Monday, June 25, 2012

Face Off: No, I don't believe it!

'Launch 219' photo (c) 2006, Paul Williams - license:

We’ve covered before how some of the characters in Urban Fantasy make decisions that bemuse and confuse us. Worse, these awful ideas often work out - making us not only doubt the mental capacity of the character, but also the reality of the world

Which is what we’re looking at today - moments in Urban Fantasy where our suspension of disbelief died, where, despite being able to believe in vampires, werewolves and magic, we simply cannot accept that this could happen.

Continuum works on the premise that Keira, a police officer from 70 years in the future, is back in time (our present) hunting down some bad guys. From the first episode she ends up falling in with Carlos, a Canadian police officer, embraces Keira as a friend and colleague. Why? Because she claims to be a police officer from Portland in the US. Even if she had credentials to back that up (which she doesn’t) the speed with which the Canadian police force accept an American police officer stomping all over is amazing. As an added bonus, her ridiculously super-hacker Alec manages to give her credentials as CIS. A teenager has that kind of ability?

In The Vampire Diaries we have so many to choose from but I think we need to settle on Katherine as a mortal. Waaaay back in the past Katherine was born in Bulgaria in 1476 and, shame of shame, she has a baby out of wedlock. Her father is clearly outraged because he banishes her out of all Bulgaria (technically part of the Ottoman Empire at the time). In response to which she leaves Bulgaria and rides to England. Yes, England. A peasant woman, alone, with a very small baby, manages to cross the entirety of 15th century Europe. That’s leaving the Ottoman Empire, crossing Hungary, crossing the many disparate states that made up the Holy Roman Empire, dropping through France and catching a boat to England. Uh-huh. That’s pretty daunting to do backpacking today - and she didn’t even have scary Youth Hostels to stay in

Season Five of True Blood has just begun and I don’t you about you but it left me wondering when Bill and Eric suddenly became BFF’s forever.  When we first met them, though Eric was Bill’s sheriff they were clearly at odds, and this only increased as their mutual obsession with Sookie grew.  Somehow in season five, Eric has refused to leave Bill behind when they escape their captors and they each defended the other during torture.  TORTURE.   Since when did Eric stop caring only about himself?  This is so not believable and completely out of character with their relationship.

This is not the only time Eric’s character has been messed with in the series. In the books written by Charlaine Harris, Eric and Pam suddenly break into a fist fight in Dead Reckoning while Sookie tries to offer refreshments of all things. He has always had the ability to command her obedience but suddenly he is forced to get into a throw down when she refuses to obey.  

One of my personal favourites, occurred in The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.  Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir and is training to be a guardian to vampire royalty when the academy is attacked and in the process, her true love Dimitri Belikov is turned into a         Strigoi.  Remembering her promise to Dimitri, Rose decides to travel from the U.S. to Siberia to find his tiny hometown.  Siberia makes up about 77% of Russia's territory (13.1 million square kilometres), but is home to only 28% (40 million people) of Russia's population.  Somehow, Rose who speaks absolutely no Russian and has not bothered to purchase a map, wonders around Siberia and magically finds Dimitri’s family.  

So, what do you think readers, which breaks reality the most - or do you have an even worse example we’ve missed?