True Blood, Episode 6 – Karma

The sixth installment, Karma, of the Final Season of True Blood was full of conflict and discoveries and a Bill at mirrorlarge dose of dark humor.

Last week we were left with the image of Bill staring into the mirror. Watching his expression as he realized he was infected. I wondered how he got infected? The only logical – I know, most the time True Blood isn’t logical – explanation was Sookie infected him. Well, I was right. Jessica overhears Bill on the phone with his attorney. She knows he’s infected and calls Jason – who’s in bed with Violet –  to bring Sookie over, since it’s daylight how. It dawns on Sookie that she probably infected Bill. Remember when Sookie lured the Hep-V vamps with her blood? How she was soaked in the infected blood when they exploded around her. Though she’s been tested before, she has Jason take her to a clinic to get retested.

Bill arrives at his attorney’s office to find the waiting room overflowing with infected vampires getting their estates in order. I felt like they were sitting at the DMV. The vampires had to take a number. The receptionist, who couldn’t be bothered to look up from his book, informed Bill it would be many hours before he was seen.

At the clinic, which is intended to make us think of HIV, right down to the Silence = True Death sticker, Sookie gets her blood drawn. Jason and Sookie wait for her test results outside the Grab It Kwik. It’s nice to see places from previous seasons revisited. Grab It Kwik was in the first scene of the first episode of True Blood. Sookie is talking about how she can sense Bill. And how she’ll always have feelings for him since he was her first. Are the writers setting us up for them to get back together? Not sure yet, because almost anyone would feel a multitude of emotions from this situation.

Jason shares that he isn’t in love with Violet, that he’s, in fact, afraid of her. Not sure this is a Sookie and Jasonsurprise to anyone, as Violet chose him. He thinks he was in love with Jessica. And perhaps he is now, because he’s willing to cheat on Violet which we all know will not end well for him.

 

 

 

Bill finally gets into see the lawyer, Kapneck, who informs him that he can’t leave his property to bill's veinshis progeny, Jessica. That Gov. Burrell made wills drawn after one was turned into a vampire invalid. The only way Bill can leave Jessica his property is to adopt her, but that will take up to five months, and Bill does not have that much time. As he was sitting in the waiting room, the virus was spreading at an alarming rate. Perhaps it’s Sookie’s Fae blood? Or perhaps it’s karma? Who knows. Kapneck informs Bill that for $10 million dollars she’d jump him to the front of the line. Bill tries to glamour her, but Kapneck is wearing glamour proof contacts. Frustrated, desperate and enraged at her callousness, Bill kills her and the guard. Will this come back to haunt him? Was it Kapneck’s karma to be killed by Bill?

Lafayette takes Lettie Mae back to his home after stabbing Willa at the party. James is waiting for him. Damn Lettie Mae. I want more Lafayette and James. Lettie Mae persists in pleading for vampire blood to contact Tara again. James says he’ll give her blood. Lafayette decides to drink James blood also, just so he can show her that she’s just an addict looking for any excuse to get high. I got a kick out of James urging them to “Enjoy the ride.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t the ride we’d hoped for.

Stranger than strange, Lafayette’s V trip is the same as Lettie Mae’s. In fact, they are in the same trip and both see Tara on the cross talking gibberish. They take her down and Tara runs away. They follow her and end up at a home they lived in when Tara was little. Tara is digging holes in the lawn. I have no idea where this storyline is going. Before we can find out, the Reverend interrupts their trip and brings them back to reality. Lafayette tries to explain to the Reverend that Lettie Mae is telling the truth. That he too saw Tara. The Reverend is not moved, and gives Lettie Mae and ultimatum. She choses Tara.  I don’t care for Lettie Mae, but I’m deeply curious to see what the digging was all about.

Adilyn and Wade, Andy’s and Holly’s respective children, have fallen in teenage love. Andy finds them in bed having sex. He flips out and chases Wade out of his home. Holly is upset and they fight about it. I can see both sides of this fight.

Eric and Pam are taken prisoner by the Yakuza. They are chained in silver and placed in a room Eric Pam Yakuzato await the sun. Eric says, “Our first sunrise together.” Can we love these two anymore? With mere minutes left, the head Yakuza comes in asking for information about Sarah Newlin.

Sarah “Newme” Newlin slinks back to her sister’s home. Amber doesn’t want her to stay, but Sarah tells her that she has the cure, that it is inside her. She drank it when the compound was overtaken. All Amber needs to do is drink from her.

Eric and Pam bring the Yakuza, in their tuner cars – too funny – to Amber’s home. She opens the door completely cured. So Eric isn’t going to die!!!

Arlene and Holly go back to Bellefleur’s to clean up the mess. Arlene talks with Holly and encourages her to stop fighting with Andy – to work it out. I’m loving Arlene this season. I hope we see her with Keith soon.

Violet… a vampire spurned. She dresses up in uncomfortable looking lingerie for Jason. Seduces him and tells him that “he is hers, and she is his”. Not exactly what Jason wants to hear. He leaves her in bed to go to Jessica when she calls him to get Sookie for her. Jason thinks she’s asleep. Really, he should be more careful. Of course, Violet is not asleep. She’s like a spider, always waiting to strike. She throws a fit while Jason is away and, hopefully, gets out of that uncomfortable get up, and leaves a note telling Jason she is leaving him. When he reads it, he’s relieved, and thinks he’s off the hook.

Adilyn and Wade go to Fort Bellefleur to be alone. Before Andy and Holly can find them, Violet shows up. She’s sweet, concerned for Adilyn, telling them that her Fae blood will bring out the Hep-V vamps. Violet has them leave their cell phones, since Andy could track them, and the last we see of them is following Violet. Obviously, Violet wants revenge against both Jason and Jessica. How will Jessica react? Will people think Jessica did it? I doubt that. I think it’s more that Violet wants to break Jessica. Perhaps Violet will give them back if Jessica meets the true death.

Nicole – or Sam’s baby mamma – is done with Bon Temps. Yes, leave, because I don’t give a hoot about Nicole. Does anyone? I am interested in knowing if this is a way for the writers to free up Sam for Sookie. In the books, Sookie and Sam end up a couple at the end. I hope this isn’t the case, because Sam has never felt a viable choice for Sookie in True Blood.

And we end with Bill coming home, exhausted, the virus spreading at an alarming rate, and Sookie and Jessicafinding Sookie and Jessica waiting for him. It reminded me of the flashbacks last week. Of how he promised to come home to his family after the Civil War, but wasn’t able to keep that promise. Now he is coming home – to the same house he lived in as a human – to his family.

 

 

Thoughts: Will Bill make it? The virus is ripping through him like a forest fire. In order to give his property to Jessica, will he marry Sookie so she can will it to Jessica? Is vampire marriage still legal? What is going on with Tara? What is she trying to show them?

With only four more episodes the storylines must come together soon.

Check out next week’s episode One Last Time here

 

 

Read, Review & Win

The Last Keeper’s Daughter 50th Amazon Review Giveaway Cover for Last Keeper's Daughter

About the Giveaway

Amazon reviews are incredibly important to authors. The more reviews we receive, the better our placement on Amazon’s site.

Readers are busy. I get that. They don’t necessarily want to take the time to review. I get that too.

In order to encourage readers to review, I’m giving away a signed copy of Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.

Find out more here

True Blood, Episode Five – Lost Cause

We’re now halfway through the final season of True Blood. Unfortunately, Lost Cause was not as enjoyable as Sookie and Billlast week’s episode, partly because it was weighed down with too many flash backs, and because it was a transition episode that puts behind the plot of the infected marauding vamps and pulls together new plots for the second half of the season.

This episode opens with Willa confronting Pam about how terrible a marker she and Eric have been. Willa has a point. She was created as a tool for revenge. Willa goes on to say that Tara raised her, and that if Pam hadn’t abandoned her, Tara would still be alive. Debatable. Eric intervenes. He’s tired and sick and doesn’t have the energy to argue. He explains they’re going to kill Sarah Newlin, but Willa wants no part of it. In fact, she bargains an exchange. She will tell them everything she knows about Sarah if Eric will release her. Done.

Ginger, glorious Ginger, wants to go with them to Dallas while they hunt for Amber Mills, Sarah’s sister, her vampire sister, but Eric refuses. Ginger begs, saying she’s been with them for fifteen years, and emphasizes that she’s never had sex with Eric, any type of sex…. Really, that’s a bit surprising. Before I can mull on that too long, she drops the bomb that she’s infected. Well, well. Unfortunately for Ginger, she’s kicked off the coffin and left behind.

Sookie comes home to an empty house that is full of memories of Alcide, and probably a good share of ones about Gran. Lafayette and James are there to comfort her. Lafayette tucks her into bed promising to be there when she wakes. [My hat is off to the actor who plays James. When old James left from last season, I didn't think another could replace him. I was wrong. The new James is perfect.]

When Sleeping Beauty wakes, preparations are underway downstairs for a party. Yep, you read that right, a party. I don’t know about you, but I would not be in the mood. What isn’t mentioned is the burial of Alcide. Like, did they put him in the cemetery? Or did they do some sort of werewolf ceremony? Or what?

Lafayette works his linguistics magic and convinces Sookie that Alcide and Tara wouldn’t have wanted Sookie to be left alone this night. So this is a party to celebrate life. Sookie, expresses that she is sad, and who wouldn’t be, but reluctantly starts up the stairs to change.

Eric and Pam are at Amber Mills’ home and she’s happy to give them all the information they want regarding her sister, Sarah Newlin. It seems that Sarah was paying off Amber to keep quiet about being a happy vampire. Not the story Sarah spouted to the media about her sister being kidnapped and abused by the vamps. Are we surprised? Oh, and Amber is infected also. I think they should have called this episode “Infected” instead.

Amber informs them that her parents will be at a Republican event in Dallas tonight and Sarah is sure to be skulking nearby to get their help, since she’s on the run from the Yakuza…

Good God – more scenes with Lettie Mae. Can’t the writers let this go? I’ll be quick here, since I detest this character. She wants to go to the party. Her husband doesn’t. She drugs husband and leaves him snoozing on the sofa.

The party is in full swing at Sookie’s house. We even have product placement, an Apple computer, prominently in the center of the shot, with that woman from Community (cannot remember her name), who was also the host for that disastrous preshow last year at the beginning of the season, doing DJ duty.

Jane Bodehouse, Holly, Arlene, and Sam’s baby mamma, are at the kitchen table while Bill looks on from the family room. He’s in a contemplative mood, which means….we’ll be subjected to one of his flashbacks. Bills’ flashbacks aren’t that good. I know he had a bad patch. I know he was turned without wanting it, and had a terrible maker, but he’s like an open wound that never heals. He can’t move forward because of his past. He’s forever stuck in victim mode.

Bill is back in his time, walking in Bon Temps talking to a slave named Minus. I seem to remember in Season 1 Bill telling Gran about a slave named Minus. Does anyone else? Anyway, Minus’ master snaps his fingers and ends that conversation. The Civil War is starting and inside the Bodehouse Saloon the male residents of Bon Temps are getting fired up about it. Bill points out that the South is not prepared for war and will be defeated by the industrial machine of the North. I was reminded of Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, doing the exact same thing. I just found this all too much for me. Anyway, Bill is called a Yankee sympathizer.

I’m going to include flashback number two and three here, though they go later in the episode, but let’s just get them over with. Bill and his family are following Minus through the woods. Minus has a map to where there is a safe house and then they’ll take the Underground Railroad to the North. This is the second Underground Railroad reference this season. They are thwarted by Minus’ master, whose name is Charles. (The credits indicate his character name is Charles DuPont.) Charles kills Minus and Bill destroys the map instead of giving it to him. The third scene is in the Compton graveyard. Bill’s in uniform trying to comfort his wife. He doesn’t want to go to war, but doesn’t see a way out. He vows to come back to her.

The party is a veritable Peyton Place with hookups, arguments, a knife fight, betrayals, and proposals.

  • Jessica and Andy come to terms. Andy helps her to move on by telling her that he’s done with living in the past and is moving forward.
  • Andy borrows Gran’s wedding ring to propose to Holly. Andy proposes to HollyThe ring is actually Jason’s, but Violet says she doesn’t need it since Jason is hers. When she see’s the ring she says, “that’s it.” Hmmm. My guess is she’s pissed Jason hasn’t proposed to her yet.
  • Andy proposes and Holly accepts. Andy has come so far since Season 1. Not only his character, but the actor too. He looks incredibly fit and healthy.
  • Sookie looks back at Bill during the proposal. Then goes upstairs to be consoled by Arlene.
  • Jessica rebuffs James attempts to leave the party and celebrate in their own way.
  • Lafayette comforts James on the front porch swing. James and Lafayette
  • A now drunk Sookie and Arlene are joined by Keith, the vampire who saved Arlene’s life. He’s smitten with Arlene, but she is not ready, so Sookie intervenes. I’m guessing Arlene will have vampire sex soon, because everyone has to have vampire sex before the show is over, right? Thought – Arlene is infected, right? All Eric had to do was drink from the stewardess and she was infected. Arlene was fed on by a pack of infected vamps.
  • Jessica is looking for James and finds him having sex  with Lafayette in a car. Jessica immediately turns to Jason for comfort. Oh, and it might be important later, Jason rescinds James invitation.
  • Sookie and Bill have a sweet moment on the porch. It’s nice to see them friends again.
  • Lettie Mae stabs Willa with a knife to get her blood. Lafayette – what would we do without him? – gets rid of Lettie Mae and Willa’s injuries heal.
  • Sam’s Baby Mama has a meltdown about how they shouldn’t be partying.
  • Violet is listening outside the bedroom door while Jessica and Jason are having sex. Instead of confronting them, she turns away. I have a bad feeling about what a scorned Violet will do to them.

Eric and Pam are getting dressed to attend the gala. When Eric takes off his shirt, the dark veins are now on his back…the dreaded second stage of the disease.

Pam and Eric infiltrate the gala. (Yes, we get it writers – you hate Replubicans.) The best part of this episode was Eric in corporate cowboy attire. The two split up in search of Sarah’s parents.

The Yakuza show up with guns blazing. Again, we get it, you guys don’t like the Republicans, so Eric Holds Sarryyou’re shooting them all. Eric grabs Sarah moments before the Yakuza show up. He releases her to gruesomely kill the Yakuza that took his beloved Sylvie.

 

 

 

 

And finally, after a long night of boring us to tears with his flash backs, Bill takes a bath and discovers…he’s infected.Bill has disease

I’m getting the feeling everyone is infected. Is Sookie? Bill and Sookie exchanged blood. Perhaps not though, because she is part fae. Which would mean Jason might be immune. I’m still holding that somehow Sookie’s blood, or Niall, will be able to cure the vampires.

Here is a link to a preview of next week’s episode, Karma.  http://www.hbo.com/video/video.html?autoplay=true&vid=1386482

Cryostorm, by Lynn Rush

Cryostorm is the third book in the Touch of Frost series by Lynn Rush. Cryostorm

They made his body, she’ll awaken his soul…

Three months ago, my twin sister, Georgia, and I had to die so our loved ones would be safe from the scientists hunting us. After months of searching, we’re close to finding the one person who can help us find closure, Georgia’s adoptive mother, Lois.

Snowstorms and an unexpected run-in with GenCorp, the latest entity charged with capturing us, delay our mission and break our spirits. The only light in my supernaturally chaotic life is Nate. He’s given up everything to protect and take care of me, and each minute I’m with him confirms how much I love him. Finally ready to share my heart again, I take the next step, admitting my true feelings.

The mad scientists who want to tear me apart and use my body for a freak show, once again taint my happiness with a disturbing technology that rips Nate from my arms. As I battle GenCorp’s warped technology to save my soul mate, I’m faced with the vivid reality: the Nate I knew and fell in love with may be lost forever.

And if I get him back, will I still be able to say those three precious words?

Goodreads  |  Lynn’s Website

Cryostorm will be released tomorrow, July 18, 2014.

 

 

 

True Blood, Episode 4 – Death Is Not The End

True Blood delivered a fantastic episode last night, Death Is Not The End. By far the best episode this year, and one of my top 5 episodes of the show. Finally, thankfully, an episode I LOVED from beginning to end. Every scene, I cared about. I was literally leaning in towards the TV, trying to glean each word, every nuance, every set cue. This is the True Blood I fell in love with. The show that blew my mind that first night so many years ago when we were introduced to Sookie and Bill at Merlotte’s. This is how I hoped the last season would make me feel.

There was a lot going on in this episode, but it was focused, organized, and about the core characters. I think that’s been the fatal flaw of True Blood. Too many characters that aren’t needed with storylines that don’t add anything to the story. But not tonight.

We open this week’s episode with Sookie on the telephone breaking the news to Alcide’s father that his son is gone. How do you tell someone their child is dead? Sookie does the best she can.

Next we have a beautiful shot of Anchorage, Alaska. The sun is glittering off the water and in the background is a snowcapped mountain. The oilrig immediately lets us know that Hoyt will soon be in the camera shot. I’ve missed him, and can’t say how happy I am that the writers brought him back for the last season. Since Jessica glamoured all his memories regarding Jason and Jessica from his mind, Hoyt doesn’t know that Jason is his oldest friend. As you can imagine, Jason wants to comfort his friend, and tries to, but is rebuffed by Hoyt asking if they know each other.

Alcide’s father has major flaws, but he steps up to the plate in amazing fashion to reassure Sookie that Alcide, ‘loved the fuck out of her’. On any other show this would seem like odd wording, but here it makes sense. Unfortunately, we know that Sookie wasn’t as sure of her love as Alcide was. I’d think that would be a hard burden to carry. Knowing he had wanted to leave Bon Temps, and because of her he’d stayed, and died trying to protect her. Of course, he made his choice, but I’m sure it weighs on Sookie

A private jet is streaking through the sky. Eric is feeding from the femoral artery of a lovely flight attendant. He interrupts his feeding to redirect the place to Shreveport. Pam – gloriously wonderful Pam – informs us that she hates Shreveport. Eric explains that he wants Willa and mollifies her with ‘it will be a trip down memory lane’.

Thus, finally, we learn the reasons and origins of Fangtasia. The flashback scene opens in a Fangtasia_grimy parking lot with a title card flashed across the screen, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1986. The Magister gets out of a limo with guards in tow. He informs them that this is their new business, their punishment for disobeying the Authority. “Look around, breathe it in. This place smells like sperm and piss and bad hair dye.” It’s a rundown video store in a strip mall. What could be worse for Pam and Eric?

The Magister takes them down to the basement, which we all know and love as the dungeon, but in the 80s it was the adult section of the video store. As Eric says, “leave it to humans to make sex this depressing.” There is some redemption in the dungeon, a tunnel dating back to the Civil War was used by the Underground Railroad. Tuck that little interesting tidbit in your hat for later. It gets better, or worse, for Eric depending on how you look at it. He’s informed that he is now Sheriff of Area 5. Eric asks why the Authority would appoint him sheriff. The answer is ominous. That he isn’t trust and that they want to keep him close, and that he and Pam are being watched.

Spring forward to the present and Sookie is at the Bellefleur’s home. She speaks with Colby and Lisa, Arlene’s children. They’ve grown so much since Eric coined them the ‘teacup humans’. Sookie promises that she will bring their mother home. I’m sure it brought back memories of her own parents being killed. How she must have felt, and how she is determined that these children will have a mother.

Holly can’t remember anything from her time in captivity, but with Sookie’s help, she does remember the horrific events and Sookie recognizes Fangtasia. Viola, now they know where the Hep-V vamps are holed up.

Jessica isn’t feeding, which is why she isn’t healing. James confronts here and pulls the old Lafayette and Jessicaparent card. I had my doubts when the actor who played last year’s James left, but this new actor has stepped in and has made me forget there was every a change. Bill – how could he not know? – orders her to eat. Sookie storms into Bill’s home and Jessica invites her up to join the ‘interfuckingvention’. Sookie ejects the menfolk and has a talking to with Jessica. A major part is this episode is Sookie talking sense into people. She tells Jessica she doesn’t care that she killed three of Andy’s girls. That considering what is going on, that it isn’t significant, and she needs to stop wallowing in self pity and get on with things so they can defeat the Hep-V vamps.

It’s 1996 inside the video store of Pam and Eric. And who walks in wearing flannel and glasses and asking for specific vampire movies. GINGER!!! She’s driven all the way from Tulane because one of her professors recommended she visit for the store for source material for a paper she’s writing. The course is called Monsters in our Mist. So, we learn that Ginger was a very intelligent woman. Perhaps she still is, but with all the glamouring she’s taken over her years with Pam and Eric, it’s hard to know now. Ginger, perhaps afraid Pam thinks she’s a nut, expresses her interest in the vampire genre even though she knows they are not real. Pam’s delivery of the line, “course their not”, is classic.

Enter Eric, with 90s hair and clothes, walking slowly towards a stunned Ginger. One of my favorite scenes accompanied by the perfect lyrics. “I would pray for you, I would sell my soul for something pure and true, someone like you.” Ginger is so enamored, so stunned by Eric, that she can only stare at him like he isn’t real. Eric, being Eric, toys with her like a cat with a mouse, and kisses her hand. Ginger sees a sign that they are looking for help. The day shift, Eric explains. And thus, the story of how Ginger met Eric and Pam is explained.

Back to the present Sookie and Bill are having a private conversation. She’s telling him her plan to raid Fangtasia and he’s explaining that most the vampires are gone, either killed or fled because they’re afraid. She asks why Bill is still around and he explains that he owes Sookie everything. For once, I truly believe him when he says this. It feels good to see them together again and not fighting, to be working for a common good without their being lies between them. She feeds Bill, explaining that ‘it’s just lunch’, but I don’t believe she means that, nor does Bill. Do I think they’ll get back together. No, not at all. I do think they will have a mutually beneficial friendship though. Which makes me happy. True Blood began with Bill walking into Fangtasia. It’s fitting the two of them should care for each other long after the last credits role on True Blood.

Lafayette comes to the rescue of Jessica, or Red Bone, as he calls her. What would this show be without Lafayette? He convinces Jessica to eat by explaining that everyone has regrets. That she isn’t alone in her remorse. It’s easy to forget how young Jessica is,  both in human years and vampire years.

It’s 2006 now and Ginger, in full vampire loving attire, arrives at the video shop parking lot. She Gingeris lugging a large chair out of her vehicle, an old hearse. We all instantly recognize this iconic piece of furniture – Eric’s throne. The vampires are ‘out of the coffin’ now as Pam is restocking the TruBlood refrigerator. Ginger explains her ingenious idea to turn the video shop into Fangtasia. That Eric can sit on the throne and exude SEX, while the patrons pine for him and drown their lonely hearts in booze.

 

 

 

 

Pam loves the idea so much, she glamours the memory from Ginger that it was initially her Ginger and Pamidea. Oh Pam. If given the opportunity, and they were clean, I might just kiss the feet of the writer who came up with this. It’s perfect, just perfect.

Back at Bill’s, the troops are assembled to devise a plan to invade Fangtasia. Bill answers a knock at his door. Eric and Pam have arrived, looking for Willa. The fangirl in me squealed to have all the characters I care about together again. Sookie runs into Eric’s embrace and only when she pulls back from him does she realize he’s infected. Pam, never a fan of Sookie, reminds Eric that they have a Christian to kill, Sarah Newlin. And when that doesn’t draw Eric’s attention away from Sookie, that they came for Willa. Who Eric immediately summons to him.

Eric and Sookie are given some privacy to talk. Sookie informs him that he can’t die on her.Eric Comforts Sookie These words mean so much given how many people Sookie has lost. I love seeing them together with their guard down. You can feel the care they have for each other. Sookie perhaps realizing that Eric will not always be there. And Eric, that Sookie might not be his first love, but could very well be his last.

“Were you just a rat?” Arlene asks. Brings us to Fangtasia. Sam transforms himself into a rat and uses the underground tunnel to enter the dungeon. He tells Jane Bodehouse, Arlene, and Sam’s Baby Mamma to hold on, that the Calvary is on the way, only some of them are vamps. Before Pam – Eric is too weak – and Bill get there, Arlene is taking upstairs to feed the remaining Hep-V vamps. Eric and Sookie devise a plan to infiltrate by enticing the vamps with Sookie’s blood. Arlene is splayed out on the table, just moments away from death. Sookie utters the line, “I’m his”. But this time it’s Eric and not Bill she is referring to. A vampire on vampire fight ensues, with the vigilante crew from Bon Temps almost ruining everything, but Sookie and crew are victorious.

Arlene is saved by a “good vampire”, I think his name was Keith. We get Sookie and Arlenesome wonderful scenes of Terry Bellefleur as Arlene hovers between life or death until she finally slips back among the living.

It’s good to have True Blood back. Now instead of cringing when the episode beings, I’ll be on the edge of my seat.

Thank you, True Blood.

 

Preview of next week’s episode, Lost Cause,  HERE

 

Review, The Museum of Extraordinary Things

I picked up The Museum of Extraordinary Things at the bookstore.  

I hadn’t heard of it nor had I read anything about the author, Alice Hoffman. What a surprise when I saw she’s written over 20 books. Being that I was ignorant of the author, I didn’t know what to expect.

There isn’t much dialogue in this book. I’m used to lots of dialogue. I floundered for a while, getting my footing, trying to adjust to this different style, but I needn’t have worried because it didn’t take long until I slipped into the story of Carolie. She is one of the narrators and we walk through her eyes as a child and on through until she is a young woman. She lives at the Museum of Extraordinary Things in Coney Island in the early 1900s. This was when New York City still had natural places where the Hudson river lapped up against an unmolested shoreline. A time when progress leaped forward into what must have felt like a frightening and exciting future.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things is a place of mystery. A place where curiosities of nature, both living and dead, are housed for the summertime enjoyment of the masses escaping the heat of New York City. [I can't imagine living in New York city without air conditioning.]

Maureen works at Carolie’s home which is connected to the museum. She is the mother Carolie never had, for her father, Professor Sardie, has told Carolie that her mother died. Maureen is scarred on the face from an acid attack. We are told a lover marred her beautiful face in a fit of jealous rage. She is the only love that Carolie experiences as a child. Her father has no interest in her except to train her to swim and hold her breath. Odd things for a parent to teach a child, but Carolie was born with a deformity. Her fingers are webbed, and upon her twelve birthday we learn why he has trained her so.

Ezekiel, along with his father, escaped Ukraine after his mother was killed by Cossacks. Ezekiel doesn’t understand why they fled, leaving the charred remains of his mother, doesn’t understand why his father withdraws into himself, and as the story progresses he doesn’t understand the way his father clings to his Jewish faith.

Ezekiel becomes something of a street urchin and works for a man who purports to have a psychic ability to find people. What he has is a network of boys like Ezekiel who do the legwork. He grows until a tall and gangly youth who happens upon a photographer one day. He’s destiny is sealed upon seeing the images and he drops everything in his life to become a photographer.

Here I must stop with my description of the story. To go further would be to give too much away. I was very taken with this tale. There were times when I feared to turn the page for what would happen to Carolie at the hands of her obsessed father. My imagination ran wild with scenarios and was far more gruesome than the words on the page, thank goodness.

There is a lot of history in this story mingled in with the fiction. As a lover of history I enjoyed that very much. Mystery abounds and some romance.

Next time I’m haunting the book store aisles I will look for Alice Hoffman’s name upon the spines.

 

Blood of a Mermaid, Katie O’Sullivan

BLOOD OF A MERMAID, the second book in Kate’s young adult mermaid series! Time to Splash  into Summer with another mermaid tale!

About the Book:

Mermaid blood.

When Shea MacNamara fell into the ocean for the first time, he found he could breathe underwater. The son of a mermaid, the sea is in his blood. Literally. The best part of Shea’s new life? His girlfriend Kae, who also happens to be a beautiful mermaid.

But darkness lurks under the sea. When evil mermen kidnap Kae, the king reminds Shea that having royal blood means making tough choices. 

An Arctic dungeon, a fiery plane crash, the legendary halls of Atlantis…and narwhals?

Having mermaid blood just got a lot more complicated.

Add it on Goodreads today!
Grab your copy on AMAZON.
To celebrate, SON OF A MERMAID is on sale for $2.99 throughout the month of May, so grab book one while you’re at it! You can buy it on AMAZON too!

I’m hosting a Giveaway on Goodreads for a signed copy of BLOOD OF A MERMAID – going on now through June 30th. To enter, visit Goodreads today!