Saturday, February 9, 2013

Defiance Trailer

As we get closer to the release date of Defiance we're getting more tempting trailers - waiting for the 15th April

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 13: Into the Wild

Get some happy music ready and top up your drinks, because it’s time for another episode of Vampire Diaries. You might want to open a window to let all the angst out.

We start a year ago – with Professor Shane running through the woods. Boo Vampire Diaries, all these people running through woods and none of them get killed and eaten. He is being followed by someone with long black hair and white face paint but doesn’t seem overly concerned about the matter and is more happy that he finds a mine. It has graffiti on the wall (or possibily ancient significant writing. Makes you think that in 2,000 years some archaeologist is going to ooh and aah over “bazza iz a tosser” sprayed on some subway tunnels) and a big, ominous hole.

Cut to the present and the whole gang has gone on a boat trip – an island 200 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia where the cure is hidden. And the immortal, Silas. (Isn’t it amazing how all these ancient immortal beings from Eurasia somehow wind up in the US?)

Elena and Rebekah still hate each other. The fact Rebekah now has a reason to loathe Elena for killing her brother would mean something if she hadn’t already hated Elena for so many petty reasons. Also, can someone remind me why she isn’t killing Elena? Especially with Klaus not being overly fussed with the whole hybrid thing any more? Damon dodges questions about whether he’ll take the cure or not.

Bonnie takes photos of Jeremy’s tattoos and tells the story they show: Silas approached a witch for a spell to make him immortal – but she then learned he meant to share that with another woman, not her. She became Rather Miffed and killed the other woman and imprisoned him in a cave for all eternity. This is Important Information and not in any way an excuse for Bonnie to rub her hands all over Jeremy’s rather impressive torso. Honest. Now witchy exposition requires you to flex a bit more, Jer… no? Awww… Shane interrupts with a much less fun exposition – Ketsya, the woman scorned, created the immortality cure and buried it with Silas in the hope he’d use it, kill himself and join her in the afterlife (y’know I can’t imagine why anyone would want an afterlife of eternal angst and bickering. It’d be like being locked in a small room with a television that played the Vampire Diaries on permanent loop). When he didn’t her descendants created the hunters to go find him, cure him and kill him.

Brief Klaus and Tyler interlude in which we have a vague discussion on whether curing an Original means that their entire line is cured or just them (and if just them, can you kill them without killing their line) ending with Klaus taunting Tyler about his dead mother.

Back to the island hike where Rebekah still hates Elena. And there’s legends of a well nearby that lets you see the lost souls of dead loved ones by bleeding into it – Shane tested the well to see his dead wife and son. Thinking he heard his dead wife whisper, he lowered himself into the well, fell and saw his wife, Caitlin. Damon sums up this story as “don’t eat the poisonous flowers.”

There’s also traps around the well – and a man tries to shoot Jeremy with a bow and arrow, but is stopped by someone else throwing an axe into his back.

Shane leads them to a camp (where college kids once camped before they were all drained of blood. Seriously, does every inch of this island have a creepy urban legend attached) and Damon doesn’t understand why they’re stopping just because it’s dark. And we have another Damon, Elena “I’ll till love you after I’m cured” moment.

Time for another Klaus interlude and now Caroline has come to join the party. Klaus tries to play good guy to her, bigging up the nice things he’s done, Caroline has a litany of the evil he’s done in response (shame no-one has one of those litanies for Damon and Stefan) and Klaus uses the furnishings to stab Caroline in the stomach and drag her into his little prison and bite her.

Back at the camp and Rebekah is afraid of ghosts and she and Stefan talk about the cure and being normal. Honestly, how many heart to heart talks about things that have already been long established do we need to have? And Bonnie is concerned that there’s no spell in Jeremy’s tattoos. Shane reassures her that she can use Expression which doesn’t need spells but Bonnie doesn’t trust him. So to build that trust he tells her about his wife being a witch (which he never told her before) who tried to use Expression to bring their son back from the dead and was overwhelmed and died because of it.

Why he thought this would build Bonnie’s trust and confidence is rather bemusing but I think the point is that she needs his help if she doesn’t want to die (personally the message I get is “hell no, I’m out of here!”) . This is apparently Shane’s proviso against being killed – force Bonnie to use magic which may kill her which they need Shane to control. I have to say, it’s lacking and does get himself a prime place on everyone’s shit list. During the night, Jeremy is taken by one of the shadowy figures.

Klaus interlude again, Caroline is panicking because Klaus bit her – and hybrid bites (well werewolf bites) kill vampires unless they can be cured with Klaus’s blood. Klaus makes Tyler beg, repeatedly – but ultimately refuses to help.

The camp wakes to find Jeremy missing and go off searching except for Bonnie, Jeremy and Shane – and Damon confronts Shane for the truth. Shane tells Damon about his dead wife telling him all about Silas and his ability to bring back the dead when Shane fell down the well of souls. All he needed was the spell off the Hunter’s mark and empower a descendent of Ketsya to perform it. Yes, Bonnie is a descendent. Are all witches in the world related? How many witches have been relatives of Bonnie now?!

Oh and the spell needs 3 massacres  - but they’ll be resurrected, honest – to bring Silas back because the amount of power needed to be channelled is unnatural. By using the wish to see dead loved ones again, Shane manipulated people into performing the massacres for him – like the Pastor who blew up the farmhouse.  Damon then does that maths and realises they’ve had 2 massacres – the Pastor’s farmhouse fireworks and the Hybrid Holiday Massacre – there’s one more to come. And they’re all isolated in the middle of nowhere. Damon spies some rope and pulls 8 levels of menace out of somewhere – see, see, this show can give us some great acting.

Bonnie performs a finding spell to find Jeremy – and follows a trail of flame heading off into the forest (only you can stop forest fires!)  And Rebekah and Elena still hate each other, yet Rebekah still saves Elena’s life from a trap – WHYYY?!

Klaus interlude! Caroline and Tyler are all gooshy together. And he leaves Caroline with Klaus saying if he’s going to kill Caroline, he will have to watch the consequences.

Beauty and the Beast: Season 1, Episode 12: Cold Turkey

It’s a bar, Heather is singing karaoke (badly) while Catherine and Tess drink. Since Tess is talking, the subject is, of course, men (Tess has no concept of the Bechdel test). Catherine is venting over Vincent choosing the other woman – or, rather, the stuff she brings with her based on her ignorance of what he is. Of course she can’t say this and instead says Vincent has issues – PTSD that gives him a temper (ugh, no, do not drag mentally ill people into this and certainly not like this – as if PSTD means he is dangerous and violent and shouldn’t be in a relationship). Heather and Tess become concerned when Catherine talks warningly about his “temper.” Tess hits on the idea that he’s abusive, which Catherine denies and then has a second plan of telling Alex all about his issues. Catherine rejects this as well. The conclusion is Catherine is still hanging on and we finish with “I am woman hear me drink!”

