Saturday, September 24, 2016

American Horror Story: Season 6 (Roanoke), Episode 2: Chapter 2

Let me begin this recap by saying that everyone in this show deserves death. Absolutely deserves to die

Staying in this house by half way through this episode is just elaborate suicide. Natural Selection demands people with this little survival instinct be removed from the gene pool. And I don’t care how much money you have invested in this house – run! RUN people!

The dramatic re-enactment continues with Shelby making it back to the house because Lee managed to find her stumbling through the forest running away from hillbilly human sacrifice (with some rather cool chanting)

Still no-one really believes her – that starts to become a theme of this episode where absolutely no-one believes the weird tales everyone tells… which could be a paranoid subplot but, honestly, it’s been done so many times that I really am happy that it was sacrificed quickly. Because pretty much everyone has a terrible spooky experience and really no-one can doubt anyone else

Lee decides it’s great to have her daughter visit despite the spooky corn dolly redecorating the house’s foyer. She does have a really poignant and devastating exposition of how she lost custody of her daughter during her horrendous rock-bottom experience (she has such an excellent acted depiction of her self-anger and shame) and we can see how this is really important to her

Still, bringing your daughter to the creepy murder house, that’s bound to help your custody case

Said daughter, Flora, finds an imaginary friend. The imaginary friend happily tells her how she intends to murder Flora’s entire family and save her to last


Mason, Lee’s ex, is unsurprisingly not impressed by his daughter imagine ghostly murder children and he is sensible enough to get her out of there!

They all still hear spooky things in the middle of the night – and this time Shelby decides to run out into the forest with a baseball mat. Getting lost in the woods at night once clearly wasn’t enough for them. On their lawn they find a giant burning corn dolly covered in strips of meat

Matt compares this to a worst kind of burning cross on his lawn. Ok, I think appropriating actual atrocities is appalling and really fiction should stop doing it. At the same time, at the moment Matt and Shelby’s theory is that they’re being scared off by racist hillbillies so it would be unusual for Matt not to draw a comparison when he finds a giant burning symbol in his garden.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Walking Dead, Vol. 26: Call to Arms (The Walking Dead #26) by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard (Contributor), Stefano Gaudiano (Contributor)

In the wake of the attack by the Whisperers, Rick has a lot to juggle.  With Ezikiel dead, the Kingdom is going to need a new leader and Rick is determined to get someone he trusts in that position. If that were not enough, Dwight not only refuses to head up the Sanctuary, he's not keen in taking a central role in the militia. Now that Rick has gotten control of Alexandria again he has to prepare his people for war.  This means going outside of the gate to practice killing walkers.  It's just what the people need but unfortunately since the paranoia is high, mistakes are going to be made.  Rick's main focus is getting the people to redirect their anger from him and so to prepare for an upcoming war, he doesn't see the danger an old enemy just might pose to all of his plans.

Volume 26 starts off very slowly. A large part of the problem with this volume is that there are still too many characters. Yes, I know that they just slaughtered quite a few, including poor pregnant Rosita, but there are too many to keep track of.  It's so bad that I had to google a few characters to figure out who they were in relation to the different communities and their history.  It's clear with things heating up between Alexandria and the Whisperers that there is a big slaughter on the horizon. I wonder if someone big will die, or if the writers will simply use this as an opportunity to trip the fat from the cast of characters?

One interesting development this volume is the fact that Eugene made contact with someone on the radio. He's clearly despondent with the loss of Rosita and her child that he is reaching outside for something.  Eugene tries to be crafty but being Eugene gives away far too much information about Alexandria, the challenges the face and even the number of people they have.  Both Eugene and the person he is speaking with agree not to tell anyone in their respective groups about their little chats until both are satisfied they can trust the other.  This could really go down one of two ways: Eugene is talking to someone who will later pose a threat to Alexandria, or Eugene is actually having a mental breakdown and speaking to himself. We have seen the later when Lori died and Rick supposedly spoke to her on the phone.  Given the fact that The Walking Dead seems to at the very least be rehashing things (see Negan), we might very well be seeing a mental breakdown.

For much of this comic, I found Rick to be pretty insufferable.  Due to the challenge to his authority , Rick is determined to create a strangle hold on his power and to place people he can trust (read: manipulate and order around) in positions of power. His first order of business is to place Michonne in charge of the Kingdom in the wake of the death of Ezekiel. This is disturbing given that for a time, The Walking Dead seemed to want to shift the relationship between Rick and Michonne and remind us that they are indeed friends. Now that Rick is threatened however he wants Michonne in a leadership position.  They make this work by having Michonne claim that she was thinking of taking over the Kingdom and simply needed a kick in the ass to do so.  At this point, I really want to see Michonne get out from under Rick and come into leadership and power on her own accord.  I want to see her make her own decisions without always waiting to see what Rick thinks or wants.  Finally, I want her to be so much more than Rick's favourite weapon of choice.

