Book Review: Give Me

Before I get into my next review of books that I’ve really enjoyed from the Love Potion No. 11 collection (insert link), I have to at least dance and squeal over at least one of my television shows doing something for me since they returned.

It’s not even so much a spoiler, and I’ll keep it brief.

Carol.

And if you read my other the Walking Dead posts, I may have gotten one of the things I’ve been personally hoping for last night.

So, back to the Love Potion books, I’ve made it through about half of the collection, and so far, there’s one other one that I’ve read that really just stood out to me, Give Me by L.K. Rigel.

The author in this book blends a fantastical take on a town in the UK with reality, weaving both a historically rooted romance amongst the paranormal. The integration of the magical elements, and tweaking of the actual history, is done with a deft hand that allows the reader to find it believable despite the liberties being taken. Additionally, the characters are exceptionally vivid as they move through the tale, and LK Rigel gives us a beautiful romance between multiple couples that is both evocative and demure at the same time.

If I had but one complaint, it would be that I almost wish that the reasoning for Lilith to visit the land of Dumnos had been handled a bit differently. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say that I felt the trope behind the motive to not resonate as well for me. It worked within the confines of the story, yes, but it also felt cheap and laughably silly as it was happening. It did work to establish that I wanted better for Lilith, to say the least. It in no way deterred my enjoyment of the book, and I look forward to adding the subsequent books in the series to my collection.

The Walking Dead … Again

I debated if I wanted to go this route with this week’s post, but I just had to say a few things about the Mid Season Finale for The Walking Dead.

Word of warning: This post will container spoilers. Read at your own peril.

The Walking Dead, saison 1

So, now that you’re still reading, Hershel died. It was sad, and it was gruesome, but it was kind of a let down. Scott Wilson who played Hershel was always a bright spot on any episode, even when he was struggling to cope with things. I wanted to be moved by his death, the way they had Maggie and Bethe be moved. Yet, instead, they had the Governor, who they spent two episodes trying to built a quasi-redemption story for, that really led nowhere for his character, kill him in just a gory, unnecessary way. It was done for the shock value rather than “You knew that this had to happen.”

The only reason we knew that Hershel was going to die prior to the episode was the fact that he had become the lone voice of reason. He got “Daled” for lack of better terms. He tried to talk sense and reason to the people who wouldn’t listen. We can’t have that in a zombie apocalypse! Time for Hershel to die! If they had at least decided to have him get sick from the swine flu because he chose to try and save those people, then his death would have been so much “better”. His death would have been a consequence of the current story, rather than regressing to past stories to see what they could do.

Last season, the Governor was a great villain. This season? They should have left him alone for longer, to build toward that scene. They didn’t need him to get rid of the prison (which is what that fight feels like it was used for). They had this sub-arc that was really fascinating about someone on the inside trying to subvert them with feeding rats to the fences, and maybe even something more heinous. Instead, they focus on past and going for the shock value. It’s very underwhelming to watch as a storyteller.

In a side rant about Sheriff Rick Grimes:

What the bleeding hell is wrong with you? You kick Carol out of the god damned prison because she mercy killed to sick people who were going to die? But you talk a big game about being able to live along side the Governor! What the fuck? (Rationally, I know he was trying to keep his people from dying by brokering peace, but come on! Carol never did anything as heinous as the Governor!)

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Leave them here!

The Walking Dead

So, it’s been awhile again. I’m sorry about that. The bad excuses I could use are: I got sick, I’ve been writing, and I had a bad time with my mental health. Again, those are just excuses, and I shouldn’t use those. So, I shall just apologize and hope that people are still interested in reading my random thoughts.

In the past month, I’ve seen some good things (Thor: The Dark World, Dracula), some okay things (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and some down right terrible things (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland). I’d like to talk about a show that has been giving me mixed feelings though:

the-walking-dead-atlanta

I’m going to start with the part that has been unbelievably fascinating about this season so far. (Keep in mind that I am at present one episode behind, so no spoilers!) The Governor has just blown my mind after his one episode. My husband and I are of differing opinions on this too. I love the fact that they’ve gone back and tried to add humanity and the shades of gray back to his character. Villains, the really great ones, are not one note characters. They have depth, feelings, intrigues, and they make you stop to pause and think. They make you wonder how they got there, and if they are irredeemable. (Side note: Yes, the Governor went way too far last season to truly make redeem himself, but I love what they are doing anyways.)

I wish more characters, good or bad, would be written this way. It’s what separates good fiction, from great fiction.

Now, I’ll on to the part that has been pissing me off about the show. That would be the ever-annoying Sheriff Rick. Specifically, Rick deciding arbitrarily to evict the Carol. I will state now that Carol is my favorite character on the show. Carol has had the best character growth of anyone. She has grown from the meek house wife who couldn’t protect herself or her children before the zombie apocalypse to the one person you could rely on, other than Daryl. She is the kind of person I would want around in that situation.

I certainly would not want Rick at this point. Rick who spent the last two season either going crazy and being unreliable, or deciding that he wanted to play farmer and not lead. (Despite having multiple scenes over all the seasons where he forces himself to be the leader.) Somewhere, Rick decided that the actual world that they live in could be ignored, and that the prison walls would magically protect them once the Governor was no longer an issue. He wants to believe that he can impress society as it used to be in a situation that cannot sustain such values. Carol, on the other hand, knows better.

Carol sees the world for what it actually is, and not what she hopes it should be. There is danger everywhere, including the very prison that they called home. Every person is a potential threat, even if they call them a friend. As they’ve learned, something like the flu will destroy their society and put everyone at risk. That’s not something you can just sit and wait to see what happens. Actions have to be taken to protect everyone. No matter how despicable it might seem, it has to be done. So, I applaud Carol for taking the initiative to try and stymy the flu by killing those two who were sick. It might seem like the wrong decision to us, as we sit in a world where zombie treats are not a concern at all. Where we have the conveniences of medicine, and we can have a civilized society that does not have to try and eradicate a virus by harsh means.

When she made that decision, no one had left to go find medicine. Hershel hadn’t remembered an herbal remedy that could help slow the fever. They locked the people away, and they were hoping it wouldn’t spread to the others in their community. They knew, given the symptoms the virus generated, that the two people had an almost no chance of not suffocating on their own blood. Yes, they locked them up, but the door didn’t have bars that they could just shove a knife through. They were going to have to open the door, and that in and of itself could have added another risk to losing another person. Yes, Carol made a calculated decision to take matters in her own hands, not knowing, but she did it to protect everyone else, and as we saw, she did not do this without taking on a heavy heart.

Everything she does in the show is to make up for the life she lived before. She used to be the victim. She was ill-prepared to protect her children in the old society, and failed Sophia when the world fell apart. She’s using her life to protect and prepare those who she sees her old self in. She wants the children to have more of a chance than her own daughter had. Children do not have the luxury to live in a coddled world until they are adults. At any point, they need to be able to defend themselves against not only zombies but the people who might just want to kill them to take what they have. Teaching them the simplest of techniques could be the difference between life and death for those kids. Their world is not our world, and they have to learn to live in a harsh reality. It doesn’t matter what we feel they should have. It matters what their world dictates they need. They need Carol, and Rick was idiot to throw her out.

I’m also just annoyed that they have yet to show how Daryl reacts to learning what she did, and more importantly, what Rick did. Since the rest of the prison appear to be lemmings and agreeing with Rick no matter what, I sadly anticipate Daryl falling in line. I hope not. I hope he’s conflicted over it, and I hope he goes to find her. He doesn’t have to like what she did because she doesn’t like what she did. They share something, something that has yet to be defined in the show, and I hope that is what wins in the end.

Comments, questions, rants? Feel free to reply below. Just keep it civil, and no spoilers from the show on 11/24/13.