I know, I know it's really REALLY late but I've been having a pretty crappy health month/holiday. SO Hero of Bowerstone Eighteen
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
We are going to talk about a reoccurring problem I see in a many, many novels (mostly of the fantasy and sci-fi variety) and why it’s so aggravating.
Let me introduce innovative new fiction that goes by the title the Paper Magician. I’m going to give a short summary then get right into the pros and cons. Ceony Twill is a youngster right out of magic school looking for a profession to bind herself to. She has it in her head that she would love to bespell metal but as this particular magical world is short on paper magicians, so she is chosen for that profession by her school’s officials. She’s not exactly happy about it.
Her mentor teaches her at his cottage and she warms up to learning paper magic. All is going well until one day he gets his heart ripped out (literally) by this world’s equivalent of a dark magic user – an Excisioner. Ceony now must go through a perilous journey to restore her teacher’s health, leaping into his heart, and very soul, to save him.
What I liked About This Book:
This has wonderful imagination. I love the (albeit scanty) world building and how it’s set up. I LOVE paper as a medium for magic!! And all the inventive ideas behind it. The beginning has a beautiful set-up; Ceony is a spunky fun protagonist, Magician Thane is weird and awesome and I like how origami is used for magic. Not to mention the precision it takes for each Fold and if a fold is off – then the spell won’t connect.
I LOVE the idea of an untried student magician tromping off to save the day. I love that her animal companion is a paper dog. There is something about young ladies taking adventure by the horns that just isn’t done enough I feel, in a lot of fiction.
I loved the idea of wandering through the chambers of a heart in both a physical and metaphysical sense. That by doing so you really KNOW someone, all of them.
Things That I Did Not Like About This Book:
This is hard, because over all it’s a good book. It’s well written, it’s interesting, it’s got good description. It’s just… it runs into a problem I see A LOT in fiction these days. And that’s when you have an equation of male + female in the narrative MUST ALWAYS EQUAL ROMANCE. Like seriously, can you think of many popular fantasy/fiction stories with a main female and male character that remain platonic?
The ONE, the absolute ONE that I loved, loved LOVED was Nita and Kit from So You Want to be a Wizard but even they have fallen to the OH I’M SUDDENLY IN LOVE WITH MY BEST FRIEND with a Wizard on Mars. I am deeply upset about that.
Let me talk a moment about this Trope – because it IS a trope now, one almost as bad as Rape as a Backstory. You are feeding people the idea that there can be no platonic feelings between the sexes, that sex must ensue, that there can be no friendship when that’s bull. And it’s damaging and irritating that every goddamned story I read with a female lead MUST HAVE ROMANCE.
Surprisingly, I don’t like romance in every story I read. Sometimes I just want the girl to kick some fucking ass and not waste time with BUT I LUUUURRVE HIM. You are also cutting out all other sexual orientations – what if your characters have zero interest in sex? What if they like other girls? What if they like both? Almost as though they are complex human beings with a variety of desires.
There is an entirely different world beyond male + female and reading nothing but ‘there was this guy and this girl, and they got it on and lived happily ever after’ gets really, really old.
I strongly feel that had the romance been taken out of this book, had Ceony remained just a pupil to Thane, then it would have been a much MUCH stronger book.
The narrative takes place in what I thought was Victorian England; around 1900 or thereabouts. What I DON’T understand and made me feel the squicks, is that this young girl (Nineteen, fresh out of school) is sent to board with a grown man presumably in his 30’s ALONE. The two of them, together, in a house alone while he teaches her magic.
This just struck me as inappropriate and wrong and no way in hell would a proper Victorian lady be caught dead alone in a bachelors residence. So that was weird right off the bat.
I really wanted more world building. I wanted more building with the magic system because what was written was wonderful but very short. It isn’t very far into the book before Thane gets his heart ripped out. Then Ceony goes on a quest for a man she barely knows but suddenly loves, and that felt awkward too. And that brings us to our Villain.
OH DEAR GOD. This was NOT well done. The villain is Thane’s ex-wife, intent on ripping out her ex-husbands heart as a souvenir or something. There are a LOT of uncomfortable gendered stereotypes that this skates close to.
Bitch Ex Wife, for one.
Powerful Woman Are Evil and Bitches. Good Girls Always Get the Man.
Hands Off My Man, Bitch.
There is a point where the two female characters of the story ARE literally fighting over his heart, because women be fightin’ over men because that’s what they do, amiright? Can we PLEASE stop with female character’s being called ‘bitch’ and ‘whore’?? Please??
Can we stop with the women hating on one another, because all women hate each other?
The Ex-wife is a very flat villain. One dimensional, no reason for being evil, no background, just I’M EVIL AND I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR HEART OUT because REASONS!!!
I really wished it was just Ceony out to save her teacher NOT BECAUSE SHE WAS IN LOVE WITH HIM. Her realizing that she was madly in love with him felt very forced and uncomfortable. It didn’t feel right and I really wish this had been a journey on making Ceony a stronger, independent paper wizard – this book would have incredible potential if it was just about her growth in an otherwise degraded magical profession.
Like, I could see this as a slow build up to show the world how freaking versatile and powerful paper can be as Ceony, with the aid of her mentor, save the world. I would read the crap out of that.
But this whole I LURV HIM and the ex-wife hacking away at Ceony because of jealousy, or whatever, just…no.
I didn’t understand the whole Excisioner magic either, I felt like that could have been explored in much better detail and used more efficiently as an antagonistic plot point. We need a bigger background on it, more involvement than just the Ex-wife. Like how perhaps, her attacks lead to something larger and more scary than just an old flames bitter jealously and betrayal.
Maybe this is just the beginning of this world, maybe I’m wrong and the author can turn this into a long and amazing series of novels. The potential is there and I would like to read more on this vein. I just had problems with this first book and the ‘romance’.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Our intrepid skywalkers are in a pot of boiling hot trouble water; they have battles coming on both sides of Grounders and Mt. Weather, they have to deal with a new hostile environment and now they have to deal with the idiot who massacred an entire village. You could say this is a Finn episode, so pardon my grumpiness.
Relationship advice kiddies; never start out a new comradeship with an ultimatum. The Grounders say, Give Us Finn So We Can Dismember Him and Set Him On Fire. Or Die. Soooo, nothing new there - the Grounders have been of the DIEDIEDIEDIE variety since the very first episode. Tell me I'm not the only person the see the ironical hypocrisy with this?
This is what I was talking about with plot and all. The whole... Grounder as an antagonist (and now as an Ally!) MAKES NO FUCKING SENSEEEE!!! I've gone over this in the first season recap but since when do the Grounders go from pointless murderous intent (HOW MANY of the teens did they kill? FOR NO GODDAMNED REASON??) to potential ally with Honor and Morals and oh, NOW they care about people dying when it's their own but they didn't seem to care about murdering children when the Teens were first booted out of space. *MASSIVE FACEPALM*
Blondie comes back and is all, weeeelll...there's good news and bad news.
The Arc Community is split over the decision; we are reminded that the Teens were 'criminals' and the adults are like FUCK THIS, GIVE IM' OVER!! While pretty much Raven is the only one against it. RIOT!!
And, uggghh, Flashback.
You know how I feel about flashbacks. Let's just condense it into Finn and Raven Squishy Moments and leave it at that.
But the Arc goes ahead and decides to protect the mass murderer while the Hyena and Blondie play the Blame Game. Personally, I think the Hyena could have done SOMETHING while Finn was mowing down villagers. I mean, you could have knocked him on the head, pushed the gun out of the way, I don't something other than scream 'FINN, STOP'. But it's done and Finn has shown the emotional remorse of a brick. Which is to say, not much remorse. For someone who has been portrayed as a tree-hugging, pro-life goody-goody there isn't much existential crisis going on. But I blame that on bad writing.
We have an interesting chat with the newly recovered LicketyAbs who mentions the Grounders like to dismember THEN burn child-killers (again HYPOCRISYYYYY) and then says, 'uh, YEAH - hand over Finn'.
Evil Overlord in the Brig says, 'Hand over Finn'.
Aaaand this is why I really dislike Finn's character. Finn and Blondie are having a chat and he lays his mass murdering ways on her. Intentional or not, saying 'I was trying to save you' is indirectly saying Blondie's finger was on the trigger. It's manipulative. It's passive-aggressive. And it really pisses me off, like his character has pissed me off since the first season. Logically thinking, you seriously think Clarke would approve you murdering innocent villagers to save her? Shooting a tied-up man point blank with zero remorse is a good thing? Finn showed seriously fucked up displays of aggression that verge of psychopathy and makes you wonder about what the hell the writers were thinking with this?
Empathetic, caring people don't just go on a shooting bender because their love is gone, usually. And having Blondie restored to him he's shown pretty much zero...anything. It's just.. weird writing. In fact, this entire episode, though was trying for gut-wrenching and moving, just ending up feeling...weird. It fell flat, to me. Because you know where this is going.
Ok, back to the show. The Natives are getting restless, and no wonder since Clarke pretty much said, 'uh, wait here while I get Finn. Yeah.' and then ditched them.
The Grounders are waiting for an answer (or body). Doctor Mama and Blondie make the best team ever. Juuust as things look pretty bad for everybody guess who waltzes out of the woods?
The Idiot Overlord is back! For REASONS. How did he escape? No one knows. Why did they let him go? What happened after Evil Overlord left? What were he and Warrior Queenie talking about? WHO KNOWS. But he's here now and says, 'HEY LET'S PUT FINN ON TRIAL!'
O...kay? What's there to debate? He killed almost TWENTY PEOPLE who were unarmed, trying to defend themselves, who had no reason to be killed and... you want a trial? WHAT IS THERE TO TALK ABOUT?!
The Teens unite while the Natives AND Villagers get restless, to get Finn out of the Arc community and head back to the drop ship. Where everybody knows the location. And isn't super defensible. And is the most obvious place they would go. I mean, if Finn REALLY wants to survive the only way he would get out of this is if he left the region entirely and started over with a tribe elsewhere. But that's too logical, isn't it?
Finn and Blondie on the run and oh GROUNDER!! Blondie gets her head knocked in and NOW Finn shows restraint. 'I DON'T WANT TO KILL YOU' uuuuggghhhh, this writing....
and NOW Blondie is susceptible to concussion and injury when just a couple of episodes back Perpetually Angry SMASHED HER HEAD IN WITH A ROCK and Blondie just shook it off. So Finn uses the time to have The Talk with Raven, as she tends to Blondie. What a guy. Giving the I Never Meant To Hurt You speech to your old girlfriend, while your new girlfriend is being tended by the old one. I really hate Finn.
Let's wrap up the Flashback very quickly; Finn saves Raven even though the whole Spacewalking idea was his fault entirely to begin with.
Now it's Bellamy, Blondie, Finn, Raven and the Hyena stuck in a drop ship, waiting for attack. Raven has it in her head to throw the Hyena to the wolves but Finn (finally!!) gives himself up for sacrifice.
Ok, here we go - final scene.
The Arc has gathered outside to watch. The Grounders are setting up a barbecue for Finn AND for the Arc to watch. The Arc Council is kinda like, 'meh'. The Arc villagers are like, 'meh'. Raven is flipping her ever loving shit and tells Blondie to get in there and kill the Grounder Queenie if she has to, slipping her a knife.
I suppose it's ironic justice that because Blondie is the reason why Finn went crazy and killed a bunch of people, Blondie is the one to see him off.
Blondie tries all the tricks in the book to get Grounder Queenie to stop the barbecue but Queenie is like, nope. So finally Blondie says, let me say goodbye.
OH, I AM SO CALLING THIS - DEATH BY BLONDIE
Say goodbye, folks, to Finn Spacewalker. He and Blondie mash faces one last time and yuuup; she stabs him in a non-lethal spot and he dies pretty much instantly murmuring, 'thanks, princess' before he goes.
Like. Seriously. She puts the knife in his side. In order for him to die THAT quickly it would have to had been a major artery, or the heart or what's known as a VITAL ORGAN. But this is a YA death scene so it doesn't have to make sense, apparently.
I know this episode is going to upset a lot of people but I'm sorry - this was just... not a good episode. It got dragged out way too long. The plot is a mess, what had potential to be a very moving death and plot point just ended being...awkward.
I'm actually looking forward to getting back to the Grounder/Arc alliance and focusing on getting the 48 back. Ugh. DONE with this episode.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Here's Why You Should Be Watching The 100. *groan* I have issues with this article. Look. I've been with this show from the start and I will stand up and shout YES!!! Some parts of it have gotten better as the season went on. Octavia became a fully developed character instead of a YA teenage cardboard cutout of 'snotty cheerleader type'. I really like her now. The 100 is superbly entertaining. It has wonderful visuals, it has wonderful action and lots of pretty people but please for the love of GOD do NOT try and sell this as 'the best science fiction has had to offer in a while'.
If this is the best then our bar is set pretty low. The 100 is RIDDLED with problems. It doesn't even TRY to be realistic - often 30 seconds of googling proves a majority of the scenarios presented to the audience as completely implausible. YES it's science fiction but what I like the most about science fiction is that there is SCIENCE with it - at least a tiny bit of realism. What the hell is with cauterizing EVERYTHING and acting like it's some miracle cure?
Can we talk about the HUGELY problematic relationship between Octavia and Lincoln?? Does no one remember how he stalked her, kidnapped her, was ready to let her kin DIE and she still somehow ends up with him?!? Are we forgetting the fact she's still underage and there are some gross implications of this older, more experienced man literally taking a woman like a fucking object?? Commented on this a while back too.
Are we forgetting the Grounders literally have ZERO reason for 'going to war' with the Teens? In the very first episode Jasper is harpooned for REASONS. That the plot makes no sense whatsoever? I said it's entertaining, I didn't say it had a good plot because half the time it doesn't make any fucking sense.
How about Finn and his bullshit passive aggressive guilt tripping?
and this here, 'But really, The 100 is a show about women, and how they can be warriors, mechanic geniuses, healers, and leaders.' uggghh, noooo... I have problems with this. This IS a show about women. Clarke is amazing. Her mother is amazing. There ARE tons of woman warriors, doctors, genius mechanics but remember my review? You notice something about the woman? ALL of them being waif-like, extremely attractive, without muscles (warrior!?! without muscle?!) without scars, without imperfections, in other words Hollywood warriors, in other words not really all that progressive. Give me a goddamned beefcake woman who can fucking crush a man's skull between her tree-like muscled thighs.
Give me a hawk nose, a missing eye, a square jaw, a woman whose shape is not traditionally aesthetically pleasing THEN we can talk about how awesome the woman are in the show.
I recap this series because its fun, its campy and it often strays into ridiculous. I LOVE that this popular television series is more progressive than the majority of shows out there but for me, it isn't quite enough. We have to do better with gender and diversity. But it's a start.//Rant over.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Wow, Mercedes Lackey is on a roll this year, this is the second book I've picked up by her. For anybody who is a fan knows that she does a lot of different series - this is one that is part of the Elemental Masters series. which I've enjoyed off and on over the years.
The book art is awesome, by the way, and mostly the reason why I picked it up even before realizing it was by Mercedes Lackey. I was hoping the badass chick on the front was cutting off some heads with that ax and I was more or less correct.
Welcome to Victorian England/Europe but with a magical twist. There are people who have the ability or have the affinity to connect with nature and can use 'magic' connected to earth, wind, fire, water. Blood Red is a twist of the traditional Red Riding Hood story and its my favorite kind of twist as Red Cloak becomes badass enough to eventually start hunting the wolves herself.
Our Red Cloak is named Rosamund (Rosa for short) and we have a very strong introduction to the world she lives in. Doting parents, magical child sent to train with an Earth Elemental deep in the forests of Germany. It doesn't take long before a bad wolf comes sniffing around to harm the child Rosa, as she has amazing potential as an Earth Master. I have to hand it Ms. Lackey - she does horror pretty well. Rosa finds that the granny in the bed is a monster and her loving sweet granny is more than a little dead and stuffed into a cupboard in which she barricades herself behind as the wolf claws and scratches at the doors.
Terrified, she pleads for anyone to save her and the Earth responds in spades. Thus we learn that Rosa the Earth Master has the potential to become a Hunt Master aaaaand I just realized how much this book is like that recent Hansel and Gretel movie.... hm.
Overall I would say Blood Red is worth reading. It isn't the strongest book I've read by Mercedes Lackey and I have a couple of issues with it but it has a clean story line, a good cast of characters and when we actually get to the action bits it's pretty awesome.
Most of the book is Rosa wandering over Europe slaying bad creatures. She runs into a couple of Hungarian werewolves and teams up with them to eventually take down a HUGE den of evil shapeshifters that had been preying on a town for fifty years.
My gripe for the book is that I feel there is a lot of unnecessary... drabble, you could say? Just lots of unneeded description, dialogue and fluff that drags down the pace of the book. Until Rosa gets to the village being attacked by shape shifters the plot felt pretty random - Rosa is here, now she is here, and now she's at a castle being mentored, but wait no, now she's being called as a Hunt Master to take care of this problem. It got a little jumbled in my head and I'm ashamed to admit I skipped past certain parts just to find a spot where she actually had some action.
The other part was all the unnecessary explanation, when Rosa would stop and meticulously go over why she's doing what's she's doing and the exact steps she takes. Some of it I liked; the creativity with the connection to Earth and how Earth Magic works. But that one scene with the Mayor of the town and her explaining in minute detail how she's going to find her companion...just... jeez, get on with it already.
The ending was... well... she wins? There was some build-up, there was some struggle with the final evil shape shifter (and the hilarious, 'mwah ha ha, you shall be mine my dear' dialogue which I just thought was funny, he could almost be twirling a mustache) but it felt a little too... easy. Especially with the whole Gypsy warning of 'great evil'. That felt more like a mild annoyance than 'great evil'.
However I will say again that like with the Twelve Daughters book this is a fun and quick read, good with description, good characters and good to check out from the library.
Monday, January 19, 2015
The 100 Season Two Episode Seven: Long Into The Abyss
We start this episode with Girl in a Flower Field. What is Flower Girl doing? She has hospital clothes on, she's romping like a happy child and - whoops, she's too happy. You know what that means....
Time to die. Those pesky Union of Psychotic Scientists are up to no good as they experiment on their own people with the blood of the 48. Turns out the 48's magical anti-radiation blood properties aren't entirely a cure all; it gives them some ability to protect against radiation BUT only for a few minutes. I also like how they just continue talking while the girl is screaming in the background for help. Yup, those are the people I want in charge.
What they NEED is something like....hmmm, THE SOURCE OF BLOOD - BONE MARROW!!! But gosh, that would mean killing the 48. Weeelll, if it's for science then FOR SCIENCE AND THE GREATER GOOD. Oh man, you KNOW when people start slinging around 'FOR THE GREATER GOOD' they're trying to justify some nasty shit.
Meanwhile the Arc Community is dealing with the Leave or DIEEEEE ultimatum given by the Grounder Queen. It's a mixed reaction; Evil Overlord says let's just get out of here and wander in a desert, Doc Mama (who IS currently in charge) says nah, let's see if we can find another solution and did you forget we still have 48 kids stuck at Mt Weather? Whoa, power struggle.
And since when were there so many damn people? I thought there were like, a couple thousand left Up in Space and the majority of those died flinging themselves into Earth's atmosphere? Well, the Arc Community seems to be a thriving populace anyway.
Blondie no likey the Exodus plan. Not surprising. But she doesn't have a lot of time to complain because Bellamy finds her and is all, 'COME AND SEE WHAT I FOUND'.
Finn has the Mopes and is all, THIS IS MY FAULT, MAYBE I SHOULDN'T HAVE MASS MURDERED A VILLAGE!! Wow, you think?
McAbsHotCakes greets Blondie with spittle, foam and his best impression of chained Zombie Horde. Can he be saved!?
The 48 are currently going over their options, having realized they are about to be served as the main course for the Norman Rockwell Groupies. They know Blondie ain't here, but they don't know if she made it out, if she's alive and if she's even coming for them. They need to make their own escape plans. Jasper borrows a line from Firefly with, 'let's be criminals' (kinda like how Jayne said, 'shiny, let's be bad guys' or maybe I'm just reaching with that one)
Bad Lincoln!! Don't eat Blondie's brains and FOR GOD'S SAKE can NO ONE properly secure a prisoner in this series?!? Let's try that again, shall we? Octavia is a having a hard time with her kidnapper/lover's descent into cannibalism (understandable) so she goes outside for a breather. Her Grounder buddy greets her with an attempted kidnapping but is all, lol - joking, it's me! The Grounder Healer here to help Lincoln, can I come in?
Lincoln is pretty bad off; he's foaming, he's seizing, his head is about to start spinning on his shoulders so his Grounder Healer buddy says, in his own language, SEE YA SUCKER and is about to off Lincoln when Blondie recognizes the phrase from her time with Perpetually Pissed Off and goes WHOA NO YOU DON'T!!
'It is the only way! Death will release him!' or something but Blondie has Modern Medicine and CPR.
Then Finn shows up, then the Grounder understandably tries to kill him. Then Blondie zaps him into submission then Lincoln's heart stops but is brought back miraculously without breaking his rib cage, as I understand starting the heart through the chest sometimes does, which is why modern Emergency Response teams don't really bother with that anymore.
'WITCHCRAFT!!' cries the Grounder Healer. HOW DID SHE DO THAT!?
But wait, did most of the Reavers (Reaper's REAVER'S?!? Goddammnit, I can't understand which one it is) all die like this? Yes, Healer Grounder answers. CHA-CHING - IDEA!!! Says Blondie. I KNOW HOW TO STOP THE GROUNDERS FROM KILLING US!!
She dashes off to save the day but Finn has the GUILTS, OH NO! Ugh, Blondie forgives him because it's totally understandable to mass murder people and go, WHOOPS MY BAD. DIDN'T MEAN TO PULL THAT TRIGGER TWENTY TIMES.
Meanwhile the 48 are doing their own Great Escape routine which involves picking the office door of the President of the Norman Rockwell Groupie club. Redshirt Girl keeps watch at the door while the Boys hack the computer. They find surveillance on the crashed ARC and rejoice! The Adults are (mostly) alive!
However, at this moment the Arc is in full evac mode when Blondie shows up with the Solution. Good thing, because the Grounders show up a bit early.
Doc Mama and Evil Overlord are having a showdown. Evil Overlord is all YOU'RE GOING TO KILL US ALL LET'S JUST LEAVE ALREADY. and Doc Mama is all No. He tries to pull power but ain't nobody listening. TO THE BRIG WITH THEE. 'WE'RE ALL GONNA DIIIIEEEEE' are his last remarks.
It's all down to Blondie now, so no pressure. She's going to use the Reaper Card to play with the Grounder Queen so Lincoln better be up and non-foaming by the time she and the Queen get to the old drop ship where he's being kept.
Blondie meets the Grounder Queen and....wait. WAIT. She's in full Queenie Mode, she's got the outfit, she's got the dagger, she's got.... a $2.99 Michaels craft store Steampunk GEAR STUCK TO HER FUCKING FOREHEAD, CAN I DIE LAUGHING NOW!?!?!
I need a moment here to compose myself. This series is hilarious. WHEW. Ok. Ok.
Let's take a moment to return to the Killing Field o' Flowers from the beginning of the episode. Flower Girl has been carted off and autopsied so it's clear of bodies at the moment but let's have a Father and Son moment with the Dandy and the President of the Norman Rockwell Club. For the first time in fifty years the Prez feels the wind and picks a flower and is this enough to persuade him into mass murdering children so the Norman Rockwell Groupies can have their OWN flower picking happiness?
Oh, tempting, tempting BUT NO!! His resolution sticks and he refuses to slaughter the 48 like pigs for his own happiness. Whatta guy. I wonder how long that will last.
What about Lickety Abs? WILL HE SURVIVE? Blondie is on the move with the Queen of Michaels Craftstore and Doc Mama has arrived with her experience in medicine BUT he inconveniently dies. Again. She tries some more pounding of the chest but it ain't working this time. Thus the Queen arrives and is all, he looks kind of.... dead. WHAT TRICKERY IS THIS!?!
It's a Mexican Standoff and things are looking tense - Doc Mama has grabbed the Stick o' Lightning when IDEA!!! She jolts the dead Lincoln's body into life. Yayyyy.
It's tears and awe for everyone and McAbs wakes up, looks around and is all, '
Aunty Em Octavia, is that you? I had the strangest dream I was eating people...'
Back with the 48, they are still no closer to escaping but... wait! Where's Redshirt Girl?? She's been missing since this morning! Why she's a lab experiment of course! Our League of Psychotic Scientists have decided to go behind the President's back and go ahead with the bone marrow removal and the fuckers don't even bother to put her out before drilling into her. Nice.
Blondie and Grounder Queenie come to an agreement (finally) that Mr. Washboard Abs is too hot to die (or was that what the writers agreed on?) and it's time to unite and kick some Mt. Weather ass, seeing how they are pretty much the cause of everyone's misery.
This really is a show of fanservice. You notice that all the Grounder chick warriors are dainty, non-muscled, extremely attractive and have a suspicious lack of scars or tattoos even though they are hardened warriors trained to kill from birth? Strange, that not once in all those life-or-death moments of gnawing on a bears jugular they didn't ONCE get scratched...
Well, anyway - you didn't think that this alliance would go off easily did you? Grounder Queenie has another ultimatum. WE WILL ALLIANCE WITH YOU AS LONG AS YOU GIVE US THE ONE CALLED FINN.
Is that it!? DO IT, DOOOO IT, GIVE THEM THE WHINY LITTLE MASS MURDERER PLEAASEEE!!!
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Season Two Episode Six: Fog of War
So Finn is a psycho mass-murdering killer now, having mowed down a couple dozen Grounder villagers in search of the missing Blondie, who wasn't so missing after all as she made it just in time to see Finn in action. It is now Two Days Later, which allows the writers to skip past any sticky explanations of like, you know, how the remaining Grounders just let them walk out of there, and how long it took to wrestle the gun away from Finn (and WHY THE HELL didn't his buddy, the Hyena, do that sooner?)
Our B & B team are chatting over a Mount Weather map, getting ready for a take down. That is, if Mommy will let them.
Speaking of the crazy mass-murdering devil, in walks Finn! How is it that he's just strolling around like nothing happened? Is no one else but Blondie disturbed by the suddenly-psychopathic turn in our 100% Natural Grain Boy? No? Alrighty then.
We're learning quite a bit about Mount Weather in this episode, namely that they have all the tech, they're complete bastards, and they are the cause of everybody's ills. Case in point one: Mt. Weather has jamming frequencies that allow them to cut off all contact with any other Arc ship that may have survived the crash.
But! Raven has a plan!
Doctor Mama, who is in charge of everything, wants to send both people out to look for Arc survivors AND keep watch for Grounder attacks AND get the remaining 48 teens out of Mt. Weather. Whew. That's a lot. Why, it's a good thing Clarke volunteers - nope, Doc Mama says GO TO YOUR ROOM.
I think we all know by now that's a pointless thing to tell Blondie and luckily Doc Mama realizes it. So instead she says, Okay you can go BUT I'm coming with you. Ohhhh, family outing!
MEANWHILE, our Mt. Weather League of Psychopathic Scientists are Plotting. Cleaning Girl will survive, thanks to Jasper but it's opened up a whole new can of worms. 'Why not use ALL the 48 as our personal cleansing system?' Sounds good to Ms. Psychopath Scientist but shockingly the President of the Norman Rockwell Club doesn't agree. He says, Why Not Just Ask Them To Help Us? Wow, it's like, a revolutionary bad guy in TV history. Oh, by the way, The Dandy dude from the last episode? President's son, I forgot to add.
Anywho, Daddy President is starting to realize he may have spawned a monster.
Soooo, the Council cleared Finn. Which... makes all kinds of sense //sarcasm// when a couple episodes back they were ready to crucify Bellamy for venting his anger at the Hyena for legitimately murdering other teens. Yup. Sounds like government to me. Their reason?
'He thought he was saving his friends'. Awww, hear that? He was just playing!
Our Evil Overlord Reunion isn't going so well. Original Evil Overlord is chillaxed in a corner and all like, dude relax, while Idiot Overlord is making serious attempts to gnaw through his ankle.
Here's another part where I call lazy writing. They have gone two days without any sort of water or food. Food, as I understand it, can wait but water - no. In thirty seconds of googling I found out that towards the tail end of severe dehydration your body goes completely wack. So if they WERE edging into the deadly three days without water, they wouldn't be so spry because at that point you have lost electrolytes, your eyes have sunken into your skull and nearing the end your own blood is cannibalizing its cells to survive. You can imagine the effect it would have on your brain, so no. FAIL, writers.
Evil Overlord is totally Zen; he's all 'we have work to be done because my dead son told me so'. Maybe he IS hallucinating?
Ah, the Grounder Welcoming Committee has arrived with specials bringings of whoop-ass. Apparently Evil Overlord was being too Zen for them because they randomly start beating the crap out of him. Idiot Overlord is getting some serious remodeling this season as he screams,
'BUT WE CAME IN PEEEEAAACCEEE'
Frankly, its kind of hilarious. Uh oh, Finn's little escapade is biting them in the ass. We now have a Fight To The Death choice going on. And to make sure one of them stabs the other the Grounders leave a knife and a...girl with a pot. What's the deal with Pot Girl?
Idiot Overlord has a hissyfit, and seriously, look at this screencap and NOT laugh, I DARE YOU.
Team Mama and Blondie are scoping out the Mt. Weather competition. They figure if they can knock out their communications satellite they can contact other Arc people. Bel and Octavia take off. Finn is throwing hissyfits ('WHY WON'T YOU LOOK AT MEEE' mass murdering jerk) and have some random poison fog! EVERYBODY TAKE COVER!!
We have a full Indiana Jones moment with stampeding... bugs (cockroaches?) but it does allow the Bel and Octavia Escape Team find some ruins to escape into. Blondie and Finn find the escape bunker, after Finn storms off in a snit because MASS MURDERER!!!
Uh oh, Blondie finds the remains of his murdered Grounder and Finn ... *snort* GOD, Finn throws a sheet over him. NOPE, YOU DIDN'T SEE NOTHING. DON'T JUDGE MEEEEEE!! Can you tell I really dislike Finn?
Jasper is trying to convince everyone that having your blood drained is a good idea! But they're not going for it. BUT THEY GAVE US CAAAKKEE!!! I told you the cake was a lie, Jasper.
Oh, Look who it is: Cleaning Girl with a chipper smile and terrifying message written in her notebook.
YOU'RE TOTALLY IN DANGER, FOLLOW ME! So everybody now knows they are on the chopping block for experimentation.
Raven is being crafty and breaks the code on the Mt. Weather Channel and spies on them. Turns out the Poison Fog is their fault too.
The Bel and Octavia team seemed to have discovered.... an underground parking complex with pristine cars. That haven't aged or rusted after a century. REALISM, YO!
Our Redshirt guards that followed the Sibling Team are marked for doom. Because they are idiots and give away their position in a dangerous location they get eaten by Reavers. Bellamy lays waste to all but one. Who is it, WHO COULD IT BE!??
NOOO, IT'S McHOTTYABS!! What have they done to you!? Apparently Mt. Weather is equally responsible for cannibalism.
At the Evil Overlord-off, both are refusing to harm the other so Idiot Overlord attempts to cut his arm off. THAT'S NOT LETHAL MORON. Evil Overlord has had enough and takes Pot Girl hostage.
McHottyAbs Cannibal-version is playing cat and mouse with Bel and Octavia, being completely off his gourde. So they beat the crap out of him, and Bel shocks him into submission to be dragged back to camp.
The Evil Overlord is in for a surprise! Pot Girl is actually Leader of the Grounders, and she's heard enough. (also, why can't their female Grounders have muscles? Don't warriors have muscles? BUT UNCLE BAILY, I hear you cry, HOW CAN WE FAN SERVICE THEM IF THEY HAVE UNLADYLIKE MUSCLES!!?)
The Grounder Queen HATH DECIDED.
What has she decided? You have to wait one more scene to find out. Paradise in Mt. Weather is not all it's cracked up to be as the President and his freaky ass son have a spat. The old man ain't so stupid; he knows the leak wasn't an accident and warns kiddy (who has a HILARIOUS expression when Daddy threatens him) that he better find some morals soon OR ELSE (seriously, what is with the wonderful histrionics in this episode? These are wonderful screencaps). I feel an assassination coming on.
Our happy campers return from their outing as the fog lifts and our Evil Overlord has his dramatic and stirring reunion as he stumbles bloody and beaten into Doctor Mamas arms. They have two days to leave or they will DIE!!!
Which is what happened to this page until I shortened it and it showed up. I read that you can have up to 20 pages, so we'll see about that. I might have to change the template.
Still doing the 100, just this is a busy work week.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Meet Clarice Swansgaard (Swann? I forget), Princess of the nation of Swansgaard and one of twelve happy daughters of the rulers of this tiny but happy provenance. So tiny, in fact, that she must go and find her own fortune. Thus begins our swashbuckling adventure of Clarence Swann, master swordsMAN. Clarice figured it would be easier to travel as a man with a sword than a woman.
And adventure she does indeed find; aboard the ill-fated Asesino, full of men who were forced to mutiny and therefore became pirates. This is a fun story. I liked that for most of the book the crew doesn't figure out that she's a woman and they treat her like a competent equal (I can definitely sense the liberal force in this book, and I like it). Clarice ends up killing the corrupt captain and the remaining crew find he was hiding a magic talisman that lead them to a pirate port. There are sorceresses, fun banter, swashbuckling (did I mention the swashbuckling) and a very clean, neatly written story that I read in a day.
It's not... a super taxing read, but it is a fun and light one.
Our two main protagonists are super cute together. Clarice is an admirable main character who doesn't come off as another Strong Woman trope. Clarice is just... Clarice; who is clever and kind and fast tempered and good with her rapier. (Master swordsman, remember?)
I think this will be a great series to come, if there are going to be indeed twelve different stories with each of the princesses starring in their own book.
This is a pretty recently published book, I found mine at my library. If you are a fan of either Mercedes Lackey or James Mallory (and I'm a fan of both) this is worth picking up. They created a seamless story that was easy to follow, easy to picture, fun to read and has pirates. and swashbuckling.
Monday, January 5, 2015
I see we're continuing the 'everybody dies' theme of the first season, so I guess, don't get too attached to any particular character? Oh, and to recap: the world ended and now the fate of humanity is the hands of teenagers, sort of.
Previously, Blondie made it out of her captivity mostly unscathed only to be shot by her own people (don't worry, it's a just a flesh wound) but first season's Perpetually Pissed Off who has the most amazing case of resting Bitch Face I've ever seen has gone and bit the dust. Too bad, she was growing on me.
Anywho, everybody thinks Blondie is a Grounder because of the clothing and the matted clump of dirt she's become running around the woods Predator style. They continue to treat her not so nicely until Doctor Mama, through the power of parental love, recognizes her daughter through five pounds of mud. Someone get that poor girl a bath please.
Meanwhile Jasper has stepped right into Intrigue as the president of the Norman Rockwell Club sadly informs him that Blondie done gone run away, and maybe it would be in his best interest to go and get her back. Now, this is ...strange. Why are they so desperate to get her back? She knows all their dirty little secrets, she doesn't trust them and sending Jasper after her will only increase the chances of her persuading him to turn against the Mount Weather people. Not to mention losing the sheep-like complacency the 48 are currently presenting. Hmm.
Also we have Team Grounder Alliance with their freshly caught Grounder ready to lead the way to peaceful victory *laughsnort* The new Evil Overlord is seriously a Dumbass Evil Overlord, I can smell failure even from waaay back from the beginning of the episode. But we'll come back to that later.
New Clarke is freshly bathed and horrifically covered in nasty wounds; damn girl, you are a SCRAPPER. She's had a night's rest so she's ready to get back up and charge even though Doctor Mama is horrified by the thought of sending her kid back out into the dangerous world (which makes you wonder why she sent her there to begin with). Blondie does not appreciate coddling.
Yay! Adorable reunion as you see the impossible; Blondie and Bel are suuuuper happy to see each other and fly into one another's arms (and oh DEAR GOD PLEASE don't tell me another banal romance is in the works??)
But where is Finn? Still looking for Blondie and is poised to attack a Grounder camp for information. Except this camp is full of old women and children and Finn is still doing his best impression of I'm Crazy and Murderous! and decides to go ahead with killing everyone. Damn, you know things are bad when the Hyena is a more sympathetic character than Finn.
McHotAbs is still a lab experiment complete with Dandy looking dude shooting him up with some kind of drug.
The Arc Community have completely screwed themselves over by shooting the ONE GROUNDER in the entire region that doesn't want to outright kill them. Oops. Doctor Mama is calling the shots and she's determined to treat the Teens like coddled children and is pulling another fucking Trope of: Parents Don't Know Anything and Only Children Can Save Us. Getting kind of old. It actually would have been more interesting if Doc Mama had acknowledged her daughters ability to survive as a warrior and let them go and get Finn back BUT Doc Mama tells the B & B team to shut up and let her coddle them and they are NOT to leave the camp to find Finn so OF COURSE they are going to leave and find Finn.
Our remaining 100 at the Arc Community come together to form TEAM FINNPOSSIBLE!!! Go get em' kiddies.
Jasper is gearing up to go and get Blondie back (doing that...how exactly? When everything is out to KILL you in the outside world and Jasper is the equivalent of a floppy golden retriever puppy with four left legs?)
But just as he is getting ready to go his girlfriend Cleaning Girl comes to throw herself at him and NO NO, IT'S TOO DAAAAANGEROUS!! and mysteriously the bunk room has a contamination leak, putting her in mortal peril. Jasper to the rescue!! His magic anti-radiation blood will save her! How heroic! How suspicious! Gee, I wonder who's pulling the strings?
To save his nubile girlfriend he agrees to trade blood with her while Engineering kid senses something amiss and pulls out the OH NO YOU DON'T pose. He plops himself right down and gives them a LOOK.
Finn has made his move by setting the Grounders food supply on fire and in the chaos takes a hostage. This is going to end WELL, I can tell right now.
McLicketyAbs is still being tortured oh, and lOOK! He has a new admirer in the Dandy. I can't blame you Dandy, that is a fine set of abs, seeing how Lincoln spends most of his time in a semi-nude state I think the writers agree too.
Doc Mama finds out her little baby has done the runner and confronts Raven with a slap. Raven offers sympathy in the form of 'she stopped being a kid when you sent her down here to die' and OHHHH SNAAAP!!! Harsh, Raven.
So back with the Grounder Alliance Team - Dumbass Overlord sends home his fully armed team and wanders into enemy territory alone WITHOUT WEAPONS. So his pet Grounder kicks the crap out of him and drops him down a hole. Hark! A noise! Who is it?! IT'S AN EVIL OVERLORD REUNION!!
Things are looking bad for Ab-o-Rama as the Dandy sets up his own homoerotic man fight as two nearly naked men wrestle each other, allowing the winner to receive one dose of whatever the hell is in that needle. Lincoln wins!! Yayyyy....
And we find out who the Dandy is; apparently the leader of the Psychopathic Scientist League, which includes doctor lady who hooked Jasper up and of course the President of the Norman Rockwell Club. They have their own little Psychopathic Scientist League meeting in the hallway to discuss their findings.
Using Jasper (and eventually the 48) as a guinea pig was successful! Yay! Dandy is creating super soldiers and the President gives the OK to experiment on our remaining
Let's end this episode with a little Finn. Finn who has rounded up the Grounders into a pen and is ransacking the camp looking for Blondie and Co.
It's pretty obvious that nobody is there and even the GROUNDERS are like, wtf dude? Ain't none of your friends here. But Finn has the Crazy Eyes going on and as some dumbass Grounder makes a sudden move FINN GUNS HIM DOWN!!
Does it end there? NO! He goes on a mass shooting rampage and Grounders fling themselves at him like suicidal trout, and before you know it he's massacred nearly everyone.
Whoops, team Finnpossible heard the gunshots and come to find a scene of HORROR while Finn is all like, OH HAI I JUST SLAUGHTERED A BUNCH OF PEOPLE BECAUSE... REASONS!! and he's crazy now, apparently.
Blondie is horrified and Finn is creepy with his, 'GIVE ME A HUUUUUUG, YOU ARE ALLIIIIIIVE' and Blondie is all OH HELL NO. Seems like a good place to end it.