Saturday, May 9, 2015

Olympus, Season 1, Episode 6: The Lexicon

Flashback - to Hero’s parents having sex and Aegeus deciding after sex to tell Hero’s mother that she’s pregnant (we’re talking seconds after orgasm telling her). And the son is cursed - such a nice post sex talk.This probably would be far better as a PRE sex talk. He knows this because the “beast” in his soul has been ejaculated out of him

Oh and she has to go running and hiding to the middle of the wilderness now. Yeah this conversation should definitely have happened before sex - or maybe Aegeus is just this averse to prolonged cuddling after sex he tells this to all his hook ups to chase them out the bed? He gives her a ring and tells her to run off and raise his child in secret

Damn you’re not even going to slap him for this? He didn’t even tell her he was king!

Aegeus is attacked by Chalciope (the forest lady) and a minion who want their ring back, while wounded he manages to kill the minion and slash Chalciope’s face (because leaving enemies alive is the done thing for drama reasons). She thinks the Lexicon is bad, he thinks it’s good. They’re not looking to find middle ground here

This is all explained by Aegeus to his son, the Hero (and he let Chalciope escape so she could tell everyone Aegeus was alive so they’ve come after him, not Hero)

More exposition follows - Aegeus lied about the Lexicon because it helped him hold onto power and give his people hope. But he may have had an ulterior motive - he wanted to get rid of the Beast which made it hard to rule; or, as Hero puts it, he also viewed the Lexicon as a curse. Hero is pretty good at cutting through Aegeus’s self-serving excuses. Aegeus also calls him a guest - but it’s clear he’s a prisoner.

Medea isn’t impressed by Aegeus’s fatherly performs and quickly takes possession of the ring. She also tells Aegeus that Hero has to willingly work with them to give them the Lexicon (uh, why didn’t someone tell Cyrus and the Gaian priests that?)
She does a better job of questioning him (and learns Hero wants rid of the Lexicon and his whole story is just a series of random consequences). She warns him if he doesn’t let her solve the Lexicon he risks facing the wrath of the desperate Athenians.

Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 21: I'll Wed You In the Golden Summertime

Bonnie wakes up (so she isn’t dead) in her Improbably Huge Dorm room (seriously, I’ve lived in flats about half the size of this room and my flat at uni would probably count as a closet to these women). She has a disturbing dream about Kai and Lilly coming to get her - and then wakes up to the far more horrifying reality of Elena coming to get her

And the improbably huge dorm room isn’t a dream. It’s just huge.

It’s Jo’s wedding. And they do wedding things that involved weddingness. Caroline has gotten through her funk over all the death to join in playing weddings.

Tyler and Matt and Alaric are also getting Alaric ready for the wedding. This being Mystic Falls this involves hard liquor. Because everything in this town involves hard liquor.

The good part of all of this is seeing Caroline organise stuff which is always fun, and Caroline treating Elena like she’s made of porcelain because she decided to throw away her super powers for no damn reason.They also take the time to discuss Caroline’s need to apologise to everyone for the fun murder tour and Elena turning human and Damon offering to do the same.

Stefan, meanwhile, is taking Damon on a grand tour of mundane humanity and how it’s really not Damon’s thing. It’s actually a really good demonstration of the many things a 21st century human has to deal with that Damon, with his ability to kill and compel, never has had to worry about. He also throws in that Stefan won’t be able to see him - because if he knows where Damon is someone could torture the information out of him to find the location of the cure (doesn’t that apply to Elena right now?)

But Damon has already invested money in creating Elena’s dream life - Stefan is impressed and calls Elena to tell her that. She urges him to keep trying to get through to Damon and Stefan drops a bombshell - what if Damon and Elena split up like many (most) couples do? Especially with the added tension of Damon being human. Damon becomes bad tempered and violent but Stefan keeps hitting him with hard truths. Including that Elena, being a fragile human, could just die and leave human Damon alone.

he ends with the excellent line “you can’t do this for me or for her, you have to want to be human for yourself.”

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Demon Bound (Imp #1) by Debra Dunbar

Samantha has managed to live amongst the humans for forty years by masking her identity.  Being an imp, she cannot resist things like leaving gum on the floor of an expensive restaurant, dressing and behaving inappropriately and beating up her tenants when they refuse to pay their rent on time.  She has developed a great flirtation with her neighbour Wyatt and while she would like to "own" him one day, she isn't bored enough yet to lose the great friendship they have.

