skygiants: Kyoko from Skip Beat! making a mad flaily dive (oh flaily flaily)
[personal profile] skygiants
Under the Healing Sign, the second book in the Crossroads series about Vets In Fantasyland, does not exactly have a plot or a structure so much as .... like, the first two-thirds of the book is mostly a series of largely nice, occasionally bittersweet anecdotes about Our Heroine BJ's first year as Fantasyland's Official Veterinarian, and then there is a Battle and a Tragedy and suddenly the book is like "PART TWO!!" and all of PART TWO is "OH SHIT WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE."


Stuff that happens in Part One:

- BJ pursues her relationship with Stefan, a fedora-wearing faun (this was before fedoras were gross) getting his undergraduate degree so that he can go on to become a vet
- BJ befriends Fiona, a Wiccan grad student who gets her outfits from Hot Topic and her sense of judgment and proportion in magical experimentation from every villain in season six of Buffy
- BJ also befriends Dr. Estevan Protera, a dashing queer scientist with a swordcane who is an expert in physics and also in fencing and also in fashion
- BJ also also befriends Gredya, a recovering addict werewolf who was a villain in the last book, and ends up co-parenting her adorable-but-runty werewolf puppy
- BJ and her vet school buddy Lee Ann the Farmgirl Vet give a bunch of centaurs a class on prenatal care and emergency medicine
- Centaur Polyta, who inherited the position of Chief Centaur after her husband's death in the previous book, grows into a leader and turns out to be the best Chief Centaur that there has ever been
- Dave the Bro Vet adopts a whole bunch of Nac Mac Feegle and feeds them pizza and beer to clean his animal hospital
- dodos find crossroads! everyone makes fun of them
- Annie the Religious Vet comes for a visit from her religious mission in Chad; she gives BJ her journal to read, BJ is like "well the God stuff is kind of weird but she's certainly a heck of a vet"
- Lee Ann steals a breeding pair of an endangered species and drops them off in Crossroads to FLY FREE, to BJ and Annie's deep exasperation and judgment, only to discover that there are already hundreds of them living there
- a selkie cheerfully invites Lee Ann and BJ to join his harem
- Crossroads is invaded by gross, friendly, parasite-infested chimerae who wander around flaming everything in their path in an amiable and inquisitive fashion
- it turns out the gross-but-friendly chimerae are the female version of griffins and they are in Crossroads for mating season; BJ's griffin friend is like "ugh please don't tell my tragically star-crossed human girlfriend about this, it's SO EMBARRASSING"
- everyone goes to a wedding!!
- SUDDENLY THE BIG BAD FROM THE LAST BOOK ATTACKS WITH FIONA AND THE CHIMERAE AND THE GRIFFIN GETS INTO A FIGHT WITH THE REST OF CROSSROADS TO PROTECT THEM AND THE ADORABLE WEREWOLF PUPPY IS MURDERED AND EVERYONE IS LIKE 'WELP WE'RE COMPLETELY DOOMED BETTER EVACUATE CROSSROADS WHILE WE STILL CAN'

Stuff that happens in Part Two:

- everyone has a lot of very serious conversations about how there is no possible way to win against Big Bad Morgan
- meanwhile possibly the book's weirdest plot twist, Dee Dee, the evil vet student from the last book who helped Big Bad Morgan for reasons nobody could figure out, turns out to have been secretly dating BJ's brother in Chicago FOR REVENGE!!!
- Dee Dee the evil vet student then goes berserk at her first sight of Big Bad Morgan, slaughters half a dozen people with wildly implausible out-of-nowhere fighting skills, and promptly gets slaughtered by Morgan in turn
- the king of Crossroads, who has generally been Sir Not Appearing In This Book, turns up again and almost immediately gets killed rescuing Hot Topic Fiona from her own poor life decisions
- BJ and the god of Crossroads painstakingly evacuate every Crossroads species to locations elsewhere in the multiverse in advance of the oncoming doom
- this would seem like a lot of work except it turns out Crossroads really only has, like, seven species total, and that's including the dodos
- BJ FINALLY tells her faun boyfriend Stefan that she has a fatal degenerative disease that will kill her if she ever moves back to West Virginia and therefore she cannot evacuate Crossroads with everyone else
- the last five people left in Crossroads -- including BJ, the God of Crossroads, BJ's faun boyfriend Stefan, Hot Topic Fiona, and Stein the cranky Holocaust survivor whom I have forgotten to mention until now -- make a final stand against Big Bad Morgan
- despite the fact that everything that has happened in Part 2 is predicated on the idea that there is no way to beat Big Bad Morgan, these five people beat Big Bad Morgan!
- except the god of Crossroads dies in the effort
- so BJ becomes the new god of Crossroads! Congratulations, BJ!

ON TO BOOK THREE, which is, as I remember, the weirdest of them all.

Date: 2017-02-25 08:14 pm (UTC)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
From: [personal profile] vass
- BJ and her vet school buddy Lee Ann the Farmgirl Vet give a bunch of centaurs a class on prenatal care and emergency medicine

My favourite parts of this book. SPEAK TO THE CHARON AND LEAVE HIM TO DIE.

