Chapter Twenty-Two – City of the Dead

While Maya is off upsetting the delicate political machinations, Joey is reassuring his military advisors. They’re annoyed the Senate is taking a long time to decide on the treaty, so Joey reminds them that ‘Karthago was not built in one day’. So, first, how does Joey know that? Maybe it was built magically by the deity.

Second, I really hate it when Tesch tries to adapt these little sayings to Maradoniaverse. In real life, people tend to just use the saying they’re more familiar with, regardless of whether the people they’re with know it:

Joey: “Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Advisor: “What is Rome?”
Joey: “A big city. The point is, we need to be patient.”

You get the same concept across, and it actually makes sense in the setting they’re in.

Third, I find it interesting that when Joey stormed off because Maya wasn’t focused on finding the traitors, he didn’t go actually try to find the traitors…instead, he went to tell a roomful of men that they needed to keep waiting. That was important. Still, maybe Joey will now go out and do something useful. [Spoiler: instead, he drinks tea]

Joey leaves and runs into Princess Adele, who asks him if he can kill giants. They talk for a little bit and Adele fluctuates between being precociously adorably young and much, much more mature. The text says she’s twelve, so Tesch compensates by having Adele alternate between being 7 and 15.

Adele reveals her brother Rasmos is afraid of ghosts, dead people, and zombies. And he was too afraid to go with her to the Secret City of the Dead. This intrigues Joey, but Adele won’t tell him anything more about it. Joey manipulates Adele into agreeing to take him to the City of the Dead. Adele talks about it a bit. Apparently it’s next to a couple graveyards.

“There is second graveyard, the tombs… close to the Kilna Tower, this is a decoy because in the past we had too many grave robbers around.” (page 175)

But of course. Grave robbers are a problem. So forget about putting up a fence, or guards, or guard-dogs, or something like that. No, clearly the only possible solution is to build AN ENTIRE FUCKING DECOY GRAVEYARD. Of course, the decoy is only going to last one, maybe two times. Then I think the grave robbers will catch on.

Adele describes the different gates to the city for no real reason.

“It is the scariest place… Rohan.” (page 176)

Really, Tesch?

Joey wants to know what Rohan means, so Adele explains that it means sandalwood.

Sandalwood.

Joey tries to convince Adele to take him and Maya to the place that night, but they’re interrupted by Queen Miranda, who invites him down to have some tea. They spend some time talking about tea and after awhile Maya and Rasmos show up with a basket of apples. Also Maya looks really happy. I’m not sure if this means that Rasmos was picking her apples, or what.

After a page of nothing, Queen Miranda takes off to have a chat with Dido, and Adele tells Rasmos that she’s going to be an Encourager now because she’s going to visit the City of the Dead. Rasmos immediately gets very nervous, but Maya is intrigued. Joey says that Adele can explain more since she’s been there before.

Rasmos turned his head sharply to Princess Adele, narrowing his eyes. “You have been there before?” Adele forced a smile and said; “Oops?” but it sounded more like a question (page 180).

Why would that be phrased as a question? That doesn’t make sense under any context.

Rasmos is nervous and wants to take everyone fishing on his yacht instead. Joey likes this idea, but says that he and Maya, at least, still need to visit the House of the Dead. And if Miranda doesn’t want Adele going, they’ll respect her wishes.

Maya heads in to get some telepathic messages, which don’t really make sense, but she writes them down anyway. Apparently the Tombs are in Rohan, there’s a midnight meeting, and Apollyon’s son has sent an emissary called The Cleaner.

That’s menacing.

Chapter Twenty-Three – The Cleaner

Tesch even includes a picture of him!

Okay, okay, that’s not the real picture. Here’s the actual one:

Where, instead, he looks emo!

Maya and Joey discuss the message but don’t really know what it means. Eventually, they get their Tarnkappes and head off towards Rohan. Miranda forbid Adele from going with them, and locked her in her room as punishment for the last time she visited the House of the Dead.

They make their way by following the North Star, because Maradonia has the North Star. As they travel, Maya gets a few more telepathic messages. Including one from Libertine, which is about two-thirds of a page long and proceeds to completely strip any possible tension from the following pages.

Apparently, the cleaner always carries a bag of purple Shrinking Powder.

