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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Monthly Spotlight: Wilkie Martin’s Unhuman

Another short one this month, and another new thing rather than an old favourite – we’ll be seeing more lengthy rambles about established obsessions next year, I imagine.

There are four books in the Unhuman series: Inspector Hobbes and the Blood, Inspector Hobbes and the Curse, Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers, and Inspector Hobbes and the Bones. Despite the titles, the inspector is not the protagonist; while he is arguably the main character, the narrative is provided by Andy Caplet, a reporter for the local newspaper who is assigned to shadow a notorious policeman and spends the whole series in a state of complete confusion finding out that absolutely nothing about the world is what he thought it was. The reader will sympathise.

The best way I can think to describe these books is… imagine if P G Wodehouse decided to write urban fantasy. The series has that eccentric and very British whimsy to it, and frequently borders on the farcical. I didn’t realise at first; I was reading an omnibus edition and the blurb provided with it implied that these are more typical paranormal mysteries. Once I figured out what sort of world this actually was and stopped yelling ‘but that wouldn’t happen that way!’ at every page I enjoyed them a hell of a lot. They are very silly, fun reads, perfect for miserable winter afternoons in a comfy chair.

A brief caveat – in my opinion the fourth book wasn’t as good. The series feels like a trilogy with a later book tacked on when it proved to be successful, which never works out. But it was still enjoyable enough.

I don’t have much else to say – if you want a fun way to pass the time for a few hours, you’ll probably enjoy these.

Now for next month: obviously I’m going to be a little busy around the end of December, so there won’t be a spotlight. We’ll pick back up in the new year. And I know I’ve been vaguely promising for a long time but I will also attempt to get back to Chamber of Secrets, before the franchise finally dies a slow and lingering bloody death.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2018 in loten

 

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Bad Movies Are Bad, Film at 11 (but don’t watch The Crimes of Grindelwald)

We all knew it was going to be bad, the only questions were how bad and what kind? Reviews have been coming out and the picture isn’t pretty, needless to say, so here’s a link roundup for the time being. I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to subject myself to this (I may do next week, solely so I can write about it, but I’m not sure), but hopefully this will tide you over for now. Honestly, these reviews remind me of nothing so much as the first leaks of Cursed Child spoilers; it’s just ludicrous.

Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor: The Crimes of The Crimes of Grindelwald (This is the most detailed dive into the wtfery, if you only read one I suggest this one)

Jeremiah at The Fandomentals: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a Post-Mortem for J.K. Rowling

Ani Bundel at NBC (yes, NBC): Harry Potter Franchise’s new Fantastic Beasts sequel should not have been written by J.K. Rowling

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at the Daily Dot: Queerbaiting is Ruining the Fantastic Beasts Franchise

To make a long story short, it sounds like there’s pretty much a bingo here. Character assassination of some of the last remaining likeable characters, pointless unexplained retcons (among other things, how the fuck is Credence alive when the climax of the first film was literally him being killed? I’ve still yet to see an answer to this), needless overdramatic bullshit, plotlines that make no sense, forced cameos and attempts at continuity that somehow just break everything further, casual appropriation without even a good reason… oh, right, and Johnny Depp. Can’t forget about him.

[Links above contain extensive spoilers, obviously. For my part I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said; it’s more of Rowling’s tiresome refusal to put the franchise out of its misery already. It ruins everything that was decent about the first film, it invalidates the entire point of the first film, and it fucks up every single story arc without even having the grace to do it well on a technical level. There aren’t enough pretty imaginary animals in the world to compensate for this one.]

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2018 in loten, mitchell

 

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