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Abuse as True Love in Paranormal Romance
We discuss the various common and destructive tropes in Paranormal Romance
There are a lot of tropes in paranormal romance that consistently raise their ugly heads - many of which we explain in our Lexicon
Many of these destructive tropes are often “justified” by being “explained by the woo-woo”. In other words, the fact that it is magic or some kind of preternatural creature doing these things makes it okay, not problematic or otherwise acceptable. So a possessive or stalking boyfriend is explained by being a werewolf or a vampire - therefore territorial. This has the additional problematic element of justifying or excusing the problematic behaviour - very reminiscent of the old excuse of “he can’t help it” and “it’s just his way.” or it’s the nature of whatever supernatural being that the author is discussing. Just as “I could smell your desire” sounds very much like “you want it really.”
Vampire Diaries: Season 3, Episode 4: Disturbing Behaviour
I really liked this episode, faults and all. It's been awhile since I could honestly say that about an episode of The Vampire Diaries. After spending an entire summer chasing Stefan, Elena finally decided that it was time to move on with her life. Of course she didn't make the decision because she realized that is a cold blooded killer but because she finally believed him when he said that their relationship was over. Her next project it seems is to remake Damon in Stefan's image. It was clear as they were making chili for the founders day gathering that the chemistry between them was strong. I think it's worth pointing out that none of these so-called kids have attended school yet; however, they all found time to show up and once again worship the founders.
Liz took Damon to see Caroline's father Bill Forbes. Damon wants to kill him but Liz tells him that he cannot, because Bill is Caroline's father. After testing to ensure that Bill is indeed vervain free, Damon compels him to believe that he came to Mystic Falls, to take Caroline back to school shopping, which btw cracked me up cause they don't attend school, and then to leave town.
Read More 3.5 Fangs
Lost Girl: Season Two, Episode Five: Brotherfae of the Wolves
Dyson has been visited by an old friend and packmate – Kaden. Y'know, I saw this and instantly thought “evil evil! he's so evil”. Because when you get an old blast from the past they're always dodgy and evil. It is known.
In the past Dyson and Kaden were mercenary warriors for the king Aelic – and were feared and lethal warriors. Dyson severed his ties with the king long ago, but now the king is dead after centuries of being involved in warfare and running his own extremely wealthy mercenary company.
We see a lot of flashbacks in this episode to Dyson's time as a warrior, including the last time he dealt with a norn and refused to give his wolf to save a friend's life. His friend ends up being betrayed by the king so the king could make his wife, Kiara, his queen which is why Dyson left the band.
Read More 2.5 Fangs
Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 4: Heather
Well we open to see that Melissa (Doormat) and Nick (Hot Guy) seem to be having a much healthier relationship. I bet it can't last – more angst is needed. Meanwhile, Cassie is looking up Heather Barnes (her mother's old school friend) after Zachary mentioned she wasn't dead and that Cassie's mother did far worse than that to her. Cassie is looking her up because... because... actually I don't have a clue, maybe she's chronically bored or needs to top up her angst levels or something. Anyway she's googling. She does her best to find her, but her cyberstalking skills are sadly lacking as she tries to trace where she lives, what family she has and their contact details (she turns up a brother). Not perturbed, she goes to school and enlists the aid of Diana (Chief Scooby) to go on a happy stalking field trip! Yay!
Read More 2.5 Fangs
The Walking Dead: Days Gone By
With the return of the Walking Dead season 2 we are doing a recap of every episode of the first season:
The opening scene of this pilot is one of the best I've seen. We see the protag in an obvious disaster zone, surrounded by wreckage and scraps of people's lives – including children's toys. He is carrying a petrol can, looking for a resource most of us today take for granted. It is eerily silent except for the buzzing of insects clinging to the corpses of the dead. And then we see the Walker – a child, a little girl (evocative of all what we're supposed to protect) even carrying a teddy bear. And he shoots her.
A perfect introduction to the world of the Walking Dead..
The Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine, Book 2 of the Morganville Vampire Series
At the end of the last book, Glass House, Shane called in his father in a desperate attempt to save them from the wrath of Morganville's vampires. Of course, they managed to escape that wrath by earning the support and protection of Analee, the Founder of Morganville who had enough clout to keep them safe.
The problem is, Shane's father and his vampire slaying biker gang still arrived. And they're still looking for blood and they don't intend to leave without slaughtering as many vampires as possible, preferably all of them. In fact, it seems this was Shane's reason to return to Morganville anyway – to gather as much intelligence as possible in the eventual attack.
Read More 2 Fangs
Lover Awakened, by JR Ward, Book 3 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
And we have another adventure of the Black Dagger Dudebros in their continued quest to have lots of bar fights, have lots of sex and occasionally killing a lesser if one waves at them. Oh wait, I mean nobly and valourously defending the vampire species from the depredations of the soulless Lessers of the Lessening Society
This time it's Zsadist's turn to find his one true love. After escaping the clutch of the Lessers, Bella seeks refuge with the Brotherhood, especially with Zsadist who she feels safe with and feels compelled to seek his presence.
Zsadist must face these entirely new feelings he has. After years of abuse as a blood and sex slave, he must learn that a woman's touch does not bring pain – and find something within him that isn't hard and cruel and tortured. Bella restores his hope, hope that both he and his twin Phury had forgotten long ago.
Read More 1.5 Fangs
Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge, Book 1 of the Black London series
When Pete Caldecot was 16 she saw something magical. With her sister's boyfriend, Jack Winter, they conjured something, a man of shadows and smoke, a creature Jack couldn't stop or hold within his circle. And Pete saw it kill him.
She's 28 now and a police inspector with the MET – and investigating a string of child abductions. The children go missing and the return, damaged and blinded, their energies drained. And there to help her is Jack, back from the dead, but driven to the edge by drug addiction and the pressures of his magic.
Read More 3 Fangs
Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey: Book 2 of the Sandman Slim Novels
Kill the Dead is the second book in the Sandman Slim novels. You can find the review for the first book, Sandman Slim here. As with the first book, Kill the Dead involves Angels and Demons but this time the threat the walking dead, otherwise known as various types of zombies. The problem however is that the reader is not really made aware the the zombies are indeed the "big bad" in this book until Stark suddenly had to deal with them.
Unlike Sandman Slim, Kill the dead, is really quite disorganized. The plot just seems to float around while Stark has interactions with various supernatural beings. Elements are introduced that really go nowhere and at times the story is really hard to follow. The cast of characters is actually very large, making it difficult to remember the significance of each person.
Read More 2.5 Fangs
Fallen by Lauren Kate. Book 1 of the Fallen series
Lucinda Price is a troubled teenager. In her last boarding school there was a fire and the boy she liked died – in very mysterious circumstances. Circumstances for which she was blamed, the shadow of which has hung over her since. Almost as literally as the shadows that follow her wherever she goes, shapes only she can see and hear.
Her past has lead her to Swords and reformatory school where she has to navigate a new place, a new system and friends who aren't what they seem. Right until the moment she finds herself ground zero in a heavenly war and at the heart of a tragic love story that has been repeated every 17 years for centuries on end
Read More 1 Fang