Saturday, June 1, 2013

Defiance Sneak Peaks and Shinies

Sneak Peak for next episode:

A Mid-season recap:

And an interview with the Trion team

Save Me, Season One, Episode Four: Heal Thee

Beth and Tom are lying in bed together, when she wakes and says that since God had come into her life that she feels like the world has gotten brighter and louder.  She looks out a window and sees a bird and says that it's like "he/she" has turned up the sound system full blast. Beth gets out of bed and says that we are not alone.  When she opens her window, the tree is now filled with birds and she tells them that she hopes they have the greatest day possible. Emily sees a spider in the tub and freaks out and when Tom goes to kill it, Beth stops him and calls the spider a gift from God.  When she walks out of the bathroom singing to the spider, Tom tells Emily that what happened stays in the house.

Beth decides that her fondness for God's creatures extends beyond animals and after praying for Carly McKenna (Tom's ex mistress) to wake up for days, she decides to pay her a visit. Tom is uncomfortable and wants to leave but Beth tells him to slow down and that they are supposed to talk to patients in a coma.  When he asks what they should say, Beth replies small talk and she tells Carly that they are helping Elliot throw a surprise party tonight.  Then Beth goes on to say that Elliot made a mistake and told Maggie the name of his ex wife and that she finds it ridiculous that Maggie is so insecure because no one liked Elliot's ex wife Diane.  Tom interjects that Carly needs her rest and then reads a text from Elliot asking them to pick up balloons on the way over to JP's.  Tom leaves the room and Beth lays her hands on Carly and says heal thee.  When she looks down, Carly is still in a coma so Beth says, "I'll keep praying for you bitch."

Tom and Beth are in the car and it is now full of balloons. Beth notices that Tom is quiet and so she asks him if he is upset that she came with him to see Carly. At first Tom says that's it great if that is what Beth needed to do and then says that he thinks it's creepy.  Beth asks if Tom wanted to be alone with Carly because he is still in love with her.  Tom denies being in love with Carly and Beth insists that he still seems mad.  Tom tells Beth that they shouldn't look back and he insists that he is not mad about anything.  When a squirrel runs into the road, Beth demands that he stop but Tom does not stop in time and hits the squirrel.  Beth gets on her knees and apologises to the squirrel.  Tom says that they have to put the squirrel out of it's misery.  He grabs a huge rock and is about to squash the squirrel, when Beth gets a message that she is suppose to save the squirrel, so she takes off her sweater and wraps the squirrel up in it.

They take the squirrel to Elliot and he says that if it were human he would run some tests to find out why he has fur and a tail.  Elliot clearly does not want to touch the squirrel. Beth tells Elliot that she promised God that she would save the squirrel.  Elliot is not convinced and says that he admires Beth's feelings for animals but that he took an oath in medical school to do no harm and sometimes it means not intervening with nature. Elliot finishes by saying, "cadaver's boobs are still boobs."

Beth is looking down at the squirrel in a diner when Jenna approaches and tells her that every life is precious. Beth says precious and unnerving and admits that squirrels have always freaked her out because squirrels have always reminded her of rats.  Jenna then asks Beth to move away from the window before their YELP score gets crashed.   When Beth looks out the window, she sees cats and dogs staring in at her.

Tom and Elliot are talking and Elliot says that he can't decide if it's weirder that Beth visited Carly with Tom, or that she is busy nursing road kill. Tom says that Beth was chatting up Carly like they were in the same traipse act and one of them got injured.  Elliot believes that this is a good thing because Beth actually forgave Tom for having an affair. Tom replies that he doesn't feel like a winner and wishes that he could erase the last six months. Tom feels that Beth's reaction is not normal and wants her to be mad about the affair. Elliot talk about the fact that he is always in the dog house with Maggie and suggests that they should do a couples switch, so that he can have all the forgiveness and Tom can have the rage that he needs.  Tom says that he would take the evil eye over crazy eye any day.  Tom adds that he always imagined growing old with Beth and didn't imagine her going crazy.  Beth approaches and says that the squirrel's breathing is laboured and that its fur is pale.  Elliot suggests that it's time to call the squirrel priest but Beth is adamant that they cannot let the squirrel die.  Beth tells Tom that they have to take the squirrel to a real doctor and Elliot says that Beth means a vet.

At the vet, they learn that the MRI revealed that the squirrel has a couple of broken ribs.  Tom says that he cannot believe they are having a conversation about a squirrel MRI. The vet adds that the squirrel also has a shattered pelvis with internal bleeding and Beth asks what they can do.  The vet recommends euthanizing the squirrel and Beth says no and Tom adds that they should have just done the rock thing.  Beth says no again and asks the vet what he can do.  The vet suggests surgery and Tom is concerned about the cost.  The vet tells him that it will cost between 1700-1800 and Tom immediately says no. Beth tells him that they cannot think about money and should focus on the precious life. Tom denies thinking about the money at first and then says that he is thinking about the money and the poor squirrel.  Tom points out that by doing this that they are extending the squirrels suffering and adds that if he had this much damage, he would want her to put him down.  Beth again points out that God really wants her to save the squirrel and that maybe this is all connected to Carly.  When Tom expresses doubt, Beth replies that if he had spent the fifty minutes with bible that she has, he would understand that God works in super weird ways. Tom says that this had been made really clear.  Beth suggests that maybe if she saves this squirrel that she can save Carly and Tom replies that maybe if he eats a really big meal that he can solve hunger. The vet returns to find out if they have made a decision and Beth tells him to do the surgery. Tom leaves to help Elliot and the vet calls for his nurse to prep the squirrel for surgery.

At the party, Elliot thanks them and says that he is looking forward to gratitude sex with Maggie. Jenna says that Maggie just texted her and is on her way there and that Beth has been texting updates on the little guys surgery.  Tom points out that the squirrel is not his little guy and that he is the most loved squirrel in the world.  When Maggie walks in, everyone yells surprise.  Elliot tells Maggie happy anniversary and Maggie asked him how he didn't know that surprise parties are her worst nightmare. Elliot tells everyone that Maggie is very happy.

Back at the vet, Beth says that she is confidant that when she gets the squirrel up and running again that Tom would appreciate all of her efforts.  The vet walks into the room with the squirrel in a box and tells Beth that the squirrel didn't make it.  Beth says that it's not possible but the vet assures her that they did all that they could and that it's just a squirrel. The vet hands over the box and tells Beth that she can see Gena on her way out and that if she pays cash, they will validate and incinerate.

Maggie's party is in full swing, as Beth watches Tom make mix a drink.  Beth say that she is worried that her attempt to save the squirrel has caused some internal bleeding in her marriage as well.  Jenna tells Beth that she gets it and that she once lost a job because she stayed home three days to nurse a lame butterfly back to health. Jenna adds that the butterfly got better and then flew into her fan.  Beth asks how she could fail at something God wanted her to do. Jenna tells her that she will get through this and instructs Beth to put her present down and to ask Tom to make her a drink.  Beth admits that the box she is holding is not in fact a gift but the dead squirrel.  Beth asks to put the squirrel in the fridge because it is starting to smell.  Jenna says that she cannot have a dead animal in there and suggests that Beth take the squirrel home and change into something more festive and come back.

