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Our Friday Discussion: The Race Problem on The Walking Dead
It is hardly surprising that the AMC series The Walking Dead is so incredibly popular given that comic series itself is popular. Going into this series the one thing this show had going for it was an absolutely solid fan base. Part of the problem with developing a television show from an already popular text is that you are given two choices, stick to the script with limited changes a la Harry Potter style, or slightly alter the script adding new elements, while enlarging, or eliminating characters altogether, which is the path chosen by Alan Ball on his work on True Blood. The Walking Dead has chosen to go with the latter which raises the question about whether or not the changes have been positive or negative.

One of the most glaring issues with race we see is the contrast between the original comics and the show. In the comics there were several characters of colour who were active members of the group and in fact, at times, were put into leadership positions. The same cannot be said of the television show, however, and this is evidenced by the absence of Tyreese.

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Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
The Fangs for the Fantasy crew are all large fans of the graphic novels and AMC show The Walking Dead. We were thrilled when we learned about The Rise of the Governor and raced to read it. I must say from the very beginning that the novel did not disappoint though the fact that it was written in the first person did at times grate on the nerves.

We all know that when Rick, Michonne and Glenn arrive at Woodbury, after following the trail of a crashed helicopter and its survivors, the governor is very much in charge of the town. The governor is easily the most evil character in the series today. He tortures and rapes Michonne as well as takes the prison away from Rick's crew of survivors in vengeance. The question The Rise of the Governor seeks to answer is what could make a man lose touch with his humanity this way.

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Loved, by Morgan Rice, book 2 of the Vampire Journals
Caitlin and Caleb are on a quest to find a sword. The greatest sword in the vampire's arsenal, a sword that could end the war between the vampire races, a war that could ensure victory.

And victory is essential. The evil Dark Tide Coven is pursuing its war against the good vampires – and against humanity. They are ready to march and have already placed vast containers of modified plague underneath New York to wipe out humanity.

Of course, Cailtin an Caleb are not the only ones after the sword – another vampire, Samantha, has manipulated Caitlin's brother Sam to get her own claws on the blade – and Kyle, one of the oldest and most evil of the acktide Coven, also hunts the sword to get back into his masters good graces.

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Review of Evil Ways by Justin Gustainis Book 2 of Quincey Morris, Supernatural Investigation
Okay, I messed up and read the second book in this series which is Evil Ways first. That being said, I didn't find the story hard to follow at all. I loved every single minute I spent reading this book, and I cannot wait to go back and read the first book in this series.

The characters are rich and varied. I must report that we do have absolute erasure of GLBT, and disabled characters though. While the erasure is frustrating, it really has become par for the course as far as urban fantasy is involved. Gustainis did include a man of colour and I am happy to report that he is no side character and plays meaningful role in the plot. This is a rarity, because in most urban fantasy, people of colour are often reduced to side kicks whose sole role is to service the White protagonists.

Walpurgis Night is fast approaching and with it, the very high possibility that Satan will be unleashed upon the world at the behest of a very rich man who seeks to have his life extended. In preparation, someone is killing all of the white witches. Though the witches have all taken a vow to do no harm, that does not that they are completely defenceless. As you may have guessed, all the witches are women.

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Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn, book 1 of the Kitty Norville series
Kitty is a werewolf. Though she has worked hard to keep it hidden from her friends and family – and certainly from her work colleagues at the radio station she late night DJs for.

At least she did, until one show got out of hand and suddenly she is talking the supernatural all the time. Her ratings spike and she grows ever more popular reaching out to people who want to talk about the supernatural – as well as a huge number of vampires and werewolves who want someone to talk to, to advise them and who understands them

Now as an ever growing and ever more famous personality who is openly supernatural she faces a world that is rapidly changing as the supernatural is revealed and acknowledged. Further she faces her pack – and the local Vampire Family – who are less than pleased with her independence and her public revelations.

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Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia, book 1 of Monster Hunter Nation
Owen had an odd childhood. His father, convinced of various end of the world scenarios, brought him up to be a solver, a warrior and a fighter through and through. Owen had other plans. He wanted to be normal, to distance himself from all that – so he became an accountant. As normal as it was possible to be

And the plan worked. Until his boss turned into a werewolf and tried to eat him.

In the aftermath he was recruited by Monster Hunters Inc. A private company of dedicated hunters who go into the dark and blow it up. Then shoot it until it stops moving. Then shoot it some more. Then cut up the remains and burn them to ash. And they get to play with the best toys.

Read More 3.5 Fangs


Ghost Story by Jim Butcher, book 13 of the Dresden Files
This was a heavy book with a plot that tied itself in knots - and my mind with it

Harry is dead. Shot with a high powered rifle, his body falling into Lake Michigan. Dead and gone – and his friends have had to spend the last 6 months without him, grieving and dealing with the world.

And the world is not a happy place. The Red Court is dead, one of the most powerful forces in the supernatural world. The power vacuum begs to be filled and dark powers from across the world are rushing in to fill the void, to raise themselves up to be the next great power. In particular, the fomori are staging a massive come back, hitting talents across the US. And for Chicago, dark times are darker by the lack of Harry Dresden. As a Warden of the White Council, and as a wizard who had faced down some of the greatest and darkest powers of the world, his mere presence made sure Chicago was safe. Now he's dead – and the dark things are coming out to play.

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The Vampire Diaries: Season 3, Episode 8: Ordinary People
This episode was all about the original vampires, and may I say that it's about time that they started building this plot and letting us know who the big bad is on this show. It all begins when Alaric and Damon show Elena some carvings on the old Lockwood property carved by Rebekah. Apparently, the carvings have been there longer than Mystic Falls has been a town. Apparently, the original family are Vikings who settled in North America for a better life. Can we all agree that a Viking settlement in the middle of Georgia in the 980's, which btw is when the Vikings travelled to North America is ridiculous? I guess we are supposed to ignore the ridiculousness of this, the same way that we were expected to ignore the way that Katherine supposedly travelled across Eastern Europe to end up in the U.K. last season. The fact that they were all speaking English as well, I suppose is just another one of those happy occurrences.

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Lost Girl Season Two, Episode Seven: Fae Gone Wild
This is the first episode in quite some time that Bo has not needed to be saved by Kenzie or Dyson. I wish I could say that this made her less irritating this episode but alas that was not the case. Bo is hired by to find a stripper named Sherri. What she does not know is that Hale and Dyson are also looking for her because they believe her to be responsible for murder.

When they walk into a murder scene they run into Bo and she lies to them about her true intentions before slipping out saying that she does not want to ruin their crime scene. Hale and Dyson are both aware that she is lying but let her get away with it anyway. Aren't they the nicest cops evah? When they both show up at the strip bar looking for Sherri, they find Bo working there as a bartender

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The Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 4: Cherokee Rose
Carl wakes up and asks if Sophia is okay, and the crew arrive from the highway. During Otis' funeral they ask Shane to speak for Otis and he says, "I'm not good at that," but his widow begs him to speak saying, "please I need to know that his death had meaning." He lies and says that Otis volunteered to take the rear and cover him. Clearly, the guilt is getting to him and really it should. What he did was despicable no matter how he tries to justify it to himself.

The crew gathers around the vehicle with Herschel to set up a plan to search for Sophia but Hershel tells them that Rick has given too much blood and that Shane's ankle isn't ready for that kind of pressure yet. Hershel tells them that he does not want them to carry guns on his property and Rick promises to respect his wishes, which does not make Shane happy. Shane asks what happens if we find her if she is bit and Rick responds, "you do what has to be done". Then Shane goes ahead and announces that Dale is going to keep watch, of course ignoring what Herschel just said he does not want guns on the property. Rick turns and smoothes it over by saying that "people would feel more comfortable with this situation". Where does Shane even have the gall to attempt to take a leadership position after what he just did?

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Grimm, Season 1, Episode 2: Bears will be Bears
A blonde and her boyfriend go and break into the Bear's house. Sadly, she doesn't get chewed on. A couple looking for kicks bite off more than they can chew – or have more bitten off.

I actually really like this new twist on urban fantasy. We're not looking at werewolves and vampires, we're looking at the old stories – the Big Bad Wolf and the 3 bears. And there's always the keys to these stories in them – the red coat for the Big Bad Wolf, the blonde hair for the 3 bears. It makes me want to hunt for more parallels

The break in is reported – but the boyfriend is still missing and, of course, Nick's Grim Vision sees the fuzziness of the couple's son.

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The Secret Circle, Season 1, Episode 8: Beneath
Full Scooby meeting! Well no. full Scooby meeting except... Melissa. Uh-huh, apparently her mother has been worried about her so took her out of town for a while. Ye gods, they're not even giving her screen time any more! But we do have Jake – who will now be known as Evil Scooby.

Mean Girl Faye decides to blame the kidnapping, demons et al on Cassie for... well, no apparent reason. Because she's Mean Girl What, we need reasons now? This becomes a recurring theme in the episode with Faye blaming Cassie because Jake likes her. Anyway, after lots of constant snapping and yipping, the Scoobies decide to go looking for Cassie's grandmother (who is missing after going to check on Faye's grandfather who was killed by Evil!Parent 1, Dawn, Faye's mother waaay back in episode 2)

Read More 1.5 Fangs


American Horror Story, Season one, Episode Five: Halloween Part 2
For the majority of this episode, it felt like the writers were channeling, the 1987 flick, Fatal Attraction. This episode was largely about Ben's chickens coming home to roost. When he gets home from the hospital with Vivien, Hayden shows up and he promptly slams the door in her face. I suppose one cannot have the little woman finding out about all the ways in which he has been naughty. When he runs into Terry later on the property while searching for Hayden, he accuses him of being a conspirator to Hayden's plans to which Terry laughs and responds with, "you don't even know what question to ask." Even though the Harmons have been haunted since their first day in the house they are not really aware of this fact. All they know is that their lives are falling apart and feel powerless to bring about and end to all of the pain.