‘This wizard is a very convincing, very friendly and attractive man and is extremely successful with women.’ (page 186)

And, his modus operandi is always the same: he tells women he has a powder that makes them more beautiful. Then he blows the powder into their face. As long as the powder hits both of their eyes, it’s instantly effective and makes them shrink to the size of a mouse. Then the cleaner grabs them and pops them into a lantern. And there’s no cure.

I have a few questions.

1. Why is it only effective if it hits both their eyes at once? That doesn’t really make sense.
2. Why does he put them into a lantern? Wouldn’t a jar suffice?
3. What if the women don’t agree to have powder blown into their faces?
4. For that matter, isn’t a byproduct of having powder blown into your face to reflexively close your eyes, making this useless?
5. If he always uses the exact same m.o., that would make him really easy to identify, which makes him a really fucking bad assassin. I guess this one isn’t a question, just an observation. Okay, wait. Uh…if he’s so bad at this, why the fuck would Plouton send him?
6. Why the fuck does Gloria Tesch find it necessary to deliberately make her books suck more than they already do? Is she insane? Does she honestly think it’s good writing? And if she does, wouldn’t her parents or her “editors” point out that it’s really, really shitty writing? I mean, this is incredibly bad writing. Even Robert Stanek knows that you don’t tell the reader every detail of the villain’s plan because then there is no tension, not the slightest chance that the heroes will fail. That might be because Robert Stanek doesn’t tell his readers anything, but seriously. This is storytelling 101. Actually, it’s not even 101. Maybe 95. Remedial Storytelling.

They keep walking. It’s very dark, which makes it hard to see. They can see some light reflecting in the water, though, despite there not being any light. They realize it must be the deity, God, King Roach himself, making magical light glow from the water to lead them through the maze to where they need to go. Whew! I thought for a second that Maya and Joey might have a difficult time figuring out how to solve this problem.

They spend a few pages talking about nothing. Joey says he’s heard rumors that you can reach the hidden underground City of the Dead from a portal in the House of the Dead. From there, the conversation turns to the difference between undead and dead, and the people that Joey saw in the Lake of Fire in the Underworld who were standing in cooking oil. Um…you have no idea whether it was cooking oil or regular oil or oil at all. You couldn’t get that close.

A few more pages of nothing pass, and finally they see some shapes and hear voices and sneak up on some people – the Cleaner, and three senators. There’s a very long conversation filled with exposition. Basically, Queen Dido took away some of their power, and they’re pissed, so they want to eliminate Dido, but without shedding a drop of blood. Because that makes a lot more sense. Anyway, he’s going to show up the next day posing as a traveling merchant with an elixir from the Fountain of Youth. Then they all leave.

Maya and Joey were stunned (page 196).

Of course they were stunned. After all, it’s not like they didn’t know essentially every detail of this already…oh wait.

Chapter Twenty-Four – Shrinking Powder

Maya and Joey were so exhausted when they got back that they went straight to bed and slept in late. Joey wakes up in a panic, thinking the Cleaner might have already arrived and shrunk Dido. That would actually be hilarious, especially since they were too fucking stupid to wake Dido up the night before and…I dunno, warn her? This is kind of important.

Joey wakes up Maya, they grab their Tarnkappes, and head down to the conference room, where they find the Cleaner explaining his magical powder to Dido. Joey is worried because they don’t have any way to warn Dido. Well, I mean, they are invisible. They could walk up behind Dido and whisper in her ear. Or, hell, they could take the Tarnkappe off, walk up casually, say “Queen Dido! I have a message for you!” and whisper in her ear.

The three evil Senators are also there, which seems a little dangerous. It would probably be a little suspicious if you’re the only ones present at this display when the royal family disappears.

Queen Dido, Queen Miranda, and Princess Adele all sit together to get the beauty powder. Joey waits for the Cleaner to take a breath to blow and then tackles him, sending the powder flying behind him…straight into the eyes of two of the senators, who immediately start shrinking. Maya snatches up a nearby lantern and stuffs them inside. Chaos erupts. Dido shouts for the guards, who aren’t in the room…protecting their queen. Okay.