Save Me, Season One, Episode Three: WWJD

Beth Harper is sitting in a diner thinking that she has not yet gotten used to the fact that she is a prophet of God.  Beth suddenly stand up and announces to the crowded diner that they are all loved. She informs one man that he is only going to be unemployed for a short time and this shocks him because he had no idea that he would be losing his job.  Beth then goes on to inform him that six weeks later, he is going to get his dream job.  He ignores the part about the dream job and demands to know who Beth has been talking to and how she knows that he is going to lose his job.  Beth tells him that he is missing the point, sits down and thinks about how her power didn't come with an instruction manual. Suddenly, it comes to Beth that there is an instruction book and she heads home to find a bible.

Beth calls Tom when she cannot find the bible and he is quick to dismiss what she is going through. Beth makes it clear that this isn't just a "thing" and asserts that not only does God talk to her but that she put his ex mistress into a coma. Beth then manages to find a bible and announces that they are good people.  When Beth opens the bible however, she finds it hollowed out in the center and a bag of pot in the middle.

Beth is back at the diner and is now reading the bible. She calls the relationship between Cain and Able a classic bromance.  Finally, Beth admits that she is not understanding a word that she is reading.  The waitress tells her that there are more accessible versions out there than the King James version.  Beth decides to get a children's bible. Back at home, she celebrates the fact that this new bible has pictures. Maggie and Elliot stop by to talk about Ruby leaving the neighbourhood.  Apparently, they have created a petition to get Ruby's house declared a public nuisance.  Tom is pleased to learn that he and Beth are the last two signatures needed.  Maggie points out that they all had problems with Ruby but that Beth has a truly special relationship with her. We get a flash to Beth and Ruby yelling at each other.  In one scene, Ruby threatens to shoot Beth with an arrow and in another, Beth is peeing on Ruby's front lawn. Beth signs the petition saying good riddance Ruby.  When Elliot and Maggie leave, Beth asks Tom if he remembers when they use to fantasize about a gay couple moving into Ruby's house and fixing it up. Really? There are no LGBT characters in this story, so they deal with inclusion by talking about throwing in a trope laden couple who will decorate.  I could have done without that altogether. The Harper family then goes on to fantasize about the jobs this imaginary gay couple will hold and how their work on the house will increase property values throughout the neighbourhood and result in visits from Architectural Digest. Emily even goes as far to imagine one of the men spending hours doing her hair.

The fantasizing is brought to an end when Beth gets a message to check out page 117 in her bible and realises that she has to help Ruby the rat face.  Tom asks what she means and Beth says that she cannot let Ruby be kicked out of her house and that she has to be the one to help her fix it. Tom says that she can't but Beth replies that God is telling her to be a good Samaritan.  When Emily brings up "the gays,"  Beth simply replies, "oh honey I know," before leaving.

With the bible in her hands, Beth heads to see Ruby, who immediately hoses her down.  Beth returns to the house this time with a lawn mower in tow, saying that according to the children's bible that once Ruby realises that she was trying to be a good person that it will soften her heart. Before Beth can even start the lawnmower, Ruby starts to throw empty cans at her. Beth screams stop and declares her intention to help but Ruby believes that Beth is just there to pee on something. Beth tells her about the petition and says that if she doesn't help, Ruby will get kicked out of her home.  Ruby's heart is not softened and she tells Beth that she does not want her help. Beth leaves and yells at God and Ruby calls her a nutcase and demands o know who Beth is talking to.  Beth replies that if she were a nice old lady with a horrible house that she would help Ruby out and she rants that you can't get blood from a turnip.  Ruby is surprised by Beth's choice of words and says that her husband used to say that.  Beth asked how long Ruby was married and she replies 38 years and that her husband Leon used to spend all of his time puttering in the yard. Ruby adds that when he was done, he would always come in the house and say that he just came in for a hug.  Beth walks onto the front porch and gives Ruby a hug.

Over at the Harpers, Pete asks about why Beth was hugging Ruby and Tom reveals that Beth got it into her head that she is supposed to help Ruby and be a good samaritan. Pete says no and reminds Tom about their fantasy about getting someone good in Ruby's house.  Elliot pipes up that he and Maggie have always had a fantasy about getting a gay couple on the block. Pete adds that he and Jenna have always had the exact same fantasy. Tom says that their fantasy couple are named Todd and Benitzio. Elliot adds that their fantasy couple are named  Steven and Rafe and that Steven owns several high end restaurants and that Rafe designs women's shoes. Pete adds that his are Kelly and Kelly and that one Kelly is a lipstick lesbian with a killer ass and that the other is another lipstick lesbian, who also has a killer ass.  Elliot points out that unless Tom makes Beth stop that no one has a chance of getting their "dream gays."  Tom replies that this is not the 1800's and that a man cannot stop his wife from doing something.  Tom adds that Beth thinks that this is God's will.  Elliot asks if Beth knows that God split a baby in half and suggests that Tom tell Beth that one.  Tom argues that Beth is making herself  a better person but Pete is not buying it and replies, "for the sake of me and Kelly and Kelly and their gay twin sisters, who I have not even told you about yet, you discourage her Tom."

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tempest Reborn (Jane True #6) by Nicole Peeler

Tempest Reborn starts exactly where Tempest's Fury ended (and yes I'm still not pleased with that cliffhanger ending).  Jane is reeling because her lover Anyan has been turned into the White and has flown away with the Red.  Together with her friends, Jane is determined to find a way to get Anyan back.  To succeed, Jane must fully embrace the fact that she is the champion and be prepared to make sacrifices that she never dreamed possible.  If that were not enough, because the entire world is under threat, the government has taken notice of Jane and is determined to make her into their own super special weapon.

Alright, fair warning, this review is going to be full of some fanpoodling because not only do I love this series, I love Peeler's writing.  I must admit that I went into Tempest Reborn with a touch of sadness because it is the last in the Jane True series.  To be honest, I could have kept on reading this series but I am glad that Peeler decided to end it on a high note, rather than just continuing the series for the sake of continuing the series, until it became unrecognizable to its fans.   

After finishing Tempest Reborn, I must admit that it really feels like Jane has matured so much from the weak and afraid young woman that she started out as in Tempest Rising.  With Anyan gone and Blondie dead, Jane has no choice but to rise to the occasion and become the champion she was always destined to be.  Now, everyone looks to her for answers and direction.  One of the things I really liked about Jane, is though she had access to so much power, rather than letting it corrupt her, she really saw the killing of the Red and the White as a team effort.  She knew that without her band of merry scoobies that she would not be able to accomplish the task in front of her, even though she had the creature to help and occasionally pull her out of tight spots. Jane is strong without actually being a weapon and has moments of weakness and despair, which work to reveal her vulnerability in the face of so much destruction.

When Jane's relationship began with Anyan it was so very unbalanced because of course the Barghest being a supernatural creature for all of his long life, was well aware of how the world really worked.  Now that Jane has come to accept her role in the battle to save the world from the Red and the White, their relationship is on far more of an even keel.  Anyan still wants to save and protect her but Jane is adamant that there are some decisions she has to make on her own and some missions she must complete without him.  Anyan does not like it but he backs off when he realises that Jane is right.

Dead Like Me, Season 1, Episode 2: Dead Girl Walking

A week after being dead, George snarkily recaps the last episode. Much as I hate recaps, I have a soft spot for snark. She sums up her less than ideal life and how she’s continuing to live in a dead guy’s awful, filthy house. Which gets worse when the dead guy’s family show up. While she’s on the toilet no less. She manages to pass herself off as his girlfriend, briefly – before they get more suspicious and things become awkward. She should never have tried to claim the TV

Of course, squatting isn’t her only worry, it seems her little sister, Reggie, has been telling the neighbours that her mother won’t let her go to the bathroom for a reason she just can’t explain to her mother who is already a little frazzled after George’s death. And, to be fair, was pretty frazzled before as well. Frazzled seems to be a default setting for her.

