Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Originals, Season One, Episode Ten: The Casket Girls

Rebekah is narrating a story about the casket girls - women who immigrate from France to Louisiana in the hopes of marrying gentleman.  Their coach is stopped by a violent mob and Rebekah kills off the mob, as well as the driver of their coach. Rebekah tells the women that they are safe now and adds that women need to stick together. The casket girls disappear into the night following Rebekah.

In present day New Orleans, the city is holding a festival for the casket girls.  Rebekah calls it a reminder of how women can be oppressed by selfish men and how they can triumph.

Davina is using her magic to help Cami get free from Klaus's compulsion as Josh watches.  Though it is painful, Cami is determined to remember everything.

Haleigh is dressed in a wedding gown, when Elijah appears to help her zip up the dress.  They share a moment and he reminds Haleigh to keep her werewolf mark covered, though she is under the protection of his family.  Elijah offers to escort Haleigh to the festivities and she declines, reminding Elijah that he is barely on speaking terms with Klaus.  Elijah unzips her dress and leaves quietly.

In the quarter, Rebekah is looking for a wedding dress as a costume, when Marcel approaches.  Rebekah makes it clear that Marcel has made his choice and has relinquished his right to touch her.  They are interrupted by a call from Klaus, saying that "their little bird has flown the coop."

Devina is still working on Cami.  Josh hands Cami a drawing that she drew to remind herself of the compulsion and Cami remembers the picture she found of Marcel and Klaus from 1919. Cami even remembers that Klaus compelled her to go out with Marcel. Devina continues to work on Cami and this time, Cami learns the truth about what happened to her brother and that she was compelled to leave New Orleans.

Marcel assures Klaus that Devina wouldn't just leave because she knows the witches want her back.  Elijah enters and reports that the violin is missing, which means Devina may have left of her own volition.  Marcel questions if Elijah had a role to play in Devina's absence and Elijah quickly swears that he would never hurt a child.  Klaus wonders what is to stop Devina from destroying them and declares Devina to be their enemy.  Klaus tells Elijah and Marcel to follow his lead because he has a plan to get Devina back.  When Klaus leaves, Elijah pulls Marcel aside to say that Klaus's ruthlessness won't bode will for Devina.

As the menfolk are leaving, Rebekah and Haleigh get together to discuss the missing Devina. Haleigh reveals that she informed Devina that the witch elders are dead and she became upset that Marcel chose to hide this information from her. Rebekah blames Haleigh for Devina's absence and Haleigh argues that she simply told Devina the truth.  Rebekah confesses that she has never been a fan of the boys club and that she believes that Marcel, Elijah and Klaus will be impossible to deal with. Rebekah suggests that it is time for the girls to stick togegther.

Sabine goes to see Sophie, who reports that the daywalkers are looking for Devina.  Sophie says that if Devina is not with Marcel, then he won't know if the witches practice magic.  Sabine gives Sophie Devina's brush and suggests a locator spell.

Cami is chugging down vervain on Devina's instructions to avoid being compelled again.  Josh asks about blood and Devina offers her wrist. Before he can feed, Devina realises that someone is practicing magic in the hope of finding her.  Cami starts to pack her things thinking that Father Kieran will know what to do but Devina stops her and informs Cami that Father Kieran already knows exactly what is going on.  Devina reveals to Cami that Father Kieran works with Marcel and after denying for awhile, Cami starts to cry.  Josh encourages Cami and Devina to leave and offers his car. Josh and Devina hug and Josh promises to meet them as soon as it dark out.

Haleigh gets a call and heads into the bathroom to take it privately.  It's Sophie, who says that Devina is on the loose and that she needs something to complete the harvest. Haleigh asks why she should help and Sophie informs Haleigh that if the harvest is not completed, their access to magic will fade for good, leaving her family cursed for life. Sophie adds that if Haleigh helps her complete the harvest that she will undo the curse. Sophie asks Haleigh to find the remains of a witch named Celeste.  It seems that when Celeste died, Elijah buried her at a secret spot at her request.

The party is in full swing in the quarter and Devina and Cami hurry through the crowds.  They see Klaus at a distance and head into an alley.  Rebekah approaches Marcel, Klaus and Elijah and claims that she is there to ensure their secret weapon does not get away.  Klaus finds Timothy in the crowd and then calls Josh to say that he wants to talk to Devina.  Though Josh tries to lie, Klaus does not believe it for a moment.

Devina and Cami arrive at a church and Cami gets a call from Josh, informing her of what Klaus said. Devina says that she cannot let Tim die.  A group of witches walk into the church and Devina uses her magic to snap all four of their necks. When Devina turns to check on Cami, she finds her unconscious and so she leaves Cami in the church.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bitten, Sneak Peak

Elena has returned to Stonehaven, a brief glance at the fun she has there

Witchell: A Symphony by F. Trantham

Tavin is an exile from his community and his people – the mages. Born with only a scrap of magic and barely considered adult, he is content to remain in the human world, desperately seeking normality and to forget that the Mageplane ever existed

Except soon it might not, which, with the return of his brother, brings Mage politics to his doorstep and the sudden need to protect his friends from the potential fall out of desperate mages seeking anyway to preserve their home

Take an Olympic sized swimming pool

Fill it with thick, dark molasses.

Attach heavy weights to your wrists and ankles.

Now try to swim to the other side. This experience will approach the pacing issues of this book. When I reached the half way point and absolutely nothing of consequence had happened – indeed, most of the cast don’t even leave one house – I was beyond tired of it and stopped reading. I normally can read a 300 page book in less than two days – this is a bit longer than that, but it was 4 days before I hit the half way mark because it was so slow and I found myself finding excuses not to read.

It’s not that there are no redeeming features of this book – far from it. The world setting is fascinating. The idea of a parallel mage realm with its own culture that is so very archaic and formal and both alien and impressive is really well built. The consequences of it collapsing and dumping all of these magically powerful but culturally inept people into the real world would be an epic thing to explore. The nature of magic is really well described and built with lots of complexities and implications as to how it works, why the Mageplain is dying and what that means for Mage politics and conflicts and how the various powers manifest and interact and truly work. There has been a lot of effort put into make a very comprehensive magic system that is very real and fully fleshed out

But all of this is explained in a serious of truly tedious info-dumps, many of them nothing more than convoluted internal monologues with all this information just randomly splurged onto the page. Much of the rest is explained in a series of painfully awkward lectures from informed characters to the ignorant – without even the excitement of the ignorant being shocked are surprised by the revelation. The fact that magic exists and there are alternate universes out there is taken in stride with about the same level of shaken surprise one would expect from discovering a new and interesting condiment at the dinner table. The book is positively allergic to any kind of drama – any kind of action – that doesn’t involve Tavin’s trainwreck of a love life.

