Friday, April 12, 2013

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead

Sidney is facing new challenges with the tasks the Alchemists have given her, to watch and protect the moroi with whom she has become friendly. But increasingly she is finding their attitudes wrong and even ridiculous, more and more she is having to assume an act to pretend the suitable levels of revulsion the alchemists continually show to the Moroi.

Increasingly, she doesn’t fit among the Alchemists, and this only becomes more extreme when it becomes apparent that the Alchemists are dealing with hunters who don’t seem to differentiate between the moroi and the strigoi. But when given the chance to leave, does she really want to break away from the only people she’s ever known?

Then her magical learning is also putting her at risk – but from a predatory witch this time. And not just her, other untrained, reluctant magic users are risking death and worse and it’s a dangerous race to see if Sidney and her teacher can protect them even while they themselves become targets

And then there’s Adrian – Adrian who won’t give up loving Sidney, Adrian who continues to intrigue Sidney and Adrian who may have permanently burrowed into Sidney’s affections despite all her attempts to stop it.

The story of this book is good, fun and pretty decent. It’s not amazing but we have several inter-twining plot lines all of which are decently placed and explored. All of them are developed and add to the ongoing meta plot which always keeps me happy and all of them kept me amused and ensured that I will be looking to the next book with curious interest.

I can’t say they enthralled me, Sidney learning magic and tracking down the witch, Sidney’s relationship with Adrian and Sidney deciding which path to take with the Alchemists, to stay or to go and leave it all behind – but they were all good, strong stories.

What did really stand out was Sidney herself

I do like the relationship between Adrian and Sidney – despite his pushiness. And he is pushy, he does constantly use innuendo to encroach on her comfort zone, even if he uses humour to do it.

GBLT Characters on Supernatural

Supernatural is one of the longest running shows we follow; the Winchester brothers have been fighting against demons, vampires, werewolves, angry spirits, angels and anything else you can imagine for an incredible 9 years, 8 seasons (and a 9th season has already been planned) and a massive 168 episodes and counting.

That’s a long time and in that time we’ve had an amazing number of people hang around with the Winchesters. We’ve had monsters galore, victims in spades, people to protect and shelter, the occasional love interest, allies occasionally and, pretty rarely, the odd friend who has joined them in their struggle.

But such a lengthy presence on our screens makes it easy to see patterns of representation - and erasure. Any show that lasts this long and, because of that, has a great many characters is going to be more heavily criticised for it’s erasure than a shorter lived one. After all, a single season show with a small cast of 3 characters and less than a dozen extras is going to have less scope for inclusion or developing numerous minority characters - not that it makes the erasure tolerable by any stretch - but when you have 168 episodes and a gazillion people with which to present some decent diversity and you still fail? That’s almost willful.

Supernatural is not diverse on any real front - throughout its run the majority of the regularly recurring characters have, by far, been cis, straight, white men: Sam, Dean, Bobby, Castiel, Crowley - even Garth. We have a few women, but most of them are dead. Kevin has tried to shift some POC into the line-up by reading feverishly in a boat and Bobby was, briefly, disabled before he was magically cured when it became too awkward, but you can hardly say the show has made more than a token attempt at inclusion.

When it comes to GBLT characters, the pickings have been slim; we have a very very few gay characters and no trans characters. The very first was a lesbian who appeared in Season 2, Episode 21
All Hell Breaks Loose, she was one of the demon children, along with Sam and she accidentally used her power to kill her girlfriend (behold, the dangers of gay sexuality!) After that, she is brutally murdered; the first to die to get her out of the way (no, that doesn’t count as a spoiler. It’s Supernatural and, frankly, a gay person dying is hardly a spoiler in fiction anyway).

Then we have Corbett. Never heard of him? Well he’s one of those annoying “Ghostfacers”, a group of amateur ghost hunters who keep getting in Sam and Dean’s way for much comedy (allegedly, anyway, can’t say they ever made me laugh). He only appears once - as an intern for the comic team in Season 3, Episode 13, Ghostfacers. While there he is, along with the rest of the team, comic relief. He also has a pretty blatant crush on uninterested straight guy, Ed. Alas, the Ghostfacer’s bungling gets Corbett killed and he becomes a ghost, a death echo. To save the day, they have Ed reach out to Corbett and use his feelings for Ed to have the ghost sacrifice himself to save them all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Concealed by Sang Kromah

 Bijou has always known she was different, with abilities and insights no-one else shared. Her nights were disturbed by weird and surreal dreams. Many times she thought she was losing her mind and she did her best to develop ways to cope with the impressions and senses that bombarded her

Her eccentric and dramatic grandmother seemed determined to shelter her and keep her from the world, but Bijou wishes a normal life and after a long battle, succeeds in being enrolled in school for the first time.

