Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Rogue Magic, by Amanda S Green writing as Ellie Ferguson

 A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors out there in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, I'll be seeing some of you soon, and some on the Other Side. Meanwhile, Power Llama coffee is G-o-o-d for morning Go Power.

It seems that because the house is recently paid off, therefore we need braces, dentures, a newer car, and other medical things not covered by insurance. Kenneth is a sophomore, Alicia Ann a freshman, and so, for the first time since 1992, it might be possible, or even desirable, to consider a move in a few years after they finish high school. 

Selling the Patterson Domicile would bring in stupid amounts of dough, but: where would we move? We have 15 grandchildren (with one on the way), 1 great-grandchild (with one on the way), and we have a deeply felt need to babysit. At the time of the contemplated relocation, four of the grands will be adults, and the balance are in clusters: West Virginia, north Georgia, central Georgia, and who knows? One cluster of three might move to Colorado or East McKeesport. 

What can my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, and I do? Where ever shall we go?

Since Tara is right out, I'm thinking Mossy Creek, Texas.

Cover Image: Biker Girl by Andrey Armyagov. 
Is it not lovely?
Cover design by Amanda S. Green.
Is it not lucid?

Now, don't get your panties in a wad! Sure, there are some things about Mossy Creek that are a bit bizarre, even for Texas. I've lived in San Antonio twice (1959-60, Sunset Hill ES;  1972-73, C-2, Medical AIT & BAMC, Fort Sam Houston), and while the dirt was the wrong color (not a speck of red clay anywhere!), I never saw anything more bizarre than an ancient Green Beret Master Sergeant.

And, as strange as that might be, Mossy Creek has houses that will lock the doors to intruders, and people that shape-shift (in retrospect, the Master Sergeant might be a shape-shifter).

On the other hand, Vanessa is a legal parapro, and Mossy Creek has some BODACIOUS attorneys who would hire her in a moment. AND! They now have a new veterinarian, who I expect would do WONDERS for our cats, and we could finally get those puppies I've been wanting for ages.

AND! They have BIKER CHICKS! Admittedly, they ride classier bikes than I do, but they don't have an attitude about it. (SEARCH COMPLETED : no snootiness found.)

I could go on and on about why I'd like to move to Mossy Creek, but I'll sum it up this way: If I can't be a superhero, I'd at least like to live in a superhero-friendly environment. Also, NONE of the people with non-standard abilities are primarily that. Every character HAS a character, including those who are not primaries. Green (or Ferguson, if you prefer) writes real people. 

Depending on whether you count prequels or not, this is #5 or #3 in the Mossy Creek/Eerie Side of the Tracks saga. At least, that's by my count; AND more has been published. 

It seems that there is a yearning for the otherwise, no matter what your origin is. If what I have read of some some pre-Industrial Age societies is correct, a regular part of growing up included a vision quest. It's my understanding that snooty rich people took a year-long tour of some parts of the world, before settling down to run an empire, eat bon-bons and persecute the working class; some clusters of peoples have what is referred to as a wanderjahr, and I wonder if the mission year done by some high-commitment churches might fill this role; for my cluster, it was either a term or so of military service, and/or a hitch in the pen. Whatever the reason, there are a LOT of Mossy Creek folk who have gone away, or been driven away, and are now drawn to return.

Keep that in your mind; it cannot POSSIBLY be a spoiler, if it is a major plot line: folks are drawn to return.

The lady on the bike is the hard-working veterinarian Dr. Jacqueline Powell, known as Jax by people who care about her. She is one who was driven away, mostly by her parents. What kind of parents were they? Well, if Jax had been a dog, the veterinarian would have reported them for abuse, neglect, exploitation, and refusal to be nice (that's not really a thing. btw). And what draws her back is a 911-type call from her goddaughter Ali. 

Here's how important the call is: Jax KNOWS she is dumping her job in responding by immediately booking a flight. At the precise time of the call, she doesn't care for some aspects of Mossy Creek AT ALL; that matters not at all. She is DEEPLY bonded to Ali, to Ali's mother Quinn, and to Ali's aunt Annie.

I had to make a spreadsheet to diagram all the relationships. They aren't COMPLICATED, but there are four generations (at least) involved, and I've been reading this series for some small number of years.

So, what's the emergency? NOT TELLING YOU! HA HA HA HA HA!

I will say this, and it's a clue, and not a spoiler: NOTHING is more toxic than a toxic family, and nothing brings that toxicity to a boil than fights over money. (I actually think, courtesy of Bunker Hunt, that the play is not for money, it's for power, and money is just how we keep score.)

So, how do the superpowers enter?  NOT TELLING YOU! HA HA HA HA HA!

However, it's FAR more important to have a rested, resolute heart, than it is to be able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.

There is a brief, mildly explicit sex scene between two consenting adults forming a permanent pair bond. It's my understanding that this is essential for literature in this genre; it certainly isn't enough to attract porn addicts. If you don't like that, it will be easy enough to skip those two or three pages. I am strongly biased toward sexual activity as a participatory rather than spectator sport, and I didn't find it problematic; YMMV, but don't get all bluenose on us, okay?
As an exercise, I searched for the terms "love" and "lust." Of the three appearances of "lust," one of them was a biker expressing admiration for a motorcycle. That leaves the ration at 44:1, in favor of love; hardly an X rating. If there is adult language or drug use, I didn't see it. (I can't remember if there are any other things I'm supposed to notice/warn/wail about.)

"Rogue Magic" was a delightful book for me to read. I found it to be upbeat, even though there was the potential for tragedy at MULTIPLE points. Those situations are treated seriously, but the character defects of the Good Guys never tend toward betrayal of those beloved, for personal benefit. There is also a great reveal that has implications for the entire series, not just this installment.  

Peace be on your household.

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