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Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Flynn manages to win the philosopher's stone at an auction and in the process, loses his girlfriend Katie, who has become tired of always playing second fiddle to the Library. This causes Flynn to have a little breakdown when he realises just how much he has given up for his job. Fearing the worst, Judson and Charlene suggest that Flynn take a little vacation. When Flynn decides to follow his dreams to New Orleans, he has no idea that rather than moving away from the mysteries he solves everyday, he is diving into an exciting search for the Judas Chalice.
I think of the movies to date, Cure of the Judas Chalice is easily the best. The special effects are still very cheap and the movie is completely a camp rip off of the Indiana Jones series but at least this installment is entertaining. To have a chance of enjoying Curse of the Judas Chalice, you have to go into it with the right frame of mind and you simply cannot take it seriously.
Once again, Flynn is without an official Guardian but he is however partnered with a very sexy vampire named Simone Renoir. Simone was turned against her well four hundred years ago and since then has determined to spend her undead life protecting the Judas chalice, sure in the knowledge that her sire would seek it out one day for the power it would provide. Simone is smart, funny and extremely capable. Flynn and Simone even have pretty good chemistry with each other and this time, I actually believe his awkwardness. Simone turned out to be an absolutely great foil to Flynn and was strong willed enough to walk away from him at the end.
The problem is that all of the female partners in this series have inevitably become love interests for Flynn. Sometimes the relationships are subversive, in that they become the brawn to Flynn's brains; however, it's still rather limited for them to fitted neatly into the love interest role. It's a trope and it's far from original but then if you're looking for originality, this is not the series for you.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Dragons & Dirigibles is a novella, coming in at a scant 125 pages and is the story of Melody Mckay, sister to Connor of Cards & Caravans. Like all of the female love interests in this series, Melody is a very strong character. Melody knows her own mind and will not be told what to do. When Melody is found in a compromising position with Victor by Tom, Melody is adamant that Tom not interfere.
Melody came around Victor and laid a hand on his wait. "Thomas Aloysius Devere, never take that tone with me again. I am an adult and I make my own decisions. Does it look as if I'm here under duress?" She gestured at Victor's unbuttoned waistcoat.Of course, Melody is another in a long line of gently used protagonists, while her love interest, Victor, is an experienced lover. This is yet another trope that is all too common in paranormal romance. In some ways, it undermines some of the strength that Melody has been given in this novel.
Tom flushed. "No, of course not, but -"
"Do I need to tell Wink about this? Or Caro?" Melody tapped her foot.
Victor knew he should intervene, take control of the situation, but right now, he was too entranced by the fiery creature by his side who seemed to be handling things just fine on her own.
"Look, Mel. I'm sorry. But you know this is a bad idea." Tom looked u at the ceiling, as if requesting divine assistance. "Let's just all go upstairs and forget all about this."
Forget? Every second of this interlude would be branded into Victor's mind until the day he died.
"Just walk away, Tommy." Melody's voice lower instead of rising. "You're out of line and you know it. Leave now, if you place any value on my friendship."
Flynn explains that dragons are largely asleep underground unless they’re annoyed then they wake up all cranky and havoc-causey (Very like me. They just need draconic coffee.) He and Jenkins also argue about the difference between western and eastern dragons who have a long standing feud. The extent of the havoc-ness is why Flynn has returned early and he presents a guess that the hoarding nature of dragons means there’s a good chance something has been stolen from them.
So Ezekiel and Jenkins stay to play host while the rest of the group goes pearl hunting. Which means going to steal something from the western dragons in Rome without Ezekiel because Ezekiel now has the intelligence of semolina. Jenkins explains to him that Drake will be drawing up a list of things to complain about since the last meeting (in San Francisco during the 1906 Earthquake – the last time the dragons were not happy). Jenkins suggests that he take the lead and Ezekiel decides that, no, despite knowing nothing about dragons and just displayed a level of incompetence that means he should either never be trusted again or should pursue a career in politics, he will take the lead.
Oh and Ezekiel doesn’t turn evil because he’s already the worst version of himself, he can’t get eviller (I don’t know if this makes him super evil, or super good – because the worst version of Ezekiel is a thief, not a murderer who blows up power plants to watch them go boom). At least Jenkins likes him now.
The flip side is, I wish she could make this point without demanding a time out in the middle of a clearly time sensitive crisis.
Ezekiel in this episode is appalling – they destroyed this character’s any pretence at intelligence to force him and Jenkins to be the ones in the library. Especially since this character has been the least developed of the geniuses.