- BJ also befriends Dr. Estevan Protera, a dashing queer scientist with a swordcane who is an expert in physics and also in fencing and also in fashion

Also one of my favourite parts. I loved when BJ compares Protera to Stein, and says something like "what you both have in common is that you're both something you wish you weren't."

And Protera's like EXCUSE YOU, and BJ's all "oops no sorrysorry I didn't mean because you're gay, I meant you're both warriors and you'd rather not be, but someone has to." It was so hilariously awkward.

- BJ pursues her relationship with Stefan, a fedora-wearing faun (this was before fedoras were gross) getting his undergraduate degree so that he can go on to become a vet

With essay-writing help from the Griffin and Stein.

- Dave the Bro Vet adopts a whole bunch of Nac Mac Feegle and feeds them pizza and beer to clean his animal hospital

I loved that too. And also how Dave the Bro Vet was all grown up and doing research.

- BJ befriends Fiona, a Wiccan grad student who gets her outfits from Hot Topic and her sense of judgment and proportion in magical experimentation from every villain in season six of Buffy

She really did. My biggest issue with Fiona was that there was a serious point in there about overvaluing one's mentors/heroes/role models and treating them like they can do no wrong, and how that perpetuates injustice while also setting an impossible standard, but it kind of got buried in stereotyping Fiona's politics.

And also she could have been a likeable character with an interesting story arc, except that I got the impression the author was, um, didn't like her enough for that.

It got to be too much 'ha ha, she's a feminist studying historically disempowered and discredited women but she refuses to acknowledge that women can ever be evil, which means she thinks there's something men can do that women can't, so WHO'S THE SEXIST NOW?'

Date: 2017-02-25 09:39 pm (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Emo Award: Shinji agony)
From: [personal profile] rachelmanija
I really liked the non-depressing parts of this book, but they got so overshadowed by the HELLO GRIMDARK turn it took: cool crossdressing sword fighters and interesting cultural issues with centaurs and griffins and then THE PUPPY-BABY DIES HORRIBLY and it just goes on from there.

Date: 2017-02-26 07:36 am (UTC)
sovay: (Psholtii: in a bad mood)
From: [personal profile] sovay
and then THE PUPPY-BABY DIES HORRIBLY and it just goes on from there.

I had managed to forget the puppy-baby death!

Date: 2017-02-27 07:27 pm (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rachelmanija
That was so out of nowhere (and led nowhere) that I totally forgot about it.

Date: 2017-02-25 10:49 pm (UTC)
kore: Sam Wilson and Jane foster kiss as Cap and Thor (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Dr. Estevan Protera, a dashing queer scientist with a swordcane who is an expert in physics and also in fencing and also in fashion

....so the book is not about Dr Estevan? I am disappoint.

Date: 2017-02-26 07:46 am (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rachelmanija
Maybe it's just as well. The actual heroine does not have a good time for more than about one hour ever.

Date: 2017-02-26 11:03 pm (UTC)
kore: Sam Wilson and Jane foster kiss as Cap and Thor (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
These just sound so weird. I'm trying to think of books that go from 0 to DOOMED like that, but it's hard because I kind of find that unappealing anyway to start with.

Date: 2017-02-27 02:32 am (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
These just sound so weird. I'm trying to think of books that go from 0 to DOOMED like that, but it's hard because I kind of find that unappealing anyway to start with.

I feel it's a sign that a book may have overdone its grimdark when a reader doesn't even remember that one of the characters is a Holocaust survivor, because it just got crowded out somehow.

Date: 2017-02-27 02:56 am (UTC)
kore: Sam Wilson and Jane foster kiss as Cap and Thor (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
//face in hands
//face in hands some more

Date: 2017-02-26 11:04 pm (UTC)
kore: Sam Wilson and Jane foster kiss as Cap and Thor (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
....that sounds like a job for fic! (Is there fic?)

Date: 2017-02-26 11:06 pm (UTC)
kore: Sam Wilson and Jane foster kiss as Cap and Thor (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
YES

Date: 2017-02-26 07:35 am (UTC)
sovay: (Claude Rains)
From: [personal profile] sovay
BJ also befriends Dr. Estevan Protera, a dashing queer scientist with a swordcane who is an expert in physics and also in fencing and also in fashion

I need to re-read just the Protera scenes of this book.

I remember liking Gredya. Am I correct that the Wyr all have more or less Slavic names for no identifiable reason?

Date: 2017-02-26 07:45 am (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Unicorn emotions)
From: [personal profile] rachelmanija
Yes, IIRC. Though I think the reason was so they'd sound like they came from the same culture, and a lot of cultures have werewolf myths so he had to pick one. As opposed to, say, the centaurs, which I assume got Greek names because they have a mythic origin in a single country.

Dr. Protera was the best.

Date: 2017-02-26 11:05 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Jonathan & Dr. Einstein)
From: [personal profile] sovay
There's a whole alternate version of the last book and a half that's a rom-com about Gredya and BJ falling in love while caring for their small werewolf son.

*is here for that*

Profile

skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)
skygiants

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
789 101112 13
1415 1617 181920
212223 24252627
28293031   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated May. 26th, 2017 07:24 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios