Review: Chimera (Weregirl Trilogy #2) by C.D. Bell

Review: Chimera (Weregirl Trilogy #2) by C.D. Bell

Chimera (Weregirl Trilogy, Book #2)

By C.D. Bell

YA, Fantasy

The forest if full of secrets. Nessa Kurland is adjusting to life as a weregirl–she is transforming with ease and running with a pack she cares for deeply. Her boyfriend Luc is a fellow shifter, and Paravida, the corporation responsible for unethical genetic experiments on the residents of Tether, has pulled out of town, leaving the community safe. But that’s just how it appears on the surface. Nessa returns home from a run with the pack to find an FBI raid and the shocking news that her mother Vivian is being held without bail for violations so serious she may be facing life in prison. What did Nessa’s mother, a small-town vet tech, do to threaten Homeland Security? Vivian’s secret past leads Nessa to discover there is more to her own story than she ever imagined. The wolves that are running through Tether’s woods are not the same pack Nessa knew before. These are not all natural wolves. And they are breeding. Nessa’s transformation is only just beginning.

oOo

I was really excited to get into the book after reading Weregirl. Chimera is still a good read, but it feels like one too many things are trying to be set up in this book for the third book and it made everything feel cramped. I think what the author was going for was a breathless pace trying to keep up the tension but with all the information on each page it felt more claustrophobic than anything. The writing is still done well, I think if more had been set up in the first book this would have been an excellent follow-up.

Some new characters are introduced in this book, Aunt Jane, who becomes the guardian for the kids when Vivian is led away in handcuffs. She’s not as fleshed out as the other characters in the book, like the—now absent—Magical Native American character, she seems to exist only to convey information.

Daniel Host is another new character that I think should’ve been alluded to in Weregirl since he plays such a pivotal role in this book. His story arc is big and complicated and could be its own trilogy. And there’s just so much going on that there’s a big thing that happens while Nessa is at Daniel’s house and it gets buried under everything else that happens.

This book didn’t hold up as well as Weregirl. There’s just…too much happening. The writing is still good, but this book should’ve been two or one of the subplots should’ve been cut. The story has no room to breathe. So we’ll see how the third books does.

 

You can find Chimera at:

Amazon

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*Angry Dinosaur Sounds*

*Angry Dinosaur Sounds*

Hello and good evening esteemed guests. I’m here to discuss a low key stress point in my life. I’m still enjoying my time in China, more now that the weather is warmer. Although last week there were a couple days it was cold enough I slept in my hoody with an extra blanket.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned English Corner before. It’s the promotional class I have to do on Wednesdays. So it’s a “class” but not a class. The focus is fun and it’s not supposed to be done like a normal class. It’s just an hour of games with a couple of vocabulary words and a sentence thrown in. When the semester started I was resigned to English Corner as one of those things I had to do.

No more.

I have come to loathe the very idea of English Corner. I hate Wednesdays for no other reason that English Corner happens to fall on that day.

Let me back up.

Up until January 21st of this year—2016—I worked in the food industry. I’ve worked in restaurant kitchens pretty much since I started working. Starting in January I made a massive career move to become a teacher. I took a month intensive to get my TEFL and before coming to China I had a grand total of nine hours in front of children floundering to teach them something. I started teaching in Yan’an at the beginning of March.

So my teaching experience is pretty much nonexistent. I am still at the stage of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. Google is a gift from the gods as are those out there who share their games and teaching strategies. Bless all of you, and I promise to add my experiences so that others like me have an easier go of things.

As I learned from that first English Corner, my school expects me to run this gods forsaken class with little to no input from them. And so I have. I scour the internet for fun games with large groups of small children and adapt them to fit the vocabulary. And every single goddamn Wednesday in the twenty minutes before English Corner starts my CT tells me I must be “more perfect” whatever the fuck that means.

By my count, if the kids leave laughing and smiling it’s been a good class. Hell, I’m repeating a game this week because two of the kids cried at the end of class because they wanted to play the game longer. Still I must be “more perfect” or “do better” and What The Fuck Does That Mean? I asked my CT what it is she wants to do with the class and she was quick to point out it’s Line Manager telling her these things and she is simply the messenger.

They don’t like my warm-up activities. Okay. What do you want to do?

Ohhhh Nooo. I’m the FT I’m the one who needs to come up with the warm-up. Well okay, then we’re going to do the warm-up I have planned.

But it needs to be a song and dance. How about a song.

Fine. What songs do you know?

Ohhhh Nooo, I’m the FT I need to think of a song. They are merely assistants. And don’t forget, she is only Line Manager’s messenger. Line Manager who wants us to be “more perfect”.

Okay. So what the hell does she mean by “more perfect.”