Revolution, Season 2, Episode 11: Mis Dos Padres

In Spring City Oklahoma, Grace is a little surprised to find Aaron because she’s moved there to be completely alone and forget everything about the Tower and what happened there; and then the Nanites send Aaron to find her. And he’s just the second surprise visitor – a woman always walked into town before collapsing from heat stroke. Priscilla. Aaron’s first wife

Damn, Grace, who thought being a hermit would be so hard?

Apparently Priscilla has been lead to Oklahoma by hallucinations of her dead father. And fireflies. Yay, hallucination buddies! Well Priscilla’s relieved, she thought she was losing her mind (eerr… Aaron ALSO losing his mind doesn’t mean you’re not losing yours).. They update everyone then ask Grace what’s going on. Apparently Grace thought the Nanites could wake up – after all, if a brain is a lot of neurones talking to each other then a cloud of Nanites talking to each other is pretty analogous; especially since there are a cagillion gazillion Nanites that, when networked form a (in Aaron’s words) big ass brain.

Why Aaron and Priscilla? Because the code Aaron invented was the one Grace, Rachel, Warren and the other Nanite inventors used to create the Nanites. And Priscilla helped him with the code creation. Awww they’re Mummy and Daddy nanite! Though apparently someone called Peter also helped and he’s absent. With them reeling, Grace decides to hit them with another whammy – a powerful, omnipresence force with its own mind sounds a lot like God to her.

Alone, Aaron and Priscilla update each other on their respective love lives (Priscilla’s new husband couldn’t handle Priscilla apparently losing her mind so left her and took the kids with him).

In Mexico, Connor has heard his dad’s offer of a new fascist state just as soon as the pair of them wrest it off the Patriots and has decided that it’s not all that tempting and takes him, bound into a compound with lots of partying and a hanging body as a warning. Outside, Rachel and Miles watch and Rachel repeats my thoughts about them actually choosing to RESCUE Monroe.

Inside the compound they go to the boss man’s office and he’s very very paternal towards Connor – a definite father/son relationship going on there. But the boss man, Luis Nuñez, is pretty welcoming to Mornoe – at least on the surface (Monroe is pouty) and Nuñez stakes his position – he found Connor on the streets, he took Connor in and he raised him. And to prove the point – he asks Connor what he wants to do with Miles and Connor suggests selling him – someone’s going to want Monroe.

Which means Monroe gets to be locked up – but he still tries to warn Connor that Nuñez is dangerous and he should avoid him – yeah, have you not picked up the adopted father dynamic yet, Monroe? Monroe runs with “he’s not your blood” which doesn’t impress – and then Miles, having infiltrated the compound, knocks Connor out. But Monroe won’t run because then his escape will be Connor’s fault. The end result of which is that Miles is imprisoned as well.

Tell me again why rescuing Monroe was a good idea. Miles is not impressed by claims of fatherly bonds to a man Monroe has only known for 5 damn minutes.

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 10: The Citadel

Stephen meets his dad in limbo and gets some ominous, vague warnings about the Founder – he’s dangerous to everyone! For Reasons! Stephen wants his dad to come back without making the logical leap that he probably needs a body to come back to (the one with a bullet hole in it) and his dad tells him to find Simon Plane.

Is this going to be a thing? Go to limbo, find his dad and get a random name to find? Because we already did this with Thanatos.

Stephen wakes up, he’s alive (I’m sure we’re all so relieved to hear this) and fills everyone in on his brain’s oxygen-deprived hallucinations. I mean, visions in limbo. To confirm that Stephen wasn’t hallucinating, Cara checks his memory… to see if he can remember his hallucinations? Actually it seems he can’t. Except he can remember, but Cara can’t read the memory of hallucinations because they might not be real, despite his memory and…

…I’m not even going to try and make sense of this ridiculousness. She can’t read his hallucination memories for REASONS.

Cara thinks that means they can’t be real, but John who is suddenly all Team Stephen possibly due to guilt/need for redemption or simply because if daddy isn’t dead then he hasn’t epicly screwed them and been lying for a several years, wants to give the benefit of the doubt. Besides it’s not like they have anything better to do.

Tim, their convenient super-computers, notes Simon Plame was one of the first breakouts who hasn’t been heard of since Stephen’s father disappeared (anything you want to confess there, John?) and Stephen leaves in a huff when Cara suggests that maybe his dad is dead.

I think Stephen hangs around rooms waiting for someone to say something he doesn’t like so he can leave in a dramatic huff. If they didn’t he’d be incapable of leaving.

Stephen goes home to find his mother has a new boyfriend (place bets now – who thinks the new boyfriend is a) the Founder or b) some other nefarious evil person?) and, of course, Stephen’s kind of pouty because their dad could come back and mum must keep everything on ice until then. Even little brother Luca recognises that bullshit for what it is.

At the HQ Cara and John squabble over giving Stephen false hope; she accurately skewering that he’s using Stephen’s hope as some form of forgiveness (or at least ducking blame). John decides to go to the next absolution step – tell everyone the truth. Cara thinks that’s a pretty huge disaster to the Tomorrow People.

To an Ultra facility where captured paranormals are held in cells and experimented upon – and one inmate has cut off his own hand to stop them using the power dampening cuffs on him – and to give his severed hand to his fellow to use as a fake hand for his cuffs – so when he’s released he isn’t cuffed. Nice trick if you’re really desperate – Errol teleports and is free (at least, that’s what the sad, floating girl calls him)

American Horror Story, Season 3, Episode 11: Protect the Coven

Back to the past, New Orleans in 1830 and Madame LaLaurie, yes she’s still not gone, just arrived from Paris and very not happy about it. Without her full staff she is forced to behead a chicken herself for dinner – and becomes mesmerised by the blood. Cut to another scene where one of her slaves is badly injured and, again, she gets mesmerised by his bleeding leg – and probing the wound. Then knocking him out, tying him up and beginning her torture.

To the graveyard where Fiona leads the funeral for Nan (supported by Marie), while Myrtle wishes Misty was around to bring her back (but, no, thanks to Madison). And Queenie shows up – she isn’t dead! (Nor should she be by the canon of her powers). She’s not a happy Queenie though – angrily accusing Marie of leaving her for dead (“girl I thought you were!”). Queenie has LaLaurie on a leash (ugh couldn’t she have been left for dead) who spits at Marie which is frankly just plain stupid. Queenie has put LaLaurie together again (and without any scars –unlike Kyle who is also around) – for some unknown reason. Everyone back to the Academy

At Delphi, David is still ensuring that Hank’s death is properly covered up which is very sensible but Renard is still hurt that his son will not have a funeral or any of the trappings of death. Grief aside, Renard has other issues – he needs the witches to remove their spell or the company will die. He’s willing to pay them lots of money (and then kill them later). I have to say this is going to be a hard sell.

