Friday, October 9, 2015

Life and Death Preface

Except for the pronouns, I think this is exactly the same as in Twilight. No joke.


You need to have a life first.

Life and Death Dedication

To all my wonderful friends and readers:

Give me more money!

Life And Death Foreword

Hello, lovely reader!

Again, happy anniversary and welcome to the new tenth-anniversary bonus material!

And again:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Stuff Patricia Kennealy-Morrison Wants Forgotten

If you went by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's accounts over the last twenty years (since her memoir was published), then you would think she had been practically silent about her Wun Troo Luv since his death, except for a heartwrenching admission to a few select people (including Jerry Hopkins). And then she came out with Strange Days, which was the ultimate and accurate depiction of their affair, how he thought of her, and the exact nature of their relationship.

Except... there are a bunch of things wrong with the PKM party line.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

LKH Blogflog: Bleeding On My Keyboard

“One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one’s own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one’s pen.” Leo Tolstoy

Other quotes by Leo Tolstoy include:

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
"All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do."
"Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness."
"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back."
"Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal."
"It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness."
"To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it."

I'm pretty sure both LKH and her Sue need to learn some, if not all, of those lessons.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Shutdown Part 1

Have you ever had to have lunch with your lover’s fiancĂ©?

Well, I can tell this is going to end well. Sexual competition who might have a better claim on one of Anita's lovers than her? Dead meat.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dead Ice Chapter 2

“SORRY, AGENTS, BUT that’s not new. It’s sick, but it’s not new.”

I hate it when I agree with characters I hate. Realistically, it wouldn't be new. At all. Because Rule 34.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dead Ice Chapter 1

So before we start this newest Anita Blake book, let's think about what we'll probably receive in the first chapter. Hmm...

  • Someone inexplicably interested in Anita's personal life, and not in the holy-shit-you're-fucking-a-teenager-you-sick-pervert way.
  • Clothes.
  • More clothes.
  • Weapons stuff meant to show Anita's badassery.
  • Backstory that is totally irrelevant to what's going on.
  • Ego masturbation.

I wonder how many of those things will happen. I'm just AGOG.

Monday, August 17, 2015

LKH Blogflog: Why I Don't Read Most Paranormal

An on-line discussion prompted me to say that I don’t read or watch paranormal genre.

... paranormal genre... whats?

I don’t, as a rule, but years back when the paranormal genre went from being me almost alone, the lone voice crying in the wilderness,

... aside from Elrod, Huff, Lackey, Rice, Brite, Smith, Klause, Strieber, Romkey...

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison - FAQ 7

Why do you think people are so down on you and say such terrible things about you?

I don't consider those creatures 'people', but, just for the sake of argument:

Yes, that will win many of the infidels over to your side. Say you don't consider your critics "people."

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison - FAQ 6

No offense, but you never exactly raved about his poetry...

That's right! [See the Jazz&Pop4Ever section on this site for my published review of The Lords & The New Creatures -- the review that occasioned his proposal.]

"Man, you criticized my poetry! That makes me horny! Marry me, sweetcheecks!"

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison - FAQ 5

What did people think about Pamela when she was alive -- did they even know about her?

As far as I could tell, nobody in Doors circles seemed to particularly like Pam (in fairness to her, I must say that she reciprocated the feeling).

Reportedly this was because she supported his more artistic, poetic leanings and didn't care so much about the rock'n'roll. Ooo, what a bitch!

And the fairness is a little less fair when one considers that Kennealy also detests the Doors. In Blackmantle, she devotes a considerable amount of time to murdering them. Then again, if their autobiographies are to be believed, they didn't seem to dislike Pam. Hell, Ray Manzarek seems downright fond of her, and he implied that another member of the group was enthralled by her.

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison - FAQ 4

Yet he went off to Paris to join her; why do you think he kept going back to her?

When people are in dysfunctional relationships fueled by addiction to alcohol and drugs, they do things like that all the time. I think that ultimately, to Jim, Pamela was familiar and "safe".

... or, if you go by Occam's razor, maybe he actually loved her.

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison - FAQ 3

Do you really think Pam murdered him?

I reluctantly doubt that she actually premeditated his slaughter --

So, she's actually UNHAPPY that someone didn't deliberately commit murder?

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison - FAQ 2

We thought Pam was Jim's wife?

Many of you have thought so, but, ah, how very, very wrong you all have been...

Uh, legally speaking... no, they're not. Yes, Pamela Courson and Jim Morrison never really got married, but they were declared common-law spouses. Posthumously.

Yeah, that doesn't count as a marriage for me either, but legally speaking it does count. And given that he spent more time posing for photos with Pamela than he spent with Patricia overall...

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison - FAQ 1

That Jim Morrison? Really?

That Jim Morrison. Really.

You mean the white guy with a guitar from Warwickshire? The Irish fiddler? The golfer? The baseball player? DAMMIT, EXPLAIN.

PKM: Fireheart

If you take a trip in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's defunct website, you will find that she talks INCESSENTLY about all the stuff Jim Morrison allegedly left her. I say "allegedly" because the only evidence of this is a single one-page poem which Kennealy claims to have co-authored with her dead lover, which doesn't really sound anything like Morrison and is (like everything Kennealy produced since the Doors movie) ultimately about HER and how awesome she is.

Strange Days Prologue

After rereading this, I'm going to start it with a disclaimer. Why? Because i come across as kinda douchey in this, snarking on a woman's account of visiting her lover's grave. I actually was very moved by this when I first read the book.

Then I read the other 99% of it AND her website, and I suddenly didn't feel so bad. Because bitch be crazy.

Strange Days Foreword

This book has pre-book material like most movies have trailers - it just goes on and on.

This is not a biography. Nor is it an autobiography.

This is a book about toast.

It will tell you some things about Jim Morrison

And all of them disgusting yet strangely arousing.

LKH Blogflog: Hair Down There

Disclaimer: this blog is not about pubic hair. Apparently LKH doesn't realize what "hair down there" means.

In case you haven't noticed, Laurell K. Hamilton likes hair. Long hair. On men. Pretty men. Her idea of heaven is basically a world populated by clones of Michael Praed circa 1980s and early 90s, leather pants and all.

LKH Blogflog: Riding Down Your Muse

If you've ever heard LKH wank on about her creative process, most of it boils down to one word: MUSE.

No, but I love you guys for recognizing that. And I love the band, despite Smeyer smearing her uncool stupid all over it and the presence of Kate Hudson.

LKH Blogflog: Memorial Day

Here's a small tip that will serve you well when reading the Anita Blake books or LKH's blogs: she has a massive ladyboner for the military and/or special law enforcement agencies.

Wait, no... no no no no. She doesn't sexualize soldiers or FBI agents or anything. She just really, really wants to be them... or at least the male ones.

LKH Blogflog: Let Me Tell You A Story

In case anybody cares, this is a special... I dunno what to call it, but it's a sort of... blogerview-ramble with LKH about her new book. This is from, and if ANYONE still doubts that LKH is mockable, this is a good example of why she is.

LKH Blogflog: Haters

I have to get something off my chest: I hate the word "haters."

Seriously, it's a word that little kids and reality "stars" use, usually because they can't come up with a decent rebuttal to someone's criticisms. It's what Internet trolls call you if you criticize their favorite overripe pop star or douchebag actor.

It's a stupid, stupid word for stupid people who can't debate, acknowledge flaws or acknowledge others' difference of opinion. And it's usually by people who can't comprehend that someone, somewhere might dislike something without being jealous and/or devoted to hatred for its own sake. So I pretty much disregard the opinion of anyone who uses it.

Of course, authors wanking on the web love to use it. I'm amazed Anne Rice, E. L. James and Stephenie Meyer haven't openly used this word too.

LKH Blogflog: For Those Who Came Late To the Merry Party

Courtesy of a friend on amazon.

First the amazing news that Swallowing Darkness paperback is # 22 on the New York Times List as of 12/13/09!

I wonder how many of those devious, conniving Canadians were thwarted for this to happen. Mwahaha!

LKH Blogflog: Shapeshifter Questions and a Writing Question Answered

Courtesy of a guest sporker from, somewhat edited.

In case you're wondering, LKH has a biology degree (or rather, "major," since she doesn't seem to know the difference). She tells us this whenever she can shoehorn it in, in case we don't know that unlike all those OTHER writers, she went to college.

I imagine conversations with her go like this:

"So what if someone came up with the idea of vampires as having some sort of disease?"
"Yes! I would know all about that! Because I am a biology major!"

LKH Blogflog: Dracula - The Ballet

Dracula, the Ballet was amazing.

  1. "I must somehow incorporate this into my books! Tights are HAWT."
  2. Why is LKH talking TO Dracula?
  3. "Oh, Dracula, the ballet was SO amazing! Allow me to totally misinterpret it."

LKH Blogflog: Vampires and Paranormal Thrillers

Several of you have written in about my Entertainment Weekly interview. You’ve said that I disrespected Anne Rice by saying that I pioneered my genre, not hers.

  1. Not to mention Elrod, Huff, and the many authors that dealt with that genre.
  2. If it's HER genre, then SHE would have pioneered it, not you.

LKH Blogflog: Dear Negative Readers

By the way, this entire rant is one long paragraph with no breaks. Thanks, LKH. My eyes didn't hurt enough from your writing.

Dear Negative Reader, It's funny, I almost never go on the board. I think I can count on one hand the times I've seen the message board.

Perhaps this is why her board later became a "rabid fans only" board. Dissenting opinions and constructive criticism are strictly banned from her boards, as are lurkers. The general attitude: "You will have fun, or we will BAN YOU!"

SM: Stephenie Meyer - Favorite Books

One of the (many) things that pisses me off about Stephenie Meyer is that even she seems to know that her books can't stand on their own merits. So she tries to attach them to great works of literature by Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, and Jane Austen with the flimsiest of connections, apparently thinking that this makes them deeper and more "literary." She's like a literary remora.

Well, I have shocking news for you, Smeyer. It doesn't work that way.

SM: Twilight - Forks

[September 2008 edit: check out this link to a story about how the Twilight series has positively affected Forks:Vampire tourism' breathes new life into small town

Also, the Forks, WA Chamber of Commerce recently added a great new page to their site called "Twilight Points of Interests*." Enjoy!]

  1. "See? Twilight is a force for good and light and puppies and cupcakes! It has positively affected Forks! WORSHIP, DAMN YOU ALL!"
  2. Of COURSE the town of Forks is pro-Twilight. It's their only claim to fucking fame! Aside from the.... and the.... the thing.... yeah, it's their only claim to fame.
  3. And who is this Seth person, you may ask? Why, it's Smeyer's webmaster/brother, who vaguely maintains the site while keeping any Evil Missives Of Criticism from reaching his sister's sensitive wittle ears. He's a perfect example of why your webmaster should not be a relative.

SM: Twilight FAQ

Is there a sequel to Twilight?
Yes, there is a sequel! For more information on the sequel, click here.


Thanks a lot. Sigh, back to the salt mines.

SM: Twilight - The Story

I get a ton of questions about how I came up with the story of Twilight and how I got it published.

Yes, because so many people are dying to know where she got the insipid idea of having vampires who sparkle comes from. It's just SO fucking imaginative.

AR: The Blood Canticle Review

Let's all pause for a second to marvel at what we are about to receive. This is one of the CLASSIC examples of an author going batshit and flying off the wall, right up there with LKH's infamous Dear Negative Reader rant. But Anne Rice was there FIRST - I think she was the first author to basically go batshit insane on the Web and make a total fool of herself. Many have done so since, but she was among the first.

And it is magnificent. Magnificently crazy and arrogant.

Satireknight Rants - The Top Ways Anita Blake Pisses Me Off

This is going to be a long, long, long, loooooooooooooong collection of rants. Bear with me. Some of these are going to be smaller issues, since a lot of ink has been spilled in examination of things like LKH's racist depiction of anyone who isn't pure Anglo, or the sexism that fills every. Single. Chapter. Of. Every. Single. Book.

And I might make a few passing references to the Merry Gentry series, but mainly as a supporting source.

Satireknight Rants - The Top Ways Twilight Pisses Me Off

I've ranted and raved at length about the things about Twilight that bother me, like the racism, sexism or the whole "If you don't have a man, your life is worthless." But there are some things that piss me off that don't fit so neatly into the riffing.So this is going to be an ongoing project, not a begin-to-finish one. Parts of it may appear in my snarks, or they may not.

Satireknight Rants - Angel Paranormal Romances and Why I Hate Them

There are a lot of paranormal romances out there right now, both for teens and adults (not that age restrictions seem to make a lot of difference). This has become particularly prevalent in the teen fantasy genre, which has become inundated in tween romances with a supernatural bent.

These tend to come in two different types:

  1. Ordinary girl falls in love with sexy supernatural creature(s).
  2. Ordinary girl discovers that SHE is a supernatural creature, and falls in love with sexy supernatural creature(s).

Satireknight Rants - Why Twilight Has Nothing To Do With Literature

Hail and well met! This is the first of a series of rants that I am making separately from the literary snarks, where I can basically rant about a topic without needing the actual lines and scenes of a book to appear before I can start blathering about it.

Got it? If not, tough tits.

Satireknight Rants - Stephenie Meyer vs. Anne Rice

Stephenie Meyer and Anne Rice pretty clearly don't like each other, as evidenced by Rice's pompous diss in 2011 about how her vampires are sooooo much cooler than Meyer's. (Lady, Count von Count is cooler than Meyer's vampires. It's not an achievement).

Possibilities For Future Snark

I barely have enough time to spork the things I'm currently doing, but I thought I'd list some of the craptastic wastes of wood pulp that I may snark in the future. Obviously Anita Blake and Terry Goodkind are going to be ongoing projects, but I'd like to add on some new stuff eventually. These are some likely candidates, but you're perfectly welcome to suggest stuff in the comments section.

And if you like a particular possible book as potential snark, just lemme know.

I'd like to add that I'm not committed to all these - they might appear as snarks, or they might not. And if you guys wanna snark any of these, go right ahead! Snark away!

Books I Don't Plan To Snark

I know I've covered some of these in my video, but it bears repeating: These are things that I do not plan to snark. Some may change, but probably most won't.

The Elusive Beast Revealed


This page contains a rare picture of a legendary beast, often spoken and much written about, but rarely ever actually seen. There is some variation in the species - some have blue hair, some have white, and others have green, metallic colors, pink, or streaks of random other shades in otherwise-normal hair. The species contains many different hybridizations, which results in many different forms. Their intellect ranges from generally exceptional to polymath genius, and they possess the rare quality of warping space and time so that it revolves around them.

The Rosalie Cullen Syndrome

Or, why are we watching the BORING story?!

"My backstory is the coolest thing about this whole series. Suck on that, Bella Yawn."

A Note About Cassandra Clare

I just wanted to quickly talk about a certain author who's become both famous and notorious in YA/UF fiction, Cassandra Clare.

Now, a lot of virtual ink has been used on the topic of Cassandra Clare, so I'm not going to really go in-depth into her many online misdeeds (which reportedly involve cyberstalking and cyberbullying among others). But I do have to address some of her problems, because they will be mentioned at least in passing in her book snarks.

Fire and Ice Part 2

We then switch over to... a fantasy castle that some dumbass decided to build on the side of an active volcano.

"Our insurance is just insane!"

Even worse, there seems to be lava down near the base of the mountain... which means that not only is it active, but it could whittle away that tiny important exit that leads OUT of the castle. And that's not even mentioning the toxic gas, ash, the fatal heat, the possibility of small eruptions, volcanic vents...

Was this a thing in the eighties?

Fire and Ice Part 1

So, I wonder how this movie starts.

Wow. Two seconds in, and I'm already disappointed.

The Dark Tide Chapter 5 Part 1

A great uproar filled the Hall, and hands grasped futilely at weaponless girts, for all had come to the feast unarmed.

Given how much the security sucks, that seems like a bad idea.

The Dark Tide Chapter 4 Part 3

But the next evening Laurelin is depressed because apparently the wagons have arrived, and she's whining because she might not see her boyfriend before she leaves. Yeah, apparently she expects him to come back to the castle to say goodbye to her, instead of continuing to fight. DUMBASS. It also turns out that she's leaving on her birthday, which is the first day of Generic Winter Festival Which Is Totally Like Christmas Except Not. And Tuck also mentions that Merrilee's birthday is on the LAST day of Generic Winter Festival.

What significance does it have? NONE.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Dark Tide Chapter 4 Part 2

So we pick up the next morning, when the Warrows are stuffing their faces and talking a lot. So yeah, standard.

The Dark Tide Chapter 4 Part 1

The Wobbits wander northeast... some way... on some road.... for some distance. It's all boring and easy to forget. So are the various redshirts traveling with the main trio. We're told that Tuck spent much of the time riding among the members of his new squad, getting acquainted, but there's not many details about it and we're TOLD instead of shown. Sigh. Most of the character development these redshirt Wobbits have is telling us the names of their hometowns.

The Dark Tide Chapter 3 Part 3

The messenger sort of blew his load with the first announcement, but he tries to excite them with more news: "Darkness stalks the north. Prince Galen strikes within the Dimmendark. Young Prince Igon has slain Winternight Spawn. And Aurion Redeye fortifies the Keep,"

  1. The north is filing a restraining order against Darkness.
  2. What the hell is the Dimmendark?
  3. What the hell is Winternight?
  4. And who are Prince Galen and Prince Igon? I assume these are important characters since they've been given names, but who the hell are they? Why should we care? Why should the WARROWS know who they are?
  5. None of these comments seem to be connected to each other.
  6. It amazes me that McKiernan fills up chapters with lots and lots of filler, but IMPORTANT exposition like this is summed up in passing. He could have gotten several pages out of this guy giving a whole report!

The Dark Tide Chapter 3 Part 2

Tuck, Danner, and Tarpy trudged back to their tent, each immersed deep in his own thoughts, and Tuck's entry into his diary that night took longer than usual.

Someone I imagine him writing a lot of angsty poetry in it, all about life being pain. Seriously, why does this diary exist? It plays no part in the plot, and we never see what Tuck is writing in it. Why do we have to hear about it at all?

Oh right... because it's important to the plot of the sequels.

The Dark Tide Chapter 3 Part 1

Just before noon, cold and weary, Tuck, Danner, Tarpy, and Patrel trudged into the Thornwalker encampment set in the fringes of the Spindlethorn Barrier at Spindle Ford.

Uhhhh... they left the cairn at DAWN. They were five miles away from the camp. It seriously took them five or six hours to walk five miles? I could somersault faster than that, even if I include breaks to puke.

The Dark Tide Chapter 2 Part 3

So the little gang heads north again, warning farms along the way. Also, they're going to get attacked. That's not a spoiler as much as a prediction.

The Dark Tide Chapter 2 Part 2

"When Gyphon challenged Adon for control of the Spheres,"

"... Adon responded by conquering the Cubes, and buying time-share in the Pyramids."

"War broke out in the three Planes: Upper, Middle, and Lower."

But fortunately not in the basement or attic.

The Dark Tide Chapter 2 Part 1

So our Warrow heroes are setting off for military duty... which means it's time for descriptions that would make Christopher Paolini weep for joy: From the glitter, tiny evanescent shards of sparkling color winged to the eye, as if reflected from diminutive fragments of shattered jewels nestled among the fallen flakes.

Fantasy Snow is EPIC! It can't just be WHITE.

The Dark Tide Chapter 1 Part 3

And since no McKiernan book would be complete without at least ONE pair of soulmates, we're then introduced to Merrilee, who is literally the girl next door... okay, four doors away, but close enough.

The Dark Tide Chapter 1 Part 2

Thus the saying Word from the Beyond meant that any information from beyond the borders, from Outside, was highly suspect and not to be trusted until confirmed; certainly such news was not Sevendell Certain.

... what the hell is McKiernan talking about? Is he actually creating folksy slang terms? Because those don't tend to work.... at all... ever.

The Dark Tide Chapter 1 Part 1

With a final burst of speed, the young buccan Warrow raced through ankle-deep snow, his black hair flying out behind.

… okay, this is a decent way to open a book, but we still have some problems:

  1. It's hard to "race" through ankle-deep know, because since it's ANKLE-DEEP, you need to yank your feet out of it with each step. This is not helpful in running.
  2. Flying behind what? The snow?
  3. What's a Warrow?

The Dragonstone Chapter 20

And now DAMMIT we're back with Alos and his booze. Come on, how is the flashback supposed to build up any kind of momentum when it keeps being interrupted by storytime?!

Alos shivered and gulped down his glass of wine. He turned his face toward Arin. "This talk of Wizards and of Foul Folk, I don't like it."

"Can you tell us the story about Frodo and the Ring instead?"

The Dragonstone Chapter 19

You know how it took hundreds of years and several chapters for them to drag their asses to Darda Vrka? Well, I think by this point even McKiernan was getting sick of dicking around with travel filler, so he crams together ALLLLLL the travel to Xian in a single solitary chapter.

I should be filled with joy. For some reason, I'm not.

The Dragonstone Chapter 18

So after two months for the characters (and what feels like two months for the readers), they FINALLY get to Darda Vrka and… spend two days wandering around in the woods. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO REMEMBERS THE APOCALYPSE?!

And yet by no earthbound sign could they tell that a Wizard lived herein,

… except for that giant sign that said, "Wizard's House, two miles to the left."

And because McKiernan really wants to ramp up the tension, he has the characters talk about a bird. No, really. They stop everything and talk about a white bird that's been following them, and whether or not it's a minion of Dalavar's.

The Dragonstone Chapter 17

Awww, dammit. Not another travel guide chapter!

Bounded on the north by the towering Grimwall Mountains, on the east by the swift-flowing Wolf River,

… why is it called the Wolf River?

The Dragonstone Chapter 16

You know, if I were Dennis McKiernan's editor, this book would lose at least a third of its bulk. It is so padded you would think it was a training bra.

So we're told that it's July, meaning that probably all the Baeron are off speed-dating. Arin and her friends don't see any Baeron… and they don't see any Hidden Ones… which makes me wonder why we've even been told about the Baeron. It's almost like we're being pelted with filler material until we lapse into comas.

The Dragonstone Chapter 15

It's travel filler time! YAY! And by that I mean

The Dragonstone Chapter 14

Thank God, we FINALLY get back to this friggin' overlong flashback. Basically Arin and her buddies go riding back through Darda Galion, and there's lots of nature and it's pretty and blah blah blah.

The Dragonstone Chapter 13

And then...

"Token of power?" Despite the amount Alos had drunk, his speech was not slurred by ale. "And just what might one of these tokens be, hey?"

AW MAN! I can't believe McKiernan is making the narrative grind to a halt AGAIN. Every time something STARTS to happen in this book, suddenly we're back to storytime with Auntie Arin!

The Dragonstone Chapter 12

So thankfully we cut to the next morning, when people are having breakfast and talking about Arin's vision, and THANK YOU GOD Arin doesn't recount the whole thing in detail.

Arin shook her head. "I seem to recall there were other images, yet what they were I cannot say."

DAMMIT, she can't even remember her vision?! She didn't mention this before!

The Dragonstone Chapter 11

So we FINALLY get back to the flashback narrative, where HOPEFULLY something new will happen.

Anyway, this new Elf warden is named Tarol. He implies that the Rivermen, dastardly poor people that they are, are stealing wood. I assume he means Eld tree wood... or else the Elves are just hardasses about anyone DARING to get firewood.

The Dragonstone Chapter 10

... oh wait, it's not even TRAVELING. It's just descriptions of TREES.

There are days I hate what I do.

The Dragonstone Chapter 9

Aw, dammit. We're snapping out of this extremely slow-moving flashback to the present.

So what is this chapter about? ALOS AND BOOZE. Yes, an entire (if short) chapter devoted to the local boozehound.

The Dragonstone Chapter 8

When last we left Arin in mid-flashback, she had passed out after having a vision. The other elves draw a silly mustache on her face and put her in embarrassing poses. Or maybe that's just what I would do.

The Dragonstone Chapter 7

So we flash back to Arin, who is... again... staring into a fire and attempting to have a vision, even though we've already been told that the visions come whenever THEY want and trying won't help.

The Dragonstone Chapter 6

So since the previous chapter ended with the beginning of the backstory AT LONG LAST, in this chapter we finally find out what's happening! We finally discover what plot-rich happenings are afoot! We learn what secrets have been discovered by the flame seer...

... wait, false alarm. Actually we just hear about the geography.


The Dragonstone Chapter 5

So now we're at Blackstein Lodge. Egil is still passed out from alcohol and shock, and Arin is looking at a fire and trying to <see> just who the one-eyed man was, to no avail. In case you haven't read other McKiernan books, using those little <>s means that something is MAGIK!, and so I assume that when she stares into the fire she's trying to... magically look at something.

Oh, and since we haven't been told in the first two sentences that Alos is really gross and yucky, Aiko is in the next room scrubbing him while he screams like an overexcited toddler.

The Dragonstone Chapter 4

McKiernan thankfully thankfully doesn't show the surgery. Instead we have Samurai Chick and Yngli coming back from picking flowers. In the snow. Why is there snow? Why are there flowers? Okay, let me explain this: why has the rain not washed away the snow, and why has the cold not withered the flowers?

The Dragonstone Chapter 3

When we last saw Samurai Chick and Tiny Elf, they had just heard that Egil had lost an eye. Which means... they now have TWO one-eyed characters!

I don't know what the point of that is yet, but I'm sure we'll find out soon.

The Dragonstone Chapter 2

Even before Tryg could leave the table the sodden old man slurped down his ale, running his grimy finger about the rim of the mug to pick up the remaining light froth of foam then licking the finger clean, dirt and all. He looked up at Tryg expectantly and then over at the two ladies and smiled his brown-stained gap-toothed grin at them and bobbed his head eagerly.

... okay, McKiernan, we get it. Alos is so disgusting he should be starring in a TLC show, and I'm amazed Samurai Chick and Generic Elf aren't puking up their guts right about now.

The Dragonstone Chapter 1

Lightning stroked the night

Are we getting some sort of atmospheric foreplay here?

Into the Forge Chapter 3

So it turns out that Beacontor is a signal fire calling for the muster of any and all who could see it throughout the entire region. Clearly the region is a small one, because I don't think a single fire can be seen THAT far away.

Into the Forge Chapter 2

So... since this chapter opens with Tip knocking on someone's door, I'm assuming that the Minions of Evil weren't out there after all.

Into the Forge Chapter 1

So we jump RIGHT into the story with the main character waking up. Apparently he lives right next to a river. It's winter. His name is Tipperton, a pretty obvious halflingly hobbity name.

