My February Reading Log

I have belatedly read The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett, and wow did it have a lot more going on than I was expecting even though, this being Pratchett, I should have expected themes such as the What Is the Meaning of Life, What Happens to Us When We Die, and Nothing Can Be Solved Unless People Talk to Each Other. And on top of all that, The Importance of Stories is a major theme. Basically, some rats near Unseen University gain speech and intelligence after eating magical detritus from the wizards’ trash heap; together with Maurice the cat who’s also been Changed, they end up working with a human boy to run a scam in which the rats invade a town and the boy, for a fee, pipes them out of town. The boy and the rats are tired of the scam but they agree to One Last Score…except something is weird about this town. There are no keekees (rats who have not been Changed) yet there’s famine because rats have supposedly eaten all the stored food. This turns out to be a convoluted plot which it takes everyone to figure out, including the story-obsessed mayor’s daughter. Recommended.

The Building of the House by kvikindi is set in the X-Men movieverse after X-Men: Apocalypse, and is a terrific interpretation of Peter Maximoff’s speed powers through narrative style. Peter is the pov character and his breathless very very long digressive sentences, skimming along the surface of truths he doesn’t want to admit to himself, are just brilliant. Peter’s finally met his father, who is a grim supervillain; what is he going to do about it?

the wires for empathy by napricot is a slow burn romance and road trip story about The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. They work at finding ways to use super powers for making things better without punching people; replacing destruction with community. It’s great.

stop the world (for a moment) by azurewaxwing for thievinghippo is an ice skating AU of the Chinese show The Untamed, which I haven’t seen in its entirety; I am sure I missed some in-jokes. Set in the modern day, Lan Zhan is a popular erudite figure skating commentator whom the network has unexpectedly paired with motormouthed former skater Wei Ying. The near-opposites turn out to work well together. I particularly enjoyed how they practice together by commenting on other sports.

A Series of Unfortunate Collisions by Scourge_of_Nemo is a Star Wars AU in which bounty hunter reality shows are a thing. Hardscrabble hunter Din Djarin, striving to support his adoptive son Grogu and the children of his covert, only slowly realizes he’s in a slow burn romance with major figure Boba Fett. I always like seeing art from the artist’s side, and I loved that Fennec Shand’s editing skills are highly valued.

My Heart Will Be Your Home by dr_girlfriend is a sweet Avengers AU and Bucky Barnes/Clint Barton romance. Clint had left the spy life behind when he and his wife Bobbi Morse had a child; now divorced, he’s a single father who helps out the Avengers in the midst of an attack. It’s a sweet story about two people with a lot of regrets and pain learning to move forward.

Not a Second Time by FaustianSlip is an epic M.A.S.H. sequel, set during the Vietnam War. B.J. Hunnicutt has not been in touch with Hawkeye Pierce since they left Korea, and he also hasn’t told Hawkeye why. Drama ensues when Hawkeye’s elderly father dies and, overwhelmed by loneliness and loss, he enlists in the Army. Margaret Houlihan tells B.J., who realizes he can’t suppress his feelings any more. This story had a very old school slash feel, with some excellent historical detail, and a lot of same-sex relationships playing out despite the less-welcoming time period.

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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