the Hundred Acre Wood.

Verity: very good fairy-tale rewrite (a bit of Rapunzel, a bit of everything).

The Tough Guide to Yuletide: What it says on the tin. Makes me more confident that I want to join in at the end of this year.

Unconventional Weapons: Monstrous Regiment. Very true to type for everybody, even now-Major Blouse.

An Unquiet Beast: Goblin Emperor. Hesero Nelaran, oh my.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow: The Dark is Rising, post-canon episodes from the life of Will Stanton.

toast and tea, sunshine and shadow: Sleeping Beauty with a touch of Rumpelstiltskin. Explains why Maleficent cursed Aurora.

The Time Traveller’s Guide: Important Additional Information. Fanfic of this, which I didn’t know but now want. I thought it was a crossover with the Tough Guide to Fantasyland but it seems not to be, though it’s very much in that mode.

There Will Be No Survivors (Except for the Survivors Behind the Curtain, But Pay No Attention to Them): The Princess Bride. How Inigo Montoya learns to be the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Third-Person Present Tense: Lord Peter Wimsey. How Lady Winifred becomes a writer.

Terminus: Young Wizards. At about 70% it becomes clear why it’s “Carl meets Tom” and “Nita and Kit are about to go to college” interspersed instead of one of each. At least both parts are relevant and readable so it’s not as disconcerting as the thing with Miss Lydgate and Miss Climpson.

May 12: Springtime in Ihistan: Damar, about Harry (Angharad, not Potter)’s great-grandmother the Hillswoman.

so many colours it nearly broke my heart: Harry Potter, Parvati and Padma. Atmosphere, hardly any plot but that’s okay.

Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie. The last Tommy and Tuppence on my ereader, but I found our paper copy of Partners in Crime (the short story collection). My inner copy editor bristles at someone’s wife Millie from the previous book suddenly being called Amy (she’s since died off-screen) and the same person being introduced twice, first as gardener and then as the man who can do everything including gardening. (I thought at first that there were two old men, both called Isaac, until the “second” Isaac started talking about planting vegetables.) By the way, if your mother’s the widow of someone’s son, isn’t the someone your grandfather, not your uncle? And how did I miss the three pages of Tommy mansplaining to Tuppence, all the times I read it before? They’ve been investigating together for FORTY YEARS ffs, he shouldn’t be telling her condescendingly “there is also this way to get information, you know”. If this was my first reading I’d probably abandon it now but I’ll plough on and roll my eyes at men doing things the Manly Way. It ends a bit haphazardly, making me think “where’s the plot anyway?” Not the best one by far. I think I’m done with Agatha Christie for now though I’ll remember where I leave Partners in Crime.

Our Shadows, When They Meet: The Great Mouse Detective fanfic. Soft gay mousies!

May 10: By The Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie. Third Tommy and Tuppence book. Real comfort reading after 3 days with the difficult (but enjoyable!) queer fantasy mystery.

SMOF, in which my Galaxy Quest headcanon (Brandon and his friends are on the crew of the sequel spaceship) is actually true.

Index of reading notes is here.