Welcome to Weekend Talk Among Yourselves, where I talk about behind-the-scenes stuff and things that have nothing to do about Avalon or whatever I’m recapping, and you can comment with whatever you want.
Here’s what’s happening on my end:
* I’m thinking of changing this site’s appearance. Chime in if you want me to change it or not.
* I’ve got two mini-Book Rants this week. First up is Hunted, the second book in Spirit Animals. It is a slight improvement over the first. The good:
- We get a little bit of character development. All the characters briefly think “where do I belong?”
- One character actually struggles with being trusted by the rest of the protagonists.
- We learn what BATTLE PANDAS are good for. Apparently they allow you to see possible futures. Oh, and they can crush enemies if you summon them in crowded battlefields.
- Dark things aren’t just hinted at anymore! Apparently in not!Europe, if your bond with a bonded animal is troubled, you get institutionalized. And I mean in the 1800s sort of way.
- A nation is conquered by not!Australia. These antagonists work fast.
- The antagonists create their own 5 Token Band to counter the protagonists. Only one of them is actually villainous.
- Obvious references to Errol Flynn and Finn McCool. No BATTLE SALMON of Knowledge, though.
- No skimming over possible character-building moments during travel scenes!
- A protagonist thinks that the antagonists have a good thing going with the potion that forces bonds with animals. That way you don’t get stuck with useless bonded animals like, um, the BATTLE HARE or BATTLE MINIATURE PONY.
- On that point … more weird bonded animals, like the BATTLE WATER-HOLDING FROG, the BATTLE IMPUNDULU, and the BATTLE HIGHLAND COW. Yes, those are all real animals. Look them up.
- A protagonist loses a McGuffin. Yes, two books in and this happens already.
And the bad:
- Still got the obvious parallels to real countries. Not!Europe is actually a combination of feudal England and Braveheart-era Scotland. Yes, complete with kilts and blue facepaint.
- On that note, more Ireland = Scotland stuff.
- Okay, two books in and the characters have found 2 out of 15 McGuffins. How the hell are they gonna find them all?
- We never find out what the McGuffin in this book does.
I’m starting to come around on this series, if you haven’t figured that out.
* My next book rant is on Passionaries, the sequel to the uber-NSFW
The Blessed Precious Blood. This book is just as NSFW as its predecessor, but it doesn’t have the same amount of Jodorowsky-influenced imagery. Oh, it’s still poorly written, and still crazy as hell. And by “crazy”, I mean “WTF IS GOING ON IN THIS?”
My notes on the book are after the cut, because some of them are TRIGGER WARNING worthy. As in, gruesome violence and character death sort of stuff.
- The Pope and Curtis Mayfield are characters. Okay, I kinda lied about the last item — it’s just a guy named after Curtis Mayfield. But still.
- Did someone actually edit this book? My copy has so many grammatical and word-choice errors. And no, my copy isn’t an advanced reader’s copy.
- There’s an Evil Council of Evil, complete with a leader who insists on WAITING. Their goons of choice: homeless guys. Because I guess they’re cheap.
- Lots of minor characters die for no reason, in really graphic ways. (Hence the NSFW warnings.)
- Lots of Latin Fail. This only occurs in the sections where the author isn’t quoting from the Bible.
- The ambiguity is gone. Turns out that the crazy boy from the first book really was the reincarnation of Saint Sebastian, and the protagonists are all reincarnated saints. The series was better when you could interpret is as three teenage girls falling for some crazy guy’s BS and forming a cult around him.
- You know, for someone who’s supposed to be the reincarnation of Saint Cecilia (patron saint of music) and an underground music sensation, she sure plays a lot of covers of old songs. No original stuff whatsoever.
- Did this author just play Soul Calibur? Because one of the characters gets something suspiciously similar to Ivy’s sword in this book. Except the author can’t seem to decide if it has one or two blades.
- Funny coincidence — this book also has a character named Finn. Unlike the Finn in Spirit Animals, this one is neither heroic nor a Finn McCool reference. And he dies a gruesome death in the end.
- One of the protagonists is severely overpowered, and seems to get new abilities as the plot demands. “Oh look! I can levitate! Wow, I have Danger Sense … that manifests as stigmata. Hey! I got this cool sword! Yo! Now I can stop bullets like Magneto!”
- For reference, one of the other protagonists’ special abilities are HAIR GROWTH and being in two places at once. And the third protagonist only has one ability: clairvoyance.
- Also, Danger Sense-granting stigmata + cool sword doesn’t sound like a very good combination. Wouldn’t that sword slip out of her hands because of all the blood? Just saying.
- One of the protagonists dies a very gruesome death. Maybe suicide? I’m not sure. Does dying from gouging your own eyes out count as suicide?
- Did I mention that the Pope is a main character? THE POPE IS A MAIN CHARACTER. And he’s the reason all the ambiguity is gone. Thanks, Pope.