 This whole scene was to recap last week and remind us that Heather and Tess exist.

Homeward, to Catherine eating ice cream and watching a scary movie when Alex drops by! It’s the middle of the night and she looked up Catherine’s address from her medical file – and this is totally not creepy guys! She’s here to ask if she can take Vincent to her family’s cabin for the weekend – since she thinks Catherine is Vincent’s handler she wants to check it with her first. And she knows about Vincent – or thinks she does; she knows he worked for special ops, people are trying to kill him and pretends to be dead. So… she doesn’t really. The conversation is the most awkward thing ever with both sides trying to be polite while Alex is tense about “sharing” Vincent with Catherine since he tells her so much and Catherine just wants Alex to take this whole thing to Vincent rather than dragging her into this.

Jogging the next day, Catherine is joined by Vincent apologising for Alex coming round and sensing she’s mad (awesome super hero powers). He assures her it’s not about choosing Alex other Catherine (reaaaaly? Because it looks a lot like it), it’s about choosing a future (one where he faces reality or one where he dances in la-la land). He also gets huffy when Catherine points out that Alex doesn’t know who he is (Catherine backs down, why, it’s the truth?) and he just wants to make sure she’s all ok with it. Catherine announces she’s cold turkey and doesn’t want to be involved in any of it. He huffs off, apparently not realising how tacky it is to try and drag your recently dumped ex into your current relationship issues.

To work – with Tess where Catherine worries she has been too harsh and driven Vincent away (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh). Tess, who may be getting as sick of Catherine’s relationship woes as I am, insists they focus on work (Tess’s second topic of conversation). But work gives her chance to investigate a narcotics ring at New York general. They have warrants for several nurses, including Alex – the raids go at noon and Catherine wants to raid Alex. Hold it! NOT for petty revenge reasons – but so she can rush out and warn JT that Alex is going to get raided. But they’re already at the cabin where there’s no signal. Catherine worries that the raid may find Vincent’s finger prints – and decides to go over and remove the memorabilia and wipe everything down.

Catherine, you need to get off the floor and wipe off that “Welcome” written across your back.

Tess calls Catherine while she’s busy destroying evidence (interrupting her distraction over a romantic gift) but it’s only because she suspects Catherine went to see her guy. They raid Alex’s and find nothing – except the sexy lingerie. Tess realises that that means Alex has a boyfriend (going by the receipt, apparently) and she could be stashing drugs at his place – deflecting Catherine’s attempted deflections. And Catherine finds something – a bug.

She takes the bug to JT (has she just ran out on work? Again?) and they conclude that Muirfield is onto Alex, possibly due to the DNA found on Alex’s stalker. JT realises he has to stop Evan presenting his evidence – which he is doing today – about Vincent. So that leaves Catherine to go to the cabin and talk to Vincent and Alex. Catherine really doesn’t love this idea, especially with her plan to move on and JT is at least a little sympathetic.

Vincent and Alex are driving away and she’s making big big plans about leaving the country and being doctors in a poverty struck nation (she’s not mad fussed on which one – any poor country will do) while Vincent realises he’ll need a passport, get through airport security – the whole deal.

They arrive at the cabin and Alex has fixated on them moving to Mexico (how long has he been back? And she’s constantly talking about moving to a foreign country and living the rest of their life together after, at most, a couple of weeks’ re-acquaintance? Y’know, Alex really is kinda creepy). He starts to tell the big secret and dismally fails to do so.

When a man knocks at the door – he’s broken down and there’s no phone service. Or so he says – Vincent sees him sweating but agrees to go with him. Which leaves Alex alone when Catherine arrives. Catherine has no time for Alex’s worry about any relationship between her and Vincent, nor does she more than ruefully laugh at Vincent implying he had PTSD – she tells Alex about the bug and that the man Vincent left with could be a trap. Shelve the issues, she has to find him.

Vincent isn’t a fool and pulls off the road and starts menacing the lying guy. He keeps lying but Vincent points out he has a garage t-shirt and grease under his nails – he can fix his own truck without Vincent. When Vincent grabs him by the neck he confesses that 3 guys paid him $1,000 to lure Vincent out. He tells the man to run

Catherine goes into the woods and finds Vincent (her random direction picking worked!) And they bicker. No, really, they bicker. 3 people out there trying to kill or kidnap them and they have a tiff. In the middle of the woods, with her gun drawn. Thankfully the bad guys are as embarrassed by this as I am and start making noise, distracting their attention. Vincent uses he new nifty night vision to see them, confirming 3. They have a firefight in the dark (none of them have night vision goggles of any kind so that’s fun and effective) until 1 throws a grenade (or possibly a flashbang). Catherine falls over all woozy and fuzzy, but Vincent goes all bestial. Catherine’s only out for a second and quickly joins the fight, shooting one guy to save Vincent and knocking another down. When he manages to trip her, Vincent grabs him and something cracks, probably a neck. They have a little make up moment, Catherine understanding why Vincent wants a new life, but he doesn’t want her to have to hide from Murifield and her.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Being Human (US) Sneak Peak

Before this Monday's episode: 

We've also got some behind the scenes footage of last episode:

And a blooper reel, always fun :)

Walking Dead (Walker Papers #4) by C. E. Murphy

  It’s hallowe’en and Joanne is facing the walking dead. And the ghostly dead. A big cauldron that brings back the dead. And mediums who talk to the dead. And even Cernunnos, a god of the dead swoops back in for a visit and a rematch

There’s a lot of dead around which for Joanne, shaman brimming with life magic, it isn’t really her area of expertise. Thankfully she has good friends who are there to support her – but even that is fraught with her uncertain love life and friends learning the true extent of her abilities.

With the dead coming from all sides there’s a lot to handle, but they all come together in one, epic confrontation – with lots of zombies, ghosts and zombie squirrels (and even Joanne draws the line there) along the way

One things I loved about this book is that it managed to keep its feet on the ground.  This series has a habit of Joanne jumping into flashbacks or spiritual quests or different realms of existence and generally completely losing me. This story kept it much tighter – she still went into her internal garden and the Dead zone – but we were much clearer about when and where she was going (and why) rather than having random spiritual confusions inserted throughout the story and leaving me lost. In fact, the writing was generally very tight not just compared to previous books in the series but also in general. This story has multiple plot lines – the ghosts, the zombies, the murder, the Wild Hunt, the Cauldron; while they are all related and touch each other frequently, they’re also very separate threads. There was an excellent balance maintained between them, none were neglected and none overwhelmed the others. I was never left confused as to what was happening when we returned to a storyline as can happen (sometimes a thread is neglected for a while is returned to – but by that time I’ve completely forgotten who these people are or what’s happening in their lives).

I also found each of the storylines integral. I admit that while reading it I did think the Wild Hunt’s appearance seemed awfully unnecessary and just a way to try and bring some of the older books to the present, but it really fleshed out as a storyline and then interwove really well with the other plot lines. I thought it was going to be a distraction but it merged excellently – I know I’m going on about it but I really have to praise how the writing of this book worked bringing all the disparate elements together, especially after the last few books which rather floundered.

