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Book Reviews: Minerva Wakes + A Stirring of Dust

Minerva Wakes by Holly Lisle
This 1994 fantasy sees harassed housewife and failed artist Minerva sucked into another realm. Her children and pet cat are in peril from monsters and her philandering opportunist failed writer husband is hanging out with a derogatory dragon. This middle of the road fantasy has way too much cute moppets in peril foisted on us as well as unsubtle musings on how Minvera and Darryl’s failing marriage will end the world. But this is still a perfectly serviceable comedic fantasy. The negatives on this book are that the subplot about Darryl being a murder suspect over his wife and children doesn’t develop the ugly potency it should. Also the characters have no capacity for intelligence, act irrationally and the imperilled moppets are volatile spoilt brats who spew hateful bile and are shrilly indignant at everything. Right to the end Darryl’s sleaze ball feckless acidulous underhanded moral bankruptcy is glossed over. He gets his family back via his lying dudebro smug pomposity and right to the very end he is still lying. He is sour, scathing, confrontational, flippant and without morals. He has a bankrupt moral vernacular and is a contemptible stooge who is one of the foulest creatures to walk the earth. Leaving aside Minerva’s poor taste in husband and bad child rearing, this is okay.

Best Lines:
“You have to be cold and efficient. I would be if Paula died.”
“So would I,”

“They think I killed them, he realized.”

“I still say he murdered all of them.”

“Nobody would call a place Weirds’ Hold unless it had Weirds in it, would they?”

Forever Knight: A Stirring of Dust by Susan Sizemore
This 1997 novel is set during the vampire cop show’s iffy third season. The terrible cover only makes things worse. Nick Knight has been a vampire since 1228 and is still whining about it. A cockney vampire is cockney. The annoying conquistador vampire has a pager. Natalie who so wants to be Nick’s human lover is a sycophantic hanger on. Urs is inextricably useless. LaCroix is an innovation desert. The big bad is a vampire named Radu who diatribes as he murders. This was boring. Nick is wilful and a bimbo named Tamara saturates the book. There are dated references to ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’, ‘Highlander’ and ‘Friends’. This was vociferously boring. There were two more novels based on the show, I’m sure they are better than this.

Best Lines:
“Wasn’t that the last thing you said to me? ‘Burn in hell you cursed bastard’.”
“I don’t recall swearing at you.”

“It’s a pity Radu’s meals persist in following him home.”

“Your humanity clings to you like a leper’s dead skin.”

“It was not the fashion for men to look and act like men in this place.”

“Our kind needs to retreat from civilization upon occasion. To find our prey without any fear of mortal retribution.”
“I doubt the local peasants see it that way.”

“He didn’t like the thought of rotting corpses walking. Corpses where supposed to stay where they were put.”

“The channel was invariably turned to the morbid rantings of the CERK disc jockey.”

“Hopefully put it down to whatever recreational substances they were currently abusing.”

“Nick Knight, the most hidebound European traditionalist Vachon had ever met.”
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