Ah, well, it took them damn near twelve classes but they finally gave me a hint as to what they want. There are, of course, other English schools in Yan’an and my CT showed me a video of their version of English Corner. There was a foreign teacher in a top hat with a goddamn cape doing fucking magic tricks teaching the kids colors.

Well that’s all well and fucking good. It’s impressive and I applaud them for their creativity.

And that is apparently what my school wants from me.

First off, clearly, to pull something like that off, there was a meeting of sort between the FT and the CTs. There was planning, forethought, and a decent amount of communication involved to make something like that happen. Half the time I can’t get my CTs to talk to me until ten minutes before the class actually starts and even then one of them spends five minutes telling me that I must be “more perfect” and if I finish telling them my plans for the class it’s as kids are watching us waiting for class to start. Usually I just go with the two games I managed to outline and hope we can stretch them long enough to fill an hour because my CTs cannot think on their feet. I’ve tried that before and it was such an unholy train wreck by the end not even I knew what was going on.

So they want some big theatrical production, but not one person in that school could be fucked to tell me that we are now on “summer time” which means English Corner and all school meetings are now starting an hour later. An annoyance at the moment since I was an hour early for everything last week, but I am quite concerned when we go back to “winter time” I will also be uninformed and then I’ll be an hour late for everything. And of course I will be reprimanded because gods forbid I be late for anything—I’ll tell you The Bank Story later—when they can’t start manage to start a 2pm meeting before 230.

Basically, they want me to build them the goddamn Great Wall with half a box of matchsticks and when I fail to deliver it’s my fault because I’m the Foreign Teacher. It is pissing me off and stressing me out because if they think I’m incompetent they can cancel my contract. Since this is my first teaching job that wouldn’t look great on a resume. And I just cannot make any of them understand that what they’re seeing in that accursed video isn’t the magic of One foreign teacher, it’s a concerted effort by everyone at that school to make their English Corner special. Aside from her Not Even A Little Bit (you thought I forgot about that bullshit) and “more perfect” comments Line Manager hasn’t asked me how to make English Corner “more perfect”. They think if we add in a song and dance at the beginning that suddenly it will be “more perfect” and I just want to slam my head against a wall. It’s not that the kids aren’t having fun, it’s that the parents don’t think it looks engaging enough. I can’t even begin to process that ass-backwards line of thinking but that’s where we are.

The only good news coming out of this is that Line Manager has volunteered me for additional training in June. So I just have to dig in and hold on until I go back to Xi’an. I’m hoping there I’ll meet one or two of the people I shared initial training with and others and they can help me work this out, because while I’ve always been quite content to forge my own path this feels more and more like it’s leading me to a cliff.

Welcome, to the 21st Century

Dear Supervisor,

In the short time I’ve worked with you it’s become apparent that you don’t often work with women. To help you navigate these confusing, dark, and perilous waters I thought I’d lend you a sexton or at the very least a flashlight so you can see the deck of the ship.

“I don’t have a problem with females on my crew”

I realize you want this to be a comfortable work environment. And I appreciate the thought. But when you continually reiterate that I am different, other, and foreign to this work environment you’re not making it homey. I’ve worked everything from construction to restaurant kitchens; I know how to function in a mostly male workplace. Quite frankly, I get along just fine with my male coworkers. I don’t need your gung ho reassurance that having a woman in your midst isn’t a problem. Ican handle myself.

Tough as Nails

If you need to talk to me, just say it. You don’t have to come up with a goofy grin to soften the blow. If I’m doing something wrong or could be doing it better, just say it. I promise not to burst into tears.
Not a Lightweight

Yes, I realize I’m not going to be winning any weightlifting competitions. But I’m still perfectly capable of lifting boxes over my head and stacking them as needed. If I need help, I’ll ask for it.

Smile

No. If for whatever reason, I don’t walk through those doors with a sunny Dallas cheerleader smile on my face, do not tell me to smile. Don’t tell me to “perk up” don’t call me “grumpy” or “grouchy” or “cranky”. You don’t say it to the guys when they walk in half asleep or staring at their feet, don’t think you’ll treat me any different.

You’re not my Therapist

On those days when I come in maybe quieter than usual or a bit distracted I don’t care that you ask if everything is all right. But if I tell you I’m fine you need to respect that answer. Either it’s true and I’m just tired or it’s none of your business. You are not my shoulder to cry on.

Quiet Time

A few days a month you might notice a change in me. Maybe I’m quieter, my sentences shorter, maybe I’m less willing to talk. I might seem a bit lethargic. It happens. The process of my body demolishing and remodeling itself is tiring and, at times, more painful than you can imagine. If I seem morose, I’m sorry. But it hurts, and I’m doing my best not to snap and just get through my shift. Just leave me be.

I know this is a lot to take in, but I hope, with enough time, you can figure this out and we can get on with our lives.