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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

Lying in Wait
Liz Nugent
Progress: 124/310 pages
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
Progress: 72/313 pages
To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines
Judith Newman
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Progress: 41/255 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes
Last Car to Annwn Station - Michael Merriam This book has a lot of elements that might attract readers: a magical streetcar, a zombie child, a multitude of fae creatures, references to Welsh mythology, and a bit of f/f romance. While many of those elements interested me at first, I found Last Car to Annwn Station to be so-so overall.I felt like I spent a lot of this book waiting for things to happen. Through “Chrysandra”'s wall writings, I knew what was going on with her – mostly, she was trapped in one spot, trying to survive, watching the real Chrysandra rot, and waiting for an opportunity to either get help or attack her captors. I tended to prefer the scenes with Mae and Jill most when something more than information-gathering was going on – when they were being attacked by the hounds of the Wild Hunt, looking around or breaking into the Arnesons' home, or entering Annwn. Unfortunately, large portions of the book tended to bore me. There were too many scenes of people sitting or standing around, debating what to do.The development of Mae and Jill's relationship seemed a little awkward. I found myself thinking that they would have made better, more natural friends than lovers. For a good chunk of the book, Mae was somewhat interested in Jill but wasn't really sure if those feelings were mutual. She didn't see how they could be, since she thought of herself as plain and Jill as gorgeous. Their first kissing scene was, in my opinion, badly timed – Jill was bandaged up quite a bit, and I kept wondering when Mae would accidentally hurt her. Their relationship did get to a point where it felt more natural, but the progression to that point could have been smoother.The fantasy elements were a bit bland. This was not a book that reveled in complex magical systems or even descriptions of various faerie cultures and creatures. I'm still not really sure how an old Minneapolis streetcar fits in with Welsh mythology and, although I know that there were several fae creatures that looked different from each other, I couldn't tell you much about them besides that. The one thing that probably got the most attention was Annwn itself. Oh, and Death.I was a little surprised at the book's horror elements, coming in the form of a rotting, zombified Chrysandra. There were several times I thought I'd gotten used to her and found myself sighing at yet another one of “Chrysandra”'s reminders that the real Chrysandra was rotting...and then something would happen that horrified me anew. I actually found myself more interested in Chrysandra and how she was getting on than I was in any of the fae creatures.The last 20 pages or so really picked up the pace and grabbed my interest to the point where I stayed up a bit later than I had planned. I would have preferred it, though, if the book had wrapped up with something other than one of “Chrysandra”'s diary entries.This wasn't a bad book. I worried about Chrysandra and her double, and I liked that the f/f elements were tastefully done (never once did it feel like Mae and Jill were putting on a show for male readers). I wondered how and if Mae and Jill would manage to save themselves and protect Chrysandra. However, the book didn't really have anything to it that grabbed me or would prompt me to reread it.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)