Back to the Academy, with LaLaurie being everyone’s frequently abused servant and narrating her life story and how far she has fallen from high society to the Academy’s servant (while commenting on various inhabitants activities – Fiona going out every night, Cordelia trying to get her Sight back). Until a Black servant (appearing from nowhere to cut figs for Myrtle) cuts his hand – just as LaLaurie is wondering what “fed her soul”. He ends up tied up in the attic having his toes cut off with more exposition about her sadistic urges

Has no-one told Cordelia who LaLaurie is? (Since Queenie lead her around on a leash, I assume someone did). Did she not think that letting LaLaurie doctor a Black man was a bad idea?

Zoe casts a spell on the bathtub to find out who killed Nan – and not surprised to see Fiona, but very surprised to see Marie. And then Madison arrives, taunting Zoe for falling in love with Kyle when they agreed to share – when Zoe denies it, Madison tries to have sex with Kyle as a kind of test of Zoe’s jealousy and he pushes her away. He loves Zoe – Madison has a temper tantrum, breaking things and throwing a lamp at Zoe’s head with telekinesis which has Myrtle storming in calling Madison the worst kind of Hollywood cliché (awesome line), a bobble-head witch crotchless panties (less good, you had a perfectly wonderful insult there without slut shaming). Myrtle is shocked that Madison speaks back to her (you’re going to insult people, expect to take what you dish) and announces that she will be the next supreme – crotchless panties for everyone

Even though Madison is deeply unpleasant on many levels, that was an epic come back.

Fiona’s still with the Axeman and he has a retirement plan for them – a nice little farm his granddad owned where they can live the rest of their lives after murdering the new Supreme to save Fiona. Aww bless.

Da Vinci's Demons and the Horror of "Gratuitous" Bisexuality

Da Vinci’s Demons is due to return for season 2 in April and in preparation for that, David S Goyer is doubling down on the homophobia that so made this show a hot mess. We’ve already spoken about the gross homophobia of the straight washing on this show - well season 2 isn’t going to be any better with Goyer stepping back from even the highly dubious minor suggestion of Leonardo’s bisexuality because it would be “gratuitous”.

“Gratuitous” - now that’s a loaded word right there and it has several unpleasant connotations in this context.

First of all it suggests that having a bisexual protagonist is unnecessary for the story, therefore shouldn’t be there and is excessive/done for nefarious purpose

This is a text book example of assuming a straight default for characters. We’ve touched on this before, but there is an assumption that any character must be cis, straight, able bodied, white and male UNLESS there is a reason not to do so. In other words, unless your storyline expressly REQUIRES a character to be GBLT, they will be cis and straight - because that is considered the “default” state of being, your basic template for humanity and anything not fitting it is a deviate - the Other.

Marginalised people are too often defined as nothing more than avatars of their minority. A story about a gay or bisexual protagonist simply must, by this logic, be about sexuality. It cannot be a story that just happens to have a gay or bisexual protagonist, it cannot be a story about any topic unrelated to their sexuality because if it were the author would have used a straight person - the default, the “real” people, the “normal” people.

This privileged default is pervasive: any depictions of marginalised people in a major role - certainly the protagonist - will always be viewed as having an ulterior motive. It’s to play politics, or being PC, or win liberal street cred or fulfil some kind of agenda because marginalised people are not allowed to simply exist, and our existence is regarded as a political or even a subversive act. Marginalised people are not allowed to be characters - they can only be walking representations of their marginalisation.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a problem with TV shows and books including marginalised characters for the inclusion cookies, the street cred - because that’s what gives rise to Tokenism. But even this Tokenism is itself a product of the cis, straight, white, able bodied male default. Because that privileged lens is considered the default, he needs an actual character - a plot, history, motivations, personality etc - to make him notable and not a blank sheet. Minorities do not need an actual character because they come with a template already prepared: they don’t need to be complex or have different motivations or background to define them - they’re already defined as The Gay. The Black. The Female.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Helix Sneak Peak

Something to set your skin crawling before the goo-zombies return tomorrow

Demonic Dora (The Demon Diaries,#1) by Claire Chilton

We first meet Dora in the church of her televangelist father.  She is the typical brooding teenager in that rebellion is her top priority. While her parents are busy trying to save souls, Dora's goal is to successfully summon a demon.  Having failed many times, Dora is extremely hopeful and surprised when Demons attack the congregation.  It is only when she returns to room, sure of the punishment to come that she realises she hasn't summoned the thick horned, fire breathing demon with a tail but the dashingly handsome and beautifully built, blonde haired Kieron. For his part, Kieron has determined that it is his duty to serve Dora and if possible get into her pants.  What neither of them realise is that their time of getting to know each other on the earthly plane will be short because as a witch, the townspeople, lead by the rotary club and Dora's parents intend to burn her alive as a witch.

Given the choice between burning to death and hell, Dora chooses to return with Kieron to hell.  At first it all seems cool as Dora manages to learn to cast spells and even pick up a pet demon.  It isn't long however that Dora learns that the cost of being in hell is losing her pure soul and the love she has for Kieron.

In many ways, Demonic Dora is your typical angsty YA novel.  Both Dora and Kiernon have troubled family history and it very much informs their view on the world and actions.  There is a lot of poo in this book and yes I mean it literally.  It felt like someone was flinging poo at someone else on almost every single page.  It was so bad that at one point Kiernon even mentioned Dora's fascination with throwing poo to defeat her advisories.  At first, these situations were absolutely funny but over time became puerile and irritating.  As this book is meant for an audience far younger than I, I can sort of give this a bit of a past.  I further didn't understand how an entire town could get together to decide to just make a pyre and burn one of their citizens on it.  This was never explained and made little sense to me.  I did however giggle about the fact that Dora was chastised for using the word "holy" and encouraged to say "fuck" instead. 

Beauty and the Beast, Season 2, Episode 9: Don't Die on Me

Cat is at the police station being interviewed by an FBI Internal Affairs agent about the arrest of Agent Reynolds, her father. It’s basically a recap of the events of the last episode, except instead of Vincent trying to kill Reynolds for the evil he’s done, Cat calls it a car accident. The investigating agent seems very happy about the whole proceedings and lets Cat out to go meet with Gabe where she has a mini-freak out about Vincent – she can’t believe he didn’t choose them. One good thing I can agree with is her decision to move on and take her life back rather than have it revolve around her boyfriend.

