Reading notes, week 25

by , under books, reading notes

June 20: A Scandal in Battersea by Mercedes Lackey (Elemental Masters #12). Much more horror than most of the others, with a pair of particularly slimy villains, on the lines of Paul du Mond from The Fire Rose. Also a pattern I so don’t like in a book: person gets introduced with name and a scene or two, only to come to a horrible end immediately, not once but several times. And lots of eye dialect. Writers, if you must indicate that someone is using non-standard (or substandard) language, there are better ways to do that! (From a Goodreads review: Also, the probably MOST ANNOYING THING EVER in this series (and most of Lackey’s other work past a certain point) is the use of written accents so thick I have to translate them. I mean, really? Is this actually necessary? Part of Lackey’s charm has always been her ability to draw the readers in and keep them wrapped up in the story. If we’re stopping every few paragraphs to unravel a bit of dialogue, we ARE NO LONGER WRAPPED UP IN THE STORY. It was very jarring, and very annoying.) But I’m not throwing the book against the virtual wall because it has some redeeming features: Nan and Sarah being effective adults, some nice minor characters (Amelia! the hobs!) and what’s ultimately a really good mystery. (Digression: I find I like detective-shaped books better if they show only one side of the mystery; having the villains planning in plain sight distracts me too much.)

June 23: The Bartered Brides (Elemental Masters #13) by Mercedes Lackey. Also a horror-adjacent book, with even more in the POV of the villain, and starting with a person who gets introduced with name and scene and comes to a horrible end immediately. This one has got redeeming features too, including a novel way to be a trans man: take over the body of someone who has been evicted from it by the villain (no big loss) to make room for Uber Villain (who gets chased into the afterlife by the good guys before he can take possession of it).

June 25: The Case of the Spellbound Child (Elemental Masters #14) by Mercedes Lackey. Strangely, it starts with two novella-like chapters before the actual story begins, but then it’s mostly Hansel and Gretel (though the parents are okay) with a side of Sherlock Holmes deduction. Frankly, it could have done without Sherlock Holmes: all the other people are competent enough by themselves! Suffers very much from eye dialect, and also actual phonetically-spelt dialect, making it almost unreadable in places. In spite of that, the story is very readable and Nan and Sarah (and Suki!) get actual character development.

Index of reading notes is here.

Leave a Reply

  • This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.