Roxy is busy earning her living as a traffic warden (with Mason looking on and slacking). And she gets grief for writing a ticket and chews the guy out masterfully. Standing ovation for Roxy. When things seem to be escalating she slams it down by flashing a gun and making it clear (as politely as possible) that she will fuck him up. Well that ends any objections he might have.

We get a hint of how the appointments work – Rube gets an envelope put under the door from an anonymous figure and from that he writes out the post-its of all the deaths. Which he hands out at his next breakfast meeting where we have their awesome group interactions (including excellent TMI sharing over various deaths. Seriously, Roxy and Betty could be a stand up act on their own). Rube asks for volunteers for extra work but George asks what they get – which sums up what everyone’s thinking. Also, because George did that whole intervening thing which was naughty, she has to work with Betty today.

Which leads to them hitchhiking out of town to their location because there’s no bus and George doesn’t have money for a taxi. She’s also wary of hitchhiking but Betty very politely insists she get in the damn car – designer shoes are not meant for 10 mile hikes, but it turns out the man is their target. Betty charms the man with skill George admires (admittedly George isn’t the most charming of people) before George does the soul claim – though Betty has to nudge her. George still considers it akin to being an accomplice to murder. For a brief moment she thinks Betty also wants to save the man’s life – but she watches as he dies in a car accident.

After his instructional day with Roxy, Mason tries to pick the lock of a parking meter for the money inside. That failed, he pulls out a baseball bat. It knocks it off the pole – but doesn’t do much else.

So to the café with George and Roxy where he disgustingly distracts them both by eating the gum from under the table (ew ew ew) and manages to sneak Roxy’s key off her ring. After that moment of disgusting food arrives and George ends up eating chips that Mason scrounges – Roxy tells her to get a job. Poor George, she can’t keep up with their banter either.

Back with George’s family, poor Joy (George’s mother) has to go to the school because Reggie has stolen a toilet seat. No, really.  At dinner that night she reveals that Reggie took all the toilets seats in the school and sends her to bed before telling her husband, Clancy, that she’s interviewing child psychologists. Clancy dismisses the idea.

Back in the Waffle House, George whines to Rube about how she hates her life et al and he gently and nicely tells her to, basically, suck it up and deal. And hands her a post it telling her to reap their server; after a gremlin, kids with a cherry bomb and heavy sign combine to kill the poor man. George also gets impaled with a fork – but Reapers heal awfully quickly.

Even if she does have to cough up the tines of the fork later that night. George decides she’s done – afterall, they can’t make her.

So the next morning in the Waffle House, she’s missing (and Mason pays his bills with a surprising amount of coins – and other pieces of traffic meter). After banging on George’s door, he slips the post it under it. And a mysterious wind blows it closer to George’s feet. She tries to ignore it for the day while it preys on her mind – what exactly happens when you have a date with death and death doesn’t show up? She misses the appointment – and the note gets even closer, impaled on one of the springs in her awful mattress. And a graveling visits her – she begins to worry if death gets penalised.

Star Trek Into Darkness and Khan

For months before the release of Star Trek into Darkness, there was a lot of speculation regarding whether or not Benedict Cumberbatch would be playing the role of Khan Noonien Singh. Because Star Trek into Darkness has a different name than Wrath of Khan - the second movie in the Star Trek series, it was conceivable that the character Khan would be overlooked altogether. Now that the movie has been released, there has been a resounding backlash because it has become common knowledge that Cummerbatch is indeed playing Khan.

The character Khan Noonien Singh first appeared in the original series, in the episode Space Seed and then became the antagonist in the second movie Wrath of Khan. In both instances, the character was played by the Mexican actor Ricardo Montalbán. As fans of the series know, in each instance that Khan Noonien Singh appeared, he was defeated by Captain Kirk. This is par for the course because Kirk being the captain of the USS Enterprise, inevitably makes the right decisions and always gets his crew out of any difficulties they encounter; prime directive be damned.

Having not seen Star Trek into Darkness yet, I cannot say whether or not this is a direct reboot of Wrath of Khan; however I have been following the anger online over the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast as Khan Noonien Singh. Because Khan was played by Ricardo Montalbán, many see his replacement by Benedict Cumberbatch as a direct slap in the face to people of colour, by a series which has historically prided itself on being racially progressive. When the original series first aired on September 8, 1966, there was absolutely nothing like it on television. Star Trek had an interracial cast including: a Black woman, a Japanese man and a Russian on the bridge, playing critical roles on the ship. It went on to feature one of the first inter-racial kisses on television. It is however worth noting that the kiss was forced by an alien creature and not something Kirk or Uhura wanted. Kirk slept with green women, but had to be forced into kissing a Black woman, think about that for a moment.

So how did this progressive series decide that it was appropriate to simply erase a character of colour and replace him with a White man? Well, let’s start with the fact that the character Khan was originally conceived of as being of Nordic descent. The writers and Roddenberry had no idea at first that they would be able to get an actor of Montalbán’s skill. When they did manage to cast Montalbán, the character became a sikh from Northern India. Clearly, even casting Montalbán in this role was highly problematic because he was neither sikh or Indian. It was the classic case of one brown person filling in for another, which is commonplace in the media even today. As long as the actor is Brown, they are cast as: Latino, Native American and Indian, regardless of what their true ancestry is. It’s clear that from looking at the images of Montalbán when he originally played Khan in the original series that his skin was darkened, using makeup to make him appear as the northern Indian character he was playing.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Demon Hunts by (Walker Papers #5) C.E. Murphy

Joanne and Billy are now the woo-woo team – the pair with supernatural abilities who help with those cases that are just too weird for anyone else. So when people show up dying and partially eaten but without a scrap of any kind of forensic evidence on the bodies, it’s time to call them in.

But even magic can’t work miracles and there’s a limit to what even they can sense, much to their frustration. What they do learn is that their enemy is far more dangerous than they imagined and is going to take some… unorthodox messages to track and stop

Thankfully, Joanne is pretty good at unorthodox methods – as she proves not only to the people around her but also to Coyote, her mentor, finally free from a supernatural coma. In his absence Joanne has grown considerable and they have to refind their balance with what she’s learned, how she’s grown, the path she is on – and the fact they’re both in the real world, in the flesh.

It’s another fun mystery – with a lot evolved. The progression in how the police force treats Joanne and Billy has excellently developed through the series to Morrison now overtly recognising them as his woo-woo experts. The mystery itself is interesting and, while it is quickly solved in terms of “whodunnit” the how to stop it part of the story maintains some excellent tension and questions to keep the story going. The story is really well paced without any lags or moments of boredom, confusion, or vast leaps of logic. But the star of this book has to be the characterisations

I really love the introduction of Coyote, and I really thought I wouldn’t. I expected his presence to shake his mystique and it did. But it did it extremely well because it not only humanised him but helped Joanne to grow. Coyote is a person. He’s more knowledgeable than Joanne, in many ways more capable and Joanne and has powers and skills Joanne can’t touch.

But he is a person and he isn’t god. There are areas where Joanne is better suited than him, there are areas where Joanne is more powerful than him and there are things she can do which he cannot. And him showing up didn’t turn this into a story that focuses on Coyote, Joanne is still the protagonist, she is still the one investigating, she is still the one in charge and the one who makes the decision in her city and her life. I liked that it made it really clear that they can be powerful in different ways and walk different path. That Coyote, healer, teacher, advisor has far greater strengths in those areas – but Joanne doesn’t have to follow the same way; she’s a warrior, a defender, a soldier who heals things and makes things better in her own way. I liked that he had his precious philosophy that was truly valuable to him – but at the same time it was acknowledge he could have that and not need Joanne to follow it.

