beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Bought this because it looked fun and like it would be about women.
Which, yeah, ish.
But it was mostly Being Funny, and it seemed to not like women very much unless they were hitting things. Like, women shopping or negotiating deals or whatever also got to win, but they seemed to be being mocked for it, and the girls who cared about their appearance did not seem to be shown as reasonable rounded persons with a brain.

It's a book from 1999, but still.

On the plus side there were plural stories I actually liked, and a lot more women than usual, so, that was nice.

And on the minus side, I think one dude got raped by a dragon? Like, that seemed nasty. He'd been turned into a dragon and then Very Bad Things happened to him because other dragon.

The thing where it is Being Funny is a mismatch for the content a few times. And it makes it sort of monotone? Like, I can see from the title it's going to be lighthearted, but it was also doing the same things with language use and sounding vaguely modern, and every story had the same sort of pacing and depth, ie bouncing along and not very. I think I might have liked individual stories better if spaced out more. Maybe.

It's like, fun if you like this sort of thing, but I thought I'd like it and yet found it limited fun.

I liked:

In for a Pound, Lawrence Watt-Evans
modernish setting, lady rescues her husband the werewolf police detective from indignity

Death Becomes Him, Marina Frants
Baba Yaga's apprentice vs Koschei

Leg Irons, The Bitch, And the Wardrobe, Laura Frankos
The show must go on, vaguely fantasy world edition. From the guy's point of view, but works okay.

Cross CHILDREN Walk, Esther M Friesner
A retired swordsister, education for young women, inheritance, marriage laws, and alchemical pollution come together to make a rather satisfying story.

Baubles, Bangles and Beads, Kevin Andrew Murphy
A storyteller, a mercenary, and a whole lot of curses.
You know when you read something and have to keep pausing to wonder Is This Racist or is it attempting useful diversity? I just feel that being about black people and giving them monkey tails and turning them into animals probably crosses the line. Also the thing where the plot motor is someone gets turned into a woman and will pay anything to get turned back is just... a thing.
But I kind of liked it, because sometimes they fix things with talking and sometimes with hitting and sometimes with magic, which covers all the basics, you know?

The rest I didn't especially like but they weren't worth hating or even disliking on the whole. I think.

So that's 5/18 stories that were better than okay.

Buuuut an overall impression of :-/
and no particular desire to buy the other books in the series.

Think it's just not to my tastes.
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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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