Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Originals, Season 2, Episode 8: The Brother That Care Forgot

A brief montage of Rebecca with baby Hope while Klaus extolls the duties of parenthood and how monumentally bad theirs were to Kol and Finn. Yes he wants his brothers to switch sides which strikes me as a monumentally bad idea since Finn doesn’t breathe without his mother’s position and Kol is so randomly violent that the only thing worse than him as an enemy is him as an ally. In a bit of a switch, Klaus is playing the friendly brother while Elijah would much rather be slicing and dicing his kin. Finn wants to know where Rebekah is because he’s sure she’ll be much more amenable to Esther’s offer of being human again. While he tells them Esther is hunting Rebekah, we cut to her starring in her own little Hitchcock movie with ominous, gathering birds.

Elijah bites Finn. Really Elijah, that’s shocking – it’s the fish course!

Klaus rather hilariously urges his big brother to get a grip when Rebekah calls to say she has a little bird problem. Klaus has to send Elijah to help Rebekah because he doesn’t trust the new, blood thirsty Elijah not to slice and dice their brothers into tasty bite-sized chunks.

Cut to Hayley, Jackson and Aiden and Aiden all concerned because unless they come up with a plan soon he’s going to be figured out as a mole and royally squished. Hayley is sure sweet reason will convince the pack, Aiden points out that moonlight rings are actually a bit better than rousing speeches and points out they have actually gone from swamp living exiles to now actually being able to live in the city – Jackson speaks over this tide of reason and orders Aiden to set up their sweet reason speech in a complete “how dare you question!” tone.

The peon dismissed, Hayley complains about Jackson’s day drinking (what does he think this is, Mystic Falls?). She goes through the now dead Ansel’s notes to give us some werewolf exposition: turns out every werewolf didn’t have every ability they all do now. Each pack had a separate power but then their alphas married and by the power of leader-humping, their packs shared the gifts. As more and more marriages happened, all werewolves got all the powers like some kind of fuzzy planeteers, but with more wolf humping; until the marriages became merely political for alliances since everyone already has all the shiny toys. She theorises that if she (alpha hybrid) marries Jackson (hybrid) she will give everyone the hybrid power of changing whenever they want – making them super-powerful (with their vamp killing bite) and not suffering all that moon agony (wouldn’t it technically make them all hybrids? As in vampires? This isn’t explained). Jackson points out that sham Vegas marriages won’t work here – Hayley and Jackson will have to be really properly married forever and ever. Hayley cancels the Elvis wolf.

Over to Camille who seems a little hungover after her little Esther experience. Clearly they hit the town, had a few tequila shots and now everything’s cool. Hayley calls her to meet up so they can check up on the by-your-powers-combined wolf-humping ritual and mainly so she can have relationship talk over whether she should marry Jackson. They also find some spooky black spots on her Camille’s back which isn’t very reassuring.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sleepy Hollow, Season 2, Episode 10: Magnum Opus

To get their brains in gear, Abbie and Ichabod are playing a game while trying to interpret Grace’s (Abbie’s ancestor) journal. I think it’s more a convoluted way of making them be cute and amusing together and I’m totally ok with that. Katrina has also figured out how to communicate with them through a mirror (I know, she’s actually learned how to do something useful. I was shocked as well). Of course she’s contacting to tell them that she failed to kill baby!Moloch. Ichabod, hilariously, says they could use her input but Katrina has to shut down communication before she’s forced to do something that’s actually useful. Abbie’s facial expression says it all.

So she’s learned to communicate, but it’s only to say “Ichabod! I have failed to do anything useful!” Oh Katrina, we kind of assumed that already (Abbie certainly did).

As an extra bonus, after Katrina magicked the mirror, Henry can now use it to spy on Abbie and Ichabod. Oh Katrina, please stop helping which means he gets to listen in to Abbie and Ichabod coming up with Enoch’s Sword as a weapon to use against Moloch.

Abbie also gets a note that Reyes is co-ordinating the search for the newly escaped Frank – who Jenny is driving to Canada. Abbie sends a warning to Jenny: cut to them driving and having a moment about safety, Frank’s soul and his family. They run into a checkpoint and Frank gets out the car and arranges to go round on foot – refusing to get Jenny into further trouble. But once he is out he doesn’t meet up with jenny and instead sends her a message saying he intends to hide and fight back – he refuses to run.

Anyway back to the sword, by sheer coincidence this Sword of Enoch (aka the Sword of Methuselah) has made its way to the local area (because just about every Biblical artefact was shipped from the Middle East to New England at some point) and through a few deductive steps and clues, Ichabod and Abbie discover where it is buried. Also they have the cryptic warning that they will die if they don’t know themselves completely.

Of course all of this is now known to Henry (thanks Katrina!) who dispatches Abraham to find the sword (though he worries about the coming dawn). Abraham is also all stroppy with Katrina since she’s reached out to Ichabod and proven that her newly declared love to him is all false. Well done, Katrina, your deception lasted 2 episodes. You tried.

Abbie and Ichabod make it to the location and Abbie recognises it from one of the dreams she had of her mother –her mother trying to guide her. Abraham arrives and they both watch him going for the sword, Ichabod wants to wait for the dawn but Abbie thinks he could get the sword before that and charges in. The horseman nearly finds Abbie but Ichabod distracts him – and the sun comes up. Toasty horseman has to run.

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 7: Girls, Girls, Girls

Time for the opening murder – a woman, Tiana, runs through some dark allies (woman, alleys, night, high heels – they just put out a casting call for a stereotypical victim) and runs into a sinister Raul (still keeping those stereotypes rolling). Their conversation suggests she is a sex worker trying to escape from him, an abusive pimp. He is sticking to that abusive part so she puts a high heel in his eye – nice shot, Tiana. Of course, being supernatural this doesn’t bother him that much and he snaps her neck

To the Winchesters and Sam teasing Dean for setting up an online dating profile and a woman who is interested in him (have I fallen in an alternate universe where Dean WOULDN’T have a large number of attractive women interested in him), raising the apparently horrifying possibility that the woman he’s emailing could actually be *gasp* A MAN! (quick get your smelling salts!). Shaylene then arrives and is, indeed, a very attractive woman and she and Dean leave together.

But when Dean and Shaylene are alone she starts discussing fees which is a road block for Dean since he doesn’t pay for sex. Especially since she doesn’t want money – she wants his soul. He also seems to realise Shaylene isn’t exactly enjoying her job.

When her boss arrives he finds Sam and Dean waiting for him with a demon trap– and he recognises them. Shaylene tells them she’s being exploited, held prisoner and controlled along with other women. The demon briefly tries to claim innocence before shaming Shaylene – so she stabs him with the Angel Blade.

+10 points Shaylene. Though the Winchesters would have liked to question him more. He does have business cards though.

To that brothel where we see a now 1-eyed Raul and his minion Gerald about to hurt another sex worker when a woman walks in. Hey, I recognise her – she was randomly floating hotel employees. She hands Raul a little package which causes him to vomit black goo and Gerald to de-possess and flee. She also does it with class and a Scottish accent and frees Raul’s enslaved sex workers.

I don’t care if she floats random employees, she’s kind of awesome

Sam and Dean arrive at the brothel in the aftermath and accurately diagnose a case of witchcraft. Going through some research they do find information about a spell that can kill demons – but only known by one witch, Rowena.

Rowena takes the two women to a fancy restaurant and spells the waiter when he tries to kick them out because of the dress code – ensuring they get to stay and get free booze. Naturally the women are interested in magic and Rowena expositions the three ways to become a witch 1) make a demonic pact, 2) be born with magic (like her) and 3) study, training and a mentor. She also talks about a Grand Coven that kicked Rowena out for being “too extreme”.  We get a clue as to how “extreme” that magic is by the waiter she spelled collapsing rather unpleasantly

Gerald ghosts his way back to hell in a new body to report to Crowley who isn’t pleased. He demanded an uptick in soul acquisition but finds the idea of a demonic brothel to be tacky. Gerald also notes that Crowley has been… distracted again.

This Week in Book Covers 10th November - 14th November

Under Suspicion (Underworld Detection Agency #3) by Hannah Jayne

Shenanigans! I call shenanigans on this book cover! This is a flagrant case of false advertising! This book presents something resembling a dangerous, competent protagonist - it builds on an entire genre of weapon-wielding, sexy leather be-decked, scantily-clad, arse presenting heroines (and well done getting ALL of those problems in there) who storm through their respective books kicking arse and not even bothering to take names

Sophie is not one of them. I can’t imagine Sophie owning leather trousers, let alone being able to pull on any item of clothing that tight without either help or someone thinking she’s recreating the three stooges. And as to weapons? Not only does she not wield weapons, but she should not wield weapons! This woman is so lacking in basic competence that allowing her near a butter knife gives me a bad case of the dreads - an actual short sword? She would kill herself, no doubt about it

Of course, maybe the artist realises this and that is why she is depicted stabbing herself in the buttock.

I am annoyed by this cover - and not just because of the usual silliness. I am annoyed because what is depicted is so very far from what Sophie is that it feels like a cynical lie to trick readers

Archangel's Consort (Guildhunter #3) by Nalini Singh

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian

Zoe Faust, alchemist, herbalist and semi-immortal, has stopped her long years of wandering across America to finally settle in her new home in Portland. She’s finally ready to set down some roots and let go of the pain of the past.

But her fresh start wasn’t intended to include a stow-away gargoyle in her storage crates. Dorian needs an alchemist, desperately, as his body is turning back to stone and only a studious alchemist can reverse that if they can interpret the book he has…

…which is then stolen at the same time as a murder victim is dumped on her porch. Not exactly the most welcoming of homewarmings.

We have a lot of original elements to this book which first drew me to it. The whole use of Alchemy, a form of magic that has very little in the way of flashy moves or deus-ex story fixing definitely intrigues me. It has a presentation of longevity that manages to be angsty but in a more reasonable fashion than the over the top dramatic moping I’ve come to know and loathe. A gargoyle is definitely a nice touch and it all comes together very well. Even the way Zoe is inserted into the mystery generally works well – it gives her a motive and a need to be involved without any sense of the protagonist randomly inserting themselves where they don’t belong.

There’s also a lot of research in this book that really shows in the writing – the history that has been delved to has informed the characters and added some nice substance to the overall book

This is all very promising but the plot falls down in one main way – the pacing. The pacing of this book is really slow, there’s a lot of time spent describing situations and experiences and Zoe’s past. There’s also a lot of time spent with Zoe being involved in Brixton’s life and his drama and even more time spent cooking and describing that cooking in detailed terms. On top of this we have her moving into the new rickety house and the problems inherent with that and her general getting by in her new neighbourhood. It’s frustrating because we’re hammered home by Dorian how very very urgent and essential it is that a solution to his petrification be found but there’s absolutely no urgency from the characters themselves, the narrative or any interaction.

In some ways, though, this slowness adds to the theme of Zoe not really knowing what to do and having all this urgency she has few tools to deal with. Ultimately, Zoe is severely out of her depth. She isn’t an investigator and she doesn’t want to be one, she has spent much of the last few decades keeping to herself and keeping her secrets – these are things she wants to go on doing. Still, even with that thematic note, the story needed advancing and there just needed to be more urgency injected into the characters – Zoe taking regular leisurely walks or stopping for tea destroy any sense of her being hurried or being even slightly aware of the time constraints she’s under. I’m not saying they’re poorly done – she managed to make the food sound pretty appetising, for example – but they were out of place and often severely in the way. This isn’t a recipe book and in storyline with such urgency, I shouldn’t feel like I’ve been dropped into one

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London #5) by Ben Aaronovitch

Peter faces something more daunting than anything he has encountered previously… the countryside.

The London cop is heading to rural Herefordshire on a missing children’s case – it’s not the Folly’s case but it’s always best to check on local supernaturals just be sure there isn’t any magical nefariousness with children. Usually it’s more mundane and this looked like another case

But as Peter stays around to help, more and more of the mystical is clearly involved; there is definitely something unnatural going on (beyond the foody pubs with the heritage sausages).

I love this series. I love the world setting with its quirkiness, it’s fun, the broad range of supernatural creatures and Peter happily trying to fit them all into police procedure. Yes we will have fae and ridiculous acronyms and proper police filing and budget concerns!

In some ways, this story is very slowly paced – because it closely follows a police investigation which is inherently slow. We have procedures and false leads and crossing t’s and dotting I’s and red herrings as well as the whole mystical research side of things and Peter being so completely off his patch. We don’t run from action to action –but it still really works because of the excellent writing, tone, world building and general sense of realism to the book. It’s not full of action after action – and it would feel wrong if it were. That’s not how police investigations work, it’s not how a missing kid investigation works and it’s not how Peter, the Follow et al work. Part of the glory of this book is that it’s an Urban Fantasy police story that doesn’t involve people running around with gunfights until the bad guy decides to conveniently kidnap the protagonist so no-one has to do any investigating or deal with actual investigative forces or officialdom except in the most tangential manner. This has a level of realism I can really feel - and because of that even small bit characters stand out as actual people (though it helps that each is given their own little quirks and originality).

Of course, it’s also not slow because it’s immensely amusing and extremely funny. I read most of this book with a big grin on my face.

I have always loved how every British this series is and this book is no exception. The tone, the snark – oh the glorious snark (the wonderful glorious snark) – the nice little asides and interactions and wry observations – it’s just so very British. The tone of the whole book just oozes Britishness in such authenticity that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in another book. I’ve never seen a series that had such a powerful sense of setting. It’s lots of little things, like hilarious little snarks about the Daily Mail (and their dreaded view of Europe, Asylum Seekers or anyone else), or how the police are actually quite eager to shift their cases to the Folly because then it’s not THEIR budgets they have to mine for resources.

Maleficent Review

There are two kingdoms, one, a rigid patriarchy run by a cruel king, who rules over the human population, and the other, The Moors, which is filled with fairies, who have no recognisable leader; the complete opposite of the kingdom’s patriarchy (probably intended to be read as a matriarchy). From the very start, these two areas are clearly gendered, with The Moors representing fertility and softness whereas the human area is harsh, foreboding and set on invasion. Rife with gendered sexual metaphors, these two factions are endlessly at discord as the human king wants access to the resources of the lush and magical Moors and fairies simply want to be left to their own devices. In their division, one seeks conquest and power while the other stability and love.

Cue Stefan, the human male antagonist in this Disney inspired rape revenge fantasy. As children Stefan and Maleficent become fast friends, after he tries to steal a gem from a pond (again showing a different viewpoint between the two peoples, Stefan seeing a gem to acquire, Maleficent seeing a rock that belongs in its natural place) Stefan wins Maleficent’s trust and affection when he discards an iron ring when it burns - especially noteworthy given he is an impoverished orphan with few possessions.

Over the years the relationship grows, culminating with Stefan giving Maleficent what she believes to be true love's kiss on her sixteenth birthday. Stefan however, who has had a life filled with privations, has more on his mind than the innocent blush of first love - the acquisition of power, whereas Maleficent who has known neither need or want cannot hope to understand what drives Stefan. To that end, after the king is successfully defeated in his invasion of the Moors by a repelling force led by Maleficent, Stefan boldly returns to the Moors, confidant in Maleficent’s trust after all of these years and, after drugging her, slices off her wings. Stefan proves his virility, masculinity and indeed worthiness to lead through an act of violation of a woman and in turn the humans celebrate Stefan as their conquering hero.  

This leads to the well known curse of Stefan's daughter Aurora by Maleficent in revenge for the lies, the assault and the loss of her belief in true love. Watching over Aurora for 16 years, Maleficent comes to love the comely young woman, thus finding redemption in motherhood. Instead of Aurora being awoken by Philip's true love kiss, as she does in the Disney version of the fairytale; Aurora is awakened when Maleficent kisses her chastely on the forehead, vowing to protect Aurora all the days of her life. Stefan gets what's coming to him and Maleficent crowns Aurora the Queen of the Moors, thus uniting the two kingdoms for the first time in female love.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Podcast Delay

Not technical this time! (I know, with our skills with technology that is something of a shock) Alas, Renee has been struck down by the dreaded Moositis, a deeply unpleasant and soggy sounding Canadian plague (clearly one that thrives on the cold). She is unable to communicate by any means other than deeply disturbing squishing noises and some hoarse rasping that means either illness or being strangled by a polar bear.

We shall delay while Renee tucks up with poutine and Timmys while I mock her affliction provide comfort.

We will be back with you as soon as possible!

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Seven: Crossed

Sasha is burning off steam, breaking down the pews and Tyreese tells Darryl it's good that he was away for what went on.  Outside, the group is busy ripping apart the church and  Gabriel is concerned that they are going to take down the cross as well. Gabriel touches the message that his parishioners left for him on the church.

Rick and Michonne talk about the Carol situation.  Rick is determined that Darryl not head to Atlanta and that he go in his stead because he feels he owes a debt to Carol (damn right farmer boy does) and Michonne says that they all do. 

Later,  Rick hands over Judith to Michonne, hugs Carl and grabs his things.  Gabriel looks at the devastation that was once his church, as Michonne comforts the crying Judith.  Later, Michonne and Carl nail the door closed, as Judith continues to wail.  Gabriel starts scratching the floor where the blood stains have dried and when that doesn't work, he spits on his clothing and tries desperately to rub them out.

Sasha and Tyreese sit in the back of the truck and Tyreese tries to tell Sasha what Bob would have wanted  but Sasha is not at all interested.

In Atlanta, a battered and bruised Beth goes to check on Carol.  Beth doesn't stay long because Edwards enters claiming to need to check on Carol.

Glenn stands in the middle of the road and Eugene is still passed out in the center of the road.  Tara shows Glenn how low their water supplies are.  Abraham is still on his knees facing the zombie horde.  Glenn wonders about moving Eugene to the church but Maggie is concerned that this could make him worse.  Rosita hands Abraham some water because he has not had anything to drink all day. Abraham refuses to drink and knocks the bottle out of her hand.  When Rosita  demands that Abraham look at her, he stands aggressively looming over, forcing Maggie to draw her weapon, threatening to put him down if he didn't sit down. Abraham stares at Maggie for a moment and then slowly complies.  Maggie holsters her gun. Tara asks what is next on the agenda.

Rick's group make a plan on how to draw away two of the guards, so that they can break into the hospital.  Rick says that they have to move quietly because they have the element of surprise.  Rick's plan is to take down Dawn.  Tyreese points out how easily their plan can go wrong and suggests kidnapping a couple of cops and doing a trade. Rick however wants to go with his plan, determined that it will work. Darryl however sides with Tyreese.

At the church, Gabriel continues to scrub the floor, as Carl offers to teach Gabriel how to defend himself.  Gabriel brings up the people killed in the church and Carl tells him that he is lucky his church has lasted this long because no one can stay in one place for a long time.  Carl again tells Gabriel that he needs to learn how to fight because when he leaves the church,  he is going to find trouble he cannot run from.  Gabriel picks up a huge knife and when Carl starts to instruct him on how to hold it, Gabriel says he needs to lie down.

Beth listens in, as Bob and Dawn talk about how best to get Noah back.  Dawn is not impressed that Bob believes they should just wait for Noah to slip up.  Bob brings up Carol being half dead and questions wasting resources on Carol.  Beth interrupts and asks Bob how much resources his dvd player takes and Dawn sides with Bob, saying that Carol is not worth the effort.  Bob leaves the room and Dawn tells Beth that she just killed that woman.  Beth says that she should tell Bob she changed her mind but Dawn says that there is nothing she can do and that Beth has to save Carol's life. Dawn hands over the key to the drug locker.  A call over the radio reports gun shots.  Dawn tells Beth that she has proven that she is not weak.

Loki's Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr

Matt Thorsen is a descendent of the Norse god Thor – and that’s a hard legacy to live with. His overachieving older brothers and exacting parents made life difficult – and that was before he became a champion ordained to fight Jormugandr at the upcoming Ragnorak.

Now Matt, and the descendants of the other gods, must make a hasty alliance in the hope of being ready for the coming conflict – and maybe telling the old stories differently this time.
Norse gods – that’s me signed up. Yes we’re always easy to please with a  little mythology. And the concept of this book is an excellent one – the descendants of the Norse gods facing a Ragnorak almost by proxy. We have these kids, especially Matt Thorsen, both following prophecy and being guided by prophecy by also not letting it bind them and dictate to them. Sure they’re the stand in for their many-time ancestors, but that doesn’t mean they are them
Concept-wise, I am sold. Sign me up for the whole series!
Execution-wise… not so much. I did find the book just a bit… simple. It’s not that it’s badly written or the characters are poor or that the plot is bad – it’s just it’s all so very… simple. Everything just feels kind of easy and kind of linear.
Personal conflicts and histories are touched upon – like Matt’s betrayal by his family or the conflict of their impossibly high expectations or the whole conflict of going against authority when he’s the sheriff’s son – but they’re not developed. They’re just kind of there, like some back story has been splashed onto the characters to fill in the gaps but it’s not gone into any great depth or detail. And I can kind of see how it’s shaped the characters but not to any great depths. Ongoing conflicts with the characters – like the twins suspicion or Matt and Fen’s rivalry seem to just… resolve. Fen’s conflict with the wulfenkind packs causes some short term angst and then – resolve. Again, nothing stands out as badly written or handled it’s just the conflict isn’t all that conflicty. The closest we get is a little twist at the end, but even then it’s not that twisty nor does it last a great deal of time.

The plot is really linear. Matt learns about his legendary destiny/fate/quest then happily stumbles over some norns who give him cryptic clues leading to the next step, where he meets Valkyries that happily point them the next way. Each step of the way is very clearly laid out (albeit somewhat convolutedly at times to create extra steps in the chain), usually with pretty clear instructions over what to do next – so they go do it. Even after convenient Norse beings stop dropping in to give step by step instructions, Laurie develops a power that removes the whole searching element from the quest. The twins, when they meet them, are somewhat suspicious and that looked like it would be a more involved element of the story but even then the suspicion was pretty much put aside in favour of a fight scene and the twins just kind of attach themselves to the party without any real development of them, their concerns or anything else.
This book isn’t badly written, I want to stress that. The action flows, it’s not over descriptive.

Atlantis, Season 2, Episode 2: A New Dawn, Part 2

Pasiphae’s army attacks Atlantis! And the producer attacks the director for using the entire extras budget in one episode!

Pasiphae and Medea are both very certain they’re going to win now the Palladium has been lost – rather discounting the extremely impressive walls the city has. Walls? Walls, pfft, does it have elegant alabaster statues? Hah, no then how can it possibly stand? Though they don’t’ see to know how to use those walls very well – they don’t even seem to have archers, unlike the attackers.

To reinforce the walls, Ariadne sends the palace guards – reasoning that if they lose the city she won’t really need guards. Lots and lots of fighting and General Dion is injured but it’s only temporary for extra nobility before it’s back into the fray.

They manage to hold back the first advance, but desertions and losses are high. Thought they are sure to lose, Ariadne is determined not to become a tyrant like Pasiphae and allows her enemies to claim their dead and refuses to do horrible things to the deserters.

Pasiphae and Medea enter the city and Pasiphae is upset when she thinks one of the bodies is her son (Jason) – but it turns out to be a random victim (who resembles Jason closely). Pasiphae also orders Ariadne to be quietly killed if they take the castle – she can’t be seen to openly execute her because of the whole dedicated-to-Poseidon thing.

Sarpedon goes to the temple where the Oracle pokes his guilty conscience with a sharp stick. Ariadne continues to fight hoping Jason will save them. In his guilt, Sarpedon confesses to Ariadne who rather predictably has him thrown in the cells – how he expected otherwise I have no idea. But in his cells he does beg Ariadne for a chance to redeem himself by killing Pasiphae

He gets an audience with Pasiphae under the guise of offering a surrender when he tries to stab her – Medea yells “no”, her eyes glow red and Sarpedon is thrown across the room by magic, a tear falling down her cheek. Pasiphae kills Sarpedon.

Meanwhile, Pythagoras and Hercules are still carrying Jason through the tunnels until they finally run into the Cyclops chasing them. They play cat and mouse with the beast with a few tense scenes as Hercules leads it away from Pythagoras and Jason before stabbing it in the eye and running past it (ah, the CGI budget has suffered – all those extras). They can’t just leave because there are several cyclopes in the caves and have to run – their only escape being a river they have to jump in (well, Hercules pushes in Pythagoras when he says one must jump to test its depth).

They make it to shore and Hercules and Pythagoras help Jason to keep moving to Atlantis as he refuses to rest his injury. On the way they find the destroyed villages raided by Pasiphae’s army. They also find a large force of Atlantean deserters who admit they would have stayed and fought if it weren’t hopeless without the statue (how can they fight for a city so lacking in art appreciation?!). Jason holds up the Palladium they have and everyone kneels – I do think they could have used a shinier statue for this. Jason gives a rousing speech on how they can surprise the enemy who won’t expect the cowards to return to the field.

Fangs for the Fantasy book of the week

The next episode of our podcast will be starting tonight at 7:00pm EST (12:00am GMT). You will be able to listen to us on our youtube channel, or by the link in the sidebar or by the post here that will be posted. We hope to see you there

Like all  the Fangs for the Fantasy podcast(archives here) we read a book and discuss it on the show. 

To give people a chance to read along with us we 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.

17th November - 24th November: Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong, M.A. Marr
24th November - 1st December: Tempest Revealed by Tracy Deebs
1st December - 8th December : Death’s Mistress by Karen Chance
8th December - 15th December: Staked by J.F. Lewis

15th December -  22nd December: Odin Ravens by  K.L. Armstrong, M.A. Marr

Z Nation, Season One, Episode Eleven: Sisters of Mercy

Addy and Mack make their way through a tunnel Mack claims Citizen Z directed them to.  Addy takes great pleasure in killing zombies, as she goes on about being Cinderella.  Mack suggests that she could have just given them mercy.  When Addy and Mack hear a sound, they decide to follow it and find themselves face to face with Warren and the rest of the group.  It's time for hugs and kisses and the group reunites.  Apparently, Citizen Z told them that there was food in the tunnel along with someone to help them out.  Cassandra is limping from being hurt by a piece of barbed wire.

The group finds Chester, the man they were sent to meet and Addy absolutely savages his remains, causing Murphy to snark that someone got up on the wrong side of the apocalypse.  Warren pulls Mack aside to question what happened to Addy and he simply says that Addy is working through some issues. They hear Citizen Z trying to make contact and enter the next room, to see him on a computer screen.  Citizen Z gets to see Murphy for the first time and is shocked.  Citizen Z then informs them that California is back on track and that he is looking forward to meeting up with the team.   Citizen Z is ecstatic to see and talk to people again.  He is then informed by Mack that Chester is dead.

The group has a new vehicle and is back on the road.  As they drive towards Salt Lake City, they keep coming across little zombie children.  Addy finally gets Warren to stop when she sees yet another child zombie and hops out of the car.  Addy stands with her bat ready to give mercy and pauses, when she gets a flashback to the little boy lying on the floor the day she had to kill her mother. Worried, Mack calls out to Addy and 10K takes out the zombie.  Warren rushes to Addy to check on her and Addt says that she is fine and storms back into the car.

Back on the road, they see yet another child zombie.  This time it's Warren who gets out of the car.  It turns out that the boy is actually alive.  Warren checks on him and he asks for water.  The kid introduces himself as Sam and says that he is going to Salt Lake City to see his dad.  Warren tries to warn Sam that it is not safe and that the city has been overrun with zombies.  Sam does not believe her and starts walking, so Warren catches up with Sam and agrees that he is old enough to meet his father. Warren tries a new tactic, claiming to be out of food and Sam agrees to help them.  Warren guides Sam to the truck.

They team arrives at Monticello, Utah by following Sam's directions.  They are cautious because the place looks deserted and has a no trespassing sign.  Mack gets out of the truck to check on the area and finds himself surrounded from by a group  of women who have the high ground.  Mack is ordered back into the truck and is told that the group is not welcome there.  Mack holds up his hands, trying to say that he is friendly but a woman fires a shot at his feet.  Warren hops out of the car saying that they have Sam. An order is given for the gate to be open.

Mrs. Helen greats the group and Sam explains that the group just needs food.  Helen sends Sam inside to find his mother and Mrs. Helen thanks the group for bringing Sam back.  Helen notices the wound on Cassandra's leg and Cassandra explains that the wound could be infected.  Helen offers to help and when Murphy snarks, Helen tells Murphy that he doesn't have to stay there.  It seems that the place is a woman and children only residence.  The group is told that the women and children may enter but the men have to stay outside.  Helen offers to let the group stay for 24 hours.

Behind the gate, it's absolutely beautiful.   Helen explains to Warren that they grow their own vegetables and have their chickens, cows and even penicillin.  Yes, this all seems to good to be true. Addy finds herself playing paddy cake with a little girl, as everyone sits down to share a meal.  Warren tells Helen that whoever built this place must have seen the apocalypse coming.  Helen says that this was all her husband's idea, and he insisted that they get self sufficient and off the grid.  Warren asks about Helen's husband and is told that he is gone, just like all of the others.  Helen explains that the group is made up of sister wives and that the other women weren't safe until they were found and saved.  Warren excuses herself to check in on Cassandra, as Helen looks suspiciously at Addy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grimm, Season Four, Episode Five: Cry Luison

"A liar will not be believed,
even when he speaks the truth"

This episode begins where the last ended. Juliet is informed that in order to give Nick back his Grimm nature, she needs to sleep with Nick, in the body of Adalind.

In Austria, Adalind  moves from drowning, to an empty hallway with Hoffman remonstrating her for waking the voices.  Hoffman informs Adalind that she heard what she wanted to hear and they begin to move slowly forward, until Adalind hears a baby crying and takes off running. Adalind runs around the castle getting nowhere.

A nervous Ava questions her husband Gabriel about whether or not all of the doors have locked and is then encouraged to take some sleeping pills.

Back in Portland, Elizabeth tells Juliet that she has to breathe in the potion and then do everything that Adalind did as her. Elizabeth says that everything Adalind did has to be done in reverse and Nick is quick to say that he is not putting Juliet through that.  Elizabeth makes it clear that it might be just as dangerous to do nothing and Juliet questions if she would still know who she is while being transformed into Adalind.  Monroe points out that Nick would also be aware that he was sleeping with Juliet.  Rosalie suggests that Juliet think of it like wearing a costume and Nick points out that it would be a costume of a woman who tried to kill him.  Truble argues that this is about getting it done and Elizabeth suggests a very dark room.  Nick is adamant that he doesn't want anymore potions and Juliet reminds NIck that if he wants to be a Grimm again, this is the only way.  Nick asks for some time to think about this and Elizabeth makes it clear that Nick is short on time because she is going to be leaving soon.  Ever supportive, Juliet points out that a normal life sounds pretty good but questions if they can go back to that.  Nick calls it their chance to find out.

Ava is still awake and gets out of bed leaving her husband fast asleep.  Ava makes her way through the house, buttoning up her robe.  Ava heads downstairs and is confronted with what looks like a Wessen in wolf form, assuring her that he is there because she wants him to be.  The Wessen offers Ava a drink saying that it will calm her.  Ava breaks the glass and the noise wakes Gabriel.  Ava manages to grab the cars keys and runs outside to the garage, only to see the monster in the side mirrors.  Ava starts to drive away, only to see the monster now in her backseat.  Ava runs over a man, though she tries to push the breaks and ends up crashing into a barrier, only to see the monster staring at her through the now broken windshield.

The next morning, Nick and Truble meet in the kitchen and Truble is clearly disturbed.  Truble tells Nick that while she understands why he doesn't want to be a Grimm anymore, she doesn't believe it is a good idea for her to stay in town as the only Grimm. Truble believes that if she sticks around, she will only be putting Nick in danger.  Truble suggests that Nick and Juliet cannot have a normal life if she is there.  They are interrupted when Bud knocks on the door to offer his condolences about Nick losing his Grimm nature.  Bud then asks to speak to Truble to introduce himself and ask Truble to help him now that Nick can't.  Nick suggests that if it's a police matter, he is more than willing to help but Bud says no and that it's a small matter of his kid being bullied by a Wessen kid at school and he thought Truble could talk to the kid.  Truble agrees to help and Nick leaves for work. The moment Nick leaves, Bud says that he lied and Nick is in big trouble.  It seems that Bud broke his promise about not telling anyone that Nick isn't a Grimm anymore and now Shaw knows.  Shaw made it clear that he is going to teach Nick a lesson.  What they don't realise is that Juliet heard the entire conversation.

Elizabeth and Renard are in his new home and when Renard talks about the added security, Elizabeth calls it a good thing, saying that she could only save him that way once.  Renard acknowledges that his mother's efforts cost her and moves on to talking about Truble, whom Elizabeth calls capable. Elizabeth questions who has her granddaughter and Renard says Nick's mother but that he doesn't know where she is.  Elizabeth vows to find her granddaughter and asks Renard to Vogue to ensure there are no lingering effects from what she has done.  Renard complies and Elizabeth smiles.

Haven, Season 5, Episode 11: Reflections

Nathan tells Audrey about finding Pete’s body and realising that the plague ended at exactly the same time – which points to Duke doing the murder/cure thing, which he did. They realise he’s with Mara – and that Audrey isn’t well which she is avoiding facing because she suspects it may be linked to her not being real.

Meanwhile rumours that Charlotte can cure the Troubles have spread and Kirk with his happy suffocation trouble decides to confront her about it – because she can’t magically pull a cure out of thin air he gets annoyed. Dwight rides to the rescue and Charlotte says she wants more Aethur and Dwight continues to aim for a relationship.

Trouble of the week time! A waitress calls someone asking for extra shifts and sounds desperate- and then gets sliced into pieces – he hands cut off and her head.

Move to Duke and Mara and Duke has a problem – he’s gone through the journal and he can’t find any more “safe” or “manageable” Troubles to vent. Mara needs Aethur to fix him. Mara continues trying to worm into Duke’s good side – having every chance to escape but not taking it.

Duke calls Nathan for the Aethur and Nathan is duly unimpressed with the whole Mara trusting but Duke points out the utterly epic hypocrisy of that and adds that while Mara may indeed try to destroy the town with Aethur, at the moment Duke only has epic town-destroying Troubles to unleash so may as well try. Nathan refuses and Duke takes it as another indication of all his friends failing him

Duke goes to steal the Aethur but it has been moved from the safe (apparently without telling Dwight).

Dwight checks in on Vince and insists that Charlotte is completely legitimate even while Vince points out she has no official standing and that he’s trusted a complete stranger with their secrets. Dwight’s gut is sure she’s legitimate. And how can you argue with a gut? Aaargh This is despite the fact that she came to Haven to look at Dave’s leg so she WAS there on official business (or so she claims) so there should be a record

To the Trouble of the week and Gloria is on point and she hates Charlotte as well (Gloria is, as always, glorious). Audrey interviews the dead woman, Marcy’s, boss who is just a terrible person – having zero sympathy for anyone having money troubles and referring to the Troubled as “those people” who should have warned her. Let us hope something eats her. However since we’ve pointed out her daughter Samantha I’m laying odds that her daughter will be the Troubled one. We also learn that Samantha is dating another employee Grace - yes, we have Haven’s first ever LGBT person!

Audrey continues to be ill so Nathan suggests she go see Charlotte (do they have no doctors in Haven?) While getting checked out Audrey asks Charlotte why she hasn’t reported about Haven – Charlotte points out that she could ruin her reputation making such a claim without proof. Audrey wonders what will happen when she does have proof which is all left ominous but Charlotte does hold that Haven does need help. We also learn that Marcy, the dead woman, wasn’t Troubled so someone else’s Trouble was behind it

So Audrey wants to see Grace who found the body only to learn Nasty Boss woman fired her for being Troubled. She’s kept Samantha away, but she tells them about Terrance who may know where Grace is (she’s also apparently called around people to get them to shun Grace). Terrence looks like another victim of the Trouble, having bulked up massively then lost it all while holding big weight over himself. This is a very very loosely connected physical transformation Trouble (Marcy was “falling to pieces” with debt so she did).

Audrey spots Grace in a crowd and wanders over the interview her – Grace sends Samantha to run before Audrey arrives (yes, going with “I told you so” here). They go to the hospital and Audrey has a meeting with Charlotte who warns her that her whole body is degenerating at a rapid rate.

Constantine, Season 1, Episode 5: Danse Vaudou

New Orleans and a woman in a surgical mask stabs a woman in an alley with a pair of scissors (after asking her if she thought she was pretty. That’s taking fishing for compliments a bit far). A cop in the alley shoots at her – and does nothing.

To the Mill! Chas is cooking (something with a lot of greenery. For some reason John never struck me as a salad kind of guy), Zed is trying to induce a vision and John is playing with a Victorian zoetrope which gives Zed a vision of a woman teaching a boy how to shoot – expecting a drunk man to be attacking apparently. Chas checks the map and one of the blood dots are wet – New Orleans.

To the crime scene where John’s bling confirms there was a spirit around recently that did the killing. The detective, Jim Corrigan, who was at the crime shows up and is not impressed by John actually introducing them as paranormal investigators – but Zed recognises him; he’s the boy from her vision. Despite his misgivings he seems willing to work with them simply because they have some explanation for how he could shoot someone multiple times and not leave a mark.

To a hotel, Chas is conveniently shunted away so Zed and John can flirt a little and John can snarkily make it clear there’s no way he’s sleeping with Zed until he knows a lot more about her and her past

Skip to a kid hitch-hiking to the city being picked up by a man who clearly has nefarious intentions – and Zed has a vision of the woods, a tree with a damaged trunk and a rushing car. John calls the cop Jimmy to report an accident and we zoom back to the car and the hitch-hiking kid Phillip vanishes from the front seat and reappears in the road looking blood stained and scary – nefarious driver serves off the road and crashes.

The gang shows up at the scene the next day. John considers how to go about questioning but Zed is much much better at this. They learn that there’s been several accidents with a hitchhiker in the same location and then Jim shows up to arrest John for knowing about an accident before it happened. He drags John off though john leaves Chas and Zed with instructions before telling Jim that he has two ghostly serial killers.

In town Chas detects masked-ghost’s next victim and saves him. She asks Chas if he thinks she’s pretty and Chas says she is – she removes her mask to show some bad scarring and attacks him with shears, leaving him for dead.

The EMTs arrive and Chas does his spooky resurrection/regeneration thing

At the police station, Jim has done some investigating on John’s lead and realised his killer was a dead woman – while John snarkily removes his handcuffs because he can. He’s found Masaki Ross, a model who committed suicide after being slashed and scarred by another model, Tammy who is now out of prison. They also find Phillip the dead hitchhiker. John notes both had been dead years – something has woken these spirits.