Ever temporarily lost your parents as a child? Or vice versa? Then this might give you an unexpected emotional response. Fear and relief overcame me f...moreEver temporarily lost your parents as a child? Or vice versa? Then this might give you an unexpected emotional response. Fear and relief overcame me from a childhood memory upon seeing the reunited scene - a tearful, open-armed mother with her wide-eyed child running full-speed towards her shouting, "Yes! Yes! Here she is! Here's my mummy." Aww. I can feel the love.
And I can relate to falling out of bed; I did that regularly as a child as well, except I never woke up until morning, in bed and oblivious to my nightly tumbles, my parents having tucked me back in, in the night.
A gorgeous, intensely colourful and sweet picture book.(less)
An interesting premise similar to The Adjustment Bureau, but the execution's iffy, with a mean and bitter protagonist leading the way.
Devil's Bargain...moreAn interesting premise similar to The Adjustment Bureau, but the execution's iffy, with a mean and bitter protagonist leading the way.
Devil's Bargain isn't urban fantasy, not the way it's written. Nothing paranormal is introduced until the second half of the book. A little late in my opinion. And despite the genre classification on Goodreads, it's not romantic. Expectations and enjoyment while reading suffered as a result.
The paranormal lowdown: (view spoiler)[Two opposing psychics and a theory about what and who influences human events. There are two types of people: Chorus and Actors. Chorus are people going through the motions, and Actors are influencers with the power to change major events. A person can be either one at different times of their lives. However, Leads are permanent Actors; almost everything they do is important, radically impacting events. The two opposing psychics are master manipulators, puppeteers if you will, pulling strings to further their own agendas, sometimes clashing. (hide spoiler)] Jazz and Lucia are hired as Leads in this ultimate game of chess by the "good" side, working against the avaricious enemy.
Jazz and Lucia's partnership in their PI firm I liken to that of Rachel and Ivy, respectively. Lucia and Ivy are both moneyed, well-connected and elegant with mad skills executed with sophisticated grace, and act ever-so-slightly aloof. Jazz and Lucia are their opposite, struggling to get by on little money and hard-earned skills and knowledge, painfully blunt in their social interactions and a self-destructive need to save everyone. Unfortunately, where Jazz and Rachel differ is in Jazz's extremely unpleasant personality. She makes a terrible first impression on everyone she meets. Everyone. Perhaps this is down to her ex-police partner's recent incarceration, but her lack of friends is noticeable and very telling.
Ben McCarthy, the imprisoned partner convicted of murder, I seriously believed to be a figment of Jazz's imagination. Though Jazz thinks of him all too often, no credible character made reference to him for the first half of the book - Manny isn't mentally stable and I thought the tiny scene with Stewart could also be a hallucination. The possibility of a schizophrenic, and therefore unreliable, main character intrigued me. And then we meet him, about 60% in, at the prison hospital after being beaten. Several hints were made indicating he'd been raped but sadly, Jazz never picks up on it. A chance to address a sensitive, important and emotive issue missed.
Counselor James Borden, the lawyer who hired Jazz and Lucia, seemed to have an instant, unfathomable crush on Jazz, and her familiarity with him over several short meetings bred lust, though romance never enters into the equation. Borden put up with a lot of crap from the hostile Jazz, including physical manhandling. Most wouldn't have stuck around and got rid of their girlfriend in anticipation of something maybe happening with her, they'd have walked away or retaliated, physically or otherwise.
Traumatised, and now paranoid, super-geek Manny Glickman was the most interesting character, the only one with a past. He just so happens to be the only character I actually liked. I'm glad to hear he also appears in Working Stiff which is currently sitting on my bookshelves unread.
I've been encouraged to view this as a conspiracy thriller with paranormal elements but, honestly, I wasn't thrilled. Temptation to DNF saw me scan a few reviews to see if there was anything objectionable I could use as a reason to walk away other than "this is boring". No specific objective is available for the characters to pursue, only the red envelopes with their oddly benign instructions provide any real mystery; who issues them and why? During that time the audience is strung along with shoot 'em up action which isn't particularly compelling without a reason for the duo to be hunted down and killed, which come much later.
Structurally, I find this novel frustrating. Meeting Ben earlier, having Jazz's investigation into his conviction take centre stage to focus the story, revealing the truth about the red envelopes sooner, and softening Jazz's attitude, would've proved a more engaging read. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Free audiobook of a 12-minute horror story read by the Neil Gaiman himself, available to download through to Halloween from Audible, and for every dow...moreFree audiobook of a 12-minute horror story read by the Neil Gaiman himself, available to download through to Halloween from Audible, and for every download donations will be made to two charities promoting reading. Further details on NG's blog post.(less)
Refreshingly not politically correct. Loved the comic strips which rendered perfectly well on my Kindle. I was most interested in the Scottish history...moreRefreshingly not politically correct. Loved the comic strips which rendered perfectly well on my Kindle. I was most interested in the Scottish history (e.g. Jacobite Rebellion) and the personal hygiene and fashion of the period. Had I still been a child I'm sure I'd have given this 5 stars. The only one I read and enjoyed back then was The Vile Victorians.(less)
*Warning:Much violence described in this review. Not for those with weak stomachs. Seriously.
Weak and cowardly - that's what the people of this book...more*Warning:Much violence described in this review. Not for those with weak stomachs. Seriously.
Weak and cowardly - that's what the people of this book would believe of us in the developed world today. We'd call ourselves civilised and our forbears barbarians, but humanity's managed to survive through some exceptionally horrific times. Many lessons can certainly be learned from our history.
Some Survival Tips:
✻ Expedition of exploration is code for "suicide mission". ✻ If a relative or close friend is/could be in a position of power and authority, run far away and go into hiding. ✻ Never love anyone. They can be used against you or slaughtered in front of you. ✻ Never own anything worth killing for. ✻ When war breaks out, relocate from the warzone. ✻ Be willing to switch religion at a moment's notice. ✻ Any weapon you possess may be used against you. ✻ If you're an executioner, always keep your blade sharp. ✻ Hide all books in a fireproof place, behind lock and key.
Funny, informative and riveting. One Bloody Thing After Another reads like an adult version of Horrible Histories, divulging all the best bits and possibly the least well known parts of our bloody world history in an engrossing and funny manner. Illustrations and maps of territories belonging to different empires throughout the ages are included. All were perfectly rendered on my Kindle.
Events are covered up to 1900 and range from the natural disasters like plague, earthquake and volcanic eruption, to the man-made horrors of war, genocide, serial killers, assassinations, and the crazy inventive methods and devices of torture. Brief but detailed summaries of events are given in easily digestible chunks, each one taking up only a handful of paragraphs so it was hard to get bored. Origin stories of certain fictional works are described, for example, Gilles de Rais was the inspiration for Bluebeard by Charles Perrault.
The torture. Yikes. Be careful what you invent in the way of devices because someone might turn around and use it against you, as in the case of the Brazen Bull. I wouldn't mind if the Wall Street Bull was converted so we can roast a few fat cat bankers. I'll provide the marshmallows.
While we're on the subject, I'm calling shenanigans on the double standard regarding female torturers and serial killers receiving lame punishments when their male counterparts were tortured and killed for their crimes. Examples:
❶ Elizabeth Báthory had her servant girls 'beaten and their lips pierced with pins' and 'red-hot irons were pressed on to the feet and mouths'. 'Victims were dragged naked into the snow and had water poured onto them until they froze to death. One servant girl was stripped, covered with honey and left overnight to be stung and bitten by insects.' At age 44 her husband died (1604). New servant girls were acquired and 'daughters of the gentry were invited to live in her castle.' 'At least 300 girls and women, nobly born as well as commoners ... were put to death in an inhuman and cruel manner. She cut their flesh and made them grill it; afterwards she would make them eat bits of their own body.'
Punishment: 'Lifelong house arrest in the castle where she had committed her foul deeds.'
❷ Darya Saltykova in 1756 inherited 600 serfs from her husband and promptly started torturing them for pleasure. Several years and the unexplained disappearance of 138 girls later, she was found guilty of murdering 38 serfs.
Punishment: 1 hour in a pillory in Moscow and imprisoned in an underground cell in a convent where she experienced total darkness until death in 1801.
❸ Ranavalona proclaimed herself queen of Madagascar in 1828 and began torturing, crucifying and beheading Christians. 'Brigands, runaway slaves and rebels were flayed alive, sawn in half or had their testicles slowly crushed.' *winces* She also tested for treason in arbitrary ways similar to the identification of witches, one of which involved 'progressive amputation'. 'After each amputation, the victim was invited to confess their crimes.' Most died from shock and blood loss.
Punishment: In 1861 she died in her sleep. No punishment meted out.
Hardly justice for those that suffered at their soft, pampered hands. Perhaps being rich has its perks.
But successful innocent women were also suspicious. Poor Hypatia, 'head of the Platonist School in the city [Alexandria, Egypt] and possibly the first major female mathematician' was rumoured to practise witchcraft. Of course, she was. She was also vocally against the persecutions of Jews. What happened to her? Apprehended, taken to a church to be stripped and beaten to death. Charming.
Boudica and Joan of Arc also met violent ends, but they participated in and started wars so it was a hazard of the job. Surprisingly, there were methods of violence against women I had never considered, for instance the ripping out of foetuses and either killing them or sewing them to the mouths/breasts of their mothers. Sadistic. Breast mutilation and removal, also quite common. And now my mind is conceiving of methods not mentioned.
I apologise to friends and followers for my over-eager and excessive status updates for this 190-page book clogging up your feeds. Honestly, I tried to limit them in number and keep the most gruesome parts out to protect any weak stomachs.
Boring history is boring no longer with this book. Anyone even vaguely interested should give it a go, because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Currently available for £1.09 in the UK Kindle Sale!(less)
The cosy, old school hand-painted illustration of a book-cluttered hall in karen's review together with the title The Library enticed me to grab this,...moreThe cosy, old school hand-painted illustration of a book-cluttered hall in karen's review together with the title The Library enticed me to grab this, appropriately, from my local library. I'm so glad I did!
Yes, I'll grudgingly admit I'm not a child anymore, but I'm well aware of these new soulless block-colour, crisp-lined, computer-generated illustrations which frankly offend my senses, that seeing something lovingly created the old fashioned way warms my heart and fills me with child-like glee. I sound ancient with my When I was young..., I'm really not, though. Unless you think being in your twenties, old.
In simple rhyming rhythm the story is told of every seriously obsessive bibliophile [put your hand up if you are one - *waves*] named Elizabeth Brown. From birth it seems she loved books, and I mean loved them, as in addicted to buying them, storing them in every place she can, and reading every minute she can spare throughout every stage of her life.
The ending, I won't spoil it, in 1995 could be quite different now with the advent and popularity of e-readers, which is a shame. But it reminds me of the pledge made by Lionel Shriver in the adult essay compilation of a similar name, The Library Book.
There are more words in this review than there are in the book. You know what? I enjoyed this so much I. must. buy. it. Don't tell anyone, will you? I all ready have overflowing bookshelves myself, despite the Kindle by my bed.
Perhaps I should make a pledge of my very own. :D(less)
In this installment we discover the consequences of the unsupervised actions of the autopilot versions of Paul and Dallas in Bermuda before their bodies/psyches were reintegrated, making for hilarious reading. I can say 'hilarious' since it turned out all right in the end. Dallas and Paul are so sweet together. The former worrying over his subconscious greed, the latter trying to figure out if they'd hooked up, and them both obsessing over each other.
You know, I had to up the star rating on the last one to 5 stars because it was so awesome. I find it so hard to discern "I love it, I love it!" and "I love it!", a frequent problem I have with books by JCP.
Did you know Barbie dolls were modelled after blonde German sex dolls called Bild Lilli? Disturbing to know I played with a sex doll as a child. o_O
C...moreDid you know Barbie dolls were modelled after blonde German sex dolls called Bild Lilli? Disturbing to know I played with a sex doll as a child. o_O
Chapter One: Raunch Culture Published in 2006 one would assume Female Chauvinist Pigs would be fairly up-to-date, but it becomes obvious quite quickly that much has changed in the six years since this was written. Here, Levy focuses on the late nineties and early noughties, in the days of Sex and the City, Sexcetera, and Eurotrash, producing nauseating examples of raunch, harassment and coercion of women, exploiting them and their insecurities for entertainment and profit. Playboy's hypocrisy is maddening.
I could almost picture Levy's lips curling with distain and hear the disgust in her voice as she makes judgements about what women do with their own bodies. Framing her concerns in terms of self-respect and self-worth would encourage these strippers and porn stars she castigates, to listen to her arguments. Her angle seems to be to comment and complain rather than influence change to the status quo, therefore FCP appears at this stage only marketable to conservative types, or at least those that keep their private parts private.
Nevertheless, she does tell both sides of the story by using, as examples, the women who embrace, participate and perpetuate raunch culture, and Hugh Hefner and Playboy, letting their own words and actions speak for themselves. However, there is no mention of disadvantaged backgrounds or anything else that could lead them women to turn to raunch. [She rectifies this in Chapter 6.]
Chapter Two: The Future That Never Happened Less relevant to me as a non-American was the description of American feminist history, most of which was completely new and confusing to me, though, in the end, I grasped Levy's messages.
