Well other then the fact Leah is the original Parsel-tongue (figures it's a Fier/Fear right?) this was surprising. having not read this years ago it w...moreWell other then the fact Leah is the original Parsel-tongue (figures it's a Fier/Fear right?) this was surprising. having not read this years ago it was all new to me. Stine does seem obsessed with weird sibling dynamics (in a set of 3 at least one is crazy, one mistakes the innocent sibling as the crazy one and one will either die or almost die. Every time.).(less)
**spoiler alert** Ok if I EVER marry I demand Q as my wedding planner. Please. Slightly more seriously this was a fun adventure. A very fun adventure...more**spoiler alert** Ok if I EVER marry I demand Q as my wedding planner. Please. Slightly more seriously this was a fun adventure. A very fun adventure and quick read.
All right so previously I've only really read Deep Space Nine fiction. That's the series I love, has the characters I love and by in large the conflicts I care more about. I cut my teeth on The Next Generation crew however--I was a diehard Troi/Riker fan, I wanted Data to be my tutor, Geordi to be my teacher and Jean-Luc to teach me to read (and drink tea - actually his being French and being so British was really confusing to me as a kid).
That said Q, and to a degree Vash, were part of why I watched TNG. And I'll admit they did not work on DS9 - John de Lancie and Patrick Stewart had such a wonderful bantering bromance that it was almost painful to see Q try that with Sisko (Avery Brooks).
So this, which is a culmination of so many decades and movies and books worth of relationship building (world's longest courtship ever), was practically perfect. Full of Q's antics, backhanded compliments, ridiculous displays of narcissistic affection and as always he knew just how to rile Picard up. 'Cause let's face it, who would be a better Best Man then Q?
I will say that in some ways Picard and Crusher came off much more youthful seeming then I remember them being exactly (especially given the last TNG movie). Having not read the canonical book continuations, and only barely keeping abreast of their lives as part of the various serials I do follow (DS9, Titan, Corps of Engineers, Voyager...) I'm not entirely sure how much older they are vs. their last "on screen" appearance.
But oh the fun! Crusher got to show off her smarts sans all that flashy equipment the future has, Picard got to be Archeological Man, Vash got to be quipy, Q got to be (badly) flirtatious and hey no one dies in the end! What more could a person want in a bachelor's party? (Don't ask Worf, he was rather disgruntled by Picard's "passionless" ceremony to Crusher).
Though now *I* want to know more about the Treasure of the Ancients. And maybe follow Vash on her adventures. Since she seems to have so many of them (wonder what she was doing during all the recent wars/invasions/serious crises?).(less)
So I ended up not disliking Louisa as much as I thought and in truth I can understand why she was the way she was (even if I'm a little astonished by...moreSo I ended up not disliking Louisa as much as I thought and in truth I can understand why she was the way she was (even if I'm a little astonished by some of it).
Also I would forgive almost anyone if John told me too. The big galoot :sigh:
Oh Louisa. I remarked in the last novel, "Sara", that I wasn't looking forward to Louisa's novella because she was so blunt (almost cruel) towards Sara. In truth I did want to know why Louisa was so straight forward about most things, but the very picture of evasive with her own life. Seriously look up "evasive" in a Dictionary, you'll see almost any conversation Louisa has with John in this book for certain. And while her tongue is just as sharp here as it was in Sara's story, its helpful to read the why of it.
Feeling betrayed by her friends because they found happiness, and feeling especially betrayed by Sara who she thought of them all would become a spinster and grow old with her, Louisa has been gone for about 2 months at the start of her story. She's been traveling here and there, doing this or that odd job and changing her name as often as possible. She doesn't take the apparent dissolution of her dreams very well in fact, but very quickly finds a new one at John's inn.
John meanwhile is a hulk brute of an ex-pugilist who is trying to prove that he can be more then his past brawling days. And while he's running a (very) modest inn to some satisfaction he can't quite get his head around how it could be more. In waltzes Louisa, who within two weeks of being hired on as a maid tells John how to improve things and then gets promoted to partner in the business.
I appreciated that Louisa wasn't a shrinking violet. Many of the issues I had with her advice to the others stemmed from the fact she had a very narrow idea of how things should be and should turn out. If its not a situation where you can come out on top, well don't get in the situation. Either manipulate things to your best possible outcome or its not worth it. We see her manipulate John several times, but he calls her on it. Tells her point blank he'd, well if not happily at least willingly discuss anything she'd like.
Oh and would she please consent to marry him? That would be lovely.
It was entertaining, and oddly romantic, how often John tried to convince Louisa to marry him. He was content to wait for however long she liked...as long as it happened eventually. Not today? Well that's okay, let's do the books and have a tumble and then maybe...? No? Okay well keep at it John! (His earnestness reminds me a bit of another book I read recently where the guy was gung-ho for the marriage and the woman was like 'Wait? What? No! Sexy times!')
Of course Louisa's past catches up with her and some most of the issues I had with the novella began here. Without spoiling anything, you find out why she originally fled and in all honesty I was really surprised that she had remained ignorant of the going-ons in society. (view spoiler)[Granted her brother helped cover up and she remained as far removed from society as possible, but it was kind of a big deal what happened and the ramifications thereof maybe should have been more discussed I think (hide spoiler)]. MacDonald and I spoke about this part of the story and really some of it comes down to how strongly you believe that Louisa could remain separated (practically amputated) from society to not have found out the truth.
And the Epilogue? It made sense on so many levels. It was a wonderful way to wrap up the Governess Club stories and okay I got a little teary-eyed at one point. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)