Thursday, May 18, 2017

In Memory of Jianhong, Snake-Devil, by Richard Parks

Read this issue
(Chinese Historical Fantasy; Pan Bao and Jing) Jing and her father climb a mountain to find and kill a Snake-Devil that has been killing people and goats, but she’s not exactly what they expected. (5,982 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Amusing and Satisfying
Recommended By: RHorton:4

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 226, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The plot is sophisticated; everyone has an agenda, and everyone achieves part of it.
  • Pan Bao eliminates the problem and earns his fee. As a bonus, he even gets a tutor for his daughter.
  • Jing gets answers to some of her questions and a tutor we’re sure will be more cooperative than her father.
  • Mei Li gets her wish of people who’ll help her try to be human.
  • Jianhong wanted his name to be remembered forever, and they’ve tricked the governor into helping with that.
The story does a great job of developing all three characters. Pan Bao’s obsessive secrecy and simple selfishness, Jing’s impatience and frustration, and Mei Li’s loyalty all come through consistently. As a result, we're very satisfied with the conclusion; it has something for everyone, and we like them all by that point.

There are some good moments of humor as well. My favorite is when Mei Li frowns and asks Pan Bao “Is she always this angry?”

Con: Nothing large is accomplished in this story. It’s almost like the setup for a sequence of adventures.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 226)
Richard Parks Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Enjoyed the banter between all three characters (including the comments Jing kept to herself). Glad to see it is the start of a series.