September 24th, 2015

To Light The Way To Bed

Book Reviews: The Summoner +To Dream in The City of Sorrows +Odyssey +10 Others

The Summoner: Book one of the Chronicles of the Necromancer by Gail Z. Martin
This promising series started out well and then just ended. It is full of standard fantasy tropes: an evil prince who does contemptible behaviour, a magic sword, particularly lurid rituals, goddess magic, mages and an exiled prince full of significant motivating factors and issues of principle plotting to take back the throne. But it is enjoyable and cosy and instead of being loudly unimpressed by the insubstantial plot and characters you enjoy the outrageous nocturnal goings on and look forward to the vacuous Tris taking on the taker, user and overall big minus Jared and his insidious and pervasive negative belief system.

The royal family of Margolan is un-normal. The heir Jared usurps the throne and shouts very aggressively after years of low level poor behaviour which was allowed to escalate. Jared is all about evil, ostentatious decadence and despising poor people. His younger half brother Tris knew his persistent negative thoughts about Jared were right and flees from Jared’s crude acquisitiveness and total disconnect from sanity. Who will stop Jared’s brutal injustices? Why Tris, his merry men and Tris’ suddenly discovered necromancer magic.

Jared sits on the throne displaying wilful nihilism and demanding narcissism. So Tris better get questing and master his powers, get a magic sword, meet his future wife with her out of touch moralising and become a true contender for the throne. The plot is facile and there is wilful ignorance of world building or originality but it is compulsively readable. Jared is so evil it borders on camp as he rejects accountability and does bad things with ferocity and creates unconscionable horror in one dimensional downright awful villain fashion.

Tris is a hero with friends who are a bunch of dude-bros with names that seem to come from Martin randomly mashing the keypad with her fist. They have stereotypical character traits. Everything is excruciatingly recognisable and clichéd down to the ‘romance’ and Tris’ dumb resignation to being manipulated by his dead witch grandmother and her conspiratorial stage whispering. Oddly the dead witch grandmother did nothing about the irrational, difficult, catastrophe of swaggering selfishness Jared.

The big brother on brother fight takes place in book 2; but one wonders if Jared became the dung of the devil due to rejection, abuse, neglect, isolation and being made increasingly unwelcome in his own castle by his personality free stepmother, spoilt brat half siblings and witch step grandmother. This is not relentlessly logical despite exposition dumps and originality being paid slight attention but it engrosses you.

Best Lines:
“All our spies report the same thing, that he murdered his family to seize the throne-”

“They fear you, but they do not hate you. Yet.”

“So we permitted people to believe.”

“We have gone to the crypts and summoned the spirits of my fathers, and once, we turned a demon.”

“I have helped grandmother with battle scryings.”

“Because I could not let him live had he chosen darkness.”

“Only a few in a generation receive the gift.”

“Never may you reanimate a corpse.”

“You father’s never allowed falcons at the table in the manor,

“With a nervous glance and a sign of warding.”

“Hoped it was a sign Jared was growing out of his brawls and wenching.”

Babylon 5 #9: To Dream in The City of Sorrows by Kathryn M. Drennan
This 1997 novel ties up various plot threads concerning Sinclair, Marcus, Catherine Sakai and the Rangers. Unfortunately it is done in dull, derisory fashion to non-negligible effect. It’s too niche and leaves one unimpressed by the motiveless Shadows and the creepy cult like Rangers. I don’t care about the White Star ships or the Minbari and their assumed inherent superiority.

Best Lines:
“And can never return.”

“You had a rather peculiar way of showing it.”

“Stay close to the Vorlorn and watch out for shadows. They move when you’re not looking.”

Quantum Leap: Odyssey by Barbara E. Walton
This 1995 novel is another in the long line of inept novels like ‘Angels Unaware’, ‘Foreknowledge’, ‘Heatwave’, ‘Independence’, ‘Obsessions’, ‘Song and Dance’, ‘The Wall’, ‘The Beginning’, ‘Too Close For Comfort’, ‘Millennium’, ‘Carny Knowledge’, ‘The Ghost and the Gumshoe’, ‘Prelude’, ‘Random Measures’ and ‘Pulitzer’. Sam leaps into a tween boy in 1983 and has to save a gifted students programme from being shut down. Sam is rude to Al and Al dresses like a colour blind pimp. There is classism, selfishness and the rural poor need Sam’s help. This is a hateful experience.

Best Line:
“I didn’t wind up running a drug ring and neither did any of my friends.”

Babylon 5: Thirdspace by Peter David
An inept novelisation.

Babylon 5: Legions of Fire 1: The Long Night of Centauri Prime by Peter David
Terrible Londo novel.

Babylon 5: The PSI Corps Trilogy 1: Dark Genesis by J. Gregory Keyes
A dense tale of the origin of the PSI Corps and the origins of Bester and Lyta Alexander. This was dull.

Babylon 5: The Passing of the Techno-Mages Book 1: Casting Shadows by Jeanne Cavelos
A dull tale about the techno-mages and Galen.

Babylon 5: The Passing of the Techno-Mages Book 2: Summoning Light by Jeanne Cavelos
This 2001 novel is a dull, padding filled tale of techno-mages, Galen’s endless manpain and the big reveal of the source of the techno-mages ‘magic’. Matthew Gideon makes a cameo.

Best Lines:
“That was what they all were.”

“You’re a strange difficult person.”

“There is no excuse and no forgiveness.”

“Agents of chaos who would bring death and destruction wherever they went.”

“I have no message from God. He says he wants no part of you.”

“With luck, you will never see our kind again in your lifetime.”

Babylon 5 #1: Voices by John Vornholt
This 1995 novel sees Talia Winters in trouble. Dull.

Babylon 5 #2: Accusations by Lois Tilton
This 1995 novel sees Susan Ivanova in trouble and has the exact same dull plot as ‘Voices’.

Babylon 5 #7: The Shadow Within by Jeanne Cavelos
This 1997 tale of Anna Sheridan and Morden on the IPX expedition to Z’ha’dum is full of padding and is sour and unsatisfactory.

Babylon 5 #4: Clark’s Law by Jim Mortimore
This 1995 novel is incoherent with no lasting repercussions.

Hollywood Wives (1983)
This expose is an okay tale of the rich and famous up to no good.
Scary Books

Queen of Swords (2000 - 2001) 1x13 + CSI 15x12 Reviewed

Barnardo a man from Vera’s past kidnaps her. Don Gaspar her husband needs to raise a ransom. Vera and Grisham have sexy times and somehow she isn’t pregnant. Vera bends over, has a spray tan and bleached hair and is a useless load. Grisham and Montoya continue their weird homosocial bonding rituals. There is bad acting. Tessa ‘faints’ and there is unnecessary hostility. This was profoundly unfortunately bad. It was full of malaise, decay and unwelcoming manners. There is not one vestige of grandeur as people think too highly of themselves and their feelings. There is an inescapable past, smug expressions and ruined lives.

Best Lines:
“A husband is forever.”

“What a surprise to find you in bed.”

“Never to own. Always to rent.”

Dead Woods
Where is Sara’s lover who looks like a hipster’s ghost? Sara spews hoots of derision and has totally unconvincing flashbacks. A 10 year old murder/suicide case is re-opened. Ben Browder guest stars and can’t act. There is a reveal and a pitiful unkempt spurned suspect. I had cautious hope that this would be okay but no, it was terrible. It is all boredom and discontinuity that leaves one befuddled. CSI techs issue despotic orders and run the police force. This is not cohesive or coordinated. Sara doubts her mother. There is BAD acting.

Best Lines:
“Urine, booze and years without a shower.”

“Wiped out the whole family.”

“Long term storage.”

“That’s what she says.”

“Maybe that lie caught up with her.”

“Go prove it.”

“It’s Lorde; I’ll pick you up at 7.”
Scary Books

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Jessica Jones’ teaser
So very very purple.

