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Our Next podcast will be on Tuesday 1st November at the usual time
Interview with Clay & Susan Griffith, authors of the Vampire Empire Series
This week, we're lucky to have a written interview with Clay and Susan Griffith, authors of the Vampire Empire series, The Greyfriar and The Rift Walker. Both books we enjoyed immensely and we're happy to fanpoodle shamelessly.
While we wait eagerly for the third instalment in this series we have these 10 questions and their detailed answers to whet our appetites
Mixed Raced Characters in Urban Fantasy don't Necessarily Constitute Inclusion
One of the recurring tropes we’ve found in Urban Fantasy is the use of token inclusion for people of colour. Unfortunately for many authors, the addition of one person of color in an all White cast, even in cities in which the population demographics would suggest a larger representation is necessary, qualifies for a claim of equal representation. This is beyond irritating in and of itself. But there’s a related trope that doesn’t even go so far as that to use the oft normalized tokens - mixed race protagonists. One of the major issues is that even though these people are technically bi-racial, they are often so light skinned that they exist with passing privilege, thereby never having to negotiate the racism faced by everyday people of colour. Urban fantasy gives new meaning to the phrase light bright and damn near White.
In and of themselves, mixed race protagonists are by any means a bad thing - not by any stretch. We’d welcome, hail and do happy dances about more mixed-race protagonists, or more protagonists of colour in general, if it constituted good equal representation but alas that is not the case. It would be good to see if these mixed raced people read like mixed raced people, instead of White people with a touch of exotic thrown in for extra flavour.
Traumatised Youth in Urban Fantasy
What shocked us most about this trope, as we went through our Book Review Master list, was how common this trope was. Literally, we went down our master list and struggled to find series where this trope didn’t apply. No, seriously - nearly every last series we’ve read included this trope. It has become less of a trope and more of a requirement in the genre.
The Vampire Diaries Season Three, Episode Seven: Ghost World
Once again, Mystic Falls had another founders celebration. This week they were celebrating Illumination Night. Apparently, they lit lanterns to tell the town that it was safe to come out at night again, after they had entombed all of the vampires. I am really sick and tired of the weekly celebrations of the former slave owners. Of course, The Vampire Diaries creators don't see it that way, but this is the truth of the matter.
It seems that when Bonnie sent Vicky back to the other side she opened up a door that allowed all of the ghosts that had unfinished business to walk the town. Because Elena was thinking of Lexy, Stefan's friend he came back and because the tomb vampires had unfinished business with the founders they came back with the aim of killing the descendants. Mason came back to find a weapon to kill Klaus in order to save Tyler.
Read More 3 Fangs
Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 6: Wake
And within 5 minutes of the Secret Circle starting we learn that Nick had an older brother called Jake. See, see? I totally called it. No way were we going to go down to 5 witches. Someone call the advertising people and replace Nick with Jake (or, y'know, we could give Melissa some space... nahhhhh) and yes, the Circle is bound by bloodline! So Jake is a member of it as Nick's brother – replacement Nick!
And Jake is troubled... very troubled – and a thief and selfish and and and he jaywalks! EVIL, evil I say! And he used to date Faye (Mean Girl) and treat her terribly and he stole from Adam and Adam now haaaates him. And he's baaaaad. And they don't want him in the circle, no no no! Bad Jake! No cookie.
Read More 2 Fangs
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 2: Bloodletting
The episode begins with Lori talking about her marital problems with Rick. Right after that she admits that she loves him Shane -- who is not dead -- pulls up and tells her that Rick has been shot. Even then you can see Shane looking at them with a weird sort of desire.
The seen flashes back to Rick running with Carl after he has been shot. We learn that Otis shot a buck and it went straight through to Carl. Lori stops to look behind her when she hears the gunshot. It worries her that Rick and Shane have not caught up. Darryl keeps them moving by telling them to stop worrying about Sophia and that she will be just fine, and that Shane and Lori are probably on the way. What I don't like about this is that they have set Darryl up to lead in the absence of Rick and Shane. Why couldn't Andrea take the lead considering that she is such a strong character in the comics. Oh I get, Darryl a character made up for the show is a nature guy and therefore the natural leader.
Read More 3.5 Fangs
American Horror Story
While it may stretch the definition of Urban Fantasy a tad, we've had many requests to review this series – and we were curious anyway – so we have decided to do so :)
American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 4: Hallowe'en Part 1 4 Fangs
American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 3: Murder House 4 Fangs
American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 2: Home Invasion 4 Fangs
American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot 4 Fangs
So we return again to ghost central! And within 5 minutes of the episode starting I am given my reason for watching this programme – Theo James in a towel. What? I need something to encourage me to keep watching. Alas, Kate wants him to put some clothes on to do some handyman work... hmm... maybe a toolbelt.