The world building continues to be vast – but, again, focused. There’s a lot there and a lot of development that is constantly alluded to but it isn’t abstract or a distraction. We’re also getting a greater sense of a meta-plot with a big bad raising its ugly head. I feel the series is getting into it’s stride now. Also the undead are interesting – especially the stinking, icky zombies that terrify Joanne (it’s nice to see SCARY zombies in Urban Fantasy – dystopians manage it, but zombies tend to be low down the food chain elsewhere)

Supernatural Season 8, episode 13: Everyone Hates Hitler

 We start in Belarus in 1944, with Nazis.

Several SS men are under attack by a giant – a giant that will not be stopped and rampages its way into the camp. In his office, the commander orders his men to be ready to stop it – shoot or die – while he prepares a magic spell in a copper bowl. The giant is unstoppable, bullets bounce off him and he kills the commander’s guard – but it buys him enough time to finish his spell and disappear in a wash of flame, leaving a metal suitcase behind.

In the present, Sam and Dean arrive at a bunker in Kansas with the key from their granddad. Inside they find the abandoned nerve centre of the Men of Letter’s organisation. Behind a door they find that the bunker is huge – and wonderfully well appointed. Dean announces that they’ve found a Bat Cave. Complete with perks like huge library and amazing shower room. Sam is happy with the huge resource of knowledge, something that could really help them, but Dean is more cynical, pointing out that just because they were a secret society it doesn’t mean the Men of Letters knew more than them – or weren’t making stuff up.

In Pennsylvania, an old Jewish man arrives at a university library to see the effects of the Holzinger Estate  - also saying he had to avoid someone who was following him (though the librarian doesn’t believe him). In one book he finds something and rushes to the librarian saying the book needs to be protected – naturally the librarian doesn’t believe him (apart from anything else, he’s not the most pleasant man around, as the old man nicely points out). The old man leaves the library, goes to the local campus bar to make a hurried call, telling someone that when they follow him, they’ll need a number. All the while he’s being watched by a sinister, emotionless man. The old man leaves his case behind and walks to the windows to challenge his “old enemy”. He calls the man a “Nazi piece of rubbish” before he spontaneously combusts.

Back at the Winchester Cave (as it is now being dubbed), Dean has a quick side-character recap (Kevin is still working on the tablet, Garth is fine and Castiel is still absent. Alas.)

Sam, who really really needs a hobby, has been researching the Men of Letter’s roster of contacts (in the 1950s – as Dean points out) and he found the Judah Team, a group of European Rabbis during World War 2. Which lead to Sam looking up every member on the roster (seriously, a hobby. Or a sport. Something) and found Isaac Bass, former member who died 2 weeks ago from spontaneous combustion (really, he looked up causes of death as well. Maybe some card games, Sam. Or learn to play an instrument).

To Pennsylvania, the university and the librarian with the bug up his arse. Sam interviews the librarian and checks what Rabbi Bass last studied – and finds a large book about birds. Not the one the Rabbi was studying

Dean goes to the bar and talks to two girls who were in the bar at the time who tell him that Rabbi Bass talked a lot about a secret war and Necromancer Nazis. Behind them a man sits down with a drink and tries to attract Dean’s attention, waving at him. He fidgets and Dean appears uncomfortable and looks away, continuing to talk to the girls.

Dean goes over to the man and plays fake FBI guy and asks the man why he’s following Dean. Seems the man thought they had a “thing” back there, an eyes meeting thing. Dean is reduced to uncomfortable, confused  stammers and takes the opportunity of his phone ringing to get away from the man and his fruity drink (yes, of course it was a fruity drink. With an umbrella in it. This is Supernatural, after all). Uh-huh. They already did a version of this joke (Dean meets gay guys and is chokingly uncomfortable) but I suppose vamping it to the next level and having a guy low-key flirt with Dean to make him chokingly uncomfortable is a variation.

Marginalized Characters Do Not Define The Story

'Books' photo (c) 2008, Joe Shlabotnik - license:
With every one of our reviews - be they recaps of TV series, reviews of books or even computer games, we usually include some kind of reference to what it is actually about, it is after all, the most basic element of whether someone would want to read or watch something.

The Dresden Files, is about a wizard in Chicago facing down all kinds of problems and breaking all the rules. The Iron Druid Chronicles, is about a millennia year old Druid getting by in a world full of deities that often wish him harm. The Elemental Assassin Series, is about a lethal magical assassin fighting the good fight in a corrupt city. The Morganville Vampires Series, is about a girl trying to live in a town completely controlled by vampires.

Basic, simple descriptions of what a book series is about. And you would think that the only way to change these descriptions would be to radically rewrite the entire series. But no, according to many people, I can completely change all of these series with one simple adjustment.

I can make the protagonist a minority. Or I can introduce a non-tokened major character who is a minority. Or I can introduce - horror of horrors - several minorities!

If Harry Dresden were gay, then suddenly The Dresden Files is a series about sexuality. If Claire were Black, then The Morganville Vampires would morph into a book about race. If Gin Blanco were followed around by several GBLT friends, then they may even be books that are trying to play politics or make a point!

Of course, people forget that being straight is a sexuality, or that being White is a race. Harry Dresden is definitely straight, we see several of his love interests (and he hardly sees any woman without wanting to have sex with her) yet, no-one would characterise this series as some kind of treatise on straightness or straight sexuality. But include a major gay character and suddenly it’s making a statement. Now it’s a commentary on all gay sexuality, now it has an agenda.

This is the power of the societal default - the default that allows a privileged race, sexuality, gender, gender identity, etc to stand in as the assumed. You can see this very clearly in the number of books that don’t bother to describe skin tone - unless describing a POC (I once read the line a “a girl was playing with an Asian boy” who can tell me what race the girl was? If your answer was anything but White, you’re deluding yourself).

The most privileged state is considered the generic, it is automatic. You don’t need a reason for your protagonist to be a cis, able bodied, straight, white man. This is the base assumption. You actually need a reason to make a character anything BUT a cis, able bodied, straight, white man. So you can have a cast of 4 or 6 or 10 or even more - and only have one woman because the straight protagonist needs to have a love interest. Or maybe you have a Native American character to provide some woo-woo, or a Black or gay side-kick to provide some sassy one liners.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires #9) by Rachel Caine

Morganville has changed a lot extremely rapidly and it is still, in many ways, reeling from what Bishop did to the town and the after effects, including the human residents of the town demanding a far greater level of protections while a faction of vampires resents the greater aggressiveness of humanity. It’s a delicate balance

It’s even harder to maintain with the destruction of Ada, the computer that managed to boundaries around Morganville. Without the shields and the portals and, most importantly, the field that erases humans memories when they leave, Morganville is now vulnerable and the vampire’s control is tenuous.

Tensions flare still higher when violence leads to an actual coup and the return of draconian punishments the vampires had supposedly abandoned, completely ignoring the human council members.

Then the badly damaged computer starts messing up – and it’s not just the memories of people leaving that it tampers with.

This book follows the pattern of the last book in fixing many of the issues that so characterise the Morganville vampire series.

Firstly, Claire is fully involved in this story. She is involved from the first page, involved in trying to find a solution and involved in implementing the solution – the protagonist is an active participant in this story. And she isn’t an active participant because she has decided to meddle and what everyone needs is a clueless 16 year old flailing around for no good reason. It is actually reasonable for her to be front and centre in this campaign, she is the one with the knowledge and the skills, she is the one who is best able to actually confront the problem.

And her motivations and reasoning are sensible. Initially we have to ask why she’d support the vampires, but the memory loss makes it personal. But more, she sees the nuance of the volatile situation and the risk of the vampires lashing out if they don’t have their safeguards. The factions are similarly fleshed out. We also see some real proof of Claire’s maturity with her not just seeing this nuance but also her behaviour over her father’s heart condition.

The factions that are tearing at Morganville are also far more nuanced than we’ve seen before – Amelie and Oliver have an interesting relationship that is fascinating to explore. Myrnin is almost a tragic figure even while terrifying and dangerous and brilliant. Even Shane’s father has some depth to him. It’s actually rather bemusing but the big forces in the town and the antagonists are, in many ways, far more developed than the actual 4 main characters.

Dark Angel, Season 2, Episode 10: Brainiac

 Asha hands some files to Logan, the S1W has uncovered some evidence of police corruption that Logan will spread using Eyes Only. She’s nervous though, both of the cops spreading their own version – and she’s sure someone is onto them

We move to a man watching 6 televisions at once with several more around him, all set to different channels. He points at them a second before they switch to the Eyes Only broadcast. He stands up, zips up his hoodie and leaves.

He goes to a video game arcade and plays a game, impressing a kid by his effortless high score despite having never played it before. He tells the kid to move a second before the police rush in, running through the place the kid was stood; he never stops playing. He then ducks over the game and forces the kid’s head down as well – gun shots then hit the game behind them, passing through where their heads were. The police take out Asha and several members of the S1W and put them in a police van. The man follows with his hands on his head but the police don’t notice him and ignore him.

At Jampony normal is loving the S1W being arrested and speaks up in favour of more anonymous tips and Max says the S1W is just exposing corruption. Normal asks her how she knows – she ignores him, then Alec asks the same question and she ignores him too (which, it being Alec, is probably wise anyway). Normal starts his conspiracy theory wondering about Max and the S1W, heightened when Max choses to take a deliver a package headed to where the S1W were arrested.

Max sneaks into the crime scene – joined by Alec who has turned up to find Asha’s address book since he gave her his number (and is then quite perturbed to find she didn’t bother to write it down). They do find a poetry book and a hand written poem that Alec assumes are Asha’s and written for Logan. Max says she’s covering for Logan and Alec taunts her for being a chump, that Asha has a crush on Logan and she’s being taken advantage of. Max starts to lecture him on the bigger picture, people being arrested etc (oh what a turnaround from season 1) when Alec points to the nearby computer game – with the Highscore first place with name of Max with a loveheart, and the score begins with 452. Max’s barcode. On top of the game is the man’s hoodie.

We cut to the man trying to get his neighbour to take in his post while he’s away for a few days but she doesn’t hear him when he speaks and only belatedly notices him.

Back at the arcade, Alec asks the kid about the man who says he can’t describe him because he didn’t really notice him. Alec shows him the very large hoodie in surprise that he wasn’t noticed since the man is fat. The kid describes his odd ability to see the future. In the Hoody is a name, Brain and his address. The kid also says that Brain said the hottest girl he’d ever seen would come asking after him.

Brain, at his flat, is clearly primping as if for a date and when Max and Alec arrive, bickering, he opens the door angry that Max didn’t come alone.

Cut to Brain being tied to a chair and blind folded while Alec and Max tell Logan that he seems to be the man who tipped off the police about Asha and the S1W. Apparently he told them that he knew the raid was going to happen but only to a 73% certainty (only 73% he knew it was happening but knew exactly how it was going to happen up to and including where the bullets would fly – turn off your expectations of narrative consistency folks, it’s Dark Angel Season 2). Though they’re a little disturbed that Brain knows Max’s name. Logan starts to discuss his plan to free Asha & Co and Brain, from his chair, criticises it, saying it has a 92% chance of failure and all the ways it can go wrong referring to the area layout and other factors. Logan gets irritated and removes Brain’s blindfold, after a glance around the abandoned warehouse he tells them the address they’re holding him and begins to criticise why it fails as a secret meeting place before Logan gags him. Looking at Logan he then realises he’s Eyes Only.

As Max and Alec leave to free Asha Brain shouts after them that the only way the plan will work is if she “breaks an egg” (something he saw on a TV advert earlier).

They raid the prison transport and take down the 2 guards quickly – but not before they press the silent alarm. Alec begins to run through the huge bunch of keys but police sirens start up almost instantly. Max drives off and police cars come from all directions, surrounding them. She drives towards a train crossing with police cars behind her and ahead – and a train on the way. She remembers what Brain said about breaking an egg and sees an old billboard with the same advertising slogan on it by the train tracks, she turns the transport and rams through it, crossing the rails behind it mere inches ahead of the train. The police cars following grind to a halt.

Back at the warehouse, they ask Brain how he knew and he tells them he’s an X series, just like them. Alec confirms that he has a barcode on his neck but doesn’t think he can be a soldier given how fat he is. Brain is an IT processor: basically a general, his staff, 2 database groups and 5 logistical support teams into one stealth package. Alec mocks the “stealth” claim but Brain says people look away from him, don’t notice him, don’t remember him. And he’s not psychic, he uses vast amounts of data and statistic to analyse probabilities. Yeah, psychic. He claims to know his and Max’s future so Alec mocks him for having a crush on her. Brain also tells them that one of the S1W betrayed the raid, not him.

Tainted Night, Tainted Blood (Kat Richardson #2) by E.S. Moore

Kat Richardson, vampire, Lady Death is on the hunt again. Another Fledgling House has stepped above and beyond the sadism that is so common among the vampires and needs putting down.

But when she arrives, someone has got there first. Every wolf, every vampire in the place has been brutally slaughtered. Worse, so have the innocent Purebloods kept as prey. To complicate things, this isn’t the first mysterious slaughter and rogues have been dying across town – and Kat, Lady Death, is the one who is being blamed for the indiscriminate slaughter.

Forging an unlikely alliance with both her old associates at the Luna Cult and a highly reluctant cease fire with Adrian’s rebels, Kat sets off to find the real killer and put them out of action. But along the way she finds herself pulled into a demon bargain, discovering a mysterious town that breaks all the rules and facing the terrible truth about her brother and what really happened to him.