Things might have continued on that way for Samantha had she not killed a werewolf in defense of her hellhound pet.  Tasked with taking on a rogue angel to pay back her debt to the werewolves, Samantha finds herself in more danger than she ever has been before. Can Samantha find a way to stop one angel dedicated to the genocide of the werewolves, while dealing with another angel who is determined to bend her to his will?

As a first book, A Demon Bound wasn't a bad introduction to this series.  I would have liked to have seen more active world building but get the sense that this is something Dunbar plans to reveal slowly over the next couple of books.   It seemed weird to me that Samantha, herself a demon, who was aware of elves and angels, would be shocked at the existence of werewolves. This was explained because of the supposedly secret nature of werewolves and the limited time that demons got to spend on the earhly plane but something didn't feel quite right about that.  We know that there is an angel council and once demons had legions because of wars.  Without further information, the reader  is left to assume that the rift between the two groups is based on Christian mythology.  I really didn't have a problem with this as Dunbar didn't even come close to proselytizing in A Demon Bound. For the most part, other than the obvious self righeousness, angels read like any other supernatural creatures.  I took particularly delight each time Gregory, (an angel) called Samantha a cockroach.  I also liked that angels weren't the fluffy and warm image that we see so often.  Despite the celebrity good looks, it's clear that angels can be assholes.

I liked Samantha from the very beginning. Yes, she's absolutely evil at the start but grows over time. There were several times I found myself giggling at her antics.  I loved the way she constantly looked to cause trouble,  even if meant walking around naked to upset the puritanical werewolf Candy.  The more Candy balked about Samantha's naked ways, the more Samantha became outrageous.  Samantha wasn't always a smart protagonist in that she seemed to constantly antagonize Gregory (a very powerful angel). In that sense she seemed to have a bit of Kellie Independence going on but I found myself rooting for her every step of the way.

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 21 Dark Dynesty

Case of the week - a clinical study on eyesight and the nice doctor man is nicely visiting this week’s victim after hours. Slice dice death and eye removal - and a man who can leap from tall buildings

But leaving bodies behind and being seen by janitors is clearly a big no-no in his family and daddy gives him, Eldon, a stern talking to in front of his brothers and cousins for leaving bodies around, tut-tut. The eye removing thing is a family tradition. He’s got to fix his little mistake which involves cleaning up his little problem and hunting down the Winchesters since they killed his brother, Jacob and took their evil book of evil - so this would be the Styne family. They are businessmen, have evil-books of evil, keep it in the family AND like to collect eyes. For trying to play intra-family politics, his cousin Eli also gets his knuckles wrapped for failing to hunt down Charlie.

Said evil book of evil is currently in the hands of Rowena because Sam gave it to her (which the whole world will be regretting later.)

He tries to cover up this ridiculous decision with Dean who has, conveniently, decided to investigate the Stynes in case they come calling again. Dean’s also found the case of the missing eyed woman and men jumping out of tall windows - since he’s still looking for distractions from the Mark of Cain.

Sam decides to share his terrible plan of terribleness with Charlie. He wants her to help Rowena because the book is not only in an ancient language but also in code. Charlie points out how this is the worst idea in the world ever - but of course she agrees.

Rowena and Charlie aren’t the biggest fan of each other. Castiel also drops in and an angel being around makes even Rowena hesitate. He’s there to keep an eye on Rowena and ensure she plays nice since Angel, generally, beats everything (though Castiel does resent the idea that Sam doesn’t have time to referee but he does - leaving Sam to briefly beg). Like Charlie, Castiel is also very much against doing all this without telling Dean - secret between the brothers never end well. Of course they still all agree - Castiel, Sam and Charlie all nobly declaring “for Dean” (and Rowena throwing in a “I barely know the man” because she may be evil but she’s also kind of awesome).

Castiel also brings pork rinds. This is proof he may be evil. Rowena trying to find similarity with Charlie also leads to a lot of excellent eye-expressions between Charlie and Castiel. Rowena then lays out several very compelling similarities between them. She’s also trying to undermine her loyalty to the Winchesters.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dying Bites (The Bloodhound Files #1) by D.D. Barant

FBI profiler Jace Valchek is awoken in the middle of the night and told to grab her three most essential tools because she is being transferred to a new top secret division.  Jace does end up working for a new government agency but one in a parallel universe - a world in which vampires, lycanthropes and gollums make up the majority of the world's population.  Before Jace can return home, she is tasked with tracking and apprehending a human serial killer who is bent on changing the balance of power in the world, even if it means destroying it. 

Barant doesn't waste anytime diving into the story and the reader, along with Jace, must quickly learn the rules of the world he has created.  The problem is that as a guide, Jace would not have been my choice.  Jace plays the typical tough girl to hilt, verging into belligerent and rude more often than not.  Jace screams and throws tantrums making it hard to believe that she is an FBI profiler. At times, I found myself actively questioning her stability. There is also the issue that there is little connecting Jace to her former world.  Jace's parents are dead (big surprise there) and she has few close friends.

Jace is brought to the parallel world because the NSA is chasing down a serial killer they believe to be insane and since Lycanthropes and Vampires have immunity to such human frailties, they have no experience dealing with the mentally ill.  Here's the thing, given everything that the supernaturals have done to humans, it seems absolutely rational to me for humans to want to fight back.  In the alternate world history, humans were enslaved, treated like cattle and drained, imprisoned and dismembered.  It's worth keeping in mind that though lycnathropes and vampires have their immunities, they are longer lived, stronger and faster than the average human.  With the human population reduced to one million why wouldn't someone step forward?  

The antagonist plans to release an ancient God to fight against the lycanthropes and vampires.  This makes perfect sense to me because the vampires and lyncanthropes unleashed an ancient God on humans killing 6 million of them.  At any rate, Jace of course foils his plans but the limited exposure to the release of the God, still leaves the 150,000 of the affected supes with schizophrenia, irrational phobias,  and multiple personality disorder.  The implication is that they will be violent and difficult to deal with because this society has no experience with mental illness.  All in all the portrayal of mental illness in this book is terrible because to be mentally ill in Barant's world, is to be a violent killer capable of atrocity. 

Forever, Season 1, Episode 22: The Last Death of Henry Morgan

I’m not loving this episode title. Not loving it at all. Don’t do this Forever.

In an archive, a woman is checking a delivery, an ancient Roman Gladius (the weapon that killed Adam?). She cuts herself on it… and then we cut to her dead body being found by Jo and Hanson

And Lucas desperately trying to fill Henry’s shoes. Badly. Henry isn’t there because he’s at Abigail’s funeral - something Jo didn’t know

To that deeply touching funeral and Henry doing his best not to fall apart and declaring vengeance against Adam. Eternal vengeance. Literally. We also launch this week’s flashbacks to 1945, Henry and Abigail all happy - and Henry learning that Abigail had an abusive past before meeting them

So to the case and Henry does his Sherlock thing and they identify Blair Dryden who worked in an antiquities museum. To the museum and Diane Clarke, the head curator. Of course Henry goes as well, do we even have to pretend to be surprised by this point?

Henry does his investigating thing and discovers an old roman knife is missing - and of course he thinks of Adam. Hopes for revenge raises its ugly head. Henry runs to see Abe while Adam watches from a distance looking all ominous

Abe hears Adam’s theory about the weapon that can kill them - and quickly locks up Henry’s antique gun which fired the bullet that killed him. He’s also not that happy that Henry decided to keep that gun around - realising that when he is dead there’s a good chance that Henry would also kill himself. Coupled with Henry saying Abigail saved him, Abe repeats what he’s said before - Henry needs someone.

Hanson is all kind of geeky about ancient weapons calling himself practically an expert - though Reece would prefer a real one. And the real one would be Henry, of course. So it’s off to see a Mr. Griffin, an expert in ancient weapons who Blair spoke to. Also played by John Noble so everything just got 56% more creepy and 24% more sinister.

He reveals the knife that Blair found was one of the daggers that killed Caesar. And that it’s supposed to be cursed. Next step is Blair’s fiance, Duane, who they just learn about. Interviewing him they learn about a fake mugging (well… actual mugging) that Duane’s friend Xander pulled on Blair to steal the dagger (in that he actually did steal from her with violence it really is an ACTUAL mugging. Oh Blair, this guy was not a keeper).

iZombie, Season 1, Episode 8: Dead Air

Liv enjoys a highly erotic foot run from Lowell (hey, if he’s going to wear those boxers he can rub anything he wants) and I have to giggle at the idea of “Kelly Clarkson” being a safe word. The implication is that this is a post-sex foot rub.

And her phone rings. Let it be known now that if I am in bed with a half naked Bradley James, not only will I not answer it (even if the house is on fire) but I will hunt down and murder and eat the brains of the caller.

Liv hangs up on Major (who is in prison. No, no excuse.)

in the car Liv reflects on all the things she can’t enjoy as a zombie and is happy that sex is no longer one of those things. She’s also enjoying a new relationship call-in radio show

Since Liv was distracted, it’s Ravi who is waiting for Major to be released (and we have an awesomely snarky desk clerk). More effective is Payton who is an ADA who rips into said snarky desk clerk with her legal super powers and has Major released right away. Ravi is, rightfully, impressed. Major has also been pretty badly beaten while in prison

He is, sadly, not interested in suing but more concerned about the missing kids. Which means it’s down to Ravi to break the news about their deaths since everyone is buying last week’s cover up. Except Major - he is sure the police are lying

To the morgue where Liv is listening to her radio (much to Ravi’s disgust) and the hose dies on air. To the body!

She was electrocuted and Clive is on scene to call it murder - her microphone was sabotaged. Ravi makes a too-soon joke (awww, Ravi, I laughed). They learn that the woman who called in threatening to kill the woman her husband was cheating on her with seemed to be aiming her threats at the victim, Sasha. A slightly more honest (or cruel) co-worker tells them that Sasha had a thing for men who were already in relationships. They also confirm that’s just about anyone has access to set up the trap

So it’s time for Liv to plough through 30 hours of Sasha’s broadcasts while eating her brains. Ravi also asks after Peyton as he’s interested, Liv quickly changes the subject apparently thinking that she won’t be interested - so they discuss rat zombie cures. And find that all the rats are dead and their brains missing (and Liv makes a Game of Thrones reference? That’s it this show will forever be hailed as beyond awesome).

They find the escapes zombie rat (“he’s white and murderous, you did it!”) which Liv is all thrilled about while Ravi, wisely, jumps on the high furniture. Liv is safe, as she cutely explains to her little zombie rat, because zombie brains are nasty. She also giggles very inappropriately at the idea of the rat ending civilisation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Incite (Ignite #2) by Erica Crouch

Hell has invaded Heaven and won. Azael is the king of hell, Lucifer sits on the golden throne and the Earth is in ruins

Among these ruins the demon Pen and Archangel Michael try to survive the forces of heaven and hell both of which are hunting them.

While they are running, seemingly doomed, they do find one thing to give them hope: New Genesis, angels and demons who are no longer willing to align with Heaven or Hell. Maybe there’s space for a third way.

I am glad that we got on to the rebellion in this book about half way through because for a large part of this book (and, to be honest, the first book) we didn’t seem to have much to rest on. Azael hates Pen because she betrayed him and how terribad awful is that. Meanwhile Pen and Michael love each other forever and ever because… reasons. Yes, reasons, because they have only been together for such a very short period of time.

It’s rather lacking as a plot line. It’s not even a plot line, it’s just a list of emotions. I’m not even sure of the actions it pushes them into. Why are Lucifer and Azael so invested in hunting down Pen? Why are the angels so invested in gunning for Michael given everything else is going on? It doesn’t help that these heavy emotion doesn’t help these characters. These characters are supposed to be thousands of years old, they’re supposed to be older than humanity itself. And I just don’t see it. They’re so emotional, they’re so over-dramatic, they’re so out of control, they’re so inclined to monologue and angst and… they feel like teenagers.

So all of that wasn’t sold to me - but the rebellion? This I like and I hope it is developed a lot more in future books because it badly needs it. The Rebellion and the whole idea that both Heaven and Hell have lost their way and that the rigid black and white thinking simple doesn’t work in this shades-of-grey world. It adds context to Pen and Michael defecting because it wasn’t just about true love, it was about being deeply disillusioned with their own side.

Limerence 2 (Obsession #2) by Claire C Riley

Mia is now a vampire and all the concerns she had as a human seem so very distant, so vanishingly small compared to what she is now. Of course that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have passions

She wants out, she wants freedom, she wants to live as a vampire free from the Queen’s dictates.

But she also wants Bastion - the sexy vampire who desperately wants her as well. But they are forbidden from being together, no matter how it hurts. They should stay away, but they can’t bring themselves to do so - even as their love threatens Mia’s fragile control. A snapped control that could not just threaten them - but the whole vampire society.

The first book in his series was wonderfully refreshing. It took that very common paranormal romance trope of deeply obsessive love and showed us the much darker side of it. That it isn’t romantic or sexy or passionate - it’s scary, it’s terrifying and, ultimately, it’s extremely destructive. It was an excellent analysis.

This book? Well, there’s something similar, but it isn’t really conveyed nearly as well. Mia is now a new vampire and is having to adapt to the new society she finds herself in… but there isn’t a lot there. Sure there are vampires and drinking blood (and this book does an excellent job of conveying a truly callous, humanity-less depiction of vampire. Vampires that are utterly uncaring about who they kill and feeding their appetite) but other than the fact they serve their queen. Which is fine, it doesn’t have to be extremely complicated or byzantine or anything else

But we get this for half the book. For half the book Mia is training (without actually expanding her vampire powers), fighting her inner vampire (without especially explaining what that was, though we get more of that in the second part) but, on the whole, it mainly focuses on her relationship with .

This does continue the theme of the first book. Mia and Bastion both obsess over each other even though they both know their relationship is destructive. Bastion treats her terribly, continually pushing her away then trying to pull her back in, throwing so many mixed signals that it’s dizzying. Again, this is something we see in other romances, but this book shows the dark side of it, the damage and pain - not all the romantic sadness and suffering that we see repeated over and over again. Their relationship is a trainwreck that we see spiralling toward inevitable destruction.

The Returned, Season 1, Episode 9: Helen

Opening flashback - 29 years ago and Helen being upset reading about Victor and his mother’s murder. She’s sure that the murder is just a harbinger of terrible things to come - and that some mysterious “they” have taken her clothes and perfume.

They would be the mental institution she’s been locked in for trying to burn down the town hall. She’s not encouraging when she tells her husband how she’d do it again and burn it all down. As he leaves she sadly says “you used to say you loved the way my mind worked.” The burst dam washes away the mental hospital and destroys Helen’s escape attempt

In the present day Helen is involved with booze, a guy in a truck and heading towards explosives - after asking previously how to bring the dam down again. She has sex with the man to get a guide of the explosives in the run down mine. She kills him and takes the map to the explodey stuff which she then stocks up on.

Julie is a little concerned that Victor, the world’s creepiest kid, killed Tony. Victor responds with a creepy smile. Because creepy.

Nikki researches Victor - finding a string of women who took in a silent, nameless boy who looked like Victor before they all died. She tries to warn Julie about the creepy murder child but only gets Victor on the phone.

She hurries to Julie’s to find Victor and creepy, flickering lights. Julie is there - but suddenly very hostile for Nikki, blaming her for not being with her when she was attacked. Does this seem bizarre? Yes because Julie is actually in the shower, this Julie is a hallucination Victor is conjured because CREEPY. Hallucination Julie makes Nikki fall down the stairs. Which is what Julie finds - Victor at the top of the stairs and unconscious Nikki at the bottom

Camille discovers the joys of social media and that her “friends” have now spread the word she’s an evil murdering zombie complete with photos of her empty coffin. Lena is still on her side though.

The town is also setting up their new memorial - and the grieving parents want the Winships to stay away because they’re all commemorating the kids they’ve lost and the Winships kind of found there’s again. They’re also blaming Camille for the Kratski’s suicide (when they should be blaming Peter).

Salem, Season 2, Episode 5: The Wine Dark Sea

Countess Marburg and her son continue to be creepy and incestuous and they speak ominously of a “true consecration” which Mary must finish for the Grand Rite. The countess is all very impressed by Mary. They’re finally heading to Salem. She also has a terrible rotting skin condition which she bathes in blood to cure - lots of Bathory connections of course.

At the Sibley household we have more from the creepy son and Tituba being duly snarky about Mary playing slave with Dr. Wainwright. Hawthorne is plotting against Mary again, so she enlists her abused husband again - forcing him to beg and grovel.

John has tied up Cotton and is having a proper temper tantrum even as the woowoo he has is clearly not doing him good. Cotton is not impressed by him ripping up all of his books and is rather concerned by whatever has happened to John and the dark woo-woo ravaging him. Cotton does get the chance to tell John how much Mary loves him which probably doesn’t help matters

Anne has her mousey familiar and she’s all Disney with it. Hawthorne interrupts her before she can burst into song to force his way into her home to try and to poke her into accepting his protection again. He pushes that by mentioning witch rumours against her (after her magically attacking a guard outside of town) - and pushing her to marry him. He doesn’t even try to be subtle - she marries him or he has her accused as a witch.

Anne goes to see Mary and finds the creepy son who is very very very creepy. Mary isn’t impressed by Anne’s plight - she tells her to marry him. The way for a woman to be safe in this world is to marry a powerful man, just as she did. Anne continues to refuses so it’s plan B - marry Cotton. Sure Cotton has kind of crashed and burned, but he’s still from two very powerful families. This is much more to Anne’s liking - though Mary cynically informs her she must use magic to make him as the question since he won’t (he loves Glorianna, his books, his booze and his self-pity - which is a pretty scathing but accurate description). She instructs Anne in the love spell. She uses Anne’s need to make her tell Mary all she knows about the Countess

That done she goes to see Cotton who answers the door at John’s knife point; she wants his advice on whether to marry Hawthorne and accept the safety and security he offers. He mentions love which she points out is pretty irrelevant given the circumstances. She also goes for a kiss - he’d probably be more poised about all this if it weren’t for the knife sticking into his back. Well since that didn’t work it’s spell time.

Anne goes home and justifies herself for why she has to spell Cotton even though she knows it is wrong. She sacrifices her little mouse familiar for the spell - sacrificing something she loves. She then tenderly buries the mouse - and is watched by Joh doing so.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Last Man on Earth, Season One, Episode Twelve: Screw The Moon

Tandy and Todd watch Phil work on getting them some electricity using solar power.  When Phil's back is turned, both Todd and Tandy talk smack about him.  When Tandy brings up killing Phil, the tone of the conversation between Todd and Tandy changes.  Tandy wants to drive Phil out to the desert and leave him there, causing Todd to realise that Tandy did that to him.  Tandy tries to argue that he couldn't do it but Todd is disgusted and leaves.  Tandy then loudly rants about how much he hates Phil which causes Phil to turn his head.

Tandy then heads to Carol's to show her the condom he took out of her garbage.  Carol happily admits to having sex with Phil, which upsets Tandy because he had to marry her to have sex with her. Carol however qualifies and says that they were trying to have baby, whereas; she is just having casual sex with Phil.  Tandy gets upsets because all he has ever wanted is casual sex, which leads Carol to inform Tandy that "the train has left the station."

Melissa knocks on Todd's door, concerned because she has not seen him all day. A depressed Todd answers the door covered in chip crumbs.  Melissa asks Todd if he wants to talk and he responds that what's going on with him right now isn't about them but adds that things are good.  Todd I suppose was really hurt to learn that Tandy wanted to kill him when he first arrived. Much to Melissa's surprise, Todd closes the door in her face.

Tandy returns home to find Phil packing up his things to move.  Tandy asks what the move is about and Phil admits to hearing Tandy say that he hated his guts.  Tandy comes clean and accuses Phil of trying to bring power to their area, so that the group will worship him. Phil suggests that this is about Carol but Tandy denies that and laughs in Phil's face.  Phil turns to leave and tells Tandy that it should about Carol because Carol is a special lady.  Of course, the immature Tandy fires back calling Phil a "special lady".

Tandy takes solace at his favourite bar.  He tells the balls that he doesn't recognize Carol anymore.  Carol is being free and has abandoned all of her rules.Tandy of course feels that he treated Carol well and she betraying him by having sex with Phil.  After a bit more of a rant, Tandy finally realises that he might have had a good thing going with Carol.

Tandy arrives at Carol to give her wildflowers he picked and jewels he took from a jewelery store.  Carol however is completely unimpressed so Tandy says that he wrote her a song.  Carol is doubtful and tells Tandy to stop because he only wants her because he cannot have her.  The conversation comes to a stop when Phil walks to the door calling Carol "care bear".

Later that night, the group is gathered for a big announcement.  Carol tells the group that Phil has something to share with them.  The group becomes excited about all of the things they can do with electricity.  Phil tells them that thus far, what he can do is limited and he plugs in a lamp. Everyone is amazed but Tandy, who responds like a spoiled child and knocks over the lamp.  Tandy denies that he knocked over the lamp and Phil demands that he pick up the lamp.  Tandy stands and tells Phil that he is making an ass out of himself and again denies knocking over the lamp.  Tandy asks Todd to back him up, but Todd says that he saw Tandy knock over the lamp and reveals Tandy's desire to kill Phil. Todd even tells the group about how Tandy thought about leaving Todd in the desert.  The group is rightfully disgusted at Tandy's actions.  Finally, Tandy admits to his bad acts and argues that while he might of thought about leaving Todd in the desert, he didn't do it.  Phil makes the announcement that Tandy is no longer welcome in Tuscon.  Tandy is distraught because Tuscon is home and where he grew up but no one in the group comes to his defense. Tandy responds by running home and barricading himself inside.

The Ripple Effect (Rhiannon's Law #3) by J.A. Saare

Rhiannon has returned from the future - with the aid of a Fallen Angel who she now owes a debt to and knowledge of a terrible dystopian future she is now desperate to avoid

She also has two powerful magical artefacts that the half-demons who control the vampire families certainly don’t want her to have. They want to break her, they want her to bend to their will and prove she is their toy

But how far can she break, how much is she willing to give up? And having lost that much, what does she have left to lose?

After the time travelling of the last book and the deals that Rhiannon made, as well as the ructions between her and Disco, I expected this book to be a greater examination of Rhiannon integrating into the vampire family. I hoped for some introduction into how the family worked, some greater development of its members beyond simple names and some decent development of world, characters and general setting. It would have been nice to have some foundation to build on now everything’s going to change

Instead we jumped straight into the deep end. Half-demons everywhere, massive dramatic show down, bad guys being properly villainous and evil and lots of people dying in big dramatic ways with big dramatic fights and melodramatic evil-ness.

The story wasn’t bad at all - it was exciting, emotional, dramatic with a fast pace and lots of wonderful action. I liked it. But it also felt a little lacking in underlying basis - it’s running fast, destroying everything without giving us chance to see what they were whole first

At the end of the last book, Rhiannon faced a gross betrayal at the hands of Disco, the man she loved. She opens this book angry for that, understandable. But it doesn’t last

From the very beginning she is fighting to be anger, it’s already being overwhelmed by love/lust for Disco - her anger, her justifiable outrage is fading fast and not being treated nearly close to how it deserves

Once Upon a Time, Season 4, Episode 21: Mother

Enchanted Forest flashback - and it’s the Evil Queen in full regalia with her father, happily ripping out of hearts because she’s especially short tempered due to the anniversary (her dad does try to encourage her to reel it in. It ends badly). Daddy doesn’t approve but she’s a bit bitter at daddy as well.

The anniversary is the date of her beloved Daniel’s death - and someone else has left a flower on his grave: Cora, Regina’s mother. Well that’s a lot of blasts from the past

Cora deciding to re-enter her daughter’s life on the anniversary of murdering her lover is rather tasteless timing, it has to be said. She wants to apologise; she’s super proud of how powerful and amazing Regina has become but didn’t realise how much she’d want love (Cora herself was pretty content with a loveless marriage). She also knows about Regina having a soul mate, Robin, out there and Cora’s going to find him for her. Regina is duly sceptical.

She does this by going looking for Robin and finding the Sheriff of Nottingham. She hears Robin is married which she doesn’t consider an obstacle.

She goes to Regina to announce she’s found her man - and even picked out a dress for Regina (in white!). Regina falls for it and is all happy and shiny - except Cora has just randomly slapped a lion tattoo on the arm of the sheriff of Nottingham (since a lion tattoo is the only way Regina could identify her soul mate and Cora didn’t especially like the sound of Robin)

Nottingham is pretty terrible and talks all about being the big strong man for her tender delicate femaleness. She’s not impressed and exposes his fake tattoo and she has his tattoo magically maul him a bit - Cora apparently wants Regina to have a child. Needless to say, Nottingham and Regina don’t end up happily ever after

Cora wants Regina to build a dynasty so she can hold onto power - but Regina isn’t fooled. She can see herself having a baby and then dying of a “mysterious illness” and Cora becoming regent. To stop this, Regina has taken a potion to ensure she will never get pregnant - if “love is weakness” as Cora says then Regina doesn’t need to be able to have kids. Cora mocks that Regina would ever do this, hurt herself so much - but Regina drinks it, happy to hurt herself if it will hurt Cora more. Cora leaves her with the advice “the only one standing in the way of your happiness is you.”

To the present and New York and the train wreck of Robin with pregnant Zelena and a now very unhappy Regina. Regina is, understandably, pretty bitter while Robin is worried about his son, Roland and the fact he’s about to lose his mother again. Regina suggests a forgetting potion so he forgets the fake Marian appeared. Robin keeps on mourning for Marian being killed just as a tool in Zelena’s plans while Regina is extra sad because she realises Robin’s been put through this trainwreck because Zelena is still a very bitter sibling. Robin does realise that it’s time for Happily Ever After between them again but Regina puts on her best “you didn’t just say that” face - the baby makes things awfully complicated and this child isn’t going away, nor is the connection between Robin and Zelena.

Lily and Emma are alone with Zelena while this is going on - the Zelena who killed Baelfire/Neal but Zelena is quick to use her pregnancy to protect her from the righteous mauling she so richly deserves. Regina announces everyone, including Zelena, is going back to Storybrooke.

In Storybrooke we have a nice get together of Isaac, Gold and Killian - Killian rather clumsily taunts Gold which is never ever going to end well (though in this case he seems to have hit bullseye - Gold did expect Emma to turn dark). Isaac is concerned - they need the dark Saviour to make more ink and Gold is feeling worse and worse with his super poisoned evil heart. Gold needs a plan B - as he can barely stand with the pain in his heart (he still has magic though).

They research alternatives and Gold is in a very bad way, his heart nearly completely black.

Killian, the Charmings and Maleficent welcome Emma & co home, Emma still is giving her parents the cold shoulder and Maleficent is almost heart-breakingly desperate to see Lily. Lily gives Mary Margaret and David the appropriately poisonous look before being introduced to her mother

The gang does have the common sense to lock Zelena up (well, Regina and Emma do, personally I think Mary Margaret and David were probably fussing in a corner about how terrible it is to lock up a pregnant lady). Zelena mocks Regina because she will be in her life forever (Zelena, even if no-one wants to kill a pregnant lady, that buys you 9 months and a quick trip to the corner shop for some baby formula before they remove your head from your body, don’t get comfy). Regina nicely points this out but Zelena points out you can’t murder the mother of Robin’s child.

Regina goes to Gold’s shop looking for the author (her idea after-all, before Gold hijacked it) and finds Gold looking like he’s not so much at death’s door, but waiting in the hallway and taking his boots off. Regina doesn’t believe the Dark One can die just from a black heart - and Gold says she’s right. The Dark One can’t - but Rumplestiltskin can. Which would mean the rest of them facing the Dark One with no humanity to hold him back.He urges her to work with him and shows her the quill he has - they just have to find the ink

Regina takes the pen, she’s not exactly confident in Gold’s current ability to collaborate. She leaves with the author “goodbye Dearie.” Nice.

The author tells Regina about the whole evil ink thing and adds a premise of why Regina is such a compelling character and how she gets screwed over the most (Regina is well aware). She shows him her happy ending page and he did write it for another book - and is surprised Regina has it. He says “something” is looking out for Regina - which is awfully vague as Regina points out

Ominously they still need ink which bodes no good.

Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 4: Sons of the Harpy


Jorah continues his kidnapping of Tyrion, loading him onto a boat. He manages to be loud and annoying even while gagged. Which gets him ungagged which pretty much gives advantage to Tyrion. If he can talk he can win. Jorah reveals he’s taking Tyrion to Daenerys which he finds hilarious (and a waste of a good kidnapping). Tyrion realises who Jorah is and rightly guesses everything that happened -Jorah being revealed as a spy and now trying to trade his way back into Daenerys’s good graces

Unable to duel words with Tyrion, Jorah hits him instead.


Also on a boat, heading to Dorne, is Jaime Lannister and Bronn (sailing past Tarth where Brienne is from so Jaime can have a brief, poignant look), on a merchant vessel to hide who they are. Bronn has pretty stark impressions of what the Dornish are up to as well as how little fun it will be to kidnap a princess (and a pointed silence when Jaime refers to Mycella as his niece). Bronn pokes at various sore points - like Jaime letting Tyrion go free which Jaime is pretty sore about, he may have wanted to rescue Tyrion but now he wants to kill him for killing their dad.

Lannister family reunions must be such fun (and that’s not even an incest jab. Or not entirely anyway).

They arrive in Dorne and have one of those wonderful little character conversations that Game of Thrones can be so good at - Bronn talking about glorious death with a good story (something he considers a luxury for rich lords like the Lannisters) and his own dream of a nice quiet death after a life of prosperity (something Jaime considers boring - because prosperity is just assumed for him). A very nice comment on legacy, excitement, adventure and prosperity across the class divide. Jamie wants to die in the arms of the woman he loves - oh he’s pining (and note a lack of definition of who that woman is).

Bronn is also wonderfully snarky at the idea that Jamie can bribe people to be silent about his presence - and they end up having to fight four Dornish soldiers. Bronn takes three, leaving Jaime trying to fight with one hand against one - but it’s his metal hand that saves him. Of course now they have to dig graves - and Jaime points out he can’t really dig with one hand.

Elsewhere in Dorne, Ellaria meets with some of the Sand Snakes, Oberyn’s daughters: Nymeria, Obarra and Tyene. Ellaria wants to provoke a war between Dorne and the Lannisters to avenge Oberyn and since Doran refuses to go to war, the only way they can do that is to provoke Cersei using Mycella. Since they have the ship captain who brought Jaime (buried in sand and scorpions) they need to get to her before Jaime does. Ellaria asks if they’ll join her and, after Obarra’s nifty speech about her dad and stabbing the ship captain, it’s clear they’re all in favour of war.