Mary Whitehouse and the ‘Man’

So I haven’t been feeling like writing ‘Troped!’ lately, didn’t want to put up a new Book Commentary so soon, and have been kind of stuck on what else I could do, but some things have happened in the wonderful world of Twitter hashtag campaigns that I thought you should all hear my thoughts on, since I’m such an important person and all, and I decided to write some shit about that instead.

I was thinking of starting a new segment where I spork SJW diatribes once a week or something though. Could be fun.

Anyway, I hate SJWs as much as the next misogynist neckbeard shitlord who neither hates women nor sports any kind of facial hair (as for being a shitlord, I’m not even really sure what that covers), but you know—I’m starting to feel like they’re not the real enemy.

There will always be moral guardians. The morals may change from guardian to guardian but that ‘Grr—must. Guard. Morals!’ mindset is simply the natural state of some assholes. But you know the saying ‘the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good to do nothing’? Well, in this case it’s not entirely true. If ‘good’, or those who I imagine we would like to see as ‘good’, had done nothing, I would have been absolutely fine.

However, in this case, ‘the only thing needed for evil to triumph, is for good to cave in to evil’s demands like a bunch of little bitches’. (No! I used the word ‘bitch!’ Curse you, miso-canid-y (a word I just made up to describe hatred of dogs) Curse yooooooooou!) You probably know who I’m talking about in this instance. DC Comics, and Lionhead Studios.

They’ve been the most recent anyway, but I have my criticisms for Marvel too, not to mention how this goes beyond the world of fiction into the realms of Shirtstorm and mandatory conference Jazz Hands.

So, what am I going on about?

Well, for those of you who don’t know, the Joker—of Batman fame—is having his 75th anniversary this year, and to celebrate DC came up with a bunch of alternative covers for issues of their current titles featuring the Joker in one way or another. One alternate cover set to be used on an issue of Batgirl depicted the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl restrained by the Joker at knifepoint with him trying to pull one corner of her mouth into a smile and her crying; a reference to Alan Moore’s ‘The Killing Joke’, one of the most famous Batman—and indeed all time—comics ever created.

I mean, I’m hardly a comics buff, but even I have that one on my kindle. It’s a very dark story, in which the Joker pops up at the Gordon home, shoots Barbara in the spine and abducts her father, and later shows him photos of her bleeding on the floor with her clothes taken off.

(N.B. Alan Moore has stated outright the Barbara was not raped by the Joker.)

(Though some will still insist she was… because apparently Alan Moore doesn’t really know what happens in his own stories? I don’t know…)

But, the usual crowd rallied round to protest the use of the cover on the grounds of it glorifying violence against women… somehow… (when I think comic book role-models for young men, my mind always goes to the Joker!) and of course because it was inappropriate for children who might see the cover. Can’t forget the nod to Mother Mary now, can we?

Apparently, death threats were sent to some of these noble warriors, which prompted the artist to ask DC to pull the cover, and DC agreed. Because that would help… somehow…

I don’t know if these were proper death threats or just idiots on Twitter, and though experience has taught me to expect the latter, I will for the sake of argument assume the former. But why would that induce DC to pull the cover? What does that have to do with whether the cover is appropriate or not? I’ve heard people say, ‘well, they saw that those who supported the cover were also the type of people to send death threats and therefore all those who supported the cover were wrong, and the cover was wrong and it was right to pull it!’

Thanks, but did you also know that Hitler Ate Sugar? And therefore sugar is evil, and all who eat it must be ostracised from society? Look it up on TV Tropes if you don’t believe me.

No, DC, and the artist of the cover specifically, caved to the demands of a bunch of whiny, dogma-spouting moral guardians just to shut them up, because they’d rather invite more death threats than have to listen to their bitching.

And a similar thing happened only a few days ago when Lionhead Studios tweeted an image from one of their games of a woman with huge… tracts of land to celebrate National Cleavage Day, resulting in them being whined at by moral guardians until they deleted the tweet.

Who should us shitlords and shitladies really be angry at in these cases?

The social justice stormtroopers who stood on the street-corner soapboxes of Twitter and yelled furiously at their imaginary enemies with rhetoric that with a few words changes could have easily fit in on one of those Christian Family media-watch websites so they could pretend they were fighting for truth, justice, and the American way?

Or the artists and creators who by this point know full well that Mary Whitehouse is alive and shaking her angry fists on Twitter and Tumblr on a scale she never enjoyed back in ye olde pre-internet days, and should also have known that anything and everything will set her off (see also: the great Spiderwoman’s Ass debacle of 2014), yet went ahead with the Joker variant cover or the ‘Jugs’ tweet anyway? And if they didn’t think that their art and freedom of expression was worth inciting such a rage, then it’s almost as if they wanted to stir up controversy.

Because if that wasn’t what they were aiming for, then they’re idiots. Idiots, or they’re cowards, and in my opinion they’re probably both.

You don’t thoughtlessly put out stuff you’re not willing to stand beside. You certainly don’t put out stuff you apparently are willing to stand beside, but won’t, because you’re afraid of the criticisms of the Tumblr crowd. If you’re afraid of criticism, you face your fucking fears, or you find something else to spend your time on, because there are morons out there who will take you to task for the fucking stupidest of reasons, and if you’re willing to stand up to Jack Thompson and that stupid Comics Code of Whatever then you shouldn’t have had any problems letting the ravings of the Mary-Sue and Brianna Wu roll off your back.

I mean, shit—I’m on the verge of completing a book set in twelve different countries across the world with three different protagonists of different races, you don’t think that—in the unlikely event that I sell any copies of it—I haven’t prepared to defend it?

Sure, that defence will hopefully be composed mostly of me completely ignoring any ‘mean’ things said about it; maybe giving a ‘I see no merit to any of their critiques’ (in the sense of SJW critiques, I’m not going to dispute it if I get some fact or other demonstrably wrong, though I’m taking pains to avoid that) but I plan to stand by my work, and if I wasn’t willing to do that then I wouldn’t be putting it out there.

I say this because you also have to be careful about what you say in defence of your work. SJWs, for one, will only see you as digging yourself in deeper, but you also risk looking like a complete idiot if you throw a fucking tantrum over it—see also, the new Thor comic.

Some people just have a different mindset to others. I learned that again after I looked at those infamous new Thor panels—the ones where the writer puts some of the criticisms levelled at them by those who didn’t want a female Thor into the mouth of a small-time villain and had Nu!Thor beat them up. I thought it was kind of understood it the writing world that you never, ever did that. Never put your personal grudges into your work as strawmen, it’s a petty fucking act of a petty person.

(Well, it did work that one time—Catullus’ Carmen 16. Though that probably has to go back onto the censored pile for all the triggering content now…)

But it seems that’s how these people see writing. ‘I don’t like anti-feminists, so I’m going to make my villain an anti-feminist, therefore if you’ve made your villain gay/black/muslim it must mean you don’t like gay/black/muslim people!’ Cue Twitter hashtag campaign to ban said character. Everything has to be a statement about something else, and even when a cigar is just a cigar, it’s actually a penis that’s probably used to rape women. No. In my opinion, you can believe in ‘death of the author’ if you like, but if the author’s dead, then they can’t be a misogynist, can they?

Anyway, I guess my point is that big companies like DC and Lionhead shouldn’t be caving into Mary Whitehouse’s delicate sensibilities, whether she’s wearing the mask of traditionalism or the mask of social justice. Nor should those outside the entertainment industry, such as universities. (you can really appreciate the priorities of modern day feminists when you see that these are the two most frequent targets of their vitriol).

They only have the power you give them, and right now you’re giving it to them in spades.

And as for you, Mother Mary—

“Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.”

Writing with a Point

Okay, so the truth is for the past month I’ve been focusing on finishing ‘The Ritual of DUELS’, and haven’t been paying attention to this blog. November was taken up by NaNo, and the three months in between that I was on a secret mission from the government to extract the intelligence the worldwide Zionist conspiracy was keeping concerning the upcoming invasion of our planet from the Giant Platypus Collective in Universe #119.

All of the above statements are 100% true.

So I was wondering what I could post for your enjoyment to make it up, and I realised I hadn’t displayed any samples of ‘The Points’ yet.

This is an interesting one; because it was written by me, and everything I write is interesting. But also because, as per the ‘choose your own adventure’ format, the writing is in 2nd person. Most 2nd person stuff I’ve read makes the ‘you’ character as vague as possible, so they don’t run the risk of having the reader say ‘I do this? But I wouldn’t do this!’. However, in this case my POV character is extremely un-vague. The idea is that I, the narrator, am like a little voice in the character’s head, narrating his life for him as he goes about his business, and it’s the reader’s job to decide which of the many alternate universes this character exists in that they want to see. Alternate universes play a big part in the plot. It’s also in present tense, which I usually hate, but it works sometimes.

So this is an example of a single page of the story with the choices at the end, just to give you an idea roughly of how it would work. I present: Page 4C

*~*~*

Christ. It’s not like you can’t hold more than one thought in your head, but a murder, a missing cousin, problems with Dixon, the anniversary, your situation, and now whatever it is Mia wants is beginning to really annoy you. Given this is Mia, it could probably be anything from a link to a dancing cat video on YouTube to a confession that she’s dying of an incurable disease.

Turns out it’s somewhere in the middle.