This book explores and expands a lot of what we have been introduced to in the first book. We see more of the taint and a lot more about the effects of werewolf and vampire blood mixing. We have further exploration of the idea that the night is completely lost to humanity, areas where humans will risk death and even humans not daring to turn on lights at night for fear of being noticed and attacked. But at the same time the hints of humans fighting back (like supernaturals not being safe in hospitals because the staff may kill them in a weak attempt to regain control).

We get to see more of Adrian, confirming that the rebel Luna Cultists are going to be a major aspect in the series. Kat’s developing relationship with Jonathon is intriguing and would do a lot to challenge her world view on the monsters. We finally see Ethan’s demon and there’s a lot of power in how its described and the potential that

We have a lot of the action that makes this book work so well. The author is very good at writing combat and I do like a good fight scene, I do. Neither over nor under descriptive, and flowing with a nice neat action-packed pace, they really work.

We also have some excellent plot hooks for the next book – the demon bargain, the unusual and strange sanctuary of Delai, seemingly untouched by the vampires and werewolves that rampage everywhere else. There’s Kat’s relationship with Jonathon and potential fallout over the deaths attributed to Lady Death – while it resolved all the storylines in the book, there’s a lot left to draw me on to the next one.

I want to love this book. I look at the cover, I think of the world with its interesting and different elements, I think of the factions, the well written action sequences, the massive possibilities of this book and this series and I want to love it. I try so hard to love it.

But then I hit Kat Redding herself. Kat has 2 emotional settings 1) angry and 2) angsty. That is the entirety of her emotional range. And angsty is most certainly her default setting. Yes, having a vampire character who is unhappy about being a vampire for perfectly legitimate reasons made for an interesting read and concept. But there needs to be more to a character than her desperate, self-hating torture, her desperate, self-hating tragic past and her desperate, self-hating guilt fits interspaced with lashing out in anger because of her vampire aggression (and then succumbing to more desperate self-hating guilt because of said lashing out). In terms of character development, there is none – because this is all Kat is in this book and pretty much all she was in the last book (at least then there was some questioning about her treating the Luna Cult as people rather than monsters). Whatever scraps of other personality Kat may have is lost among the reams of angst

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review of Out for Blood (House of Comarré #4) by Kristen Painter

Once again, Painter has many story lines on the go, though as far as I am concerned, not all of them are relevant.  After nearly dying, Chrysabelle has decided to move away from her past as a
comarré.  Her main objective is now to find her brother at all costs.  Doc is the new alpha of his pack but unfortunately, the position comes with a wife, which means problems in his relationship with Fi. The Kubai Mati are not pleased with Creek and he has to deal with Yahla (the woman without a soul) and a mayor with plans of her own about how to deal with the supernatural elements.

With all of the things going on in Painter's story, she manages to keep it all focused. For me, the largest issue is the storyline with Creek.  It seems that Painter tries to give him things to do as a way to justify his character but he is always in the background and for most of the time, he feels like a distraction. Creek either needs to better integrated in Doc/Fi or Chrysabelle/Mal's storyline, or dropped altogether in my opinion. This character seems to be struggling for a place now that Painter has brought and end to the love triangle between Creek, Chrysablle and Mal.

 Now that Doc is finally able to shapeshift, you would think that things would go well for him but finding out that he now has to marry the former Alpha's wife, puts a real crimp in his relationship with Fi.  Though we know he is very upset, he doesn't exactly go out of his way to assure Fi that he is going to make things right, or reassure her of his feelings.  It's Fi who takes the initiative and decides to fight to death for the right to marry Doc. One of the problems with this is that Doc's new mate is a woman of colour and typically she is cast as evil. Thus far in the series, there hasn't been one positive portrayal of a woman of colour and this is of course cast against Chrysabelle's epic Whiteness. Chrysabelle is meant to represent the height of womanhood and we are told repeatedly about the Whiteness of her skin and her long flowing blond hair. Clearly, this is a model that excludes all women of colour.

Being Human US, Season Three, Episode Four: I'm So Lonesome I Could Die

Josh wakes suddenly at 3Am to loud music is not in the least bit impressed. When he goes downstairs to check out where the music is coming from, he discovers that there is a massive party going on. Nora joins Josh and Aidan downstairs and is extremely unhappy because she has to be up for work in a few hours. Josh makes his way over to Erin to complain about the noise and she replies, "Twilight is okay with it," in reference to the fact that Aidan seems to be enjoying the party. Josh and Nora both order her upstairs and then Josh makes his way over to Aidan.  Josh says, "I get it, I like to drown myself in a keg or two when one of my friends dies. You don't want to talk about Henry that's fine, but don't bring home take out." Aidan tells him not to worry because he already ate.

Sally comes running down the stairs after scoping out the party.  When Josh confronts her, Sally says, "I can safely say that I didn't know any of these people before I died." Aidan is dancing (a sight no one ever needs to see again) and Sally advises Josh to lighten up on him because he just lost his "vamp son." Sally adds "at least he's home and it's better than not knowing where he is at all."  As Josh goes upstairs, Aidan sits down in the middle of the party and quietly looks around.

The next morning, Nora gets up for work and Josh, who is already downstairs, informs her that if she is hungry that there are empty pizza boxes in the fridge.  The place is an absolute mess. Josh asks Nora if she wants to go somewhere that doesn't smell like beer and in response, Nora says that she has somewhere she needs to be tonight after work and asks if Josh is free to look after Erin tonight. Josh replies, "so we have adopted a 15 year old?  I'm not against adoption, I just thought that if we did it, she would be younger, perhaps Ugandan. In all seriousness, I don't get the impression that she really wants our help."  Nora points out that Erin doesn't have anywhere else to go and that it doesn't feel right to ask her to leave.  Josh agrees to watch Erin and the two exchange a kiss. Before Nora can leave, Josh asks where she has to go tonight.  Nora says that she is going to see her parents and that this is the only time of year that she sees them.  Josh mentions going with her and meeting them but Nora tells him that he doesn't have to do that. Nora says that she has to go and that it is not Josh's responsibility to clean up after Aidan. Josh vows not to clean.

When next we see Josh, he is vacuuming.  When Aidan walks in, Josh says that it's been over a year since he and Nora have been together bridging the human/werewolf divide, that it's been amazing but she hasn't introduced him to her parents.  Aidan asks if Nora has met his parents and Josh replies that they had a lunch in the city with his mother "that only required minimal drinking." Aidan suggests that it might be a difficult time because "they're raising teen wolf." Josh says that he wants to be with Nora for the rest of his life no matter what. He goes on to say that the right thing to do is to let Nora's parents know his intentions. Aidan sits down with Josh and says "technically, the right thing to do would be to ask her father's permission. There used to be a way of approaching these matters - courtship, wooing." Josh then hands Aidan a name and address of man who didn't have the flu but Aidan tells him not to worry about it because he doesn't want to put him in that position. Josh replies, "I know it's been tough adjusting but don't you think it's time to jump back into life, into work? In all honesty we could use the extra income."  Aidan brings up his new car but Josh is not pleased and says that his isn't about him and that Aidan's job is waiting for him because he covered for him. Aidan says he doesn't want to take any blood from the hospital because most of it's tainted. Josh points out that this is not why Aidan took the job in the first place and that it was always about penance and spending time in a place were vampires weren't. Aidan stands and says, "I guess I don't have to worry about that anymore, the virus wiped them out."

