Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

Applies to both true urban fantasy and “paranormal romance”

Ryuk the shinigami destroys a ferris wheel.

“Death Note” (2017) Review

I love Death Note, but this movie is not Death Note.  It may bear the title of “Death Note”, but it’s really not.  It doesn’t surprise me that this movie is bad.  I fully expected the American version of Death Note to be bad, but I didn’t expect it to be quite as terrible as this.

What is Death Note?

In case you’re not aware, Death Note is an anime about a Japanese high school honour student named Light Yagami who finds a shinigami’s notebook, which allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it—usually by heart attack.  Light decides to use the notebook to become, as he puts it, “the god of the new world” by killing all the world’s criminals, followed by anyone else he sees as unworthy to live.  A brilliant detective named L realizes early on how dangerous “Kira the Saviour” is and makes it his goal to catch the serial killer.
Continue reading “Death Note” (2017) Review

The Dragon in the Sock Drawer cover illustration

“The Dragon in the Sock Drawer” Book Review

I read The Dragon in the Sock Drawer by Kate Klimo quite a few years ago, and since then I’ve wanted to tear it apart in a review.  I’ve wondered if this was too easy a target, the author being relatively unknown and the story meant strictly for very young children.  I couldn’t find anything about the books on Wikipedia, and looking up the author’s alleged website simply redirects to the series’ page on the Random House site.  In fact, I would likely have passed it by and reviewed something else were it not for what I learnt from reading it.
Continue reading “The Dragon in the Sock Drawer” Book Review

Bella Swan looking particularly cold.

Bella Swan: Sociopath or Psychopath?

As you’ve probably guessed if you’ve ever thought about it, the silent “p” in “psychopath” isn’t there just to confuse; the Ancient Greek letter “ψ” (called Ψι) represents the sound /ps/, which is used in the word “ψυχή,” which meant “soul” and was pronounced /pʰsyː.kʰɛ᷄ː/. “Psychopath” is derived from “ψυχή” and “πάθος” (suffering), and like many greek loanwords, the latin alphabet renders “ψ” as “ps.” I assume since /ps/ isn’t an especially easy way for non-greeks to begin a word, it therefore became just /s/ in other languages.
Continue reading Bella Swan: Sociopath or Psychopath?

Johnny sniffs his ex-fiancée's red dress.

Defining a Mary Sue

Now, I think people have a tendency to apply the term “Mary-Sue” to just about any character they dislike or find irritating.  A common summary of what constitutes a “Mary-Sue” is simply that a character is perfect, idealized, has no faults, or always does the right thing; I fervently believe this definition to be quite inaccurate.

For me, whether one is a Mary-Sue is not a question of perfection but one of accountability.  Sex also plays a substantial role in the equation.  To put it most simply, a Mary-Sue is a character who acts merely as a vessel through whom the author may live out their—often sexual—fantasies.
Continue reading Defining a Mary Sue

Bella Swan manipulates a naïve teenager.

Bella Swan: Beware the Bloodthirsty Sociopath

The name Twilight applies to a lot of things, and to avoid confusing some laughable teen-vampire-romance with the main character of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I now always refer to Stephanie Meyer’s work as “The Twilight Saga” so as not to associate it with any good work of high-fantasy.  There’s also an owl with that name in Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, and I’ve heard there’s also one in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and who knows how many other stories).
Continue reading Bella Swan: Beware the Bloodthirsty Sociopath