The ultimate (ideal) feminist goal:
“Women as a class have never subjugated another group; we have never marched off to wars of conquest in the name of the fatherland ... those are the games men play.We see it differently. We want to be neither oppressor nor the oppressed. The women’s revolution is the final revolution of them all. [...] The goals of liberation go beyond the simple concept of equality.”
Feminism diversified and splintered into the anti-porn feminists vs. sex-positive feminists, the former believing porn degrades women and feeds rape culture, while the latter thought porn empowering; evidence of sexual emancipation and freedom to pursue active sex lives, like that of men.
Raunch culture was pervasive, unrelenting. At its emergence, when it wasn't instantly rejected, it's subversive nature, working in the background until those you'd expect to denounce it embraced it instead, even feminists. That's when it became socially acceptable. The saying, 'give them an inch and they'll take a mile' comes to mind.
[Levy's thoroughly ruined "sexy" for me. She'd probably like that since we agree it's been co-opted as a slang term for "cool".]
Chapter Three: Female Chauvinist Pigs
'Why worry about disgusting or degrading when you could be giving - or getting - a lap dance yourself? Why try to beat them when you can join them?’
‘Them’ being men. Joining men meant taking part in male activities i.e. forgetting the feminist cause upheld by your forebears and participating in the un-sister-like behaviour of denigrating your fellow woman by acting like a man. In effect, they switch teams and start actively working against feminist goals and promote male ones. ‘FCPs don't bother to question the criteria on which women are judged, they are too busy judging other women themselves.’
In turning ‘traitor,’ FCPs can be interpreted as Uncle Toms. ‘An Uncle Tom is a person who deliberately upholds the stereotypes assigned to his or her marginalized group in the interest of getting ahead with the dominant group.’ Upholding sexist stereotypes and mimicking male behaviour by positioning themselves as the exception to the rule, setting themselves apart from other (inferior) women –‘the girly-girls’, ingratiates FCPs to men by showing them they share a similar mindset, thereby reinforcing anti-feminist views once the subject of them (women) accepts them.
So Levy theorises there are two types of FCP:
(1) ‘acting like a cartoon man-who drools over strippers, says things like "check out that ass," and brags about having the "biggest cock in the building"' (2) 'or acting like a cartoon woman, who has cartoon breasts, wears little cartoon outfits, and can only express her sexuality by spinning around a pole.’
Both involve pleasing and seeking the approval of others rather than being true to individual wants and needs.
Chapter Four: From Womyn to Bois Lesbianism and the transgendered are the examined in this chapter.
Butch (masculine lesbians) and femmes (feminine lesbians) I've heard of, bois is a new one on me. They seem to be characterised as behaving similar to teenage boys: unsophisticated, immature, letting their id control their actions.
[There is] 'another camp of bois who date femmes exclusively and follow a locker-room code of ethics referenced by the phrase "bros before hos" or "bros before bitches," which means they put the similarly masculine identified women they hang out with in a different, higher category than the feminine women they have sex with. This school of bois tends to adhere to almost comically unreconstructed fifties gender roles. They just reposition themselves as the ones who wear the pants-they take Feminist Chauvinist Piggery to a whole different level.'
I'm in complete agreement with Rosskum on finding 'the idea that there are two distinct genders and nothing in between constricting and close-minded.' Physically, genetically, hormonally and psychologically -One person can be a different gender in each of those categories (intersex). XX and XY are not the be all and end all to gender identification.
'Women are actually becoming men' and 'Elective cosmetic surgery - implants for straight women, mastectomies for FTMs (female-to-male transexuals) - is popular to the point of being faddish. Non-committal sex is widespread, and frequently prefigured by a public spectacle.'
Why so much body modification (or mutilation)? Genuine need for plastic surgery to aid reconstruction after injury or cancer, psychological requirement (e.g. gender dysphoria, severely impeding quality of life), or fear of dangerous situations (e.g. revirginization of girls worried about repercussions from religious community) -Those I understand, but to make possibly life-altering decisions when succumbing to peer pressure or to conform for acceptance is profoundly sad.
Almost exclusively focusing on specific subgroups of women in two metropolitan areas (San Francisco and New York City) of one country, such as the career woman, the stripper, masculine lesbians (butch and bois), FTMs, serves to highlight extremes among minorities some of which the global media may have made popular and as a result, socially acceptable, to the detriment of the feminist cause (i.e. equality with men) and the benefit of masculinism by reconfirming the superiority of men.
Unrepresentative of the larger population, these generalisations based on small groups aren’t necessarily indicative of a larger problem and treating them as such may hurt Levy’s message when some of us haven’t experienced or witnessed the examples given (but just because we've not encountered something doesn't mean it doesn't exist), and fail to see or understand the relationships between certain behaviours, causes and effects detailed.
Culturally speaking, on the whole, this is only directly applicable to metropolitan America, and to a lesser extent other developed countries, because feminism isn't always recognised or is oppressed in the developing world.
Chapter Five: Pigs in Training By far the best chapter, describing the feelings and actions of teenage girls, and the ineffectual sex education they receive.
A girl's self-worth is derived from the attention of boys, competition with other girls for a boy's attention results in dressing provocatively, flirting, the flashing of 'assets', performing oral sex on boys, intercourse and publicly documenting nudity or sexual acts and sharing them to increase one's popularity. Sadly, peer pressure seems to dictate when girls lose their virginity rather than thrill-seeking curiosity and the pursuit of pleasure.
At no point does it occur to these girls to request reciprocal oral sex, and have difficulty recognising, expressing and experiencing sexual desire, and sex education doesn't teach 'sexuality as a larger more complex, more fundamental part of being human.' Instead guilt-ridden Christian America has spent $1bn in ten years teaching abstinence while ignoring contraception or lying about its effectiveness. The message children receive is:
'Girls have to be hot. Girls who aren't hot probably need breast implants. Once a girl is hot, she should be as close to naked as possible all the time. Guys should like it. Don't have sex.'
Chapter Six: Shopping for Sex Levy's highly critical of Sex and the City, Carrie in particular, because she 'rarely evaluated her own happiness' and instead 'measur[ed] men's interest' which is a 'flawed guide to empowerment.' I loathed Carrie's unchecked materialist obsession with expensive shoes when she needed money to pay her rent. She regularly offended my practical sensibilities and her frequently 'complicated' love life because she made it so.
As a teenager I watched the show with fascination and surprise. It was a source of sex education, an insight into the fashionable American woman, and covered important subjects I'd never considered before, like abortion. Miranda and Charlotte were my favourite characters, though I respected Samantha's refusal to be embarrassed about anything sex-related, to her it was a fact of life, which it is.
