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“Asil and the Not-date”

Thursday, October 21, 2021

“Asil and the Not-date” (2020) Patricia Briggs

Ages and ages ago, I got the anthology A Fantastic Holiday Season: The Gift of Stories mostly so I could read the Asil story.

Which I loved.

The anthology for the second Asil story has been sitting on my wish list forever, but after realizing it was available from the library, I grabbed it from there.

I looked through the available stories, and went immediately to the Patricia Brigg’s story.

It is set after “Unappreciated Gifts” and is about Asil’s third date.

Apparently, the second date didn’t go particularly well.

You were with your assigned date for four hours and twenty minutes. It did expose a loophole in our rules; we did not state that your date must be conscious for any of the time, let alone all of it.

The Seattle Zoo accepted our anonymous donation for the care and welfare of the lioness and informed us that you had done the same. That was well done of you. Someday you will tell us how you managed that drive with an unhappy lioness in your backseat.

I absolutely loved “Unappreciated Gifts” and have reread it multiple times. Not only is Asil my favorite character, but the story itself was good.

This story was not as good.

First, from the start we spent time in the thoughts of Asil’s date.

Instead of the older gardener she had dreamed up, she was getting . . . something else. He looked dangerous and expensive, gorgeously dressed in a fitted bronze shirt that showed muscle without clinging too tightly and formal black slacks.

I actually preferred Asil assessing himself, because there is something about his self-assuredness that is delightful.

The bigger problem, however, is that her POV turned out to be really problematic because of the way the story went.

Also, the coincidences were too much for me to accept.

Plus, I have a hard time believing in the twist–and Asil’s failing to see the twist. Asil is not stupid, nor is he naive. He might be edging towards madness, but he remains a protector–despite everything, and he is far more aware of dangers than even the average werewolf.

So I just don’t believe that part of the story. At all.

I’m also not sure this story would stand on its own, without prior knowledge of Asil.

So, despite Asil being my favorite, this story was a disappointment. So I’m going to return the anthology without reading anything else, and hopefully find a story that will make me happy.

Rating: 4/10

Categories: eBook, Fantasy, Short Story, Supernatural
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