Read More 3.5 Fangs


Bedlam
Our weekly catch up this week has been Bedlam – as usual we've reviewed several past episodes

Season 1, Episode 6: Burning Man 3.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 5: Committed 2.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 4: Hide and Seek 2.5 Fangs
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Our weekly podcast is here. Our full archives can be found here.

Our Next podcast will be on Tuesday 1st November at the usual time

Interview with Clay & Susan Griffith, authors of the Vampire Empire Series

This week, we're lucky to have a written interview with Clay and Susan Griffith, authors of the Vampire Empire series, The Greyfriar and The Rift Walker. Both books we enjoyed immensely and we're happy to fanpoodle shamelessly.

While we wait eagerly for the third instalment in this series we have these 10 questions and their detailed answers to whet our appetites

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Mixed Raced Characters in Urban Fantasy don't Necessarily Constitute Inclusion

One of the recurring tropes we’ve found in Urban Fantasy is the use of token inclusion for people of colour. Unfortunately for many authors, the addition of one person of color in an all White cast, even in cities in which the population demographics would suggest a larger representation is necessary, qualifies for a claim of equal representation. This is beyond irritating in and of itself. But there’s a related trope that doesn’t even go so far as that to use the oft normalized tokens - mixed race protagonists. One of the major issues is that even though these people are technically bi-racial, they are often so light skinned that they exist with passing privilege, thereby never having to negotiate the racism faced by everyday people of colour. Urban fantasy gives new meaning to the phrase light bright and damn near White.

In and of themselves, mixed race protagonists are by any means a bad thing - not by any stretch. We’d welcome, hail and do happy dances about more mixed-race protagonists, or more protagonists of colour in general, if it constituted good equal representation but alas that is not the case. It would be good to see if these mixed raced people read like mixed raced people, instead of White people with a touch of exotic thrown in for extra flavour.

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Traumatised Youth in Urban Fantasy

What shocked us most about this trope, as we went through our Book Review Master list, was how common this trope was. Literally, we went down our master list and struggled to find series where this trope didn’t apply. No, seriously - nearly every last series we’ve read included this trope. It has become less of a trope and more of a requirement in the genre.

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The Vampire Diaries Season Three, Episode Seven: Ghost World

Once again, Mystic Falls had another founders celebration. This week they were celebrating Illumination Night. Apparently, they lit lanterns to tell the town that it was safe to come out at night again, after they had entombed all of the vampires. I am really sick and tired of the weekly celebrations of the former slave owners. Of course, The Vampire Diaries creators don't see it that way, but this is the truth of the matter.

It seems that when Bonnie sent Vicky back to the other side she opened up a door that allowed all of the ghosts that had unfinished business to walk the town. Because Elena was thinking of Lexy, Stefan's friend he came back and because the tomb vampires had unfinished business with the founders they came back with the aim of killing the descendants. Mason came back to find a weapon to kill Klaus in order to save Tyler.

Read More 3 Fangs


Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 6: Wake

And within 5 minutes of the Secret Circle starting we learn that Nick had an older brother called Jake. See, see? I totally called it. No way were we going to go down to 5 witches. Someone call the advertising people and replace Nick with Jake (or, y'know, we could give Melissa some space... nahhhhh) and yes, the Circle is bound by bloodline! So Jake is a member of it as Nick's brother – replacement Nick!

And Jake is troubled... very troubled – and a thief and selfish and and and he jaywalks! EVIL, evil I say! And he used to date Faye (Mean Girl) and treat her terribly and he stole from Adam and Adam now haaaates him. And he's baaaaad. And they don't want him in the circle, no no no! Bad Jake! No cookie.

Read More 2 Fangs


The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 2: Bloodletting
The episode begins with Lori talking about her marital problems with Rick. Right after that she admits that she loves him Shane -- who is not dead -- pulls up and tells her that Rick has been shot. Even then you can see Shane looking at them with a weird sort of desire.

The seen flashes back to Rick running with Carl after he has been shot. We learn that Otis shot a buck and it went straight through to Carl. Lori stops to look behind her when she hears the gunshot. It worries her that Rick and Shane have not caught up. Darryl keeps them moving by telling them to stop worrying about Sophia and that she will be just fine, and that Shane and Lori are probably on the way. What I don't like about this is that they have set Darryl up to lead in the absence of Rick and Shane. Why couldn't Andrea take the lead considering that she is such a strong character in the comics. Oh I get, Darryl a character made up for the show is a nature guy and therefore the natural leader.

Read More 3.5 Fangs


American Horror Story
While it may stretch the definition of Urban Fantasy a tad, we've had many requests to review this series – and we were curious anyway – so we have decided to do so :)

American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 4: Hallowe'en Part 1 4 Fangs
American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 3: Murder House 4 Fangs
American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 2: Home Invasion 4 Fangs
American Horror Story: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot 4 Fangs


Bedlam
So we return again to ghost central! And within 5 minutes of the episode starting I am given my reason for watching this programme – Theo James in a towel. What? I need something to encourage me to keep watching. Alas, Kate wants him to put some clothes on to do some handyman work... hmm... maybe a toolbelt.

Anyway, I digress. Molly's friend Zoe is still missing and Molly is going on blind dates, Kate is still sleep walking and hallucinating and being a not-very-pleasant person and Ryan's upset about his brother's killer coming up for parole. I dunno, not doing much but this episode follows the much distracted Leah (I don't blame it the 4 main characters of this programme don't exactly lead fascinating lives), another resident of Bedlam heights and Molly's new friend – who keeps seeing spooky tire tracks, ghosts in her car and spectral car trouble. Her car keeps breaking down but she daren't take it to a garage because it belongs to an abusive ex who has probably reported it stolen – if it goes into a garage, he can probably find Leah.

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Once Upon a Time
Okay, I know that this is a bit of a stretch but fairy tales are fantasy after all. Sunday night was the ABC premier of Once Upon A Time staring, Ginnifer Godwin, Jennifer Morrison, and Robert Carlyle. The story is based on the idea that fairy tale creatures are now living in the modern world but are unaware that they are fairy tale characters thanks to a spell by the wicked witch.

The story begins with Snow White and the handsome Prince Charming. As we all know, Snow White was presumed dead and the seven dwarfs were mourning her when Prince Charming rode in and saved the say by giving her a true love's kiss. At their wedding, the evil queen shows up to make them a promise, "everything you love will be taken from you forever. Out of your suffering will rise my victory. I shall destroy you happiness if it's the last thing that I do".

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Lover Enshrined, by JR Ward, Book 6 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
The plot for this book is actually surprisingly involved for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. While we do have a relationship between His Whineyness Phury and Cormia front and centre but it's relatively easy to ignore and you can see the true action beneath.

The Omega has decided to combat the Dhestroyer prophecy with both a new fore-lesser and to tap his son – the son of a powerful vampire aristocrat. Bringing him back into the fold not only brings a powerful warrior with terrifying abilities but also bringing with him powerful intelligence that allows the lessers to hit a lot of extremely high profile targets which in turn leads to the looming shadow of politics in the glymeria

Read More 3.5 Fangs


Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, Book 5 of the Kate Daniels Series
Kate Daniels is back in action in post shift Atlanta. After killing her aunt in Magic Bleeds her secret is rapidly becoming unfrayed as more and more people notice her powerful magic and powerful blood – and more and more people know exactly who she is and who her father is.

Kate now runs her own agency, joined by Andrea whose attempts to make the Order accept her humanity failed in the face of their prejudice. And the Red Guard has come to her with a job – they were guarding a weapon. A weapon of incredible power. And it has gone missing, along with its inventor. Under the cloak of necessary secrecy and discretion, the Guard need Kate to find the weapon and the inventor, preferably before its power is unleashed

Read More 5 Fangs


Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep, Book 5 of the Elemental Assassin's Series
The plot was simple yet epic. It wasn't complicated with nuances and twists and there's not a lot to summarise of it without going outright into spoilers. Gin has reached the final showdown. Her or Mab. Mab has been targetting her sister too often and while Gin can hide her identity and be the ghost biting at Mab's flanks, Bria cannot. And the longer this fight continues, the longer Gin keeps to the shadows and plays the long game against Mab, the more and more danger Bria is in.

Especially now. Mab has put her vast resources on the table and sent out a call to every bounty hunter in the country. The Spider – dead or alive. Or Bria, Gin's baby sister, alive only. Except, with some of these bounty hunters, “alive” covers a great deal – and Mab herself certainly never hesitates at torture.

Read More 4.5 Fangs


Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine, Book 4 of the Morganville Vampire Series
In the last book we were left with a cliffhanger. The Bishop, Amelie's father has come to town – and so has Claire's parents. The Bishop is dangerous, threatening and powerful...

And we open the book basically in the same situation. Big threatening bad guy and Claire's parents hanging round. And then we enter a holding pattern. I said the same thing about Midnight Alley and, sadly, I have to say it again, there's very little plot to review.

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Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep, Book 4 of the Elemental Assassin's Series

Gin's war against Mab is now declared and Mab is feeling the Spider's bite. First killing her lieutenant, Elliot Slater in Venom she has now started hitting Mab's operations around the cities. Her minions and dealers are all under threat, smoothly assassinated and the Spider rune left by their corpses.

Mab can't tolerate this any more and calls in LaFleur, her own assassin. An expert assassin of the Spider's calibre and an Electricity Elemental. She's in town to run Mab's operations – and take out the Spider. As a bonus prize, she's also to take out Bria, Gin's sister, to finally remove that thorn out of Mab's side as well. To complicate things, Mab has not missed Gin's friendship with Roslyn and is looking to spy on her and undermine her as much as possible

Read More 3.5 Fangs


John Carpenter's Vampires
This movie could easily go down as one of the worst films, I have ever had the misfortune to see. For the purposes of full disclosure, I am going to admit right off the hop that James Woods is one of my least favorite actors of all time. From the beginning, I could see why he was attracted to this role. He got to play an ass kicking vampire slayer with a gun and a cross bow.

Read More 0.5 Fangs
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Our give away – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, volume 1. Follow the instructions and remember to leave your contact details! Keep an eye on our Give away section to keep abreast of our latest give aways


Our weekly podcast is here. Our full archives can be found here.


Vampires and Impossible, Timeless Beauty standards
When vampires first entered folklore they were physically described to look like bloated leeches. When you think about this, it makes perfect sense because their entire diet is based on drinking the blood of others and the creature most associated with that in nature is of course a leech. Overtime, vampire folklore began to change. The modern vampire looks nothing like its predecessor. Today, vampires all have hard lean bodies, twinkling eyes (that is when they are not glowering and trying to look dangerous) ridiculous hair (think R. Pratz in Twilight) and are disarmingly gorgeous. This is true of both male and female vampires. With few exceptions, like vampire Eddie in True Blood and Tony, in Karen Chance’s Cassandra Palmer series, no matter how long they have been alive they are gorgeous. And those vampires that aren’t thin are clearly not intended to be beautiful.

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Vampire Diaries: Season 3, Episode 5: The Reckoning
The writers really should have titled this episode, "It's All About Elena Again." It galls me that this irritating character is the centre of this show. At any rate, for the first time this season, the kids all show up at school. Nope, they didn't actually attend a class -- school after all is only about having a centre for some sort of event. The kids are there to prank the school as part of a high school senior tradition. This involved gluing toilet seat lids and leaving mouse traps all over the school gym. Matt is the only one not into this, and all he think about is his dear departed sister. I think that this just smacks of attempting to make Matt's character relevant.

After much ridiculous high school pranks, Klaus shows up and sure enough silly Elena tries to run away. Hello, if you cannot outrun a vampire, you cannot possibly outrun a hybrid. Klaus is absolutely determined to find out why he does not have the ability to make more hybrids.

Read More 2 Fangs


Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 5: Slither
Cassie's grandmother starts asking suspicious questions of Cassie, suggesting she's finally got a clue But Chief Scooby Diana tells Cassie that Parent Circle had its powers stripped by Grandparent Circle as punishment for the whole burning people to death thing, so it's best to keep it all a secret (yeah I know there's some logic missing there)

Speaking of the Parent Circle, Dawn and Charles (Diana, and Faye's parents), the Bad Guys, are calling on the Blood Moon to find 5 other crystals linked to the one they have, with the help of the bound circle, to get their powers back, it fails though, the crystal is out of batteries.

Read More 3.5 Fangs


The Walking Dead
With the return of the Walking Dead season 2 we are doing a recap of every episode of the first season:

Season 2, Episode 1: What Lies Ahead 5 Fangs

Season 1, Episode 6: TS 19 4 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 5: Wildfire 3.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 4: Vatos 3.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 3: Tell it to the Frogs 4 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 2: Guts 4 Fangs


Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews, Book 4 of the Kate Daniels Series
We have another new epic here. Oh yes we do. There's a new evil in town, a powerful ancient evil that spreads plague and destruction and death – that can make warriors run in terror, that can fight the greatest fighters in the city with ease and leaves a trail of magically sentient plague behind. Not even the best experts in the city knows who this threat is, not Saiman, not the People, not the Order – and it's already moved through several cities leaving a swath of destruction and death. And if that weren't enough – for Kate, this may be a family matter.

With a new epic bad guy in town Kate has to literally save Atlanta – and the pack. But she's also coming to more and more attention of the servants of Roland – the ancient and enormously powerful leader of the People of the Dead seeking to re-establish a new empire. He's looking for her and with every battle it becomes harder for her to hide.

Read More 5 Fangs


One Foot in the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost. Book 2 of the Night Huntress Series
Cat is back. Now at the head of her own government established force to police and hunt down vampires. 4 years have passed since the last book and she's grown to a powerful, confident leader and a lethal warrior.

But 4 years have also passed without Bones who she can't stop thinking about. As is almost inevitable, he finds her. But he's not the only blast from the past that shows up on her doorstep – her old boyfriend is leaking information about her too assassins and her father, the vampire who raped her mother, has finally raised his head on the scene and it doesn't look like a happy reunion

Read More 3.5 Fangs


‘Soulless’ by Gail Carriger, Book one of the Parasol Protectorate series.
Miss Tarabotti is a proper Victorian lady. The daughter of upper class, proper British society with all the refinement, expectations and proprieties that entails.

She’s also a spinster at the grand old age of 25, cursed by her Italian father to be too dark, have too bold a nose and far too bold a tongue to ever fit in proper, elegant, high society. Miss Tarabotti is also Soulless. Soullessness is a trait that she inherited from her Italian father and like everything derived from him is considered without doubt to be a negative.

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Jabril by D. B Reynolds
Having read Raphael, I went into Jabril with extremely low expectations. I must admit that I was mildly surprised with Jabril; however, Cyn, the protagonist, once again found herself mixed up in vampire intrigue, but this time it was at the behest of the master vampire Jabril. Cyn was initially hired to search for a missing girl, not because Jabril believed in her prowess as an investigator, but to irritate his rival Raphael.

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Venom by Jennifer Estep, Book 3 of the Elemental Assassin's series
Gin's retirement doesn't seem to be sticking. This time Roslyn comes to her with nowhere else to turn, the vampire is being stalked by one of Mab's minions. The giant Elliot Slater. Her chief enforcer, he is a dangerous opponent with all the power of Mab behind him, the most powerful figure in the Ashland crime world. The authorities can't help her, justice and safety can only come from the Spider's knives.

And there's a new cop in town – honest, true, trying to do as much good as she can in a system that is corrupt and compromised to the hilt. Detective Bria Coolridge – Gin's long lost sister. Gin has to decide what to tell her sister, how to help her, how to protect her from Mab and her minions – while at the same time risking her profession as an assassin driving her away just as it drove away Caine.

Read More 4 Fangs


Lover Revealed, by JR Ward, Book 4 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Our latest adventure with the Black Dagger Dudebros follows Butch, the human ex-policeman who lives with the Brotherhood and his long distant love affair with Marissa, King Wrath's ex-shellan who he first met in Dark Lover

After months with no contact during which they mistakenly think they both hated each other, Butch is forced to share a long quarantine with Marissa after a painful encounter with the lessers and the Omega himself. They rekindle their old love, but Butch is permanently infected by the darkness of the Omega and fears endangering her and the Brotherhood.

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Side Jobs by Jim Butcher, Short Story collection from the Dresden Files
I approached Side Jobs with a degree of caution and a firm determination not to let my own biases sway me. See, I don't like short stories. I don't. I don't even like stand alone novels all that much. I like great big epic series with huge great meta plots and development and drama and on the edge of your seat excitement.

And while all those are possible within the confines of a short story, they're usually not there. I was especially leery of reading a Harry Dresden short story simply because the best thing about these books is the epic within. I don't think I've read an author that can match Butcher for the epic – but nor do I think you can build up to good epic in a short story.

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Touch the Dark by Karen Chance of the Cassandra Palmer series
Though Karen Chance is quite prolific, I had not heard about her until I came across a post on Tumblr raving about her Cassandra Palmer series. I can't say what exactly spurred me to read one of her books, but I didn't go into it with great expectations, and so I suppose that there was nothing to let down by.

Touch the Dark, is the first book in the Cassandra Palmer series. Cassandra is a time travelling, clairvoyant, and as you might imagine, time travel lends itself to various timelines. When a writer chooses to go down this road, the plot must be clear and easy to follow. At times I had to go back and re read because I lost the thread of the story entirely. To give you an idea of the potential to be confused, take a look at the time line created by Chance, to help the reader follow her story.

Read More 3.5 Fangs
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Our give away –Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Walking Dead Graphic Novels!. Follow the instructions and remember to leave your contact details! Keep an eye on our Give away section to keep abreast of our latest give aways

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Abuse as True Love in Paranormal Romance

We discuss the various common and destructive tropes in Paranormal Romance

There are a lot of tropes in paranormal romance that consistently raise their ugly heads - many of which we explain in our Lexicon

Many of these destructive tropes are often “justified” by being “explained by the woo-woo”. In other words, the fact that it is magic or some kind of preternatural creature doing these things makes it okay, not problematic or otherwise acceptable. So a possessive or stalking boyfriend is explained by being a werewolf or a vampire - therefore territorial. This has the additional problematic element of justifying or excusing the problematic behaviour - very reminiscent of the old excuse of “he can’t help it” and “it’s just his way.” or it’s the nature of whatever supernatural being that the author is discussing. Just as “I could smell your desire” sounds very much like “you want it really.”

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Vampire Diaries: Season 3, Episode 4: Disturbing Behaviour

I really liked this episode, faults and all. It's been awhile since I could honestly say that about an episode of The Vampire Diaries. After spending an entire summer chasing Stefan, Elena finally decided that it was time to move on with her life. Of course she didn't make the decision because she realized that is a cold blooded killer but because she finally believed him when he said that their relationship was over. Her next project it seems is to remake Damon in Stefan's image. It was clear as they were making chili for the founders day gathering that the chemistry between them was strong. I think it's worth pointing out that none of these so-called kids have attended school yet; however, they all found time to show up and once again worship the founders.

Liz took Damon to see Caroline's father Bill Forbes. Damon wants to kill him but Liz tells him that he cannot, because Bill is Caroline's father. After testing to ensure that Bill is indeed vervain free, Damon compels him to believe that he came to Mystic Falls, to take Caroline back to school shopping, which btw cracked me up cause they don't attend school, and then to leave town.

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Lost Girl: Season Two, Episode Five: Brotherfae of the Wolves

Dyson has been visited by an old friend and packmate – Kaden. Y'know, I saw this and instantly thought “evil evil! he's so evil”. Because when you get an old blast from the past they're always dodgy and evil. It is known.

In the past Dyson and Kaden were mercenary warriors for the king Aelic – and were feared and lethal warriors. Dyson severed his ties with the king long ago, but now the king is dead after centuries of being involved in warfare and running his own extremely wealthy mercenary company.

We see a lot of flashbacks in this episode to Dyson's time as a warrior, including the last time he dealt with a norn and refused to give his wolf to save a friend's life. His friend ends up being betrayed by the king so the king could make his wife, Kiara, his queen which is why Dyson left the band.

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Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 4: Heather

Well we open to see that Melissa (Doormat) and Nick (Hot Guy) seem to be having a much healthier relationship. I bet it can't last – more angst is needed. Meanwhile, Cassie is looking up Heather Barnes (her mother's old school friend) after Zachary mentioned she wasn't dead and that Cassie's mother did far worse than that to her. Cassie is looking her up because... because... actually I don't have a clue, maybe she's chronically bored or needs to top up her angst levels or something. Anyway she's googling. She does her best to find her, but her cyberstalking skills are sadly lacking as she tries to trace where she lives, what family she has and their contact details (she turns up a brother). Not perturbed, she goes to school and enlists the aid of Diana (Chief Scooby) to go on a happy stalking field trip! Yay!

Read More 2.5 Fangs

The Walking Dead: Days Gone By

With the return of the Walking Dead season 2 we are doing a recap of every episode of the first season:

The opening scene of this pilot is one of the best I've seen. We see the protag in an obvious disaster zone, surrounded by wreckage and scraps of people's lives – including children's toys. He is carrying a petrol can, looking for a resource most of us today take for granted. It is eerily silent except for the buzzing of insects clinging to the corpses of the dead. And then we see the Walker – a child, a little girl (evocative of all what we're supposed to protect) even carrying a teddy bear. And he shoots her.

A perfect introduction to the world of the Walking Dead..

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The Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine, Book 2 of the Morganville Vampire Series

At the end of the last book, Glass House, Shane called in his father in a desperate attempt to save them from the wrath of Morganville's vampires. Of course, they managed to escape that wrath by earning the support and protection of Analee, the Founder of Morganville who had enough clout to keep them safe.

The problem is, Shane's father and his vampire slaying biker gang still arrived. And they're still looking for blood and they don't intend to leave without slaughtering as many vampires as possible, preferably all of them. In fact, it seems this was Shane's reason to return to Morganville anyway – to gather as much intelligence as possible in the eventual attack.

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Lover Awakened, by JR Ward, Book 3 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

And we have another adventure of the Black Dagger Dudebros in their continued quest to have lots of bar fights, have lots of sex and occasionally killing a lesser if one waves at them. Oh wait, I mean nobly and valourously defending the vampire species from the depredations of the soulless Lessers of the Lessening Society

This time it's Zsadist's turn to find his one true love. After escaping the clutch of the Lessers, Bella seeks refuge with the Brotherhood, especially with Zsadist who she feels safe with and feels compelled to seek his presence.

Zsadist must face these entirely new feelings he has. After years of abuse as a blood and sex slave, he must learn that a woman's touch does not bring pain – and find something within him that isn't hard and cruel and tortured. Bella restores his hope, hope that both he and his twin Phury had forgotten long ago.

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Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge, Book 1 of the Black London series

When Pete Caldecot was 16 she saw something magical. With her sister's boyfriend, Jack Winter, they conjured something, a man of shadows and smoke, a creature Jack couldn't stop or hold within his circle. And Pete saw it kill him.

She's 28 now and a police inspector with the MET – and investigating a string of child abductions. The children go missing and the return, damaged and blinded, their energies drained. And there to help her is Jack, back from the dead, but driven to the edge by drug addiction and the pressures of his magic.

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Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey: Book 2 of the Sandman Slim Novels

Kill the Dead is the second book in the Sandman Slim novels. You can find the review for the first book, Sandman Slim here. As with the first book, Kill the Dead involves Angels and Demons but this time the threat the walking dead, otherwise known as various types of zombies. The problem however is that the reader is not really made aware the the zombies are indeed the "big bad" in this book until Stark suddenly had to deal with them.

Unlike Sandman Slim, Kill the dead, is really quite disorganized. The plot just seems to float around while Stark has interactions with various supernatural beings. Elements are introduced that really go nowhere and at times the story is really hard to follow. The cast of characters is actually very large, making it difficult to remember the significance of each person.

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Fallen by Lauren Kate. Book 1 of the Fallen series

Lucinda Price is a troubled teenager. In her last boarding school there was a fire and the boy she liked died – in very mysterious circumstances. Circumstances for which she was blamed, the shadow of which has hung over her since. Almost as literally as the shadows that follow her wherever she goes, shapes only she can see and hear.

Her past has lead her to Swords and reformatory school where she has to navigate a new place, a new system and friends who aren't what they seem. Right until the moment she finds herself ground zero in a heavenly war and at the heart of a tragic love story that has been repeated every 17 years for centuries on end

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Our give away –Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Walking Dead Graphic Novels!. Follow the instructions and remember to leave your contact details! Keep an eye on our Give away section to keep abreast of our latest give aways


Our weekly podcast is here. Our full archives can be found here.


Vampire Diaries: Season 3, Episode 3: The End of the Affair

This episode brought the return of Katherine. I was so hoping that narrowly escaping with her life last season, would be enough to end the characters purpose on the show. More than anything, Katherine shows just how much Nina Dobrev needs to take acting classes; however, I suppose that as long as Paul Wesley is playing Stefan, she will never hold the title for the worst actor on The Vampire Diaries.

Shall we get right into it? Damon tracks Stefan down to beantown and brings Elena along for the ride. This episode is filled with flashbacks from the roaring twenties, when Stefan was the ripper. Not only did he kill willfully, he wrote the names down of his victims -- so that he could remember and experience the kills again. Think of it sort of like a vampire trophy. Damon takes Elena to Stefan's old apartment (okay, gotta say, why is this building still standing, and why is it in such good condition?) and she sees the list for herself. Any normal person at that point would go screaming for the door. All Elena can see is a vampire in need of help to get over his little habit of draining people of their life blood. Awww poor baby waby just needs help. I don't for the life of me understand how she can still see him as good, when she now has evidence of exactly what kind of killer Stefan is.

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Lost Girl
We are now caught up with Lost Girl so we will be doing weekly episode reviews of Bo's latest adventures
Lost Girl Season 2, Episode 4: Mirror, Mirror 3 Fangs
Lost Girl Season 2, Episode 3: Scream a Little Dream
Lost Girl Season 2, Episode 2: I Fought The Fae (and the fae won) 3 fangs


The Secret Circle
We have also started watching the Secret Circle. As with Lost Girl there is a brief Catch up where we cover the past episodes and in future we will do weekly episode reviews
The Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 3: Loner 3 Fangs
The Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 2: Bound 3 Fangs
The Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot 3 Fangs


Lover Eternal, by JR Ward, Book 2 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

Rhage has fallen in love. And, even more complicated, he has fallen in love with a human woman, against all the laws and customs of vampire society, and most certainly against the rules of the Brotherhood. He's faced with a choice between the Brotherhood and the battle to protect his species, and Mary – and he had to protect her from the Lessers who will use her to get to him. Worse, through this he has to navigate his curse – there's a beast within him that doesn't know friend or foe, only rage and killing.

And this is before they work out how to get round the simple basics of vampires and humans living together – and the problem of Mary's illness

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Rift Walker Book Two of Vampire Empire by Susan and Clay Griffith

The Rift Walker is the sequel to The GreyFriar by Clay & Susan Griffith. When I realized that The Rift Walker had finally been released I was ecstatic, and more than ready to jump into this amazingly unique world once again. When we last left prince Gareth, he was in Edinburgh and princess Adele has returned to her home in Equatoria, an amalgamation of states that formed after the great killing - the event in which vampires made their presence known to the world, by slaughtering humans en masse and occupying the majority of the global north. Even though they are thousands of miles apart, Gareth and Adele long for each other. At this point I think it is important to tell you that if you are looking for a straight paranormal romance, this is not book for you. The romance plays a role in the story, but it is not the main theme of the story.

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Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews, Book 3 of the Kate Daniels Series
Derek the werewolf is in over his head, having annoyed Loki's grandson and seeking to free a woman from the grasp of inhuman arena fighters, Kate Daniels finds herself dragged in to help him, save him, avenge him – only to find how much larger things are.

Starting out to save Derek from his love life and aid Saiman with his business dealings, Kate finds herself trying to solve a murder, save her friends life and then having to keep it all from the Beast Lord, Curran himself. The plot only grows deeper and more dangerous as enters the world of shady, underground gladiatorial combat – to the death. She quickly falls from just investigating to having to participate – and win - as the only way to save her friends, the pack and possibly all of Atlanta

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Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist – she has a duty to protect humanity from the vampires (the Moroi and the Strigoi and their half vampire children, the dhampires) and hide the vampires from humanity. The Alchemists move around the world, covering up, hiding bodies, bribing witnesses and keeping everything silent – all the while fearing and loathing the vampires they hide. Dealing with them as little as possible, always recognising them as alien and unnatural and wrong and reviling any time they have to spend in their presence.

Except Sydney got to close to a dhampire – and now she's under suspicion. She now has a new job – to hide Jill, a Moroi princess, from assassins all the while being under the suspicious eyes of her fellow Alchemists who hold a grudge – and are looking for a reason to ship her to “re-education camps”. And if she fails – her sister will be drafted in in her place.

Read More 1.5 Fangs
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This month we are giving away volume 1: Days Gone Bye, by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moorem as well as Volume 2: Miles Behind Us, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn of the Walking dead graphic novels. The lucky winner will receive both volumes.

Last year when AMC first aired The Walking Dead, I wasn't sure that I was going to like this zombie show, but each episode drew me in as I realized that this show is about so much more than supernatural beings. It's about how you survive when everything that you know is gone.

Click here to get full details and to enter to win


We have regular giveaways at Fangs, to keep a track make sure you follow our Giveaway page
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Our give away – get your freebies here clicky clicky. Follow the instructions and remember to leave your contact details! Keep an eye on our Give away section to keep abreast of our latest give aways


Our weekly podcast is here. Our full archives can be found here.


Vampire Diaries. Season 3, Episode 2: The Hybrid

I should have known that bad ass Stefan wouldn't last long. He is supposedly blood drunk and has become Stefan the ripper, but somehow he cannot stop mooning over Elena. The girl has some long lasting musty effect on men.

When we last left Klaus and Stefan, they were torturing a werewolf to force him to hand over the location of his pack. They return with him to the Tennessee mountains and see his camp backpacking so that they can enjoy the freedom of letting their wolves run wild. One by one, Klaus attempts to turn them into vampires.

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Lost Girl
We're continuing to catch up on season 1 now that season 2 has started. After which we will be having weekly updates

Season 2, Episode 1: Something Wicked this Fae Comes 3.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 13: Bloodlines 4 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 12: (Dis)Members Only 3.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 11: The Mourning After 3 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 10: Fae Day 4.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 9: Faetal Justice 3 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 8: Vexed 3.5 Fangs


Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

Toronto has become a ruin, a dystopian city of extreme poverty. After the riots it was largely abandoned by the government - wealthy Torontonians fled to the outer ring, leaving the inner city core to descend into poverty and lawlessness

Ti-Jeane lives in Toronto with her baby and her grandmother, who makes a living from her herb-lore and healing. Trying to get by in the torn city, her life is complicated as the father of her child gets in over his head with the criminal boss, who all but rules downtown Toronto. Unsurprisingly not only is he addicted to drugs, he sells them for a living - that is when he can stop skimming off the top. Ti-Jean comes face to face with illegal organ harvesters (note we aren’t even certain why the organs are an issue), her grandmother’s magical legacy, menacing dark magic, a neurological atypical mother, and through it all she must somehow save herself and protect the family she has left.

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Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews, Book 2 of the Kate Daniels Series

Kate Daniels, Magical Mercenary and liaison for the Order is faced with a new, confusing challenge in the dystopian world of magic ravaged Atlanta. Old gods are being invoked by witches who seem incapable of understanding what they're calling and monstrous creatures from the depth of mythology are roaming free hunting – hunting a little girl who has lost the last shreds of her family and has been deeply betrayed.

Kate steps forward to protect the child, find her mother and find out exactly what these monsters are – monsters that can always find her and keep coming back. Only to find that the entire city of Atlanta stands at risk of destruction unless she stops it.

And there's a flare coming. Magic waves are coming more and more often – and more and more intensely, causing friends to become ever more unstable and everything more unpredictable. When magic flares, gods walk and no-one is safe.

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Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass, Book 1 of the Shadow Chasers series

Kira was born with a power – she knows things and people by touch. One touch and she senses thought, emotion and experience. And she drains their power, their life force and sometimes leaves them injured or dead.

An orphan, her powers quickly confused and frightened her foster families – until she was taken in and raised by the Gilead Commission, a secret organisation that polices the magical beings of the world – and leads the forces of Light against the chaotic destruction of the Shadow. Kira was brought up as a member, a warrior, a Shadowchaser, one of the elite of the Commission to hunt down the most powerful agents of the Shadow.

Read More 3.5 Fangs
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Our latest giveaway

Full details of which can be found here!

Our latest Podcast

Episode 33: Vampire Diaries - Season 3 Episode 1, "Happy Birthday Elena" Lost Girl

Lost Girl Season 1

Having discovered this series, we have episode by episode reviews for the whole of season 1

Season 1, Episode 7: Arachnofaebia 2 Fangs

Season 1, Episode 6: Food For Thought 3.5 Fangs

Season 1, Episode 5: Dead Lucky 3 Fangs

Season 1, Episode 4: Faetal Attraction

Season 1, Episode 3: Oh Kappa My Kappa 4 Fangs

Season 1, Episode 2: Where There's a Will, There's a Fae 3 Fangs

Season 1, Episode 1: It's a Fae Fae Fae Fae World

Vampire Diaries Season 3: Happy Birthday Elena

Now that True Blood is done for the season, vampire fans are forced to resort to the teen angsty CW's The Vampire Diaries to get a fix. Last Thursday was the season premier and we would be remiss if we didn't cover the show. Do you see how much we sacrifice for you readers?

Two months have passed since Stefan took off with Klaus in exchange for curing Damon of a werewolf bite inflicted by Tyler Lockwood. Elena, Damon and Alaric have spent the time looking for him. Each new tip that Elena gets, she passes it on to Damon but what she does not know, is that Damon has been following Stefan the ripper through the news articles detailing his murders. He didn't want to share the news with Elena because of the extreme violence with which Steffan feeds. Apparently, he feeds so hard that his victims end up decapitated and then he feels remorse, so he puts their bodies back together.

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Changes by Jim Butcher, Book 12 of the Dresden Files

Susan, Harry's old lover who was half changed by the Red Court vampires, is back in town. And she has a revelation for Harry – they have a daughter together. She's been brought up in secret, hidden even from Harry. But the Red Court have found her – her foster family have been slaughtered and the girl has been kidnapped.

Harry, who for so long has lived without family, now has to find and save his daughter from some of the most evil monsters he's ever faced. And he must do it with very little help, just his truest friends – the White Council has been mired in schemes and politics and a virtual coup – certainly none are free to help Harry. To make things worse, the Red Courts' greatest and most powerful leaders have gathered – including beings that were once worshipped as gods and have the power far beyond his own.

Harry is faced with a desperate choice – as more and more of his life is torn apart and to save his daughter, he looks to embrace power he has rejected for so long – and cross lines he refused to cross.

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Turn Coat by Jim Butcher, Book 11 of the Dresden Files

Morgan, the Warden who has made Harry's life a misery, the Warden who has assumed Harry was a Warlock, persecuted him, attacked him, constantly looked for an excuse to drive Harry over the edge and give Morgan an excuse to execute him – arrives at Harry's door. He's injured, he's been framed for a crime he didn't commit and he's being chased by the other Wardens. And he wants Harry's help – to shelter him, to hide him and to help clear his name.

The Black Council is upping the ante – the White Council is buzzing with news of treachery and it's manipulations not only dragging in the White Council, but setting them up for a confrontation with the White Court as well as involving some of the greatest powers in the US. The White Council itself seethes with politics where truth and justice are rapidly pushed aside in the name of power, appearance and strength.

And Harry dives into all this feet first, as he ever does.

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Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

Once again Marguerite Argeneau is determined to play matchmaker for her children. This time Lucern the family author becomes the focus of her attentions in when Kate his publisher shows up quite unexpectedly at his home. Lucern is a sour man of few words despite the fact that he has made a living chronicling the family's romances. His books have become a great success with his fans and Kate wants him to do a book tour and a few interviews to help continue to promote them. Lucern is of course very resistant to the idea of this and tells her no immediately, unfortunately for Lucern, Kate is unwilling to take no for an answer.

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A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands

A Quick Bite is the first book in the Argeneau series. I accidentally read Love Bites, the first book in the series first. A Quick Bite is yet another paranormal romance, and so this means the usual boy meets girl and zmog they're in love forever and ever routine. As I have stated many times, I am not a fan of paranormal romance, but I was willing to give this book a try after enjoying Love Bites for its humour.

The plot really is quite basic. Lissianna, a 202 year old vampire meets Greg after her mother kidnaps him for her birthday. Greg assumes that he is to be a human sex toy, when in fact he was kidnapped to cure Lissianna of her phobia. Yes, she's a vampire who passes out at the sight of blood. At first she assumes that he is a special dinner, as vampires consider it a treat to come across an undiagnosed diabetic for the sugar in their blood. Greg is resistant to being tied up and served for dinner, but when he sees Lissianna, surprise surprise, it's instant boner time cause she's just that special

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Dark Lover by JR Ward, Book 1 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

Vampires are trying to live quiet lives as best they can. Their society is secretive and often separated from humanity – who they have little to do with. But there numbers are dwindling. An ancient group of human hunters has tried to annihilate them throughout the ages. To fight the vampires these Lessers sacrifice their souls, continually recruit more members and hunt the vampires with a sadistic glee. In response, the Vampires have the Black Dagger Brotherhood – a small group of veteran fighters to defend them against the predation of the Lessers. Each with their own darkness, they are the few warriors that try to save their species from extinction.

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Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep, Book 2 of the Elemental Assassins Series

Gin has entered her retirement as an assassin - she's now a college student and BBQ restaurant owner, hanging up her knives after her mentor died. Or so she thought.


An old friend of her foster-father shows up in her restaurant looking for help – and someone tries to kill her. Pulled in by the need to help her foster-father's friend (and because she's not tolerating any hits in her own restaurant) she finds them being intimidated into selling their land to a mining developer. Dragged in, she has to find out why their home is being threatened – who is doing it and how to solve it. And as an assassin, she only has one solution.

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Small Favor by Jim Butcher, Book 10 of the Harry Dresden Files

Harry's life is all exciting again and the plotting in the supernatural world is reaching greater, and more confusing, levels.

An entire building was destroyed by immense power and in the aftermath it was clear that Marcone, Chicago's mob boss, has been kidnapped. Harry is on the job working with Murphy – and only has more incentive when Mab, Unseelie Queen of the Winter Court, calls in one of the favours he owes her to get him involved – and threatens him with her not-inconsiderable wrath should he refuse. Of course, this is complicated because Summer objects most strongly – strongly enough to send champions to seek and kill Harry to end his involvement.

To make things far worse, the Knights of the Blackened Denarius – Fallen Angels bound to human hosts – are involved. Not just some as he had previously faced – but all of them in their infernal power and plotting, and he only has 2 Knights of the Cross to back him up.

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Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson, Book 6 of the Sign of the Zodiac Series

The Neon Graveyard is the last book in the Pettersson's Zodiac series. I didn't feel any sense of sadness when I finished reading and perhaps because by the time this book ended, I was more than ready for this series to come to an end. What started off as an amazing idea with a unique and a large world ended up being tired and overly drawn out. Having read all six books, I think that this series could easily have been reduced to four books. A book for each sign just dragged out the inevitable end of the series. Honestly, from book one, was there ever any doubt that this series would end with the death of the Tulpa?

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Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim is about a young man who is tossed into Hell alive by his fellow magicians. Early on he exhibited far more talent than the rest of his circle and he assumed that jealousy caused them to want to be rid of him. Once in hell he was put into an arena reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum to fight various creatures. Stark was expected to die immediately, but much to the shock of the fallen angels that populate hell he survived. Eventually, he became a sort of hit man or "the monster that killed monsters," because being human, no one expected it of him.

Stark is given a key to the room with thirteen doors, that allows him to travel anywhere and when his girlfriend Alice is killed on earth by the very same circle that imprisoned him in hell, he murders his handler Azazel. He escapes hell with The Veritas, a coin which always tells the truth and the black blade. Due to his time in hell, Stark is very hard to kill though being stabbed or shot will still hurt. After one attack with a weapon his body become impenetrable to a similar attack, which is good because this book is absolutely filled with action.

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Halfway to the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost, Book 1 of the Night Huntress Series

Cat's father was a vampire – a vampire who raped her mother and was never seen again. She has been raised to hate all of the undead – and even a part of herself, constantly checking herself – and being checked by her mother – to ensure that she never becomes everything she fears. As part of this – she hunts. She hunts the vampires who troll the bars and clubs, cheered on by her mother.

Until she meets Bones. A vampire who isn't so simple, and a vampire who shakes Cat's oh-so-simple world view. Increasingly she realises that not all vampires are as she always imagined – nor are all humans so clean as she'd like to think. It grows further confusing for her as her relationship with Bones deepens into something more.

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True Blood: When I die

Okay WHAT THE FLYING FUCK WAS THAT? This is the first episode all season that I pretty much sat on the edge of my couch afraid to blink, while I continually cursed. This episode started off with Jesus making Lafayette breakfast and promising that they could both avoid magic from then on in. Slowly Jesus realizes that he is not talking to Lafayette but to Marnie. She ties him to a chair and demands that he give up all his power or she will hurt Lafayette. Finally, Jesus agrees and Marnie stabs him in the stomach leaving him for dead. I know that all season Tami and Sparky having been saying that Jesus is on borrowed time but I was really upset with this. I firmly believe that Jesus was considered disposable because he is a gay man of color. I do however think that it is worth noting, that in the director's cut, they talk about where the relationship will go from there, so perhaps there is some hope for growth in their relationship yet.

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I've complained before that I just can't agree with the idea of True Blood being as pro-gay as everyone likes to celebrate

But I'm going to go further in a little rant because I am getting really sick of Lafayette and Jesus and their complete and utter lack of intimacy.

I think this season has really hit hard at how sanitised and cold Lafayette and Jesus' relationship is. It's now so glaring that the characters now irritate me immensely and I'm begging to want to skip past their precious little sanitised platonic, don't-put-off-the-straighties 'relationship'.

The most glaring example of it is the lack of any kind of sex or physical contact between them. True Blood is very free with displaying sex and nudity and it’s a very sexually charged show. In this series we've seen Sookie, Jason, Alcide, Eric, Bill and Sam naked. We have seen Sookie straddle Bill repeatedly, Jason spent pretty much the entire first season naked and having sex from numerous angles – and I'm sure we all remember Eric's bondage session in the basement (I know I do). Sex and nudity is extremely common on this show. But not just sex and sexuality, couples, coupling, kissing, intimacy – it's there.

Now look at Lafayette and Jesus. They have yet to share even a serious kiss. Most of the time they don't even touch. Even Arlene, Terry and Andy Bellefleur have all had more action than Lafayette and Jesus. Contrast that with Tara and Naomi - we have gratuitous sex displayed instantly with the same-sex female couple (almost before we knew Naomi's name or any kind of relationship was established). We rarely see them together in a scene when they are NOT kissing, having sex and happily naked – happily pandering to to the straight male gaze.

Someone coming to this season without seeing the previous seasons would be forgiven for thinking they were friends or room-mates. There’s no sense of them actually having any kind of relationship, it’s rare you see anything from either of them that indicates they have anything other than a platonic friendship - even less! Friends generally have a greater sense of connection between them than this supposedly year-old couple. Even beyond the physical distance, there’s just no rapport between them. No pet names, no internal references, no in-jokes, no body language communication - there’s no connection between them, no sense of unspoken understanding. Where’s the eye-contact? Where’s the facial expressions that communicate a whole conversation? Where is the connection, the relationship, the sense that they are actually a couple. Look at Arlene & Terry - they look at each other, they are connected, they react together, the communicate non-verbally, they seek closeness together. Even Sookie and Eric/Bill communicate a lot with eye contact - in fact that was a major part of the conclusion of the last episode when Sookie made dramatic eye-contact with the vampires. And this is very glaringly missing from Lafayette and Jesus’ relationship, beyond the physical distance and lack of intimacy.


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First of all a reminder of our giveaway – True Blood comics are up for grabs and the closing date is the 12th September. Click for more information

Our Podcast!

True Blood: Soul on Fire

I thought last night's episode wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Just when we thought that all of the ties were wrapped up, Marnie invaded Layette's body. I guess with two more episodes still to go, it wouldn't do to have her so easily conquered. So let's start at the beginning shall we?

When we last left off, Bill, Eric, Pam and Jessica had gathered in front of goddess emporium all dressed in black ready to finally kick some witch ass. As they gear up to fire on the emporium, Jason jumps in front of them and tells them not to fire, which is met with a round of fucking Sookie from the vampires. I found myself saying, finally and giggling out loud. The writers have to know that Sookie's version of spunky agency is irritating at best; however, I didn't like the fact that Pam reduced her to a slit in a sun dress. Just having the characters say fucking Sookie was enough, there was certainly no need to reduce her in this manner.

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Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead

It's always a bittersweet thing when you come to the end of a series that you love. I stayed up the better part of the night finishing this book and though I am tired, it's a happy kind of tired. I have to say that this is the first paranormal romance story that I have loved from beginning to end. It was filled with erasure that took the form of no GLBT characters whatsoever and extremely limited roles for people of colour, but in spite of all of that I could not help be embrace the characters.

Succubus Revealed basically involved the big showdown between heaven and hell, the importance of true love and the value of a single soul.

Read More 5 Fangs


Cheat the Grave by Vicki Pettersson, the 5th Sign of the Zodiac

To be honest, I have been struggling with this series. It started off wonderfully engaging, with a world that was absolutely unique in urban fantasy, and then somewhere along the way, it seemed to lose focus, that is until Cheat the Grave. This book reminded me of why I fell in love with the Zodiac books to begin with.

Now that Joanna/Olivia is mortal, the forces of light see her as useless, and to make matters worse, Solange has sent Mackie the piano player from Midheaven to kill her. If the Tulpa and the shadow hunters figure out who she really is, they will kill her. Everywhere she turns, someone wants her dead except for the rogue agents (the greys). Somehow she must protect the mortals she loves, and chief among her concerns is stopping Suzanne from marrying someone she suspects has nefarious intent.

Read More 4.5 Fangs


Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, Book 1 of the Kate Daniels series

Kate Daniels is a mercenary. A sword for hire ready to kill, find or save whatever people pay her to in a world that has gone mad.

And it well and truly has. After centuries of technological domination, magic swept in on a wave of destruction. Technology failed, skyscrapers collapsed and now the world lies in flux between them – when magic fails the tech works and spells fade – then the magic rolls in spells surge – and technology ceases to work. In among that, lycanthropes, vampire-piloting necromancers and so much more vie for power in a world that is still finding its feet.


Read More 4.5 Fangs


White Knight by Jim Butcher, Book 9 of the Harry Dresden Files

Magical practitioners are dying. Not Wizards, not members of the White Council, but lesser talents are dying not just in Chicago but across the US – their deaths a series of tragic suicides. Harry's looking to find out who and why – and whether his brother is involved or not.

Caught up by White Court machinations he also finds himself further enmeshed in the vampire politics behind the war. To complicate matters, he also has to balance teaching his new apprentice, the machinations of Lasciel, the Fallen Angel that has taken up residence in his mind and the ever-worrying presence of the mob boss, Marcone who always plays his own very dangerous game. Oh, and his ex shows up. Never simple, is it?

Read More 4 Fangs

Fright Night

For the purposes of disclosure, I must admit that I have not seen the original Fright Night starring, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdame and Amanda Bearse. I went into this movie not really knowing what to expect and I have to say that while I enjoyed it, Fright Night will not go down as one of my favourite urban fantasy books.

The story is set in Las Vegas and surprise, surprise, there isn't a single GLBT person. Sandra Vergara who played Ginger Peter, Vincent's (David Tennant) girlfriend is the only person of colour. How is it that a story can be set in an area like Vegas and have so much erasure? It is not only ridiculous, it is irresponsible. Vergara did not play a major character, and much of the time she spent on screen, she was scantily clad and coarse. Unsurprisingly, she quickly became the victim of the vampire.

Read More 3 Fangs

Turned by Morgan Rice, Book 1 of the Vampire Journals

Caitlin is a high school teenager trying desperately to lead a normal life with her absent father and abusive mother. Moved yet again to a new school she tries to find a new balance before having to move yet again – but things are even more complicated now than before. Overcome with powers she doesn't understand and never had before, and a hunger that is all consuming she desperately tries to keep her life working.

Facing a confused boyfriend, a new school, and an uncaring parent would be complicated enough – but instead she finds herself over the body of her first victim, hunted by the police and caught between 2 vampire covens, one of whom determined to capture and possibly kill her – to say nothing of Caleb, and ancient and handsome vampire who seems to care for her – and thinks she may be the Chosen One for all of them

Read More 1 Fang


We have some discussions going on over at Fangs as well :)
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True Blood: Nobody Leaves

Let's do something a little different this week. Let's discuss last night episode by character/plot. Last night's episode began with Alcide carrying Sookie away from the battle. Sookie is taken from him by Bill. Bill tries to give her his blood, while Alcide asks, "does she even have a pulse?" Can we just say right now that there was no suspense to this. Of course the minute that Sookie wakes up she barely thanks Alcide and proceeds to make plans with Bill to get Eric. In the first sensible thing that Alcide has done in a long time he tells her that he is done and walks out of the house.

Unfortunately for Alcide, Debbie is awake when he gets home. She pretends to sleep but you can see the tension all over her. (BTW, thank you Alan Ball for the naked shot of my fav werewolf) As Alcide snuggles up to Debbie, her eyes go yellow. It's clear to me that Alcide needs to just take his fine behind away from both Sookie and Debbie. Could any man really be that slow to catch on?

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Succubus Dreams by Richelle Meade

I unabashedly love this series, yes, yes, I do. Succubus Dreams actually read more like a paranormal romance than a straight up urban fantasy book, but not even that could diminish my desire to find out what happened to the protagonist Georgina Kincaid.

Kincaid walks into a bar to find Carter, three angels and human sitting together. Joel, one of the angels clearly does not like or trust her. At every opportunity he is downright hostile towards her. Carter and his crew of angels are clearly up to something but realizing that it is pointless to question them, Kincaid stays to have a few drinks. At the end of the night Carter asks her to let Vincent the human stay with her while they are on their secret angel mission. Kincaid reluctantly agrees.

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Teen Wolf – the season finale

It's the season finale of Teen Wolf! We have to say this series was far better than we anticipated. We expected lots of teen angst, lots of pointless moping and the other staples of the genre – and yes there's been some – but much less than we thought. The characters have been fun, Stiles as been awesome, the bare chests have been yummy – all in all a good find. Definitely way exceeded our expectations (even if those expectations were low)

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Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep. Book 1 of the Elemental Assassin's series
Gin, the Spider, is an assassin. She kills people for money and she's very very good at it, even in a world with vampires, elementals, dwarfs and giants – she hardly even needs to use her Stone and Ice magic, her knives and training are more than enough.

Until a job goes wrong. Her employer has double crossed her and is now out to kill her and her loved ones to continue to frame her for a death she didn't cause. Working with her remaining family and a reluctant police officer who complicates things by being both extremely hot and enraged by her previous job killing his partner, she must find out who is after her, why – and avenge the dead.

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Raphael by D.B Reynolds
This is yet another book of the month selection from one of our reading groups on Goodreads. This is yet another book that I would not have chosen to read because it is paranormal romance. Unlike Love Bites by Lynsay Sands, there really is nothing to redeem this book.

Cynthia is a former police officer turned private investigator. Normally, she does things like background checks and following cheating spouses, and so when Raphael and his vampires enter her office wanting to hire her to track down a kidnapped vampire, she jumps on the opportunity to do something new and interesting. The existence of vampires is sort of an open secret socially, but even with all the secrecy, Raphael's place in vampire hierarchy is well known.

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Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, Book 7 of the Harry Dresden Files
There are some new big bads in town – necromancers, some of the darkest wizards out there, have arrived and they're all looking for the Word of Kemmler. Kemmler, the greatest and most horrendous necromancer that ever lived, left his remaining knowledge in this book – a book that could bring untold power to the most evil of people.

And in addition to the Necromancers, Marva of the Black Court also wants the book – and if Harry doesn't get it for her, she's going to ruin Murphy's life. To further complicate things, Bob the skull has a disturbing past and even more disturbing secrets with Kemmler.

The war between the vampires and the wizards continues with the Wizards suffering a major defeat, the remains of the Warders must turn to people they'd shunned to try and prop up their numbers and can't offer Harry even a tenth of the support he normally could expect.

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Dead Iron by Devon Monk
Dead Iron falls into the category of paranormal steampunk. I really looked forward to this book when I saw that it was chosen as the book of the month by one of my Goodreads reading groups; however, that excitement quickly turned to dust, and I found myself looking for anything to do other than reading this book. How do you know when a book is bad? When you find yourself thinking after reading a few pages, hnmmmm I suddenly have a desire to clean the kitchen, or a do a load of laundry. Yes, housework is more amusing than this book.

One of the major faults with Monk's work is how convoluted the story is. First we have a werewolf named Cedar Hunt, who is considered an outsider in the small Oregon town of Hallelujah. He has moved to Hallelujah in an attempt to forget his past. Hunt believes that he killed his brother, one night when the wolf's blood lust blocked out his ability to reason. His wife and child are also dead. Out of the blue, Rose Small, the General Store owner's adopted daughter tells him about a missing child named Elbert Gregor, and he decides to hunt him down. Because Rose has told him that she believes that the boogeyman took the child, he decides to pay a visit to the Madder brothers, who seem to have a special skill working with stone. Even though he has no connection with this child, he is willing to owe the Madders a favor in order to secure their help.

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Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Zinzi December is a animalled – aposymbiotic. She has done something bad in the past – she has killed someone – and since the mid 90s that has caused people to manifest their own animals. The animalled all gain a special power upon having their animal, but it doesn't compare to the widespread prejudice and hatred society shows them – nor to the constant threat of the Undertow. A darkness that chases and hunts down animalled when their companions are killed and stalks them until then.

Zinzi has the power to find things people have lost, following the connections of them to their objects. She has had a hard life, an ex-journalist who fell into drug use, the spiral of which eventually ended up with her brother dead and her carrying around Sloth, she now ekes out a living in the slum Zoo City, a derelict, crime ridden and poverty stricken area of Johannesburg with a large animalled population. Trying to get by in the face of prejudice, her severe drug debt she is pulled into a swamp of the music industry trying to find a missing pop starlette who is tipped to be the next big thing – but has gone missing.

Then suddenly there are deaths, homeless people being murdered and going missing and a shadowy underworld to the music industry and her employers she never imagined.

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Blood Rites by Jim Butcher, book 6 of the Dresden Files

The war between the White Council and the Red Court of the vampires continued to rage (in fact, it seems to include all 3 courts of vampires) and Harry Dresden remains at the heart of it as well as maintaining his limited income doing what jobs he can as Chicago's only wizard in the yellow pages.

Harry's life remains excitingly complicated. The Black Court is in town, perhaps the most dangerous and magical of the vampires and his old enemy Mavra is gunning for him with her followers. He has to take the fight to her before they succeed in bringing him down – especially since the Black Court can multiply so quickly and kill so many people. Meanwhile a new job pushed on him by his old almost-friend Thomas of the White Court leads to him trying to protect a porn studio from a powerful and random death curse as well as dropping him neck deep in White Court politics - and those pretty vampires are so much more devious and often more dangerous than their more brutal cousins. To top it all off, he finally learns more about his missing family – and how they're not all as missing as he had previously thought.

And as an added bonus, he also has to figure out how to pay a mercenary before that mercenary extracts his own payment and disturbing revelations about his mentor. Never a quiet life for Harry.

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Taste of the Night, Book 2 of the Zodiac series by Vicki Pettersson

When we last left Oliva/Joanna she had rooted out the spy in the light, met the Tulpa and come to terms that are life had changed forever. In The Taste of Night, Oliva/Joanna must live with the results of her decisions. Though she has developed an attraction for Hunter, her heart still belongs to Ben. The fact that she belongs to shadow and light continues to cause friction between her and the shadow warriors. She fears that they will never trust her. Within the turbulence of all the conflicts, chief among her concerns is to seek vengeance for the rape that she just barely survived at the tender age of fifteen.

There was a lot of world building in this book, but it did not slow down the action in the slightest. We learned how the comics are made which document the actions of the Shadow and Light warriors. We learned that it is possible to kill the Tulpa and that we are quickly approaching a time when Oliva/Joanna will bring light to the world if she manages not to shift to the dark side. In some ways the play between the dark and the light reminds of Star Wars and the Matrix. Of course, even when this approach was taken in Star Wars, it was not new, because it very much is a spin on the bible. What makes Pettersson's Zodiac books different, is that this time, the chosen one is a woman. I find this transgressive, because 'woman' has always been constructed as the downfall of man, rather than the savior.

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Fangs for the Fantasy Podcast episode 27

This week we discuss True Blood "Cold Grey Light of Dawn", Yasmine Galenorn's Darkling from the Sisters of the Moon series, Lauren Beukes' Zoo City, Kelley Armstrong's Bitten from the Otherworld series and Rachel Caine's Glass Houses from the Morganville Vampire series

Clicky clicky

Teen Wolf Episode 10

Another week is another episode of Teen Wolf. We're continually impressed by how this teenage show keeps the angst levels down (occasionally anyway) and how it remains both dark and with a deep nuanced story. It continues to hold our interest and this is one that was well worth our time. What follows is our discussion on episode 10.

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Why, I do believe we have arrived.

Harry Dresden is dealing with the ongoing fallout of the war between the Wizard's White Council and the Vampire's Red Court. A war he started and where he still very much stands at the eye of the storm. The Red Court noble, Ortega is in town with a proposition for Harry. A duel. A duel between Harry and Ortega to the death. If Harry wins Chicago is declared a neutral zone. If he refuses the duel? His friends will be targeted and killed. Faced with this non-choice, Harry is forced to accept the duel against a vampire centuries his senior. But life is never so simple for Harry. Susan is back in town, still dealing with the affects of being infected with Red Court vampirism she must struggle against her urges and her attraction to Harry as well as forward her own agenda and the agenda of the organisation to which she now belongs.

Worst of all, the Denarians are in town. Not just demons, but servants and vessles of the Fallen themselves. They're in town and they seek to acquire the stolen Shroud of Turin and use it in their nefarious plotting (and yes, I got to use the words “nefarious plotting” in a serious sentence. Yes this amuses me) opposed by Michael and his fellow Fists of God, the Knights of the Cross and yet further complicated by John Marcone, crime boss also being involved.

Never simple, but most certainly epic.


I would say this is the book where everything this series has been promising to be has finally got into action. Every book until now seems to have been an introduction paving the way to this book, though Summer Knight was epic in its own right.

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So we open up knowing that Damali & her gang are depressed. I'm not entirely sure why they're all depressed – they just kind of are. I think it's because they escaped from the tunnels of hell but Carlos – a vampire who none of them knew – didn't. This also really depresses Damali who expresses this by having a random vampire kill, just because and decides to have a reunion with an old friend, drink booze and spend some time reminiscing and being depressed

We know they're depressed because they spend an awwwfully long time telling us that they're depressed. No, really, this is like 15% of the book here, spent telling us how depressed they are. They might rename the “exposition room” to the “moping room.” I honestly didn't think I'd finish this book because that first 15% was almost impossible to read. Somehow, I managed. I wish I hadn't. This book makes me feel I have to go back and re-read Sunshine, our only DNF review because if I got through this I owe McKinley a second chance!

Anyway, Carlos, has survived! Yay, I guess? He is found by the surviving priesty-dudes and taken to a secret location to recover and be offered a deal – he fights the good fight for 7 years and his soul will be redeemed (because, y'know, nearly dying to save the Neteru and the world? Totes not enough). There then follows page after page of Carlos saying how horny the Neteru makes him and how there's some vampire women out there and they make him horny and zomg so horny and hungry and horny and – for gods' sake Carlos, go get some alone time with your right hand already.

Anyway, after convincing the priesty-dudes that he's scary (and he is, we know this because interminable pages are spent discussing this) Carlos is released into the world to preserve his soul, contact Damali, dodge the vampire council which want him to join them as one of them since he's a big bad Master, avoid his vampire brides (each Vampire Master has several extremely powerful female vamps as PAs). He also has to re-establish himself as the biggest baddest vamp in town which involves lots of posturing and show downs. Oh and find some thing that is killing people in Brazil. For some reason. I kind of lost the why in between the angst and the sex and the angst and the drama and the angst. There's quite a large, important story reason which is interesting – but it's lost in all the endless pages of crap you have to wade through. Oh and the big bad in Brazil is a woman who is horny for Carlos and she wants to have evil sex with him. And she makes Carlos horny. Really horny. Which makes Damali jealous and sad because she can't do evil sex. And she's also horny. And Carlos is horny and angry and hungr........ ooops, fell asleep on the keyboard for a second there.

What? It's hard to follow the plot when your brain is screaming for you to put the book down

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Harry Dresden returns in a much more epic tale of battle and mystery in which the fate of Chicago – in fact the whole world, rests.

Epic. I do like me some epic, I does. And we have meta-plot! In the last book, Harry Dresden started a war to protect the woman he loved and to stand up to the cruelty of the Red Court of vampires. Due to his actions the Red Court declared war on the White Council, the ruling body of wizards, a war that now covers every part of the world and concerns the White Council greatly as important wizards fall in battle. The Council has come to town and Harry's detractors are eager to end the war by sacrificing Harry to the vampires

But there is a way out – the White Council has approached the Summer and Winter courts of the fae to gain allies and free transport through the Nevernever. Harry, as the newly appointed emissary of the Winter Court can secure his life – and the White Council's alliance – by solving a mysterious death. It's only as he investigates, he realises far more is at stake than one death, perhaps more than the war between the wizards and the vampires, for the Summer and Winter courts stand poised for war - and this war could devastate the world. And if that weren't complicated enough, an old flame comes back to haunt him.

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Keille Riviere, hoodoo and persistent user of a right hook to solve all problems is still facing the fall out of the events of Black Dust Mambo. Doctor Heron's misplaced crusade of revenge still casts long shadows – and her cousin, Jackson, has gone missing, perhaps Dr. Heron's latest victim. But, more pressingly, magic is failing. Every hoodooist, voodoo priest, magician and conjurer through Louisiana is finding their spells go awry. Some reflect back against their casters, some warp – some just become completely random. Worst of all, after Katrina, wards were set across the Louisiana coast to prevent another disaster. The wards have reversed – they're now attracting and increasing hurricanes – and another Katrina is on the way.


And if that wasn't enough to be getting on with, the loa Baron Samedi thinks Keille is responsible and is quite willing to kill her to solve the problem. Then throw in some werewolves and ongoing issues with her aunt's identity theft and you have a full set.

As I said, I liked the story. It has a wide world and it manages to maintain tension surprisingly well. It also managed to cover a lot of different things happening, often at once, without it ever getting lost, confused or any element feeling completely superfluous. It's a wide world,a deep, nuanced and fascinating story with plenty of twists to keep you amused and lots of curiosity to pull you further forwards – I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened, I wanted to see how various things worked, I wanted to see what the solution was, what the consequences where, how the world fit together.

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Harry Dresden returns in another Urban Fantasy Mystery. This time, ghosts are running amok, causing chaos and killing people and similar shenanigans. Harry must go out with his new side-kick, Michael a Knight of the Cross, and stop this sudden tidal wave of deadly ghost activity.

Following the exhausting and dangerous trail finds that someone is tormenting and manipulating these ghosts raising them and encouraging them to spread their havoc – and further, in doing so they are thinning the barrier between the real world and the Nevernever, allowing more and darker spirits to emerge. As if that weren't enough, there is something else out there, a Nightmare that is darker than any ghost they've faced that is hunting Harry and his friends specifically.

Harry must find how they are all connected and what lies behind the ghosts, the Nightmare, the thinning of the Nevernever all the while dodging his faerie godmother who hunts him and seeks to drag him away to be her slave – and even that must be done while negotiating the twisted and convoluted plots of the vampires as Bianca, an old enemy, rises within their ranks.

It's a desperate fight to keep body and soul together – and to protect those he cares about who are being targeted by forces even Harry can't comprehend.

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I only really started writing reviews relatively recently, certainly on books rather than on various issues that arise throughout a series. This has lead to a few regrets because there are a few books I would have liked to review in more depth when I read them and they were fresh in my mind – probably greatest of which are Tanya Huff's Victory Nelson series.

I have so far read 5 of the 6 books (the 6th is on my ever-growing reading list) and I wish I had written a review on each of them, because they are some of my favourite books. Not on par with Kevin Hearne or Kim Harrison (both of whom stand pretty far up the pinnacle) but certainly just beneath them. Since it's been a little while since I've read them and because I don't really have time for a re-read, I'm going to have to do a review of the series up to book 6.

Victoria “Victory” Nelson was a police detective – and an extremely good one. Her nickname wasn't just a play on her name, it was an acknowledgement of her extreme skill. She and her partner, Mike Celucci, had a competitive, almost antagonistic but deeply connected relationship as they solved case after case. Then Vicky developed a degenerative eye condition. Her peripheral vision is shrinking and her night vision has reduced to almost nothing – and it will get worse and worse until she is blind. Facing this, Vicky quits her job because she will not accept a lowering of her performance or record and becomes a private investigator. Mike stays on as her contact, her friend, her sex partner – and someone she has marvellous blazing rows with.

As a private detective she stumbles upon the supernatural world – in particular she runs across Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance novel writer – and vampire. The two start investigating increasing supernatural occurrences that threaten Toronto, her with her vast experience and skills as a detective with his age, experience and knowledge of the supernatural world. Over the books they investigate demons, sorcerers, mummies, werewolves, werewolf hunters and even mad wannabe Doctor Frankensteins

Through this, Vicki develops her in depth relationship with both Mike and Henry – with Mike himself becoming more and more involved in the supernatural world – as well as their interactions with the ex-street kid Tony.


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