The Turn of the Screw Date I read this book: September 12th, 2014 ★
On Christmas Eve ghost stories are being told around the fire and Douglas says his wiThe Turn of the Screw Date I read this book: September 12th, 2014 ★
On Christmas Eve ghost stories are being told around the fire and Douglas says his will chill them to their very bones, but he will only tell it in the words of his friend, who at the time was a young governess. Douglas sends away for her journal, which she gave to him for safe keeping after her death, and when it arrives he begins the story. The young governess is hired by the attractive uncle of two children, Miles and Flora. He has them ensconced in the country at his estate in Essex and has no desire to be bothered in any aspect of their upbringing. Upon her arrival at Bly the governess is taken in by the angelic beauty of Flora, just as she will be by Miles when he is expelled from his boarding school and returned to Bly, an occurrence she cannot understand, due to his apparent perfection.
But soon their idyllic life is shattered by the appearance of two people. This man and woman seem to come and go as they will. After discussing them with the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, she learns the female spectre is none other then her predecessor, Miss Jessel, and the male is Peter Quint, Miss Jessel's lover and another former employee. Only both of them are dead. The young governess is convinced they want the children and will do anything to achieve their nefarious goals from beyond the grave. But even if this is what is really happening can she stop them?
Much like the young heroine in The Turn of the Screw I had my head turned by a hansom man and visions of romance. Many many years ago my friends Matt and Becky and I were walking to the video store, you remember those, you could rent physical movies on these large clunky tapes that could get easily damaged and had to be rewound before returning. We were in the trashier section of our college campus and we found $40 on the ground. Knowing it was probably a drunken frat boy who had lost said money we pocketed it and used it to rent some movies.
After looking for ages we decided on two movies, the new Hamlet staring Ethan Hawke and The Turn of the Screw, because, well, Colin Firth. There was one thing all three of us could agree on, and that was Colin Firth is hot. Also the movie not sounding too much like a period piece, Matt agreed, and again, Colin Firth is hot. We lasted only about twenty minutes into Hamlet before we gave up, yes, it was that bad. But we did watch all of The Turn of the Screw... after this both my friends said I should pay them for having to watch the two movies because I had suggested them in the first place. We compromised by making me return them to the video store.
I was left with two thoughts after watching the movie, one, false advertising, you put Colin Firth's name as a star he should be in more then five minutes, and two, evil wins!?! No matter what your interpretation of events, it's evil, in some form, that is victorious. And as evil took root, I waited for Colin to reappear, and he never did. I fell for the same bait and switch as that young governess. Of course she was unwilling to ask him for aid in a time of need to show her reliability and fortitude, whereas I was all like, Colin, come back! Since then the BBC has made another version, this time with several stars from Downton Abbey, which again left me unsatisfied. For so many years I have been under this impression that The Turn of the Screw was this amazing classic that was being done an injustice by bad adaptation after bad adaptation. I now know that that isn't the case. The Turn of the Screw is just a badly written story with enough wiggle room to allow for many interpretations of the text.
In the final analysis the question isn't was the governess insane or were there supernatural forces at work, the question is, is this even readable? The answer is no. The writing in this book verges on the indecipherable. James took a lot of flack for his overwriting stories, and, I can see why. He has a tendency to not only write too much but write sentences that seem to turn back in on themselves so he talks himself out of his original idea. These long sentences with too many commas have a tendency to be the length of paragraphs, and in a few rare instances, pages long, always ending up in an entirely different place then where they started and becoming increasingly incoherent in the process.
If James can't be bothered to maintain a train of thought in a sentence it's no wonder the book is all over the place and ripe for adaptations that can take as many liberties as they want, because, let's face it, even James didn't know where his story was going. If it wasn't for the fact I knew the plot, well, I wouldn't have been able to figure it out by just reading it. I spent more time fighting to grasp onto the text and try to get some sense out of this book then any other book I've ever read. In the end I gave up to the inevitable and just let the text wash over me as my eyes glazed over and I prayed for the end.
But the inability of James to write coherently is nothing to his structural issues and his unsympathetic characters. Firstly, there is no suspense in this story. I'm not sure if this derives from his inability to set the stage or just the fact that I didn't care if all the characters died horrifically, but there was no jeopardy that made me want to keep reading. A ghost story should at the very least have some suspense, some ability to have the hair on your next rise up and question the sudden chill in the room. Now to the aspect that annoyed me most. James uses the "framing" device of having a group of friends sitting around the fire telling each other ghost stories on Christmas Eve. I have no problem with this, what I do have a problem with is that this "framing" device was left unfinished and in the end was more of a prologue.
To frame a story you need it at the beginning and the end, not just the beginning! I get that he might have wanted to end with the "shock value" of what happened to the insufferable Miles, but, well, the governess's story went on, she somehow got another job and came to meet Douglas and impart this story to him. How the hell did she get another job? Just, gaw! She was THE WORST GOVERNESS EVER and someone else employed her after this? Something shouldn't be labelled a classic because of the time you can spend discussing the text and delving into the deeper meanings, sometimes you're just thrusting your own ideas and meanings onto a text that doesn't deserve to be cherished, but deserves to be forgotten in the mists of time... or the mists that hide the spurious phantasms around Bly....more
The Continental Op has arrived in Personville, being sent by the Continental Detective Agency's San Francisco office for their new client Donald Willsson. After setting up their meeting, but before the arranged time, Donald Willsson is killed. The Continental Op approaches Elihu Willsson, Donald's father, to try to get to the bottom of his client's premature demise by lead being pumped into him. Elihu admits that Personville's nickname of Poisonville is pretty accurate. While still the town founder and czar, to all intents and purposes, the town is run by several competing gangs. The town is as corrupt and villainous as you can imagine. Donald was trying to use the newspaper to expose this corruption, and it seems that this is why he died. The Continental Op gets Elihu to hire the agency to clean up Personville. He cunningly has him sign a document so that even if Elihu tries to go back on the deal the Continental Op has the reigns and no one to answer to, except the boss back in San Francisco, but hopefully he won't notice the lack of a daily report for a little while.
Soon the Continental Op is deep within the rivaling gangs. Rumors and hearsay, as well as rigging a boxing match, are all it takes to set them off. Lead whizzing through the streets and gunfire soon become an even more common occurrence in this little corrupt town. The bodies start to pile up all while Elihu tries to get his erstwhile employee back to the city by the bay. But Poisonville has gotten under the Op's skin and he feels he has a score to settle. When it looks like they won't get the Op in a body bag, the corrupt police try to frame him for murder. Poisonville is going to burn, if it's the last thing the Continental Op does.
Up until now I have been concentrating my reading on the other side of the pond. The cozy mysteries of the British Isles set in a manor house with, in all likelihood, a locked room and a corpse. Yet the Golden Age of Mystery wasn't just relegated to our forefathers across the waters. America had a very strong literary tradition during the Golden Age, with authors like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Yet there was a distinct shift in the type of writing. Here in America it was grittier, more gang related, more hardboiled, with a distinct authorial voice that would later come under the Noir heading. While this style is more associated with the 30s, 40s, and 50s, which modern writers like James Ellroy have emulated in their neo-noir books like L.A. Confidential, Dashiell Hammett coined this style with his Continental Op, which would be the forerunner to that most archetypal of Noir characters, Sam Spade.