While it’s overwhelming, it’s not school that derails Bijou’s life – but the revelations of the people in it. As she increasingly sees the Others and her dreams become more vivid, more strange and clearer, her own nature is becoming known to those around her – and the secrets of her past, her family and her very nature are finally being revealed.

This book began with a slow, but intriguing start. We had a lot of foreshadowing, a lot of build up for this huge and powerful world and a slow gradual indication that Bijou was something well and truly special. It wasn’t a great start – it did drag, but the world setting seemed fascinatingly broad with a new slant – especially since we had an emphasis on Djinns rather than the usual stalwarts of western mythology.

Except then we hit the half way mark and the story knotted itself up, “djinn” was just used as “generic supernatural” in the same way other authors have used “fae” and then there were the characters.

The characters derailed this book for me. Or rather, character – because while there are a lot of other cast members we never really see them be developed, we know some things they’ve done, but no real sense of who they are as people. I think Bijou was the only realised character in this large cast.

And I didn’t like her.

She is, like so many Urban Fantasy protagonists, very very very angst laden. Part of this is from her powers which, like so many many many Urban Fantasy protagonists, she doesn’t like and just wants to be normal. Already my angst fatigue cries, but I can filter the angst into background noise if it is well done, well reasoned and she has some other, redeeming qualities.

Dark Angel Season 2 Episode 19: She Ain't Heavy

With the secret out, there’s now a senator task force asking questions about transgenics  - and presenting them as a dangerous, criminal and even infectious, threat. Normal, watching the task force on television, is all in favour. Elsewhere in Jampony, 2 workers playing round with Normal’s barcode stamp, stamp one of their fellows on the back of the neck and someone else is wearing a “Wanted” poster t-shirt with an artist impression of Joshua, much to Max’s disgust. She also fills in Original Cindy on her still being apart from Logan and how she let Logan think she was with Alec to end it for good

Normal notices the barcode on the back of his employee’s neck, grabs a gun and points it at him. Max takes it off him and ejects the bullets – in time for them to see that the ink on his neck smudges. Max takes off moping and wonders if it would have been easier if she’d gone elsewhere

Zoom to San Francisco where a woman who looks just like Max returns home to her husband and child. The domestic bliss is interrupted by White and a huge numbers of goons moving in – she throws one across the room with Manticore strength before being tased. White taunts her, calling her 452, she says she’s 453. Max’s twin (because everyone in Manticore has one per the new retcon). White checks her barcode (he can actually read a barcode?) and see’s it’s true.

Max goes to see Joshua who is still very sad over Annie – and is painting out the windows on his house. She also finds a map to Terminal City, an area of Sector 7 that is fenced off because of a bioweapons spill during the Pulse, where “downstairs people”, animal transgenics have been gathering because they’re immune to the toxin. Alec told Joshua about it and he wants to know why she didn’t. She calls the house his home but he refuses to be distracted (really highlighting how Max infantilises him) and tells her everything in the house reminds him of Annie.

At White’s he has men trying to track Logan’s bulletins, relying on his rambling when he talks about transgenics and going over time and we find out that 453, Max’s clone has different DNA from Max (yes, I know I know, Dark Angel long since stopped making sense). 453 has never contacted Max and Max didn’t break her out –s he was already out on a deep cover mission and she then fell in love with her mark and his son.

White’s plan is to have 453 pose as Max and speak to the doctor who treated her and see what he knows about Max and where she is. She does this and she gets to see her family again. And if she believes that then Manticore training failed dismally.

Speaking of that doctor – he’s treating Logan who is magically getting the feeling back in his legs again. Of course this happened last time he received a transfusion from Max, only now it’s almost instant, far faster than before. Yes, this may be the miracle cure AGAIN.

Downstairs Clone!Max arrives on her bike (stamping out a cigarette so we know it’s not Max) and she walks past Logan without recognising him – dum dum dum. 453 isn’t great at the undercover thing but does learn Max works at Jam Pony and was shot recently – and the doc notices she doesn’t have a wound. She heals fast but not that fast. She smacks him and tells him to get out of town.