I'd argue with Levy about Samantha's mannish approach to her sexual exploits as Levy emphasises FCP's requirement for quantity of sexual partners over quality, knowingly robbing themselves of satisfying sex, whereas Samantha made a concerted effort to get as much enjoyment and pleasure out of every conquest she could, exploring the different facets of sexuality along the way, without fear or judgement. She doesn't comfortably fit the mould Levy's created, though she does match a few of the criteria.
An underlying inferred theory for the reason women act like men by seeking unemotional, non-committal sex, is the possible prior rejection and hurt experienced after what turns out to be a one-night stand, encouraging women to take out emotion from the equation when they recover and decide to move on to the next man, and use sex as proof of future desirability to soothe the insecurities that arose from that injury to her pride.
Pornography is documented prostitution, and Levy argues stripping falls under this category as well, for the commodification of a naked body. She goes on to use successful porn star Jenna Jameson as an example of the damaging nature of porn:
'Jameson thinks that women outside the sex industry have internalized its spirit and model their sexuality on porn. [She] presents life in the industry as marked by violence and violation: She tells us she was beaten unconscious with a rock, gang-raped, and left for dead on a dirt road during her sophomore year of high school; she was life-threateningly addicted to drugs before she was twenty; she was beaten by her boyfriend and sexually assaulted by his friend. She also writes, "To this day, I still can't watch my own sex scenes."
Not once does she use the word 'pleasure' to describe her sexuality. 'Like most employees of the sex industry, [she] is not sexually uninhibited, she is sexually damaged.' Being a sex worker further damages these vulnerable people, and Levy suggests these inappropriate erotic role models are suffering PTSD from past sexual abuse, 'It's like using a bunch of shark attack victims as our lifeguards.'
Conclusion We've adopted and conformed to the sex industry's representation of sexuality, which dictates what's desirable and worthy of fantasy. 'We have to ask ourselves why we are so focused on silent girly-girls in G-strings faking lust,' must we also fake it to the detriment of our own personal tastes and sexual satisfaction?
'Why have we fallen sway to a kind of masculine mystique, determined that to be adventurous is to be like a man, and decided that the best thing we can possibly expect for women is hotness?’ The 'prevalence of raunch in the mainstream has diluted the effect of both sex radicals and feminists, who've seen their movement's images popularized while their ideals are forgotten.
‘Sexual power is only one very specific kind of power,' we should be looking at other types of power, breaking through the glass ceiling and pursuing higher female representation in politics and the boardrooms of big business for which previous generations’ feminists originally strived.
Men are all evil, sexist pigs! Well, no. They're not. As Levy shows men so unfavourably throughout, I do wish she'd included a caveat in her introduction stating that not all men act in negative, stereotypical ways. Kind and respectful men do exist, though you wouldn't think so from reading this book.
Occasionally, I was uncomfortable with taking Levy's chosen quotes from other people, whether from printed sources or her own personal interviews, as a truthful representation of that person's opinion. It would be so easy for Levy's bias to influence the way she edits and presents others' words. Although this was based on my own inexperience and naivety with regards to certain viewpoints, e.g. having had little knowledge of the ins and outs of lesbian and transgendered culture and communities, etc.
Warning: Don't read this book if you're easily offended, or partial to feeling shame or guilt for falling into one of the groups Levy criticises, it will only make you feel worse. Both Christianity and politics are also discussed and criticised.(less)
A unique book showcasing multicultural London as the main character featuring much of her history, geography, associated Britishisms, pop. culture ref...moreA unique book showcasing multicultural London as the main character featuring much of her history, geography, associated Britishisms, pop. culture references and slang. I'm surprised non-Brits (or even non-Londoners) didn't give this a lower rating for all that they didn't understand because I'm a Brit and there were a couple I didn't get. A basic map and a glossary would've been helpful, I think.
Having a mixed race protagonist instantly put this book in my good graces being mixed race myself, although I was a little disappointed Peter's mother wasn't Afro-Caribbean, like mine. Thankfully, he's not mixed race in name only as his race was referred to consistently throughout without becoming unnecessarily repetitive. Another thing broadcasting loud and clear was Peter's manliness. Refreshingly, he's most definitely male with urges, sexual thoughts and erections just like the next man. No shying away from, or sanitisation of, his sexuality here.
'I was fighting the urge to fling myself down to my knees before her and put my face between her breasts and go blubby, blubby, blubby. When she offered me a seat I was so hard it was painful to sit down.'
'I dreamed that I was sharing my bed with Lesley May and Beverley Brook, both lithe and naked on either side of me, but it wasn't nearly as erotic as it should've been because I didn't dare embrace one for fear that I'd mortally offend the other.'
Peter's charmingly colourful London copper voice had me visualising Gerry from New Tricks reading this to me. Immediately Peter Grant drew me into his interesting and fun narration, increasing my excitement and anticipation for what I thought could be a 5-star awesome book.
'Martin gave the body the 'London once-over' - a quick glance to determine whether this was a drunk, a crazy or a human being in distress. The fact that it was entirely possible for someone to be all three simultaneously is why good-Samaritanism in London is considered an extreme sport - like base-jumping or crocodile-wrestling.'
However, with an ultra realistic background, magic seemed incongruous, inconspicuous and surreal in comparison. Ghosts and vampires appeared normal to me, it was the river spirits I couldn't get a handle on. Magic itself, I gradually accepted although to begin with it was an oddly unsubstantiated concept because Nightingale refused to elaborate, purposely keeping Peter in the dark about everything magic-related which was super frustrating. I couldn't believe in something I didn't understand. Apparently, Newton made pioneering breakthroughs in magic at the same time he did science as they're both inextricably linked, which we observe during Peter's rigorous experiments into how magic use damages all technology in its vicinity.
"Well the second, murdering gent, he puts on a cap and a red jacket and he brings out his stick and as quietly and swiftly as a snoozer in a lodging house he comes up behind the first gent and knocks his head clean off." "You're having me on," I said. "No, I'm never," said Nicholas, and crossed himself. "I swear on my own death, and that's as solemn a swear as a poor shade can give. It was a terrible sight. Off came his head and up went the blood."
A nod to Laurell K. Hamilton was made via the intriguing Anita Blake-like horror scenes, a welcome distraction from the magic. I ate them up and wanted more. Aaronovitch had to have been a fan at one stage because his crime scenes are reminiscent of the way LKH wrote hers. I did wonder if the vagina dentata was a surruptitious comment on the way her series devolved over time, though I think I'm reaching with that one since the owner of that vagina seemed to have targeted a rapist.
'Somebody was screaming and I had to check it wasn't me. It could've been me. I certainly wanted to scream, but I remembered that, right then and there, Lesley and I were the only coppers on the scene, and the public doesn't like it when the police start screaming: it contributes to an impression of things not being conducive to the public calm. I got to my feet and found that we'd attracted a crowd of onlookers. "Ladies and gentlemen," I said, "police business. I need you to stand back." The crowd stood back - being covered in blood can have that effect on people.'
Eerily, this was published only 7 months before the 2011 London riots and yet the author got the riot behaviour and media reactions down pat. Yes, the Daily Mail did have field day, the resulting reasons they came up with being basically this:
"Because who is more oppressed? Those that seek nothing but entitlements for themselves, or those that claim for everything: social security, housing benefit, disability, and pay for nothing?" [...] [redacted] must either be using stuff from [redacted]'s memory or else had been reading the Daily Mail for the last two hundred years.
Excellent social commentary, idiosyncrasies of specific groups and observations on current tensions mixed with the studious Newtonian science, history and geography would make Rivers of London a prime candidate for study in schools and universities.
'It's a myth that Londoners are oblivious to one another on the tube: we're hyper-aware of each other and are constantly revising our what-if scenarios and counter strategies. What if that suavely handsome yet ethnic young man asks me for money? Do I give or refuse? If he makes a joke do I respond, and if so will it be a shy smile or a guffaw? [...] If he opens his jacket and yells 'God is great', will I make it down the other end of the carriage in time?'
'People are conditioned by the media to think that black women are all shouting and head-shaking and girlfriending and 'oh, no you didn't', and if they;re not sassy then they're dignified and downtrodden and soldiering on and 'I don't understand why folks just can't get along'. But if you see a black woman go quiet the way Tyburn did, the eyes bright, the lips straight and the face still as a death mask, you have made an enemy for life: do not pass go, do not collect two hundred quid.' [LOL. My mother does this.]
"I just wanted to talk to someone who could speak English properly. I went on holiday to Bavaria last summer and everyone spoke English really well. I bring my kids down to the West End and everyone's foreign. I don't understand a word they're saying." [A common complaint]
Aaronovitch mentions Waterstone's book shops, his ex-employer (and mine, high-five!) but the punctuation actually dates the book as pre-2012 because it's now 'Watersones', no apostrophe. (This dumbing down, eh? Tut, tut). Speaking of dated, two women owned Nokia phones. The likelihood of that is pretty low, even now with the Lumia. Nokias were popular in the early noughties when pretty much everyone owned one, including myself. Now, it's all about smartphones: the iPhone, Samsung and HTC, and yet nobody owned one? The slang and pop. culture references also date this work. You could certainly call this book a dedication to it's era, circa early 2000s.
Perhaps I'm nitpicking and taking this book too seriously, and yet I’m about to take it to a new level.
*Puts feminist hat on.*
Disproportionate gender treatment isn't something I usually notice in fiction. Here, it was abundantly clear women are to be feared, lusted after or victimised and used whereas Nightingale and Peter are painted as the 'good guys' who can do no wrong but, where are the strong, positive female characters?
Let's go through some examples:
✺ Molly. Mute throughout the whole book, is a vampire and is feared at one point and a sex object in another (in the nude painting), and also happens to be a housekeeper.
✺ Lesley. Sex object. Victim(view spoiler)[as her body is possessed and used and then she's critically disfigured, then saved and will now be receiving facial reconstructive surgery (hide spoiler)]. Used regularly as a dogsbody by Peter. I say 'dogsbody' because she rarely asks for anything return and it appears Peter is her only friend and vice versa, so she's like a doormat because she never says "no, do it yourself". Where's the give and take in that relationship?
✺ Stephanopolous(sp?). Painted as the much feared butch lesbian senior cop. Stereotype much?
✺ Mama Thames (Nigerian river spirit). Sex object. Her power is to be feared.
✺ Beverley Brook (Nigerian river spirit). Sex object, used as a hostage and means of transportation and communication.
✺ Tyburn (Nigerian river spirit). Feared. Acts like a mob boss, and while Peter never calls her a bitch, that's what is implied/inferred.
✺ Peter's mum. Wife of an addict, 'nuff said.
✺ Cinema woman. She assaulted a cinema employee, and while not her fault this essentially turns her into a victim(view spoiler)[of possession (hide spoiler)].
I enjoyed the references to places I knew well like Euston station, Forbidden Planet and Waterstones; to authors like John William Polidori and Oscar Wilde (although I felt his mention white-washed over his awful criminal conviction for homosexuality by calling it a 'public nuisance' - Grr!), both of which wrote gothic horror in London settings, if I remember correctly.
Mistakes, inconsistencies and continuity errors marred my experience a little, for example:
➛ Nicholas Wallpenny became Thomas Wallpenny at one point.
➛ Dr John Polidari became Dr John Polidori which confused me at first.
➛ Peter's designated department switched to Nightingale's without explanation. Nightingale had no way of knowing Peter had had contact with the Wallpenny ghost because later it's explained this ghost never had contact with Nightingale, and Peter never named the ghost to that police officer (who thought he was crazy) at the beginning so I doubt he passed the info on. So, how and why would Peter be placed in the Folly (magic department) without any basis for it?
Small things, I suppose. It sucks to be observant sometimes. This wasn't one of those books I could allow my brain to switch off with if I wanted to enjoy the educational lessons provided. As I said before, I really enjoyed the beginning, gradually becoming slower paced and less interesting when I skimmed and skipped around a bit. There was much potential there for high ratings but, for me, it didn't quite deliver, though I can still appreciate much of the book for it's uniquely entertaining voice, ethnically diverse characters, spot on cultural observations and educational lessons - ergo 2-2½ stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Assassins are cool. Super powers, who wouldn't want some? That this is set outside the US and the UK, a huge plus. So what went wrong?
Early on I assum...moreAssassins are cool. Super powers, who wouldn't want some? That this is set outside the US and the UK, a huge plus. So what went wrong?
Early on I assumedAcross the Nightingale Floor had been translated due to inconsistent, simple and superficial language. And I wasn't alone in my thinking. However, a quick search revealed the author to have been born and raised a few miles from where I live in England.
Very little emotion is shown by Takeo, our hero, despite what should've been some harrowing scenes in the beginning in which he lost his entire family in the massacre of his village, witnessed by him. Balancing 'show' and 'tell' is a common problem and unfortunately there's far too much 'tell' than there really should be. Long conversations, flimsy explanations and detailed summaries are shortcuts used here contributing to a severe lack of depth concerning Takeo's character and a level of unreadability to his chapters as I was unable to connect or sympathise with him.
On the other hand, Kaede, our heroine, manages to engender sympathy for her plight right away. Her chapters were noticeably different in quality, contained more action and the feminist-themed commentary was intriguing.
"Even beauty is dangerous for a woman. Better not to be desired by men."
Again and again this is proved in this patriarchal, feudal Japan. Including superstitious nonsense regarding the powers of women cursing men just by being arbitrarily associated with them. If a man happens to die at the hands of the woman he tried to rape it's the would-be rapist's fault, not the woman's. That's the social norm of the time period this is set it.
Kaede's insta-love at first sight towards Takeo and its reciprocation turned me off for it's commonality and overuse amongst young adult novels but THT suggested it could be taken as "fated to be mated". I think, in the end, it was a mixture of both. Their relationship was engineered to be Shigeru and Maruyama's history repeating itself, an ill-fated one where being together would mean death. Our hope this second time around is that they'll finally be reunited and gain a happy-ever-after. For me, this isn't something I like, this repetition in the vain hope all will work out in spite of history attesting to that fact it most likely will not. I can see the poetic beauty and note the tragic Shakespearean nature of these circumstances, though I can't appreciate them here, not with this writing. And certainly not when it looks like the other books will draw out the angst-ridden will-they-or-won't-they. No, thank you.
Hearn gives away her ending early on via heavy foreshadowing. Predictablity isn't something I'm a fan of, although I am grateful the author didn't go full Romeo and Juliet on her characters, close call though it was. I'm also glad the issue of sex wasn't glossed over or ignored. Sex was heard, had with prostitutes, and had next to a rapidly cooling corpse in what must've been a blood-spattered room and clothing. Sexy.
Usually I'm an ardent lover of politics and dastardly machinations, I wasn't in this case. I had zero invested in the plot and no side ever revealed itself to be a favorable one to champion. Takeo, Shigeru, Iida, Kenji and the Tribe. I hoped for nothing. No, I tell a lie. I hoped they'd all die quickly so I could finish the damn book and move on.
As super secrets assassins go I wasn't terribly impressed with the Tribe. Like everyone else they had an agenda, not one I could get behind, and possessed no members I could warm to. They were petty and patronising with no respect for free will, what's to like about that? Their skills were only mildly paranormal, mostly standard stuff to use to fight, escape and evade: enhanced strength and hearing, fast reflexes, creating temporary shadow doppelgangers to distract, and hypnotic gazes that can send you to sleep. Out of all the assassin scenes Takeo's acts of mercy were the ones to make a good impression on me and a bad one on Kenji, Takeo's teacher:
"It's that softness he has," Kenji said. "It drives him to act from compassion, even when he kills."
Villain, Iida, is defeated unbelievably fast and easy. You could argue a stroke of luck, a fortuitous accident, if you will. Not in my eyes. Iida lost his credibility as a convincing foe in the moment he was beaten. For someone so completely paranoid and obsessed about security he underestimated his opponents and ignored possible threats, not just the one that brought him down either.
I understand what the author was trying to achieve with Across the Nightingale Floor and no doubt it would make for a beautiful, graceful yet tragic movie. As a book, it failed to seduce me. Reading shouldn't be hard work. Just skimming I struggled to stop my eyes from glazing over in utter boredom until the last 20% when the pace picks up. I couldn't, in good conscience, recommend this to anyone.
Gotta be honest; I don't like contemporary romance, but just look at my rating. And my shelving. Says it all, doesn't it?
What an emotional rollercoast...moreGotta be honest; I don't like contemporary romance, but just look at my rating. And my shelving. Says it all, doesn't it?
What an emotional rollercoaster! For hero and heroine.
Jacqueline's a positive female role model, Lucas, a worthy tortured hero, together forming a healthy but not-without-problems relationship, which gradually develops after the hero saves the heroine from an attempted rape and helps her cope with the aftermath of both this and her prior breakup with her boyfriend of three years. Panic. Fear. Grief.
Every possible angle is covered on the topic of rape without lecturing readers, although not entirely free from cliché. By that, I reference Legally Blonde and say 'sorority sisters' and leave it at that. Standard reactions to rape included here were the common misconceptions, animosity, victim-blaming, slut-shaming and disbelief from the community, to unexpected support and genuine anger aimed squarely where it belongs -on the rapist. As it should. Message loud and clear. And happily received.
Jacqueline's growth and emerging strength and empowerment with the help of her roommate and Lucas see her attending self-defense classes and learning to squash down her panic in order to think clearly for long enough to protect herself. Knee that attacking rapist in the NUTSACK!
Along the way, she reevaluates her relationships and life path, realising the mistakes she's made, settling for an unhappy, stifling relationship with ex-boyfriend Kennedy, and decides she deserves better. She womans-up and gets on with pursuing a happier future. You go, girl!
But Jacqueline's not the only one with problems. Lucas has a devastating, harrowing event in his past he feels undeserved crippling guilt over, showing reasons for his behaviour, his multiple jobs -both paid and unpaid- the force with which he uses to protect Jacqueline. Heart-meltingly sad. Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't cry.
An unbelievably sweet and tender relationship forms between these two that had me on the edge of my seat, cheering for them, hoping for a happy ending. Every bump in the road was a painful one. If Easy had been a dead tree book nothing in the world would've stopped me from peeking at the ending. Luckily, it wasn't, and I'm glad I didn't spoil it for myself. It was totally worth waiting for.
Emotional ups and downs, fully developed characters, important themes and a clear message all should understand. It could be perceived as an anti-Twilight or anti-Beautiful Disaster. In any case, recommended reading for older teens and those in their early twenties, girls in particular.(less)
One of the better anthologies I've read. My absolute favourite story in this collection is Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling, one of the more faithful...moreOne of the better anthologies I've read. My absolute favourite story in this collection is Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling, one of the more faithful stories to it's original nursery rhyme -"There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe".
As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old by Nina Berry ★☆☆☆☆ Based on "Taffy was a Welshman". I couldn't get past Aderyn's horror movie Too Stupid To Live nature, following a stranger into his car and motel room.
Sing a Song of Six-Pence by Sarwat Chadda ★★★☆☆ Based on "Sing a Song of Sixpence" (Four and Twenty Blackbirds). A sad story revolving around the misery a king has caused and a deal made between the maid and the last free Blackbird.
Clockwork by Leah Cypress ★★★★☆ Based on "Hickory Dickory Dock". The most well-rounded story so far, about a princess-turned-mouse, a magic-infused clock and knife, a witch, and a political coup.
Blue by Sayantani DaGupta ★★★☆☆ Based on "Little Boy Blue". The Children of Ink reminded me of Safe-Keepers and Truth-Tellers but they appear to be wraith-like Fates. Although the story is a little amorphous, I still liked it.
Pieces of Eight by Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone ★☆☆☆☆ Based on "Sleep, Baby, Sleep" (The Papa Guards the Sheep). This one didn't interest me at all despite the mention of a prophecy, a human sacrifice and a journey. The writing style and structure of story didn't help. I'm unsurprised by my lack of enjoyment since I gave up on Delany's Twilight-esque 13 to Life series.
Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon [unrated] Based on "Wee Willie Winkie". I doubt I could give an unbiased opinion of this one so I skipped it due to Fallon's actions earlier this year.
Boys and Girls Come Out to Play by Angie Frazier ★★★★☆ Based on "Girls and Boys Come Out To Play". Witches in the woods kidnap or call children to their den in the woods, where most are never heard from again. The protagonist finds the summoning in her catatonic sister's hands, knowing the consequences for not attending she goes in her sister's place. There's a dash of forbidden love and an ending that didn't quite satisfy. Reminded me of Sarah Jessica Parker's song calling children from their beds to their deaths in the movie Hocus Pocus.
I Come Bearing Souls by Jessie Harrell ★★★☆☆ Based on "Hey Diddle Diddle". Egyptian mythology, yes! The protagonist is a reincarnation of Hathor with the duty to welcome the dead to the afterlife, her brother is Anubis and sister, Bast. The teens live and work in a funeral home doing their mythological duty.
The Lion and the Unicorn: Part of the First by Nancy Holder ★★★★☆ Based on "The Lion and the Unicorn". Part one of the story. Reminiscent of Joan of Arc, our protagonist dresses as a boy and hears what she perceives as the word of God via an angel, telling her to serve King James I who has just been crowned King of England (the Lion) and is all ready King of Scotland (the Unicorn). While she serves him food, she witnesses his war on evil witches plotting to bring him down. He throws them in filthy cells and tortures them into confessing. But all is not as it seems...(view spoiler)[Although part two isn't included the ending is implicit: the king is a warlock sucking the life/souls out of the witches he kills. The girls vision might mean she one day poisons the king. At least that's my interpretation. (hide spoiler)]
Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling ★★★★★ Based on "There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe". Brilliant. I practically highlighted the whole story. After the Rule was implemented, the two children one couple has turns into ten with an eleventh on the way. More children than they're able to feed, as the the eldest son says, "We're like crops to them, raised to fight in their never-ending wars." The eldest daughter replies, "You'd think if they wanted decent crops, they'd figure out a way to feed them better." She's the protagonist who reaches the end of her tether. This story has the feel of The Handmaid's Tale about it.
Interlude: Humpty Dumpty, a poem by Georgia McBride ~*not included in the ARC*
Candlelight by Suzanne Lazear ★★★☆☆ Based on "How Many Miles to Babylon?". Take Stardust's Babylon Candle and two typical naive teens fed up of the usual parental discipline, and you get this story. Travelling to Babylon, a paradise too good to be true, two teen sisters escape their mother. But when they come to miss her and return home, they find that (view spoiler)[thirty years have passed, and they've been declared dead. (hide spoiler)]
One for Sorrow by Karen Mahoney ★☆☆☆☆ [DNF] Based on "One for Sorrow". DNF. Reads like it's from someone new to writing. Very simple, slow and dull. Seemed to be inspired by Poe's The Raven but with a crow instead.
Those Who Whisper by Lisa Mantchev ★★★☆☆ Based on 'When I was a little girl, about seven years old, I hadn't got a petticoat, to cover me from the cold.' When her mother dies, a girl is forced out of the village and ekes out her living in the woods with the birds. I'm unsure exactly how this one ended: whether the boy and girl went their separate ways or stayed together.
Little Miss Muffet by Georgia McBride ★★★★☆ Based on "Little Miss Muffet". Were-spiders! That's a new one on me. A satisfying short story.
Sea of Dew (short version) by C. Lee McKenzie ★★★☆☆ Based on "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod". Damn, that was depressing. I'm reminded of: Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink. Surrounded by the salty sea, three boys and one girl are adrift in a small boat after their vessel capsized. Water becomes increasingly scarce (view spoiler)[ and they all either kill themselves or die of thirst. (hide spoiler)]
Tick Tock by Gretchen McNeil ★★★☆☆ Based on "There's a neat little clock, in the schoolroom it stands, and it points to the time with its two little hands." One word: creepy. Good creepy, not bad creepy. But then children always are, especially identical ones with synchronised identical movements and words from their mouths.
A Pocket Full of Posy by Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg ★★☆☆☆ Based on "Ring a Ring o' Roses". A teenage boy comes to with blood on his hands and jeans with no memory of what happened, until he finds his girlfriend dead and fears he might be a murderer. (view spoiler)[Turns out a vampire did it. (hide spoiler)] Meh.
The Well by K.M. Walton ★★☆☆☆ Based on "Jack and Jill. The Shiver Rash Virus is responsible for killing thousands and finally hits Alaska where Jack and Jill believe their the last living inhabitants of their town and are probably immune. Jack loses his marbles and tries to kill Jill. There is no happy ending.
The Wish by Suzanne Young ★★☆☆☆ Based on Star Light, Star Bright. Can be summed up as the following: Be careful what you wish for.
A Ribbon of Blue by Michelle Zink ★★★★☆ Based on "Oh Dear! What Can the Matter Be?". I'm surprised I liked Zink's story since I disliked her writing in Prophecy of the Sisters. The female protagonist, Ruby, has cerebral palsy causing her difficulty in walking. Her grandmother whom she lives with is suffering severe emphysema and could die at any moment causing Ruby to worry about what her life will be like after she dies, until she sees a fortune-teller at a carnival who gives her hope, telling her she'll meet a boy working at the carnival who'll bring light, freedom and love. So she visits the carnival every year to the day she finally meets him. A bittersweet ending.
Sea of Dew (extended version) by C. Lee McKenzie ~*not included in the ARC*
The Lion and The Unicorn: Part the Second by Nancy Holder ~*not included in the ARC*
*My thanks to Month9Books and Netgalley for the ebook in return for an honest review.*["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Oh! So close! Fantabulously enjoyable Beauty and the Beast shorty, progressing rather well, as it crescendos...happyeveraftertheend. Nooooo! It was so...moreOh! So close! Fantabulously enjoyable Beauty and the Beast shorty, progressing rather well, as it crescendos...happyeveraftertheend. Nooooo! It was so abruptly ended I have burn marks on my ass, having skidded out of the story. 4 stars anyway, but that extra star was available for the taking. Thrown away, it was. Thrown away!(less)
"Riveting stuff, Mulder and Scully. Please, continue your good work," Skinner said.
Yes, I'm continuing with The X-Files comparison. I'm determined to...more"Riveting stuff, Mulder and Scully. Please, continue your good work," Skinner said.
Yes, I'm continuing with The X-Files comparison. I'm determined to wring every last drop out of it.
JCP, I love you. You're one excellent writer. This episode just about knocked my socks off. And that's without any sex scenes...yet. ;)
Hitherto, we've had only theories based on assumption about the ins and outs of how the turbulence-induced split realities/bodies/personalities work. Now we have actual science experiments! I love science. Except when it means testing on animals. Yet JCP skirts this by using cockroaches. No one likes cockroaches. The relief I felt at Marlin and Dallas's refusal to act on Kaye's mouse suggestion, was palpable as I silently hailed, "Thank god," at my ceiling.
Marlin's Animal Experiment #1
Roach in the cockpit (in a margarine tub) was duplicated when he rode the turbulence, just like Kaye and Me. I flattened post-turbulence roach and left his carcass in the container. After the return turbulence, his counterpart was not flattened, but he was legs up.
So, dead in the unnatural plane = dead in the normal one.
Marlin's Animal Experiment #3
I removed the left rear leg of Roach 3 inside the turbulence. Not only was he still alive when we embarked on the return flight, but when we came back through the turbulence, HIS LEG WAS STILL INTACT.
So, injured in the unnatural plane = healed in the normal one. Strange, very strange.
Conclusion 'Was the Autopilot body the "real" body, and his post-turbulence existence some mental construct?' We're straying into The Matrix territory here. Die in the Matrix, die in the real world. Hmm.
The Matrix, a mental construct.
Besides having the mechanics to chew on, we also have the four main characters and their relationships with one another to contend with.
Marlin: "If you walked into a crowd and lobbed three water balloons at random," Marlin had once said, "you couldn't nail three people more different than you, me and Kaye." [...] Marlin: "You seem to think everyone's well-being is your personal responsibility. Kaye is reliable, your're nurturing, and I'm bold -practically fearless" Dallas: "And so modest, too." Marlin: "Think about it: we're archetypes. The Leader [Captain Kaye], the Keeper [Flight Attendant Dallas], and the Guide [First Officer Marlin]."
At first, like Paul, I thought Marlin had been playing too many video games and read too much epic fantasy, but then Marlin writes the following:
'So from now on, the two of us [Kaye & Marlin] rode the turbulence together, while Dallas stays whole and does his best to wrangle the Autopilots. It's the only way. These are the roles we've been waiting to play all our lives. Maybe they're even roles we've played in previous lives. Kaye the Leader, Dallas the Keeper, and me the Guide. Maybe we slogged though the fields at Normandy together. Or stormed the Alamo. Or lopped heads in the Crusades. ~An excerpt from Marlin's notebook
And it all makes an odd kind of sense. When Marlin as the Guide suicides out, Paul replaces him. He happens to have the exact qualities that would make him the perfect Guide. He's rigidly OCD and by the book about everything. Science and rational thought will give him answers, not conjecture. And so he tries to reason his way to understanding. So perhaps Marlin's at-first-glance crazy ramblings have weight.
In the end, Paul decides he's going to sign-up for all future flight 511 shifts, however as he decides this he gets a glimpse of his self-absorbed, id-centric Autopilot as his two selves reintegrate.
Paul stared at the drink, then raised it and gave it a sniff. Orange juice-and champagne. Mostly champagne. "What the-?" Captain Kaye said, "You'll want to dump that in the toilet before we touch down." "I'm so sorry. I can't believe-I'd never-oh, man." "I know." Completely unfazed. "That's how it goes when Dallas doesn't stay behind to keep us in line. I'll probably throw up once we land." She sighed. "That's probably for the best."
If you're wondering, Kaye's Autopilot is a glutton. She races to the restaurants credit card at the ready, stuffs herself with good food and drink until she's full-to-bursting. She's put on a few pounds as a result.
The complex plot, level of depth, and character development, is pretty amazing when you realise how these three episodes in total contain only 25,900 words, that of less than half a short full-length novel. This takes real talent. Also, I heart the covers, and I know JCP made them herself.
New episodes can't come soon enough! They just keep getting better.
In this second episode, we have alternating POVs between Dallas's (Mulder) first turbulence encounter on the way to Bermuda in the past and Paul's (Scully) present experience. By Price structuring it this way we get to know Dallas better, and we also see a few glimpses of what Marlin was like before he committed suicide at the very beginning of Into the Bermuda Triangle.
(view spoiler)[It turns out what's happening is the reverse of what I expected. (This is a good thing!) It's the flight crew and not the passengers who are tampered with. There's a Freudian split of their personalities into two different bodies: the wild id and ego on the normal plane of existence and the calm voice of reason of the superego on this unnerving, deserted plane.
Buffy fans, think of "The Replacement" episode when Xander was split in two: the strong confident one and the weak screw-up. Similar thing here.
Trivia: There really are two Xanders. Real life twins!
Anyway, we get to witness both versions. The crazy ids are wreckless with no inhibitions, they do anything they want while their other halves are forced to sit around, worry and wait until it's time for the return flight out, to be reintegrated when they hit the turbulence again. (hide spoiler)]
I must say, I'm intrigued by this unpredictable tale. 3.5 stars.
Onto the next episode, Red-Eye Dawn.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Think back to that pilot episode when Gillian Anderson was frumpy and David Duchovny was still cute, when everyone believed...moreCue The X-Files theme tune.
Think back to that pilot episode when Gillian Anderson was frumpy and David Duchovny was still cute, when everyone believed Mulder to be just another nutty alien-enthusiast. That is, until Scully witnessed strange events for herself and her whole world view changes.
"The truth is out there."
The above reflects this first "episode" of Turbulence. First Officer Paul Conin is cast in the role of Scully, the newbie sceptic. Dallas, a flight attendant, is Mulder to Paul's Scully. And like Mulder & Scully, I fully expect these two to get it on. ;)
The first scene, detailing the suicide of the previous First Officer, is a bit confusing but I expect it will all slot into place later on. I look forward to learning more about what happens at the end. (view spoiler)[I wonder why the passengers are "taken" (if that's the correct term) and not the crew. And where do they go? (hide spoiler)]
Guess what I'm reading next? :D["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I came across this stunning book cover while browsing my library's new orders so I reserved it. A thrilling first chapter reminded m...more80/499 pages read.
I came across this stunning book cover while browsing my library's new orders so I reserved it. A thrilling first chapter reminded me of Carrie and the movie Cherry Falls.
Genie knew when her beloved grandmother died and told her fanatically religious mother. When her mother found out Genie's prediction was true she locked her daughter up in her bedroom behind bars, let her church's congregation call her the devil's plaything, encourage her to take her own life, burn the crucifix into her flesh, etc. Quite disturbing. Meanwhile 34 children go missing with no word from them and no bodies to bury. Rumours fly around and frantic parents are scared their child will be next. Uncomfortably childish and unrealistic writing from the moment Genie is rescued meant I couldn't continue.(less)