Voyage of the Fox Rider Chapter 3

[Six Months Past]

Thanks. We know already.

Voyage of the Fox Rider Chapter 2

[Six Months Past]

Dammit, is there a reason why everything is in the past? Why not just have this be the present, and then continue?!

And McKiernan has NO problem with timeskips so... what the fuck?

Voyage of the Fox Rider Chapter 1

Winter, 1E9572-73
[Twenty-Two Months Past]

... that's oddly specific. Why not just say "two years"?

So we're introduced to Farrix, which sounds like a minor character from Asterix.

Voyage of the Fox Rider Notes

1. Voyage of the Fox Rider is a tale which takes place before the Separation.

Also known as the Divorce or the Mommy And Daddy Are Going To Live Apart.

New Moon Chapter 21


I'm so happy when a suspenseless cliffhanger deposits us on something totally unexciting.

New Moon Chapter 20

So they try to drive through the Italian streets, with Alice doing dangerous maneuvers and Bella whining like a siren. Apparently Smeyer has never been in an old historical city, because their streets aren't generally ones you can weave insanely in. They tend to be more.... crazy narrow.

Trek To Kraggen-Cor Chapter 1

Like I said, this duology was originally supposed to be a sequel to Lord of the Rings. And if you recall that trilogy, one of the most moving and unusual friendships was between Sam and Frodo, a genteel young hobbit and his lower-class best friend who stuck with him through thick and thin.

So guess what the main characters of THIS book are.

Trek To Kraggen-Cor Prologue

So we open with.... that Spindlethorn Barrier that McKiernan tells us about in almost every book he writes. I AM BORED ALREADY.

So we have three people riding in a wagon (I refuse to call it a "waggon"). There is literally a page devoted to nothing but them riding through the Thornwall, and how it takes them TWO HOURS. Seriously! Two hours! Does McKiernan have any idea how far you can travel in two hours even on foot?

Once Upon A Winter's Night Chapter 1

They lived in a one-room, stone cottage on the edge of Faery, there where the world ends and the mystical realm begins.

Down the street was a crab-cake restaurant, retro diner and pleasant motel for tourists!

Eragon Chapter 24

So after hundreds and hundreds of years of the main characters wandering in the desert, we readers finally come to the Promised Land: someplace with OTHER PEOPLE so we can hear about something other than Brom beating Eragon with a stick and teaching him magic offscreen.

Yes, Eragon and Brom finally arrive at Teirm, where the fog conveniently clears so Eragon can stare at it.

Eragon Chapter 23

And it's now time for CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! And by that, I mean conversing about stuff that has nothin' to do with nothin'.

More specifically, Eragon asks Brom, “What is the sea like?” It's a reasonable thing to ask since he was born and raised in a landlocked zone except for a single river. That said, I'm not sure how much Brom could tell him since his only admitted experience with the sea is in a port town. Port cities tend to be pretty bland, sea-wise. I speak from experience.

Eragon Chapter 22

The next morning, Eragon gets on Saphira directly after breakfast. He also acts like he's heading for the electric chair, although you would think a saddle would make all the difference, wouldn't you?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Eragon Chapter 21

So we're at another tiny miserable village which Brom and Eragon are marching into in hopes of finding... I dunno, people. And since Saphira was completely useless last time, this time she's hanging around nearby.

... there better be something interesting coming out, or I might explode.

Eragon Chapter 20

So now it's time for a whole chapter of clumsy exposition!

Eragon Chapter 19

Unsurprisingly Eragon fainted at the end of the last chapter... but for some reason he doesn't actually wake up in this one. He just staggers out and bumps into Cadoc, who AGAIN is the only one unaffected by what's going on. First he stayed calm and still during a HURRICANE that sent Saphira flopping around, and now he's totally unaffected by magical explosions and massive shock waves.

This horse should be the hero of this series! He clearly is the horse version of Superman!

Eragon Chapter 18

Although they had managed to partially refill the waterskins during the storm, they drank the last of their water that morning.

It turned out that you couldn't get a lot of water by just standing in a storm with your water container open.

Eragon Chapter 17

For some reason this chapter opens with Eragon plotting to kill the Ra'zac, mainly because his entire body is sprained. Yes, I can see how Brom's little strategy is turning him into a master swordsman. It's like trying to turn someone into an ace pilot by spinning the place around until he pukes. It isn't how you teach ANYTHING.

And now it's time for.... EPIC TRAVELING DETAILS. Yeah, most of this chapter really does nothing.

Eragon Chapter 16

So this chapter opens pretty well, with a summary of the weather and the stuff Eragon and Brom did before leaving the area.

Eragon Chapter 15

So this chapter begins in a semi-realistic manner: Eragon wakes up and gets upset because his uncle is dead:

Eragon Chapter 14

Eragon wakes up the next morning (take a shot) and is emo. For once, it's justified.

I can’t live with this, he moaned.

Moaning means saying something out loud. He's not saying it out loud! He's not moaning!

Eragon Chapter 13

It was dark when Eragon jolted upright in bed, breathing hard.

Yup, here we have another one. At least two instances apiece of Eragon waking up at the start of a chapter and falling asleep at the end up until now, and this super-short chapter is another one.

Eragon wakes up before dawn and it's freezing out. He has a Bad Premonition, which means that Uncle Owen... I mean, Garrow is officially dead. So Emo Eragon gets up, gets dressed, and goes to Garrow's room.

Eragon Chapter 12

Eragon is having a dream, and since Stus never have ORDINARY mundane dreams about exploding hedgehogs or everybody turning bright green and growing second heads, it's full of Significant Images.

Eragon Chapter 11

When Eragon opened his eyes in the morning, he thought the sky had fallen.

He was just THAT hung over!

Eragon Chapter 10

So when last we left our hero, Brom had sent him off to almost certain death by insisting that he walk home... alone... with creepy people on the lookout for him. Given that Brom is the Ben Kenobi of this series, that doesn't sound promising.

Eragon Chapter 9

Eragon is emo, because Roran is still going off to work in another village for two months so he can marry that hussy Katrina. Also, Garrow is also emo:

Garrow stood between them with his hands stuck deep into his pockets. His shirt hung loosely; his skin looked drawn. Despite the young men’s cajoling, he refused to go with them. When pressed for a reason, he only said that it was for the best.

Ye gods, you'd think Roran was joining the army and going abroad to fight trolls - he's going to another village for TWO MONTHS and then returning for good. I can see his cousin and dad being sad about not seeing him for a bit, but this ridiculously over-the-top grief thing is just absurd.

Eragon Chapter 8

Another sooper-short chapter with minimal action.

The previous chapter was almost entirely devoted to Roran wanking on about how he wanted to get a job but mean ol' daddy would throw a fit, and Eragon exploding with homoerotic rage at the idea of Roran getting married and possibly ending their sweaty cousinish man-lurve.

Eragon Chapter 7

Another ubershort chapter without much of a point, except establishing exactly what everybody knows.

Eragon Chapter 6

So Eragon and Roran go trotting into Carvahall, and Eragon goes to Brom's house. I have no idea what the house looks like, because we don't hear about it. And because Brom is a Mysterious Old Man, he pops up behind Eragon rather than answering the door like a quasi normal person.

He also apparently looks like Gandalf. Because, y'know, he's a wise old mentor and they all look like him.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Eragon Chapter 5

The dragon was no longer than his forearm, yet it was dignified and noble.

I don't know about you, but I find it hard to consider animals that small "dignified and noble." Cute, yes. Teeny weeny, yup. But they have to be at least the size of a cat before they can count as dignified or noble.

Eragon Chapter 4

This is a very short chapter… in fact, it feels like Paolini started to write it and got bored with whatever he was doing. It basically has Eragon going to sleep, waking up, going to sleep, waking up and freaking out.

Eragon Chapter 3

Eragon wakes up the next morning and starts examining his bedroom, which sounds awfully modern for a medieval kid who shouldn't have much spare time.

Eragon Chapter 2

The next morning there's a pretty sunrise, and Eragon has apparently not been blown to smithereens by his exploding Rock O' Doom. Good for him. Time to go home from his Hunt of Failed Failure, with no dead animals to sustain them through the winter! I guess they're destined to starve and/or freeze.

Eragon Chapter 1

In this chapter, we are introducing to SuperUltraHunter Eragon, whose name sounds suspiciously like a British pronunciation of "Aragorn." Which must be a coincidence, because this book is NOTHING like Lord of the Rings!

Eragon knelt in a bed of trampled reed grass and scanned the tracks with a practiced eye. The prints told him that the deer had been in the meadow only a half-hour before. Soon they would bed down. His target, a small doe with a pronounced limp in her left forefoot, was still with the herd. He was amazed she had made it so far without a wolf or bear catching her.

This is actually a fairly promising scene, because it has the potential for some actual character development....

Unfortunately, Paolini decides to put in some landscape descriptions instead:

A silvery cloud drifted over the mountains that surrounded him, its edges glowing with ruddy light cast from the harvest moon cradled between two peaks. Streams flowed down the mountains from stolid glaciers and glistening snowpacks.

Unless that is a very large, wide and high mountain, it does not have a glacier on top. Mountains don't really have glaciers - glaciers tend to be enormous ice bodies that travel on the surface of land. They don't perch on top of mountains.

And I'm not sure why the silvery cloud would still be silvery if the moon behind it is red.

A brooding mist crept along the valley’s floor,

It wrote angsty poetry and wore lots of raccoon eye makeup.

almost thick enough to obscure his feet.

Just his feet? Nothing higher up? Don't mists that intense usually rise a bit higher?

Dark eyebrows rested above his intense brown eyes.

In general, that is where eyebrows go. Would they still count as eyebrows if they were under his eyes?

A hunting knife with a bone handle was sheathed at his belt, and a buckskin tube protected his yew bow from the mist.

Weapons porn: the Gary Stu equivalent of a Mary Sue's endless clothes descriptions.

So we find out that Eragon is in the Spine, which is basically a big, significant mountain range that runs through the land of Alagaesia...

And for some reason, it's right next to the ocean.

Another interesting question: how is "Alagaesia" pronounced? I'm thinking Ah-la-gay-see-uh, which is a rather funny way of pronouncing it if one considers the number of unintentionally homoerotic moments in the series. But it could also be Ah-la-gee-zee-uh. Or Ah-la-jee-zee-uh.

I'll just go by the movie's pronunciation, I guess.

Strange tales and men often came from those mountains, usually boding ill.

Sorta like Mirkwood? No! This isn't anything like Lord of the Rings! STOP THINKING THAT, INFIDEL!

he was the only hunter near Carvahall who dared track game deep into its craggy recesses.

... okay, I'm finding this difficult to swallow. This is supposedly a HUUUUUUGE mountain range, one which spans an entire country. Are we supposed to believe that some random rural teenager is the ONLY person in the whole area who follows animals inside? I know this is a blatant attempt to make Eragon automatically cooler and more skillful than everyone around him, but it's a pretty clumsy one.

And for that matter, this is a MOUNTAIN range. I wouldn't expect most of the game to immediately head towards mountains, which tend to have less food, colder temperatures, less shelter and harder terrain than flatter land or forests. They also don't have a lot of reeds, which tend to be in lower areas. You know, because water flows DOWN.

Plus, they have glaciers perching on top. That's weird.

It was the third night of the hunt, and his food was half gone.

He sucks as a hunter. Why not hunt some rabbits or something?

His family needed the meat for the rapidly approaching winter and could not afford to buy it in Carvahall.

I admit that my time in tiny medieval villages has been limited to afternoons at the Renaissance Faire, but I'm pretty sure that nobody in medieval villages BOUGHT meat. They might barter for it, or they might hunt it. But they'd be unlikely to buy it, right? Especially in such a poor one.

And is he planning to use one deer to feed them all winter? Wouldn't it make more sense to devote all this time and energy to growing crops, which can't run away and hide but still provide you with lots of food? Why hunt?

Eragon stood with quiet assurance in the dusky moonlight,

It doesn't seem to be dusky at present. For one thing, the moonlight should still be reddish. And it can't mean "inadequate light" or Eragon wouldn't be staggering around the mountains in search of a deer. Maybe that's why he hasn't caught anything - it's pitch black.

then drew three arrows and nocked one, holding the others in his left hand.

I would love to see how he does this. Nocking an arrow requires two hands - one to hold the bow, and the other to pull back the arrow. It's not something you can really do while holding two others in one of those hands. Does he have extra fingers or something? Can he nock and shoot a bow with only one hand?

So Eragon finally comes across a herd of deer, who are all sleeping. And... what does Eragon do? He FAILS. Eragon is officially the suckiest hunter ever. I'm pretty sure that most bowmen in medieval times could have taken out at least a couple of deer when they're SLEEPING, and perhaps a few more once they started waking up and running away.

Yet he's still aiming for a doe with an injured leg, which he could probably get AFTER the others had escaped. Loser. No wonder he hasn't caught anything.

He took a last steadying breath and—an explosion shattered the night.

"Damn, I knew I shouldn't have eaten those beans for dinner!"

So he shoots at that ONE FUCKING DOE he's obsessed with, despite the dozens of deer all around him. And he misses. Yes, truly he is a master hunter! 

Behind him, where the deer had been, smoldered a large circle of grass and trees.

I assume he means that the grass and trees are burned, because circles of grass and trees usually don't smolder.

So the trees have had their needles blasted off and the grass is lying flat. You know, if the blast was that intense and did that much damage, I'd expect Eragon to have gotten hit by a bit more than hot wind. I'd expect at least some reddened painful skin. But what am I saying? Eragon is a Stu and therefore must not be put at risk.

Even then... WHY were the deer not hurt? This happened right in the middle of where they were!

And then... Eragon sees the HOLY MACGUFFIN OF SPARKLINESS!

NO, DAMMIT. It's a big blue egg stone.

Mist snaked across the scorched area and swirled insubstantial tendrils over the stone.

Mist is water vapor, not smoke. They are not the same thing, but apparently they're being used interchangeably here.

So because Eragon is a friggin' dumbass, he pokes at it with his arrow, then picks it up. Honestly, the first reaction most people would have would be to get the hell away from something that obviously caused a massive explosion. A smart person would probably wait at least a day before TOUCHING it.

Nature had never polished a stone as smooth as this one.

I dunno about that - nature has managed some pretty polished stones. 

Its flawless surface was dark blue, except for thin veins of white that spiderwebbed across it.

Keeping in mind that this eventually turns out to be a dragon egg, I cannot help but wonder what the hell those white veins are for. Or the blue coloring. Egg pigmentation has only one purpose: camouflage. And aside from a jewelry store specializing in lapis lazuli, I can't think of anyplace this egg could be camouflaged.

The stone was cool and frictionless under his fingers, like hardened silk.

  1. If the stone is frictionless, how is he holding it?
  2. Hardened silk is not particularly frictionless or smooth.
  3. So we're also told that it's a foot long and weighs several pounds. And Eragon's holding it effortlessly with one hand. REALLY?

Where did it come from? Does it have a purpose? Then a more disturbing thought came to him: Was it sent here by accident, or am I meant to have it?

He is a true Stu. A normal person might have asked the first question, but it would probably be followed by, "What IS it? How did it get here? Does it explode regularly? Should I be running the hell away from here before it explodes again?"

But no, dear Stuey Eragon is busy wondering if it was magically sent for him and him alone! Humility in a hero is totally overrated. He should always assume that the universe revolves around him.

If he had learned anything from the old stories, it was to treat magic, and those who used it, with great caution.

... except if it's pretty and shiny. Then pick it up and start preening. Also, how does treating magic with caution equate to "obviously it was sent magically to SuperStu and Superstu alone!"?

But what should I do with the stone?

Suffer without it?

No, Eragon thinks about how it would be seriously heavy to carry around, and.... OH YEAH, IT MIGHT EXPLODE. He's not really concerned very much about it, because he's holding it right next to his fucking head. But then he decides that hey, he might be able to buy something with it.

... I don't know where he got this idea, since no matter how pretty it is, there's a very limited market for exploding rocks. But then, this is Eragon the Mighty Hunter of injured does instead of whole herds of sleeping deer. Did you expect a smart decision?