We’re thrown into a dark world where malevolent “shades” seek to take over the bodies of humans, losing your soul to the abyss is easy (and frequent), and the dark forces of the enemy seem insurmountable.
The main group battling these invading spirits (and the humans who join with them) are called Venators and Venatrices, and they trap shades inside themselves to get magic powers – risking eternal damnation if the soul-separation (at their death) isn’t done properly. Continue reading →
Lord Peter Wimsey, in one of Dorothy Sayers’ novels, calls detective fiction the “highest form of literature we have.” The essence of detective fiction is the conflict of good and evil…the idea that a crime (a murder) breaks the world, and the core of a hero is in solving it (bringing the evildoer to justice).
Thus it’s hardly surprising that Ms. Sayers is one of, if not the, best mystery writers of all time. Her novels are entertaining yet educational, tricky yet profound – grounded on a firm grasp of human nature, and grappling with how the very universe groans for the blood of the innocent to be repaid.
I’m not here to talk about her work. I’m here to talk about the short stories of Charles Schwarz – stories billed as “hilarious” and sarcastic murder mysteries…that probably ended up being more educational than entertaining for me.
(Incidentally, what first caught my eye was the cover. Something about it just looks sarcastic – and who doesn’t love that?)
The Blackwell games are point-and-click puzzle adventures in the paranormal detective genre.
The premise: Rosangela Blackwell (and her aunt Lauren Blackwell) are “mediums” who seek out troubled spirits, help them realize their death, and send them to “the light” of the next world. Joey Mallone is their snarky “spirit guide” who bridges the gap between spirit world and living world.
The first four games blended humor and creepy with some excellent writing, then ended on a little bit of a cliffhanger (especially if you knew there was a sequel).
Blackwell Epiphany is that sequel. While it’s not all I might wish it to be, it ends the series on a high note of emotional story-telling and professional game design. Continue reading →
The internet is a dark, mysterious place…full of dangerous things like web series. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself…watching Red vs. Blue.
And if you have a little brother, you might find yourself compelled by those big brown eyes to watch it, despite your better judgement. #askhowIknow
In all honesty, though, is RvB really that bad? Well…it has some content “not for mothers-in-law“, but it also has a lot of powerful, heart-moving themes.
You gotta decide if you’re up to getting there.
This might sound weird, but RvB is a Halo-based Machinima where two teams of soldiers camp on opposite sides of a valley in color-coordinated teams (yes…Red and Blue). It streams free on YouTube (in five-minute episodes organized into seasons), but is also available in DVD format.
I gather that early on, it was basically an excuse for cheap skits and foul-mouthed jokes while these pathetic losers tried unsuccessfully to kill each other.
But I wasn’t brought in until Season 6…when they actually start telling a cohesive story. Continue reading →
He shoved it into my brother’s hands when they were taking a long drive together, and ordered him to read. My brother…
Started paying his own money for the next books in the series, geeking out at every opportunity, is currently slavering for the author to finish Book 7, and badgered me left and right to read Monster Hunter.
So here I am. I’ve joined the club. Maybe I’m not normally in the demographic for ripping apart monsters with anatomically correct firearms, but sometimes you just gotta let your inner “Heck, Yeah!” have some fresh air.
In an attempt to recapture the gaming experience of Gemini Rue, I hunted through its developer’s catalogue. The Blackwell series caught my eye, and I took advantage of a sale to snag the bundle (because who buys anything at full price?!).
TL;DR for the series? It’s not as amazing as most of the other puzzle games I’ve played, but it was definitely worth some #SiblingTime.
The premise: Rosangela Blackwell’s life turns upside-down when she discovers she’s a medium and inherits a spirit guide from her aunt. Her guide – the saucy ghost Joey – teaches her of her mission in life: helping spirits come to terms with their death and “move on”.
Not my usual genre at all…but half of “paranormal detective” is detective, right? Continue reading →
Robert Ludlum is most famous for The Bourne Identity, a spy thriller that inspired several sequels and movie adaptations. But in The Janson Directive, he has recaptured the magical combination of pulse-pounding thriller mixed with deeper psychological themes.
If you’ve got the stomach to get through it, of course. Sometimes the cost of peace is high. Continue reading →
In the first few chapters, Malcolm Bannister plays his sympathy cards by explaining his situation as a guest of the federal government. In year five of ten for being unknowingly involved in a big-time racketeer’s money laundering, Malcolm has lost his wife and son to divorce and has a rocky relationship with his hard-nosed, lawful dad.
By the end of the book, I thought he deserved everything the FBI could stick on him, and finished reading partly to find out whether he was thrown in an oubliette.
Bond. James Bond. The whole world’s heard of him, and many of them have seen him (disguised as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Daniel Craig, or any of nine other actors). How many have read him, I wonder? How many, after reading my review, will bother? Continue reading →
A man washes up in the Mediterranean Sea, riddled with bullets and more dead than alive. Several months of care on a tiny fishing island restore him to health, but not to himself – he can’t remember who he is.
Once he steps off the island, a world of danger and secrets rears up, threatening to swallow him unless his “gut-instincts” from who he was can keep him alive long enough to figure it out.
Full of shoot-outs, bodies, and secrets peeling back like onion skins, this book is an action-packed read – for the discerning. Continue reading →