Teardrop: The Magdalenian Conspiracy (Part II)

In the last post ( https://racheliliffe.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/teardrop-the-magdalenian-conspiracy-part-i/ ) I missed the perfect opportunity to make a reference to that periodic table-blaspheming YA dystopian novel, ‘Delirium‘–what with the heroine of that book’s name being ‘Magdalena’.

And now, the thrilling conclusion…

Chapter Sixteen

Our hero goes on a school trip to the local Science Museum with her friend Luke. Who’s Luke, you might ask? I have no idea. I’m almost certain he’s never been mentioned before, and I’m pretty sure he’s not at all important.

They’re looking at a bunch of crap that’s been dug up from a shipwreck that’s four thousand years old. The crap, I mean—presumably not the ship. Some guy heckles the tour guide as if he’s making some deep political statement by interrupting a lecture, and oh. What a surprise, it’s Ander. He’s such a rebel; he makes my heart throb. For realz.

No, wait—I’m just having another heart attack. Damn you, Disney Princess-mandated medical experiments!

Chapter Seventeen

Ander’s explanation of what the fuck is going on is delayed by pages of description of their surroundings, of course. Then:

“She did this.”

“Who?”

“No one.”

Great conversation! They meander off into the wilderness so Ander can, eventually, tell her that she’s in danger from Brooks. Because the wave that mildly injured him in Chapter 10 was magical and has turned him into… uh…

Anyway it’s the halfway mark. Yay!

Chapter Eighteen

Well, that explained everything, thanks Ander!

Somehow though, Eureka is less than impressed with the ‘explanation’ and reports Ander being a stalker to the police. No, wait—Cat has to practically force her to do it; not because she’s afraid for her, of course, but because she’s crushing on a guy who works at the station.

And he says Ander sounds like a swell guy and he hopes they don’t catch him. So they’re all idiots.

On Eureka’s way home she gets attacked by glowy-eyed people and saved by Ander. They shout cryptic bullshit at each other, and then we transition without warning into the next section of Madame Fraud’s translation.

In this section, Princess Author was almost forced to marry Prince Jock but randomly fell in love with Prince Mysterious for no reason. That’s about it.

Chapter Nineteen

The next day at school Eureka seems to not care at all about the attack of the glowy-eyed people and instead has a long boring conversation with Brooks in which he is creepy.

Chapter Twenty

It’s High School Party Time! Yay! Bring out the drugs!

Or in this case bring out the pointless padding, I guess—same thing really.

Also, Brooks is creepy again.

Chapter Twenty-One

Eureka has a dream flashing back to the accident in which Ander saved her, but is woken up by Madame Fraud’s stupid bird. Apparently, he’s a magic bird that leads her to a secret meeting with Her Kookiness, so she can say that she’s made a world-changing discovery in the book and it’s too dangerous to send translations via e-mail anymore.

It seems Generic Princess and Prince Dumbass had an obstacle to their twu wuv besides Prince Jock—Delphine, a character cursed with being much more interesting than anyone else in the book by way of her magic powers. She’s obsessed with the Prince although he’s in love with the Princess thanks to having seen her one time when he and Delphine were making out.

Delphine puts a curse on them that will destroy the world if Princess Author ever cries. As you do.

Or it will destroy Atlantis at least, because that’s where this book is from, and Madame Fraud says she’s too scared of what will happen to keep up her dumb translation—probably because she’s run out of shit to make up.

But Eureka says she wants more bullshit, so Madame Fraud tells her to go boating with Brooks next week—because that will turn out so well, I’m sure.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Ander shows up to be mysterious while Eureka’s on a run. He tells her to try getting the thunderstone wet, which kind of sounds like a euphemism to me…

Chapter Twenty-Three

Evil Stepmother is pointlessly petty and ridiculous at dinner that night, and Eureka hears ‘Hold on‘ in ‘the code of the rain‘.

Whatever that means.

After endless padding, she decides to test the ‘thunderstone can’t get wet’ hypothesis and finds that, not only can it not get wet, it also gives its holder magic water repelling powers.

Yay?

Chapter Twenty-Four

Madame Fraud’s bird shows up again.

“What’s that, birdie? Madame Fraud’s stuck down a well?!”

No, she’s not stuck down a well, but her lair has been ransacked and she’s MIA—likely arrested by the police after years of swindling unsuspecting YA heroines.

Well, she was MIA until Eureka found her bloodied corpse in the next room, at least. There was so much padding I suppose I just assumed she must have searched the whole house in that time. Eureka fails to call the police, of course, because…

Because she has too much internal monologue-ing to do!

Chapter Twenty-Five

For some reason Eureka is determined not to get involved with the police, so when they somehow fail to investigate a crime they know nothing about, Eureka fills in an anonymous report; and is then shocked when the police connect her to Madame Fraud.

Still, the police apparently decide investigating a murder isn’t that important, so Eureka doesn’t talk to them just yet. Instead she follows Madame Fraud’s advice to spend the day sailing with Brooks, and seeing as anyone with half a brain would realise that he’s become dangerous, she brings her younger half-siblings with her.

What a great sister!

Brooks has cleverly decided to name his boat ‘Ariel’ after that of the poet Shelley, seeing as he’d had such a great time on it, (in 1822 it sank in a storm and he drowned). Sure enough, there’s a storm and the twins are swept overboard, so Brooks and Eureka dive in to save them.

With the Power of the Thunderstone, Eureka finds the brats, but Brooks disappears, leaving only the words ‘BROOKS WAS HERE’ carved onto the Ariel.

No, not really, that was just a Shawshank joke I’d been waiting all book to make. Anyway, the survivors manage to swim to an island, and I think we can pretty much declare Madame Fraud a fraud. The clue was in the name.

Chapter Twenty-Six

Dad comes to pick up the kids and drive them back home, where Evil Stepmother is surprisingly not evil and Eureka wangsts until she decides to talk to Ander.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Fortunately Ander has decided to come to her—by sneaking in through the window without warning like a rapist. He also has the Macguffin Book, which I guess puts him at the top of the list of suspects for Madame Fraud’s murder—oh wait, Eureka doesn’t even consider it.

Anywho, the book speaks of a bullshit ‘chosen one’ prophecy that—wait for it, wait for it—happens to describe Eureka exactly. What a twist!

Also if she cries she’ll open up a fissure in reality or something. Who knew?

So this causes her and Ander to have twu wuv’s first kiss, which in turn causes Eureka to remember that he was the one who saved her from the opening-kill prologue. He also says more cryptic bullshit about Brooks that’s immediately forgotten as soon as he says he can open Plot Device #3, the necklace.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

As if we were reading the novelisation of ‘Young Frankenstein’, thunder claps in the distance as soon as Ander makes his announcement. Pathetic Fallacy FTW!

So there’s a bit of paper in the locket that says ‘Marais’, and Ander doesn’t know shit about it. He does confirm that the guys who attacked them a few chapters ago were the ones to do away with Madame Fraud; and that explanation is good enough for Eureka, so they go back to wuvvy duvvy-ness. Aww.

Unfortunately the wuvvy duvvy-ness is interrupted when Eureka feels the gills along Ander’s neck. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Eureka isn’t alarmed by this until he tells her that Brooks now has gills too—because that’s just weird. Ander explains how he’s descended from Atlanteans, and was raised by his aunts and uncles, one of the latter of whom supposedly murdered Madame Fraud. They descend from the Prince in the book, and Eureka’s descended from the Princess; who apparently got shipwrecked and never stopped looking for each other—although evidently they did stop to pork some other people during the search.

I’m now convinced Ander is the murderer, because we all know Madame Fraud made that shit up. He must have tortured it out of her before he struck the final blow!

Oh, and Brooks has been possessed by an Atlantean. Not a ‘Seedbearer’ like Ander; one who was still living in Atlantis when it sunk. Or something. The only way to save Eureka is to go to Turkey to meet the guy who was proto-Ander the last time this book happened and proto-Eureka (Dead-Mum’s great-aunt Byblis) was killed by plot-device.

Possibly after starting World War II. Somehow.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

After affirming their wuv the next morning, Ander and Eureka discuss Brooks again. Ander says ‘fuck him’, basically, (in the ‘then let him die!’ sense. Not the… other sense), since he’s been possessed by the King of Atlantis, but Eureka wants to save her bff. The argument lasts all of one page, before Ander convinces her to leave him to his horrible fate by saying—

‘Scary stuff is totes happening and I have no time to explain it!’

Even though he had all night to explain it. What a wanker.

They go downstairs to see Eureka’s dad, who at first is going to call the police on Ander, then immediately accepts him for no reason. Then Cat drops by to say her family is evacuating because of the massive storm that’s conveniently arrived.

While our heroes drink coffee, Dad takes Eureka into another room to say that Dead Mum used to spout crazy gibberish about seeing ‘the boy who would break Eureka’s heart’ hanging around. I guess that means Dead Mum knew Ander was stalking her daughter all her life… somehow. Is he supposed to be ageless? Or did his family just reject child labour laws?.

Anyway, one time Dead Mum drew a picture of the stalker and it looked like Ander (Dad knows because he… kept the picture in his closet for all these years. Uh………..) . It’s a good thing Mum never told Eureka jack shit about any of this, or this book wouldn’t have had a lick of suspense!

Oh wait, it was so predictable it already didn’t.

Also, Seedbearers kidnap the twins. Oh noes!

Chapter Thirty

Well, the bad guys apparently had the twins in their grasp for so long that they were able to chain them up in a complicated trap outside, and their Parents of the Year didn’t notice.

Ander tells Eureka that it’s way more important that she survives than anyone else because… uh, she’s the main character, and therefore she should let the twins and anyone else die to save her own life.

What a guy!

He then reveals that the Seedbearers actually have names, and supposedly characters to go along with them—since the author forgot to give them any development until now, I guess.

They exchange clichéd dialogue at each other until their leader, Albion, decides to engage in some child abuse in case we forgot he was the villain, and punches the twins. Evil Stepmother runs to save them and is immediately blown up and killed. Aww, she was my favourite character!

Ander then pulls out a  deus ex machina gun with magic Seedbearer-killing bullets that will kill all the Seedbearers if even one of them dies.

Where the fuck did that come from!?

Chapter Thirty-One

Eureka manages to get hold of the gun, but the Seedbearers are confident she won’t kill them because of her love for Ander, which is really powerful for… some reason. Seriously their love has no development. At all. They’re just in love ’cause destiny or something.

Instead Eureka uses her Princess Peach crying powers to flood the world, or possibly just her back yard. All the good guys take refuge in her stone-powered anti-water bubble, the entire bayou is practically underwater, and pointless conversation ensues, rounded off with Ander telling Eureka she must face Brooks in a Final Battle.

So… how many people did Eureka just sentence to a watery grave? I’ve got to admit, I can kind of see where the Seedbearers were coming from with the ‘kill Eureka’ plan…

Epilogue

Brooks falls about the place wangsting over being possessed and over how much he loves Eureka and she’s just the most special thing to ever exist in the whole world ever.

Bleugh.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Well, since the Seedbearers failed to save the world by killing Eureka, I guess I’d better do it myself.

Dawn: No need, freak! As you already guessed while reading the book, Eu-freak-a is in fact Princess Peach; a heretic and traitor to the Disney Princess holocaust! Me and Elsa are going to take care of her later this afternoon.

Hmm, many a true word spoken in jest. Wait a minute, Princess Peach isn’t a Disney princess; she belongs to Nintendo or something, doesn’t she?

Dawn: Oh, we liberated all the major princess-supported franchises during our coup d’état. Which reminds me—you’re going back to the lab for another session with Mad-Scientist Princess Barbie!

NOOOOOO! Why do you do this to me, Dawn!? Haven’t I suffered enough for giving ‘Angelfall‘ two stars!? Must I be tormented forever more!?

Dawn: Not my call, freak—these are the orders of Princess Isabella.

Isabella? Who’s Princess Isabella?

Dawn: From your stupid book about elves and monsters, that’s who. Blame yourself for creating her to be such a bitch!

… I suppose I did bring that one on myself. Until next time, dear readers!

Dawn: Whatever. I’m off to meet with Madame Blavatsky—she’s got this great opportunity for funding the Disney Princess holocaust with the help of a Nigerian prince…

 

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Teardrop: The Magdalenian Conspiracy (Part I)

In my last review my fictional self was placed into medical experiments by Disney Princesses for giving a book more than one star on Goodreads, thanks to the (sudden and yet inevitable) treachery of my imaginary cohort Dawn Talbot. Fortunately for me, the wonder that is ‘Teardrop‘ is, shall we say, unlikely to entrap me into making the same mistake twice.

The blurb doesn’t make it clear exactly, but I’m betting mermaids, which would be new. Well, new for me. Mermaids or angels, because they follow me around everywhere and I’ll never escape! Never!

The condensed review on Goodreads is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1064662197

*~*~*

Prologue

The subtitle tells us we are in ‘prehistory’, which must be why three sentence fragments later we’re in a prehistoric car heading to an airport.

A boy, ‘Ander’, part of a group called ‘Seedbearers’ (if you know what I mean, *wink, wink*) is waiting for some terrible disaster that he apparently knows is going to happen. They must have told him he was going to be in a YA paranormal romance novel…

The disaster is going to happen to a car containing his one twu wuv and her archaeologist mother; and needs to happen or the world will be destroyed. Of course. Ander and his buddies are going to use the power of ‘Zephyr’ (the west wind?) to craft a wave to…

Do something boring enough for the explanation to be interrupted by Ander’s reminiscing on how he’d been ordered to stalk this random girl and learn all the mindless minutiae of her life that no one cares about. Also, the wave is going to kill her and her mother, because they’re dangerous, and they know how to fix cars!

Ander’s aunt Chora is also mentioned—the closest thing to a mother Ander has, he loves but does not like her, and it’s important we get all this down here since there’s no other opportunity for it, seeing as she pretty much doesn’t appear in the novel.

Much more is revealed, through this wave (geddit? 😉 of exposition; for such horrors as ‘suspense’ and ‘mystery’ are not right for the glory that is Teardrop.  And even better than that—poorly structured exposition that reveals so much I’m not even going to type it all down here; that way at least this commentary will have some suspense!

Anyway the wave hits the car and Ander loses his nerve and saves the girl. What a guy. He’s my hero.

Chapter One

Our heroine with the stupid name of Eureka is off to great start in YA life, her mother murdered by a stalker twu wuv who also tried to kill her. Turns out she’d already seen a million therapists for the horrific trauma of her dad remarrying, and now that something’s happened that actually requires therapy, she has decided to become a Stoic.

Yep, I’m sure that’ll work out.

She had also decided to commit suicide, which doesn’t seem very stoic.

Anyway, exposition about Eureka’s life that I’m pretty sure will have no bearing on the plot follows, including the time her track Coach didn’t believe she wanted to give up track after her suicide attempt—giving us this gem.

‘Coach’s sad smile suggested that after a suicide attempt, a girl’s decisions weighed less, like bodies on the moon.’

I think that one’s almost as good as ‘sacrifice to gravity’.

Then there’s more exposition about Eureka’s character, so we don’t actually have to be shown her having a personality later, and also her hair, which is hair. She flashes back to waking up with her dad and half-siblings who ‘smelled liked they always did, of ivory soap and starry nights’.

*head-desk*

Anyway, the therapy session drones on as easy exposition for Eureka’s life. Ah, exposition. How Patch and I missed thee.

Chapter Two

Wangst, wangst, wangst, wangst… wangst, wangst, wangst, wangst.

Shit, I could spork every line of this prose bit by bit, but we’d be here all year. Eureka drives away until she gets into a car accident with Ander. And we have insta-hate! Ladies and gentlemen, take your bets on how long it takes before the insta-hate turns to love!

(Me, I’m going to be out £20 if it takes less than three or more than five conversations).

Unfortunately, neither her stepmother nor her father are picking up their phone, so she starts crying. Ander wipes her tears away like a creeper. Aww.

Chapter Three

Eureka flashes back to a long time ago when her parents were arguing during a hurricane and her mother started smashing her dad’s stuff up and slapped her, telling her to Never Cry Again. What a terrible loss to the world dear Mummy must have been!

(I’m betting the tears have some kind of magic world-destroying power, but we’ll see how it goes)

Chapter Four

The sky goes dark, ‘maybe some kind of eclipse’, suggests Ander. Because those random eclipses happen all the time, don’t ya know? Anyway, magic tear powers; called it.

After a long passage about Eureka’s name, the local pervert rides up to see what’s happening, followed by a guy called Big Jean, who tows the car. Eureka decides to get a ride with Ander, rather than Local Pervert. I’m honestly not sure which would have been the dumber option.

They ride along, Ander brakes to avoid hitting a squirrel and acts like a weirdo, but they reach their destination intact until Ander reveals he’s on a rival track team! It’s Romeo and Juliet all over again!

Chapter Five

We meet Cat, Eureka’s Black Best Friend with Curves in All the Right Places. (okay, it says ‘curves in places Eureka didn’t [have them]’ but still). She’s a sassy matchmaker character, so… black Vee Sky then? They have a Boring Conversation until a girl called Maya Cayce shows up; a girl who hates Eureka—a Dawn character? Ooh, I shouldn’t get my hopes up!

She’s in love with Eureka’s guy-friend Brooks, and used to be friends with Eureka when they were small. I’m sure she’ll have a huge effect on the plot.

Then a random storm starts up, helping Eureka get out of having a photograph taken of her. Yay?

And she sees Ander across the field, notes that he’s apparently impervious to water, and then he reaches out to catch her… tear…

Wait, what?

Chapter Six

Eureka goes home to exposit useless shit about her dad and siblings until her buddy Brooks drops by to borrow a cup of exposition about his character. In summation, he’s an absurdly perfect friend, and has hypoglycaemia.

Then there’s a knock at the door.

It was………………………………………………….

Chapter Seven

Ander!

She asks him how he knows where she lives, and he replies by… insta-hating Brooks? He’s going to be one of those awful clingy jealous types, isn’t he.

Ugh. Teardrop, I was willing to accept him stalking Eureka, crashing his car into her and being part of the conspiracy to kill her and her mother, but now you’re starting to make him distasteful!

Anyway, he’s come to return her wallet (which I’m guessing he probably stole), but not before he starts screaming insanely at Brooks, asking ‘how long have you been with her’? Shouldn’t he already know about Brooks’ existence? What kind of a stalker is he?!

Eureka meanwhile angsts that he might have seen her embarrassing student ID photos, delves off into an inner-monologue about a neighbour, and then berates Brooks for not being nicer to Ander.

Yes, really.

After that Eureka’s evil stepmother comes home to make sure Eureka didn’t ’embarrass’ her at the therapist’s office.

Yes, really.

Chapter Eight

In this chapter we read Dead Mum’s will, in which it was specified that flashbacks to her and her own mother’s funeral would contain at least two pages of exposition. Also Eureka’s aunt is there, whom Eureka describes as a ‘cruel parody’ of her mother, because she commits the ultimate sin of being Not Hot, and wearing low-cut tops! The monster!

Also there’s an uncle. Soon the lawyer starts bequeathing stuff; Dead Mum leaves all the money in her account to the uncle (I’m assuming there’s a trust for Eureka, otherwise wtf?) and a mysterious letter. To Aunt Ho, she leaves some jewellery, the car that’s now under the ocean, and a mysterious letter.

