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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
Robert I. Sutton
Progress: 6/210 pages
The Edge of the Abyss
Emily Skrutskie
Progress: 51/281 pages
The Listerdale Mystery and Eleven Other Stories
Agatha Christie, Hugh Fraser
Progress: 3/6 minutes
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Abigail Revasch, Tara Sands
Progress: 190/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 250 out of 250 pages.

Shadow of the Knife - Jane Fletcher

Well. I've finished this, and I am now very angry. So very angry. All of Fletcher's other books that I've read have been sci-fi (or, more accurately, sci-fi that feels more like fantasy) with romantic aspects. This...was not that.

 

I don't know how spoilery my review is going to be, but I need to rant right now, and it will contain spoilers. So here goes.

 

 

Fletcher tried really hard to redeem Hal. Hal was nice to Ellen, she set her free, she didn't tell her the lies she was supposed to tell her, etc. I don't care. I don't consider her to be redeemable. Ellen may have forgiven her, but I couldn't bring myself to do the same. She gave an old woman, a relative of hers, brain damage. Yes, it was on accident, but it was while she was trying to hurt her on purpose. She murdered someone in cold blood. She stood by and watched as Ellen was tortured. And I don't care if the Butcher was her cousin - the Butcher was a monster, Hal knew it, and Hal's decision to stand by her was in no way a good thing.

 

Hal and Ellen's sex scene (scenes? I can't remember, I'm trying to blank it all out) while Ellen was being held captive made my gorge rise. It was painful to watch Ellen going from "I still want her, and hate myself for wanting her" to "I know she did awful things, but I love her and don't want her to die." It was more the Butcher than Hal holding Ellen captive, but I wonder, could this be called Stockholm syndrome?

 

And the bit where the partially healed wounds from Ellen's recent torture were just "sensitive areas" during sex? OMG.

 

The ending felt like an attempt to heighten the "tragic romance" feel, which just made me angrier. According to one review I read, another one of Fletcher's books refers to the events in this one and gives the full conclusion. Although I've read all the other books in the series, I can't for the life of me remember any other mentions of the characters in this book, so I'm going to need to do some searching. Hopefully one of them tells me that Hal was killed and Ellen eventually came to terms with her death and found love and happiness elsewhere.

(show spoiler)