Sally is dressed leaves the house, but she isn't outside for five minutes when a man stops and says, "Sally is that you?"  Sally tries to keep moving but suddenly all the people on the sidewalk are saying the same thing. Sally begs them to go away, when suddenly they start to fall to the ground. It turns out that this is only a dream and she sits up in a panic.

Later, Sally explains to Erin that she is a re-animated corpse brought back by a spell. Erin asks if she is a person again and if she has a new identity yet. Sally asks, "how does one get a new identity?"  Erin says, "you can't be Sally whatever ethnic last name again, she's dead. So you're a cursed undead hottie with no identity." Sally says all of this would be fine if she hadn't spent her whole life in Boston.  Erin advises Sally to leave and when Sally says she can't, Erin replies, "fine, stay, kill people."

Josh goes to the hospital to see Nora, who instantly wants to know where Erin is. Josh tells her that Erin is with Sally and that she doesn't have to worry about Erin and Aidan because werewolf blood doesn't agree with him.  Josh then changes the subject and says that he wants to go with her tonight to see her family.  Josh says, "this is what people in love do. They meet each other's families and then they get mercilessly judged." Nora tells him that her family is really tough and she just doesn't want to burden him with this.  Josh replies that her family is part of who she is and he wants to know everything about her. Josh declares that he is coming with her and Nora finally agrees.

Aidan comes upstairs and says that he is headed out but Sally says that she needs to talk to him.  Aidan then suggests that Sally should come with him.  Sally reminds him of the curse and so Aidan suggests that they go somewhere where the old Sally would never have been caught dead.  The two head out to a club, which 29 years ago was a Ramen joint.  Sally asks how he resets his identity and Aidan replies that the vampires had a system, which means that they had people in place to make it happen.  Aidan says that they would steal social security numbers from dead babies.  Sally asks if he ever had to cut and run and Aidan replies, "you always have to be ready to cut and run. You can't invest too much in anything or anyone."  Sally puts on some swing music and the two start to dance, but Aidan seems infatuated with a rough looking man whose arms are covered in tattoos.

Nora, Josh and Erin arrive at Nora's parents.  Josh suggests that Erin stay in the car and Erin agrees, but Nora nixes that idea.  Josh's star of David is showing, so Nora buttons up his shirt.  Josh says, "I think I know what you just did." Nora grabs the cake and they approach the door.  Nora introduces Erin and Josh, to her father Robert and her brother RJ. Nora's mother says that she wasn't expecting so many people and tells them to have a seat while she makes more food.

At the bar, Aidan orders a round of shots for the bar. Sally says that she feels weird toasting these people, if Aidan is going to bring them back to the house.  Sally adds that everyone is worried about him, but Aidan tells her to relax.

Ultraviolet: Season 1, Episode 3: Sub Judice

A woman, Marion, goes to her car in a dark parking lot to find 2 men waiting for her to rob her. She passes out against a pillar – and then someone unseen does something unseen (honestly, director, are you aiming for a PG rating or something? Is that why we can’t see any of the fight scenes?) that leaves the two men dead on the floor covered in blood.

For some reason we get to see Father Harman wake up. He seems to have had a rough night, probably caused by him trying to sleep while fully dressed. Kirsty tries to track down Mike but he’s moved and the people who live in his house now don’t speak English. Frances, however, has found Mike – because secret-squirrel stuff is her job. She has a house warming plant for him – one of those pot plants everyone tells you is low maintenance and you still manage to kill within a week. She praises him for being sensible in cutting off Kirsty.

At work, Vaughan and lackey review the case in the car park and while they don’t get the attack on camera, they can clearly see no-one approaching or leaving the area. Vaughan raises the possibility that she did it since breaking necks isn’t that hard – which earns him a pointed look.

Harman is getting checked out by Angela though for his night sweats (not terrors, he insists), lost weight and other maladies. He insists they’re not psychological, she gives him A Look.

Looking at the case, we learn Marion is a barrister, her husband killed himself 2 years ago and she’s working on a complicated fraud case involving VAT – and it’s the only thing Vaughan can see the vampires may be involved with since it involves serious money.

Angela goes to interview Marion but, as we’ve seen before, her technique would make even the most innocent person feel attacked and accused. She makes it clear she was unconscious for the duration of the attack. They commiserate over the fact both their husbands have committed suicide.

Angela goes from there to Marion’s doctor and threatens her with being struck off to make her break her patient’s confidentiality. Marion was depressed after her husband died and before he committed suicide they were struggling to have a baby – Marion got pregnant and lost the baby 12 times.

Interviewing her second in the case, Vaughan and Mike learn that he’s brand new and his predecessor, Mr. Keep, was killed in a hit and run. The police don’t consider it deliberate – but do mention he was close to Marion.

They drag Marion in where she demands to know if she’s under arrest (Harman doesn’t answer, such niceties are beyond him) and he grills her about her relationship with Dominic Keep. She refuses to co-operate since Harman isn’t even going through the pretence of acting like she has any kind of rights – then she has a nose bleed which perks Harman up and set the ominous music playing! Pay attention guys, ominous music says this scene is important.  She passes out again, apparently she’s been having a lot of time off work.

Mike exhumes her ex-husband’s body – except it isn’t there. While Vaughan searches Marion’s house. He goes through her medicine cabinet to find medicines that Angela recognises. While Marion is unconscious, Angela decides to do an ultrasound on her (and she’s threatening over doctors with being struck off?) she finds a gestational sack with nothing inside it – and shares the information with Father Harman while taking blood from him to test (Harman, remember wants his medical testing to be handled privately which he’s apparently entitled to).  It could be a natural condition but she’d need a vaginal scan to be sure.

While Angela goes along with her non-consensual medical scans, Vaughan and Mike watch from CCTV cameras – oh, it gets better and better! Vaughan doesn’t believe vampries can father children since they reproduce differently and vampire men are sterile.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wolf's Haven (Caedmon Wolves #1) by Ambrielle Kirk

 Tamara is escaping an abusive relationship while she still can. She has a plan, she makes her escape – but it all goes horribly wrong. Until a wolf arrives, an actual wolf, that carries her to safety and away from her abusers.

She wakes in a cabin in the woods, with Devin, the wolf shifter and begins to learn to trust him, even as he carefully takes care of her and her injuries.

But Devin has his own issues, his pack is leaderless and the only contender is a wolf that will stop at nothing for power and could destroy the pack. Unless Devin himself is willing to assume the role of alpha; something he has been desperately avoiding

And adding a human woman to the mix won’t make it any easier.

My overall feel is one of frustration because I think a lot could have been made of this book if it were a lot longer, the themes well developed and the story told over a greater period of time. As it is, too many of potentially great storylines in this book were compacted leaving them either lacking impact or worse.

Take Tamara’s flight from an abusive relationship. Parts of this were done so extremely well. Looking at the pain she felt and suffered – but also the shame, that little myth that she should have been smarter than to tolerate an abusive relationship, that it was her fault is touched on and briefly, but very well explored. Or Devin being careful around her, acknowledges that she has reasonable fears and that he has to be sure not to ever intimidate her and ensure she knows he won’t hurt her. The courage she showed to escape, the effort it took, the fear – all very well done. And then she leaves her abuser, has a magical wolfy ride and ends up isolated, not taking calls from her therapist and advisor, with a completely strange man in the middle of nowhere. She spends a week in complete isolation with him, at the end of which she sort-of-marries him and moves into his life. There was none of her getting her strength back, none of her finding herself, none of her healing or growing or asserting herself as a person or a woman – there just wasn’t time.

Or there’s Devin’s fight over the leadership of this pack. There’s no build up, there’s no exploration of the history – of his fraught relationship with his father, of his lack of acceptance in the pack, of the importance of finding a mate, of this whole prophecy that’s apparently going on and how that involves him. We could have done to have seen some of his isolation or seen how the pack works or seen exactly the how and why of his evil cousin (this is about all we know about evil cousin, he’s evil).

Even some world building - what is a Caedemon, where do they come from? Why? What are the seers? What does it all actually mean? It’s all so very unfilled out. And the knowledge we did get – character histories, relationships, everything has been entirely done through info-dumps, usually in the form of internal character monologues. It’s all tell, with no show at all.

Being Human UK, Season Five, Episode One: The Trinity

In Northern France 1918, Hal is sleeping, when Lady Catherine tries to stake him, but he awakes and defends himself.  The two being a fight and we learn that Lady Catherine is a werewolf.  As they fight, it becomes clear that not only do these two have a history, there is an ongoing attraction. Hal says that the war which has been going on between their clans for the last seven years is what triggered the war in the human world. He adds that he believes that they are being manipulated and says that they are not at war with each other but the devil.

Back in present time, Alex is trying to smell and consume chocolate, only to discover that as a ghost, these things are denied her. Tom is in the dining room hand feeding Hal mashed banana, much to Hal's disgust. Hal says that this is not about rehabilitation and that this is vindictive.  His issue isn't about being tied up but at looking at the mess the house is in. Alex makes it clear that she spent her whole life picking up after her brothers and does not intend to spend her afterlife doing the same for Hal and Tom. Hal begs for just ten minutes under the observation to run a vacuum and sort out the recycling but Tom is steadfast that Hal must be over his blood lust before being released.When Hal learns that the bathroom is also dirty he calls them animals.

In the kitchen, Tom and Alex discuss whether or not Hal is over the blood lust and they decide to ask him. Hal says that he needs structure and Tom directs Hal to stay away from supernatural nonsense and vampires.  Hal replies that drinking blood will mean that he has become the man that he has feared and he swears on the memory of Eve to abstain.

The humans that cleaned up the mess when Alex died are at another hidden location, where they have locked up the last of the old ones, who is a little girl.  Eddie tells them that there is another old one and that because of him, the vampires plan for world domination was ruined.  Eddie names Hal and they ask to learn more about him and promise that if she complies the humans will return her to Bolivia.

The house is all cleaned up now and Hal is free. Hal has devised a house schedule for the roomates and Alex is not happy that there's one for her because she will be passing over soon. Alex feels that all she needs to do is to find her body and get it to her family. Hal says that this is out of the question because they cannot risk ghosts, werewolves and vampires being revealed to the public. Alex tells Hal that he does not get to dictate what they tell her father and her brothers. "I'm not going to let a good man die in grief just to protect the Twilight franchise," Alex says. Before they can bicker too much, Tom brings up the cleaning schedule.  It seems that Alex has been given the bulk of housework to do because Hal plans for both him and Tom to take on extra shifts at the cafe to cover the rent.  Tom then tells Hal that they have been fired because of all of the time they took off.

At an office a man named Ian is called in and told that his position is up for review.  It turns out that they are trying to make room for someone named Gavin, who is actually photocopying his face.  Ian is told he needs to re-apply for his own job.

Tom and Hal go to a restaurant to look for work.  The woman takes one look at Hal and says, "hot," and then adds, "it's very hot in here"  Tom and Hal sit at a table and when the waitress walks over to hand them applications, Hal becomes distracted by her. Clearly, he's not quite over the blood lust. Tom gets called first, leaving Hal alone. A man sitting behind Hal asks, "when you talk to other vampires, as even you must from time to time,  how do you account for your continued anonymity? Luck? Skill or humanity's stupidity?" Hal turns to see the man and says, "I know you. You were in the basement of that night club a month or so ago. You took my friends body." The man introduces himself as Dominic Brooke and says that his job is to maintain the illusion that man is alone and that this has been the job of people like him for hundreds of years.  Dominic asks Hal to take charge of the vampires and strike an accord between humans and vampires. When Hal says that he cannot do this, Dominic says, "In exchange for a cessation of chaos and violence, we will provide you with per diems, premises and a means to acquire blood consensually." Dominic then places a container of blood on the table and Hal struggles and finally manages to say that he doesn't need blood anymore.  Dominic tells Hal that he is shaking.  Dominic says that he has seen vampires try to live a human life before and that it always ends in tears. Dominic tells him that they have been monitoring this hotel and many people have committed suicide here and they don't know the cause.  Before leaving, Dominic tells Hal that the remaining vampires are leaderless and can be easily molded.

Hal returns with Patsy the manager and she asks Hal if he has any experience. When Hal replies that he stayed at the Savoy, Patsy quickly offers him a job.  Alex suggests that Patsy must have taken a shine to Hal.  Alex and Hal begin to argue about her death again and she tells him that he should be living in a cave.  Hal doesn't say a word, he simply walks out.

Hal bumps into Ian who falls to the ground.  When Hal walks away in a rage, Ian follows him but the blood from Ian's injured nose, causes Hal's eyes to go black and his fangs to descend.  Ian takes off running and Hall follows hoping to explain, but Ian walks into the road and gets hit by a car.  The driver of the car takes off leaving Hal standing over Ian, who is struggling to breathe.  Hal puts his hand to Ian's bloody wound and barely resists tasting the blood, as Ian says, "help me".

We get another flashback to 1918 with Hal meeting with a necromancer and the leader of the werewolves. It turns out that Emil is already dead and so Lady Catherine tells him that they believe that the devil is feeding from the energy created by the vampire/werewolf conflict. Catherine believes that if the power goes unchecked that it will bring about the apocalypse.

Ian sits up suddenly and he is a vampire now, though he does not know it.  He tries to leave but Hal has locked him in the basement.  Alex comes downstairs when she hears the pounding to apologize for blaming Hal for her death. Tom joins them and Alex tells him that Hal is planning on building a sauna.  Tom says that it's ridiculous and so Hal covers by saying that he is building a bomb. When they ask to see it, Hal instead tells them about his encounter with Dominic. Tom and Alex decide to travel to the longitude and latitude that Dominic gave Hal yesterday to look for Alex's body.

Hal goes downstairs to see Ian and Hal tells Ian that he brought him there the night before. Ian says that he feels weird and asks if he has been drugged.  Hal tells him that his body is going through an amazing transformation.  Hal pulls out a photo of Ian's sister and niece and asks Ian what he thinks about when he sees them. Ian responds, "I want to drink them dry," and immediately becomes horrified. Hal tells him that it will fade in time and that he has been made into a vampire.

Ultraviolet: Season 1, Episode 2: In Nomine Patri

Danni Ashford is visiting an old lady in a nursing home, she’s clearly confused and suffering from dementia, constantly talking without any attention to what people are saying or doing around her. She says good bye and goes out to a car where a man is waiting and has been waiting all night but he assures her there’s no rush. He asks if she answered Danni’s question and she says she thinks so. She frets about not being sure but he encourages patience and assures her she can keep asking as long as she likes.

Don’t you just hate feeling like you’ve come in half way through a conversation?

Mike and Vaughan are playing with guns and 90s computers (ooooh sooo dated!). Jack is still having moral qualms about destroying and entire species and wonders why they don’t try to bring in vampires (a word they refuse to use still) alive – Vaughan says that they’re stronger, faster - better. You can’t give a warning or take chances. He also makes the next target to shoot look like Kirsty to drive home the point that any contact with the outside world puts those people at risk. Mike asks if he has any friends and Vaughan takes him to the shiny vampire locker – all his friends and former soldiers. The vampires knew about the Gulf War Syndrome early and spent a lot of energy investigating it, apparently being very concerned by any diseases in their food supply (y’know, they’re really not doing a good job of selling the “evil vampire” trope here).

A vampire car with tinted windows nearly knocks over a motorcyclist, barging past him. He manages to steady himself and, despite the protests of his passenger, the biker chases after the car. At the red light the car stops, the biker gets off his bike and hits the car with a metal bar, cracking one of the windows, burning the vampires inside and demanding he get out. The vampire rams the car behind then drives through the red light – knocking over the biker’s bike – and his passenger.

Mike goes to see Kirsty (is this his home now? Wow, you didn’t waste any time there Mike!) and Kristy tells him she called his work and learned he resigned. She’s worried how much he’s changing in his life and is worried he blames her for Jack being corrupt – and hopes they have more in common than just Jack. He doesn’t have to answer any questions because Vaughan knocks on the door – and he has a job for him and Mike. Kirsty instantly seizes on him demanding to know where Jack is. She is less than pleased with him refusing to talk to her and Vaughan encourages Mike not to try and make her feel better – it’ll just end up being worse (presumably makes it easier to break from her).

Dr. Angela is examining the wrecked car which is severely burned inside. She examines the dust and tells Father Harman that it’s only a partial immolation. The vampire isn’t dead but not in great shape. The car is owned by a Lester Hammond – the son of a Gideon Hammond – who has fallen off the grid in the last few years for a rich kid.

Interviewing the biker and his girlfriend is difficult. He’s combative and gives Vaughan a lot of grief, he doesn’t see why they’re being questioned. His girlfriend co-operates with Mike from her hospital bed, he keeps trying to get her to tell her boyfriend to calm down and stop making such a lot of noise about the fight but she’s not happy about it either – why shouldn’t he make a stink about it?

To the HQ (I need a snarky name for it) and Father Harman fills in the plot (using his psychic powers of vampire motivations – why does no-one ever question this man and his assumptions?) It’s all about money – Lester Hammond is the son of the very public and very rich figure, Gideon Hammond (who the vampires can’t recruit due to his public nature).  They have the son under surveillance and Mike makes a snarky comment about it not being all “seek and destroy.”

Angela interviews Gideon Hammond and finds that daddy dearest doesn’t have any contact with his son or any time for him and doesn’t even support him financially, he’s washed his hands of him. he does promise to provide for the woman in hospital with the spinal injuries however.

Vaughan and Mike have more awkward conversations (Vaughan had one child, left with his ex), before interviewing Danni Ashford (yes, that Danni) Gideon’s banker – and Lester’s ex-banker who stopped working for him after he stopped taking advice. She also assures them that Lester can’t get Gideon’s money and tells them that Lester was interested in the Futures trade – which takes place in the LIFE (London International Futures Exchange) building. As they head off, Gideon calls Danni and tells her to liquidate everything, he’s closing his account.

At the LIFE building they find a room where all trading is done face to face, there are no windows to let the pesky sun in, Lester can put the bite on anyone to get himself the best deals and the cameras that film everything won’t even pick him up. Perfect – but he has to be doing it using his dad’s account, which means Gideon must be lying to Angela. She doubts any infection since she saw him in broad daylight and he sounded genuinely disdainful of his son.

She also tells them of a mobile phone in the car, meaning Lester wasn’t alone. Vaughan explains that vampires don’t use phones – because machines can’t see or hear vampires, so his voice won’t go down a line.

Meanwhile Danni is on the phone to Lester to double check if he really wants to sell everything since it won’t get anyone off his trail. Lester uses a computer programme to talk over the phone and assures her he does want to – and he types with extremely burned hands.

The team realises Gideon is selling everything and Danni is handling the transaction – and will hand over the money in cash (or deposit drafts) personally to Gideon, which should give them chance grab Lester at the hand over. Mike wonders how much Danni knows but Vaughan points out so long as he has money, Danni won’t care – she’s a banker he’s a vampire, they’re probably related (ooooh, in 1998 no less. What a prescient comment).

In the lab, Angela is doing some experiments (how they’ll beat the vampires in the end, she assures them) when Father Hammond arrives to subtly rebuke her for not being outside tracking down leads. She angrily points out she has tracked down all of the financials and discovered that Gideon is building underground safe houses. He still doesn’t support research since it can take years and they may not have that long (this time scale is based on….? Care to share some of his random insight?)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fangs for the Fantasy Episode 103

After a week’s break, due to technical issues, we’re back. We discuss Being Human (US), Lost Girl and the endless angst of Vampire Diaries.

We also discuss the books of the week, Ever After by Kim Harrison and Magnificent Devices by Shelley Adina

 Our Next few books are:

4th February-11th February: House Rules by Chloe Neil
11th February-18th February: Moonshifted by Cassie Alexander
18th February- 25th February: King Makers by Clay and Susan Griffith
28th February - 4th March: Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina