Archive for Supernatural

The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb

The Fate of Mercy AlbanBook Review:  The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb

The Albans have been the talk of the town for decades.  One topic in particular refuses to go away — the evening of the Alban’s Solstice party in the summer of 1956.  David Coleville, a famous writer, committed suicide in the garden and Fate Alban disappeared.  Fifty-some years later, a journalist is in town, asking questions.

Grace Alban was born several years after that fateful night but she has her own reasons for shunning the family home.  Her mother’s death brings her back to the mansion on the shores of Lake Superior and suddenly she’s not only dealing with her grief, but she’s also confronted by the long-buried family secrets the reporter is determined to uncover.  A packet of old love letters and a lost manuscript hold clues to those secrets.

I enjoyed this book in spite of a few shortcomings.  My biggest complaint is that I was apparently more interested in knowing what happened the summer of 1956 than the main character — despite the fact that persons unknown keep breaking into her home, and a crazy aunt has landed on her doorstep, Grace is too quick to set aside her best source of clues, too often.  It was jarring.  I’m flipping the pages as quickly as possible and she keeps setting Major Clues aside for later.  Really?

My next complaint is that certain things happened much too quickly.  One minute, the housekeeper is with the crazy aunt, the next minute the crazy aunt is footloose and crazy-free.   One minute, Grace’s daughter is by her side, the next minute she’s been whisked away without a hitch despite the fact that several people are in the room AND a table is between the daughter and the perpetrator.  Really?

More of a quibble than a complaint, some of the supernatural elements simply didn’t work for me — the shadows, for example.  The epilogue.

All that said, I still found this book to be deliciously spooky.  Webb can create atmosphere — she just needs to iron out a few kinks to sustain it.  She relied a bit too much on things happening because someone had to be someplace for something to happen.  She needs to employ a subtler hand in these scenes in order for the reader to feel that OMG moment.

I loved the history Webb created for the Alban family and house.  Webb didn’t really sell me on the transformative event in Mercy’s life but that’s something I could just accept as part of the storyline and move forward — Webb did sell me on many of the other spooky events, when she took her time creating the scene and didn’t just plop us into it.

If you liked Michael Koryta’s So Cold the River, give this a try and let me know what you think.

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Fright Night: Original Versus Remake

I loved the original Fright Night so maybe I shouldn’t have been so eager to see the remake.  I was eager though:  as hot as I thought Chris Sarandon was then, I was looking forward to seeing Colin Farrell as the vampire now.  If ever there was a vampire who could lure me into letting them get close, it would be Colin Farrell.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration as we all know that I would also fall victim to Ian Somerhalder and Aidan Turner in a heartbeat, but my point is that I think Farrell could have been one of the steamiest vampires ever.  Imagine my disappointment when they chose to have him play the vampire as an in-your-face psychopath rather than a hey-baby-I-just-want-love-you-and-maybe-nibble-on-your-neck roué.

Farrell was convincing as a psychopath; I just didn’t care for taking Jerry the Vampire in that direction.  I also didn’t feel that the remake flowed as well.  In the original, we see Charlie catch a glimpse of his neighbor’s nighttime activities; in the remake, Ed aka Evil tells us what he has seen.  In the original, there’s more suspense as Charlie tries to protect his disbelieving friends/family from Jerry; in the remake, Jerry shows his fangs fairly quickly.

I will say that I loved the moment in which Charlie pulls the beer back from the doorway, just a bit, to see if Jerry can reach in to get it—the rest of that scene was deliberately awkward but this segment was awesome.  Jerry also had some classic lines like “Catch you later”, “You have your mother’s eyes–and your father’s aim.”  I also liked the way Jerry played with catching himself on fire.  I just wish they could have kept the best of his menace and added some smolder to round things out.  I’m not talking about Edward or Stefenesque-angst, I’m talking about knowing that you really shouldn’t let a vampire nuzzle your neck but you can’t resist the temptation to surrender to him.

All that said, I did like the revamping of Peter Vincent’s character and I also liked the new backstory of Charlie and Evil.  Even though I’m a *Twilight fan, I’m something of a self-loathing Twilight fan, so I did laugh at the line “Dude, I’m so mad that you think I read Twilight!”

Have you seen both Fright Nights?  If so, what did you think?  Are there any remakes out there that you think are as good as or better than the original?

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*Bella’s relationship with Edward is warped—no argument there.

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Being Human Season 3 Finale

First of all, if Marcy Ogle is reading this post, she needs to stop reading now and come back to it after she has watched the finale.  This post has spoilers and trust me, you don’t want to know what’s coming ahead of time.

Now onto the discussion!  Mitchell made a lot of mistakes in Season 3 and I have to admit, I was wondering how he could ever recover from them.  I hated that he did not want to help Adam and I hated that he offered McNair up to the vampires.  When watching him prepare to sacrifice Nancy in order to bring back Herrick’s memories, my good pal Melissa turned to me and said “how are they ever going to redeem him now?”  It did seem like he was quickly approaching the point of no return.

And then, as we all knew they would, Annie, George and Nina finally realized that Mitchell was involved in the Box Tunnel 20 murders.  I knew that this would be heartbreaking but I had no idea just how heartbreaking this scene would be.  The love of his life and his best friend lose all faith in his ability to stay clean.  Given the guilt Mitchell felt, it wasn’t surprising that he asked George to kill him.  What was surprising was that they seemed to think it was the right thing to do.  When they actually agreed that George would do it, Melissa and I exchanged horrified looks:  we couldn’t believe that the story was actually taking this turn.  The show is all about how Mitchell, Annie and George help each other, how they pull each other back from dangerous impulses, how they strive to retain their humanity.  How does killing Mitchell fit in with that?

I re-watched the episode (and yes, I cried, AGAIN).  As much as I hate the thought of Being Human without Mitchell, I think I get it.  As much as I think that it was too early to give up on Mitchell, the truth is that he’s always either been on the verge of losing control or well past it.  Maybe the vampiric drive is too strong for anyone to resist forever; maybe Mitchell’s redemption lay in his willingness to end his own life before he could hurt anyone else.  Considering that previous episodes had him so selfishly determined to live forever that he nearly sacrificed McNair and Nancy, maybe his willingness to let go of his life can be seen as the most unselfish thing he could do.

What do you think?  Was there redemption in Mitchell’s request for George to drive a stake through his heart?  Was Herrick lying when he said there was no way to come back from that kind of death?  If not, do the Old Ones know tricks that Herrick didn’t?  *The Old Ones definitely have some tricks up their sleeves: Wyndam was able to enter the house without an invitation but, way back in Season One, Herrick caught on fire when he burst through the door to stake Mitchell.

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Being Human and Other Alternate Realities

I love the BBC series Being Human and to my surprise I also like the SyFy version.  I admit, it was a tough sell at first—I mainly stayed with it because I was interested in Aidan’s character.

Now, I’m intrigued.  Whereas at first I was annoyed by the “lack of originality”, now I’m hooked on the similar but different storylines.  How many of us have wished to change some action in our pasts?  I think the SyFy version of Being Human illustrates the thought that our paths are formed by a combination of forces outside our control (like being bitten by a werewolf or turned by a vampire) and our own natural inclinations.  One decision here or there isn’t usually a game-changer (unless it’s going out on a date with Aidan and getting him too hot and bothered).  Like Mitchell, Aidan struggles against his vampiric nature as well as against his vampiric brethren.  Like George, Josh struggles to have a normal life despite his condition.  Like Annie, Sally struggles to come to terms with her new reality.  Each character makes different choices along the way but the paths remain quite similar.

So I suppose what draws me to both versions of Being Human (aside of the fact that Mitchell and Aidan are both hot), is the fact that I want to see how the different choices play out and create a slightly different journey.  I think the same can be said for the Sookie Stackhouse series and HBO’s True Blood.

For more information on BBC’s Being Human, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/beinghuman/

For more information on SyFy’s Being Human, please visit http://www.syfy.com/beinghuman/

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Favorite vampire?

I like supernatural stories, whether in print on the screen.  My friend Melissa shares this appreciation—we’ve read the Twilight books, gone to see the Twilight movies, read the Sookie Stackhouse books, watched True Blood—you get the picture.  We’re currently watching Vampire Diaries and Being Human and this led to a discussion of which vampire we like better:  Damon (Vampire Diaries), Aiden (Being Human–SyFy) or Mitchell (Being Human–BBC).  There are other noteworthy vampires we should probably add to the list:  Angel (Buffy), Spike (Buffy), Eric (SS/TB), Bill (SS/TB), Edward (Twilight).

I have to admit I only caught a few episodes of Buffy so Angel and Spike aren’t really contenders for me.  I’ve only seen the first season of True Blood so the same goes for Eric and Bill–although I love Eric in the books.  Edward’s okay but since I’m a Jacob fan, I’ll have to rule him out too.  That leaves Damon, Aiden and Mitchell.

Damon is a romantic—and I can’t watch an episode without declaring my love for him, even when he’s being bad (unfortunately, he’s bad more often than not).  He also looks super-hot dancing to Depeche Mode.  Aiden is the best thing about the SyFy version of Being Human–sexy, compassionate, funny.  Mitchell is also sexy but he’s a bit darker than Aiden, at least the Aiden we’ve seen so far.

I love all three!  Do you have a favorite?

Damon dancing to Enjoy the Silence

Aiden

Mitchell

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