Bo is sympathetic, Tamsin is suspicious. They have a little argument with Bo laying down the line of what she actually does in her PI business and how she and Tamsin need to make things work (communication, reliability and helping people). While they argue Mark hears everything and decides to leave – of course this may be due to him ransacking Bo’s room and stealing stuff.
Monday, December 29, 2014
But when circumstances force Rakmanon to move them to Lincolnshire and a deep secret from his past returns, Kenssie begins to see different viewpoints – and look twice at Rakmanon’s grip on her and just how much is she willing to lose and see destroyed at his say-so.
“I think it would have collapsed under its own weight if it were too long, like a big sugary confection – sweet and light and tasty and fun but not intended to be substantial.”
This series continues to feel camp and very much like a cheap Indiana Jones rip off. All of the elements are there from a mysterious treasure, which the white male protagonist must retrieve from a country of colour, to the typical sidekick of colour, made to look backward or even savage next to the white male protagonist, and a female love interest. It's a paint by numbers movie, without any surprises.
Instead of having a guardian, this time Flynn is joined on his journey by Dr. Emily Davenport. She may not have the same physical skills as a guardian but she actually possess more degrees than Flynn and isn't shy to point out each and every time Flynn gets something wrong. This greatly gets on Flynn's nerves, as he used to being the smartest one in the room. The two share an attraction which builds throughout the movie but never really feels authentic to me. I suppose that I should be thankful that they worked together as true partners and at the end of it all, Emily didn't even consider giving up her a career for a man she had just met.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Ok I have to preface this by the fact that this is a very long book that I did not finish because of issues I will explain. I haven't included a synopsis because the blurb for the book doesn't resemble what I've read - I'm assuming that a lot more happens so I will say if you don't find the beginning 150-200 pages the same kind of road block that I did, there's probably a much meatier story lurking behind it.
But I was forcing myself to read long before I stopped and for the sake of an honest review, it doesn't matter if your book becomes awesome in the last 300 pages, if the first 300 pages are too much of a roadblock to meet it. But if you can get past that road block, you may love it.
Now - onwards:
Sometimes Inclusive Ingrid wrote this book to tell us that racism/homophobia/sexism/ableism et al is bad, guys. Let me tell you how bad it is, because it’s really really bad. Have you not seen how bad it is? Don’t worry, this book makes it very very clear. Example after example, incident after incident all explained in detail. It’s a wonderful lecture on the damage and prevalence of prejudice! Unfortunately what it isn’t, is a story. Inclusive Ingrid has sat herself down and written one long PSA, shoe-horned in some downtrodden vampires and a werewolf who wants to expound on their women’s studies notes, and neglected to actually include a plot. Or characters we don’t want to cheerfully beat to death with their own sociology 101 texts.
At the Dal it’s karaoke night. Because why not. A man (who definitely cannot sing) is throwing a huge amount of money around, 2 women with him make out for his enjoyment and someone puts a poisonous thing in his drink. This isn’t a particularly ill thought out recipe but a poisoning attempt the man notices when he freezes his drink with a wave of his hand.
Monday, December 22, 2014
It's time for this week's episode of Fangs for the Fantasy podcast - this is the last podcast before the Holiday break. We will be back on the 5th January at our usual time (but full of much much more turkey)
You can join us here and you can listen live on our youtube channel, here, or in our sidebar. All will also carry a recording after the show is finished. As ever all our previous podcasts can be found in the archive
The podcast begins at 7:00pm EST (technology willing)
12th January - 19th January: The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde
12th January - 19th January: The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde
Friday, December 19, 2014
Clarke returns to Camp Jaha in the company of a grounder escort. She is met by Finn and immediately tells him that he cannot be outside. Abby rushes forward and hugs Clarke and then Clarke announces that the only chance for truce, is to hand over Finn. Raven is quick to say that this is not an offer of peace and Finn adds that it's a punishment - blood for blood. The crowd surges forward, demanding that Finn be given to the grounders. Clarke promises Raven that nothing will happen to Finn. As the crowd gets rough, Raven ends up throwing a punch at Byrne and is restrained by the other guards. Someone calls out that spacewalker siphoned off three months of oxygen from the arc and should have been floated long ago.
Flashback time. On the Arc, Finn quizzes Raven for a test to become a spacewalker. Raven is desperate not to spend her life trapped on the arc. It's Raven's birthday and Finn gives her a present, a necklace with a raven pendant. The two kiss.
Back in the present, Finn is approached by Murphy, who says that Byrne actually gave him a gun. Murphy tries to assure Finn that they will fight off the grounders like they did the last time and Finn points out that a lot of people died the last time. Their little tête-à-tête is interrupted by Bellamy and Clarke, who instruct Finn to head inside. Finn is adamant that he is not going to hide but Clarke makes it clear that they have to think about keeping him safe. Finn leaves with Bellamy and Murphy asks if Clarke has any orders for him. Clarke tells Murphy to stay away from her, pointing out that Murphy was with Finn at the village. Murphy tells Clarke that he tried to stop Finn and that if she wants to blame people, she should blame herself because Finn was looking for her.
