My September Reading Log

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee is space opera fantasy. From the plot description, I was expecting it to be a difficult read, but in fact the complex, fascinating, and unusual worldbuilding is really clearly presented, so I followed it without any trouble. I don’t read a lot of books of Ideas any more, so this, too, is refreshing.

Bodyguard Bear (Protection, Inc. Book 1) by Zoe Chant is a freebie novella or maybe novelette with a standard plot of Hero Bodyguards Heroine Who Witnessed a Murder, but with entertaining dialogue between sweet, appealing characters.

This is a nifty historical BBC Sherlock AU: The Bone Fiddle by htebazytook and Vulgarweed. It’s set in the West Virginia mountains in the early 1970s, and the mystery revolves around murder ballads. Also, for once, the writers did not feel it necessary to entirely reproduce chunks of the dialogue from “A Study in Pink.”

When You See Them, You’ll Know by impertinence is a lovely long The Force Awakens story of Rey figuring out how she feels about human society in general as well as Finn and Poe. I liked it a lot.

This Inception AU, I Seem to Be a Verb by Aja, is ostensibly a slash romance between Arthur (bookseller) and Eames (actor with dodgy past), but to me seemed more of a delightful fantasy of owning an independent bookstore, and then having that bookstore start making a profit, and having celebrities show up, and getting to do things you love.

The Company You Keep by orbingarrow and tatemshope is one of the ubiquitous “Bucky Recovery” stories, only this one mostly features Bucky interacting with Bruce Banner and Clint Barton, which was a nice change.

Instead of re-reading the Rivers of London series for a discussion as I was supposed to be doing, I ended up reading a couple of long fanfictional AUs of the series, both by Sixthlight. Changes of Perspective explores the changed continuity if magic was general knowledge, Peter Grant had become an architect instead of a policeman, and Thomas Nightingale was on the outs with the Folly. Wizardry by Consent also has Peter taking a different career path, this one within the police; he doesn’t meet Nightingale until about fifteen years after the book series starts, when he is Nightingale’s senior officer. Some of the cases in the books went quite differently because Nightingale had no backup.

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening just got better and better as I read. It is so amazing. So. Amazing. Sana Takeda’s art is richly gorgeous, so detailed I can just look and look at it. I stretched out my reading on purpose – and even in this one volume, already the story is densely layered, with complex worldbuilding. I don’t understand everything that’s going on, but I can tell there is more than I am seeing on this first read.

I bought Avengers Assemble: The Forgeries of Jealousy by Kelly Sue Deconnick, Warren Ellis, and Matteo Buffagni for Deconnick. The storyline reminded me a little bit of some issues of Ms. Marvel in that it featured a teenaged hero (Spider-Girl, Anya Corazon) being mentored by older, more established heroes as she pursues a mystery of her own. Her mystery involves Toxic Doxie (that name! agh!) as a pretty decent villain.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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