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DMS

Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Rosemary and Rue

Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire

Well, at least I don't have to write a long review here, since so many of my complaints have already been covered in bookaneer's eloquent review.

 

The first quarter was so promising, y'all. I almost bought the rest of the series just because of it. Engaging setting, a sense of humor and dismay! Alas, the last half was not at all good. In addition to always being saved by a man, McGuire also managed to fridge a female character in the last act, which was immensely disappointing.

 

Let's talk plot, or plotting at the very least. It's like this was written by someone who knows what kind of things happen in noir detective novels, but doesn't actually know how to build a plot with those pieces. I know this was a first novel and published forever ago, but I can name a number of first novels in this genre from the same year or a few years earlier that are loads better. I like gore and action, but give a girl something to string the scenes together with (something besides "then I woke up in a new location, a man yet again having saved my life, and stepped out just long enough for someone to take a swing at me, necessitating a rescue by a different man").

 

As for our heroine, I want to like the gender-swap aspect, but that gender-swap just doesn't work for me when my hardboiled detective still manages to be damsel-in-distress over and over. And while I'm super into unreliable narrators, I am super not into fucking abusive men. And wow does she do unnecessary and stupid stuff under the banner of investigation. The idea that she was any kind of detective, let alone one so good she was knighted, is just too much for my suspension of disbelief to bear.

 

So, yeah, in spite of a decent first impression, I'm not going to continue these.