Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Reviews on Fangs for the Fantasy

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True Blood: Burning Down the House

Last night was a bit of relief after last week. I was actually beginning to wonder why I continued to watch this show. It was a relief that this episode had less obvious fail.

Sookie was irritating as usual this week. She stops Eric from killing Bill my a magical burst of fairy power but later tells him that she still loves Bill and never promised to his. Okay, here we go again with the ongoing triangle. I know I should be caught up in this, but the truth is I am just plain tired of it. Perhaps, it's because Sookie gets on my last nerve.

Bill gets into it with Nan because she is only concerned about she is going to spin what happened at the hotel rather than actively proactively to fight Antonia. Finally, he decides to blow up the emporium. I have mentioned previously that it makes absolutely no sense that the vampires have been so passive. Antonia has the potential to be deadly but she is no king Russel and the vamps acted far more proactively when he was a threat. I have to say that I am with Bill on this one.

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Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead

I cannot believe that I have to wait until August 30th to read the last book in this series. I know that it's only a few days, but I cannot wait to find out how Seth and Georgina end up together. Yes, I am actually excited about a romance in an urban fantasy book - somewhere pigs are flying.

In this book, Mead explored the complexity of life. Though Georgina is technically a lesser immortal and a succubus, as she went through the centuries she experienced relationships that ended in tragedies, each time she tried to be good. She gave up her soul to end her husbands pain after she was unfaithful. She took the dying power of a man that she tried to avoid, because she didn't want to corrupt his soul. In the present she struggles not to sleep with Seth, for fear that she will shorten his life. Georgina's intention are always good, but they always seem to end in disaster. In fact, she makes a point of saying several times that her life is circular.

Read More 5 Fangs

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher, Book 8 of the Harry Dresden Files

There are monsters appearing in Chicago. Literal Horror film monsters bursting from the screen, killing people and feeding on their fear (I'm actually kind of curious as to who did this first, since I've seen that plot line in about a dozen places). Harry must find out who is doing this and how – before more people are killed – or left living only to have their psyches mauled in the wake of the attack. It hits even closer to home when he sees that Michael's child Molly is directly involved in the horror and she and her friends are at risk.

The war between the vampires and the White Council continues, further confused because the expected support from the Summer and Winter courts has not arisen – much to everyone's surprise. Harry, as the Wizard most closely linked to the courts, must try to unravel why and secure their help

Harry is settling into his role as a Warden, though clashing with the Merlin over the severity of having to execute young wizards whose main mistake in life has been to grow up with power but no education or training. This only becomes more poignant as he is faced with the task of saving a friend's life – in defiance of this brutal policy

Read More 4 Fangs

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Jascinda is a draki – the descendants of dragons. She can shift her form into a humanoid dragon, scales, claws, wings and all. It's not easy though, for their kind are hunted to sell their body parts – indeed Jascinda barely escapes when one handsome young hunter spares her life.

Also, like all draki, she has a talent – she can breathe fire and makes her highly in demand. So in demand that her mother (who is effectively human) and her twin sister take her away from her pride in the dead of night.

Taking her to Nevada, to a city in the desert. In the hot, dry air without fertile land, Jascinda's draki will die and she can be a normal person just like her mother and her sister – but she doesn't want that and her draki withering feels like part of her soul is dying.

Read More 2 Fangs

Succubus Heat by Richelle Mead

Though I have so many other books on my to read list, I cannot stop reading the Georgina Kincaid series. This is really out of character for me because the novel is essentially a love story between Georgina and Seth. It's not quite paranormal romance but it's not far from it either.

In this book, Jerome, the archdemon of Seattle is summoned, causing all the lesser immortals in the area to lose their power. For Georgina this translates to not being able to shift and not being dependent on stealing bits of people's soul to survive. For the first time she can actually have sex with Seth and not worry about shortening his life. Suddenly, the prophecy that she would have a child and be with someone that she loves, looks possible for the first time.

Unfortunately, no good thing comes without a cost in Georgina's life. She realizes that she must rescue Jerome or risk her whole life being torn apart. It's a case of the devil you know really. The problem of course is that if she does rescue Jerome, she will go back to being a succubus thus ending her relationship with Seth. It's a no win situation for her because even if she does not immediately find Jerome hell being the organized institution that is, will simply appoint a new archdemon.

Read More 4 Fangs

City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson, Book 4 of the Zodiac Series

I am happy to report that this is the first book in this series where I did not come across any GLBT failure. I think Pettersson just decided to go all out with her erasure. As a straight person, I am not in a position to say that the complete erasure was a relief, because it also represents a form of failure that is reoccurring in this genre. Once again, the book takes places in Las Vegas, and there are no people of colour. As a woman of colour, I can say that after watching her treatment of the GLBT community, that I am kind of happy to be erased.

If I had to say that this particular book had any message at all, it would be that absolutism is dangerous. Throughout the series, Joanna/Olivia's nemesis is her biological father tulpa. His mission is to either destroy her before she can bring about his destruction, or to force her into becoming his ally. When we examine this from a womanist perspective, it is clear that in this case that the tulpa constructs her as a possession to be claimed or punished/destroyed for a failure to submit. When we consider that historically daughters have always been understood to be the possession of their fathers until they were lawfully wed, the tulpa's quest to claim to Joanna/Olivia fits into the framework of women as objects.

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