Anyway, I digress. Molly's friend Zoe is still missing and Molly is going on blind dates, Kate is still sleep walking and hallucinating and being a not-very-pleasant person and Ryan's upset about his brother's killer coming up for parole. I dunno, not doing much but this episode follows the much distracted Leah (I don't blame it the 4 main characters of this programme don't exactly lead fascinating lives), another resident of Bedlam heights and Molly's new friend – who keeps seeing spooky tire tracks, ghosts in her car and spectral car trouble. Her car keeps breaking down but she daren't take it to a garage because it belongs to an abusive ex who has probably reported it stolen – if it goes into a garage, he can probably find Leah.
Read More 2.5 Fangs
Once Upon a Time
Okay, I know that this is a bit of a stretch but fairy tales are fantasy after all. Sunday night was the ABC premier of Once Upon A Time staring, Ginnifer Godwin, Jennifer Morrison, and Robert Carlyle. The story is based on the idea that fairy tale creatures are now living in the modern world but are unaware that they are fairy tale characters thanks to a spell by the wicked witch.
The story begins with Snow White and the handsome Prince Charming. As we all know, Snow White was presumed dead and the seven dwarfs were mourning her when Prince Charming rode in and saved the say by giving her a true love's kiss. At their wedding, the evil queen shows up to make them a promise, "everything you love will be taken from you forever. Out of your suffering will rise my victory. I shall destroy you happiness if it's the last thing that I do".
Read More 3 Fangs
Lover Enshrined, by JR Ward, Book 6 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
The plot for this book is actually surprisingly involved for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. While we do have a relationship between His Whineyness Phury and Cormia front and centre but it's relatively easy to ignore and you can see the true action beneath.
The Omega has decided to combat the Dhestroyer prophecy with both a new fore-lesser and to tap his son – the son of a powerful vampire aristocrat. Bringing him back into the fold not only brings a powerful warrior with terrifying abilities but also bringing with him powerful intelligence that allows the lessers to hit a lot of extremely high profile targets which in turn leads to the looming shadow of politics in the glymeria
Read More 3.5 Fangs
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, Book 5 of the Kate Daniels Series
Kate Daniels is back in action in post shift Atlanta. After killing her aunt in Magic Bleeds her secret is rapidly becoming unfrayed as more and more people notice her powerful magic and powerful blood – and more and more people know exactly who she is and who her father is.
Kate now runs her own agency, joined by Andrea whose attempts to make the Order accept her humanity failed in the face of their prejudice. And the Red Guard has come to her with a job – they were guarding a weapon. A weapon of incredible power. And it has gone missing, along with its inventor. Under the cloak of necessary secrecy and discretion, the Guard need Kate to find the weapon and the inventor, preferably before its power is unleashed
Read More 5 Fangs
Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep, Book 5 of the Elemental Assassin's Series
The plot was simple yet epic. It wasn't complicated with nuances and twists and there's not a lot to summarise of it without going outright into spoilers. Gin has reached the final showdown. Her or Mab. Mab has been targetting her sister too often and while Gin can hide her identity and be the ghost biting at Mab's flanks, Bria cannot. And the longer this fight continues, the longer Gin keeps to the shadows and plays the long game against Mab, the more and more danger Bria is in.
Especially now. Mab has put her vast resources on the table and sent out a call to every bounty hunter in the country. The Spider – dead or alive. Or Bria, Gin's baby sister, alive only. Except, with some of these bounty hunters, “alive” covers a great deal – and Mab herself certainly never hesitates at torture.
Read More 4.5 Fangs
Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine, Book 4 of the Morganville Vampire Series
In the last book we were left with a cliffhanger. The Bishop, Amelie's father has come to town – and so has Claire's parents. The Bishop is dangerous, threatening and powerful...
And we open the book basically in the same situation. Big threatening bad guy and Claire's parents hanging round. And then we enter a holding pattern. I said the same thing about Midnight Alley and, sadly, I have to say it again, there's very little plot to review.
Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep, Book 4 of the Elemental Assassin's Series
Gin's war against Mab is now declared and Mab is feeling the Spider's bite. First killing her lieutenant, Elliot Slater in Venom she has now started hitting Mab's operations around the cities. Her minions and dealers are all under threat, smoothly assassinated and the Spider rune left by their corpses.
Mab can't tolerate this any more and calls in LaFleur, her own assassin. An expert assassin of the Spider's calibre and an Electricity Elemental. She's in town to run Mab's operations – and take out the Spider. As a bonus prize, she's also to take out Bria, Gin's sister, to finally remove that thorn out of Mab's side as well. To complicate things, Mab has not missed Gin's friendship with Roslyn and is looking to spy on her and undermine her as much as possible
Read More 3.5 Fangs
John Carpenter's Vampires
This movie could easily go down as one of the worst films, I have ever had the misfortune to see. For the purposes of full disclosure, I am going to admit right off the hop that James Woods is one of my least favorite actors of all time. From the beginning, I could see why he was attracted to this role. He got to play an ass kicking vampire slayer with a gun and a cross bow.
Read More 0.5 Fangs