In furtherance of his goals, Rick wants Dwight to take over leadership of his newly formed militia. Dwight left the Saviours precisely because he didn't want to lead anyone but his objections mean absolutely nothing to Rick, who declares that it's too late.  When we later see Dwight take to zombie training wielding the infamous Lucille, it really is a declaration as to where his head is at.  He uses Lucille because he sees it as a symbol of oppression and by not being given freedom of choice to decide what role he will play in the various communities, it's clear that Dwight is once again living under a strongman who simply has the appearance of being kinder.

Somehow, Rick even finds time to be magnanimous while he is having Alexandria covered in propaganda.  In the last volume, we saw that the people responded to the attack by the Whisperers by blaming Rick and questioning his leadership.  Now that Rick has redirected the community's anger by having propaganda posted, he's more than happy to accept thanks from Vincent for not exiling him. It's absolutely gross to read as Rick tells Vincent that he's giving him the chance to do good in the future and make up for his actions.

Colony, Season 1, Episode 8: In From the Cold

Last week we finally kinda, sorta had the big reveal to Will that Kate is a resistance member. But before we get to the drama, let’s expand the world building

Specifically “the Factory”

Now I kind of assumed it was euphemism for some death camp – but it turns out to be an actual factory. On the Moon. Yes, the moon. And we see Carlos, who was sent there way back when. It’s certainly not a happy fun place and something there is making the odd prisoner start coughing up blood – which seems to be expected as they have people read to drag them away screaming. Definitely something ominous going on

So back on Earth we have a continuation of the drama and Will finally having to figure out where his loyalties actually lie. I’d like to know that as well. He’s discovered his wife is actually pro-humanity rather than an Authority traitor (yes, I know I know in review after review I’ve said how more nuanced the whole conflict is and I still think that – but I still find Will’s motivations weird) and he pulls off a huge passive aggressive snit fit over it

See this is what I don’t get. I don’t get why he doesn’t UNDERSTAND why she’s with the resistance. I don’t get why he can’t sit down with her and discuss “I know why you’re doing this, I agree with the motivation” and either support her in this or explain why he has concerns (risk to family etc). This is the problem with Will, his whole working for the Authority should be under sufferance, a means to an end – yet time and again we see him pulling out all the stops and seeming to go all in for Snyder.

On Snyder – his boss dropped in to basically give him a heads up that some bigger boss is coming to review him. The gist of the conversation is, basically, that Los Angeles is actually a super liberal permissive paradise compared to other Colonies – yup there’s that nuance again, and maybe Snyder wasn’t bullshitting, maybe the devil you know is better

While Kate herself is having doubts about the Resistance and tells the woman who appears to be Quayle’s boss she wants out – they’ve lost half their cell, not achieved anything and Quayle is trying to kill her. Boss lady realises that Quayle’s hyper ruthlessness isn’t always useful

The twist this episode that adds to the complexity and tension is Quayle deciding to sell the Resistance out. He’s decided, as he tells Will, that the Resistance is actually not achieving anything (which, to be honest, it isn’t really) and he wants out – he wants out of the Colonies to the land outside which he thinks has bands of free people wandering around. For that he needs Snyder to give him pass to get out the wall. And if Will doesn’t help with that, he’ll sell out Kate

Voya Magazine's Biphobia and Continued Digging


If you have been on social media in diversebooks places yesterday you probably saw the utter trainwreck that was Voya Magazine (not much information on this matter on their site and twitter feeds as they are rapidly deleting all the things but Bisexual books captured most of it) and the utter trainwreck of their review of Run by Kody Keplinger.

Run has a bisexual main character and Voya Magazine felt the need to warn about this in their review:

Yes, bisexuality is something that can needs warning about and is only suitable for “mature” readers.

Needless to say, many sensible people objected most vociferously for this gross biphobic bigotry - the idea that LGBTQ content is “mature” is a particular toxic bigotry that hits everyone under the LGBTQ umbrella and is extremely damaging

Sadly, it may have just blown over then, alas they’re not the first reviewer to do this - there area number of places that do or have “warned” for LGBTQ presence, because LGBTQ existence is still considered so threatening to so many people

But Voya Magazine did their utmost to handle their bigotry in the worst way possible; starting from this appalling response to an objecting reader:

Through to their… apologies. And these Fauxpologies are practically artistically perfect epitomes of how to utterly screw up an attempted apology:
This starts terribly - with the suggestion that the whole big mean LGBTQ community is meanly making unreasonable demands of them for their awfulness - but only gets worse when you actually see that full apology LGBTQ people “demanded”

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Blood Hungry (Blood Hunters #6) by Marie Treanor

John is in Amsterdam with a group of unofficial hunters to find out just why it is that a group of skinheads does nightly battle with the vampires.  Exhausted, John returns to his hotel room only to have the strangest dream about being in a grimy club and meeting a woman who intrigues and excites him.  For her part, Eva has always been in love with John.  As a friend of her parents, she grew up around him and he has always been her secret crush. When Eva sees him in a club looking so much younger than she is used to seeing him, she cannot resist the opportunity to flirt with him.  With all of the tension and power struggles in the vampire world, a relationship between John, a hunter and Eva the only vampire/human in existence, is a difficult if not impossible thing and when you toss in time travel, this relationship may just be more than either of them can handle.

From the moment of her birth, Eva was prophesied to be the savior in that she would bring vampires and humans together and usher in an end to the violence.  That's a lot of pressure to put on a child and Eva feels the weight of it, causing her to participate in petty rebellions.  While she loves her parents, there are times when she resents her vampire father and even revels in defying his authority.  Though Eva is twenty-one, by the end of Blood Hungry, she seems so much younger than that, almost like a girl playing dress up.  Yes, she's a fierce warrior but she recklessly enters situations in which she is outnumbered.

Then we have John.  He's all too familiar with baby Eva because she's the daughter of Elizabeth and Saloman the ancient vampire.  On the day of her birth, John selflessly risked his life to save hers. When he time travels to the future and finds himself attracted to a dark haired beauty, he simply cannot resist. Thoughts of her invade his every waking thought.  Eva however has the advantage of knowing right away who John is, having grown up around him.  When John learns that the woman he has come to care for in the future, is the child he is sworn to protect in the present, he's not quite sure how to handle it.  In the meantime, 40 year old John, (the John of the future) has his doubts about young Eva loving him as he is now and not the young John she fell in love with. Yes, it's as jumbled and confused as it sounds.

We have to pause here for a moment.  John is absolutely not attracted to baby Eva and does his best to avoid contact with her; however, from Eva's memories it's clear that he interacted with her a lot as a child, while in full awareness that he was engaging in an affair with an older version of her.  Treanor justifies this relationship using time travel as a device but it still feels far too much like grooming to me.

It feels very much as though John took advantage of Eva, despite Eva's clear independence.  All along the way his close relationship with her and her parents allowed him to spend time grooming her to be the woman he would one day take as a lover and partner.  It's telling that he only chose to pull away when he worried about her rejection of him because of his age, rather than conscious thought about how the age difference between them gave him all of the power in that relationship.  It's for this reason that I could not in any way invest in the romance between John and Eva and without that, there's nothing left to the book.

Between, Season Two, Episode Six: Don't Look Back

 Okay, we've made it to the season finale. Thank goodness for short seasons.

Crane demands Liam's research and instead of handing it over, Adam gives him the finger. Mr. Brooks slaps him for his trouble. I know that Brooks is the supposed bad guy but really, haven't we all wanted to slap Adam for some time now? Adam responds by claiming the USB stick is in his sock. When Adam hands over the USB stick, Crane puts it in his computer which emails it to three major news outlets.  Crane gets a call and tells the person on the other end to deal with it.  Adam makes it clear that more will happen if they don't save Pretty Lake.

Wiley continues to protest that she didn't know that Mark was out there but Renee doesn't believe her. They are put in lockdown and Wiley is pissed because now she won't get the three vials.  Wiley brings up the extraction when who should come around the corner but Ronnie? Yep, Renee put them all in the same holding area together. Is it impossible to have just one character with a bit of common sense leading in this town? I know that they are all kids but come on.

Outside the compound, Chuck is waiting when Stacy pulls up.  Stacy brings up that Mark is missing. Their conversation is cut short when Renee's gang shows up and starts shooting.

Ronnie is shocked to hear about the extraction story and points out that Renee has the vials and her power back.  Wiley argues that Renee still wants to know who killed Eric.

Adam is in Crane's office and is continuing to issue threats, as Crane explains that they haven't been able to get through to Miller. Crane tells Adam that if he destroys Liam's research that it will put the world at risk. Adam counters saying that he will give it to every lab thus making it non proprietary. Way to take on big phrama Adam. Crane tells Adam that he doesn't know what he's doing because the cure might not be ready yet. Adam is adamant that he is trying to save people. Crane again says that saving Pretty Lake is not in his hands but he will promise to get his friends out.

Ronnie holds a knife to Mark's throat and calls for Renee, saying he found Eric's killer.  When Renee enters the room, Mark quickly confess and Renee orders him handed over. Ronnie begs to kill Mark to make things up to Renee. Ronnie tosses Mark at Renee and at the same time passes him his knife. Mark puts the knife to Renee's throat and they order everyone to back away.  They pick up the guns, take Renee hostage and head to the vials.  Ronnie hands over the vials and then tells Wiley that his truck is parked out back.  With a gun pointed at Renee, he orders everyone to leave.  Once they are alone, Ronnie lowers his gun and tells Renee that he still likes her. Renee takes the gun as Ronnie tells Renee that they have something.  Ronnie then brings up the extraction this afternoon and asks Renee if she is coming with him. Do we really have time for Ronnie/Renee angst in the middle of all of this? Also, given Ronnie's violent past, I'm not at all down with him getting close to any woman.

Wiley heads to the Mennonites and gets no answer when she knocks on the door.  Wiley lets herself in finds Jason alone in a crib.  Wiley starts to leave when she is confronted by John, who tells her that she cannot take her baby.

Chuck explains to Tracy about leaving Wiley behind when they were shot at. Tracy reveals that she is not going to the extraction points because she won't leave the kids behind. Tracy argues that the lives of the kids are just as important as theirs.  Chuck asks Tracy if she is going to take an injection and waste it but Tracy argues that she can survive and care for the kids.

John tells Wiley that she agreed not to come back for Jason but she argues that she had no choice when she made that promise and now she can give him everything he needs.  Wiley says she  did what was best for Jason at the time. Wiley makes it clear that John is going to have kill her.  John steps forward but is stopped by one of the women, who reminds John that Wiley is Jason's mother and they have no right to keep a mother away from her child.  With Jason securely in hand, Wiley puts him in the car and injects him.

Stacy meets up with Mark at the bar.  Mark explains that they got the vials and instructs her to take off her coat. Stacy asks Mark about where his shot is and he claims he already took it and then injects her.

Chuck, Harrison and Frannie are waiting at the extraction point when Mark and Stacy show up. When Mark and Stacy get out of the car, Mark says that he cannot leave because he didn't inject himself.  There were only two vials left, so Wiley took one for Jason and he gave her the other shot. Mark reveals that there's something between him and Stacey and he won't deny it.  Stacey is adamant that she's staying but Mark argues that would mean robbing someone else of the chance to get out.  The two of them kiss and Mark tells her to go and get help while he waits.

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 3, Episode 3: Protect and Serve

Time for a new demon of the week – this time a scorpion demon hunting down young culebras.

One of them manages to escape to turn up on Freddie’s doorstep – begging the peacekeeper for help before killing himself with one of Freddie’s stakes.

Freddie follows up a neck tattoo on the dead Culebra – who doesn’t turn to ash when he dies which is different – and finds a fraternity full of culebras led by Aiden Turner. Professor Aiden Turner

Sex Machine

Oh, yay, he’s back. Can we get rid of him and keep Santanico around

Freddie continues have some reservations about his role as peacekeeper – especially since the culebras are still biting, turning and killing people.

Aiden is, as should be no surprise, a super creepy, handsy molester of his female students. I loathe this character and really really wish he was eaten. Alas, it doesn’t happen. He has built a “family” of frat culebras and seems to be genuinely caring of them as he objects furiously to Freddie dismissing them. He’s still a nasty predatory molester but he cares about this “family”. Though Freddie still points out he’s turning teens and they’re eating people so family isn’t that fluffy

Aiden does drop a lot of world building on us, back in Xibalba, hell, their was a hierarchy of demons and Culebras were waaaaay at the bottom, effectively slaves and cattle to the higher demons

A point he could have made far better without holocaust and slavery comparisons

One of the ways of controlling Culebras is to mutilate them and remove their venom glands – as the victim at Freddie’s was. Without the venom a Culebra cannot turn, heal super fast and doesn’t even turn to dust when they die. The venom is their mojo. And one of Aiden’s other “family”, Chloe has also been captured and in need of rescue

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Corner Store Witch by H.D. Lynn

Despite considerable parental disapproval, Leone runs her own comic shop. She’s a geek and she’s gleefully happy as such along with her friends Courtney and Shadi

But even in their geekiest dreams, they never expected and actual dimensional traveller to fall from the ceiling, carrying a magical staff

Soon they find adventures and dungeon crawls are so much more fun with 20 sided dice than they are in the real world, with oni, dimension hopping and ominous prophecies promising troublesome side quests

I feel that this book is a prequel to the greater story. Clearly the meat of the story is going to happen when Leone, her sister and her friends reach Abinar’s home. This means this whole book kind of feels terribly rushed to get to that point.

We have Abinar drop in from the alternate world and everyone… kind of just runs with that. People seem to accept it extremely quickly. Yes someone just appearing from nowhere is a little odd – but “he’s a wizard from another dimension because of how he’s dressed” is a bit of a stretch. Especially since absolutely no-one really asks him questions – not where he’s from, not why he’s there, not what he wants – they just kind of take him in.

This whole part of the book is frustrating, they take him home and play D&D – we’re establishing the geek credentials of the cast, but someone just appeared from nowhere and you decide to play tabletop RPGs rather than ask him any questions at all? It just makes no sense

The whole story for a large chunk of this book feels forced as we’re desperately railroaded to the other world. Abinar Just appears, they don’t question him. Leone feels the need to take him home and keep him with her (why? She knows nothing about this guy!), which means she happens to be nearby when the bad guys show up, drop the markings of the Chosen One on her which leads happily to the prophetic dream with a nice guide on what to do next.

It kind of makes Leone not a very compelling character. She is certainly rare in the genre, a Black female protagonist and a Black female geek as well – geek culture is universally presented as white, straight and male – to have these very very very geeky Black female friends be central to the story is excellent. I like a lot about her – but so far her abilities and drive come from the woo-woo. I think it will be a lot lot lot better with future books because then we would be following the story for where the author wants to take and then get to see a whole lot more of her personality (and, don’t get me wrong, I like what I’ve seen so far but I would love to see more of her when she’s not scrambling and being driven by the plot itself). We do have some moments where Leone directly addresses race… but they feel a little… PSA-y at times.

Glitch, Season One, Episode Six

Elishia checks on Maria and learns that Vic broke her neck which means that Vic murdered her.  An angry James marches back the house.  Paddy is searching Vic's notebook when James walks in. James demands to know what Vic knows about the people at the cemetery and Elishia quickly shoots him up with drugs, saying that Vic is delirious with pain.

Just as Sarah planned, Kate is pulled over by Chris.  Kate pulls off her helmet and says her name and address. Chris is absolutely shocked.

Back at the hideout, Elishia tells James that Vic needs surgery otherwise he'll die.  Elishia is worried about how dangerous Vic is and James is insistent that the man he knows is not a killer.  James wonders if there's something that Elishia can tell him about what is going on.  Elishia doesn't want to operate on him Vic but James is insistent and adds that since Kate is a nurse, Kate can help.

Kate is sitting in Chris's squad car and asks him to call her mother.  Chris puts Kate's mother Jo on speaker phone and they chat. Chris asks questions about Kate's family so that she can get an update on her family.  Jo talks about Kate's approaching birthday and how hard it is. Jo says that not a day goes past that she doesn't think about Kate. Jo promises to come for a visit after the baby is born because Kate might like her to hold it. When the call ends, Kate thanks Chris saying that it was very strange. Chris starts the car with the intention of taking Kate to the hospital.

Kirstie, Charles and James stand over Maria's dead body.  Kirstie doesn't want to accept that Maria is gone. Kirstie checks for a pulse but of course, Maria doesn't have one.  James says he has to go and warns them not to anywhere near Vic.  Kirstie asks about burying Maria and James has no problem with it.

Kate is freaking out and begs Chris to stop the car.  Blood is pouring out of her eyes and she tries to explain that she cannot leave the town.

Sarah walks around grabbing all of the pictures and mementos of Kate to toss away when she feels a labour pain.

jealous shannen doherty 80s heathers

In Vic's book, Paddy finds his name and suggests that it would stand as proof that he has returned from the grave.  Beau says that what they really need is his phone because he recorded Paddy coming back but unfortunately, Rory has it.

Kirstie is preparing Maria for burial and tucks the Anne of Green Gables book into her arms. Kirstie is sad that Maria cannot be with her daughter and wonders if what happened to Maria is going to happen to them. Charles points out that Vic cannot hurt anyone now but Kirstie is fixated on the fact that Carlos died first and now Maria.  Kirstie asserts that they aren't natural and  Charles responds that he doesn't believe in natural anymore.  Elishia joins them at the grave site to request Charlie's help.

Vic is still passed out and Elishia asks Charlie to keep an eye on him. John Doe and Elishia go into the next room and John asks if she knows why they are back.  Elishia blows that off and sets to preparation for helping Vic.  An alert Vic denies murdering Maria to Charles, saying that Maria died in a car accident 50 years ago.  Vic claims he only returned Maria to her true state. Vic suggests that it's better than the life here because none of the returned are supposed to be here.  Vic talks about WWI, asking if Charlie remembers his friends and someone who didn't make it back. Vic asks if Charlie wonders why he is standing there when his friends from the war are not. Vic argues that Charlie coming back is wrong because it makes a mockery of the people who sacrificed. Vic asks Charlie how he can live with himself. Sure just tell the sole GLBT character that he doesn't deserve to live.

The Strain, Season 3, Episode 4: Gone but Not Forgotten

Last week the Master was “killed”. And yes, we’re all very very very very very sure the Master is not dead because it’s far too early in the season for us to have killed the big bad

But everyone is kind of hopeful – the Master is apparently dead and all the Strigoi are still round but they’re also acting rather unco-ordinated and more like individual animals than evil monsters controlled by a single powerful force. Both Kelly (who now has to protect Zach from uncontrolled Strigoi) and Eichorst are rather panicky about how everything has fallen apart

Things are looking up for team good guy. In theory.

Of course to bring us down we still have Ephraim the mopey because hey maybe the world has been saved but he still doesn’t have his very annoying son. To be grudgingly fair to his grouchiness, he’s also not certain that the Master is dead so the whole Lumen debacle may have achieved nothing. Certainly Vasiliy and Abe are not happy with him – though Abe understands why he did what he did.

Dutch also rejoins the group, basically drinking with Ephraim and being mopey together. But she does have a very excellent depiction of trauma after Eichorst kidnapping her last season. She’s vulnerable, hurting and not dealing well. I’m glad to have her back – even if she and Vasiliy are… tense.

Quinlan recovers – which worries him because he was totally prophesised to die when the Master did – more evidence that they didn’t get the job done. They go to the three remaining Masters and ask them about it and they ask if they killed the red worm. Red worm? Yup, Masters have a special red worm you have to kill – they totally forgot to mention that. Quinlan is not amused. Of course the Red Worm got away so it’s only a matter of time before it passes on to a new body

Meanwhile Gus is drafted with the other prisoners into the new gangs to sweep the tunnels. Angel and Gus do well – especially since the Strigoi are so unco-ordnated – but their fellow prisoners are just walking meat. Especially since “criminals” now can include “looting” for food and water or staying out past curfew. But I like that we’re seeing this through Gus’s eyes – yes he’s definitely not deserving of this and this is the point: he has criminal connections and a criminal past and he still definitely doesn’t deserve this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Demon Mistress (Eva Prim #1) by Jordan K. Rose

Chrysanthemum is a hot mess.  No matter what she touches, disaster seems to ensue. Yes, she always means well but that doesn't change the outcome.  When her Master/Husband gives her the gift of a computer, Chrysanthemum decides to take the opportunity to find new friends.  What better way to attract people than to create a blog and go viral? Just like everything else Chrysanthemum touches however a disaster quickly ensues.  Before she can even begin to contemplate the repercussions, she's accused of kidnapping a mate, involved in giving the world vampire secrets and has a bounty on her head.

It really is a miracle that I made it all the way through this book.  At about the 10% mark I was actively struggling to decide whether or not to DNF.  The protagonist is clueless and absolutely beyond annoying.  Chrysanthemum was born in 1812 which made her 204 at the time that A Demon Mistress was published and she read as less sensible than a ten year old.  I could have tolerated it had this book been made for a YA audience but A Demon Mistress is clearly aimed at adults.  We all know someone who isn't that bright but Rose takes it to extremes with Chrysanthemum. 

One of the things that really irritated me about The Demon Mistress, is its desperate attempt to be funny.  It's actually anything but.  Someone needs to tell Rose that comedy is not her strong suit. Simply creating a ridiculous situation for your protagonist to be in doesn't make the book funny. When this is added to how implausible the whole thing is, it makes it that much more ridiculous. For example, Chrysanthemum stops at a burger joint to pick up some dinner for herself and the two demons she has acquired and the guy working the check out window just happens to be Margaritaman - an active commenter on her blog.  Does Rose have any idea of the vastness of the internet and the likelihood of that happening?  Also, someone working the checkout window does not leave said business to deliver food to a car; this is not 1950. Of course, Margaritaman is high on dope which consequently makes Chrysanthemum high when she feeds on him.  It's nonsense. 

Throughout the book, Chrysanthemum gains new powers that she cannot explain.  They just appear conveniently when she needs them.  Nothing like pulling power out of your ass.  It makes absolutely no sense and Rose doesn't even bother to vaguely try to justify this ridiculous writers tactic.  It's clear that it's about Rose writing herself out of corner due to ineptitude. Everything must work out and so the only way to do that is to create a power for Chrysanthemum.

Lucifer, Season Two, Episode One: Everything's Coming Up Lucifer

This episode opens up with a robbery in a jewelry store which is promptly interrupted by Lucifer, who points out that the thieves are stealing conflict diamonds. This is supposed to be funny but given how these conflict diamonds procured and what they fuel, I'm far from amused. Lucifer has Amenadiel acting as his side kick because together they have determined to hunt down their mother.  Lucifer questions what the thief wants and the thief replies that he wants freedom. Lucifer assumes that the thief is his mother but the thief says that he wanted freedom from death.  Amenadiel  freezes time and declares the thief isn't their mother and adds that they have to find her. Amenadiel is certain that Momma Morningstar definitely needs a body and Lucifer is equally certain that their mother is in L.A.  Amenadiel  storms out and before Lucifer leaves, he makes the thief naked, ties his shoelaces together and puts a tiara on his head.

It's time for Lucifer to have some counselling where he announces that his mother is going to kill him. This surprises Dr. Martin who questions why his mother would do this. Lucifer claims that the big bang was created by to entities falling in love and having sex. These same entities then built heaven which became their home and had angles. Can you just picture the white picket fence? Lucifer says that his mother was great in the beginning but things changed when his father started working on humanity. Both his parents grew cold and distant and that his father tossed him out when he acted up. Everyone knows that snarky rebelling kids are a pain in the ass.  Apparently, Lucifer's mother stood there and let it happen and so, when his mother was tossed out a few years later and placed in a cell in hell, Lucifer was determined to do for his mother what she did for him - nothing.

Chloe and Lucifer are walking down the street and she is not feeling his smarmyness.  Chloe doesn't understand why exactly it is that Lucifer was shot and recovered and so has decided to test Lucifer's blood.  Lucifer asks for help on his woman hunt.  They arrive at a crime scene in which a dead woman has metal horns protruding from her head.  Chloe explains that the woman's name was Gillian Taylor and she was a stand in for an actress. Lucifer claims that Gillian is dead because of him but the ME declares that the horns were added post mortem and that the woman was strangled and killed somewhere else.  Chloe turns and see Dan (who is not dead) talking to cop. This is a shock to her and Lucifer.  Yep, Dan has been reinstated because the department wanted to push it all under the rug.  He has however been demoted and assigned to assist on cases. Look we all know about the blue wall and how corrupt police forces can be but this is ridiculous. Chloe assigns Dan to interview crew members and see if the deceased had any enemies.

Lucifer introduces himself to the new ME and she hugs him.  Lucifer is shocked given that she is wearing a cruxifix.  The ME claims that the devil got a bad rap and all he really did was rebel against his father.
 Lucifer claims that he didn't create hell and just works there. The ME then expresses disgust thinking that Lucifer is method actor. The star shows up and the paparazzi swarm.

Lucifer and Chloe head to Gillian's place and her landlord Roberta says that she saw Gillian as a daughter and that she blames herself. Okay we gotta hit the pause button here.  The moment I saw Rusty Schwimmer I knew that she was the murderer.  You cannot simply cast a well known actress as a throw away character and expect the audience to buy it.  It seems that Roberta got Gillian that job and she believes that Amy did this. Roberta calls Amy a bad influence and talks about Amy's abuse of cocaine. Lucifer of course picks up on the fact that Amy died and came back to life due to her overdose which makes her suspicious to him.  Chloe finds a pile of money in the apartment and wonders if Gillian was as innocent as she seems.  Outside, Lucifer announces that his mother is the killer and that his mother's soul is inside Amy.  When Chloe says that Lucifer is making no sense, he asserts that she doesn't believe him and suggests that she test his blood.

Amenadiel  is at the bar and Lucifer comes downstairs and join him.  Lucifer tells him that Maze always turns up eventually, unless  of course Amenadiel scared her away for good.  Amenadiel  counters that Maze told both of them to shove it. Amenadiel wonders if Maze helped their mother escape and Lucifer says no and that he found their mother. Lucifer reveals that Chloe is going to test his blood and Amenadiel  makes it clear that humans shouldn't have proof of divinity. Amenadiel tasks Lucifer with dealing with their mother while he deals with this mess.

The Last Ship, Season Three, Episode Thirteen: Don't Look Back

This is it folks, the last episode of The Last Ship for the season. I fell a little behind but  it's worth noting that the last episode aired on September 11th which was the 15th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.  Call me a cynic but given the heavily patriotic slant of this show, I'm absolutely certain that the timing was no accident.

Chandler checks in with Meylan to ensure that the food is being distributed to the people.  Oliver meets with the people and listens to stories about the marines taking away everything from the people and how the marines had removed the United States patch from their uniforms.  Oliver comforts the people telling them that the marines were duped just like everyone else. Oliver promises the family that they will get through this.  Doc Rios treats the sick and wounded. Tom pauses when a man stops to show him a picture of his missing children.  He shakes his head no and then is confronted by a man and his wife, who are leaving the encampment, saying that his people have done enough. Chandler is clearly troubled by all he is witnessing.

Back on board the ship, it's time to meet to discuss the other regional leaders based on the information they got from Castillo.  They run down the list of the leaders and Tom suggests that they do small team assaults. It's Kara who stands up to point out that they've neglected to deal with Shaw. I'm just going to point out that Kara had the chance to take Shaw out when she and Tex were breaking Oliver out of the White House and chose not to do so.

Allison is on the phone with the other leaders who are upset about Castillo not transferring the cargo. It's Rebecca who lets everyone know that this was not Castillo's doing and that what happened wasn't a small rebel hit.  Allison tells them all to stop and that she will handle it. Allison is clearly in charge and she treats the regional leaders like they are squabbling kindergarten kids.

On the ship, Kara assures Green that their son is safe and with her mother.  He proposes that Kara take Wilson while he deals with Shaw because of the emotions involved. Kara however argues that this is personal for all of them and that if something happens to both of them their child will know that they sacrificed to change the world. The troops get locked and loaded and leave the ship.  Chandler comments that every time they put the country back together it falls apart and Jeter assures him that they are still there and will make everything right. Tom however simply replies that it's a big country.

Tom continues to oversea the plan from the ship and explains what's going on to Oliver.  The various teams get into place to attack the targets.  When all teams report they are good to go, Tom gives the order for them to execute their plan. Wolf and Slattery quickly take out Croft's guards and then Wolf uses a stun gun on Croft.  Wilson is the next regional leader to be taken. When Tex makes his way into Rebecca's bedroom, they find her gone.  She's too damn crafty to be caught that one. Sasha reports that Shaw is absent as well.  Oliver orders Tom to keep him updated.  Kara tells Sasha that there's only one other place that Shaw would be.

At the Whitehouse, Shaw reports to Rebecca that Chandler is indeed alive and Allison promises Rebecca that they will get Chandler.  It doesn't take long for Rebecca to figure out that Allison sold out Croft and Wilson.  The two women set off yet another set of missiles to go after the Nathan James.

Tom reports to Oliver that Wilson and Croft have been secured and given that Price's plan landed in St.Louis, they believe that Rebecca is headed to the White House to meet with Shaw.  Tom has ordered the teams to head to the White House and the plan is to have Oliver address the people. Oliver is worried that the rest of the military will not fall in line, thus starting a civil war. Tom however is all optimistically certain that he will change the view of the people.  Tom is certain that the people still want to fight.


Cobra team is at the White House and is taking their positions. Kara reports that there is no sight of Shaw and Price.  Inside the building,  Rebecca and Allison have found the Nathan James and have set loose the missiles.  Tom realises that the missiles were launched from a drone and orders Ganderson to find out who is operating the drone.  Ganderson tracks the signal back to the White House.  Tom gets in touch with the other teams because the ship is under attack but they are too far away to be of any real help in taking The White House.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Autumn Whispers (Otherworld #14) by Yasmine Galenorn

Things are never quiet for the D’Artigo sisters. They’ve been called on to find a missing fae. Grandmother Coyote has some ominous warnings for them concerning a Daemonically charged building (and when one of the Hags of Fate warns you about something you need to pay attention) and the sisters even learn more about their family history – and unknown members of the human side.

But all of that is eclipsed as the war in the Otherworld reaches new and terrible heights.

There’s so much I love about this series. I love the rich world setting. I love the many different groups on Earth and in Otherworld. I love that they all have their own histories and politics and agendas and magic and presence. I love that there’s such a huge richness to everything

I love that there’s so much effort to make even relatively minor side characters into fully flesh out beings with their own stories, their own wants and needs and agendas and personlaities

I really love the connection between these characters – all of them. There’s a real sense of family and community – both chosen family and blood kin, lovers and friends. The connections are excellent. There’s also a lot of close and meaningful female friendships – not just with the sisters, but with Iris and Sharah, with numerous women in their lives. There’s a wonderful lack of bitterness or snarling between them I really appreciate

There’s some good LGBTQ diversity. The gay male couple are vanishingly minor and only appear when the sisters want something. But Menolly is bisexual and married to another woman who she values deeply and their relationship is held up as being every bit as meaningful as those of the other sisters. Their long lost human cousins also include a lesbian couple which, while minor in this book, is likely to be more involved in the next

We still don’t have many POC considering the vastness of the cast, really the only memorable, notable POC I can think of is Morio, who is Japanese, and even he wasn’t exactly a meaningful part of this book. Yes, Trillion is dark skinned, but as I’ve said before I’m not sure if this fits comfortably as racial inclusion as he’s not really any human race- but a dark skinned species of elf; even if it is good to see supernatural creatures not all be white by default

I really don’t love Shade and Delilah. While I have said that even minor characters are well developed and have histories and agendas and a presence – the exception is Shade. Which is a problem since he’s Delilah’s love interest and a major character – but he’s hollow. I don’t even know what his shadowy-ness even means. He just is.

Fear The Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode Twelve: Pillar of Salt

Francisco and his family decide that it's time to leave the Colonia. To do this, they sneak through the streets while everyone is sleeping.  They get to the infamous bus and Francisco lures a zombie inside so he can slather zombie blood on himself, his wife and his family.  Yes, they're using the get out of jail card again.  I find it interesting that everyone of Fear The Walking Dead, seems to constantly slather themselves in zombie blood; whereas, it's something we haven't seen a lot of on The Walking Dead. Yeah I think that this means the writing is lazier on Fear the Walking Dead than The Walking Dead.

Francisco and his family manage to get free of the Colonia but are stopped down the road by Marco. It seems that Marco did not get his drug delivery on time since Francisco decided to leave and he demands to know where his oxy is and where the Colonia is.  Francisco goes mute in response and uses his body to attempt to shield his family, as Marco waves a gun around.  When Francisco refuses to answer, Marco decides to take Francisco and his family back to the factory.

The story moves to Ofelia. Yes Ofelia. I for one am glad to see her back.  It seems that Strand is correct, Ofelia took took the truck. Ofelia has lost all of her softness as she pulls up to a hotel. Now she's wearing jeans and a bomber jacket instead of the baby doll dresses she's been known for.  Ofelia marches into the establishment and promptly takes a hammer to zombie's head. Who is this woman?

When did she get so damn tough?  Ofelia walks to back of the establishment and sees an ocean front patio.

Then we get a flashback to Ofelia sitting outside at an ocean front patio with her boyfriend. The boyfriend proposes to Ofelia by having a ring placed in a drink. I get that this is supposed to be romantic but what if she had just started drinking without looking at the glass? Putting shit in people's food or drink is never a good idea.  Ofelia is absolutely stunned. particularly given the fact that he is moving to New Mexico and wants her to come with him.  It's clear that Ofelia wants to go but she stalls for time saying that she is going to talk to her mother about the proposal. Back in the present, Ofelia checks out a map and siphons some gas.

Things are going great at the hotel.  They have begun planting and the place is secure.  Madison works on the generator with..... Strand takes his place behind the bar and uses the freshly made ice to make a drink. Yep, that's living large and in charge apocalypse style.

The Simpsons homer simpson marge simpson season 15 episode 18

Hector is teaching Alicia how to surf on the sand. Ummm, given that they led the zombies into the ocean, how exactly is Alicia going to surf?  When Alicia jumps into a standing position she falls over. This leads to a conversation about her childhood with Nick and his reckless ways. Alicia admits that she misses who Nick used to be.  Hector brings up his brother and it's clear that Alicia and Hector just might have a lot in common when it comes to siblings. The conversation ends when Madison arrives with two glasses of ice water, asking for a moment alone with Alicia.