Half-werewolf, half-vampire, Riley Jenson is a Guardian working for the Directorate which polices the nonhuman races, and she's very good at her job.Half-werewolf, half-vampire, Riley Jenson is a Guardian working for the Directorate which polices the nonhuman races, and she's very good at her job. Even though there's a drug in her system that keeps changing her and they're not sure what it'll do to her, she still strives for what every werewolf wants: a soul mate, and kids.
The kids are beyond her now thanks to the drug in her system, but she's still hoping to one day meet her soul mate - who, sadly, can never be Quinn, her sexy, ancient vampire boyfriend, but she is at least willing to give the relationship a go.
Teenage human girls are turning up dead in the city of Melbourne and there seems to be no connection between them. It's not long before Riley finds the zombie that killed them - along with two hellhounds and the sorceress who's controlling the beasties, who can take the form of a crow. That's not all she finds though: Kye Murphy, a werewolf bounty hunter and killer, is on the sorceress' trail as well, and he has a few secret talents of his own.
With attraction and desire sizzling between them, and the full moon approaching, Riley puts all her energy into finding the girls' killer, figuring out who's killing and draining wealthy vampires in the area, and keeping distance between herself and Kye.
This is a series you need to start from the beginning with, if only because of the changes Riley goes through and her history - especially the story between her and Quinn, which is worth reading the series for. The first three are excellent and make a neat trilogy; #5 was disappointing because there was no Quinn in it and the crime/mystery plots were sloppily handled, but overall it's a superb series, very inventive and with a wonderful protagonist in Riley. As different as she is, her concerns are very real and familiar.
The pacing of Deadly Desire is swift but not so fast that you lose the plot - rather, it compels you to read it in one sitting. The tension is great, especially between Riley and Kye, and I absolutely loved the ending.
Really my only complaint is one for the series as a whole, and one that leaves me disappointed: the books are set in Australia - Victoria, to be exact, and Melbourne in particular - but apart from a few place names, you'd never know it. The only word in this book that made it feel at all Aussie was "Macca's" - truly, it could have been set in any American city, and may be designed that way so as not to "alienate" a U.S. audience (I'm guessing here), and I find that to be a real shame. It also does nothing to help with my homesickness.
This book, written under the pen name of Morton Rhue in the United States, is a novelisation of the telemovie of the same name, which was based on a sThis book, written under the pen name of Morton Rhue in the United States, is a novelisation of the telemovie of the same name, which was based on a short story by Ron Jones about a real event.
In 1969 a high school history teacher, Ben Ross, was working in a small "all-American" town teaching his class of grade 12 students about the second World War. After showing them a film on Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and concentration camps, his students couldn't understand why the German people hadn't realised what was happening and done something to stop it. How could they not have known? The Nazis were a minority: why didn't they overthrow them?
Ben's answers weren't satisfactory, and in an effort to help them understand, the next day he begins a classroom experiment. He began by teaching them discipline: "strength through discipline" and by the end of the lesson had them all sitting with perfect posture, rising and shouting out answers to his questions with perfect obedience. The experiment continued, incorporating a name for the group: The Wave; as well as a salute and two more mottos: Strength through community and strength through action. Next he gave them membership cards and sent them out to recruit.
His class swelled as kids started skipping their own lessons to be part of his history class. The Wave was introduced to the school's football team and at first, teachers noticed all the improvements: better discipline, punctuality etc. Ben also noticed that, while they were now handing in their homework on time, there was no thought going into their answers, no questioning.
The only student in his original class who resisted was Laurie, editor of the school's paper, but even she didn't believe at first that it was more than a game that was being taken too seriously. Not until one student is beaten up because he's Jewish, and others are threatened for not joining The Wave. The Wave had taken over the school and was acting on orders given by Ben - orders he'd never given them; the movement had a life of its own.
After just over a week pressure from parents and the school principal, as well as his own wife, Christy, a music teacher at the school, forced Ben to end the experiment and question his own involvement. The power trip may have got to him, and he worried that he still had control. He told the Wave members that there was going to be a special meeting in the auditorium only for Wave members, where they would meet their national youth Wave leader. When they had all assembled the projector showed an image of Adolf Hitler.
This is the story I mentioned a while back, that had come up in the workshop I went to on teaching genocide in schools: someone had watched the film at school. At the time I had no idea that there was a novel based on the film, but the grade 8s at my Practicum school are starting an independent reading unit with two books: Animal Farm and The Wave. I was quite excited to read it, since the telemovie isn't so easy to get hold of - I think you have to order it from the States.
The story is fiction, but it's based on a real event. The teacher was Ron Jones, and there is some controversy around how much of his account is bullshit. Some ex-students were who involved have said that it didn't happen like that, that it never took over the school and so on (I found a website collecting debunking stories but I don't have the link sorry).
Personally, I can understand why some would want to downplay the experiment and its effect on them. No one likes to be made a fool of, and no one would want people to think they had it in them to be a little Nazi, a follower, an obedient servant of power-hungry dictators. No one would want to admit that they were not only taken in by it all but got caught up in it to the point of believing it was wonderful, good, fostered equality and that people who were against it should be "stopped".
There are ex-students of the school who fully support Ron Jones' account of the experiment, and there are articles from the school's paper about it as well. It happened a long time ago and no one's memory of it is going to be perfect, but I don't doubt that it happened. The movie is of course a dramatisation of the real event and, for effect, probably embellished at times. But to fixate on how real or truthful The Wave is is to totally miss the point.
The experiment was highly successful, and those who had said it could never happen now (like it was a product of its times and that we had all learnt out lesson from Nazi Germany). The big shock was that it could happen so easily, and happen amongst middle class, "normal" people. It's a great peek into human nature. As one character, David, says to Laurie while trying to convince her to shut up about The Wave: "Some guys just used The Wave as an excuse for beating that kid up. Don't you see? The Wave is still for the good of the whole. Why can't you see that, Laurie? It could be a whole new system. We could make it work." (p113)
At the beginning, the similarities to the military are very apparent and disturbing. But when a group of kids (or anyone) takes on a single mind, you can really see how impossible it becomes to resist, to speak out, to decline. Ben Ross' final speech to the students under the picture of Adolf Hitler neatly sums it up:
"You thought you were so special!" Ross told them. "Better than everyone outside of this room. You traded your freedom for what you said was equality. But you turned your equality into superiority over non-Wave members. You accepted the group's will over your own convictions, no matter who you had to hurt to do it. Oh, some of you thought you were just going along for the ride, that you could walk away at any moment. But did you? Did any of you try it?
"Yes, you all would have made good Nazis," Ben told them. "You would have put on the uniform, turned your heads, and allowed your friends and neighbors to be persecuted and destroyed. You say it could never happen again, but look how close you came. Threatening those who wouldn't join you, preventing non-Wave members from sitting with you at football games. Fascism isn't something those other people did, it is right here, in all of us. You ask how could the German people do nothing as millions of innocent human beings were murdered? How could they claim they weren't involved? What causes people to deny their own histories?"
Ben moved closer to the front of the stage and spoke in a low voice: "If history repeats itself, you will all want to deny what happened to you in The Wave. But, if our experiment has been successful - and I think you can see that it has - you will have learned that we are all responsible for our own actions, and that you must always question what you do rather than blindly follow a leader, and that for the rest of your lives, you will never, ever allow a group's will to usurp your individual rights." (p134-5)...more