The Cleaner and the last remaining senator run for it. Joey runs back to his room to grab Defender, because he didn’t have it with him, because Joey just leaves the most powerful magical artifact in the known universe in his bedroom most of the time instead of carrying it with him. He runs back and chases after them. The senator is a fatty, and he’s falling behind the Cleaner, so Joey raises Defender and incinerates him.

Dead serious.

The laser beam of Defender consumed the chubby senator totally and left only a black dust spot of him on the ground (page 200).

Sure. Makes total sense. I mean, he’s a fatty. Joey could easily knock him down and leave him for the guards. At this point there’s absolutely no chance he’s getting away, but sure, why not murder him? There’s absolutely no use in, I dunno, interrogating him, or getting him to confess in front of the Senate…oh wait.

Joey catches up to the Cleaner who stops and starts begging for mercy. Joey is unconvinced.

“Your time is up! The Karthaginian gods are calling you!” King Joey pushed the button and the Cleaner was no more (page 201).

That’s our Joey we know and love. Murdering people who have already surrendered and are begging for their lives.

Turns out Adele was chasing after them, and she saw the whole thing, including the other damage that Joey caused. See, Defender doesn’t just stop when it hits somebody, it keeps going. So in addition to murdering a material witness to an assassination attempt on the royal family, Joey also blew a forty-foot hole in the city wall. What do you want to bet there will be no negative repercussions for this?

Adele asks what Joey is holding. So Joey asks her to keep a secret.

“This is Defender, a supernatural weapon, given to me by the grace of the gods. When I got this weapon I promised I will defend the defenseless, my country, by people, the royal family, and myself whenever I am in danger.” (page 202).

And when he says “given to me” he means “I stole it from Apollyon” and when he says “defend” he means slaughter birds and other wildlife, start a few forest fires, and murder prisoners. Also, I think it’s a really bad idea to tell Adele about this. She’s twelve, and you already know she’s bad at keeping secrets.

Joey and Adele go back to the conference room. Miranda is freaking out. Rasmos bursts in with some guards, but then he sees the miniature senators inside the lantern and flips his shit and runs screaming from the room.

Joey can’t find Maya, so he starts looking for her.

When Maya appeared from one of the sidetracks she said, “I had to go to the restroom. I couldn’t wait any longer.” (page 203)

Huh. Well, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Joey explains what happened with Defender.

“Oh no… You did it again!”

“Oh yes, I did it again and we have a huge hole in the city wall at the ocean.” (page 203)

If this wasn’t one of the stupidest, unnecessary, and fucking sociopathic things Joey had ever done, this would be almost funny.

Maya asks him how he’s going to explain the giant hole in the wall.

“I will tell them the truth that I destroyed the city wall just by accident!” (page 204)

I think they might actually ask you “How?”, Joey.

They talk to Dido and explain how they heard all this stuff last night, but didn’t warn her because they’re fucking stupid. Okay, they leave that out. Dido thanks them for saving her live (not her life) and says to be on the save side (not the safe side) they need a couple days to prepare to show all this to the Senate and get their buy-in on the treaty. In the meantime, they’ll have a fishing trip on the yacht!

We’re now more than halfway through this book. Feels like it, doesn’t it?

Drinks: 58

Note: If you’re interested, I’ve returned to sporking Robert Stanek’s works, as well as sporking the new Pride and Prejudice sequel by Linda Berdoll. You can find them both on my website, http://conjugalfelicity.com

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Comment

  1. Emma on 10 January 2012, 21:57 said:

    This chapter was so stupid (the decoy graveyard, the shrinking powder) it actually turned a little entertaining

  2. BlueMask on 10 January 2012, 22:14 said:

    Ooh, thanks for linking to your website. I haven’t lurked there for a while.
    Good spork.

  3. Requiem on 10 January 2012, 22:36 said:

    One does not simply walk into Terra Mili!

    Also I gotta say stealing Rohan has got to be one of the most underhanded things you could do. For shame Glo, for shame.

    I have to admit I laughed at Joey for being so stupid here, destroying a defensive wall, killing people who could’ve helped your cause had they confessed, and then telling a child that likes to gossip about your deus ex machina. I guess joey is the literal trope “ good job breaking it hero” and “ idiot ball” and he has it in spades.

    Finally the cleaner isn’t such a bad name compared to the names we’ve heard at least it sounds like an assassins nickname.

  4. BettyCross on 10 January 2012, 22:37 said:

    God, Joe[y] is a moron. I predict the Evil Empire wins this one by two touchdowns.

  5. Fireshark on 11 January 2012, 02:24 said:

    One thing I never understand about certain authors is how they can make their heroes do such awful things. I mean, killing soldiers is one thing. But killing defenseless people, when they have plenty of other choices?

    I mean, really. I know we often like to speak for Tesch as a joke. I’ll do it here:

    “Maya and Joey are righteous judges of character. They have much wisdom and their judgements are ‘True and Honest.’ The ‘senators’ were Evil and Mean people, and they deserved to be shrunk or killed without trial or confession. I know this because I wrote the ‘book.’ So there, haters.”

    But really, no one could think like that. (Gulp) Could they?

  6. Requiem on 11 January 2012, 08:17 said:

    That’s what happens when you have no grey in a pure black and white system along with zealous heroes with no chivalry towards unarmed enemies.

  7. Fell Blade on 11 January 2012, 09:50 said:

    I could be wrong, but I think it is a reaction against stories with protagonists who refuse to kill the bad guys even when it has been demonstrated that it is inherently dangerous to let them live. So instead you write a “strong” protagonist who doesn’t like killing but does it anyway (and doesn’t talk too much about the not-wanting-to-kill part until it’s relevant to the plot).

    “Your time is up! The Karthaginian gods are calling you!” King Joey pushed the button and the Cleaner was no more (page 201).

    “This is Defender, a supernatural weapon, given to me by the grace of the gods.” (page 202)

    Wait a minute…did I miss something? When did they start talking about the providence of “the gods”? I thought the ultimate authority was that “Powers of Light” thing. I really think that Tesch can’t remember what her fantasy world is supposed to be like from one day to the next.

  8. BettyCross on 11 January 2012, 10:00 said:

    I really think that Tesch can’t remember what her fantasy world is supposed to be like from one day to the next.

    Maybe the Karthaginians are pagans and Joe[y] is just trying to be diplomatic and show respect for their culture. If so, Gloria could have clarified that for us in one sentence.

  9. gervasium on 11 January 2012, 11:16 said:

    However, a quick google search will show us that Rohan is actually hindu for sandalwood, so it’s more likely that Tesch was just taking names from random languages again.

  10. Asahel on 11 January 2012, 11:45 said:

    While it’s interesting that Rohan does indeed mean sandalwood in a real language, it’s still puzzling. Why is sandalwood the scariest place? Why is sandalwood the name of a graveyard (or city of the dead or whatever)? I mean, retirement home, I could see, but graveyard?

    I suppose next we’ll be headed towards the most feared, most powerful fortress of Darkness, Shady Pines.

  11. Kurt on 11 January 2012, 12:01 said:

    So instead you write a “strong” protagonist who doesn’t like killing but does it anyway (and doesn’t talk too much about the not-wanting-to-kill part until it’s relevant to the plot).

    And if you’re a good author, you’ll make the antagonists so unlikable and evil that the reader still wants to sympathize with the protagonist.

    …the people that Joey saw in the Lake of Fire in the Underworld who were standing in cooking oil. Um…you have no idea whether it was cooking oil or regular oil or oil at all. You couldn’t get that close.

    Let’s whip out Book 1 and see what credit Gloria deserves in this case.

    Thousands of people were standing up to their shoulders in a lake of a burning substance. It smelled like cooking oil and the screaming of these people in the lake was insufferable. ( p.496 )

    The images of the thousands of screaming people, staying in that lake of cooking oil, haunted Joey’s subconscious and their screams still echoed through Joey’s brain. ( p.498 )

    So Joey could have recognized the smell. Since Joey and the narrator is infallible, we now know it was cooking oil. No problem!

    Finally, a very bad joke: Gloria can’t spell to safe her live.

  12. Kurt on 11 January 2012, 12:21 said:

    Why is sandalwood the name of a graveyard (or city of the dead or whatever)?

    Googling shows that in the Hindu religion, sandalwood symbolizes earth and is burned during death ceremonies. Maybe Gloria based the Karthagian Gods on Hindu deities.

  13. Vikingboybilly on 11 January 2012, 13:16 said:

    Gloria, just stick to plagiarizing the Bible. Don’t go ruining any more religions for us.

  14. autumnfey on 11 January 2012, 13:21 said:

    Regarding the whole “killing antagonists who beg for mercy” – I think what bothers me about it when I see it in books like this is that the heroes are supposed to be the most good and pure people ever. So when they brutally kill someone begging for mercy, there’s a huge disconnect. I think having a harsher, more complex character do the same would make more sense, but of course these sort of authors can’t bear to write complex morality.

    I mean, I get tired of heroes being dumb and leaving antagonists alive and having that come back to bite them, but that still seems more understandable. Besides, I’m sure there are ways to put minor antagonists out of commission rather than slaughtering them in cold blood.

  15. gervasium on 11 January 2012, 13:22 said:

    Kurt, she probably did, considering how Joey speaks of “Karthaginian gods” in the plural without there ever being an explanation to him or to us about their religion (or I might have missed it, since I’m not reading this… thing.

  16. Fell Blade on 11 January 2012, 13:36 said:

    But he wasn’t talking to the Karthaginians in one of those. He was talking to the Cleaner (oh gosh, I can’t say that and take it seriously), who was an emissary from Apollyon’s son. I can understand maybe trying to be culturally sensitive in the second statement (although coming from Joey, that is laughable), but not so much when taunting the Cleaner.

    “Oh no… You did it again!”

    “Oh yes, I did it again and we have a huge hole in the city wall at the ocean.” (page 203)

    Smug little prick. How are the readers supposed to feel when the main hero talks about his mistakes like that?! “Yeah, I did it again. Sue me bitches!”

  17. Prince O' Tea on 11 January 2012, 17:10 said:

    Right, so if Joey is gleefully using Defender to murder unarmed prisoners who are begging for their lives, then….

    Why the fuck was he bitching and wangsting in the first few chapters about using Defender… when he was actually was using it for heroism in battle? But using it to execute prisoners who are begging for mercy… well no Angry Gruffs there! I take it all back about Joey mellowing out and Maya becoming the sociopath, they are both psychopaths. I guess Defender being the One Ring was something Gloria liked and retconned for one chapter, forgot about it/decided she didn’t like it after all then decided to pretend this never happened. Honestly Gloria, instead of retconning retcons, EDIT YOUR FUCKING BOOKS SO YOUR CANON DOESN’T CONSTANTLY CLASH WITH ITSELF.

    Also we get another version of “He loved the wimmins.”

    It’s also a good thing Adele is only 12, otherwise Joey would suddenly decide they are Soulmates, and leave Krimmy and her Golden Cape to a life of slavery. Wouldn’t be the first Love Interest he dumped like a bag of rocks.

    Also, I beg to differ. Cleaner can sound incredibly sinister.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4wBLUBa8YI

  18. LoneWolf on 11 January 2012, 17:28 said:

    Joey is very ‘Attractive and Clever’. He can’t help it if all females and women like him very much!

  19. Prince O' Tea on 11 January 2012, 18:09 said:

    I have to admit, nothing gets my engine going like a scrawny pubescent sociopath who goes through women like tissues, is absolutely in love with the sound of his own voice and constantly drops ice cream koans and murders people for shits and giggles.

    Seriously, I really want Joey to die horribly. Like his penis explodes or something and he bleeds to death.

  20. BettyCross on 11 January 2012, 18:28 said:

    Seriously, I really want Joey to die horribly. Like his penis explodes or something and he bleeds to death.

    For Apollyon, the long-awaited moment had arrived. With great enjoyment, he commanded, “Release the kraken!”

    “What’s a kraken?” Joey wondered. “I sure miss my Key.”

  21. Requiem on 11 January 2012, 18:32 said:

    One question, if the two sues with all the deus ex machinas who cannot only be invisible but are also invulnerable…why don’t they just kill the two big bads and their million man army? They don’t need allies except maybe to guide them, Maya didn’t even need that training nor her psychic abilities. At this point the two of them could simply walk up to the club of evil and wipe them out in the first chapter and go back to the real reality/dimension/time plane/world.

    That’s how little tension there is in this story.