‘Blindspot’ trailer
Lady Sif, tattoos, Kurt Weller and a mystery. Looks okay.

Best Line:
“Commencing manual inspection.”

‘Days of our Lives’ 50th anniversary promo
Tacky jewels, abductions, a serial killer, Andre, Hope looks dreadful and every man has a beard.

Lemons & Limes Juicy Water - okay.

I will review ‘The Secret Fire’, ’Blindspot’ and ‘Scream Queens’.

Unum alterum ita fare non memini re audisse dilixisse (Truly, none remember hearing of a man enjoying another so much)

I am recalling more old UK comic stories: ‘Force of Evil’ in which the UK is invaded by the Sin Pact and a girl’s father becomes their mouthpiece. So everyone hates their family and calls them traitors. She faces down the accusative faces. In ‘The Blind Ballerina’ Carol goes blind but still dances. ‘The Truth About Tricia’ was about Tricia who fakes being blind to push a girl out of her family and steal her place. And in ‘The Locked Room’ a girl’s family act cold and stilted because they’ve been replaced by aliens!

‘The Guardian’ Quotes:
“What I know now were people.”

“Run, and don’t look back.”

“So large it could be detected by satellites in space.”

“Very violent jail.”

“Scary intensity of therapy speak.”

“The fairy-lit lens of a lifestyle mag.”

“Intelligent and compassionate.”

“Increasingly anomalous.”


“A false impression of reciprocal insult.”

“A face like a nutcracker.”

“Fascinated disgust.”

“Free from bourgeois notions like respect for the dead.”

“Unprintable unpleasantness.”

“The pre-literate world of northern Europe.”

“Their fastness on Skellig Michael is now a Jedi training school.”

“Speed-laced jelly.”

“Their rules are simple - there are none.”

“What was meant to look like louche décor.”

“Not-terribly-debauched public schoolboys’ idea of debauchery.”

“Twice as likely to hide in the toilets at work.”

“Mum couldn’t afford to cook for me.”

“Overweaning statism.”

“Frabjous day!”

“The pulled pork issue.”

“Living on the periphery of glamour.”

“Spend, breed and cook.”

“Truancy, smoking and mocking the local flasher.”

“Profitably adverse, publicity.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Harsh classification.”


“Mindless eating.”

“Perpetrating and victimising.”


“Who I have never forgiven and never will.”

“Polite English noises.”

“Scorching critiques.”

“I regarded it as a declinable offer.”

‘News’ Quote:
“You can squeeze him.”

‘The Hills’ Quote:
“Yell over her.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“He is absolutely wrong.”

“It sounds monstrous.”

“More sinister than it was.”

“All I want is my truth.”

“End up like him.”

“You did that, why?”

“Since arraignment court.”

“Really stupid to lie.”

“That’s bothersome to you?”

“Cause him discomfort.”

“Dealing with dumb people.”

“This is inconvenient for me.”

“Why aren’t you over it yet?”

“Never offered me any truth.”

“The computer said so.”

“Computer man.”

“Do your crap on it.”

“Huger than huge.”

“Since 1996.”

“I’m not cheating on my wife right now.”

“Let’s move on.”

“Material difference in the grand scheme of things.”

“Something so disgusting to me.”

“Sex affairs.”

On ‘Neighbours’: Lauren whines about the consequences of her actions. Naomi says she’ll marry Paul. Josh is on Brad’s side. Paige yells at Terese. Brad won’t stop slobbering over Lauren. Paige cheerleads adultery. Lauren claims she loved Matt. Brad won’t apologise and moves out. Naomi is a butterball and keeps holding things in front of her belly - the actress is obviously pregnant. Lauren whines. Imogen shrieks. Lauren wants Brad and chases him. Brad won’t stop being an arse.

Imogen cries and mentions Piper. Josh wants to be with Brad and badmouths his mother. Leaden dog Brad doesn’t want Josh. Lauren follows Brad and badmouths Terese. Brad apologises to Lauren. There is bad acting. Brad and Lauren are abhorrent. The appalling, loutish, offensive, obnoxious loser Brad and Lauren gloat over his ruined marriage. Tyler punches his dad and will end up working for food. Bumbling moron Josh is a selfish pestilence. No-one listens to Tyler’s whining until they do. Imogen warns Lauren off. Monument to tack Brad puts Lauren first as they make plans to be together. Josh has to go home. Brennan will not stop shoving his nose into other people’s business. Grim sullen silence is needed.

Best Lines:
“The entire thing was calculated.”

“Indulging Lauren for months.”

“You’ve decided to be with her?”

“You’ve got what you wanted. Brad’s moved out.”

“Planning from the start to steal my husband.”

“He threw out our marriage.”

“Stay away from my dad!”

“He left us.”

“Old and out of it.”

“She drove you to it.”

“Scarlet woman on the street.”

“An apology of any kind.”

“Typical Tyler.”

“He has to be told.”

“He may choose her over mum.”

“He is my problem.”

“I got him first.”

“You actually enjoy hurting her!”

“Fun bus has reached its final stop.”

On ‘Hollyoaks’: Cleo doesn’t check the recycle bin for her deleted essay. Reenie and Pete’s behaviour goes unchallenged. Nana is thick. John-Paul manhandles Porsche. It is revealed that Nana, Reenie and Porsche are repeating generational denied abuse involving horrible boyfriends. There is no doubt as to the sequence of events. Porsche’s breasts seem bigger. TPTB make Porsche stupid and unsympathetic. The seriousness of the McQueen screwups is revealed when Reenie tells Nana that Derek raped her. Nana defies sense by more or less laughing. This makes a change from the usual paltry plotlines. Nana is recalcitrant and very uncertain. The McQueen family isn’t well functioning. Nana looks malicious and grimly rote. Reenie overacts. Nana claws and backbites. John-Paul is flabby filler. Reenie does edginess, full body grimaces and is depressing. So much for the McQueens and their consequence free promiscuity. Who is Kathleen?

Pete and Cleo wander around the school after hours. Their plotline does not beget interest. Cleo makes people uneasy with her scepticism, antagonism and severe ‘morality’. Reenie does a lot of crying and there is a significant critical incident. The McQueens are not wholesomely poor. Nana finally obligingly listens. Reenie reveals she does love Porsche and that she was fathered by Derek. Reenie and Nana bond. Porsche forgives John-Paul and no one at all wonders about Porsche and Pete. Where is Grace? Why is Ste not going after Sinead for custodial interference? Derek’s dead. Diane is sick. Ziggy broods. Porsche has forgiven John-Paul.

Nana freaks. Esther resurfaces and is friends with Scott for some reason. Scott steals Sinead’s red wedding dress. Pete drives a white van - of course he does. Esther suggests a gay pride parade. Nana berates Porsche. Cleo and Porsche are unsympathetic. Ziggy is so insecure in his manhood that he visits Cameron in jail. Jack instructs Peri on childcare. Reenie drinks. Leela is stupid. Tegan looks like a fat cheap stripper whilst screeching and hooting. Where is John-Paul’s son? Tegan coos over Rose. Ziggy gives up on Leela. Cleo is dumb. Scott plays Tony. Nobody has any moral outrage over Scott and they just appease him.

Best Lines:
“Why should I?”

“I’ll criminally damage you!”

“The only good thing I’ve got!”
“Too good for you!”

“How sorry were you then?”

“In for it!”

“A genius at hiding it.”

“My own mum, not believing me.”

“There’s always secrets mum.”

“You were never a victim!”

“I would have known!”

“Like a survival supermarket.”

“Little street rat.”

“She makes me feel so worthless.”

“Ball of angry crying.”

“Her dad was a wrong un.”

“What have I done to you and Porsche?”

“Feet under the table again.”

“Let this be an end to it.”

“She’s not seeing her!”

“I just don’t love you.”