She starts to drive off and White’s team begins to follow them – before she pulls 2 guns and shoots up their car. She tells them that if she’s on to them, she would be on to them. She works alone. Like good little people facing a bullet to the head, they nod politely.

To add to the complications, Normal has been thinking about how easily Max pushed him aside and talking to Sketchy – they talk to Alec about maybe Max being transgenic. They plan to look at her barcode. Alec calls them paranoid – and goes to see Max to tell her she needs to top up her tattoo removal. Max is also having problems with Joshua – he’s tried of hiding, he wants to go to Terminal City. She tries to talk him out of it but he refuses to be silenced, he refuses to be babied – he’s been looking after himself and everyone else for a long time back in Manticore and he doesn’t want to be alone.

White’s boss catches up with him – white has been subpoenaed to appear before the senate committee. White is told to plead the 5th and continue to pretend Transgenics do not exist, despite his objections.

453 goes to Jampony and runs into Logan who is snippy about her ignoring him earlier, dodging him and waiting until Jam Pony closes she checks the files and finds Normal’s file on Max (rooms with “nubian princess” really? Really? C’mon Dark Angel you’re better than that) and that she lives with Cindy. The real Max is at home having a pity party to which, unfortunately for her, Cindy is invited. She’s planning on packing and leaving town because waaaaaaaaaah waaaaah largely because Joshua won’t let her baby him. And Logan will be just finnne without her.

That Just fine Logan does a streaming freedom bulletin which is traced by White – seeing he’s been tracked he signs off and tells everyone it will be his last hack for a while. Logan packs up and leaves. By the time White’s gang arrives he’s gone and the computers have had their hard drives erased. They take out their frustrations by breaking down walls and shooting computer monitors.

Max makes her goodbyes with Cindy –or rather Cindy has the super touching goodbye and Max drives off. Followed by Clone!Max who shoots out the tires on her bike. 453 calls White (at Logan’s erasing the White board with his details on it) to tell him she has Max. 453 tells Max how much harder the twins had it after her group escaped, Manticore wanted to make sure there were no more flight risks. She’s nto happy with Max – less so since being Max’s twin lead White right to her.

Joshua makes his way to Terminal City and meets up with a whole group of transgenics who can’t pass as human. They work together, organised and rely on the biotoxins to protect them – there are apparently several groups of transgenics in the city but most of them stick to their own type. Alec, finding the map at Joshua’s follows him.

Logan, having seen both Max’s on their bikes, follows them and finds Max tied up. He starts to release her when 453 kicks him, the rage at seeing Logan hurt gives Max the strength to free herself. Fight scene ensures – 453’s greater training vs Max’s “real life experience” (what as opposed to being on mission?) and protag specialness. Split screen and extras not looking like Max means we don’t even have a dramatic X5 fight. White arrives – and gets clobbered on the back of the head by Logan with a metal bar. She proposes a deal – White for 453s family

And part of that involves Logan, Max and White going to Terminal City to join Alec and Joshua and the many other transgenics there. She’s brought White there for the exchange, relying on the chemicals of Terminal city to encourage White’s men not to delay too long. 453’s husband and child are exchanged for White. Of course as they make an exchange White grabs his gun and they think they’ve got the upper hand. Until all the transgenics with rifles show up. Oopsie. White decides discretion is the better part of valour and leaves. Personally I’d have killed him.

Max sets up 453 – Sam – with a ride to Canada with her family. Sam is still snarly about Max but Alec points out she wouldn’t even be with her family if Max hadn’t brought Manticore down. And Max talks to Logan about how he’s going to need a good Cat Burglar to replace his Eyes Only set up. She’s shelved her plans of leaving town.

At the senate committee, White is called to testify. And he tells them everything and adds that the transgenics are dangerous and they’re at war. And while his boss may want his badge, the senator has his back – as a member of the breeding cult.

Oooooh too little too late too little too late! It’s so frustrating that the actual action that could have made season 2  great, canon breaking aside, happens when it’s too late to develop it. Imagine if, instead of all the monster of the week episodes, we could have had Max making touch with these transgenic groups that have sprung up out of nowhere?

Now we’re getting some quality meta plot, hints of Max’s specialness, more on the breeding cult and it’s all so late in the season that there’s only 2 episodes left. And that's a shame because there was a lot to develop here as you can see in this episode once we get past the wretched twin element and Max angst. 