  22. Erin on 11 January 2012, 18:36 said:

    Weird. Whenever I heard of someone being “successful with women”, I thought it mean being good at getting dates and/or sex, not shrinking women and putting them in a lantern. Thanks for setting that straight for me, Gloria!

    Also, I hope Joey accidentally shoots himself and Maya with “Defender” and then these books can be about Apollyon’s Club Of Evil.

  23. BettyCross on 11 January 2012, 19:47 said:

    At this point the two of them could simply walk up to the club of evil and wipe them out in the first chapter and go back to the real reality/dimension/time plane/world.

    They’ve had those powers since before the end of “Bridges” (pre-split). There’s no excuse for the rest of the series.

    That’s how little tension there is in this story.

    Hence, the repeated poisoning plots.

  24. Fireshark on 11 January 2012, 21:39 said:

    Seriously, I’ve been reading through all the older sporks again, and I’m amazed at just how much poison there is in the series.

  25. Requiem on 11 January 2012, 22:15 said:

    I’d lol if the two big bads decided to surround their castle with poison have an army wielding poison swords and drenched in poison, with poison catapults that launched poison projectiles.

    But seriously all they need is a colorless odorless poisonous gas

  26. BettyCross on 12 January 2012, 08:58 said:

    But seriously all they need is a colorless odorless poisonous gas

    It’s a contest to see who’s stupider — Maya / Joe[y] or the Club of Evil.

  27. Kurt on 12 January 2012, 10:54 said:

    I think I’ve discovered how Gloria’s father earned his money.

    Left: G. Gerry Tesch, Gloria’s father, photographed during the filming and the launch party of the Maradonia movie. Right: Günter Tesch, author of Christian books and singer of German gospel songs in the 1970’s.

    Further proof: Günter Tesch published an English book One Minute with God in 1986. The publishing company was Minute Ministry International located in San Diego, where Gloria is born. Günter Tesch also wrote a book Sonne über Maramon ( The Sun over Maramon ) – Maramon is the town from which the first part of the name “Maradonia” is taken, according to an old Gloria Tesch interview.

  28. Prince O' Tea on 12 January 2012, 12:27 said:

    So that’s what he does?

    I’m not surprised the movie folded that quickly. Hope he enjoyed throwing his life savings down a bottomless pit.

  29. Prince O' Tea on 12 January 2012, 12:28 said:

    “But what about poison?”

    Someone had to say it. Just hope Maya dosn’t start dragging Koffing and Muk into her awful poison saga.

  30. BettyCross on 12 January 2012, 13:02 said:

    @Kurt, that checks with my findings. I found several corporations Gerhard Tesch was involved in. One was called Evangelistic Team. The publisher of Sun over Maramon is Evangelistic Team Hamburg.

    Apparently he tried to get in on the specialty coffee craze trend too, because one of his businesses was called American Coffee Carts.

    I have no proof that any of these businesses are functioning now, only that incorporation papers are on file.

    BTW, I know the Tesch’s home address. The address of some of Gerry’s corporations is in Palm Harbor FL. The name of the street sounded like suburbia to me, so I went to Google, got the street view, and lo and behold, a surburban house!

  31. LoneWolf on 12 January 2012, 18:55 said:

    That explains the Amazing and shocking spirituality and The Virtue of the ‘Maradonia-Saga’. Gloria Tesch, author of the Maradonia Saga, comes from a family where Christian Virtues are promoted and respected.

  32. Kurt on 12 January 2012, 19:44 said:

    Günter/Gerry Tesch was also involved with charities. I’ve found an article in the German newspaper Der Spiegel from 1986, where he is accused of charity fraud:

    Mit derselben Methode macht auch der Hamburger “Internationale Missions-Hilfsdienst” Millionen-Umsätze. Dessen Leiter, Günter Tesch, ist “trotz vieler Gerichtsverfahren und Ermittlungen, trotz Verurteilung wegen Betrugs”, wie sich Müller-Werthmann wundert, “nach wie vor als Sammler auf dem Markt”.

