Monday, 26 September 2011


Good, but I'm still going to grumble. 4* rating.
The obvious grumble is splitting Season 4 into two parts which I find very annoying and feels like squeezing the fan's plastic. However, at least where the break is makes sense.

The new season opens with our five (guess who? -hint: see above) core characters travelling back to 1947. It ends with a reprise of the same adventure but from a different perspective which makes it thematically satisfying. Plus the results of the initial trip back reverberate for the rest of the season as its caused a number of changes to the present. This is all done very well and serves to refresh the series which might have been in danger of going stale.

And this is where my next grumble comes in. Two of the characters going into the past -to a Eureka which is still a military base- are black. Racism was endemic in the USA at the time, particularly in the army. Many black American soldiers based in Britain during the Second World War were amazed to be treated as equals by white people for the first time in their lives. But at the Eureka army base there isn't a hint of racism. Not even when a white soldier kisses a black nurse at a dance. Okay, I know this is light entertainment but this, very ironically in the context, really is rewriting history. A hint of realism wouldn't have gone amiss.

Otherwise it maintains the standards of previous seasons and the history changing gives it an added fillip especially with the addition to the cast of James Callis as a scientist from 1947 whose intentions towards Allison are strictly dishonourable and he emerges as a rival to the sheriff for her affections. If it wasn't for the grumbles this would have been close to getting a 5-star rating from me. Recommended. 

  Second success in spooky series. 4* rating.
Looks like Green has settled on a format (or should I say formula?) for this effective supernatural series about government ghost hunters. Start with a novella to introduce the characters, keep the cast small, segue into the main story, set it in one location and don't leave it until the end. Fair enough. It worked the first time and it works this time as well.

The small cast of characters is fun: JC the cocky leader, Melody the cynical mechanic, Happy Jack the unhappy telepath, and Kim the ghost (who is on the book cover, not Melody), and JC's phantasmal girlfriend, who wants to be a real girl (unofficial member); and their interplay is fun. The menace is interesting, partly because the reader is never quite sure which of the various people and creatures who appear really are the menace -is it a scientific experiment gone wrong, or a creature from the outer darkness, or both? Don't worry, our fearful heroes will find out whether they like it or not. (Hint: just don't trust anyone or anything.)

This is lightweight spooky fluff, ideal for when you're in the mood for light entertainment, spooky or not. I'll be back for the third installment. Chances are you will too.

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