Even Joshua is being developed into a useful character for the group - if they'd only not waited so long and hadn't confined him to the role of comic relief

This Is Your Life: Merle Dixon

Merle Dixon

What is he?:  Merle is a survivor of the zombie apocalypse on The Walking Dead and is the older brother of Darryl.

Biography: Merle was locked in prison when the dead rose and instantly made himself popular by shooting people - both Walker and otherwise. He was rescued by his brother Darryl, who nursed him back to health. They joined up with the group in Atlanta, intending to rob them. His plans failed when he met Rick, who handcuffed him to a rooftop when he attacked T-Dog. To escape, Merle cut off his own arm and eventually ended up joining the Governor in Woodbury, helping do the dirty work. When Woodbury clashed with the main group, his loyalty to his brother lead him to briefly rejoin the main group before finally sacrificing himself trying to kill the Governor

What We love about him: Not a damn thing. Seriously, everything about him was improved when he became a Walker.  The show did try to make him sympathetic before he died but this is like putting a flower on a shit heap, there is nothing to redeem there

What we hate about him: Wow, it’s so hard to even know where to begin with this simply because there is so much to hate about Merle. The man had zero conscience and only seemed to care about his young brother Darryl. His language was continually filled with racist, demeaning slurs. Merle was aggressive and hostile and clearly had a problem with authority figures (except for the Governor, possibly because they’re both vile). He beat Glenn to a pulp for information and stood with the Governor, despite knowing intimately what the man is capable of. He’s a vicious, bigoted, violent, selfish thug, what more is there to say? It continues to astound us how such a disgusting character became a fan favorite.

Television Series: The Walking Dead

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fangs for the Fantasy Episode 117

 Tonight we discuss the ending of Being Human (US). We talk about the return of Revolution, Game of Thrones continued introduction and the new show, Orphan Black.

Our book of the week is Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
Our next books of the week are:
8th April - 15th April: The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke
15th April - 22nd April: The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C Hines
22nd April - 29th April: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
29th April - 6th May: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
6th May - 13th May: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Podcast rescheduled

 Due to technical difficulties we were unable to hold our usual show yesterday - we're rescheduling the show for tonight:

Our podcast will broadcast tonight at 6:30pm EST (11:30pm BST)

As ever, our books of the week are:
1st April - 10th April: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
10th April - 15th April: The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke
15th April - 22nd April: The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C Hines
22nd April - 29th April: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
29th April - 6th May: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
6th May - 13th May: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

After tonight we will return to our normal schedule - Monday at 6:30pm EST. Technology allowing

Losing Lila (Lila #2) by Sarah Alderson

When last we left Lila, she was on the run from the unit with Alex, after it was revealed that Lila is a Psy.  At this point, she is desperate to get her brother and mother away from the unit at all costs.  They hatch a plan, break back onto the military base and free everyone. Yeah for the heroes.

As you'll notice, the synopsis for Losing Lila is rather short and that is because very little happened. Okay we had angst, angst freaking happened continually. Alex has finally admitted that he loves Lila and promised never ever to leave her (sigh everyone).  Even better, he's loved her since she was five! Okay, to be fair, Alex is only a few years older than Lila, but I really could have done without that line altogether.  Alex is determined to protect Lila and tells her the times growing up when he watched over her as a child, so therefore; it's natural that he should protect her from herself and her horny inappropriate desires. Yes, he is trying to protect her innocence.  Alex says that it is because Lila is still four months shy of her eighteenth birthday and so every time things steam up, he pulls away. When Lila points out that it is legal in Mexico, where they happen to be at that moment, it's not enough to persuade him.  Alex is worried what Jack, his best friend and Lila's over protective brother would think of a sexual relationship. No really, Lila's body does not belong to her, but her male relatives. What year is this happening in again? I absolutely found this frustrating. I'm fine with Alex deciding that he didn't feel comfortable having their relationship progress in this fashion but denying sex to avoid upsetting Lila's brother and to protect her virtue? Yeah, I'm surprised he didn't start to sparkle like Edward.