    In my (poor) translation, with notes in brackets:

    The “International Mission Help Service” of Hamburg also makes millions in revenue with the same method. [ “a mixture of pity and religious sentimentality”, and buying adresses of high-spending patrons from other shady charities, referring to the paragraph above in the article. ] Its leader, Günter Tesch, remains “despite many investigations and court cases, despite being convicted of fraud, on the market as a collector just like always,” as Müller-Werthmann wonders. [ He is a TV journalist who wrote a book about charity fraud. ]

    So much for Christian Virtues.

  33. LoneWolf on 13 January 2012, 05:15 said:

    The Tesches are certainly an… unusual family, so to speak.

  34. BettyCross on 13 January 2012, 09:21 said:

    Sometimes I think her brother Jonathan knows the books are awful and resents the family’s attention on his sister.

  35. Pryotra on 13 January 2012, 10:41 said:

    Well, I guess we now know where the Tesches funds are coming from. It also makes Glo’s constant preaching even more repulsive than usual.

    Also, Glo, if you’re going to take from other religions, at least do it properly. You’ve already constructed a monotheistic religion that, while stupid, is at least something. Your constant reference to random gods comes out of nowhere. Usually, polytheists have gods for different things, so the the gods don’t ‘call out to you’ in one big voice. It’s usually the god of death. Let’s call him Hades since we’re stealing from the Iliad.

    Next, The Cleaner was no more

    That has got to be that most ridiculous way for a narrator to show a death ever to grace paper. Worse, even then the piece of crap I wrote when I was seven which said ‘so and so fell down dead’. Now, some character could do it in jest, but…you were so…serious…Tesch…

  36. Prince O' Tea on 13 January 2012, 13:22 said:

    Well to be fair, it’s not Glo’s fault what her parents do.

    Personally though, as soon as someone starts preaching about “decency” and “morality” and “virtue” and wotnot, I just start wandering how long it will be until it turns out they’ve been cheating on their wives with prostitutes or have been stealing from a local charity.

  37. Fireshark on 13 January 2012, 15:45 said:

    Gloria’s certainly not responsible for what her father does. However, I’d expect an intelligent girl of her age to question where the family’s money came from. After all, they publish her books and promised her a movie (and that theme park). Then again, we know Gloria isn’t that intelligent (at least, from what we’ve seen of her). I think she’s happy enough with what she has that she doesn’t question it.

  38. LoneWolf on 13 January 2012, 17:55 said:

    Perhaps G. G. Tesch, too, subscribes to the “Behind every successful person there’s a pack of haters!” philosophy.

  39. Ridureyu on 13 January 2012, 21:11 said:

    It’s surprisingly hard to find heroes who choose not to kill when the opportunity is there, but will kill when there’s really no other option, or when not-killing will ultimately cause more harm.

    It’s like we have two extremes:
    “Batman can’t kill the Joker even though Joker’s gonna machine gun a bus of orphans tomorrow”
    and
    “The Punisher shot another jaywalker, and then shot three cops for not shooting the jaywalker first.”

    It’s so hard to find somebody in the middle.

  40. Fireshark on 13 January 2012, 21:57 said:

    I think some authors like giving their heroes ethical dilemmas where the only way out is to do something morally wrong. The problem is when the reader spots an alternative.

    Of course, in Teschland, if you’re bad, you deserve to die. No shades of gray.

  41. Requiem on 13 January 2012, 22:25 said:

    Would deadpool count as an in middle type of hero? He does morally wrong and right things all the time, he does things for pay or if he feels like it. He only gets away with it because he’s out of his mind though.

    If you want grey shades you’ll need various views, character development, and back story. To get the audiences sympathy the character might need some believable tragedy and a bit of angst, but still do the right thing and not act self-righteous or bitchy. But most importantly they need a good set of pros and cons and a talent or two depending on the story. Character creation can be a bit tricky though depending on the story and its tone.

  42. swenson on 14 January 2012, 00:23 said:

    Oh, gracious no, at least not in my opinion. Deadpool kills people for the fun of it. I love Deadpool with at least a small portion of all of my heart, but I would never call him much of a hero. He does stuff for pay and because it’s at least mildly entertaining, regardless of morality.

    I think a more middle type character would be a typical fantasy hero (a proper one, I mean, not like Eragon or Joey or what’s-her-face from Hawkmistress!). Aragorn, for example. Very ready to kill when necessary, but merciful at the same time. I don’t know if we see a direct example of the “chooses not to kill when having the option to, while still killing when there’s no other option” in Aragorn’s case, though.

