My June Reading Log

I re-read the entire The Comfortable Courtesan: Being Memoirs by Clorinda Cathcart (that has been a Lady of the Town these several years) series by L.A. Hall, which is very soothing to my nerves. I highly recommend this series if you would like to see the Ultimate Hufflepuff (with some Slytherin methods) going about her business with great success. On a second read, it is striking me how tiny mentions of things build throughout the text until they become Events, and change the status quo. Things Turn Out Well is apparently what I need right now.

The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch is a novella in the Rivers of London series, but it takes place in Germany, and has a different first-person narrator. Tobias Winter sounds like Peter Grant, though he’s less ambitious and is into cooking rather than architecture and the science of magic. He and local cop Vanessa Sommer poke around a mysterious death that revolves around a vineyard and river goddesses, and we learn a bit about how the magic police work in Germany, and some of the longterm effects in Germany of the Ettersberg disaster that is referenced in the rest of the series. I liked seeing the worldbuilding extended, and would read more like this.

Shadowblade by Anna Kashina is a straightforward second-world fantasy featuring fabulous weaponry, intrigue, and instalove enlivened a bit because the warrior participants think it’s a really bad idea. The plot follows the heroine’s ascent from being a bullied sword student to a major actor in a plot to overturn the empire. My favorite part was that the heroine experiences swordfights with the hero as the best thing ever.

Proper English by K.J. Charles is historical f/f romance with a mystery (though not a hugely mysterious one). I love the characterization in Charles’ work, and this book was no exception. Some elements in the characters of the two heroines weren’t immediately obvious, and I liked both of them, and enjoyed the progress of their relationship. The murder victim was obvious from the start, the solution less so, and I thought that little bit of extra plot helped out the development of the romance, because it gave Pat and Fen something to do outside of the normal run of their existence.

The Art Of Cooking For Two by littleblackfox is an Avengers/Great British Baking Show crossover/AU (no powers), and I really don’t need to say much beyond that, do I? It is exactly as soothing as you might imagine, with only minor threats and a soothing repetition as the contestants return each weekend to compete.

After a weekend of memorializing Blake’s 7 actors via watching a bunch of episodes and interviews during a visit with a fellow fan, I re-read an old favorite by a deceased friend, Duty by Pat_Jacquerie (Pat_Nussman). This is Avon/Tarrant slash from the 1990s, set on an original world with original characters, so I think you could read it without knowing much except these two guys are rebels against an evil Federation, their relationship is generally antagonistic, and one is older and more cynical than the other. I still found it very satisfying and classic.

warp of water, weft of stone by jediseagull is a Rivers of London story set in a nebulous future of the series; it has a slightly melancholy feel, and a happy ending.

ready to make it by defcontwo is an alternate version of the ending of Avengers: Endgame focusing on Sam Wilson and what he did after returning from being dusted.

I Know I’d Look Good On You by Brangwen is an Inception slash novel, Arthur/Eames, which I find fun; since these two characters barely share any screen time in the movie, the writers get very creative with their relationship and backstories. This one starts with a dreamsharing operation in South Africa, and ends up in London, with Eames in a stage play.

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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