Then there is Lila herself.  We are told that she is 17, in fact almost 18.  This makes her young but at times she behaves more like a 14 year old and her coquettish behaviour is annoying. Yes, a normal (not one of those Halloween nurses costumes) is totes sexy and no man can resist her in it.  Has Alderson been in a hospital lately?  Nurses wear scrubs. We keep hearing about the electricity between Lila and Alex and at first it's sort of cute but it quickly becomes annoying.  Lila is also easily distracted by Alex's chest, 'cause yeah Man Titeh! If that were not enough, Lila follows him around in the most clinging fashion that were I Alex, I'd have to tell her to back off.  You almost cannot blame Lila because the men in her life are all determined to infantalize her and so it makes sense that she lacks maturity.  There has to be some sort of compromise between the protagonist who constantly has her shit together and never makes a mistake and the needy, clinging kind, who really doesn't have the sense that God gave cabbage. 

Revolution Season One, Episode Thirteen: The Song Remains the Same

Monroe tells Neville that he is sending him on a trip but Flynn suggests that Monroe decline if it's too much to handle. Neville is not impressed by this and Flynn says that his record demonstrates a staggering level of incompetence.  Neville makes it clear that he doesn't work for him and reminds Flynn that he is just a civilian in a cheap suit.  Monroe assures Tom that he is still a trusted officer and friend but warns him not make him regret this decision. 

Neville is packing up and his wife says that Jason is not dead and she is not pleased that she has to pretend that he is dead.  Julia adds that she has sacrificed a lot for Neville and his job but she finds herself searching faces hoping that one might be Jason.  Neville asks what would happen if Monroe found out that Jason went AWOL. When Julia says that he would question their loyalty to him Neville replies that they wouldn't keep breathing long and suggests that Julia forget about Jason.

Aaron is looking at schematics for a machine which caused the blackout.  He says that he thought computers were gone but they are everywhere.  Rachel tells Aaron that each one is the size of a virus and they are breathing them right now.  Apparently, they have commands to absorb electricity and replicate.  Rachel says that they ended the world and that the machines started reproducing out of control. Aaron want to go to the tower but Rachel tells him that they can't jut reprogram them and that they will get themselves killed. Rachel adds that Charlie is all she has left and that she is not going to leave her again.

Nora brings Mile a message that a convoy will be passing by them soon. Neville is listening to Lionel Ritchie of all things and it seems so absolutely  bizarre and out of place. As he is talking about  music, suddenly the vehicle that he is traveling in explodes. The driver dies but Neville survives and is captured by Miles, Charlie and the other rebels. Charlie hits him over the head with the butt of her gun.

They bring him back to the rebel base with a bag over his head and give Rachel another chip.  Rachel asks who the prisoner is and when Miles says that it's Neville, Rachel wants to know what they are going to do with him because she wants him dead. Miles points out that Neville has too much intel to just kill him off but Rachel is not pacified because she blames Nevile for the death of Danny.

Neville is taken to a room by the padre.  Miles grabs a hammer and tells him that he will be begging to talk. Neville says that he is not going to look at the tools and fold but Miles reminds Neville that he folded before when he had a knife to Julia's throat. Miles then brings up the diamonds he was carrying and Neville agrees to talk, if Miles will tell him how it felt to bury Danny.  Miles asks again where Neville was going with the diamonds and Miles replies that Danny was a good kid and that it must have been hard for him after everything Miles went though to save him. Miles punches Neville but instead of talking, Neville asks him if he thought that saving Danny would make up for all of the murdered people and calls him naive. Miles then punches Nevile several times and Neville tells him to go keep going because he can't talk if he is dead.  Miles says that they won't kill Neville and that they will just keep beating him until he talks, then wait for him to heal and then beat him some more.

Aaron watches as Rachel destroys another chip.  He asks if she is okay but Rachel does not answer. More rebels show up at the base and Charlie picks Jason out of the crowd. She asks what he is doing there and he says that he is with the rebels.  When Jason heads into the building, Charlie tries to stop him and says that he is there to talk to his dad.  When Miles comes out, Jason punches him for what he did to Julia.  Miles tells him to turn his ass around and walk out of the camp but Jason refuses to leave.  Miles threatens to bash Jason's boy band face in if he goes anywhere near Neville. When Miles walks away, both Charlie and Jason question what a boy band is.

Being Human (US) Season 3, Episode 13: Ruh Roh

Outside the romantic cabin, one-eyed Pedigree Liam confronts Nora and Josh. But he’s not there to fight, he’s there to warn them – the blood connection they have formed with Aidan isn’t a cure, it’s a curse. He wants them to come with him – and points a gun at them to make it so.

At the house, Aidan and Kat are having fun – and Sally is there to comment invisibly (being invisible may suck but it does allow Sally to snark) before she leaves Aidan and Kat to it. She returns to her rotting body upstairs (does someone want to do something with that) and laments on being a ghost again and how she could have just eaten one person, maybe.

