REVIEW: Trans Wizard Harriet Porber And The Bad Boy Parasaurolophus by Chuck Tingle

Trans wizard Harriet Porber is a master spellsmith who’s found herself in a bit of a pickle. After finishing wizard college, Harriet made a name for herself by creating a hit viral spell, but has since failed to craft a follow up. Now Harriet’s agent, Minerma, is breathing down her neck, suggesting that Harriet take a trip to an island off the coast of England for inspiration.

Hoping for some peace and quiet to clear her head, Harriet Porber arrives to find that her new neighbor, an angsty bard named Snabe from the band Seven Inch Nails, is already there making a racket. This parasaurolophus spellcaster is a bad boy through and through, and with his incredible powers of metamagic, Snabe reveals that this layer of reality is much more than it seems. Could Harriet and Snabe really be characters in a parody romance novel?

Warnings: violence

Category: M/F

Trans Wizard Harriet Porber And The Bad Boy Parasaurolophus is a tongue in cheek comedic parody novel. Chuck Tingle is a literary legend in the sex comedy/parody world; starting from his roots in defending the popularity of authors like Christie Sims, to his releases commentating on current events with titles like President Domald Loch Ness Tromp Pounds America’s Butt and Not Pounded By Anything While I Practice Responsible Social Distancing his blatant “screw yous” to conservative complaints with titles such as Pounded In The Butt By Fan Fiction Hosting Website Archive Of Our Own’s Hugo Award Nomination, his work has always been part troll comedy and part protest art. So it is no surprise that his third full length release is intended specifically as a middle finger to a very well known author recently in hot water for espousing anti trans sentiments. Yes, this is a parody of Harry Potter, of romance novels, and a trans positive affirmation all rolled into one hilarious dinosaur sex novel.

WRITING
True to Chuck Tingle style, this is written to be an incredibly self aware, fourth wall breaking comedy. Characters are all nods to Harry Potter characters, from Harriet Porber herself, her bad boy boyfriend Snabe, to side characters like Bumbleborn. Plotwise however it’s more of a parody of romance novels than of Harry Potter, and it follows Harriet, a semi famous wizard who has come to an island retreat to gain inspiration for writing a new hit spell, and her budding love affair with her toxic neighbour Snabe. It is complete with meta humour about the romance genre, as Snabe is a metamagic bard who can see outside of the page of his novel and is self aware of his archetype and role as a bad boy. Its very humorous, very fun, and very engaging in it’s nonsensical whimsy while still feeling like a narrative. It pulls every punch, but it’s silliness is the point, and it makes for a very entertaining read.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
Despite being almost pure nonsense comedy, it does do a very nice job at being emotionally engaging. This is of course a piece of protest art; Chuck Tingle wrote and released it as a direct response to JK Rowling’s comments and think pieces about trans issues, and as such it is a trans positive narrative that puts affirmation front and centre. Harriet is a darling, and so is Snabe really, his self awareness making him more interesting and charming than a fully archetypal cutout. The meta stuff gets very affirmation oriented too, as the characters come to learn their place in the narrative structure, and the inherent beauty in accepting who they are regardless of the “body” (words on a page) that they inhabit, transcending the physicality of their identity. And even extending this sentiment to the reader as well, as Snabe at one point mentions hoping to extend the effects of his spells off the page and to the reader. There’s a point, even, where Harriett catches a glimpse of the world beyond the page, and I felt compelled to wave to her.

WORLDBUILDING
All of Tingle’s works are set in various branches of the Tingleverse, and the worldbuilding across all of them is amazing. Incredible. Stupendous. A sprawling setting filled with parody character with stupid names, sentient vehicles, dinosaurs and mythological creatures. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Chuck Tingles setting is expertly woven, from the interconnectedness of everything he writes to the meta of characters being aware of his existence and presence in their lives. I adore his world and can’t gush enough about what a fine job he’s done in bringing it to life, and this novel is no exception.

STEAMINESS
Of the Chuck Tingle books I have read so far (only the full length novels) I would say that this book had some of the best sex scenes. They were tender and emotional and the characters had a fantastic amount of chemistry. Chuck’s descriptions of the lovemaking were very nicely written and I had to say that I really felt there with the characters. It’s very vanilla, as Chuck’s sex tends to be, if you can call human on dinosaur sex vanilla, but it was more sensual than comedic this time around. Both characters are trans, and I can’t speak to how well that was represented here but I can say that their love scenes really struck an emotional and sentimental nerve for me and I really loved how open and honest it was for both of them.

While not nearly as sweeping and epic as Buttageddon: The Final Days of Pounding Ass, or as absurd as Helicopter Man Pounds Dinosaur Billionaire Ass, this as a romance novel was endearingly sweet and as a “fuck you” to transphobia was fantastically executed. I really loved it, and connected with it’s characters despite their goofiness. I thought it was artfully done, in Chuck’s unique style, and I would highly recommend it.

Have you read Trans Wizard Harriet Porber And The Bad Boy Parasaurolophus? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

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