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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1
Alessandro Juliani, Roger Zelazny
Progress: 123/331 minutes
Making Arrangements
Progress: 44 %
Let's Talk About Love
Claire Kann
Progress: 80/277 pages
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
A Rational Arrangement
Rowyn Ashby
Progress: 89/537 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes

The Snow Maiden, or The Case with the Holiday Blues by M.C.A. Hogarth

The Snow Maiden, or the Case with the Holiday Blues (Jahir and Vasiht'h) - M.C.A. Hogarth

This was more along the lines of what I was hoping for when I read The Case of the Poisoned House and Other Xenopsychiatric Studies. Whereas that collection was nice but ultimately unsatisfying, this felt like a full a complete offering. What can I say, vignettes just don't do it for me.

The word count is skimpy, but at least it's all devoted to a single story. In this case, Jahir and Vasiht'h have been hired to help Lieutenant Commander Nisia Baker, a Seersa who's in charge of the environmental control for an entire starbase. Unfortunately, she may be buckling under the pressure. She's having trouble staying motivated, and depression is setting in. Jahir and Vasiht'h are limited in what they can do for her, because, for security reasons, no one can know what her job is unless they have the proper clearance.

Jahir and Vasiht'h do almost none of the things they usually do when working with clients. Although they spend some time talking to Nisia in order to figure out what's bothering her, they don't use their dream therapy technique at all. Instead, they get creative. They manage to involve the entire starbase in Nisia's treatment and, at the same time, avoid revealing her job and responsibilities to anyone who's not supposed to know.

The way they did it seemed a little far-fetched – I'm not sure it'd be possible for something like that to work that quickly and effectively. Then again, who knows? People latch onto stuff that sounds good all the time. At any rate, it was a nice little holiday story – probably the closest thing to a Christmas story I'll read for a while, since I'm one of those people who burns out on Christmas quickly, due to it appearing everywhere earlier and earlier in the year.

While I still think Mindtouch is the best of the Jahir and Vasiht'h works I've read so far, this was still a good story. Also, unlike The Case of the Poisoned House (etc.), I think it could potentially work for newbies to Hogarth's Pelted Universe. It barely touches on information about the Pelted or Eldritch and, for the most part, doesn’t really need to.


(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)