  43. Requiem on 14 January 2012, 02:38 said:

    Actually Gandalf fits that position perfectly

    He spares quite a lot of villains as did Frodo, problem is when they spared them it caused problems for them in the long run. But i’d mostly blame that on the villains not trying to redeem themselves after a multitude of chances.

    and of course they had to kill numerous things if they were to destroy the ring of power, because fighting a power dark warlord usually gives you no choice.

  44. Vikingboybilly on 14 January 2012, 10:45 said:

    Eragon cries when it’s necessary to kill animals for energy. He shows no reaction to brutally slaughtering unarmed humans begging for mercy without hesitation. He has a very grey morality =)

  45. Pryotra on 14 January 2012, 12:34 said:

    It’s funny how it seems like the first fantasy novel seems to manage to avoid all the cliches that others fall into with their protagonists. I guess that’s why it’s still the best.

    Even Sauron didn’t seem to fall into the cliche of the Evil Overlord being stupid the way that so many seem to.

  46. Prince O' Tea on 14 January 2012, 15:19 said:

    Well to be fair, LOTR was amazing in its depth of worldbuilding, but Tolkein really wasn’t very good at characterisation. While i can appreciate the many contributions he made to fantasy, as well as the sheer size of his fictional universe, I just can’t find myself liking any of his many many characters.

  47. Fell Blade on 16 January 2012, 12:16 said:

    I would respectfully disagree. I have been rereading this series recently and absolutely love the characters and how Tolkien develops them.

  48. BlackStar on 16 January 2012, 21:39 said:

    I agree with Fell Blade. Tolkien put a lot of thought into his characters and while we don’t get to know all their inner thoughts and feelings, their actions and words speak volumes.

  49. Fell Blade on 17 January 2012, 10:54 said:

    Sam, Frodo, and Gollum are the characters that got the most development, in my opinion. Those were the few characters where you did get to see their thoughts and feelings, either through Tolkien’s words or through their actions/reactions. Characters like Legolas, Gimli, Eomer, etc. were not developed in the same way and we didn’t get to see into their thoughts and feelings as well, but they did go through development (contrast Gimli and Legolas’s relationship and attitude towards each other’s race in Fellowship to their attitudes in Two Towers).

  50. BettyCross on 18 January 2012, 15:41 said:

    Hey, I just thought of something. What is this “Law of Blood” mentioned in the book title? Did I miss it?

  51. Kurt on 18 January 2012, 18:20 said:

    What is this “Law of Blood” mentioned in the book title? Did I miss it?

    “Apollyon explains that the law of blood is that someone has to die so someone else can live.” – from Part 1 of the sporkings.

    Also, the articles on this site have vanished for me. I can only see the comments. Does anyone else have the same problem?

  52. BettyCross on 18 January 2012, 18:42 said:

    The format of the site has changed, bu I can still see the articles and the comments.

  53. Requiem on 18 January 2012, 19:40 said:

    So the law of blood makes everyone jesus? Hartigan from sin city? or 300 spartans?

  54. SlyShy on 18 January 2012, 19:59 said:

    The site is undergoing some maintenance… to protest SOPA.

  55. Steph (what is left) on 18 January 2012, 21:10 said:

    ^^win.

  56. BlackStar on 19 January 2012, 00:31 said:

    Go die, SOPA and PIPA.

  57. Fireshark on 19 January 2012, 02:53 said:

    Under SOPA, could the Tesches get us off the web for reposting parts of the Maradonia stuff? ‘Cause you know they would.

  58. Prince O' Tea on 19 January 2012, 09:49 said:

    So the Law of Blood is basically the Deep Magic from Narnia?

    But on the other hand, SOPA could probably get Team Tesch off the net for stealing other people’s artwork and putting it on flyers, or even selling it as their own.

  59. HamsterZerg on 15 December 2013, 22:07 said:

    @Asahel: Shady Pines, the long-lost rejected character for Gravity Falls!

    @Prince O’ Tea: But you’re okay with her using the remaining Poison-types? I hope not!

  60. Anon on 21 May 2014, 12:20 said:

    Mixing up v and f? Isn’t that another German thing?