Pedigree Liam takes them to a warehouse with a large collection of the horribly deformed vampires – apparently the result of what happens when you have a vampire that has fed on werewolf blood create offspring. And apparently they’re monsters that feed indiscriminately – and Liam wants Josh and Nora’s help getting rid of them.

While that’s going on, Aidan and Kat are having a bliss moment which sends Aidan into a flashback of his own wife and child back in ye olden times where his wife worries about their child telling the other kids that his vampire daddy’s back in town. The flashback is interrupted by Sally waking him up because Kenny’s in the basement screaming.

Downstairs, Kenny doesn’t look so good.

Back at the warehouse, Pedigree Liam has gone full bore over the edge and declared them a family since he was the one who made Josh a werewolf and wants to nurture him. Ok, yeah but that kinda sorta ignores an awful lot of badness. And now it’s a gift because Liam’s a purebred and has super-duper werewolfiness. Neither Nora not Josh are impressed. Nora rejects him as family, Josh rejects him as pack – Liam celebrates because Josh has accepted the notion of pack! Yes, he’s not an easy guy to communicate with. Josh says he’d rather die than run with Liam – Liam wonders if that’s a challenge and Nora tells him she killed Bryn. Why indeedy I do believe that is a challenge, Liam.

Back at the House Aidan tries to calm down and reassure a rather upset Kenny; Aidan tries to present what Kenny is feeling as normal (he feels like he’s on fire) but Kenny says he can’t know that since he doesn’t even know what he is. Sally speaks up since she knows what it’s like to have so much hope and then have it all fall apart – and tells Aidan not to make any false promises

Which is when Kat screams because she’s wandered upstairs and found Sally’s rotting corpse. Sally suggests telling Kat she’s a shut in because she’s helpful like that. And then when Aidan’s trying to understand, Sally shuts the door with ghostly powers in front of Kat and Kat runs for the hills. Wise wise woman. Commence Aiden hootymode. My gods he was almost happy for 5 minutes.

At the warehouse Liam gets his own vengeance; he gives Josh a stake and locks them in a cage with all the rising bodies of the new evil hybrid vamps, while he goes to see Aidan’s son for his own revenge.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wolf Night (Cassandra Bick Chronicles #2) by Tracey Sinclair

Things have sort of briefly stabilized for Cassandra.  Though she is sad that Cain has once again taken off, Laclos' investment in her business has allowed her to keep running Dark Dates and arranging parties for humans and vampires to meet.  Then Medea her assistant and Wiccan friend breaks some very exciting news - she's proposed to her girlfriend Kate and they are going to get married. Having no friends and her parents long dead, Kate and Medea have become defacto family.  Though Medea insists on wanting a small ceremony, Cassie decides that they must simply have a hen night, which leads to her inadvertently breaking a very important spell cast by Medea.  It's not long before Cassandra is fending off, werewolves and wiccans. If that were not bad enough, Cane returns to town the same day that Cassandra finally sleeps with Lacolos, the two thousand year old vampire.  Then, proving that bad things happens in threes, her ex boyfriend Sebastian shows up.

Though there was a lot going on in Wolf Night, it got off to a really slow start. This surprised me but by the middle of the book, it really took off.  It further didn't help that the ending was all tell and not show.  I thought having the bad guy explain his motivation and confess his misdeeds went out with Perry Mason.  It's not an artful approach and reads like and info dump because of an inability to wrap up loose ends.

The protagonist Cassandra, who is still terribly insecure became a major issue for me in terms of enjoying Wolf Night and I found myself reading for the ancillary characters, rather than her. Women essentially exist to be competition and remind Cassandra that she is not good enough and this even includes her best friend Medea.
 OK, so  it wasn’t just the vampires who could make me feel frumpy. If she wasn’t great at her job,  really very nice, pretty much my only friend and one of the people who helped me save a city  less than a year ago, I might’ve had to hate her.  Medea’s magical mojo aside, the rest of the humans were pure vanilla (pg3)