But why oh why does she have this slight nagging feeling of responsibility? WHYYY? Gabe points out she did actually shoot the man she supposedly loved, who even now could be bleeding to death, it’s kinda, sorta possible that she may feel bad about that… maybe?

Vincent is busy bleeding and Tori thinks he should go to a hospital – of course he can’t because that would expose him as alive. Tori doesn’t see the issue with this – they could make a cover story for where he’s been in the last 10 years (especially now Muirfield is dead), why not return from the grave – otherwise what rest of his life is he actually going to have constantly skulking? Especially since that can affect her life as well as a fellow Beast. Also, controlling who knows he exists helps him control who knows he’s a beast and, relatedly, his own control.

Actually pretty sound logic on both parts. Someone sensible must have sneaked into the writer’s room – if they don’t hide well the other writers may eat them

And Cat arrives – well, I dare say the sensibleness is now at an end. And she’s empty handed –honestly if you shoot someone you should at least bring a fruit basket (I think a card is rather inadequate). Tori is not exactly thrilled that Cat has turned up but stomps off when Vincent asks for some privacy – though he does it to basically say “I’m fine – door’s that way” to Cat

To which Cat is all shocked that he’s acting like it’s her fault; he counters with her finger being on the trigger and all – but she totally gave you an ultimatum about which murders are ok and which aren’t! She was fighting for them by protecting the man who could expose them and hoping for the best; really Vincent, it’s like you don’t care about them AT ALLLLLL!

They’re officially broke up – am I wasting my time hoping this lasts? Cat returns to work telling Tess she wants to focus on her life, her work and there will now be no mention of Beasts around her. Tess is fine with this –after all, since Vincent arrived Cat has been a one track record and that’s got to be hard on a best friend.

Or she’d like to but she just feels off… like… guilt. Tess, like Gabe, wonders if, just possibly, this could be because SHE SHOT HIM. No, that’s not it – apparently. More musing on Cat’s uneasiness is shelved because the FBI want to talk to Cat again – in the interrogation room.

Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 10: Road Trip

Sad music plays as Dean does his best sad eyes over a funeral pyre (as we’ve seen through 9 seasons, hunters usually burn their dead on a pyre – I suppose it ensures the dead are actually dead), presumably Kevin’s. Dean mopes around the Wincester cave, really straining to force as much wounded pathos onto his face as possible (and this is Supernatural they’ve already set records for wounded pathos). He’s had a lot of practice at it, but Jensen Ackles can certainly pull off angry grief.

Cut to an apparent rock star who is trying really really hard to pull off the cool look and meeting… Sam/Gadreel (hereby known as Samreel) in his dressing room; yes, trying-too-hard guy with the adoring fans and groupies is an angel – Thaddeus – who used to be Gadreel’s official angelic torturer. Thaddeus is pretty casual about all this – until Gadreel shows him the angel blade he has: by Thaddeus.

In the Winchester cave, Castiel arrives (in his trenchcoat again – angel got his mojo back!) and even his complete lack of any kind of social grace notices something is up. Dean brings him up to date and his plan to kill the angel – which may mean killing Sam. Unless they can get through to Sam and have him evict his angelic squatter; Castiel remembers Alfie (Semandriel) who told Castiel that Crowley had got to his angelic code. Maybe they can do the same to Samdreel.

Of course, they need someone who knows about that – Crowley. Who, on learning of Kevin’s death, is quick to remind Dean how everyone around him eventually dies. But he will crack their angel for them – but he wants to go on a little trip (chains on) first. Dean thinks that sounds fairly harmless – Castiel is the sensible one “it’s Crowley, he can always do something.” Yes yes he can.

Road trip time – in Castiel’s car which “stopped inexplicably”. Was I the only one who both cringed and grinned at that statement? Alas, it’s a simple matter of being out of petrol (of course, Crowley mocks Castiel’s pimp-car. And, yes, “Castiel’s pimp-car” is going to become a fandom staple). The car is awful – but made up for by an exasperated Dean playing parent to the bickering demon and angel in the back seat.

The road trip may have consequences though – because one of Abaddon’s demonic spies spots Crowley.

Samreel reports in to his boss, Metatron at a bar (the bar man is Gadreel’s last vessel), giving him the tablets he’s retrieved and reporting on all the death – since Metatron controls Heaven, with Kevin’s death there will be no more prophets. Samreel isn’t happy that Metatron has more people to kill (Alexander Sarver this time)

Crowley leads them to a front for an NSA listening post he’s infiltrated with a demon called Cecily, to use the vast amount of information to find people to make demonic pacts with –hey it beats waiting for them to come to you. He speaks to Cecily alone who promptly fills Crowley in on Castiel being human and then angel again (and acknowledges his awesome sexiness)

         As all right thinking people do

And also explains why Castiel has a car now – his wings are broken, he can’t fly/teleport. She also reassures Crowley that most of Hell is pretty much in limbo, waiting to see if Abaddon or Crowley wins, only the most aggressive demons have joined Team Abaddon. And, of course Cecily is playing both sides, she’s a demon and it’s the only sensible thing to do. She does tell him where Sam – or the Impala – is though.

Samreel’s target tends out to be the angel Abner – who has a wife and child and is pretty happy being human, and is also an old friend of Gadreel’s and former prison-mate (he’s a self-confessed lousy angel). He has taken the Fall as a chance to start over, clean slate, possessing and abuser to make the damaged family loving.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

Natividad and her brothers Miguel and Alejandro are heading to the Dimilioc, the last clan of civilised Black Wolves (werewolves) left in the country after the devastating war against the vampires. The Dimilioc represent their only safety against their parents’ murderers.

But the Dimilioc have no reason to trust and accept them – and the war has hurt them as well. Only Natividad being one of the rare and magical Pure, highly valued among the Black Dogs, gives them a chance to hold on to. But that very value attracts a lot of attention – not least of which from the Dimilioc’s executioner

Even if they are willing to help, will the diminished clan have the power to stand up against the sinister forces that hunt the siblings?

The world presented is fascinating and presented in a way that is almost frustrating at the rate of reveal. This is another author who has learned to include the world building organically throughout the story without relying on too many clumsy info dumps. This means in the beginning it’s actually really frustrating because so much is alluded to: the vampire war, the end of which has exposed the supernatural to humans, the different werewolf clans, the difference between a Black Dog and bitten werewolves, the Pure with magic like Natividad, the history of Dimilioc – there’s so much that it feels a little lost. You have to hang in past these first confusing moments

As the story develops the world all fits together excellently presenting a really rich and broad world with some truly unique elements – both entirely unique and different takes on old concepts. The way werewolves and Pure are related, the nature of their magics and the source of the supernatural is a fascinating background for the world - and there’s also more immediate pressures creating conflict – the decimation of Dimilioc numbers and the decision over whether to recruit to increase those numbers but risk changing the inherent nature of the Dimilioc clan makes for a conflict that isn’t so much a side plot as an element that permeates the whole story

The story itself is an epic one, huge battles, survival and epic upheaval very much in the balance. We have a lot of cunning plans, everything fits well with the world and our characters are involved heavily in it all. We have a mystery that was actually mysterious and completely beyond guessing with an excellent twist ending. If I have one criticism it’s that the fight scenes didn’t flow and participants often felt like observers.

One thing I do like is the way this book managed to present werewolf aggression. The whole dominant/aggressive werewolf is a trope – the werewolf growls and everyone has to cower to appears its beast. So it is with Miguel and Natividad towards their brother, Alejandro and indeed to any of the Dimilioc. But at the same time it is constantly made clear that the submission is a shame, even Alejandro is aware that his siblings aren’t submitting to him, they’re play acting to placate his Black Dog shadow. It’s also very universal – there isn’t one alpha love interest with these instincts everyone has to cower before, every Black Dog has these issues. In fact, the obvious love interest is probably the one with the least dominance issues – so the trope is touched by in an entirely different way

I didn’t always agree with all of Natividad’s decisions. I think she ran off on her own without telling anyone far too often. I think she made decisions she should have really consulted others about. I think, considering the volatile position she was in and how little she was sure she could trust the Dimilioc that she put herself and her brothers at considerable risk making these decisions. I also think that her rash actions bordered on open insult to the Dimilioc which seems beyond ridiculous given the circumstances.

However, I have to hesitate before condemning this as Spunky Agency, though I have to say I’m tempted. Each time Natividad is moved to act, she has a strong motive (helping others) and a determination not to be put up on a shelf to be preserved and protected like a delicate, precious but helpless object. She is a firm believer in her own strength and that she has a duty to use that strength to protect those who do not have her power. It also helps a lot that everything she decides to do is actually possible – she doesn’t set off on epicly impossible quests all on her lonesome, it is reasonable of her to expect success (albeit at some risk) in her endeavours.

Almost Human, Season 1, Episode 8: You Are Here

An artsy cameraman (really someone needs to keep their cameramen under control) treats us to an eye boggling scene of a man running – not sure from what, but he’s barging away through the crowds – occasionally switching to a camera vision with a green box around his face. When security guards try to confront him about his rather erratic behaviour he panics about “they’re going to find me” and then he falls down dead – a projectile apparently breaking glass and rustling someone’s newspaper (a future newspaper is just a film of plastic… and not just a downloaded file?) to hit him in the very crowded subway.

Cut to an anger management group and the leader praising someone for how he’s managed to control his endless seething hate (this would look more convincing if his facial expression didn’t suggest he was 5 seconds away from stabbing someone); he even says as much to her, he still loathes everything. But this is progress! See he loathes everyone but he hasn’t tried to strangle anyone! He’s bottling his rage into a healthy seething pressure cooker. YAY!

This may not be the best support group ever. John is also a member and plasters a fake smile on his face because everything’s fiiiiine! She tries to poke his sore spots, but everything’s wonderful – well, a lot better than poor Marty over there, his life totally sucks. And he pronounces his fellow group member Anil’s name “Anal”, because even in the far future foreign names are just tooo hard.

When he leaves he’s greeted by Dorian and a bit of snark and they head to the crime scene (for more snark about Detective Richard Paul the arsehole) and more bits of plastic with moveable images on them which still seem vastly inferior to a tablet. Looking at the bullet holes, Richard thinks there were 3 shots fired – though they only found one bullet and no-one saw a shooter; Richard’s MX points out that it was possible for one bullet to ricochet and be responsible for all the damage – but it’s a slim chance. John asks Dorian and he doubts the scenario because of the lack of residue for each ricochet – the MX objects that Dorian is obsolete; John duly ignores the MX as Dorian points out the circuitry in the bullet suggesting that while it did do all the damage, it probably wasn’t due to random chance ricochets. When the MX doesn’t shut up, John shoots it in the head.

Back at the police station, Maldonado is duly pissed about John actually firing his gun, in public, for no damn good reason. Richard is pissed because John broke his MX (which ends up with a  childish scuffle when John says Richard doesn’t care about MXs and Richard threatens to shoot Dorian). John thinks that MXs are just machines and it’s quite reasonable for him to dispose of “faulty” machines.

No John, when you work with a faulty machine, you send it to be repaired. You flag it to the appropriate maintenance people. You even turn it off. You do not draw a gun and shoot it in a crowded place because that is dangerous. And you don’t destroy it because it costs money and you don’t have the budget for snits.

John throws in an unnecessary gay joke as Richard leaves and Maldonado puts on her understanding voice in hoping John will work better with therapy – now back to the case. Uh-huh, that’s reassuring: because if you’re actually going to say John has anger issues that causes him to shoot things that annoy him then he should not be on duty. No no he should not.

Sleepy Hollow, Season One, Episode 11: The Vessel

Ichabod is finally in clothing appropriate to the time and is not impressed that Abby has pushed him into a pair of skinny jeans. Abbey snarks that Maloch might not recognize him in his new duds.  Crane starts to talk about the fear that Maloch instilled in him and Abbey sends him off to try on more clothing. Crane appears back in his old clothing and Abbey tells him that he needs to learn about dry cleaning.

Irvin is watching an interview with the people from the park about the incident in which his daughter was threatened. Frank asserts that the man acted like he was just sleeping walking but believes the suspect did threaten his daughter.  The woman from the park appears in the station looking for Irving and she touches a cop and passes off the evil spirit.  Frank gets a call from someone who tells him that if he doesn't hand over the Washington bible, his family will be taken.  Frank looks around the station and sees the officer who was touched by the woman from the park. Frank attacks the officer but the evil is passed on before he can get to the cop.  Frank gets on the phone with a priest and talks about his fear for Macy.  The priest instructs Frank to take his family somewhere safe and promises to meet him.

Frank goes to see Abbie and Crane about Washington's bible. Crane reveals that Katrina said that the bible contains the answers to defeating evil.  Abbie admits that they haven't found anything out of the ordinary.  Frank says that he has to protect his daughter and asks Abbie and Crane to help him take evil down.  Frank leaves to take his family to a safe house.

Abbie researches and finds information about a woman who encountered a demon, who could jump from body to body.  Abbie puts in a tape where Corbin talks about the woman being possessed and his attempt to free her. When the woman lifts her head, it turns out that it is Jenny.

Abbie and Crane confront Jenny, who says that she doesn't remember any of it and has never seen the tape. Abbie asserts that they need to watch it to see how Corbin took down the demon because they believe the demon is back.  Jenny suggests that they hand over the bible but Crane says that the bible must be critical.  Jenny assents and Abbie turns the tape back on.

The demon in Jenny is not impressed when Corbin waves a crucifix in front of it.  The demon tells Corbin that he will die at the hands of the horseman of death and that he will kill Abbie.  Jenny rushes forward and turns off the tape.  Abbie and Jenny bicker about the fact that Jenny didn't confide in Abbey.  They talk more about how Corbin took care of the demon and Jenny starts to leave until Abbie reminds Jenny that Macy is only 13.  Jenny pauses, apologizes and leaves.

Macy, Jones, Frank, and Morales  arrive at a cabin.  What Frank does not know is that Morales is now carrying the demon. Frank tells Jones that he needs his A game, as Morales watches.  Cynthia gets out of the car and asks how serious this situation is. Frank says that he cannot share the details right now and orders Morales to check the perimeter.

Jenny is still sitting in the car when Crane finds her.  Crane acknowledges how difficult this is for Jenny but reminds her that the demon will come for Macy soon.  Jenny starts to talk about her time being possessed and how it was assumed that she was just another troubled kids.  Apparently, even after the demon was gone, Jenny still had thoughts about Abbie, so she deliberately had herself arrested to avoid harming Abbor.  We get a flash from the tape with the demon saying that Jenny has been chosen and that she has been marked.  Crane again asserts that they need Jenny's help.

Teen Wolf: Season 3, Episode 14: More Good than Bad

It’s Derek’s weekly torture (and Peter), how many times has Derek being tortured while half naked? You think they could at least put him in some different positions (or throw away the trousers. Hey, you’ve got to keep it fresh – each new torture scene remove another item of clothing. And more inventive torture could be ued, I have some… *ahem* ideas.) This time the torturer is a Latino group (oh you lot are so not going to live through this season) looking for “la lopa”(a female wolf). Unfortunately, Derek and Peter aren’t lying when they honestly claim ignorance. Boss lady stops the choppy choppy with the chainsaw (and shows she knows Derek’s name and lingual abilities). Derek’s still claiming ignorance of any she-wolf (Cora? His mysteriously disappearing sister perhaps) and Peter gets his finger cut off.

Oh, lady I thought you knew these guys? No-one on this show is going to care what you carve off Peter.

Scott and Stiles are still playing in the woods at night and find a cave – a coyote den – full of stuff, stuff that belonged to the missing Malia (she’s a coyote, not a wolf apparently. I don’t know, I’m a cat person – she’s lucky she didn’t get “miscellaneous smelly canine that drools” from me). Of course, she’s probably not going to return to her den now there’s werewolf scent all over it and Scott’s afraid to track her in case his face sticks like that (as everyone’s granny once warned them) so they get in the police to do some policey things. Sheriff Stilinksi-who-still-needs-a-first-name shows up and gets brought up to date with their pet theory that the car accident that killed Malia’s family happened when she shifted into a coyote in the car, which, let’s face it, is going to distract even the best drivers.

Realising that this explanation is not going to help him clean up any cases, the sheriff is hardly thrilled. And to make everyone’s day worse, FBI Agent McCall shows up. Alas nothing has eaten him. Yet. And he’s brought Tate, Malia’s bereaved and broken father to identify the missing items. Agent McCall is absolutely sure he knows what’s going on and how best to handle things and STILL nothing eats him

Why couldn’t he have shown up when the Kanima was still oozing around?

The next day they consult with Allison at school, discussing the crafty sneakiness of coyotes and Kira shows up to be awkward geeky and cute to Scott with extra fun babble (I appreciate people who can get babble right. Though it speaks volumes for the aesthetics standards of this show that someone who looks like Kira is both an outcast and awkward around guys). She’s done tons of research about Bardo for Scott – which her dad kindly hands to her while announcing her crush on Scott to all present: notably Scott. Kira, if you stab him repeatedly in the face, there’s not a jury in the world that would convict you.

Mr. Yukimura has an unerring talent for humiliation – because he asks Stiles to read aloud in class – it does not go well. Scott hustles him to the bathroom when Stiles’s panic about whether he’s in a dream or not hits (is anyone naked? Then it’s not a dream. Or it’s a poor dream), bringing him down by having him count fingers (apparently you have extra fingers in dreams? I never do. How come there’s no pinching going on?)

Being Human (US) Season 4, Episode 1: Old Dogs, New Tricks

We ended the last season with so many cliffhangers it was less “cliffs” and more “hanging perilously by one finger from the very top of Everest”, so let’s see how they manage to put all of this back together again.

Sally, despite last being seen falling down a nasty pit, is now having a cucumber spa facial. The after-afterlife doesn’t look so bad. Except Donna seems to be her spa buddy – though Sally is giving her the silent treatment.

Aiden is having much less fun – running through the woods chased by an angry werewolf. In daylight (I assume Josh). However there seems to be a plan, as he screams for Nora and she collects a gun, Aidan leads wolfyJosh into a trap (baited with a goat) and manage to trap him behind silver bars. Nora reflects on baiting her husband with a goat for her honeymoon.

Well, those mental images aren’t going away any time soon.

Nora and Aidan are camping in a caravanette in the woods, presumably to be near poor wolfyJosh. Apparently they’ve made an entire daytime activity of releasing the perma-werewolf and then running away from him while he tries to kill you: or they need to do it three times a day just to keep Josh calm.

See, this is the problem with getting pets without proper research – you never realise how much energy they take.

Aidan is playing in happy denial land, sure that Josh totally recognises him while trying to chew off his legs and he’s just annoyed at being stuck in wolf form. I mean, who hasn’t tried to rip off a few limbs when you’re in a bad mood, right? Nora, a werewolf herself, is less convinced that Josh even has moods or thoughts while he’s a werewolf – because werewolves don’t. Aidan’s delusion also stretches to Sally, while Nora is losing hope. But she hugs Aidan for comfort which shows how much these characters have grown together.

Back to the spa, with Donna and Sally being friendly, connected and Donna explaining that Sally made the spa. Sally starts to lose her glee as Donna explains how things are – Donna explains things, Sally starts to freak out and creates a happy space: the spa. And they’ve done it several times over; because Sally wasn’t really ready to face where they really are. Which is when Sally’s arm in the water is suddenly coated in blood

Exposition! They’re connected because of their mutual killing thing, but Donna dragged her to the spa!pit to save the world. Very dramatic – but because both of them have dodged death for so long (especially Donna) they have risked reality and it’s naughty/bad/wrong apparently. Having finally realised that (took her several centuries), Donna has decided to take them both out of the equation to stop them doing any more damage – and by destroying Sally’s death-spot (where she died), she’s dropped them both in a “holding cell”. Sally questions her own presence but Donna thinks Sally has power – and is awfully reckless in the using of said power.

Donna’s end plan is apparently oblivion – they stay imprisoned until she figures out how to destroy them both. Her plan is probably not that popular with Sally.

Back in the woods Nora dresses up and goes to see Josh – non-wolfy Josh. They have 30 minutes in which to enjoy Josh’s humanity (which they do). Afterwards they have time to kiss goodbye before Nora has to leave and shift in the full moon.

Josh, not needing to shift, goes to see Aidan for hugs, beer and bonding. (And a brief revelation that the plague is now over, all vampires inoculated). Josh talks painfully about being a perma-wolf (or every time the sun is up anyway – or any time that isn’t the full moon) and again repeats a request he’s made before – he wants Aidan to kill him. Nora and Aidan, running Josh ragged while paying for the house, trying to keep their jobs and not even having time to find Sally is a pretty damn huge to do list and there’s no way they can keep it up. He grabs Aidan’s emergency silver knife. And Aidan doesn’t stop him, which seems to restore Josh to his senses. He doesn’t kill himself but Josh still worries that they can’t keep it up and someone’s going to get hurt.

To add to the angst, Kat texts Aidan – another part of his life that is, presumably, falling apart while he tries to explain why he is camping in the woods and skipping out on important events for her. Josh, with excellent banter, convinces Aidan to go to her – though it will be next month before Josh is human again.

Back to the afterlife and Sally has done some thinking: Donna destroyed her death spot dragging them down, so can’t she use Donna’s death spot to return? She twists her illusory spa, which is dramatic and nifty – and binds Donna in vines when she tries to interfere, leaving her only able to shout in protest (now there’s some power). The pool is turned into a bloody vortex which she approaches – and is suddenly hanging from the neck. First in her haunting spa….

…and then hanging from the ceiling of a supermarket. A nice normal supermarket… which is then filled with puritans screaming at her for being a devil, then she flashbacks to ye olden times (and briefly flashes back into Donna, who, it seems, was hanged as a witch) before back to the supermarket. Loosening the rope, Sally teleports away from the angry ghostly puritans which are no fun at all.

Victory dance time!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bitten, Season One, Episode One: Summons

This episode begins with Elena having sex  with Philip. She stops suddenly saying that she has to go.  Elena begs off claiming work but in the background her heart is beating rapidly.  Elena rushes out the door and her vision is starting to go wonky.  In the elevator her hands begin to turn into claws.  Elena makes it to an abandoned alley bending over in pain and quickly strips off her clothing. The change comes along rapidly and Elena is now a wolf.

A man is sitting in a bar and when he is approached by a woman, he asks about the Danvers family.  He announces that he is there to break the rules and calls the woman who approached him a slut. 

Elena in wolf form makes her way through the city to a wooded area.  The girl from the bar is walking another  wooded area.  The woman is walking rapidly unaware that she being followed.  She is killed by a wolf, as another wolf (I'm assuming that this one is Elena) kills a rabbit.

The next day, Elena is back in the alley and she dresses and quickly leaves.  Elena returns home to find her lover Philip in the shower. Elena tries to initiate sex again and they talk about her work as a photographer. 

Clay is teaching a class in psychology at the University of Upstate New York. His entire class seems to be filled largely with young women.  He asserts that all humans are animals and the lecture is intense.

Elena is sitting down with Logan talking about the fact that she had to lie to get away from Philip last night because she felt the change coming on. Elena talks about having to change in an alley and admits that before this, it was 37 days since she last changed.  Logan asks Elena to run with him because he misses running in a pack.  Elena declines and so Logan encourages her to start changing regularly.  Elena grabs two massive sandwiches and readies herself to leave. Logan tells Elena that no one is going to judge her if she cannot make it out here and reminds Elena that she can always go home but Elena declares that she is home.

A hunter is following his dog through the woods and they discover the dead woman from last night.  She has clearly been mauled.

Elena is sitting with Philip's younger sister and they are looking at photos for the gallery. Elena rejects the offer to go the gallery showing and says that she is going to spend time with Philip instead.  They move on to discuss a gathering of Philip's family that night.

The cops are now looking over the murder scenes. Jeremy pulls over and asks the cops if there is anything he can help with.  They are polite but clearly not fans of Jeremy's.  Jeremy questions what happened and the cops declare that it was an animal attack. The sheriff informs him that if the death is declares a wolf kill that she wants to search Jeremy's property.  Jeremy heads back to his truck and calls Clay to inform him that there is a mutt killing in their territory.  Clay says that he is coming home to handle it but Jeremy informs Clay that he is calling everyone to come back. Clay grudgingly accepts Jeremy's proposal about getting everyone involved.

Logan is talking with his girlfriend Rachel about her culinary career, when they are interrupted by a call from Jeremy demanding he return home.   We shift to a threesome, where the phone goes off demanding a return to Jeremy's property.  Elena then gets the text to come home.

Zombie Fallout (Zombie Fallout #1) by Mark Tufo

It's flu season and with a particularly virulent strain of the H1N1 virus cutting a swath through the U.S.,  people rush to get the flu shot.  What they don't know is that instead of saving their lives, the shot will turn them into the undead.  Almost overnight, the zombies take over and become bent on feeding themselves.  They're not picky and will eat any body part available. Unfortunately for the survivors, the smallest bite will have them joining the zombie horde.

Mike Talbot had always been a little bit of a of a survivalist and so when the zombie plague hit, he thought that he was well prepared.  His number one mission is to save his family somehow.  Mike is luckier than most in that it seems that divine intervention in the form of the booming voice of Ryan Seacrest and a zombie girlfriend, are determined that he and those he loves will survive.

The zombies in this novel are the slow moving creeping dead that we have become accustomed to.  This is where the standard approach ends because these zombies while not as intelligent as a living breathing human being, have retained some of their smarts.  Talbot first notices this when a zombie attempts to use wire cutters to get at him.  Zombies even have the smarts to herd the remaining humans to make their feasting easier.  A mindless zombie is one thing but one that can grow and learn is another.

In many ways, Zombie Fallout attempted to be funny.  I will admit that there were times I did laugh out loud at the pop culture references like a deity's voice being that of Ryan Seacrest but at time, the childish humor of hey everyone wasn't that a disgusting fart felt puerile. 

As aforementioned, Talbot is a survivalist and even an ex marine.  Before the apocalypse he took his boys out on the weekend to learn to shoot a gun properly.  If one is concerned with survival this makes sense but why did he never bother to teach his daughter or his wife?  Both women were so incompetent they didn't even know how to load a weapon, let alone shoot it, leaving them dependent so to speak on the menfolk.  Talbot takes great care to constantly remind his sons that it is their duty to protect their mother and their sister.  Even with the plague going on and zombies roaming the world, Talbot still didn't teach the women he supposedly loved the most to shoot.  If that were the only problem with the female characters, I could have let it go but there wasn't a single likeable female character in the entire novel. Tracy, Talbots wife spent most of the novel being a shrew.  Though Talbot was a marine, he deferred to her but not out of respect.  I don't even recall a scene where Tracy was involved that didn't include yelling.

Lost Girl, Season Four, Episode Nine: Destiny's Child

This episode opens with the train, which is clearly falling apart with someone doing work on it.  A hole is blast through the side and a crown appears on the floor. This is foreshadowing I suppose.

At the Dahl, Bo announces that she is going to get to the bottom of everything that is going on.  She pulls the jar of shadows out of the box and Kenzi points out that this is the same black smoke which took her away in the first place.  The bickering starts, with Kenzi and Trick on the side of not opening the jar and Dyson and Lauren being super supportive of Bo's decision. Kenzi grabs the jar but Bo manages to snatch it back.  Bo says the not knowing is driving her crazy.  Bo takes the lid off and the black smoke crawls out and turns into a man.

Apparently, smoke guys name is Hugin and he declares that he is the most humble servant of The Wanderer.  Oh dear, is Lost Girl going to mess with Norse mythology now?  We know that Hunin is one of Odin's ravens and he has also been referred to as The Wanderer. I must ask, is there a reason why Hunin would speak with an English accent, if he is Norse? Hunin makes sure to say that The Wanderer is the great father but of course the little band of Bo worshipers doesn't buy it. Bo says that she needs to get back on the train and Hunin denies knowing where the train is because Munin apparently trapped him in the jar the moment Bo got on the train.  Bo again demands to return and Hunin agrees to help, as long as Bo helps to him get revenge on Munin, for sleeping with his wife.  Hunin demands he go only with Bo and Bo has to tell her worshipers  that she needs them to watch her walk away because she has to do this.  Of course, Bo takes a moment to personally calm Dyson and Lauren - gotta keep that love triangle going while she is gone.  As they prepare to leave, Hunin warns that when they get on the train, if it turns out that Bo is an enemy of The Wanderer that he will flay her.  The two disappear in a cloud of black smoke and Tamsin walks in wanting to know what she missed.

Dyson heds to a locker room where he grabs a gun but is quickly joined by Lauren.  It seems team love triangle is planning to rush in as the cavalry. Dyson gives Lauren a knife for protection. They banter a little bit about the choice Bo has to make before leaving.  These two really need to grow some self respect.

Trick is in his office and Tamsin and Kenzi rush in to find out why he is obsessing about Hunin. Trick tries to blow them off but Kenzi makes it clear that Trick must know something because he is the "Yoda" of the group.  Trick tries to push past them and Kenzi again demands to know what is going on. Trick hits below the belt, declaring that he doesn't have time to explain himself to a human and a low life. It's harsh I know, but he is after all the Blood King.  Trick apologises and tells fake Cagney and Lacey to leave it be.  Of course, Kenzi suggests that she and Tamsin snoop.

Hunin and Bo arrive at a fae burial ground. Hunin warns if Bo steps on a grave that she will be dragged down to the netherworld.  Hunin says that he and Munin used to live here.  A crow craws in the background and of course it is Munin.  Munin also has a ridiculous accent which does not fit who he is supposed to be.  Okay the crow clothing is cool but it is worth mentioning that Hunin and Munin are not supposed to be crows, they are ravens. Munin craws and more crows turn human and surround Hunin and Bo.  Bo and Hunin try to make a run for it and are stopped by Hunin's wife. Bo and Hunin take off running again.

In the meantime, fake Cagney and Lacy (read: Kenzi and Tamsin) snoop until they find a blank book.  Kenzi says that Trick was writing in this book when Bo was taken and that this is what Trick used to re-write the future and save Bo.  Kenzi has determined that Trick is wrapped up in this and that Trick is once again keeping secrets from Bo.  Tamsin tries to interject some common sense but Kenzi is determined.  Kenzi declares they need to find where Trick has hidden a container of his blood.

Trick has gone to see Dao Ming to find her sister.  Dao Ming asks if Trick is there to win her sister back.  Trick declares that he no longer lives as royalty and says that he needs answers.  It seems that Dao Ming's sister is away and she refuses to help Trick.  Trick says that there is a memory which has been blocked by someone very powerful and therefore he wants Dao Ming to force him to tell the truth so that he can recover the memory.  Trick tells Dao Ming that he must have done this to himself and Dao Ming calls it interesting.  Dao Ming agrees to help, as long as Trick agrees to answer her question truthfully. Dao wants to know why Trick her sister over her.

Hunin and Bo are finaly cornered and agree to fight their way out but Hunin quickly betrays her saying that he has grown to hate Bo.  Bo reminds Hunin that it was The Wanderer who screwed him over. It seems that the plan was always for Hunin and Munin to slit Bo's throat. Bo crosses her arms and falls on one of the graves, disappearing from view.

Bo is now in the netherworld and mysterious voice calls out a riddle.The Leviathan steps forward claiming to know Bo and then makes a grab for Bo's soul.  Okay, if they are in the netherworld, shouldn't Bo be confronting Hel? Just saying - if you're going to mess with a mythology, you sort of have to stick with it.  The Leviathan is not able to accomplish her goal because of the mark on Bo and she declares that the mark was supposed to be hers.  Bo wants to leave but The Leviathan demands the mark and declares that no one ever leaves here. Bo pulls a knife but the Leviathan wants to play a game of riddles to which Bo agrees to play.

Dao Ming is continuing her magical interrogation of Trick, who is forced to answer truthfully all of her questions. Hey, didn't she originally only ask for one question? Dao Ming declares that whatever is buried in him is too dangerous. Trick says that Bo's life is in danger and begs her to continue. Dao Ming agrees to continue.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Fangs for the Fantasy Podcast: 2014, Episode 1

We're back after the New Year!

r book of the week and some of the shows we've been following all through our social justice analysis.

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

22nd December - 13th January: Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs
6th January - 13th January: Fury of the Demon by Diana Rowland
13th January - 20th January: Bloodlines by Eileen Wilks
20th January - 27th January: Written in Blood by Anne Bishop
27th January - 3rd February: Under Attack by Hannah Jayne
3rd February - 10th February: Wild Things by Chloe Neil
10th February - 17th February: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning