Wednesday, February 27, 2019

You remember Albrecht?

As a stop gap between books, I wound up grabbing Bill Bridges's (actually listed here as William Bridges) The Silver Crown, aka how King Albrect of the Silver Fangs became king. Long recap made short: back when Werewolf: The Apocalypse 2nd Edition came out, there was a really cool comic that bookended the text that showed how Albrecht literally ran into the Wendigo Evan who was undergoing his First Change and how they joined with the Black Fury Mari to form a pack. Throughout the book, we had other cartoon glimpses of them, illustrating playing the game and fighting.

Anyway, Albrecht is the Grandson of Jacob Morningkill, who at the start of the books is king of the North Country protectorate in Vermont.Jacob suffers from the usual Silver Fang derangements, in this case, paranoia. He has, however, put his trust in Polly Purebred, AKA Lord Arkady, Scion of House Crescent Moon. When Jacob is killed by Black Spiral Dancers, Jacob uses his last breath to unexily his grandson.

Which ends up with Arkady and Albrecht dueling for the right of Kingship. Arkady cheat sin a way that can't be proven due to archaic Silver Fang protocols, so Albrecht has roughly 2 weeks to undergo a quest to find the MacGuffin, the Silver Crown, fabled relic of the Silver Fangs.

Which leads to the realm of Pangaea, The Abyss, a Black Spiral Hive, the Silver Fang Homeland, and finally New York City. After undergoing a literal hitting rock bottom, Albrecht finally does gain the kingship and heals a few wounds with his pack. (Not that it matters, he and Mari will nitpick each other until Apocalypse.)

It remains a fun read, fast paced with none of the anime style combat that plagued some of the Tribe Novels.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Welcome to Seattle Stadium!

So, I evidently picked up C. E. Murphy's Urban Shaman at one book sale or another, and wound up reading it this past week.

We're following Joanne Walker (AKA Sibohan Walkingstick) as she's flying back to Seattle from her Irish mother's funeral. The oddness gets going on page 1 as Jo sees a woman being chased across northeast Seattle from the plane. After convincing absolutely no one of what she saw from 10000 feet, She hires an older cab driver, Gary, who manages to get her to a church, where she finds the woman who was being chased, who also claims to be a banshee. Then Cernunnos shows up, and everything gets weird.

Well, ok, we're dealing with Herne the Hunter and Cernunnos, as well as a certain coyote who shows up to try to get Jo through shaman training. Seems Jo was a brand new soul built to tie together Irish and Native blood. Which is nice when one is being chased by the Wild Hunt.

Normally in this trope, the main character is either disbelieving for a while or has already been in the life for a while before the narrative starts. In this, she starts off as a non believer, but quickly shatters that after the weird starts.

Really, this mixing of world mythos reminded me quite a bit of Iron Druid. Other than the rush to get the character moving, it's actually a fun romp. I'll have to look to see if there's more.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Muddy Waters

So, in Morgan Brice's Dark Rivers, we follow Evan and Seth to that known hellhole, Pittsburgh. (At a guess, the next edition will be either Cleveland or Detroit. Witch disciples of the Rust Belt for the WIN!)

Anyway, the general plot is that they've discovered another disciple and descendant, this time living in the 3 Rivers. Said descendant, Brandon, works part time as an EMT and part time as a barista. His boyfriend, Alex, works as a PI, one who Seth happens to have hired. Oops.

Add into this Evan's evil ex, who's now working for the current disciple, and who kidnaps Evan about halfway through, uses Evan's phone to text a break up message to Seth (along with an old non consensual video of him and Evan from back in the day), and you have a whole mess of drama.

While the book was actually well written and a heck of a lot more compelling than much of what's currently being written in the MM Supernatural Romance genre, it doesn't change that this particular story is a straight line. Or that the confrontation that ends everything happens relatively early, leaving us several pages of Christmas good will and...well... stocking stuffing.

Mind you, there are other hunters running through the book, but I have no idea if they're from another of Brice's series or not. (If she's creating a shared universe, that's great. If not, give us someplace to track down what the other hunters are talking about. Actually, either way, show us what the heck the Ninja Priest and Government agent were doing prior to this.)

Fun read, if a bit light.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Please make me pure

So, while I haven't as of yet seen the movie version, I did finish Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley this morning.

Which is at once rough reading and also irritating at the same time.

Since the tale is told in a non-linear fashion, the gist is our narrator grows up Missionary Baptist with a Car Salesman father striving to become a minister. He dates a girl throughout high school, but remains chaste beyond a few kisses. When he goes to college, he meets a guy who rapes him. Said guy calls Garrard's parents and tells them Garrard is gay. Garrard winds up in Love In Action trying to become an Ex-Gay. End result, Garrard figures out the whole program is essentially a sham and his mother pulls him out. It takes years, but he eventually patches things up with his parents, sort of.

On one hand, one is happy he he got out before the more extreme methods of conversion happen. His rape could have been a lot worse. His parents still love him. That doesn't make any of this narrative any more justifiable by any of the participants. What happened shouldn't happen to anyone. I realize that it can and does happen, but...

I guess I've just been lucky, not growing up believing that that who I am somehow makes me less in God's eyes, that whom I love somehow makes me just as bad as a murderer.

Again, this blog isn't space for me to moralize, to point out that I have huge issues with beliefs that make parents disown their children, that wind up with programs that essentially preach that what's "wrong" with me is somehow a reflection of my parents' sins. I was lucky, even if my own path to where I am now was rocky. To my knowledge, mom's never faced consequences affecting her livelihood and calling based on my actions. On the other hand, I also vaguely remember what it was like to build a giant box to contain myself and shove things I thought would cause shunning into that box. It's been over 20 years or more, but yeah, some of that is still here.

So, yeah.

While I may not be a person who is directly targeted by this memoir, that would be more people who've been through the Ex-gay process and people who need to know the horror of it, but I could feel more than I wanted to of it echoing in my own soul.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Better Out Than In

I normally enjoy Ramsey Campbell, but I find myself at odds with Think Yourself Lucky.

I mean, the general premise holds up, milquetoast David goes out of his way not to rock th eboat or cause problems, but someone is writing a blog about the things he's keeping hidden under a title he chose and under the name of his imaginary friend.

Unfortunately, this is pretty much the plot. We follow David around as he works at his horrible job with his ex as his boss, we read blog posts where someone makes it seem like they're killing people who have hurt David. The ending itself makes absolutely no sense, and we're never really sure how real Lucky is.

Campbell has better books, I'd suggest reading one of them over this one.