Tall  and  blonde,  she  looked  like  the  term  ‘ethereal’  had  been  coined  for  her:  think  Cate  Blanchett  in   Lord  of  the  Rings,  without  the  pointy  ears.  Her  outfit  was  very  Wicca-chic  – a  long,  loose  skirt  that  flowed  around  her  slender frame, and a floaty, scoop necked top revealing clavicles you could slice your hands  on. Was it my fate to be surrounded by  women  who made me feel like a dishevelled hag?  Maybe all Wiccans used the same spell.  Clearly she was used to the effect she had on people, because she didn’t look remotely  discombobulated  by  the  fact  it  took  me  a  good  couple  of  minutes  to  stop  staring  and  pull  myself together enough to speak. (pg 34)
The second quote is in reference to a former lover of Madea's.  As you might imagine, this gets tiresome quickly.  There has to be something in between the protagonist who is drop dead gorgeous, and doesn't even try and the one (in this case Cassandra) who has such low self esteem that she is in the shadow of every single woman she meets.  In this case, this sort of self loathing is particularly unrealistic, as Cassandra is actively being pursued by an angel and a two thousand year old vampire.  I can only hope that by the time the third book in this series comes out that Cassandra will leave this annoying tendency behind.

The one thing Cassandra is certain about is what she will and will not accept in a relationship.  The infamous handbag makes it appearance when Laclos decides to bite Cassandra without her permission.  She makes it absolutely clear that he is never ever to bite her without asking.  Laclos believed that because she had said yes once that it gave him tacit permission to feed from her at will.  He pulled out the typical vampire line of being able to sense her arousal but Cassandra was absolutely adamant that consent is something that needs to be sought each and every time.  I think that this is an extremely important message because enthusiastic consent is something that is so necessary to push because of the pervasiveness of rape culture.

Lost Girl: Season Three, Episode 12: Hail, Hale

Bo and Dyson are at Lauren's apartment and she is freaking out because she has not heard from Lauren.  Dyson finds Lauren's cell phone and Bo asks why anyone would leave their cell phone at home.  Dyson suggests that Lauren is just busy. Bo tells him not to look at her like that because she is not crazy but Dyson replies that today is Hale's inauguration, and he's working on the biggest case of his life, so he does not have time to play relationship detective. When Bo turns around in frustration, Dyson offers to run the numbers on Lauren's phone to see if he can scare something up.  Bo says that she might really be going crazy. When Dyson points out the stress of the dawning and the break up with Lauren, Bo again asserts that they are on a break.

At the Dahl, Trick is making last minute adjustments with Kenzi.  When she points out how chipper he is, Trick says that Hale is his protege and that he is glad that he was so hard on Hale because he is going to make a great Ash. Kenzi asks if this means Hale will stop being such an ass.  Trick sighs and tells Kenzi that she needs to put her personal feelings aside because this is a big day for the fae and that they are not going to take kindly to a human belittling it. The Morrigan shows up and Trick is not at all pleased to see her and points out that it is unacceptable for a dark leader to attend a light fae inauguration. It turns out that she was invited by Hale and Kenzi comments that he is still an ass before walking away.

Lauren is working in a lab and Issac is standing behind her.  Lauren has a breakthrough on curing heart disease and stands up and hugs Issac.  When Lauren realises what she has done, she apologises saying that it's been a long time since she felt so useful. Issac grabs some champagne and tells Lauren that he knew she would do it.

Hale and Dyson are in the back room as he is getting dressed. Dyson says that they are still processing the bodies and it looks like all 18 were tortured.  Dyson adds that some of the victims are missing their organs.  Hale asks if they have a lead and Dyson says no.  Hale adds that as soon as he is sworn in, he will have a talk with The Morrigan about pooling their resources.  Dyson tells Hale that he is proud of his old old partner and Hale adds that he misses his old partner.  Dyson hands Hale a gift to keep him safe and leaves saying he has to get ready, if he is going to show up his buddy at his inauguration.

Bo is in the tub and when she hears a noise, she jumps up with a knife but it turns out that it's just Tamsin. Bo says that that she thought the door was locked and asks Tamsin if she can help her.  Tamsin says that she just came there to drink all of her liquor and thought she would be gone by now. Bo tells her that she is not in the mood for small talk and Bo admits that she hasn't seen her in a few days and is worried about her. Tamsin suggests that maybe, Lauren simply needed some space. Bo tells Tamsin that Dyson is running the numbers on Lauren's phone.  Tamsin then informs Bo that she wasn't the one who killed the blonde hotty and that a six fingered lady did and then she was killed. Bo asks about Tamsin's dark fae friend in a coma, but Tamsin does not answer and says that it's possible she doesn't smell so good.  Bo suggests that Tamsin needs a bath, so Tamsin gets into the tub with Bo fully clothed.  Tamsin asks, "where do you get off being so perfect? You think you've seen everything and then you see you." Bo tells Tamsin that she is alright but not perfect.  Tamsin adds that Bo's heart is both strong and gentle and that she is virtuous and yet she's a succubus.  Tamsin says that she shouldn't be real and gets out of the tub and walks out of the bathroom. Bo tells her that she will see her at the Dahl and Tamsin suggests that Boo keep her wits about her because who knows who is watching.

