The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King
I’m wavering between 1 and 2 stars because I finished it and it was well written.

I really wanted to like this. I read the reviews and while there were some clear issues a female Holmes sounded great.

It was not. Mary "Sue" Russell is NOT.

She has no flaws, no addictions, no mental issues, no shortcomings, or blind spots. She is the perfect tomboy smarty-pants princess.

She doesn't suffer, struggle or overcome sexism or hurdles because of her gender. She wins Holmes and every other man over in 5 seconds. (And women, but they're few and far between.)

Shit, I wish men learned that fucking lesson that fucking quick. As do academic women everywhere.

Her greedy no good Aunt is handled and ignored. She has no chaperons except at school and there she doesn't mind.

I did like how it talked about the war and how things changed because of it but I can’t fathom it being this easy. There’s zero pressure on her for being a woman and she escapes social norms, demands, and functions like Houdini.

She cannot fill Holmes's shoes because she floats.

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She can't cook or drive well, but that means nothing in the face of everything else. Plus, she claims she's improving in cooking and she just learned to drive. Fuck, can’t you struggle like everyone else?

She has The Nightmare occasionally, but speaks about it once to Holmes and she's cured after almost a decade of it. WTF kind of magic psychology is that?

It's pathetic and frustrating. Women CAN be like Holmes; they don't have to be perfect. And yet the result of this "What if" resulted in this insulting Mary Sue.

Okay, sure there's a place for wish fulfillment and escapist fantasy. But besides Holmes? No. He's not motherfucking Rambo or Conan the Barbarian or James Bond or whoever the fuck is the new masculinity mascot.

**Deep Breath**

I didn't think I'd be so sensitive and responsive to the attitude towards Watson but it's unbearable. Mary treating Watson as a doddering old fool (her words) is bad enough, but Holmes joining in is repulsive.

Watson has his faults and strong suits. He played a major role in Holmes life story. Not only is it hard to fathom that Holmes throws him under the bus, but degrades their relationship.

And how could Watson be stupid enough to carry his medical bag in plain view while trying to be sneaky? No fucking way. You don't partner with Holmes without learning a thing or two.

And Holmes forgetting to warn his two oldest friends when in danger? But never fear, Mary is here! After of course, Holmes races across the way to get to her to ensure her safety above all else.

It's character assassination in a school girl fanfic. This isn’t tweaking the characters or creating new stories in an established universe. This is inserting a black hole that warps and sucks everything people loved about Holmes—and it’s name is Mary Sue. While it is better written than most, it fails in every way that counts.

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It shits on every aspect of Holmes' previous relationships. Mary must be the focus and there is no room for anyone else.

Watson is important and here's a several reasons the narrative is originally from him instead of Holmes. He not only balances Holmes in many ways, but brings his own skill set. He's also the reader surrogate.

Holmes also a manic depressive highly-functioning sociopath addict chivalrous misogynist. His mind is not a pleasant place and discovering how he thinks and what he knows is part of the appeal. But wanting his skill and wanting to be him are two totally different things.

Having no Watson and two Holmes detectives makes it unbalanced and unwieldy. Even when the big mystery came around, there wasn’t any doubt of the outcome and the journey was duller having Mary as Holmes’s shadow. Two of them is just too much.

Besides being driven mad for the previous issues, I was also bored. I appreciate King taking the time to build Russell and Holmes relationship and her abilities. That’s really important obviously, but along with all the other issues, it was dull. If I had brought another book with me, I'd have quit because of this alone.

The first part is all about her training, schooling, and initial minor mysteries to solve. It finally picks up a bit toward the middle but even with kidnappings, bombs, and murder, I still would've been fine dropping it.

I couldn't care about Mary or Holmes. Holmes is toothless and edge-less now. His previous faults replaced with caring for Mary. And Mary is perfect-ly bland. Which is an.noy.ing.

Every problem wraps back around to each other and in the end, appreciating King’s ideas is the only good thing I can say.

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