Clarke and Abby head to see Lincoln, who is still restrained. Abby asks if there is a way to make peace. When Abby informs Lincoln that there are two riders just outside the gate, Lincoln says that they are waiting for Finn. Raven questions if they are expected to hand over one of their own people and Lincoln makes it clear that Lexa wouldn't let her own people die to protect a murderer. Abby asks if there is something else they can offer and Lincoln points out that Finn took 18 lives and Lexa is offering to take only one in return, making it clear that they should take the deal. Clarke is shocked, reminding Lincoln that Finn was the first one to approach him for peace but Lincoln points out that Finn massacred his village and some of those people were his friends as well. Clarke is quick to defend Finn, saying that it wasn't really Finn who killed those people but Lincoln is not swayed, pointing out that people are all responsible for what the monster inside them does when it's let out. Clarke asks what will happen to him and Lincoln describes a gruesome death involving dismemberment.
Abby heads into the holding area and Raven asks to be released. Raven defends herself by pointing out that they were ready to throw Finn out of the gate. Abby tells Raven that she is free to go but they have to trust each other. Jaha warns Abby not to be too hard on Raven because she is a fighter and they are going to need all of their fighters. Jaha then suggests considering handing Finn over but Abby is adamant that she is not sending a child to his death. Jaha rightfully points out that they sent 100 children to die on the ground but Abby argues back that that decision was made by another chancellor at a different time. Way to run away from responsibility Abby.
Clarke finds Finn, who is packing his bag, saying that he is putting everyone in the camp in danger. Clarke reminds Finn that there are grounders everywhere and they will kill him but Finn says that this might be what he deserves. Clarke argues that Finn was trying to find their people and to save them. Finn makes it clear that he was trying to save Clarke because he is in love with her. Finn says that all that matters is that Clarke is okay and that she forgives him. Clarke simply asks Finn not to leave. From outside, comes the chant of "Blood must have blood," from the Grounders.
Abby tells Clarke that they should pull back and go into the station but Clarke is adamant that they should prove that they are not afraid. Abby heads to the gate and tells the Grounders that they are not giving up Finn and are ready to fight, if that is what it comes to. The riders leave the gate. Marcus makes his way out of the woods towards Camp Jaha holding his hands in the air. Marcus tells them that it's safe for the moment and that he has bought them a bit of time.
Marcus and Abby return to the control area, where he says that in his time with the Grounders, he wasn't a prisoner but wasn't allowed outside either. Jaha is brought in still wearing restraints and this shocks Marcus. Abby explains that Jaha has been detained for treason and tells Marcus that she is keeping the job of chancellor until this over. Jaha snarks that Marcus shouldn't push Abby on this. Abby asks how Marcus bought them time and he says that he has gotten to know Lexa and now believes that she would open to the right proposal. Marcus believes that they should offer to put Finn on trial for war crimes. Jaha says that if they put Finn on trial, they will have control over the entire process. Abby realises that what Jaha and Marcus are really suggesting is that they kill Finn instead of the Grounders. Marcus argues that they would certainly be more humane. Jaha snarkily asks Abby if she still wants the job.
Abby leaves the meeting and is immediately accosted by Bellamy and Raven. She makes it clear that they are all trying to find a way out of this before walking off. Bellamy tells Raven that it looks like Finn is going to be given up.
She also seems to be losing patience with Stanley but he’s quick to pull out a telegram allegedly from a studio network and urge her to rest more before the meeting – and be less stressed. Elsa wants to be there for Pepper but Stanley insists she rests and he’ll take care of everything; she resists his plans but he gets his own way
To find “freaks” she decided to go to an Orphanage where, as she puts it, people throw other people away since few people saw any worth in people like Pepper. There she found 18 year old Pepper, left by her loving but overwhelmed sister. Elsa both refers to Pepper with great affection – and as “her first monster.”
Thursday, December 18, 2014
So this highly developed character with this incredibly epic history had to be introduced/recapped along with a rich and huge world that had already been explored by multiple series all had to be fit into this one book along with a story… it was such a tall order that I put off reading this book, thinking I couldn’t tackle it until I’d finished the Descent Series and maybe some of the other series set in the same world. Yet it worked. This book is genuinely stand alone. I’m sure the other series will add to Elise’s backstory – but I haven’t finished the Descent Series and could still follow her rich backstory and understand all the complexities that go into making her her.