Hey, E—got 2 go 2 da Caymans nd c da boss coz K.H. got killd last nite! D: Cn u take da spawn 4 a few days? Shes wif yoyo. Gonna b on a plane from 9 ’til idk so u probs cant reach me, sorry ): xoxo

You squint at your phone as if there was actually some sense within that gibberish. She wants you to take Peri for a few days, fine, you understand that, but who the hell is K.H. and what does she mean he was ‘killd’?

Not expecting much, you put the terms (adding the appropriate ‘e’ into ‘killed’) into Google to see what comes up and to your surprise the answer is there right away. Apparently a banker named Konrad Haeckel was murdered last night, two days after being found ‘not guilty’ of the massive corporate fraud he had undeniably committed. You don’t pay much attention to national news, but you’re pretty sure the name rings a bell.

If Mia’s company was involved with Haeckel somehow you can understand how an impromptu trip to the Caymans to sort shit out might have been warranted. But it’s going to be a bitch to drive all the way down to Anaconda and back up the Nine Mile Road to the nowhere that you call home, and you don’t have anything for Peri to eat. You hope Mia had the time to pack her a bag before she dropped her off at ‘Yoyo’s’, you can’t remember what the clothes situation is at your house, and if she doesn’t have her Nintendo she’s going to raise a fuss.

At least you’re supposedly on leave, so you have some leeway when it comes to arranging things with her. If any of your cases get serious you can always ask Hope to look after her; Peri gets along well with Mickey’s brats.

You decide to try to get Mia on her cell nonetheless and are just about to close the Google page displaying the results for Haeckel’s murder when a name in the article catches your eye.

‘…leading investigator on the case, Isambard Johansson…

Johansson is leading this case? Does that mean anything?

It’s a little worrying. Johansson is also investigating Lake Emerson, which is deeply connected to your past, and now he’ll have another case on his desk that’s connected to the mother of your child. Even if it is a coincidence, would he assume that or is he going to start an investigation?

No, that’s ridiculous. How could the two cases be connected anyway, through you and Mia or anything else besides?

You’re not surprised to find you can’t get Mia by cell, and when you call Beauman with an update she lets you go so you can pick up Peri. Frankly you think Dixon and the dead guy with the glass eye are more important—it’s not as if Mia’s former college roommate is going to eat your daughter if you don’t get there within the next few hours—but Beauman calls you a ‘deadbeat’ and hangs up so you assume she’s expecting you to go straight to Anaconda as soon as you’ve passed the warehouse.

The ‘warehouse’—not so much of a warehouse as it is a huge cabin where George Dixon stockpiles weapons in preparation for the day the bogeyman comes to tell him he can’t have any more weapons—is an hour’s drive into Lolo National Forest. If Dixon and the others had all been there they’d have been visible from the road, and they’re not, so that was a waste of time.

It’s now one-thirty, and it’s going to take hours to get to Anaconda. Without thinking, you call Mickey for an update, wincing as you put your cell to your ear while driving once again.

“Lusnot—Luskonitkov,” Mickey answers.

You blink. “Did you just momentarily forget your own name, Luskonitkov?”

“Suck it, Jones. How were things with the feds?”

“Terrible. How’s our murder vic.?”

“Oh, Jesus.” He sounds slightly traumatised. “When we lifted up the body there was this fancy-schmancy bracelet underneath. ‘See that guy Evie knows’, says Beauman. ‘what’s it, McIntosh? Yeah, go see him’.”

Mickey has been to see Luciano McIntosh? That’s pretty funny.

“So I go see this guy. Jesus Christ, Evie. Just… what is he, an alien? And I’m not talking other country alien, that was obvious enough even if it was a bit schizophrenic as to whether he was a Scot or Italian, no—I’m talking E.T. extra terrestrial no-way-is-this-guy-for-real alien!”

“He’s not so bad.”

“The ‘stache alone should disqualify him from the species, is all I’m saying.”

“I’m sure he was more afraid of you than you were of him.”

“Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means ‘tell me if we have any leads, Luskonitkov’.”

There’s a bored noise on the other end of the line. “Chen says it’s like we thought with the body, killed either with a sword or some other kind of massive blade, at least thirty inches, maybe more.”

Lunatics with swords running around Missoula. Maybe you should see if Yoyo can hold on to Peri until Mia gets back.

Mickey continues—

“CCTV confirms what the witness already told us—no licence plates. Came in from the north and drove south.”

“The north?” you repeat, because there’s not much up there but forest until you get to Canada.

“Yeah, we’re having the local patrols make inquiries and Beauman’s got the Canucks on the line. Don’t think whoever it was crossed the border recently, at least not legally.”

Still—it could be drug related. Some of those kingpins can get weird if they think someone’s messed around with them, you wouldn’t exclude the possibility that swords would be drawn.

“What about the bracelet?” you ask.

“Well, your friend seemed to think it was the One Bracelet of Power, the way he was looking at it. I was surprised he didn’t chuck it into the fire and make magic words appear. Apparently it’s vintage Victorian, but really weird—it’s got one of those cameo portraits only with the chick facing forward instead of in profile, and all scarred up. McIntosh said it was probably based on a real woman—says if it was ever insured here or in the UK, he can track it.”

“And we might get an ID on our guy?”

“Prints aren’t in the system. It’d be quicker than blood or dentals.”

Don’t you know it. You’d like to talk to McIntosh, if you get the chance.

“What about the eye?”

“According to Chen, that’s the weirdest thing, ’cause he doesn’t think it can be tracked.”

That does seem weird. You let Mickey elaborate.

“Wasn’t made by a licensed maker, ‘s what he says. Professional, yes. Modern, almost certainly. But why anyone would want a black market glass eye…”

“Gives the impression that for whatever reason he didn’t want to go to a hospital,” you muse. “Again, could be drugs. When we start with Missing Persons, we should check over the border as well.”

“So you’re not being swept away to Lake Emerson by the FBI?”

“Not today.”

Definitely not until Mia gets back either. Which reminds you—

“Do you think Hope is available over the next few days? Mia’s had to go to the Caymans due to some banker being murdered, so I’ve got Peri, but I’m not sure how free my schedule will be.”

“Shit, the Haeckel guy? That’s all over the news, you should have asked the feds about it.”

“That would have meant talking to them for longer than I had to.”

“Yeah, well it was creepy shit, man; the guy who did it waited ’til the whole family was there, told the guy to say his goodbyes, told the mother if she tried to cover her kids’ eyes he’d shoot her too, and recorded the whole thing. Fucking crazy—not that I’ve got any sympathy for bankers, but to do it in front of the kids like that…”

You don’t really see what this has to do with anything. It feels like gossip.

“Speaking of,” you cut in, “I’ve got to drive down to Anaconda and I’m about to hit the main road, so I should get off the phone. Call me if anything comes up.”

“Will do, Evie. Drive safe—I’ll ask Hope if she’s got time, I can’t imagine she doesn’t, that fucking professional nerd sure seems to make enough money for her to do what she wants.”

Bye, Loskunitkov.”

“Later.”

He hangs up. You feel a little sorry for him, and Hope isn’t exactly your favourite person in the world for dropping him, but it was hardy her new video-game designing husband’s fault, and you know for a fact Mickey used to own several of his games before he started seeing Hope.

Things are different with you and Mia. Mia always has to be different.

You send her a text saying you hope everything is okay and make sure it’s punctuated correctly—a hint, even though you’re pretty sure she’ll never change. Then you look out at the road ahead of you.

Do you…

[A] Drive back to city centre to pick some things up for Peri so you can stop by McIntosh’s and see how he’s getting on with the tracking?

[B] Go straight to Anaconda and see if Peri needs anything on the way back?

Starcrossed: Off-Page Exposition (Part II)

PART TWO

Chapter Eleven.

Halfway mark at last!

We start the second half of the book with some good old misunderstanding!Wangst, and then Helen suddenly realises that Cassandra can tell the future—Cassandra Cullen, not the mythical Cassandra because that’s too obvious even for Helen.

Remember Cassandra? She’s… a character in the book. Helen is now apparently afraid of her because of reasons, and it seems these are actually good reasons, as Cassandra abruptly tries to kill her; during which time Helen takes the Evie-from-Inescapable approach to oncoming death and does sod all.

Unfortunately it seems that Cassandra was just testing a theory she had that Helen would be un-killable, and her theory was correct. Yay.

The Cullens take turns trying to kill Helen and sadly they all fail. Lucas sees Hector make his attempt and attacks him because misunderstandings are the best, and everyone complains to Cassandra for not telling them about this before hand, to which Cassandra tells them to get da fuk out.

Except Helen, who she calls ‘the bravest thing I’ve ever seen’. Bleugh.

Also Helen has lightning powers people forgot to tell her about. She just gets more special every day!

Then Helen and Lucas fight, she has a weird dream, more HIGH SCHOOL bullshit… and Creon has a POV to remind everyone that he’s the villain.

Chapter Twelve

Helen figures that writing on mirrors will help with her visions of stuff. It doesn’t.

Then she figures that training is pointless, since she’s un-killable and all, so she tells Hector to get da fuk out, but Hector tells her that all those training montages need to actually have a point in the story, and they fight. She breaks his arm, he somehow catches her anyway and drags her off under the sea.

It turns out being a sea monster is another of the super special powers the Cullens have, and almost drowning convinces Helen to go back to training. It seems she can be killed by water, then.

Helen decides to fly to Claire’s house to let her know about all the magic powers and shit. Claire reacts with no surprise whatsoever and a bunch of bad vampire jokes. What a tense moment! Claire also reveals that she’s known Helen could fly since they were kids and she pushed Helen off a roof.

Okay…

Then Creon attacks her. Ooh, something actually happening! But it goes nowhere of course; Lucas shows up and saves her. Yay.

Then Claire reveals she knew about Helen being unkillable too, because of all the other times she tried to kill her!

I think Claire is my new favourite character…

Also, Helen killed a supposed child molester when she was young and no one noticed except Claire, because they were all morons. Claire remained friends with her though, because apparently Claire is Japanese, and all the other people on the island they live on are racist. Or something?

Claire gets taken into Cullen protective custody, and Twu Wuv ensues between Lucas and Helen…

Chapter Thirteen

Well, Creon has been waiting outside the whole time, and is now in lust with Helen because of how super-special-awesome she is. His mum calls him up to ask how things are going, and on being told of Helen, and her super-special-awesomeness, says Creon must come back now to talk to Uncle Tantalus! OMG! Wot cood dis meen?!

The rest of the chapter is boring and pointless.

Chapter Fourteen

Wow, this book has really long chapters… Anyway, more boring pointlessness ensues, such as Lucas being jealous for no reason, Helen being worried about Zach (remember him? I don’t.) telling everyone she can fly even though he has no evidence, more lightning powers and the terrible fact that Helen may have to quit track!

Then we find out that Helen’s mother put a perception filter on her special necklace of specialness, so everyone sees something different when they look at it. It turns out this is some special gadget of Aphrodite’s, called a ‘cestus’, and that’s what makes Helen unkillable.

Also Cassandra will never fall in love because of the Fates, what a drag. Those Fates, huh? They suck and stuff. Who’s Cassandra again?

Anyway, Noel finds out about the cestus (who’s she again? Oh, right, Lucas’ mother. May as well call her Esme) and warns everyone that this could restart the Trojan war… somehow. And Lucas’ name should have been Paris. What a twist.

Chapter Fifteen

Ah, three quarters done, whoop dee shit.

Well, after another boring vision Helen stops to wangst about the girls at school who want to know whether she and Lucas are over or not—”vultures… circling… hoping to be the first to land on one or the other of the carcasses.”

One or the other? Does that mean that the local girls don’t really care whether its Lucas or Helen they get? Hmm. Wouldn’t have thought so many of them were out, what with the island’s apparently low tolerance of other races.

Meanwhile, Creon dumps some exposition about his meeting with his father—not like we would have wanted to see that for ourselves or anything—and he’s plotting to…

Enough of that! Time for more boring training montages!

Then Helen and Lucas decide they don’t care about that whole re-starting the Trojan war thing—they’re in WUV! Not that I’d care either, the whole thing is ridiculous, but these dumbasses actually do believe in it and are willing to run away together anyway so yeah.

Helen asks hypothetically whether Lucas would still want her if she wasn’t a virgin, and he says sure he would—but he’d have to go out and murder her previous lover(s). What a guy!

Then Helen’s mum shows up and kidnaps her.

The Cullens figure out that whoever took her wasn’t working for Creon due to Cassandra’s visions, and Hector feels like it’s all his fault for dumb reasons. This makes Lucas want ‘to rip Hector’s face off’. What a guy! He spends the rest of the day looking for Helen, even though there’s a massive storm out, and unfortunately doesn’t die.

Meanwhile, Helen’s mother Daphne does some shape-shifting, and promises to explain everything.

Ooh, I hope this results in lots of exposition!

Chapter Sixteen

Before exposition, we must get through some padding! The Cullens wander around aimlessly. That’s about it.

Then Helen calls them up to say she and Daphne are getting da fuk out because of reasons. It seems the exposition I was expecting happened off-page.

Off-page exposition, people.

OFF-PAGE EXPOSITION!

Because Lucas has lie-detector abilities, he knows she’s telling the truth when she says she’s not being coerced. Pallas wants to go out and avenge Ajax, but Cassandra gets possessed by the Fates, who tell him he’s not an important enough character to actually do anything in the story, and it’ll have to be Lucas. Sorry, Pallas!

Wait, isn’t Pallas a girl’s name?

Chapter Seventeen

Wow, that was a brief chapter. Relatively speaking.

Creon’s back to doing what he does best and spying on people, he overhears the entire conversation and …

Apparently that’s enough of Creon. We rejoin Helen and Daphne to find that Helen has now gained shape-shifting abilities as well. Super. More padding ensues, pad, pad, pad… Helen’s father isn’t really her father—yeah, saw that one coming, nice that it was revealed off-page.

Anyway Lucas shows up and can see through Helen’s disguise because of the power of wuv. Exposition explodes exponentially, exactly as I expected. Daphne says the young wuvvers must be parted, but is then told that Cassandra made a prophecy that they wouldn’t be parted, and is like ‘oh, okay, brah. Whatevs.’

Then Creon shows up and the wackiness begins; the useless friend characters are injured, shit gets real. Real boring. They run away and nothing happens, basically. Oh, then Daphne reveals that it was Uncle Tantalus who killed Ajax, not her, because of the whole dumb Furies/Trojan War shit that makes no sense.

Stupid prophecies ensue, it turns out none of the other Houses are really extinct, because they need to show up in the sequels, it was all just a big misunderstanding, blah, blah, blah. Helen and Lucas can’t be together because they’re cousins, so sad. Yawn. Wait, they wanted to be together even when they thought it might destroy the world, but now they find out they’re related it’s no dice? What a pair of assholes!

Nice how Helen is expositing stuff she heard earlier in an off-page exposition dump! There’s a new one.

Chapter Eighteen

Creon has a POV to show that he still exists, and is so the ineffectual villain for this book, damn it! Then he flashbacks to his own off-page exposition, in which Daddy Tantalus gave him a mission to kill Daphne, whoop-dee-doo, Creon, I’m rooting for you—if only because the main characters are all so annoying.

Meanwhile, there’s some more filler for us, Helen writes a note to her dad to explain that he’s no longer important enough to be a character in the book, and Daphne gets kidnapped!

Well, it looks like Pandora is evil.

Wait, who’s Pandora again?

Daphne tells Pandora that Helen really isn’t Ajax’s kid after all, because cousin incest is icky. Luckily, Daphne is able to use her power to get Creon to kill Pandora, though she says she didn’t. Hector shows up to go after him, and Helen’s followed him. Then Hector kills Creon, how exciting, only it really isn’t.

Lucas shows up to kill Hector for being a kinslayer, (wouldn’t that make him a kinslayer too?) but Helen and Daphne protect him and the incredibly lacklustre conclusion to ‘Starcrossed’ is at an end.

Chapter Nineteen

Well, it’s time for the wrap-up. Some bullshit is spoken, Daphne acts offended when as far as I can tell, she’s the cause of all this, and then it’s revealed that Helen is the super-special chosen one ring of power, and all her visions were real.

You know, those visions that were too boring for me to recount?

Daphne says she caused all the pain she has to protect Helen, and it worked, except for how it obviously didn’t, so too bad about that. Lucas realises that Creon had planned to meet someone, so Daphne’s still in danger, but Helen takes some time out to have a boring goodbye with her fake dad, because I guess like me she really hates her mother.

I hate Helen’s mother, I mean—not mine, I swear, Mum; don’t call the Furies down on me!

FINAL THOUGHTS

No time for much of a write up today—me, Aphrodite (from ‘Marked’), Aphrodite (the real one), Dawn, Marcie, Gretchen and the rest are all hanging out inside this wooden horse thing. We knocked on the Cullen’s—uh, Delos’s door a while ago so we could jump out and kill them, but for now we’re still waiting.

So.

………..

Anyone read any good books lately?

Starcrossed: Off-Page Exposition (Part I)

Well, I could talk about why I haven’t posted anything in a million years… but I won’t. Instead, as threatened, here’s ‘Starcrossed’

Condensed GoodReads Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/706453701

PART I

STARCROSSED
(AWAKENING)

Not too sure about this one—I saw the beginnings of one review for it, it sounded awesome(ly bad), so I decided to give it a shot. This time we’re in for deity paranormal romance, something I have seen reviewed before in a quite well-known Persephone-retelling story, which from what I hear of it is also a great contender for the Karataratakus show.

But for now, something which I believe is less well-known…

Chapter One

A girl named Helen and her father argue about her having a car. Exciting!

Helen infodumps her backstory of maternal abandonment, and then her annoying best friend Claire shows up to be the most irritating character since Sandy from ‘XVI’. We’ve got some good clichés here, everyone; looks like a smooth ride. Do we have time for some good old-fashioned godawful stupidity?

Helen has considered suicide because she’s tall. There we go.

Claire tells her that there’s going to be some new hot man-flesh at their school, and they’re both going to fall in love with them because her tarot cards said so. I wonder if the DEATH card will show up?

Later on some other boring people tell Helen that the last name of the new family that’s moved in is ‘Delos’, which Helen finds really meaningful because someone whacked her over the head with a foreshadowing stick. More useless information about this family is infodumped, and they’re all named after characters from Greek mythology. Subtle.

Then her father drops by to offer her some drugs. If only he could have offered some to the readers as well!

Chapter Two

Oh! You know what we’ve been missing from the last two books? That’s right—a Dawn character! And here we have Gretchen, who hates Helen and calls her a freak for no reason. Well, there is a reason, but it’s stupid enough not to really count as ‘reasonable’.

We’re also introduced to a guy called Zack, via exposition dump about him being a competitive douchebag, and a guy called Matt; who’s a nerd. Will they have a point in this story? Only time will tell…

(Spoilers: the answer to that question is ‘no’).