Kenzi is behind the bar at The Dahl and she tells Trick that she doesn't want to be there. Hale asks her why she is dressed to the nines then and Kenzi replies that it is not for Hale's benefit.  Trick says that his bartender is late and that he has no one else.  Kenzi points out that he has no other humans to help him and adds that she is going to start a union for claimed humans. Trick says that the last human who tried that didn't fair very well and brings up Jimmy Hoffa.

A man approaches Kenzi and says that he is looking for a blonde with blue eyes. Kenzi points out that she has blue eyes and so he asks if she is a natural blonde.  Kenzi calls him a douchebag and so he introduces himself as Massimo, which apparently means the greatest.  Kenzi tells him that makes him the greatest douchebag.  Massimo says that he has figured Kenzi out and that she has a look which is all to familiar to him.  Kenzi tells him that she is out of his league but Massimo replies that she is an outsider and doesn't belong there.  Kenzi asks him who he is and Massimo says that he is a man who get things and make the impossible happen.  Kenzi suggests that he make the impossible happen by disappearing. Massimo tells her that he is going to let her get back to her chores and leaves.

Lauren is still in the lab and shes asks where Issac found the enzyme she used to stabilize the toxin with and he says that he got it from the same place where he gets everything he can't get in North America - China.  Lauren tells him that she is glad that she met him because she didn't realise that for a long time that something was missing.  Issac asks about a woman who was attacked and murdered in the midwest, who was spared through the ribs and then nailed down in a diner in the shape of a cross. He adds that the DNA of a killer named Gabriel was all over the diner and that crucifixion style murder was his M.O. Lauren says that she is not following and asks what this hs to do with heart disease.  They go for a walk and we learn that Gabriel, who was French, killed people he thought were too good for the world and worthy to ascend.  Lauren asks if they caught him and Issac says that when this murder happened, Gabriel was serving three consecutive life sentences in a maximum security prison.  Lauren asks how they were able to find his DNA at the scene. It turns out that Gabriel gave bone marrow to a father who needed it to live and Issac believes that the bone marrow completely took over the father and replaced his cell structure. Issac asks what good they could do if they could find a way to turn that negative in a good. Lauren points out that this is a slippery slope because it could lead to more killers like Gabriel. Issac asks why they shouldn't use all of the tools at their disposable and points to things like a possible cure for heart disease and a cure for mumps and measles.  Lauren brings up the atomic bomb and Issac asks if they have just had their first fight, before congratulating Lauren.

The bartender has shown up at The Dahl along with Dyson who orders a Scottish Whiskey.  When Bo arrives, he tells her that she is beautiful and asks to buy her a free drink.  Dyson tries to order for her but Bo says that she will have whiskey.  The bartender pours something in their drinks as Bo talks about wanting to talk to Hale.  They drink as the bartender looks on.

Lauren is now back in the lab and she pockets one of the vials and examines the content under the microscope. At this point, it's totally clear that Issac is behind all of the fae deaths. Lauren picks up the phone and says that she is going to need files.

Hale is finished getting dressed and The Morrigan tells him that if it wasn't punishable by death that she would give him a jump. The Morrian adds that she hopes Hale doesn't get killed because with all of the death threats, finding his killer would be like finding a needle in a haystack. Hale tells her that if they are going to work together, he needs her to be less All About Even and more Steel Magnolias. Hale instructs The Morrigan to leave and Bo approaches and tells Hale that she cannot find Lauren. Hale says that he doesn't need that today and admits that Lauren came to him looking for a break and that he told her no. Bo says that it makes her feel better.  The Morrigan has not taken her eyes off of Hale and when a waiter asks if she wants something to eat, The Morrigan sprinkles something on a cucumber and suggests that Hale might be hungry.  Of course, with all of the food on the tray, Hale grabs the cucumber. A fly lands on his neck and then explodes, so he walks over to The Morrigan and tells her that she should really try the hors d'oeuvres, because they are generating quite the buzz.