To me this is especially important given how much Joanne has grown and learned over the last few books. She needs a mentor, not a boss and not a character to remind her how much she doesn’t know, how new she is and how weak she is. After what she has achieved in the series, she has proved her worth and her capability even if she has made mistakes and caused problems in the past, she has also gone on to fix them. She needs a peer, not a school teacher and it was really well written to give her that.

Another element that impressed me was the emphasis on Joanne being a healer - even while she’s a warrior and even while hunting a “monster.” There is always a willingness to be sympathetic to the enemy even while being prepared to kick its arse and stab it until it stops moving. Even while knowing it has to be stopped, Joanne can still sympathise with the pain the Wendigo feels

Also we have a Wendigo which is actually a Wendigo which has at least a nod to the actual legends of a Wendigo rather than just being a fancy werewolf you have to kill with fire as we see so much in this genre. There was some depth behind it. This is something this series does well – the creatures, the realms, the legends have had some research behind them, there’s some work to present the legends as they actually were, their beliefs as they are actually held and not just raid random cultures for any spare monsters they have around. It’s detailed, it’s deep and it’s fascinating. However, I still have a minor complaint that it’s also damn confusing at times. The writing can become very abstract, very confused and very lost especially as Joanne travels from realm to realm to realm. It’s a lot tighter than it has been in previous books and it’s a definite improvement but it is still an issue.

The Walker Papers have some of my favourite characters in the genre. Joanne herself has a lot of depth from her mixed heritage, rather than it being there of convenient woo-woo (though it is a constant source of the latter). She recognises her conflict outsider feeling with her mother’s Irish family and her father’s Native American family (it’s neatly done in one line – who she always thought of herself as deathly pale compared to her father’s family but going to her mother’s funeral she realised how much darker she was than her relatives). She has steadily grown and grown to accept both elements of her heritage and marrying them together without running from both as she had – even down to her very name; changing Siobahn Walkingstick to Joanne Walker.

Wolf Lake: Season One, Episode One: Meat the Parents

In Seattle Washington, detective John Kanin pulls up outside of a house and when he enters, he takes off his jacket and puts down his cell phone.  From the ominous music playing in the background, we get the sense that he is not alone.  Suddenly, he is attacked from behind and it turns out that it's just his girlfriend Ruby.  The two start to kiss and when John says that he is going to hop in the shower, Ruby replies that she likes him dirty.  Really? At only two minutes in, that is one of the cheesiest lines I've heard in urban fantasy. When they are done, Ruby decides to go and get takeout and tells John to stay and relax and that she loves him. When Ruby leaves, John lies in his bed and smiles.

She heads out to her car and the moment Ruby gets in, she is attacked from behind.  John hears the struggle from the apartment, grabs his gun and heads downstairs.  As Ruby is being attacked, her eyes flash yellow.  By the time that John gets to the car, it appears that Ruby is gone, but there is a bloody hand on the seat.

At the police station, the cops say that their best guess is that the hand belongs to a White male in his 30's but they have no idea how it got separated from the body. John is sitting in an office when his partner Frank and the Lieutenant enter to ask John to tell them again what happened when Ruby disappeared. They ask if Ruby was into anything and how long her knew her.  John says 8-9 months and questions why they are asking.  His partner reveals that there is no record of a Ruby Wilder in the national database. This means no DMV or social security number.  The Lieutenant then asks if he is sure Ruby is her real name and John grabs the files and says that he is sure. John then asks if Frank checked the college and learns that there is no student record for Ruby.  John insists that she is studying dance and that he picks her up there twice a week. Franks says that Ruby might be studying there but is not registered under Ruby Wilder.  The Lieutenant adds that Ruby has no bank account, credit history and that social services has no record of her. Frank says that this is either some kind of mistake, or Ruby is a ghost.

Frank returns home and finds an earring belonging to Ruby on his bed.  Six months later, John's answering machine asks for a message to be left and directs the caller to page him immediately if the call is regarding Ruby Wilder.  Around his office, there are missing posters of Ruby and a map with locations marked off. It's Frank and he says that John should pick up because he knows he is there.  In desperation, Frank points out that he is forcing him into a life with Harry until they can catch a case. John's pager goes off and he answers believing that it's Frank but it turns out that it is a man named Earl, claiming to have seen John's poster of Ruby at a gas station on the highway.  Earl says that he thinks he gave Ruby a ride in March and that he dropped her off at the Wolf Lake exit.  When John asks for the callers name again, he hangs up the phone.

With a bag packed, John hops on his motorcycle and with visions of Ruby dancing through his mind, he drives through the day and late into the night, until he is forced to stop when a young girl runs into the road.  She immediately tries to get away from him and John tells her that he is a police officer and asks what she is running from.  What John does not realise is that he is being watched from the woods. The girl hops on John's bike and tells him that if her father finds out that she is gone that he is going to go totally berserko on her. John hands her his helmet then starts the bike up, as he unknowingly continues to be watched.  Something is following them making growling noises but on his bike, John quickly out paces it.  When John is in the distance, we see a naked man with glowing yellow eyes in the bushes.

John pulls into town and the girl hops off thanking him. She  asks about Tommy Rule, who shot a bunch of people at a mall. When John says that he doesn't know him, the girl admits that they play chess together over the internet and asks if it's twisted.  John says that it depends and when she leaves, he turns and sees a statue of a wolf.  John the heads to a hotel, which has an absolutely sumptuous interior. He heads to the cafe inside and meets Sherman Blackstone, who immediately does a magic trick with an egg. Sherman tells John not to encourage him because he could go on all night.  John asks about a waitress and Sherman doesn't answer and instead wants to know what kind of gun John has strapped to his ankle.  Sherman than introduces himself and asks what brings John to their little paradise in the pines because it can't be official business, due to the fact that John arrived on a bike. John quips that Sherman doesn't miss a thing and Sherman says that in a past life, he must have been a scout for Custer or somebody, then contradicts himself to add that they don't believe in past lives because that's a Buddhist thing.  John asks about the service and Sherman tells him that after midnight, everyone is on the honour system, so he should just himself to the kitchen. Sherman adds that there is a money jar in the fridge and warns him to watch out for Rusty.

When John opens the door he finds Rusty on the floor, and when he turns around Sherman is gone.  At the front desk, John is handed some sheets and when he walks outside to go to his room, there are numerous wolves howling at the moon.  Inside, he gets on his laptop and looks at the missing poster of Ruby.  He falls asleep and wakes to the sound of the still howling wolves.  When he gets up and opens his window, he sees Ruby standing a distance away staring at him. It turns out that this was only a dream and when he approaches the window in reality, what he sees his a White wolf with blue eyes staring at him.

At the jail, Sheriff Matthew Donner is playing his keyboard, while a prisoner is singing, when John walks in and flashes his badge. Donner leaves the cell and learns that John is tracking a missing person.  When Donner looks at the photo, he says that Ruby is not from around there and that they don't get many strangers passing through.  When Donner attempts to hand the flyer back, John asks him to take another look and says that she might have dyed her hair, cut it, or could be using a different name.  Donner again says that he has not seen Ruby, so John says that he would like to continue making inquiries within the limits of jurisdictional compliance and asks for permission to put a few of the photos around town.  Donner says yes and then when he looks at the photo, he asks Holly his deputy if the picture could be of Deena Rose, the checker at the market. Holly replies that she is house sitting for the Bricklane triplets and adds that Deena Rose did come to town about six months ago. John says thanks and leaves, as Donner and Holly exchange a look.

John heads to see Mrs. Bricklane and learns that Deena quit and took a job over at a farm. John says that he doesn't know how she does it and Mrs. Bricklane says it's nothing because Rosemary gave birth to quintuplets last Tuesday. 

John then heads over to the farm and is immediately given directions to leave because Vernon believes that John is looking for the reservation. Vernon then adds that he can never tell the difference between two tribes of Indigenous People.  John asks him if he knows a Deena Rose and flashes his badge.  He is taken out back, where there are sheets hanging on a line and from behind Deena looks just like Ruby.  When Deena turns around he sees that she is very pregnant Deena Rose.

Matthew Donner  is talking with Sophia, his daughter, and it turns out that Sophia is the same girl who John gave a ride to last night.  Matthew asks if she was out by the lake last night and Sophia asks if she is grounded now.  Matthew says that they all know what goes down at the lake and now there's drugs and that if she gets into trouble that there is no turning back and her whole life will be done. Matthew is clearly concerned that a mistake will mean that Sophia will be trapped there the rest of her life.  Matthew then says that he thought that they were together on that and Sophia says that she is 16 and is of course going to question. Sophia says that she is has to go back to work and Matthew warns his daughter that they are watching her and that they are testing her.  Sophia tells her dad that they can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do. Matthew tells her that she won't find what she thinks she is looking for and Sophia points out that her mother found him before walking away. 

John sits down next to Matthew and tells him that his last tip was a bust. John tells him that he is a type A makes him crazy and wonder if the sheriff is jerking him around. Matthew replies that he is wondering the same thing about John.  When John replies that they are going to keep an eye on each other, Matthew says that he has been doing that since last night and then gets up and leaves.

Sophia come out of the kitchen and sees\ John, so immediately turns around and leaves.  Three menacing young men enter the dinner as John leaves when he gets a phone call.  It's Frank who says that they traced the call from the trucker and that it originated in Wolf Lake.  John asks for an address.

The three menacing young men who entered the dinner are driving in a pick up truck. The one who is driving asserts that they are never to deal X to the kids on the hill and that he is disappointed.  He adds that he it cannot happen anymore and that it never should have happened.  The driver pulls over and tells Fletch to take a nice long walk home and to find a way to be better at his job.

Sherman is hitting golf balls into the lake, as the driver tells his buddy to relax and give Fletch a fighting chance.  Fletch starts to run frantically through the woods until he is grabbed by the legs and dragged away.  Sherman hears the scream and pauses hitting golf balls to look around.

John is hops the fence at Wolf  Lake highschool and heads straight to the payphone where he matches up the number on the phone, with the number that Frank gave him. Satisfied with the match, he starts to walk away, until he glimpses a photo of Ruby in the display case.  John bashes in the case using a fire extinguisher and grabs the photo.

The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

While The Walking Dead TV series is on hiatus, we’re going to work our way through the huge backlog of Walking Dead comics - both to tell the often surprisingly different story that is there and compare and contrast how the threads are handled differently

And because they’re awesome and we love them

In Volume 1 (the first 6 comics), Rick wakes up in the hospital, meets Morgan and Duane in his old neighbourhood; visits zombie-infested Atlanta, being saved by Glenn and arriving at the camp. There he rejoins Lori, Karl and Shane, as well as meeting Andrea, Amy, Dale, Jim, Carol, Sophia, Allen, Donna and their twins.

The comics open extremely atmospherically and there are very close parallels between the comics and the TV series. I think the main difference between the two is that the the TV lends itself more to depicting horror and fear, especially of Rick’s first moments in the hospital, than the stark black and white drawings of the comics.

Surprisingly for a horror series, the beginning theme isn’t fear or even horror per se. This introduction doesn’t dwell so much on the menace they face from the Walkers, so much as it concentrates on what they have lost. Even dodging the hordes of zombies in Atlanta, Rick is focused entirely on reuniting with Lori and Karl - or dealing with their loss. Around the camp fires the whole gang talks about their losses - Dale discusses his wife, Carol discusses her dead husband, Sophia misses her dead father, Andrea and Amy miss their old lives, Jim talks about losing his entire family in front of him. Even Allen and Donna talk about the life they left behind and Glenn talks about being estranged from his parents and the life he was leading. This is the defining theme of these first comics: loss.

And from that loss there’s also a secondary theme of coming to terms with it. There’s Morgan who is worried about squatting in someone’s house and the problem with stealing and looting from the police station - he continues to have this idea that things will return to normal, that the old rules still apply. Even Rick assumes that people will come back - he tells Morgan he will have to return the police car, that he can stay in the house but he better not fight to keep it when his neighbours return. There’s still that almost naive expectation that things will return to how they should be

One of the main conflicts of the comic is between Shane and Rick (beyond the foreshadowings of the romantic tension with the Shane/Lori/Rick love triangle) with Shane wanting to stay close to Atlanta because, when government help arrives, this is where they will come and how they will find them. Shane’s plans - or lack of them - are based on this increasingly foolish looking hope for order to be restored. It’s a really well maintained theme because we know, it’s already clear, that there is no hope of this happening but they cling to it desperately as a way of dealing with their loss.

One thing that has to be noted in comparison to the TV series is that, at this early stage, the racial diversity of the group is very small. Glenn is the only POC; the Martinez family, Jacqui and T-Dog in the TV series never existed in the comics (nor did the Dixons or Carol’s abusive husband). This leaves the cast much whiter. Add in the fact that we’re already seeing Glenn risking his life for supplies - and not even essential supplies, just for chocolate, detergent and toilet paper. And Lori is, selfishly, more than willing to risk Glenn’s life for the guns - but not Rick’s. Glenn is considered more disposable.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Revolution Season 1, Episode 19: Children of Men

Big standoff with Rachel staring at Monroe, holding a grenade without the pin. Monroe’s guard points a gun at her, because that’ll help.

She releases it.

The guard jumps on Monroe hauling him to the floor to cover him. Another leaps on Rachel, wrestling with her. She doesn’t hold onto it very well and the guard manages to take it from her and throw it outside the tent where it explodes. Monroe is unharmed. Rachel is unharmed. But Aaron sees the explosion through a pair of binoculars.

Y’know rather than dramatically stand there with a grenade in your hand, Rachel, you could have stood outside his tent, pulled the pin and rolled the grenade inside, there’d be a good chance they wouldn’t have even noticed it.

The dream team lands their helicopter, Charlie randomly thanking Jason; Jason and Neville have a bonding moment over “women” (or Neville tries to anyway) and Miles checks on Nora (apparently ready). To the camp

Aaron continues to watch the camp and sees Rachel and Monroe are still alive, probably concluding that Rachel is officially the most inept suicide bomber ever. Rachel is being lead to the entrance to the tower where they use her hand print to open the door.

Yes, Rachel not only failed to kill Monroe, but handed him the key he was looking for. I hereby grant her the Catelyn Stark Award for Sabotaging One’s Own Side.

Into the Tower, which is most certainly working and powered up and full of shiny toys. Rachel chews out Randall for bringing Monroe but he claims it’s for self-preservation – which doesn’t explain why the man went to Monroe in the first place anyway. Someone else looking for a Catelyn Stark Award. Anyway, it seems Rachel doesn’t have security clearance so shouldn’t have been able to get the door open – so Randall assumes Grace has been fiddling with things

And the door shuts behind them – apparently prompted by a new man watching through the monitors.  He tells the room full of people with him that it’s time to go say “hello”. Why do I think a more appropriate greeting would be “let the games begin!” Certainly since “hello” involves the big big guns.

Outside, the dream team watches the tower, Neville pokes Miles for having a crush on Rachel and they find Aaron whose stealth skills don’t expand to “don’t use lights to read during the night.”

Rendall shows Monroe some of the shinies in the Tower, including the satellites which are still operational and showing scenes from cities around the world – including the ruins of London and Paris. It apparently also comes with the tech to spy on and kill anyone in the world – so long as you reach level 12 in the tower. Rachel protests which helps confirm what Randall’s saying is true. She’s really working that Catelyn Award.

Except the tower has other ideas and the lift stop at floor 11. Then the explosions and the gunfire start, slaughtering Mornoe’s guards pretty easily especially the big impressive guns. Monroe ducks to cover and Rachel ducks into a side door. Monroe managing to force his way in behind her. She tries to stab him with a pair of scissors but he takes them off her.

Back outside and everyone plays catch up including Miles blaming Aaron for letting Rachel play inept suicide bomber – though Aaron points out that Miles isn’t exactly good at stopping Rachel doing whatever the hell she wants either. Neville cuts through Miles’s whining about Rachel to demand if Aaron can get them in – with the book her can (Neville calls Aaron “chubs” so Aaron responds by calling him a dick. Such happy togetherness).

They infiltrate the camp and Neville and Nate, working together, blow up the amplifier (which apparently is quite explosive). Nora takes out the guards at the tower with throwing knives and she, Miles, Aaron and Charlie head for the door. Aaron enters the 62 character override code into the door while Miles holes off the militia. Once the door is open they run inside – but Neville and Nate are both pinned and Miles tells Aaron to shut the door. (Miles has to hold back Charlie and Neville has to hold back Nate. I had to hold back rolling my eyes).

In their little hiding place (which seems to be a prudential bunker), Monroe has many many questions for Rachel who only has “I don’t know” as a response in that utterly calm voice that convinces me she’s managed to find some happy pills in the dystopian future. He angrily declares she needs to work with him if they both want to live. Since she’s the woman who was willing to blow herself up to kill him, it’s pretty clear that them both dying is quite acceptable to her. He dismisses this because all suicides regret it really and she wants to live – and asks if she knows how to open the gun cabinet

Revolution Season 1, Episode 18: Clue

Nora, a prisoner of Monroe’s, is dressed up in a pretty dress and taken to meet him. he tries playing nice but she’s under no illusions. He throws in some extremely creepy “flirting” and refers to their past together – referring to Nora as a “bounty hunter”, a past she rejects. Nora won’t tell him where Miles is and tries to bash his head in with a booze bottle, which fails

Nora is tortured repeatedly over a month, beaten, water boarded and injected with an agonising substance. The doctor becoming more and more uncomfortable over dosing her. Nora breaks and tells them that Miles is in Atlanta (or was a month ago – this question stopped being relevant a long time ago), that Neville was with the rebels – and that Rachel is going to the Tower in Colorado

Monroe asks Randall what the Tower is and he tries to deny it’s important. But the minion he brought with him has already spilled to Monroe that the Tower can be used to turn the power back on and with Rachel going there, Monroe risks losing his only advantage in the war against the better funded Georgia.  Randall back tracks rapidly and even starts creeping and protesting his loyalty – Monroe shouts at him and has his men take him away. Randall starts squeaking and begging – telling Monroe about other shinies in the Tower – a place where the DoD kept all kinds of experimental and advanced technology - he can give Monroe but his subordinate, Sandborn, cannot.

They get in a helicopter to head to the Tower – Randall now in shackles and chains.

When they’re gone Sandborn, who was also Nora’s torturer doctor, goes to Nora saying he’s going to “put her down” (much to the guard’s disappointment since she’s a “fine piece of tail”). He goes in an injects Nora in the neck.

Rachel and Aaron have reached Colorado. In Atlanta, Miles and Hudson discuss strategy against the Monroe Militia and their drones and generally come up with “we’re well and truly screwed.” They still know nothing about Nora. Atlanta itself is evacuating, with the army collapsing against Monroe and Jason tries to get Charlie to join the exodus, she comments on how worried he is about her and they kiss. Relationship official it seems? But someone catches Jason’s eye that disturbs him and he gets rid of Charlie to go meet them.

And using a car with an amplifier and pendant, Sandborn drives into town with Nora in the backseat, She’s taken hurriedly to hospital. Miles rushes to her bedside and Nora desperately and weakly tells him she’s sorry – but she told Monroe about the Tower. Miles questions Sandborn – suspecting him of being a spy or a plant using Nora to get in, but he says he can’t stand what he’s being asked to do, his conscience is cracking. He warns them again about the Tower – and that he knows where it is and can take them there.

As they leave, Miles tries to convince Hudson to go home to his wife – the tower is their last chance and it’s a long shit, since Hudson has someone to go home to he should take it. Hudson is Not Amused, especially since his wife is hellaciously pissed at him because Miles swooped into town, blew his cover and dragged him into the war in the first placed. Yeah that kind of deserves a slap. Also coming is Neville since the President wants him along. Jason and Charlie are also tagging along as is Ramsay one of the militia leaders and, of course, Sandborn. Nora also joins while Miles objects – but she says she has to because it’s her fault.

Mornoe leads his forces to the Tower into the Plains Nation – he’s warned by one of his flunkies that the Plains Nation Tribes will be hella pissed at him. Monroe makes a crack about infected blankets that ranks up there with holocaust cracks in terms of jokes that will never ever be funny. Is this supposed to remind us he’s the bad guy or are we supposed to find that funny?

Randall is still been lead around in chains and Monroe asks about the Tower – which isn’t a Tower. It looks like rather a small bunker, a door into a hill. Randall tells him it goes down half a mile – it’s a tower downwards. And he keeps on creeping, calling Monroe “sir”. Unfortunately for Randall – his fingerprints no longer open the door. Oops. Over the CCTV his crawling to Monroe is watched by a whole crowd of people.

Meanwhile the dream team’s helicopter is flying, Jason and Charlie engage in some not subtle eye contact and Jason flashbacks to talking to his friend in Atlanta – who has a militia brand: he has a job for Jason.

Blood Moon on the Rise by Lauren Smith

Tamara is a Hunter and member of an organisation of hunters that watches and polices the supernatural – and kills those that step too far out of line. She works alongside her Tracker, Nicholas, his magical ability leading him to their targets.

Unfortunately, there’s far more than magic between them – there’s an awful lot of unrequited love and lust between them too. Unfortunately, their organisations rules expressly forbids such fraternisation

Worse, a lover of one of their targets seeks revenge – and has the magic to make it happen.

There were some  elements of this book I loved – mainly the concept. Pairs of Hunters and Trackers working together in cells to police the supernatural sounds like an extremely fun concept.

But there were problems with it. And I think most of those stem from the fact that the book is very very short – but it has enough material to fill a much bigger book or even a series. It has a long history, these characters have a long history, it was a wide world, it has a lot that it doesn’t necessarily need to explain to tell the story – but it is a lot that it wants to explain. But without a long story to convey all that world building, what we get is info dump.

A lot of info dumps. And they’re not even close to naturally integrated into the story. The Nicholas and Tamara simply sit down and think. We have these epicly long internal monologues where they review their history, they review their past attraction, they review the very point of the Brotherhood, they review the Brotherhood’s history, they think about the nature of Trackers and Hunters and they have a dream sequence where it describes the Brotherhood’s headquarters – a building they never actually go to.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lightning Rider by Jen Greyson

Evy Rivera just came out of a very bad relationship which has left her apartment and her bank account empty. Though Evy feels very upset about this, she doesn't realize that her life is about to get a lot more complicated.  When her father discovers a box containing a book which once belonged to his father, Evy has no inkling that her curiosity about her family history is going to force her to embrace her birthright as the only female lightening rider to ever live.

As you might well imagine traveling back through time and changing what happened is not an easy thing to do.  This is why each rider is given a guide but how does Evy know that just trust them.  They know more  about what Evy is than she does and they are not always willing to answer questions.  Evy knows that Ilif Rotiart's feelings about women means that he is not interested in her.

I was surprised to see that Lightning Rider was placed under the category of paranormal romance.  Don't get me wrong, there is a romance in the book but the story itself is not dependent upon the romance to exist.  We did however get the whole star crossed lovers deal because Evy's love interest Constantine is an ancient roman.

One of the things I liked about this story is that Evy the protagonist is a Latina and unlike many novels in this genre, she is not Latina in name only.  Greyson includes some dialogue in Spanish and we get a strong sense of culture for her.  While Evy comes from a family of Lightning Riders, Evy's culture is not to blame for her magic, which again is rare. We do once again get the chosen one meme as Evy's birth and skill is foretold in legend but rarely do we see in this genre this trope applied to a WOC. 

Continuum Season 2, Episode 5: Second Opinion

Let’s start in the future so we can top up Kiera’s angst levels – it’s little Sam’s birthday party and he’s all mopey because his dad can’t make it to his party. She gives him some moveable toy soldiers to make him smile

Now fully angsted up we can return to the present and have Kiera looking morosely at one of those soldiers. She’s frustrated by modern databases trying to find information on the mysterious Escher (who was earlier described as a “freelancer” time traveller, may be involved with Agent Gardiner and was behind setting up one of the biggest corporations in the future – but today is a mystery). Also today is Sam’s birthday.


With her not-so-subtle angst, and playing with a child’s toy, Carlos asks about her son while she tries to focus on business and the 2 Liber8 factions. She asks for the toy back because, of course, it’s a future toy that may animate and surprise everyone.

Kellog continues to follow Alec around and try to get him to go into business with him. And Alec, seeing the shiny computer lab Kellog has, agrees to go into business – with Kellog as the junior partner. Kellog tries to object given that it’s his money but Alec isn’t impressed, capital doesn’t match genius. Alec settles on his 51%, control of the projects and living space for all nighters. Kellog  agrees to all, including Alec’s repeated demand for decisions on what technology to pursue – and how it is used.

At work, Kiera is reaching new levels of angst and Betty interrupts her running for cover with some information about someone who looks like they might be their mole – he’s covered in debt which is normally a bad sign. She’s already taken it to the inspector but he’s blown her off – she needs Kiera to approach him because he actually listens to her.

Bitter Disenchantment (Coveted 0.4) by Shawntelle Madison

Bitter Disenchantment is a prequel to Coveted, which is the first book in the series. In the first book we meet the redheaded  Aggie McClure after she had already fled her father and her pack.  Bitter Disenchantment focuses on Aggie's background as the former alpha female heir to the McClure pack.  

From the outside it would seem that Aggie's life was going reasonably well.  Aggie, being the only daughter of Desmond McClure, lives in luxury and even had a great job at her father's company.  Her largest worry is what will happen to her mother now that her father has chosen to discard her mother in hopes of getting a male heir.  Though Aggie is very dominant, the patriarchal nature of werewolves means that she can never ever lead. Desmond actually tells Aggie, " If only you'd been born a man, you would've made a fine pack leader." 

Things take a turn for the worst when Aggie's father announces that he intends to marry her off to Victor, thus breaking his promise to allow her to choose her own mate.  Aggie is quite resistant to Victor until he courts her with food, her life long weakness.  After Victor decides to romance Aggie with her life long weakness food and they marry, Aggie thinks that things just might work out.  Unfortunately for Aggie things take a turn for the worst when Aggie realises that Victor has no feelings for her whatsoever and intends to turn her into a brooding mare for pups, Aggie knows that has no choice but to flee.  The problems escalate when Aggie learns that her fathers new wife intends to have her mother killed.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fangs for the Fantasy Episode 124

This week we discuss Save Me, Orphan Black, Grimm and Continuum.

Our book of the week is Blue Blaze by Chuck Wendig.

27th May - 3rd June: Shapeshifted by Cassie Alexander
3rd June - 10th June: Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennet
10th June - 17th June: The Fury by L.J. Smith
17th June - 24th June: The Mermaid’s Madness by Jim C Hines

Blue Blazes (Mookie Pearl #1) by Chuck Wendig

Mookie Pearl is a thug. He knows he’s a thug. He has always been a thug, working for the Organisation to ensure the supply of Blue – the mystical substance that brings an incredible high but also opens your eyes to the real… things out there – keeps flowing while the denizens of the underworld remain down where they are.

It’s a hard life and not a happy life – not getting easier or happier with his daughter makes a play against the very Organisation he works for; and organised crime isn’t kind to those who mess with it.

Her upsetting things is adding to more trouble – the boss is getting old, his heir isn’t ready to take over, there are new players in town and there are things stirring in the depths – among the snakemen and the goblins and the dead that walk.

This book is, perhaps, the hardest review I've ever written.

Because so much of this book is stunning. The writing is a true work of art. The structure, the description, the sentence length, the word choice all telling as much about the scene as much as the actual description. I’ve rarely seen writing that is so expertly crafted

And the theme and setting come through extremely well. The grittiness, the grimness are all well portrayed. The land without laws or order, where life is cheap, the sense that anyone could die at any time, nothing is pretty or shiny or beautiful and no-one can really be trusted. The otherness of the underworld, of the down below, how dark and terrifying and alien the underworld is. The weird eye opening power of the Cerulean. Even the surreal violence of the gangs and their odd themes and looks. All of the themes are excellently maintained to give a powerful atmosphere you rarely if ever find in books.

Orphan Black, Season One, Episode Nine: Unconscious Selection

Kira is being rushed to the hospital and Sarah and Mrs. S are at her side.  In the waiting room, Sarah says that she should have known that Helena was going to find them and that she should have done something to stop her.  Mrs. S tells her not to blame herself and Felix assures her that Kira is going to be just fine because she has to be.  Allison shows up at the hospital and Felix pulls her aside saying that she is in the way.  Allison replies that she cannot help but feel that it's her daughter in there.  Felix suggests that Allison head home but Allison says that she cannot go home because she assaulted her monitor and is afraid she will be carted away.  Felix hands her his keys and promises to call if he hears anything.

The doctors are still working on Kira when someone notices something strange on the ultra sound. A doctor comes out to see Sarah and tells her that Kira is going to be okay and that there are no internal injuries or head trauma.  Sarah is shocked because Kira was run right over and the doctor simply says that Kira is a very lucky girl.

Kira is back in her room and she tells Sarah that Helena looks like her. Sarah tells her to rest and promises to keep Kira safe from her.  Helena is back on the ship and is beside herself that Kira got injured. Tomas tells her to pull herself together. Helena tells him that Sarah is Kira's mother and Tomas says that it's ridiculous but Helena insists that Kira was hit by a car because of her.

Sarah comes downstairs and tells Mrs. S and Felix that Kira is asleep.  When Mrs. S suggests that Sarah should thank her lucky stars, Sarah replies that she does not believe in miracles. Felix again suggests that Kira got lucky but Sarah tells Felix that he didn't see it.  Mrs. S again suggests that Sarah count her blessings and move onto her problems and Sarah replies that Helena has got to go.

At the station, Angela and Art are talking about the probability of bringing Beth in. Art points out that she has no charge which is going to stick and Angela suggests obstruction, saying that it's all connected to the civilian shooting. Hardcastle joins them and asks how it's going and suggests that they both need a fresh pair of eyes on their case. Angela says that they are good and Art asks to be given to the end of the day.  Art then turns to Angela and asks her if she wants him to throw his ex partner under the bus and adds that if he is wrong about this that Angela will be the last partner he ever has. Angela says that she is starting to wonder if Beth has something on him and he simply replies, "end of day."

Tomas is looking at Kira's letter and asks Helena how she could possibly have let Kira go. Helena says that Kira is innocent and that she did what she was told and used Sarah to get to the others.  Tomas gets angry and asks where the others are and why Sarah is still alive.  Helena says that she took of Olivier's tale for him and Tomas says that it was to get Dr. Leekie's attention and adds that Kira will be valuable to them.  Helena's phone goes off and Tomas grabs it and instructs Helena to tell Sarah to come there.  Helena asks if Kira is all right but Sarah refuses to answer, so Helena says that it was an accident.  Tomas again demands that Helena tell Sarah to meet up and slaps Helena across the face.  The phone flies out of her hand and Sarah hangs up.

Leekie and Paul are at the apartment and Leekie says that it's a nice place for two young people. Leekie holds a picture of Paul and Beth together and says that it looks very convincing but adds that he knows about the lie Olivier told about last night.  Paul asks what he means and Leekie says that someone tampered with the security footage and that he knows there were two clones there.  Leekie says that he has searched for Helena for quite some time now and that she is his white whale. Leekie adds that Helena is pale but feral and suggests that Helena could not pretend to be Beth but that Sarah Manning could.

At Felix's, Allison has got her domestic goddess on the go and is busy scrubbing and cleaning Felix's apartment. When he returns home, she asks if Kira is going to be okay and Felix says that it was a miraculous recovery.  Allison tells him that his drug paraphernalia is in a drawer along with the paraphernalia that was by his bed.  Felix asks if she washed that as well and Allison does not answer.  Allison instead says that her children are at her mother's right now and believes that she can use Felix's apartment as a base while she apartment hunts. Felix says no but Allison says that Donny is staying clear of the house right now and that she needs to go home and get a few things.  Felix gives in and gives her permission to stay one night and tells her not to wake him when she returns.  Allison replies that she is a pariah and therefore does not believe she can return alone and asks Felix to be her wingman.  Felix asks if she is serious, so Allison takes his hand and says please.  Felix replies that he needs to change and asks Allison to fetch him something gay.

Sarah is on the phone with Cossima and Sarah asks if Kira is different because she is her daughter. Cossima clarifies and asks if this is because Kira is uninjured. Cossima replies that since they are genetically modified that Sarah could have passed something down to Kira and Sarah asks like what.  Cossima says that she doesn't know because lizards regrow limbs. When Sarah comments that Kira is not a lizard, Cossima says that it's not magic but stem cells.  Cossima adds that she has a guy who is comparing her DNA with that of the German's to see if the illness she had was genetic and suggests giving him samples of Sarah and Kira to compare.  Sarah replies that she is not giving Cossima material for fear that she would hand it over to Delphine.  Cossima replies that she is doing what they agreed, which is to follow the science.  Sarah is not convinced and says that she worries more about the scientists than the science.  The doorbell rings and Sarah disconnects.

Sarah heads downstairs and beats Mrs. S to the door and it's Paul.  Sarah introduces Paul to Mrs.S and says that Mrs. S knows everything.  Paul then tells Sarah that Dr. Leekie knows who she is.  On the ship, Helena is trying to fight back but Tomas locks her in a cage and says that he gave her everything and  that if she protects the clones, she is no better than they are.

Paul tells Sarah that Leekie wants to meet and Sarah asks if Cossima gave her up. Paul tells her that this is an opportunity but Sarah says that he sounds exactly like Cossima.  Paul adds that he does not trust Leekie either but points out that the genie is out of the bottle for Leekie's group as well.  Paul says that their intrests have aligned and that means that Sarah can get answers. Sarah believes that she will be black bagged and kidnapped, so Paul asks what if there were a way for them to meet safely on her terms.

Cossima is back in her lab and Scott tells her that the samples are different and asks what she is really looking for.  Delphine enters the lab and asks if she can come over later, then kisses Cossima goodbye, as Scott watches.

Sarah is back in Kira's room as Mrs. S looks on.  Sarah tells Mrs. S that if Kira wakes up that she is to tell her that she will be right back. Mrs. S asks if she means it and Sarah says yes.  Sarah then asks if they are going to be okay there and Mrs.S pulls out a shot gun. Mrs. S says that one of the great things about this country is that weapons aren't just for the rich.  Sarah heads downstairs when Art calls and says that they need to talk.  Sarah says that they already did that, so Art replies off the record and points out that this is her last chance. Sarah asks where he is.

Felix and Allison head back to her home and when she walks in, she finds an intervention waiting for her.  Allison says that this is bullshit and Felix introduces himself as her gay friend.  The minister says that her friends have shown great courage in setting aside their pain and hurt to talk  with her today and instructs Donnie to start.  Donnie tells Allison that the pills and drinking has to stop and that he doesn't believe she knows how hard it has been for him with the abuse and criticism.  The minister tells Donnie to be specific, so he brings up being hit with a golf club and having his chest burned with hot glue. When Allison starts to speak, the minister cuts her off saying that it is important for her to just listen.  Aynesley then says that Allison took advantage of her husband, may have ruined her marriage, and threatened and assaulted her but what hurts, is that Allison turned her back on their friendship.  Donnie adds that it's not just about the two of them and asks Allison if she really wants to break up their family.  Allison runs upstairs and Felix follows her.

Fangs for the Fantasy Book of the Week

Every week on the Fangs for the Fantasy podcast (archives here) we read a book and discuss it on the show. The review for the book of the week always goes up on a Monday

Our podcast now broadcasts at 6:30pm EST, which is 11:30pm GMT

To give people a chance to read along with us, every Monday we’re also going to include a list of our planned books of the week for the next few shows, so people can get the books, read them and join in the conversation

20th May - 27th May: Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
27th May - 3rd June: Shapeshifted by Cassie Alexander
3rd June - 10th June: Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennet
10th June - 17th June: The Fury by L.J. Smith
17th June - 24th June: The Mermaid’s Madness by Jim C Hines

Sunday, May 26, 2013


'Question!' photo (c) 2007, Stefan Baudy - license:
As we move into the summer schedule, shows are disappearing and new ones are beginning to appear on our radar for the summer and the autumn. We’ve also got our massive to-read list that keeps on growing – but we could always use more.

So, readers – what book series do we really need to check out? What genre staple have we passed over? What do you want us to cast our eye over? What new series should be pinging our radar?

And what old classics do you want us to revisit? Any old shows in our genre that was cancelled before their time? Any which we really need to give a good re-watch to? Any excellent classics that could use some analysis? Anything so utterly awful we simply must see it?

Suggestions and recommendations in the comments! (If any are trainwrecks you want us to watch anywhere, let us know so I can foist them on Renee)

I can’t say we’ll get to everything – but we’ll certainly try. Books, TV series, films, games – you name it, we can try it.