Reading Red Harvest, I was easily swept up into the Noir style, I could almost hear the first person narration as a gritty voice over as the Continental Op walked through Poisonville planning his next move. I could almost see Hammett, obviously in black and white, sitting in a dingy office, smoke rising above his head, as he typed out the story. While yes, to say all this is now a bit cliched as to my imagery, I was still amazed with the distinct style, which for all it's tropes running around in my head, felt just as fresh and vibrant as if it had just been written. Though the book did have it's rough spots. Red Harvest was Dashiell Hammett's first book. Prior to this he wrote short stories, many of which featured the "hero" of this book, the Continental Op. This fact did not help him, nor did the fact that this book was serialized in four parts in the pulp magazine, Black Mask. Instead of a cohesive whole, the book is basically four interconnected short stories, which makes the narrative choppy, and almost makes you not want to continue reading because everything was brought to a close and then a new aspect of the story was brought into play in the next section. While Poisonville gives an overall framework, everything else would fall under the heading, "and meanwhile in another part of town...."
Then there's the, how should I put this, cavalier attitude the Continental Op has towards death. I mean, I'm used to death in things I read and watch, heck Midsomer Murders is one of my most favorite television shows and the bodies pile up in that County like nowhere else in fiction... till now. I mean, holy geez people, I don't even know what the end death toll was. I lost count somewhere around twenty. Yes, twenty people are dead and the Op doesn't bat an eyelash. Gangs gunned down left and right and at the center is the Op stirring the pot, getting one group to go after another. If his plan to clean up the town was to eliminate every person in the town, then, well... he's succeeded marvelously by the end. He went all blood simple as Hammett coined and the Coen's later used for their first movie. Yet, I have to ask, was this moral ambivalence meant to be a reflection on the Pinkertons? I mean Hammett worked for them and the Continental Detective Agency was unambiguously them... so was he trying to make a statement? The Pinkertons don't have the most sterling of reputations and where to be feared in that at one time their combined forces outnumbered the US army. So was Hammett writing to the new style he was creating, exposing corruption, or perhaps biting the hand that fed him? ...more
We Have Always Lived in the Castle Date I read this book: September 19th, 2012 ★★★
"Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea? Oh no, said MerricWe Have Always Lived in the Castle Date I read this book: September 19th, 2012 ★★★
"Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea? Oh no, said Merricat, you'll poison me. Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep? Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!"
Mary Katherine Blackwood, called Merricat, and her sister Constance, have lived their life for the past six years shut away from the world caring for their Uncle Julian. Their only other companion is Merricat's cat Jonas. Merricat is the only one ever to leave the house, on Tuesdays and Fridays, which are bad days. As she walks to the store she can feel the eyes watching her. A good tip into town is one with minimal contact with the outside world, a bad trip is one that ends in taunting. The three remaining Blackwoods have been beyond the bounds of society behind the fence that Constance and Merricat's father erected before that fateful and fatal dinner. Constance was arrested six years ago because she was the only one who didn't use the sugar laced with the cyanide. Constance was the only one to survive that dinner without any aftereffects... Julian survived, but he was never able to walk again and his mind wanders, though that night never leaves him. Julian is dedicating what remains of his life to recount that final day. The day when he lost four of his family members, one of them his wife.
The aftermath of Constance's acquittal, despite everyone believing in her guilt, was that she shut out the world. Connie never ventures past her garden anymore. She spends her time cooking and looking after her two charges, keeping the world locked out. Merricat is just as paranoid of others as Constance, but she has buried treasure and symbolic items scattered throughout their land in a type of rustic magic to ward off everyone. One day she finds that her wards have failed and at that moment there is a knock on the door. Their cousin Charles has arrived. His branch of the Blackwoods severed all connections at the time of the trial, not even willing to take Merricat in, that night she was sent to bed without dinner and though it saved her life, it meant she was banished to an orphanage for a time. Charles does not have the best of intentions. He is avaricious, only seeing the money in everything and in his alliance with Connie, Julian and Merricat are just obstacles to move out of his way, nothing more. But Merricat won't go down without a fight. She has a feeling that it will be her left in the house with Constance, not Charles. Charles should remember, bad things have been known to happen to members of the Blackwood family.
This book is the most terrifying and accurate story of paranoia I think I have ever read. There's a part of me that is very antisocial and would rather be left to my books. I have easily gone a week without leaving the house and I can see some things in Merricat that I can relate to in her OCD behaviours. Yet, I find that this book has kind of cured me of all those feelings, at least on a cognitive level. All paranoia and agoraphobia has to face the test of implementation. It's all well and good to think you're ok, but you never know though until you try. Constance does try, but such a man as Charles as her "saviour" could never work, I was hoping he might go the way of the previous Blackwood, though more painfully, and Constance has Merricat. Merricat is 18 in this book, yet her behaviour is more like that of a 12 year old, her emotional development and well being stunted when the poisoning happened. Constance wonders if she was right to shut Merricat away from the world, but it seems to me a mutual decision. Merricat, despite being more willing to leave the house, is really suffering more, and very much a sociopath. She has far more rituals and dark thoughts than Constance ever had. There is the rigid schedule to maintain, there are the coins buried in the river bank, the doll under the rock, the blue marbles, and the book that was nailed to the tree. Even when Merricat isn't checking on them her thoughts dwell on the powers these items give her, the layer of protection she has. Like a person who has to turn the light on and off so many times before leaving, Merricat's life is built around these rituals that have evolved around her to protect the two sisters, who, despite everything, deeply love each other.
Yet, while their isolation from the world seems odd and haunting, it is not without cause. The villagers, more than the crime, made them what they are, or at least exacerbated the situation enough to cause them to turn inward. Coming to the house, taunting, cat calling, daring each other to go to the house where everyone died. Asking Connie to come out so they can see what a mass murderer looks like. "Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?" Childish glee in their hatred of the hoity-toity and reclusive sisters is evident in the villagers. At the end of the book, when the villagers have to reluctantly help the sisters, they take the opportunity to unleash their "everyday evil." Because the poisoning only hurt the immediate family, while the bile that is brewing in the town has far greater scope. The mob mentality of people who appear normal is a far scarier thing than two agoraphobic girls peering through slits in the windows at a life they will never have nor want.
The Haunting of Hill House Date I read this book: October 19th, 2012 ★★
None of the villagers go to Hill House. No one will hear you scream, in the dark, in the night. Dr. Montague views the house as the ideal location for his research of supernatural phenomena. He sends out numerous invitations to participate in his summer long program taking place at Hill House. Dr. Montague has selected those people who are prone to or have encountered the supernatural before. In the end he gets the shy and awkward Eleanor who spent much of her life caring for her mother who is recently deceased and she doesn't even remember the incident for which Dr. Montague recruited her. Nell just views Hill House as her first real adventure and a way to get out from under the stifling life she's living on a cot at her sister's. Theo was chosen because of her apparent psychic abilities. Then there's Luke. Luke is the heir to Hill House. He has not abilities or haunting experiences, he just needs to get out of his troubling patterns and his grandmother thinks locking him away at Hill House as a guarantee against Dr. Montague's lease is a lovely idea.
After each of the people successfully battle their way past the suspicious caretaker, Mr. Dudley, and get explained the rules as regards meals and clean up by his wife, Mrs. Dudley, the group settle in. It does not take long for weird knocks to happen at doors in the night as well as severe temperature drops. The doors don't like to remain open, if this is Mrs. Dudley, or the house, they can't figure it out. Very shortly they instigate a rule that no one is to wander alone, especially at night. Yet what is actually happening, if they where to write it down as per Dr. Montague's research guidelines, they wouldn't or couldn't be able to put it into words. Strange writings, noises, voices, drafts and above all four very different personalities clashing, not counting the possible personalities of the house's former occupants. Is any of this real? Or are they hallucinating? Or should they all leave the house as fast as they can and never look back?
The Haunting of Hill House is kind of the standard to which ghost stories are held. Even Stephen King has been known on more than one occasion to extol the virtues of the book. My question is why? Jackson is an amazing writer, she is able to depict places and characters so well that you feel you are inhabiting them. Yet this one fell short for me. I think I had a similar reaction to this as I did to my first experience with The Turn of the Screw, which this book very much emulates, in that I was left scratching my head and wondering why. We are left with open ended ambiguity, which, while I'm ok with that, after all I really liked Jackson's other famous work, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which also had an ambiguous ending, but still, there was a feeling of resolution. The story goes on, yet we leave them where Jackson wanted us to, there's more, but we get enough. Here, I DID NOT GET ENOUGH!
There isn't even enough of what one would deem a plot. Any time anything vaguely spooky happens it's just glossed over. The big scene where Theo and Nell are running from something, that's it, they ran, cut to the next morning where it will never be mentioned again. This is just not scary, you just don't know what's going on and you just don't care after a while. If Jackson was trying to build suspense and paranoia by not showing us things than she failed, miserably. You have to show us enough so that or brains can fill in the gaps with our own horrors. Showing nothing at all is basically writing a story about nothing.
Nell is interesting, but you can't really get a read on her. You know what it's like to be inside her, but it quickly becomes clear that this isn't an asset to the storytelling. Her mind jumps and contradicts and doesn't make any kind of sense. I can see why the newest film version tried to make some sort of reasoning for Nell's behavior. Because if she is crazy, she didn't really come across as crazy; not like Merricat in We Have Always Lived at the Castle. Plus the leisurely pace of badminton and long meals and chess games builds no tension. You don't feel that these characters are just sitting around in fear of the next event, more that the next event will just be a little blip in their otherwise languorous lifestyle. They are so laid back about the "haunting" that it is very easy to believe the theory that the house isn't in fact haunted in the least and it might all be Nell. I think the final nail in this book's coffin for me is that the laughably bad Jan De Bont version of the film left more of an impression on me than this book. Though I should mention, no matter how bad the film is, it was really well cast....more
The Marvelous Land of Oz Date I read this book: September 24th, 2011 ★
Tip lives with the wicked witch Mombi. Though she's not technically allowed to calThe Marvelous Land of Oz Date I read this book: September 24th, 2011 ★
Tip lives with the wicked witch Mombi. Though she's not technically allowed to call herself a witch, she is truly wicked. Tip has been with her as long as he remembers. Basically a glorified slave or indentured servant, Tip takes every opportunity to get one over on Mombi. So one day when she heads over to a neighboring warlock's house to swap secrets, Tip laboriously creates Jack Pumpkinhead. Jack is a tall scarecrow like creation with a face carved out of a pumpkin with a maniacal grin. Tip even gives Jack working joints. Tip places Jack where he's sure he will startle Mombi on her return. Mombi is a hard one to scare, so instead she sees in Jack the perfect experiment. She has just gotten some "Powder of Life" and decides to test one of her precious three doses on Jack. It works marvelously. Jack is brought to life. What's more, Jack will be a far better servant than Tip, who has to eat and sleep, so Tip is thrown out. As revenge Tip steals the "Powder of Life" and Jack and heads south in order to find a new life in the Emerald City of Oz.
Soon it become apparent that Jack isn't as well made as Tip thought he was. He might rot or his joints might break from all the walking. Tip decides that Jack needs a stead, and makes a saw horse come to life as a real horse. The three continue on their way to the Emerald City but are soon separated and set upon by an approaching army. General Jinjur and her comely all-girl army of revolt are on their way to the Emerald City to depose the Scarecrow and claim the city and all it's jewels for themselves, armed only with their indignation that they have to do all the household work and knitting needles. Jinjer is successful in becoming queen, but she soon looses her Scarecrow captive who, with the help of Tip and his unlikely allies, rescues the Scarecrow and heads off to the Tin Man's Empire, where dear old Nick Chopper is a benevolent leader to the Winkie's, unlike the Wicked Witch before him. Soon the motley crew is planning on reclaiming the thrown, but things never go to plan... and it soon falls to Glinda to straighten things out and bring back the rightful ruler of Oz, Ozma, who has been missing these many years.
This book sets out to establish more of a history to Oz, with it's hidden princess and the evils the Wizard of Oz wrought, some with Mombi's assistance. The fault though lies in the fact there is no Dorothy. Dorothy was our access into the world, because she, like us, is an outsider. We have no literary conduit, instead we have a rag-tag group of self centered and self impressed asses. Each character spends almost the entire time saying how they are better that the others. The Scarecrow has the best brains, but Nick assures him, that without a great heart like his, he's nothing. How are these people friends? They never converse, they only shout monologues out into the air and occasionally they offend someone and use their superiority as an excuse. They grate on the readers nerves. But the egocentric character flaws are nothing compared to General Jinjer.
General Jinjer and her very attractive army are my problem! They are all "very attractive" and no longer want to do "women's work" so with a symbol of their imprisonment they march on the Emerald City, knitting needles in hand. Why do they really want the throne? For the jewels of course! For Baum, who was supposedly a big supporter of the Suffragettes, his depiction of these soldiers is rather sexist. They just want to be lazy and pretty, but are easily defeated the first time because some mice scare them. Talk about stereotype! Also, the women of Oz gladly taking back their chores at the end of the book because their husbands where useless, seems... stupid. It says to anyone reading this book that girls are only good for domesticity. Which is odd considering that the power base of Glinda is based on girl power as well... but a far more dangerous sword wielding kind. But Glinda's army is an army to maintain the status quo. But the status is not quo. This book implies that women should stay home and only take up arms if that status is upset. EXCUSE ME! Fight for your right for household chores? Mr. Baum, I think you really need to look to yourself. I think you're a hypocrite and I think this might be the worst Oz novel, if I remember correctly from my previous readings.
Ozma of Oz Date I read this book: November 6th, 2011 ★★★
Dorothy and her Uncle are headed to Australia for his health. The sea voyage turns into a harrowing experience when Dorothy is blown overboard. The plucky little girl from Kansas is resourceful and is able to cling to a chicken coop and ride through the storm, soaking wet, but without fear. This is just the beginning of another adventure. Come morning she is making for landfall in what she takes to be a fairy land. It isn't Oz, because Oz is surrounded by a deadly desert on all sides, but it is most definitely fairy, how else would the chicken Billina be able to talk to her. Animals only talk in fairy worlds. Soon after landing the fact that this world is magical is increased by a tree that grows lunch pails, men called wheelers who have wheels on there hands and feet and a windup man, Tik-Tok, who works through his wonderful engineering.
Once Dorothy gathers a posse, she heads inland to the capital city where the royal family have been enslaved by the evil Nome King and the country is run by a vain relative of the royals, Princess Langwidere, who has a room full of heads that she switches out whenever she wants to be prettier, or in a different frame of mind, that raven haired head sure has a temper. Soon all the denizens of Oz arrive in this land, which, as Dorothy surmised, was close but not Oz. Dorothy is reunited with all her friends and finally meets Ozma, whom she becomes fast friends with. The delegation from Oz has come to rescue the royal family after hearing of their plight. They all set out for the Nome King's domain to find that he is a tricky and conniving man who will twist any situation around to his advantage. Yet, never underestimate a plucky chicken from Kansas!
Back when the Oz books where being re-released and I was starting my journey into reading I totally held this as my favorite Oz book. But looking back I realize it's less because of the book and more because of the movie Return to Oz. When I was little I remember finding a comic book adaptation of the movie in my school library. I remember reading it up to where Dorothy leaves the asylum. Also being extremely traumatized by it. Dorothy going to get electroshock treatment was enough to do permanent psychological damage to me. After I read the comic the first time I was never able to find it in the library again. I cannot account for that, but it made me start to think I had made the whole thing up and that, like Dorothy, Oz, like this comic, wasn't real.
Of course I got a little older and realized that it was a movie, which also traumatized me. Take the wheelers, add in a psycho who keeps heads in glass cases and switches them like we would clothes, and it was the stuff of nightmares. When I finally got to read the books I realized that this movie was an amalgam of The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz, more heavily influenced by Ozma. But the movie took the best bits and omitted all the boring stuff. If there's one thing that annoys me about Oz it's that every time we have a reunion of the characters it's unendurably long with lots of crying and kissing and discussing how they are better than everyone else. Because, these characters really think they are awesome. I'm surprised all the egos fit in one room! But despite all the faults, every time I read about the tree with lunch pails growing from it and the wheelers and the castle of the Nome King with people being turned into knickknacks, it takes me back to my childhood. This is a book for nostalgia, the horror and the magic that lives when you are young, and to get that back, even for a few minutes, is magic indeed....more
Alpha & Omega Date I read this: January 24th, 2011 ★★★★
The cat needs to be fed. Anna may be dead tired after a long shift at work, but that doesn'tAlpha & Omega Date I read this: January 24th, 2011 ★★★★
The cat needs to be fed. Anna may be dead tired after a long shift at work, but that doesn't mean she'll forget her neighbor's cat. All she really wants to do is curl up and go to sleep, but a promise was made to Kara. Even if the cat hates Anna, not surprising, seeing as most cats hate werewolves. But she'll calmly sit and read the newspaper till Mouser is done, because in that way of all cats, he has an idiosyncratic habit, his is needing someone around while he eats. But everything leaves Anna's mind when she sees a picture of a young boy in the paper, Alan MacKenzie Frazier. Alan has been missing for two months... but Anna saw him in a cage at her Alpha's house being prepared for sale quite recently. Times are tough for a werewolf, and very tough if you belong to Leo's pack with Justin as his second. The 40% tithe is nothing compared to the beatings and rapes that Anna has had to endure. But Alan, Alan is something new and she dares to call the Marrok in Montana, the Alpha of all Alphas. As it turns out, Bran is aware of the peculiarities happening in the Chicago packs and is sending his son Charles, who is enforcer and executioner in one. Anna goes to the airport to meet Charles's plane and they have an instant connection. Charles's wolf feels immediately that he has found his mate and it is his duty to protect and care for this underfed and abused redhead. But there's something more about Anna. Something that everyone in the pack should have noticed and respected. She is an Omega. She is not submissive, she is not lowly, she is magical and has the ability to sooth the savage beast as it where. With Anna at his side, Charles vows to get to the bottom of the mysteries in the Windy City, and if he's not wrong, which he seldom is, there will be blood shed and death.
This little short story in the On the Prowl anthology sets the stage for the Alpha and Omega series that Patricia Briggs has written. But more than that, it also fills in some blanks from the first Mercy Thompson book, Moon Called. Moon Called starts with the appearance of Alan MacKenzie Frazier in the Tri-Cities in Washington State. He has bad tidings from Chicago, but before they can get the truth out of him he is killed. We then follow Mercy on her mission out west. But we only hear a little about the mission in the heartland that Bran sends Charles on. Turns out it was quite interesting, what with love at first sight, Greek food and silver bullets, not to mention a crazy rapist or two. Seeing as this is a prequel and is setting the scene for a new series, how important is it that you hunt down a copy of this before jumping into the world of Charles and Anna? I'd say pretty important. After having read Cry Wolf, I think you might be lost jumping into this world without the back story. And the back story here is quite important. But it's a quick fun read with an even better book to follow. ...more
Only read the Sookie story for now, and ug, Pam and Sookie possing as strippers... really!?! I need to stop reading the Sookie short stories cause theOnly read the Sookie story for now, and ug, Pam and Sookie possing as strippers... really!?! I need to stop reading the Sookie short stories cause they keep getting worse and worse.