Jane Hinchey’s ‘Straight To Hell’ – “All I want to do is go back to my peaceful life in Hell”

This book was recommended to me and the opening lines of the blurb sounded promising:

“My name is Lucifer. You can call me Lucy – I’m also known as the Devil and Satan, though why my idiot brothers came up with those nicknames is beyond me. I’m an Arch Angel and I run Hell. Yep, I’m the CEO”

It transpires that the plot is nothing to do with her being the CEO of Hell, instead Lucy goes to Earth, gets tired and hungry like a mortal then shags some bloke whilst playing Nancy Drew on a case involving a soul sucker.

Nothing about the book felt original or engaging in its own right, the author seems to know this as she opts for a half-baked cliff-hanger ending with a dodgy alternative Point Of View final chapter – perhaps as a last ditch attempt to drag us into Hell with her

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When the NHS re-enact Abu Ghraib to avoid fixing my knee

I was rather excited to see the hospital specialist physiotherapist, I also had rather high hopes – these were dashed by the time I was escorted through a sticky looking door marked “men’s changing”.

Being led into a dimly lit low-roofed room that seemed to be a smaller version of an indoor sports hall on a severe austerity budget didn’t boost my hopes. It then became apparent that this was an assessment session for me and six other people of various genders.

There were no privacy screens or any attempt to pretend the ‘patients’ had any dignity as the NHS ‘specialists’ ordered various garments to be removed and actions performed.

Fortunately I was wearing clothing that let my knee be examined without the need to shed clothing – I did feel sorry for the woman who was told to run on the spot in just her underwear and the rotund boxer-clad chap told to stand on one leg with his eyes closed for 5 minutes whilst the NHS staff sniggered.

egyptian pyramids

(Photo from Wiki)

I had a nagging feeling that the whole thing was either candid camera or sadistic NHS staff having decided that the abuse in Abu Ghraib sounded a bit of a laugh

The woman that I saw made me recant the entire history of my knee pain and made it clear that she hadn’t bothered looked at my notes or my scan. She was also a master of stating the obvious, she agrees that my knee cap is high – this is an IS and can’t be changed. She also said that my muscle strength is ok, although the inside quad on left leg is slightly weaker.

She commented that the outside of my left leg was tight and this is pulling the knee cap out of alignment and that the swelling under the knee (which is presumably the fat pad) is pushing out the front of the knee cap at an angle – the top of the kneecap is the further point out.

The only  new thing was she declared that I need to build up my core strength as this would help stablise the leg – although this was a throw away comment.

So for 45 minutes I was poked and prodded, with no treatment or advice given. This wasn’t what I expected and I also wasn’t expecting there to be a three week wait for the next possible appointment slot. However I’ve taken the slot and am hoping that the next session will bear less resemblance to the abuses committed by a few bored and stupid member of global Superpower and might actually be a bit more useful.

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Film: ‘The Prophecy’ – “the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why”

I remember liking ‘The Prophecy’, I had the first three films, but now I am totally unsure what I saw in it.

Christopher Walken hams it up as Gabriel whilst wearing corpse paint, Viggo Mortensen hisses through his dialogue as Lucifer. Both of these are pretty entertaining, but the plot goes a bit weird – Native American rituals are funky but feel a bit jarring when piled on top on Christian angels and demons.

The Prophecy

(Film poster)

I don’t want to talk about the second film, I didn’t even bother putting the third one on, it is just going to go to the charity shop.

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Book: Brenna Yovanoff – Smoulder. If a book is on fire does the author feel it?

This was an impulse purchase in a charity shop – I am resolved to stop doing this for two reasons a) the books are rarely as good as I hope and b) I want to move house in the mid-future so need to declutter.

The cover looked a little bit too Young Adult for my tastes as did the title. However I have a soft spot for Lilith so a book with the main protagonist being the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer sounded interesting.

smoulder

I liked the description of Hell as being a huge city made of entirely of metal, I liked a lot of the descriptions in the book, for example “the floor of the museum is already growing hot, burning my feet through my slippers. The tears melt and sizzle where they fall.”

It felt very vivid and Brenna can certainly string together a description of a place or of a monstrous being.

Unfortunately the level of good writing in ‘Smoulder’ didn’t extend to the main characters dialogue or personalities. Daphne lives in Hell and loves her half-brother Obie, in fact he is the only member of her family who she likes at all. Obie then vanishes from the face of the Earth, forcing Daphne to leave Hell to try to find him.

metal flower

(Photo from some TArt)

She is somewhat helped by Truman, who sort of knows Obie – I could explain but it really isn’t that important or interesting.

The main trouble with ‘Smoulder’ is that Daphne is as emotionally accessible as a pile of house bricks, so she isn’t terribly likeable. She actually gets worse when she gains some vague emotional-depth towards the end of the book and makes a really dubious decision to (spoiler spoiler SPOILER!) take Truman out of Heaven where he is blissfully (and ignorantly happy) because she loves him and wants to be miserable together with him on Earth.

newcastle werewolf

(A friend posted this photo the other day and it was more memorable than this book)

What a happy ending for a Young Adult book, I am going to have to find a remote charity shop to return this one too because we really don’t need more emo kids in my current geographical location.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book: ‘Fallen’ – look at the pretty snake

Sometimes a book’s cover is too striking to ignore and it overrides the generic blurb on the back cover. I should know better by now, I’ve done this a couple of times, ok more than a couple of times…

Fortunately I found ‘Fallen’ by Lauren Kate in a charity shop so despite the fact the plot sounded like yet another Young Adult novel about forbidden/dangerous/flat-out-stupid ‘love’ it wasn’t going to cost me much cash to see if the contents matched the cover.

fallen

The plot is hardly challenging – Lucinda Price (Luce) is sent to Sword & Cross Reform School (in Savannah, Georgia) after she kissed a boy and he ended up on fire. She then makes a couple of friends and gets a crush on a couple of boys – Daniel and Cam, both of whom are also at juvie.

Cam seems to like snakes, Daniel gives mixed messages and the school seems to like talking about the bible. I kept thinking more was going to be said about the boy who caught fire, but apparently he was a disposable plot device to dump Luce in juvie.

There is a lot of hinting that there is something larger at play, but the book is told from Luce’s viewpoint and  she has no idea what is going on, just bouncing from bad choice to bad choice.

Rather a lot of nothing happens for most of the book, in fact it is page 340 of my version before something really starts happening. There are 452 pages in total so I had waded through a fair bit of filler and teenage angst about two fairly indifferent boys – admittedly one of them was almost interesting when it looks like he might be some sort of demon and at least he seems to know what he wants.

carrie

The tagline is “dangerously exciting and darkly romantic”, this is false advertising, it isn’t that exciting or dangerous – not even for the characters as the vast vast majority of them come out completely unscathed and still clueless. This was a bit of a pity as the whole place ending up on fire – a la ‘Carrie’, would  have felt more satisfying, although perhaps that would be too much for a Young Adult book.

However despite having a vacuous female lead, a paint-by-numbers bible-linked plot line and cover art which oversold the book I am slightly curious about where is goes next – mostly to see if a certain character is  actually Lucifer (although he most likely isn’t). Fortunately a different charity shop had the direct sequel ‘Torment’ – there are four books in all, so that is waiting to be read.

The film rights have been bought and the first film is due out in 2014.

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