Jun. 6th, 2017

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I had my Dutch lesson today, very enjoyable as always. It was raining, but we clomped around anyway, a bit abbreviated because one of the dogs has short legs and a bit of a belly and mud is really miserable when you are that low to the ground.

No walk for me otherwise, because of the rain. I could have gone -- I have wellies and rain jackets -- but I just couldn't motivate to go.

I did some grocery shopping at Roche Bros. Now that it is June, there are all kinds of interesting fruit choices. I got R. some plums and apricots. And peaches!

We had dinner at home; I picked up some sushi and had an early dinner.


I have finished the third Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs and I have figured out why I hate this series! Sure all, of my other theories were why, too, but I really, really, really don't read Urban Fantasy/strong women protagonists because I like to read rapes. Ugh.

It was pretty apparent throughout the book that Tim Milanovich was going to be The Bad Guy, because he just kept popping up everywhere. And he was clearly being set up as a "Nice Guy" nerd who was actually some shade of evil. And wow, did he turn out to be Evil Evil, but in a very human way: killed his dad for the insurance money (probably his mother, too), has terribly boring taste in home decor, pedantically corrects people who are doing something more correctly than he understands and won't take no for an answer. Predictably, he winds up doing the fantasy / magickal equivalent of using date rape drugs and things just go way, way, way downhill from there.

Lots of things occur to me here. First of all, it would have been so easy to have Adam arrive at the garage earlier rather than later, and have it devolve into a really interesting three or more way fight with Tim deploying his various Fae artifacts against n werewolves and one coyote. Mercy could have still been the one to finish him off, thus avoiding the Girl Always Has to Be Rescued theme. And if the author wanted to explore the panic attack / PTSD / how rape victims respond themes, Mercy could have been pretty freaked out by where that almost went but didn't, and we could have had Ben intercede anyway thus humanizing Ben. So it isn't like the major motifs could not have been satisfied without going through with the rape.

Second, it makes little to no sense for the Gray Lords / fae to be so stupid that they didn't recognize the connections between Mercy and the werewolves. Honestly, they _should_ have also figured out her connectivity to the human police force AND the vampires, and that all of these could have been triggered in really negative ways if they offed Mercy so they could then off Zee so that human attention would not be focused on the fae. That's no way to avoid attention. It's impossible to believe the fae are quite that stupid. So this is just a horror movie trope, not real plotting. With a good chunk of Let's Create an Opportunity for the Mens to Declare Their Commitment to Mercy.

Third, if I were Samuel and/or Adam, I would have put GPS trackers on Mercy and/or her car. True, this was written a decade ago, but it was absolutely possible to track fleet vehicles 10 years ago, and Adam has already put a security system on her garage. Not lo jacking her car was an inexcusable oversight on his part. Also, I don't quite get why -- given the unpredictability and danger of the fae -- he didn't have someone shadowing her and reporting back to him. That way he would have noticed when she broke her pattern of keeping him / them up to date on everything, and would have gone, hmmm, has she been compromised. _They are dealing with fae_. People's thinking / will / etc. is routinely compromised around the fae and fae objects. This is 101. Also, since book 1, wolves had had _their_ ability to think and act compromised by vampire influence and/or demon influence. It just makes no sense not to come up with a way to work around that.

When I'm reading JAK, or Ilona Andrews, or Jeaniene Frost, I don't sit around going, what's up with this incredibly convoluted plotting where everyone has to do super complicated, layered conniving to come up with a batshit insane result that doesn't make any sense at all, when something much, much simpler would have accomplished comparable goals.

I think this is why I have so much trouble figuring out who the various characters are. They actually don't make any sense. These are plot driven books in which Mercy runs around thinking and talking about how powerless and unimportant she is, while everyone else is paying attention to her least whim as if it is Holy Writ and referring to her as a Hero, and ludicrously complicated mechanics are required to move the story along in ways that seem expressly designed to run as many main characters through a meat grinder (literally) as possible, while Mercy talks about how she believes in God or something like that, because she knows Evil Is Real. And three books in, the only sex she has had is a horrifying rape.

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

I knew there was a reason I'd been carefully avoiding reading any Patricia Briggs. Now I know what those reasons are.


In the interests of fairness, Briggs is an excellent writer, in terms of creating narrative momentum.

Also, if My Dear Reader(s) is/are thinking, yeah, but don't other protagonists of Urban Fantasy etc. also think of themselves as Little Ole Me but are still worshipped by the rest of the characters? Um, not the ones I read. Quite the contrary. The ones I read are well aware of how special they are, and they don't pretend that they are not interdependent on other major characters. These interdependencies cause them great anguish, at times, when the people they care about are in danger, are harmed or died, especially if that happens when some Big Bad is trying to use them as a lever against Our Heroine. That's entirely different in really important ways from wandering around thinking the kind of stuff Mercy routinely thinks about herself (and that's _before_ she's traumatized).

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