Gossiping about how outrageously gorgeous the Cullens—uh, I mean ‘Delos’ family are ensues. Helen is berated by her coach (a track coach, not a basketball coach, so we should be safe), for being a loser, more gossip, Helen overreacting to the gossip, Helen going home to have a FORESHADOWING dream about blood and stuff, and lots of boring conversations!

Chapter Three

After some great pages of nothing, Helen meets Lucas for the first time. Crazy visions ensue, she insta-hates him for some bullshit reincarnation reasons, shit gets real. Real dumb. She tries to kill him and gets sent to the nurse’s office, good thing we had so much build up to this.

Helen’s dad and Lucas’ dad meet and engage in small-talk. As you do when your children try to kill each other for no reason.

Chapter Four

Ooh, saw a trailer on YouTube or something for this book. Made it look extra bland!

Anyway, Helen feels bad about trying to kill Lucas for no reason, especially given how hot he is, and makes the keen observation that his ‘eyes look OUT—rather than back at himself’. I know I always love to find a guy whose eyeballs aren’t the wrong way round in their sockets.

Helen then goes to the doctor, who tells her she went homicidal because she wasn’t wearing a hat or something. MAKES SENSE TO ME!

Claire drops by to tell her that all the preps have been talking trash about her, and Lucas has been defending her. I guess he already has Stockholm Syndrome. The next day she goes back to school so random strangers can point and gawk, and that evening some woman tries to abduct her.

Thanks to having shoes that fall apart (?) Helen escapes. No, wait—Lucas rescues her. Whoop-dee-doo. Helen sees some visions of the Fates or something, tells Lucas she really still wants to kill him for no reason. He tells her the feeling’s mutual.

Ah, twu wuv!

Oh, and apparently she’s always had superstrength?… But isn’t willing to use it to help her friends because people might think she’s a freak! Pa Kent would approve!

Then she goes to Lucas’ house so they can try to kill each other again, and he can imply that the Furies are going to kill her if they find her at his house, so she has to get da fuk out. Helen goes home to research the Furies on good ole’ Google, and completely misunderstands the Oresteia.

This really long chapter continues so Helen can go to the store and overhear some more of the Cullens having a Kryptik Konversayshun. Ah, I’d missed those so much…

And the chapter goes on, but I’m really bored by it now…

Chapter Five

Well, it’s difficult to find something that actually happens in the chapter, apart from a rundown of life at ‘woe-is-me’ High, wherein Lucas and Hector (I’m sure he’s… someone) have a fight over Helen and get kicked off the football team, so now everyone hates Helen. I guess since I hate her too, I’m now in with the popular crowd! Huzzah!

Then Lucas attacks her, or possibly Hector does? I’m confused; there are so many characters due to the Cullen family having about a million members, and only one of them has a semblance of personality–and that’s the Dawn character. They try to get more of the Cullens to chase after Helen, but she takes a page out of Xerxes’ book and expects the sea to bend to her whims and hide her. Because the author apparently wrote herself into a corner; it does.

With some good old magic fog. Odysseus would approve!

Chapter Six

After a weird vision Helen finds herself having fallen out of the sky on top of Lucas, and they speak in caveman talk to each other. She doesn’t want to kill him anymore; apparently the Furies left for some reason, and I guess that means they’re in love.

Lucas tells her she’s a ‘scion’, and that her mother’s name wasn’t really Jane Doe, like she always thought it was, or something like that. Also, Helen can fly. Also, he’ll protect her from Hector. Since when was Hector a threat?

Anyway they were apparently seriously injured, but the Cullens come by to help them out. Boring conversations ensue.

Chapter Seven

The quarter-way mark. Finally. I don’t know what exactly it was about this one, but it’s been more than four months since my last review and there has to be a reason that I’m sure no one actually cares about. I know I don’t!

In this chapter Boring Conversations precede some good old Exposition about Greek mythology. Or, the Iliad and the Odyssey anyway. That’s pretty much all of Greek mythology, right? Anyway, the Cullens are the descendents of Greek gods, and they get stronger with every generation, because of reasons, and that’s why there are millions of super-powered Greek Gods around today, except for how there aren’t. Helen is also a descendant of a Greek god, whoop dee doo.

Anyway, the Furies stopped attacking because Helen and Lucas saved each other’s life, or something, freeing them from the cycle of vengeance set up by the Trojan War, even though the Furies weren’t started by the Trojan war at all. And now the Furies make the descendants kill each other to avenge their ancestor’s blood debts, even though that’s not how the Furies work either.

But who cares? It seems the Cullens are the last of these families left, except, apparently, for Helen and her mother, who abandoned her because it would protect Helen… somehow.

Anyway, then they go back to Boring Conversations. Also some other Scions are after Helen even though the Cullens were supposedly the only ones left alive apart from Helen’s mum. Maybe her mum is after her then, I don’t know…

Whoah. Suddenly we switch to Lucas’ POV. Weird.

Chapter Eight

Well, we’re pretty much a third of the way through after all that exposition. So it’s time for more exposition!

It turns out that the Cullens are a splinter of the ‘Hundred Cousins’ of the House of Thebes, and they suspect the people who are after Helen are from another part of the family, which is lead by ‘Uncle Tantalus’.

Yes, really. Why not just call yourself Satan McHitler?

So Helen has to be taught how to use her powers to defend herself (I sense a training montage!) What powers?, she asks Lucas, even after already having demonstrated her flying and super-strength abilities. “You really don’t know anything,” he replies. Because even he realises Helen is a moron.

But forget that shit; we have HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA to contend with, and everyone hates Helen because she got a ride to school with Lucas and they’re all jealous bitches. Dawn and Aphrodite approve! Also it looks like the Dream Team is on its way to being broken up over this jealousy, so sad…

No, wait, Claire says that Helen can make it up to her by sabotaging Lucas so she can take his place as valedictorian. Ah, friendship.

Also, Kate (remember her? I don’t) apparently fails at feminism by ogling Lucas. I don’t think the author knows all that much about feminism…

Chapter Nine

Hector beats the shit out of Helen during their training session, creating tension among the Cullens, and a grin on my face.

Ariadne (whoever she is) explains that Hector doesn’t like the fact that they fractured the family with their escaping the Hundred Cousins (stealing from Watership Down?), and that Uncle Tantalus believes that if the Hundred kill all the other Scions, they will be able to raise Atlantis, find the Holy Grail, and destroy the One Ring of Power. Or at least the first one.

Helen is aghast, because she always thought that Atlantis was a myth! You know, like Greek gods and shit!

Ariadne goes on to explain some more bullshit about the Trojan War, and how it (somehow) almost wiped out civilisation. Zeus told everyone to quit their bullshit, or he’d go a-thunderbolting, and that the four houses who united against the Trojans must never unite again—wait a minute, if the four houses are all descended from the Greeks then where the fuck did the blood debt come in to it?

Also the Odyssey apparently took place over a few months, and there was no wooden horse because Helen of Troy let the Greeks into the walls all along, which is why the Scions hate her for being a traitor… to the other side? I don’t know.

Helen reads some of the Iliad, even though it’s apparently all a bunch of crap, and starts hating on her namesake and on Achilles, and then Hector shows up (Hector Cullen, that is) to reveal he and Lucas have been watching her house all this time. How sweet.

Chapter Ten

And now for something completely different.

In Spain, a guy called Creon meets a reporter, while being obviously evil. She’s investigating his dad, Uncle Tantalus, because apparently a reclusive billionaire… existing… is big news. Also, Uncle Tantalus hasn’t spoken to anyone but his wife in twenty years. Also, Creon straight up murders her for asking stupid questions.

And now he’s on his way to the main plot, such as it is! Oh noes!

Meanwhile, back with Helen and the Scions, members of the Dream Team apparently can no longer sit with Helen at lunch, as she’s far too popular. Helen realises it’s been months since she spoke to token guy!friend.

Wait, months have gone by?

Anyway, Helen drowns out the pain of this tragedy by using her flying powers like an idiot. Creon spots her—sure didn’t take him long to get there!—and then vanishes in a puff of pointlessness when Helen gets a cramp.

It seems Helen’s mother cursed her to get cramps when she used her powers because she was a woman or something… I don’t know. We also learn that Creon is a ‘Shadowmaster’ and therefore evil. Then we learn that men cannot get cramps, because they’re MEN!

Pages and pages of boring flying lessons ensue, and Pallas returns. Who’s Pallas? I don’t remember, that’s who. He found out nothing useful so likely his character is a waste of time anyway. He came back following Creon, who is obsessed with Hector or something. Foe yay!

But it’s time for some more exposition. We learn that Tantalus’ brother Ajax was murdered by ‘someone’, causing Tantalus to become a recluse, and probably evil, giving orders through his wife Mildred—who is surely also evil. Her name’s MILDRED for crying out loud!

A stupid dinner ensues, and Pallas acts coldly towards Helen, so Pandora (remember her? I don’t.) tells her that that faces get recycled in Scion circles and apparently Helen looks just like Daphne from Scooby Doo. Or Daphne the woman who murdered Ajax, one of the two. Helen feels the need to exclaim loudly that she didn’t kill Ajax, because she’s desperately vying for the position of Captain Obvious, and assumes that Pallas blames her for Ajax’ death because why else would he be uncomfortable around someone who looks just like the person who murdered his brother?!

Helen then overhears Lucas tell Pallas that he would never touch her, and flounces.

CONTINUED IN PART II