Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
The sequel to 'Carry On': Baz and Simon are having issues. Simon's depressed, after all what use is a Chosen One when they've done what they were meant to do? Baz, Simon and Penelope go on a road trip in America.
Agatha the ever selfish cow gets into trouble. Baz learns he knows nothing about being a vampire. Simon is depressed. A new friend is made. The different magic style of the US is explored. Vampires plot and there is a cliffhanger/sequel hook. Simon's belligerent and has emotional numbness. Baz's continued presence at Simon's side is not welcome and Simon feels destined to be unloved forever.
Simon steadfastly refuses to co-operate. He still has no idea that the Mage was his father. Agatha has evil memories and talks of her 'friends' in pejorative dismissive terms. Simon has long simmering anger. Baz faces deliberate enticement. One feels mounting certainty that Baz and Simon are doomed. Penelope has a loss of motivation due to a bastard boyfriend. Agatha needlessly alienated her 'friends'.
Vampires plot. There is pathos and frequent discord and erratic whims. Simon makes a defence of his choices. Answers remain tantalisingly out of reach. Simon does scarcely believable displays of childish petulance. This is enormously entertaining. Simon and Baz never has a bucolic romance. This is not as irrepresibly irreverent as 'Carry On'. Threats are specifically delivered.
Simon is the author of his own misfortune. Demonic evil and descent into collective paranoia and violent action feature. The roadtrip is not a reconcilation quest. Baz and Simon are divided by complex and insurmountable divisions. Agatha is manipulative and dishonest.
Weird nasty uncanny stuff is being plotted and the ill-fated ominious journey leads to prophecies of doom. Vampires are a lurking malevolent force. This an electrifying page turner. Dystopia is already here. Agatha draws adverse attention and the gang are accosted, assaulted and beset by a chaotic and violent series of events. Agatha forsoke her 'friends', allies reveal themselves to be enemies, Simon is an arch miserabilist and whatever is in the dark will come to light.
There are bitter disputes, lingering revelations and stated grievances. Agatha vehemently rejected her 'friends' but they still come to help her ungrateful ass. She has no grateful emotions. Simon has great regret and emotional pain. The cliffhanger is potentially worrying. There is no enforced reconcilation. Tensions are not quelled. Simon recalls his glorified past. This was very good.
“Literally nothing you say is helpful.”
“Does every vampire cult have headquarters?”
“Simon is no one you'd want to meet in a dark alley. Or a bright hallway.”
“Live in fear of nothing.”
“Isolationist boarding school.”
“Why would you live somewhere that seemed to be doing its best to tell you to go away?”
“It's worse than we ever thought to fear.”
“It's how we keep them out.”
“Nothing that would change my fate-”
“Said there were more of them. And Agatha thinks they really do have a lab in the desert. It's telling that not one of us suggested we go and find it. Not even Simon.”
The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman
In the 1930s, 2 witches are killed by fearful locals. Their story inspires a 1950s campfire urban legend. The legend becomes a cult 1970s grindhouse horror film and then a doomed 1990s meta remake and a finally a pompous true crime podcast.
The clever clogs author tries for meaningful meta about casting people as the villain and inflicting the same misery on others that they experienced leading to a cycle of hostility and fear. This was the fanciful, sordid, awful, increasingly improbable nadir.
This disastrous, hopeless 'novel' is ridiclious and badly written and sacrifices artistic credibility. You can't believe in it. It's inexplicable how a book so bad got published. It's calamitous and increasingly malign and full of fixed and false beliefs.
“Each four-by-seven-and-a-half-inch VHS cassette contained a different story, just waiting to be told,”
Vicky Peterwald: Dominator by Mike Shepherd
Sadly Shepherd has fallen prey to the dread self publishing bug. Cue a badly laid out, badly plotted, badly written, franchise killing tome.
“Paranoia ran strong in her family.”
“We Peterwalds were not liked.”