August 25th, 2018

smirk by geekilicious

Book 97

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3)Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs




It’s rare for me to read a book, throw up my hands and feel like screaming (and pretty much decide to quit the series) but this is one of them. I decided not to give it a star rating because I don’t know what to rate it. Honestly, I really enjoyed the urban fantasy part of this story but the romantic subplot and the ending of it deserve negative stars.

This is the third in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is interesting. She’s part Native America and can shift into coyote form but she was raised by werewolves. Recently vampires, werewolves and the fae have gone public with varying results. The fae in this book are as wicked (or as good) as some of the fairytales and have been rounded up into reservations.

It opens with Mercy being the scent ‘hound’ for Zee and Uncle Mike a couple of fae she knows (the titular Iron Kissed Zee who helped her get her auto repair shop and is her friend and mentor and Mike who runs a bar) after several fae have been killed. To her surprise after reluctantly pointing out the killer (knowing the fae will ‘disappear’ him, he’s murdered violently with Zee (and Uncle Mike) at the scene. Zee is blamed and in spite of his wishes she tries to clear her friend (because the Fae want him found guilty (even if he’s not) just so the humans don’t figure out other things they’re up to.

Mercy isn’t about to let this happen even if it puts a target on her back with the Gray Lords, the rulers of the fae.

And this part of the story was really good. If there had been no ‘romantic’ subplot I’d probably have given it four stars and gone on to find book #4. As it is, there was a romance so unbelievably self destructive and creepy, I honestly don’t know if I would even read another of these from the library let alone spend money on it. It didn’t help that she thinks suicides are ‘selfish’. It would be one thing if it had been a thought. I’ve been through far too many friends’ suicides and I know that unkind thought can cross your mind but to say it to the person’s brother?
Even though this was out years ago I’m going to put the whole romance and the terrible, shouldn’t have gone there ending under a spoiler cut. And what's worse is that this horrible abusive 'romance' won an award! I'm utterly nauseated by this.




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Midnight Beast

Book #36: Sacred Cows by Rosalind Coward



Number of pages: 219

Sacred Cows looks critically at feminism's achievements and asks that most un-PC of questions - do we need feminism any more or is it damaging relations between men and women, demonizing men and denying them the right to understanding and equality in a society that is harsher for them than ever before?

The whole concept behind this book could be the subject of a satire as well as a serious essay, and it piqued my interest many years ago when I first bought this book. I wanted to re-read it for ages, and this time I felt that I got more out of it.

The book starts with a "potted history" of the feminist movement, with several references to Margaret Thatcher and the feminist Germaine Greer, examining traditional expectations of how both men and women should behave. It also touched on subjects including sexual harassment and rape, that feel more relevant with some of today's current news stories, particularly those involving Harvey Weinstein.

The book was written in 1999, so reading it nowadadys, some of the comments feel a bit dated - there are a lot of references to 1990s pop culture, and comments about what Tony Blair's New Labour hoped to achieve, set in the future tense; I'd be interested to see what changes would be made in an updated version of the book.

The concept sounds provocative, but Rosalind Coward's arguments seemed reasonably balanced, and very comprehensive, with the conclusion that feminism is definitely okay, but neither men or women should feel like they are "losing out" as a result.

While this is a slightly dated book, it nevertheless proved fascinating reading and I found it hard to put this down.

Next book: Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)