Eureka gets a bag of Macguffins; a Very Important necklace, (maybe it means she has a soul mate?), a Very Important book (that ‘didn’t even register on the scale’ of carbon dating, so I suppose it’s billions of years old) and a ‘thunderstone’ (so she can turn her Eevee into a Voltreon, no doubt). Also a mysterious letter.

Which isn’t that mysterious really, just useless and sappy.

Chapter Nine

25% done already, what a breath of fresh air!

Well, the only way to respond to such a touching letter is with flashbacks, exposition and boring conversations. Eureka then notices a postscript to the letter with a mysterious instruction to not open the thunderstone until Christmas. Or ‘the right time’, at any rate.

Uncle character tells Eureka that the ancient language the book is written in is not indecipherable, as he saw Dead Mum taking notes on it one time. Cat suggests they go to her convenient polyglot boyfriend for more help, but first they try to find Ander, only to be told that, like all Paranormal Love Interests, he doesn’t really exist.

This probably could have taken about five pages, if not for Cat’s constant annoying blabber about nothing.

Chapter Ten

Eureka, Brooks and the twins go to the beach, where Eureka observes how Ander is probably a crazed sociopath, but for some reason she’s falling in love with him anyway. Guess those two meetings they’ve had, one in which he crashed into her car, the other in which he acted like a psycho, really turned her on.

Then another tidal wave strikes the beach and Brooks is mildly injured. Oh noes!

(I’m betting Ander was behind it somehow)

Chapter Eleven

Eureka has a boring conversation with Brooks, interspersed as so many things are in this book with excruciating details about her room, Brooks, her feelings, her stepmother’s favourite meteorologist, everything I’ve come to expect from Teardrop really.

They take a look at Plot Device #2, which has some illustrations that look vaguely like Brooks, and he acts strangely enough that it becomes immediately obvious he’s connected to the whole… whatever is going on. Oh my. I am so shocked.

Then somehow they have twu wuv’s kiss? And Eureka has now always liked him in that way even though she’d made a point of saying she didn’t before?

And then suddenly they start arguing and Brooks gives her a Reason You Suck speech; and there are a lot of reasons, sure, but not the ones he gives—such as the not taking the Macguffins seriously enough!

Then he flounces.

Good riddance.

Chapter Twelve

In this chapter, Eureka fails to understand metaphor and analogy, saying she doesn’t need to find her way out of a foxhole because foxes can live in foxholes, and they do alright for themselves!

She calls Cat up so Cat can remind her about her Plot Device boyfriend Rodney. They go to see him, during which time Eureka spends more time flashback-ing, describing the furniture and wangsting than she does listening to Rodney.

Though that probably isn’t too bad—after failing to recognise the writing the book is written in, he tells them about an expert in dead languages he knows.

Instead of, you know—a cryptographer. I mean, I somehow doubt this book is the Voynich Manuscript or anything. And if you don’t know what that is, look it up, because it’s much more interesting than Teardrop.

Chapter Thirteen

The master of linguistics in question calls herself ‘Madame Blavatsky’—either she’s a kooky pseudo-academic fortune-teller, or this book is about to get very interesting!

(Spoilers: This book does not get interesting.)

Madame B fawns over her pet exotic birds, smokes, and says things like ‘There is no death, no life either. Only congregation and dispersal’. She then takes out her crazy-wise-old-person-character checklist to make sure she hasn’t missed anything.

Anyway, because she’s psychic, she’s able to immediately know exposition about the Plot Device; like how it wasn’t bought at a flea market and had actually been in Eureka’s family forever. You know, I think we may have just found out the eventual fate of Ever from Evermore

Old Ever proclaims the language to be a cousin of ‘Magdalenian’, the people of ancient southern Europe who a minute’s search on Wikipedia reveals did not have a written language, nor even any language we can reliably reconstruct. Now, Wikipedia isn’t exactly the world’s bastion of accuracy, but in this case and combined with my own learnings, I think we can safely call bull-shite.

So Madame Fraud charges them $7.50 a page for her ‘translation’ of what we now ‘know’ is called ‘The Book of Love’ (issued by the Ministry of Love?). Incidentally, she also tells Eureka that Ander’s been stalking her for ages. I guess Eureka can trust her on that one—not because she’s psychic, but because she’s a character in YA paranormal romance, and by this time they probably just accept that that kind of thing is happening.

Then with no kind of lead in we are suddenly treated to Madame Fraud’s translation of the first bit of the book, written by a woman almost as boring as Eureka about her love for a prince or some such crap.

Chapter Fourteen

In this chapter, Evil Stepmother says, ‘As long as you live in my house, you follow my rules’. Eureka calls the line ‘soul-chilling’, which hardly makes her the epitome of Stoicism, to put it mildly.

She goes back to the Therapist, who manages not to be the worst therapist in YA (despite being mostly useless) by pointing out that Eureka is close to developing narcissism. However, as that’s practically a pre-requisite for YA heroines, Eureka responds by whining that no one understands her.

Then he pretty much tells her she’s going to die in a gutter, which is absurd for a therapist but pretty funny to me, so Eureka flounces, wishing Madame Fraud could be her therapist instead.

Chapter Fifteen

Eureka and Cat have a boring conversation, until Brooks shows up so they can have a boring reconciliation.

Then Maya drops by to give Brooks an ‘X-rated hug’.

What does that mean? Did she jump on his dick in the middle of the school hallway?

Well, on that exciting note we leave things until tomorrow, where Part Two of the ‘Teardrop‘ commentary continues.

Wings: Evolution Fails Again (Part II)

WINGS: PART TWO

Chapter Fifteen

Laurel argues with her mother for the sake of the land in the most boring manner possible, and Laurel’s mother agrees to wait a week to shut her up. This means Laurel can go back to berating herself for daring to make the acquaintance of more than one boy!

Then even though we’ve proved beyond a doubt that Laurel is, in fact, a plant, Laurel wants to do some more experiments—this time ones that involve kissing David! She exhales into David’s mouth to prove she exhales oxygen rather than CO2, and she was right—killing David instantly.

Nah, that would be something actually happening, and we can’t have that—this is ‘Wings’!

… which should really be called ‘Petals’! Also, turns out that pure oxygen doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger, so someone lied to me about that one.

Also Laurel tastes like honey—as all plants do! Go outside and eat one right now, you’ll see!

Chapter Sixteen

Chelsea phones Laurel the next day to ask if she can have any more page-time in the book, and since the plot has failed to really take off, Laurel has nothing better to do than to say ‘yes’. They have a nice long gossip with no bearing on anything.

Later that day, Laurel’s dad is sick. Oh noes!

Chapter Seventeen

Well, since judging by the description Laurel’s dad is practically dying, Laurel goes off to his book store to take up his shift, along with his employee Maddie. Maddie is even dumber than Laurel’s mother, and believes in the healing power of candles over alternative medicine.

Surprisingly, candles and liquorice root didn’t cure Laurel’s dad, even when they gave him paracetamol too, and Laurel’s mother decides calling an ambulance might be a good idea after he began vomiting blood. But it does mean something actually happened, so there’s that.

Laurel’s mother goes with him to the hospital, but Laurel doesn’t follow because…

Anyway, she calls up David and he pops over like a good Generic Love Interest. Laurel reveals she’s taught herself how to be a master guitar-player, and they watch Singing in the Rain. Without any Clockwork Orange rape. Bummer.

Boringness ensues when Laurel’s dad fails to get better and David volunteers at the bookstore. I can really feel the emotion in this part, the emotion of… DULL SURPRISE.

… without the ‘surprise’ part.

Chapter Eighteen

Laurel’s dad fails to get any better despite being strung out on the same morphine Vee Sky was blessed with in Hush, Hush. The doctors have found an unknown toxin in his blood, so they filter it with one of those filtration machines—ha ha, no, they just pump him full of drugs.

Surprisingly enough this does nothing. Oh, wait, that’s not a surprise at all. What is surprising is that he starts showing heart failure before the ‘throw everything against the wall’ method shuts down his liver and kidneys.

So he now has a week to live. Dun dun dun!

Oh, and Laurel’s mum signs the house over to Mr. Burns—er, Barnes. Excellent. Laurel fights with her mother over this, but apparently since they’re in massive debt due to medical bills hippie-mum never thought they’d need to pay, they have no choice. Bummer.

David and Laurel decide to go Scooby-Doo on Barnes’ ass and pop over to his office to look for clues, showing detective skills surpassing even Nina and Vee! (although Laurel’s cans of Sprite would probably make better detectives than that pair).

They find the building his office is supposed to be in is abandoned (DULL SURPRISE!) and what’s worse—ugly people are nearby! Along with a… blob… of some sort.

(I don’t know!)

Chapter Nineteen

The dynamic duo are discovered by Barnes and he throws them against the wall. Yeah! Woo! Revolution!

No, not like that; I mean he actually throws them against the wall. I sense a villain monologue!

First Barnes uses his mind-control powers to get David to tell him their cunning plan of playing amateur detective because ‘something wasn’t right’, which upsets Laurel because how dare David reveal the plan! It was so cunning!

Laurel punches him in the face to prevent him from saying anything else and Barnes decides he was bored anyway, and he’s going to throw them in the river, yay! We miss out on a villain monologue (aww), but we are treated to some evil laughter. Mwahahahaha.

The two ugly goons talk about their ugly goon insecurities and desire to tear people limb from limb as they drive our heroes up to be thrown in the river, and David and Laurel say their tearful, banter-y goodbyes with all the emotion of tORgO from Manos, the Hands of Fate.

But fortunately they’re able to survive being thrown in the river due to breathing into each other’s mouths, so I guess that useless experiment was actually some clunky foreshadowing!

Unfortunately it turns out you do die from pure oxygen if you’re underwater, due to pressure inequality or something, so now David is dead. Who will Laurel choose? Her Fairy Love Interest or her Zombie Love Interest!?

Just kidding. David doesn’t die. He still may as well be replaced by a zombie though.

Chapter Twenty

Three quarters through, woo hoo!

Laurel is worried that David might get hypothermia from being in the river, but tells him not to worry about her getting it, because she’s not warm blooded.

FAIL.

Then she convinces him not to go to the cops, because there’s no way the cops could possibly deal with two strong ugly guys!

DOUBLE FAIL.

So instead our heroes go off to see Tamani, who is immediately a dick about David for no reason. No reason other than mindless jealousy, I guess. Laurel falls into his arms in tears, and having told him that they were attacked by UGLY people, Tamani immediately knows who she means.

The next day he informs her that trolls are trying to kill her father, by posting mean-spirited comments on his YouTube account, taking away his will to live. Or with poison, that works too, I guess. It’s a good thing the fairies are so well organised!

Oh, and Tamani’s friend Shar is introduced. I don’t know what the point of him is, maybe he’s planning a counter-attack?

[No one will get that joke].

For now all he’s doing is having Kriptik Konversayshuns with Tamani though, who complains about ‘the Queen’. It turns out the land is a gateway to Avalon, a perfect place where gold and diamonds spring up out of the ground, attracting trolls who want riches in order to make it big in the human world, though they mean nothing to fairies.

… so why don’t the fairies just give the diamonds to the trolls, if they’re not using them? Racists!

Anyway, a zillion years ago King Arthur, Merlin, and Oberon forged Excalibur so that one day the plot of Wings could have a MacGuffin when it was most needed. Excalibur banished the trolls from faerie and Oberon created some gates near where Laurel’s house was… on the other side of the world from Camelot—??? –and the fairies can’t be bothered to figure out why the trolls want the land now when before they didn’t give a shit.

Shar then decides that’s enough exposition for one day, and they have some troll-killing to do.

Chapter Twenty-One

Tamani immediately tries to be more of a dick to David than Reed was to Russell in Inescapable. Very attractive. Then seeing as no one’s given any exposition this chapter, Tamani decides to tell the kiddies about trolls, with some really great science.

Apparently trolls are ‘a glitch in evolution’, human cells are ‘irregular’ and therefore they lack symmetry… as opposed to those oh-so symmetrical plants?

Of course! Don’t you know anything about science!?

Also, ugly=stupid, and if you’re ugly and stupid, then evolution has ‘given up on you’, though the misshapen gene hasn’t been thwarted by natural selection because of… I don’t know, twin clones of Hitler.

More ‘unique’ science later, Tamani says he’s going off to kill some trolls, and Laurel says she wants to come too, but Tamani says no, and they argue for a few pages. Then this happens:

David: I want to come too.

Tamani: No, you can’t.

David: Please?

Tamani: Oh, alright then.

And it was that easy.

Chapter Twenty-Two

The gang go back to the trolls lair and BREAK THEIR FRIKKIN’ NECKS!

Shit, man! Shit just got fucking real!

Then Tam kills the blob… thing… and they go off to find Barnes, but Barnes has a few villain monologues he needs to get off his chest (or so I hope) and does his signature move of throwing Tam against a wall.

A smatter of clichéd villainous dialogue later and Barnes pulls a gun out and shoots Tamani. OH NOES!

Wait, I can’t stand Tamani. Yay!

Chapter Twenty-Three

Aww, Barnsy only shotted him in the leg.

Laurel screams uselessly, but then Barnes realises he’s left his brain in his other pants and puts the gun down on the desk, allowing Laurel to pick it up and threaten him with it. She doesn’t shoot him because she doesn’t have a brain anywhere, until he attacks and she gets him in the shoulder.

Barnes runs away like a champ, and David shows up so they can steal the paperwork for the house and follow suit. There’s some hot driving action as Tamani is taken to Shar for a going through magic gates montage.

A guy called Jamison is introduced… not exactly sure what the point of his character is, he seems to be in charge of the whole changeling operation though, in which case he’s really doing a bang-up job! He gives Laurel a magic potion and a jewel because I don’t think Excalibur is going to be used in this book, and they need her to bribe her parents into giving her the land.

Chapter Twenty-Four

While Laurel tries to puzzle out how days are different to hours, she and David skip off to the hospital, to give the magic potion to her dad. Laurel also has to explain to her dim mother how she’s a fairy and everything, and her mother reacts with…

“Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh?”

Then Laurel uses more of the potion on David’s minor cuts, because that’s not a waste at all! But it does result in the kiss of twu wuv… or possibly the kiss of meh.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Laurel goes back to the old house and meets up with Tamani, who’s a-okay now that he’s been healed off-page. He asks Laurel to live with him, because this is like their fifth conversation, that’s practically marriage!

It turns out Laurel’s parents were given constant memory potions to not realise that Laurel was a fairy, which was a MUCH better plan than just buying the land off them themselves with all those fucking diamonds they had lying around. Laurel says she wants to stay in the human world and protect her human entourage, but Tamani says they were destined to be together by destiny because before Laurel became a sleeper agent they were friends and stuff.

So why didn’t he tell her that sooner?

Anyway, he goes on and on and on about how he watched her grow up and she sang a lot and she was really pretty and he wanted a pony and to live in a castle and eat ice cream and go to the zoo, whine, whine, whine.

Twu wuv’s first kiss ensues here too, whoop-dee-shit.

And, that’s all, folks!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I probably shouldn’t be typing up my final thoughts right now, there’s a large growth on my back and I should really go to the doctor’s, but our doctor has this thing where you can only phone for an appointment before eight-thirty in the morning, and I just don’t get up that early.

It’s especially worrying considering how irregular my cells are. That and the fact that I don’t have a pulse…

Dawn: You don’t have a pulse because you’re dead, you freak! You got hit by a meteorite in that ‘Halo‘ review and that’s what’s sticking out of your back right now!

*Looks in mirror*

Huh. What do you know—evolution has failed me again!

Wings: Evolution Fails Again (Part I)

WINGS: PART ONE

This was recommended to me by my GR friend Hayley, whose recommendations I trust implicitly, as she’s one of two people so far who have been crazy—uh, intuitive enough to friend me on GoodReads.

Anyway, if I remember correctly this one’s about fairies, or elves or pixies or something, which I haven’t run into before outside the Love Interest Extraordinaire from Born at Midnight… his name I’ve temporarily misplaced, but I’m sure it’s not a big deal.

Condensed Goodreads Review Here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/717761036

Chapter One

Our heroine today is Laurel Sewell, a girl with cheerful shoes (?!) but a dark mood. She’s been homeschooled for the past ten years and this is her first day at the Pit—uh, High School. A guy called David offers to sit with her during lunch, and they have a nice boring conversation.

After school Laurel goes home, to tell her mother that school ‘sucked’. Her mother scolds her for using such harsh words—rightly so! What will become of society when our children use the word ‘suck’ with impunity!? Then they have a boring conversation too. After that, boring exposition ensues. Then another boring conversation. Ahh, I will have a good sleep tonight.

Good opening, everyone—a solid contender for the show!

Chapter Two

The next day at school, David invites Laurel to sit with his friends—who include Chelsea, a character obsessed over what other people eat. Speaking of which, it seems Laurel only eats fruit and vegetables… hmm… wot cood dis meen?!

Also, lunch at this school is 28 minutes long. That seems… kind of arbitrary.

Laurel and David discuss the experience of lunch further during class, and—

Oh. That’s the end of the chapter. An entire chapter devoted to lunch; there’s a new one.

Chapter Three

I continue to be riveted by David and Laurel’s conversations, as after an unspecified period of time later they are discussing their respective mothers’ professions. David’s mother is a pharmacist, while Laurel’s is a herbalist. Let’s watch the wackiness ensue!

Only there is no wackiness as of yet. So far, this is one of the blandest things I’ve read since ‘The Wicked Woods’. We learn Laurel was adopted, and then she goes over to David’s house so he can show her a cool tree in his back yard. They exchange numbers, and when Laurel goes home he calls her and they arrange a study date!

This was supposed to be about fairies or something… wasn’t it?

Chapter Four

In this chapter, Laurel gets a zit.

It’s on her back though, so I’m guessing it will later turn out to be the titular Wings. After more boring conversations with David and Chelsea, we learn Laurel never has to use shampoo, her hair is just naturally clean all the time.

The next day the zit has grown larger than any natural zit would, but Laurel’s parents are medicine deniers, so Laurel decides to do sod all about it. And—what do you know—it continues to grow after that. She still doesn’t tell her parents. Even when it becomes so big her regular clothes can no longer conceal it.

Hmm, maybe it’s a bubo. We can always hope, right?

Chapter Five

The next day Laurel awakes to find she has giant petals growing out of her back. She decides the only intelligent thing to do…

Is to hide it from everyone! Yeah, great plan!

But after all, growing petals isn’t normal, as opposed to (and I quote) ‘mood swings, disfiguring acne, even periods that went on for months’. Wait, periods that go on for months? Not getting your period for months, maybe, but bleeding out for that long is not normal! Not even semi-normal!

With this in mind she decides to go to David for answers—he has a microscope after all, it should be no problem for him to—BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry, I really couldn’t keep a straight face there.

Chapter Six

Laurel cuts a piece of her wing off (I get the feeling this is the level of intelligence I should come to expect from Laurel from now on) and goes off to David’s house. He tells her that the petal is a plant. Dun dun dun!

After some cajoling, Laurel shows him the flower growing out of her back. They determine that since it hurt her to cut them up, they’re actually a part of her—I guess these are plants with nerve-endings, then.

Laurel does make the intelligent comment that if she went to school with wings, she’d probably attract the attention of a Dawn character ready and waiting for an excuse to call someone a freak!

And then she says she’s not going to tell anyone, because if she did then she really would be a freak!

Uh, Laurel… I think that ship has sailed.

Chapter Seven

Well, some guy called ‘Jeremiah Barnes’ shows up to be a character in the book, and he sets Laurel on edge, so I’m guessing this is a villain. Also, he’s an estate agent—one of the most evil people in existence!

He wants to buy some property from Laurel’s parents, and it’s implied he’s magically making other people not interested in land.

Then on Monday Laurel goes back to school, and while having a giant flower grow out of your back is annoying, she is easily distracted by David’s handsomeness. As are we all.

Chapter Eight

The quarter-way mark! Wow, that was fast! After the bore that was ‘Starcrossed’ this is moving by like a dream!

Anywho, Laurel goes back to her old house so her parents can talk about how they used to be hardcore hippies. She then meets a Mysterious Stranger called Tamani, who’s also a fairy, and I know this because he’s a mysterious stranger and this is a book about fairies.

However, humorous innuendo about flowers ensues, doubly so as I just can’t quite be sure it was intentional. Exposition follows, confirming once and for all that Laurel is a plant. This makes Laurel tell Tamani to get da fuk out (?!) and never come back, though Tamani is desperate to know what her parents intend to do with the property.

She gets away, but he leaves some glitter on her to remind her that she’s in another Twilight ripoff.

Chapter Nine

The next day, Laurel was a zombie.

The End.

Nah, it just says she ‘felt’ like one, though that would have been funny.

She and David have some meandering interactions and then she tells him all about Tamani, and gets really upset that he called her a fairy, even though it’s as good an explanation as any as to why there’s a flower growing out of her back.

Laurel remains pissed off at this explanation, saying that the best thing for her to do is continue ignoring the issue. That’s my girl!

It saddens poor Laurel that she might have more in common with trees than with her parents—wait, shouldn’t she be able to photosynthesise? What’s all this vegan shit?—and has a boring conversation with her dad about how she’s never been to a doctor except one time when weird things happened.

Then her dad tells her the 3vil estate agent made an offer on the house, and even though before she’d been going on about how much she was going to miss the house, now she couldn’t be happier. Because one guy said she was a fairy.

Chapter Ten

Woo! One third mark!

Laurel and David make up from their slightly less friendly than usual exchange of last chapter, which apparently passes for a fight in this book. Also, there’s a flying car.

I’m not kidding, it says so right here: ‘But a car flew by just at that moment…’

See? Flying car.

Then Laurel points out that her being a walking talking plant is absurd, which David counters with ‘there are more things in heaven etc.’ or that in as many words, at least. Vying with him for the position of Captain Dumb, Laurel thinks that looking at other tissue samples to see if she might be a plant is a CRAZY idea, and people might find out about stuff and… yawn… oh, sorry about that—where was I?

Anyway, David comforts her with a speech on the epic friendship he has for her, the kind that no one in real life would ever give. Ever. And it borders on twu wuv, though I sense we may be saving that spot for Tamani. It’s too bad, because so far David does have him beaten out when it comes to the ‘generic’ part of Generic Love Interest.

Well, turns out Laurel’s saliva cells are plant cells as well, and when they take a blood sample they find out… she has no blood!

Yes, it’s true, Laurel has no blood, and no one ever noticed.

What a bunch of dumbasses.

Wait—it gets better; she doesn’t have a pulse either!

Chapter Eleven

Having no pulse, Laurel is afraid she might actually be dead. I guess we can add brain to the list of things she doesn’t have too. What? Plants don’t have brains!

Kissing between her and David ensues… somehow, prompting Laurel to get da fuk out.

The next day, David has some theories about why Laurel only eats plants and sugar, and when the teacher asks him if there’s something he wants to share with the rest of the class, he says….. pfft, sorry, it’s just so funny…… he says “No, sir. But thank you for asking.”

BUUUUUUURN! That is one sic retort!

Or at least, Laurel thinks it is, because Laurel’s a fucking idiot.

Later, they figure out Laurel has no breath and no veins either, adding more and more reasons to the list of why Laurel and her parents are morons for never noticing this shit. She cries, they hug, Laurel feels disloyal for thinking about Tamani when with David, even though she’s dating neither of them, same old, same old.

And we get this line: ‘It’s pretty unscientific to have a friend who’s a plant’.

Yeah, David, that’s exactly what it is. You and Laurel are in equal position for Captain Dumb now, I think it’s safe to say.

Anyway, Laurel goes to the library to do some research… on Google. But she doesn’t really need to, because Chelsea drops by to justify her existence in the story by randomly being an expert in fairies, explaining that in the Dark Ages, people thought everything that went wrong was the fault of fairies.

No. No they didn’t.

Then she says people used to think angels were fairies.

WTF?

Chapter Twelve

Well, it’s time for a fancy dress party, and they may as well—seeing as nothing else is happening in the book! David and Laurel glam it up and Laurel is all the rage at the party, until she starts wilting—but seeing as Tamani said that would happen anyway… who cares?

After this, Laurel comes to the conclusion that she is, in fact, a fairy. Or ‘Faerie’ as it’s spelled in the book, I don’t think it makes much of a difference.

Yeah, no shit, Laurel.

Chapter Thirteen

Well, that party chapter was really necessary, almost as much so as the one in ‘Halo’!

Laurel decides to talk to her mirror, and when that doesn’t get the results she was hoping for realises she has to talk to Tamani instead. David says she shouldn’t go alone, but Laurel points out that she’s Captain Dumb, so she has to go alone.

So Laurel goes to see Tamani, and he explains that the flower on her back wasn’t a set of wings, thus the title of the book is a misnomer. He also tells her she has magic powers, and then gets jealous when Laurel mentions David. This would be incredibly stupid if it was the first time it happened, but I don’t know, maybe fairies imprint and it’s slightly less stupid than it would be otherwise.

Exposition ensues on a massive scale—here’s the cliff notes version. Fairies are either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin, and Laurel’s in Ravenclaw. Okay, not really; they’ve all got different powers based on what season they were born in, Laurel’s an autumn girl (or ‘fall’ if you’re from across the pond) so she’s the second most powerful after the plant-controlling winter fairies, having the ability to make potions and shit.

Summer fairies have the power to make illusions, which really begs the question of why they aren’t the most powerful—just ask Aizen Sousuke! And Spring fairies like Tamani are…

Chapter Fourteen

Date-rapists!

Again, not really. They have the power to ‘entice’ people and spray them with sparkly pollen, just like Tam did to Laurel back in chapter eight. A bit strong for a first date, I think, but hey—I don’t judge!

Oh, and halfway mark, yay!

Boring conversations ensue. Tam is a snob, like all magical creatures, and yet is completely indistinguishable from a human in mannerism. He tells her that eating green stuff makes you green, and eating red stuff turns you red. Then they talk about fairy sex!

Okay, back to more of that plot thing, Laurel was taken from the fairy world and hidden in the human world and Tam and some other fairies have been watching over her ever since, because… she needed to protect the land… and that necessitated sending a child-sleeper agent to be adopted by a pair of hippies, apparently.

Why is the land so important? It’s too important for an explanation, that’s why!

For this reason Tam tells Laurel she must stop her parents from selling the land! It’s almost like they should have got someone to be a buyer, rather than hoping the hippies would adopt a child who’d grow up to be in control of the land!

Then he gives her a ring to remind her of him and I guess they’re in love now. Two conversations, and after the first one she hated him; that’s got to be a record!

(CONTINUED IN PART II)

Halo: The Suburban Angel Apocalypse (Part II)

PART TWO

Chapter Sixteen

Gabriel decides to invite Xavier over for dinner so he can re-enact that famous scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Well, I hope that’s why he’s inviting him anyway. Xavier’s response to being invited to dinner with the Archangel Gabriel is pretty much ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh… okay.’

Unfortunately dinner is mostly just really boring, and Gabriel seems to have as low an opinion of Beth as I do, as he pretty much says that Xavier is going to be her babysitter. After some dumb conversations, Xavier leaves, having apparently impressed the angels with his extreme generic-ness.

Then there’s a filler scene where the angels go flying.

Chapter Seventeen

The half-way mark! My amusement with this one is beginning to fade—I hope something really stupid happens soon!

But so far it’s just some really boring conversations and Beth mentioning that Molly is becoming jealous of the time she spends with Xavier. Come on, Beth—chicks before dicks!

Then some guy I don’t think we’ve heard of before tries to ask Ivy out…

Why?

And Xavier starts becoming friends for all the angels, helping them with modern technology that for some reason they didn’t already know about (how were they getting by before him?) and making sure Beth only hangs out with people he approves of. What a catch!

So more stuff happens, there’s a clichéd attempted sexual assault, blah blah blah…

And then a ‘bump’ from England with the stupid name of ‘Jake Thorn’ is introduced. (surprise pregnancy?)

Could this be… a Generic Love Triangle?

Chapter Eighteen

The English teacher tells Beth that she’ll need to work on creating a love poem with a partner in preparation for their work on the Romantics, in order to let that class know she doesn’t understand the term ‘Romantic’ when used in that context.

Jake Thorn, PI, (not really, but he sounds like it) steps up to read his poem first. Since he’s apparently a fan of The Following, he chooses some Poe to read out. Oww! Just bumped my head on the pop culture reference limit bar!

The women in the room all go gaga over him, and surprise, surprise, he ends up with Beth as his partner, where they discuss mindless nothing, but this is one of those five-minute classes so they part ways soon enough.

Xavier and Beth drive home and although some brave soul on a motorbike tries to put an end to their sappiness, they survive the journey and proceed to do some boring homework.

Chapter Nineteen

Things are getting really exciting now, as Beth is invited to meet Xavier’s family! What if his sisters think her clothes are unfashionable!? (this is actually a concern she has). Oh the suspense!

Beth is also worried that they’ll compare her to dead!girlfriend, but Xavier says dead!girlfriend couldn’t really have been his One True Love because her parents were divorced, or something.

Fortunately Xavier’s family are reassuringly boring, religious, and the kind of people who ‘pile your plate high with baked potatoes’. That says it all about them really.

Chapter Twenty

Beth goes to English class to find Jake trying to seduce their teacher. The teacher points out that it would be illegal, but Jake’s been to the Wise Woman and has picked up a Cunning Plan so no one else will ever know. The dumb teacher therefore is completely fine with their relationship, and the pop culture references in this review are now over 9000.

Beth disapproves, because the English teacher ‘deserves more respect’, even though she’s a complete tool. But Jake just twirls his moustache a bit and the lesson continues. Meanwhile Gabriel and Ivy are actually trying to achieve their mission, and have succeeded in getting more students involved in extra-curricular activities, which will apparently somehow save the world.

Anyway, who cares about that?—the PROM is approaching! Shopping montage! But, oh no! They don’t find a dress that suits Beth!

Then Ivy says she has nothing better to do than to make Beth a dress, problem solved. Yay.

Later, Beth runs into Jake Thorn, PI, and has a conversation with him where he reveals he’s hardcore, because he lives above a tattoo parlour. Also he practically spells out that he’s a demon/fallen angel/evil guy/villain/thingamy-bob. Will Beth get it?

Chapter Twenty-One

No.

She does flip out about him implying he knows she’s an angel, but only because she thinks he might have figured it out even though he’s a human, which he obviously isn’t. He feigns ignorance, because apparently he has more than two brain cells to rub together.

Bethany doesn’t, because even though Jake’s touch burns her skin she brushes it off as nothing.

Then she and Xavier have a discussion about nothing, she and Molly talk about Xavier’s penis, and Jake uses his powers to burn a woman’s legs.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Molly comes over to Beth’s house to admire a painting Beth thinks is too deep for poor dumb Molly to understand—or any human for that matter, but she explains it anyway, and it’s about as hard to understand as the plot of Hush, Hush.

In other news, Molly wants to become a good citizen now, as maybe then Gabriel would be interested in her; because what’s the point in doing good if you’re not rewarded for it!?

Beth tries to warn her away from him, but Molly doesn’t listen, and Gabriel drives her home because there’s no more dangerous a place than the suburban near-paradise they live in.

The next day, Jake has written some poetry which basically amounts to ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, I am a demon, and I will kill you.’ Then he name-drops Wuthering Heights, because that’s what you do when you’re a ‘Badboy’ Love Interest in YA paranormal romance.

He proceeds to be even creepier, and Beth tells him to get da fuk out, so he backs off. Then she goes to talk to Xavier about… *giggle*… you know, things Tee hee hee!

Sex, basically. Their conversation is boring, but later on Ivy tells Beth that if a human and an angel have sex, the angel will fall and the human will be permanently damaged.

Too good for ’em, I say!

Chapter Twenty-Three

Shit, this is going to be longer than I’d hoped. Oh well, never mind.

Ah, let’s see… bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, the group goes to visit old people and one of them dies of oldness. I’m sure this chapter really needed to be here…

Chapter Twenty-Four

Beth tries to do some worldbuilding, but Xavier tells her to stop because this is paranormal romance, not dystopia, so worldbuilding isn’t allowed—even in infodumps.

Then Xavier injures himself playing rugby. Oh noes! Beth flips out, they go to the hospital, a man in a fedora drops by in the villains-from-Verity manner, and the home team wins the game, yay!

But the worst part is that now Xavier will MISS THE PROM!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

He reads the Bible instead… and to be fair, that’s what I’d rather do. Beth goes to English class to do some more bad poetry with Jake, and surprise, surprise, he asks her to the Prom.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Ah, three quarters done. At this point the book forgets about angels entirely to write down every clichéd prepping-for-prom scene from every teen movie that was ever made, complete with girl-walking-downstairs but sadly not including the prom night slasher-killer.

Xavier and Jake take some time out to measure their penises, then PROM ensues.

Chapter Twenty-Six

By this point I think Jake could be wearing nothing but a balloon tied to his dangly bits that said ‘I AM THE VILLAIN’ in huge red letters and Bethany wouldn’t notice.

Oh yeah, and PROOOOOOOOOOOOM!

Beth and Jake get crowned king and queen of Prom. All shall bow before them! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Then Jake does some non-consensual kissing, Beth tells him to get da fuk out, and Jake finally reveals that he is, indeed, the villain.

What a twist.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Beth tells Gabriel and Ivy that Jake is the villain and they’re like ‘yeah, we thought he might be’, but apparently they didn’t tell Beth because it wasn’t dramatically convenient at the time. Guys, you’re losing to Aunt Sophie from The Wicked Woods; I mean, her outing Fallon as a vampire was anti-climactic as hell, but at least it made sense. Maybe they prefer the Nina from XVI approach?

Anyway, Xavier sees a picture of the kissing and flips out, accusing Beth of cheating on him because… he’s a moron. So much for their loving lovers’ love, I guess!

Beth pulls a Bella-in-New-Moon wangst, so Gabriel goes over to explain things to Xavier, and Xavier believes him instead of Beth because… well, I guess he has more respect for him.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Xavier tries to convince the angels that Jake being the villain is a big deal, but the angels have read YA paranormal romance before, so they know the villains are invariably ineffectual and don’t really care. In fact they’re probably hoping this will take Bethany’s stupidity off their hands.

Jake begins a TERRIFYING campaign of… minor vandalism! And possibly food poisoning?

Then one of Beth’s dumb friends kills herself so she doesn’t have to be in the story any—I mean because of Jake’s evil mind control powers. Xavier thinks he can defeat Jake because he’s ‘just a boy’ and the apathetic angels have to point out that he has evil mind control powers and then reveal that Jake… is a DEMON!

Dun dun dun!

I’m serious—they say it like it’s supposed to be a surprise at this point.

Jake sends a death threat to Xavier but Gabriel still won’t do anything about it, probably hoping that Xavier’s stupidity will be taken off his hands too.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Jake asks Molly out on a date, and though Beth tries to warn her that he’s ‘bad news’, Molly doesn’t listen because she’s a Best Friend character and is therefore not allowed to have a brain.

Team Angel use the logic of people wearing black always hanging out in cemeteries to realise that the Final Battle will take place in the cemetery.

Chapter Thirty

Beth and Xavier tell Gabriel they’re going to the grocery store, but really they’re going to the cemetery to face off against Jake. Gabriel believes them because either he’s an idiot or he just hates them as much as I do.

Jake is trying to fit as many clichés as he possibly can in by standing in front of an angel, wearing a pentacle (to symbolise the five wounds of Christ, like all Satanists would want!), and a fedora hat and trench coat like a mafia goon.

He monologues to his Deth Dealers, and some students are brought before him so he can use a grimoire to raise the dead and speak terrible Latin. I pretty much failed Latin, and I know it’s terrible, but it does get his followers possessed by evil spirits.

Beth and Xavier let all this happen until he brings Molly forward to be possessed, and then they have to do something, because unlike the others, she’s their friend!

Jake is as unimpressed with them as I am and says that Beth must take Molly’s place, and also that he killed Xavier’s not!true love… years before they even met? Why?! Well, no great loss—I mean, her parents were divorced and everything.

And then Beth blacks out.

Chapter Thirty-One

Jake takes Beth to his evil villain lair of clichéd-ness, and psychically gives her some bad memories which almost kill her… somehow, but then Gabriel, Ivy and Xavier pop up to save the day.

Gabriel attacks Jake but only way to defeat someone with that many clichés on their side is with the even bigger cliché of the power of love. Yes, even the fedora and trench coat can’t stand up to that—I almost died laughing just reading about it, and would have if that meteor hadn’t got me earlier.

Chapter Thirty-Two

Well, that was an anti-climax.

The angels mind-rape everyone so they forget about Jake’s existence and they all live happily ever after. Or in Beth’s case, whining-ly ever after.

Epilogue

After a boring conversation, Jake leaves behind another death threat—or hell-threat, rather. Aww. What a guy.

Final Thoughts

Well, it’s the end of the world as we know it and as you see I died halfway through this review so I guess I’d better go over my options—heaven, hell, annoying-dead-sister-ghost, the possibilities go on.

Dawn: But you can’t die! What about Prom!?

I’m English, Dawn. We don’t have Prom, and neither do you or the rest of the people stuck in the village of Ireland.

Anyway, I’m off to the cemetery to hang out with all the other people who wear black so we can raise evil spirits, as you do.

Aphrodite: Ooh, can I come?! Provided you don’t bring any of those pentacles, I mean—I don’t hold with that shitty Christian superstition!

Only if you don’t mind a Green Knight cutting your head off, Aphrodite.

Halo: The Suburban Angel Apocalypse (Part I)

The Rachelloon Book Commentaries are now all collected together so you can waste hours on end reading the entire anthology, just by clicking on ‘The Rachelloon Review Show’ to your left. In celebration… Halo. No, really–this one is one of my favourites XD

Condensed review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/589117477

Ah, today we return to our roots. That’s right ladies and gentlemen…

Angels.

I have heard some glorious outpourings of hate towards this book, and after much deliberation… how could I resist?

(Shit, at this rate I’m going to end up reading ‘Save the Pearls’, and I may be evil, but even I’d feel embarrassed about that one!)

Chapter One

For our preface, we have two quotes—one from Shakespeare, and one from that other genius of words, Beyoncé.

A boy sees three figures, including out narrator, get zapped to earth. Our narrator wonders what about them startles him so much—their absurdly pale skin, their dumb clothes, their dumb expressions… oh, I don’t know, narrator. Maybe it’s the fact that you were BEAMED DOWN IN A FLASH OF LIGHT!

This is going to be a good one!

Our three heroes, Gabriel, Ivy and Bethany, (once again these angels randomly have the concept of gender) wander around the romantic poet-theme named streets to their new home. Bethany admires the modernisation, even though she shouldn’t know what the hell ‘modern’ architecture is, as she doesn’t understand toothpaste.

They’re here to re-connect people to their spiritual side. Wow, what an exciting mission. One day while out wandering aimlessly, the angels see an even stranger supernatural creature than they are… the Generic Love Interest, and Bethany is immediately ensnared.

Chapter Two

Bethany wakes to some pages of description and waffling about the meaning of the word ‘love’. For dessert she gives us some exposition about how she’s only seventeen years old. The other angels tell her to watch out, yo, and not become attached to being human. /angel cliché.

A second round of description—this time of character design ensues. Ah, character description. Sadly there are no ripped black corsets mentioned so I don’t have much to say about it.

Then they have to remind each other what their mission is and why they’re there. Oh noes! Amnesia strikes again! But the mission will be difficult because they have trouble blending in with their ghostly pale skin, their not-leaving-of-footprints, and, most damningly, their not-wearing-of-tank tops. (!)

Said mission is to save a ‘world on the brink of destruction’—by being nice and doing good deeds. Huh. *looks out window* You know, I’m not sure it’s really all that bad out there—

*Meteorite strikes house, kills mediocre reviewer*

Oh, fuck.

Well, at least it’s not as bad as what Bethany has to go through.

… High School.

Chapter Three

Bethany is posing as an Ordinary High School Student tm., while Gabe poses as a teacher. Fortunately for Bethany, she seems to have all the same fears an Ordinary High School Student has on their first day in a new school, rather than worrying about her whole mission from God thing, so I’m sure no one will notice her lack of tank top.

(Then again they’ve taken the last name ‘Church’, so how much they’re trying to blend in can be debated).

Stereotypical cliques are described, the angels comment on the fashions the young people of today are wearing as if they’d actually care, and Gabe uses his angelic powers to affect the weather patterns so the Big Game doesn’t get rained off that evening. Priorities!

Bethany meets a girl called Molly who takes her to chemistry class (I hope it’s not being taught by the basketball coach!) and reveals she doesn’t know what the word ‘spare’ means.

Molly tells Bethany that strange things have been happening, which Bethany should have already known since it’s the whole reason she’s there. But then, she can barely remember the cover story the angels have for their background, so what can you do?

Generic Love Interest, Xavier, pops by to remind everyone that he’s the love interest and get some overdone—uh, I mean, much needed extra description. After some dumb conversation, Molly tells Bethany that Xavier’s former One Twu Wuv died in a fire and he’ll never love again… (for about two chapters, I’m betting).

Chapter Four

Beth teases Gabe about his being immediately harassed by groups of girls because of his good looks, and then they discuss why it’s a bad idea to make friends. Beth proceeds to act more like an extremely sheltered teenage girl than an angel, which I have a feeling will be par for the course for the rest of the book.

I already wish the book was about Gabriel instead. Oh well…

So the angels have a boring dinner, with some boring conversations, and refuse to tell Beth what ‘MILF’ means because she’s too young and delicate to hear such terrible language, and so Beth can show us that she’s absurdly and excruciatingly naive.

Chapter Five

Well, Beth is as bored as the reader now, and mentions that time doesn’t exist in heaven, which is why it’s stupid that she’s supposed to be seventeen years old. So the angels go for a walk on the beach, where they see Molly—who Gabe and Ivy disapprove of because we all know from watching Troll 2 how terrible friends are!

Then a random fight breaks out and Gabriel breaks it up by being a bit awesome, and they all go home so Bethany can dream of Xavier, her one true love who she’s exchanged about five words with.

Chapter Six

The next day Beth wakes up to find Gabe just coming back from a run, and thinks of him in terms I’m not entirely sure are appropriate to be thinking about your brother in. Then a nosy neighbour pops by and says that everyone’s very neighbourly around here, to which Ivy replies:

“That’s good to hear.”

This makes Beth marvel at Ivy’s conversational skills. Really.

This two-minute conversation causes the trio to be half an hour late for school, where Molly informs Beth that the PROM is coming up. That’s right, the prom—enjoy it while you can, kids, ’cause it’s all downhill from there.

Then Xavier pops up and dazzles her. Really.

They go to French class, where Bethany has BROUGHT THE WRONG BOOK! THE HORROR! But Xavier steps in to save the day, nobly sacrificing his own book for her benefit. *sob, sob*. It’s just so beautiful!

Oh, and Molly is in love with Gabriel now.

Chapter Seven

This chapter’s called ‘partay’.

*Siiiiiiiiiigh.*

Well, Molly tells Beth not to get involved with Xavier, because she asked him out once and he politely turned her down, and it was the WORST THING EVAH!

Anyway, Beth goes over to Molly’s house to find she’s throwing a party, yay! I mean—oh noes, underage drinking! And Bethany was never told about alcohol because she and the other angels are morons.

Xavier comes to the rescue and takes her home so Gabriel can act suspiciously and Beth can mention that they can’t go to doctors because they have anomalous physiology, because apparently the angels can’t make convincing human-suits.

Oh, those wacky angels!

Chapter Eight

Beth wakes up to an angelic hangover—some healer Ivy turned out to be—and wangsts about her TERRIBLE ORDEAL and what a loser she is.

But the other angels forgive her and instead discuss a bombing in the Middle East, which has made front page news along with a particularly emotionally manipulative photograph, and how it has nothing to do with the plot.

Then Beth pops out to the shops and instead of buying food, adopts a dog called Phantom, and the angels are all okay with suddenly having a dog, because making friends with humans is bad but keeping pets is fine.

Chapter Nine

Xavier comes around to see how his Love Interest is doing, Gabe asks how long they’ve known each other—a dumb question since he was with Beth when they met, and Beth replies that such knowledge would constitute a breach of privacy, as if we needed any more evidence that dumbness runs in the ‘family’.

A boring conversation ensues, followed by some boring giving of numbers, which Gabriel objects to because dating is a HUMAN thing. Beth is too much like a HUMAN. It’s almost like making her an angel at all was completely pointless!

Beth wangsts about her insta-love and has a bad dream of falling to earth, though I wouldn’t worry about that, all you’d need to do would be to find a Nephilim vassal, wait for him to have a female descendant, then fall in love with her so she’ll sacrifice herself for you!

The phone number is torn to pieces and thrown off Beth’s balcony. Sad times.

What? I have Native American blood, I’m allowed to feel sad when I see littering!

Chapter Ten

Quarter-way mark, it’s almost going too quickly, *sigh*.

Xavier goes away to rowing camp for no reason. Yay. Also the word ‘limpid’ is actually used to describe his eyes. Beth therefore spends her time talking to Molly and her friends, who tell her that the library is for losers and the Middle East is in Africa.

So, it’s not just Beth that’s brainless, huh? I guess the friends had to be pretty dumb to make her look good.

We also learn that Ivy actually had a purpose as well—starting a church group to help poor people. I’m sure that will figure into the plot, when it decides to start. (Not).

Anyway, it appears the reason Xavier went to rowing camp was so he could come back a few pages later and ask Beth to the movies. After hiding this fact from her fellow angels (which doesn’t seem very angelic) she sneaks out and wanders around aimlessly until she finds him, whereupon he gives her his wonderful backstory.

Also he says he was interested in design, (design of what he doesn’t mention) but that doesn’t lead to a career (except where it does) so his parents disapprove.

Then they go to a closed fair where Ava from Evermore is waiting to read their fortunes. Well, it could be worse—it could be that woman from The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies! She tells us what Xavier’s personality is so the book doesn’t have to, and freaks out at Bethany.

Xavier takes her home in his pet car, where Beth asks about his dead girlfriend and Xavier reveals he’s a creationist. *Sigh*. Blasphemy Against the Holy Periodic Table, Xavier!

Chapter Eleven

Beth is told off by the other angels. Oh noes. Then after some meandering she goes back to school to talk to her dumb friends. Apparently lots of boys have asked Beth to the prom.

Why?

Xavier pops by to ‘rescue’ her from the conversation—and sure, it was boring, but that was as much Beth’s fault as anyone else’s. Seeing as the conversation they proceed to have is just as boring and pointless, I’m not sure why he bothered.

Beth whines about wanting to be human for a while, times passes, her association with Xavier makes her popular—Ever would disapprove! Then she goes to English class where they study that wonderful cautionary tale, Romeo and Juliet, and everyone is told they have to write their own love poem that will be read out to the entire class. Uh-oh spaghettios! THE CLASS PANICS!

And then proceeds to have the dumbest conversation yet, full of ridiculous stereotypes and stupidity.

Chapter Twelve

For no reason, Beth thinks about God for a bit.

Well, that was pointless. Xavier talks to her about nothing for a while.

Then the story takes a bold turn when something ACTUALLY HAPPENS. Off-page, sure, but it’s something. There’s a car crash and a girl almost dies, but Beth saves her life—ha ha, wait, no, she waits with her until Gabriel comes to save her, Beth just faints like a dumbass.

Gabriel tells Beth that actually she did save car-crash girl, that he only healed her physical wounds while Beth… gave her her life force?

Yay?

Chapter Thirteen

The angels talk with their priest friend about how many idiots they’ve managed to convert to… uh… church. There doesn’t really seem to be any mention of denomination from that quarter.

Beth and Xavier have YA paranormal romance conversation #103, ‘I can’t be with you because of a secret I can’t tell you—I don’t care about secrets and stuff’ conversation. This results in kissing, no surprise, and Bethany says she’ll tell Xavier her secret at a beach bonfire.

Huzzah.

Chapter Fourteen

The angels believe in limbo so I guess they must be Catholic. Oh, and limbo sucks, just so’s you know.

Gabriel has stopped dressing the way his employers expect him to because…

And they have to let him get away with it because otherwise he’d resign, and the students would go into uproar due to his popularity, which is because of…

Beth asks him if she can go to the prom, an event she’s spent far more time thinking about than her actual mission thing, which apparently only Gabriel actually cares about; you can tell because of his long emo looks of sadness out into the distance.

Then we learn that dogs only respond to men. Because they’re MEN!

And now it’s time for Beth to reveal her secret to Xavier. She shows him how she doesn’t leave footprints in the sand, he responds with ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.’ She shows him how a cut on her foot had healed in about five seconds—he responds with ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.’ She shows him how she hasn’t got a belly-button, he responds with ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh’.

I think you might need to break out the hand puppets, Beth.

But no, she jumps off a cliff instead. Practising for Hush, Hush? You be the judge!

Chapter Fifteen

Xavier responds well to the revelation of Beth’s angelic nature, until he learns that one day she’s going to have to go back to the big prom night in the sky, but then they just don’t think about it for a while and it’s okay.

However, since Gabriel and Ivy have at least half a brain cell between them, they figure out what happened. Uh oh spaghettios!

Gabriel goes to tell his fellow archangels about this development, and they hold off pursuing the Winchester brothers to talk to him /obligatory Supernatural reference—special outdated version ’cause I stopped watching it! Meanwhile Beth and Ivy talk about love and how human Beth is.

Thanks to a literal Deus ex Machina, Beth is allowed to continue to see Xavier, which pisses Gabriel off because it means he’s still stuck in ‘Halo’.

CONTINUED IN PART TWO

The Wicked Woods: A Book That Was Written (Part II)

(THE WICKED WOODS COMMENTARY, PART TWO)

Chapter Eleven

Well, the homecoming dance is approaching, and Pepper drops by to tell Briony that no one will ever want to go with her because she’s a freak. For some reason.

That’s my girl!

Then Fallon shows up and Briony cries in his arms. Aww. What a loser.

Fallon reveals his brother went missing around the same time as Briony’s family, and he’s really in town to look for him, so Briony’s not alone anymore. Then Fallon says he doubts Briony could ever be alone, and Briony thinks he’s comparing her to Pepper and is horribly offended, because that’s the most reasonable reaction there is.

But Fallon asks her to the dance, and after a few pages she finally grasps the concept of being asked to a dance enough to say yes (though for some reason she starts thinking about Kevin). Yay.

Chapter Twelve

‘Fallon was one of the best kissers Briony have had’.

Oh dear.

(Actually, this entire page makes no grammatical sense. Maybe it was stuck to the one before it when the proof-reader went through it?)

Well, never mind. Time for a choosing a dress for the dance scene! The most exciting scene there is.

But when Fallon shows up to collect her for the dance it turns out he’s a vampire. What a bummer. (apparently Aunt Sophie can tell these things by sight, but even though Fallon knew Briony knew about the supernatural, he came over to her house to collect her. What a dumbass.)

Briony briefly considers killing him, what with him being a soulless blood-drinking monster of the ilk that killed her family, but then she just says it explains why he was hanging out with her rather than the popular girls.

Huh?

Aunt Sophie says trusting vampires is a bad idea, but then she’s just like ‘whatever’, and listens to Fallon say that Briony’s dad asked him to watch over Briony the night he and Fallon’s brother disappeared. Oooooh! Briony gets upset, believing Fallon’s interest in her to be purely the whim of her father (she doesn’t seem to care that he was there the night they all disappeared and so might actually know what happened to her family), but he says he totes loves her for realz, and so they go to the dance together.

This is just hilarious.

Chapter Thirteen

Fallon shows his love by buying Briony a crucifix so she’ll be safe from him wanting to eat her. Yep, sing it with me now;

“I want to chomp into your throat… and watch you bleed out on the floor… then I’ll bathe myself in your life essence as you die, tear your heart out of your chest and crack the bones and suck the marrow out—slice into your brain for sandwiches and maybe have an omelette made of…”

Anyway they go to the dance, where Tracey is wearing a ‘glittery thing that only she could ever pull off’. I know, right? Isn’t that just so Tracey? (well, let’s assume it is for now.) Pepper is Homecoming Queen and wearing an ‘ensemble that tried just a little bit too hard’. How so? Never explained.

They spend a few pages dancing and then Fallon abruptly loses control of himself and tries to suck her blood, then gets all sad about losing control. It’s really heart-wrenching. Well, I think I wrenched a rib laughing anyway.

Chapter Fourteen

Fallon flounces off, so Briony goes back to thinking about Jacob. Uh, I mean Kevin!

He tells her that he is indeed a hunter, he’s just not part of the society because he’s a rebel. My heart = throbbing. Then Briony gets pissy at him and he leaves without saying goodbye. Sad tiems.

Chapter Fifteen

Briony gets a ‘heartfelt’ breakup letter from Fallon and cries for the loss of their three-week or so relationship. Aunt Sophie comforts her.

Chapter Sixteen

Kevin comes back to the diner to remind everyone that he exists and Maisy and Steve tell Briony to find a new boyfriend. The next day, Kevin’s there again, and they have a boring conversation about swans. Then there’s some kissing.

Chapter Seventeen

Aunt Sophie rings up to say that something’s happened, and in this book that’s almost a plot twist. But prepare your handkerchiefs guys… Tracey’s been killed by a vampire!

*Sob, sob* I know, she was my favourite character! *Sob*.

The society goes out to fight the vampires, and George and Briony get attacked by…

Granny Goodness! Dun dun dun!

No, not really—it’s Fallon. He pretends to be evil now, and it’s so obvious he’s pretending that Briony’s heartache over it seems as dumb as… well, everything else about her. Also some other evil vampire called Lily is there, and she tries to kill Briony, but Fallon reveals he’s actually not evil and protects her. Yay. They make up. George doesn’t care.

Chapter Eighteen

Well, this book is three quarters of the way through, and what have we learned?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. This is seriously the worst written of any of the YA I’ve read so far, it has more things happening than the others, but they’re given barely any gravitas in the writing. The characters are clichéd and bland, the plot is worthy of a sixteen-year-old’s fanfiction.

And it is glorious!

Anyway, Maisy and Steve pop up for no reason, then a shadowy figure appears to tell Fallon he’s in big trouble with ‘the Master’. Insert Doctor Who joke here. Then he practically throws himself onto Briony’s stake.

Maisy and Steve are like ‘huh, that was kind of weird’, and Steve faints. They get told about the existence of vampires, and immediately start talking about a dumb vampire show they like to watch.

Then nothing happens for the rest of the chapter.

Chapter Nineteen

The super-secret monster hunting club makes Tracey’s death look like an accident so they can continue to deal with the endemic monster problem on their own and not raise awareness with authorities who could organise better equipped responses.

They’re the best!

Of course the medical examiners are also the best, as they declare the claw marks from monsters to be scratches from thorn bushes. Even Briony comments on how dumb that is!

So Briony and Fallon go out on a date, but their boring conversation is interrupted when Kevin shows up to reveal that he’s Fallon’s missing brother! Dun dun dun!

And also he’s a werewolf.

Neither of the brothers are very happy about this, and neither is pleased to see that the other is alive. Fallon reveals this is because vampires and werewolves have hated each other for ever, or at least since ‘Underworld’ came out.

A fight scene ensues, and Briony pleads with them to not kill each other, but Fallon reveals he now wants to kill his brother even more than he wants to kill her (kinky?) and then a bunch of vampires dressed in really stupid outfits show up and applaud Briony’s stirring speech about how in order for her to trust him, Fallon has to—you know—not kill his brother. Sarcastically. Just like I’m doing.

The Master comes forward, reveals his name is Pietre and takes the opportunity to grandstand like all cartoon villains do, and also put both Fallon and Kevin in a chokehold. Then Briony threatens to kill herself if he doesn’t let the dumb duo go, and for some reason this upsets Pietre and he complies.

And then she blacks out and wakes up at the Pokémon Centre.

Chapter Twenty

Okay, she’s not really at the Pokémon Centre. Believe it or not, I lied.

The terrific trio awaken tied to chairs. Pietre shows up for some more cartoon villain grandstanding, wherein he reveals that he and Aunt Sophie used to date. What a twist. He’s waited until now to kill her family for dumping him (and also for trying to kill him) because he had to wait for the main character of the book to show up, I guess.

Anyway, Pietre says he’s going to kill Kevin if Briony doesn’t do what he says, and she immediately capitulates. Then he reveals he turned her entire family into vampires and—

“Wicked Woods continues in Book 2 of Wicked Woods: Shimmer”

WHAT!?

What? I… I… I don’t believe this! We’re only 90% through the book, what the hell else did I download onto my kindle!?

Let’s see… advertisements for other books written by this author… author going on about how much she cares about her readers… how to contact the author… more advertisements… more advertisements… shit, this is one prolific author!… and then nothing.

It’s the end.

Wow. Just wow.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Well, it wasn’t exactly the ‘Mr Worf, fire!’ cliffhanger of ‘Best of Both Worlds’ but…

No, I got nothing. (Haha, like the book!)

Or wait—we could do a Birdemic reference, that’s always good for a laugh!

Ahem.

“Man, that was a good movie—uh, book: The Wicked Woods.”

Dawn: “That’s it. I’m getting myself a vampire werewolf love triangle that’s environmentally friendly.”

And in conclusion, we have only our burning of fossil fuels (which is causing global warming) to blame for this book. And for being attacked by exploding bird pictures.