top of page
  • Writer's pictureFiction Fans

Run With The Hunted by Jennifer Donohue

Episode 57

Release Date: August 31, 2022

Your hosts discuss the first novella in the “Run with the Hunted” series by Jennifer Donohue (also called “Run with the Hunted”). They disagree vehemently on the POV character (surprising no one) but DO agree about fun heists, playing with tropes, and big ass diamonds. This episode features a Pet Peeve Corner about people who are obnoxious about word pronunciation.

Thanks to the following musicians for the use of their songs:

- Amarià for the use of “Sérénade à Notre Dame de Paris”

- Josh Woodward for the use of “Electric Sunrise”

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License


Episode Transcript*

*this transcript is AI generated, please excuse the mess.

Lilly Ellison 00:00

Hi. And welcome to fiction bands, the podcast where we read books. And other words, too. I'm Lilly.

Sara 00:12

And I'm Sarah.

Lilly Ellison 00:14

And before we start discussing run with the hunted by Jennifer Donahue, what's something great that happened recently?

Sara 00:21

Something good is that I went to a Star Wars burlesque show. It did mean I had to go into the city, but it was fun.

Lilly Ellison 00:31

That sounds awesome. Was there a highlight? Was there one character that you were like, damn.

Sara 00:37

Well, the secret is that this was actually like three weeks ago. So you don't

Lilly Ellison 00:41

remember. All right.

Sara 00:42

I can tell you that. I got a really great t shirt. I liked the t shirt.

Lilly Ellison 00:47

That's what really matters anyway.

Sara 00:50

What is your good thing this week?

Lilly Ellison 00:52

Well, it's not just good. It's great. I found my draw.

Sara 00:57

So it also involves taking off bras like mine did.

Lilly Ellison 01:01

I mean, technically, because I had to find it, which means it was missing. Okay, I don't only own one bra. I'm pretty bad, but I'm not that bad. But you know how you have like a hoard of comfortable garbage bras and you have one like nice bra. Yes. Not the stupid push up bra that frankly kind of makes me look like an alien because it's so absurd. That's not even an option. No, my like reasonable, actual nice undergarment based on where I found it, which is a suitcase that I haven't used since May. Apparently that's how long I've been living without it.

Sara 01:43

I mean, pro, you haven't noticed that it was missing until now. So you didn't need it until now.

Lilly Ellison 01:49

I've noticed it a little while. A little while. I just didn't realize it's been that long. I see. But now it's back and I can sit in discomfort like the rest of society.

Sara 02:01

We all applaud you for that.

Lilly Ellison 02:06

I guess that is kind of a double edged sword.

Sara 02:08

Well, congratulations and my condolences.

Lilly Ellison 02:13

But at least they don't have to buy a new one. And that's really what matters, right? Very true. So Sarah, what are you drinking this evening? I

Sara 02:21

was going to open a bottle of wine but then I decided that that was too much effort. So I opened cider instead.

Lilly Ellison 02:30

Nice. I have made a disgusting concoction. That's a lie. It's delicious. But it is garbage.

Sara 02:38

I'm now worried about what's inside this concoction.

Lilly Ellison 02:41

Interest box wine and Sprite

Sara 02:43

Zero. Yeah. Okay, that does sound kind of trash. Yeah. I mean, the box wine is fine. It's the addition of the sprite, but gives me pause.

Lilly Ellison 02:51

It's like a homemade wine cooler.

Sara 02:54

Yeah, but like Sprite really? Sprite?

Lilly Ellison 02:57

Well, sometimes I use seltzer water, but I wanted something a little sweet.

Sara 03:01

seltzer water would be better, man. If you're gonna if you're gonna do sweet it has to be seltzer water and like simple syrup. Make it classy.

Lilly Ellison 03:09

Oh, that's a lot of work, though. That's too much work. No, no, no, this is a garbage beverage here. We are enjoying tonight. Or at least I am joined tonight, we got a box wine wine cooler. And I think that's basically gonna set the tone for the rest of this recording. So you're welcome everyone.

Sara 03:27

Just so you know what you're getting into? Yeah, that's why we have

Lilly Ellison 03:31

this question at the top because it's like, Hey, here's here's what's happening.

Sara 03:34

Here's the mood for the episode.

Lilly Ellison 03:39

Well, I can tell you my answer. longtime listeners can probably guess my answer. But Sarah read anything good lately.

Sara 03:47

I have been playing Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac age. So no, I have read very little. Unless you count subtitles because I have the subtitles on. I'm playing it in English. I mean, all of the voice acting is in English, but there's construction going on outside. So like, you know, it helps to have subtitles on.

Lilly Ellison 04:09

That does not count. I'm sorry.

Sara 04:11


Lilly Ellison 04:13

I realized I haven't read any books lately. But I got onto a fan fiction binge. I think I'm actually over the binge now. I don't know. Like, there's some times when you start opening them and you read the summary and think oh, that could be good. And then you start reading it and you're like, I don't actually feel like this right now. Mm hmm. And that's that's sort of what I have now gotten to mood reading fanfiction. Oh yeah, definitely. 100% I read one work. That was like a, like scary mermaid. Not pretty mermaid like scary mermaid au alternate universe, where one character was a sailor and then the other character was a scary sea monster. And of course they fuck obviously. Yeah. It's a hope. Wait,

Sara 05:00

obviously And inevitably,

Lilly Ellison 05:03

and that was like really good. And it was 70,000 words. I don't usually read fanfiction that long. I'm impressed. But I was like, Oh, give this a chance. And at the time, I did stay up all night reading it, it was absolutely a mistake. But 100% worth it. And then it was a different fandom. But that's not the point I'm making. I found another one that was a siren, sailor.

Sara 05:27

Au different author as well.

Lilly Ellison 05:29

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. That's much more important. And that's, I think, much more valid. And it was also on the longer side, not as long it was like 20 30,000 words. And I thought, oh, like, you know, that last one was really damn good. Let's check this out. Let's give it a shot. And I got one paragraph.

Sara 05:51

Oh, no.

Lilly Ellison 05:55

Like, oh, the characters were using bad sailor talk in the dialogue. And then the narration was like, So I turned to her. It wasn't in first person. God, I would never. So he turned to his good friend. I was like, fuck you. No, double, no, quadruple. No, I cannot deal with this for even the bare scant 20,000 words that this is. And I might send you. Oh, God of all things. It was Sherlock Watson. The good one, the good one. But I mean, it was mostly sea monster garbage. And it was great. It's like sloths, the survivalist shit. Anyway, that's been the rabbit hole I fell down.

Sara 06:46

That totally counts as reading. That's true. But

Lilly Ellison 06:51

I think that was really the turning point when I was like, oh, let's give this a chance. Because the last one, I gave a chance. And it panned out great. And then I opened this other one. And

Sara 07:04

I always feel really sad when that happens. Like there's this premise that I'm interested in. It promises me some really good monster fucking. And then the writing just does not live up to it.

Lilly Ellison 07:15

Well, I feel like Monster fucking is where there's my Alright, philosophy moment with Lily. That's where you get like, really stratified quality? Yes, either. It's either incredible. And the actual story is very good. And the relationship builds and the writing is top notch. Or it's someone dipping their toes in for the first time. And I would never speak poorly on Southern doing that. But I will also not read it.

Sara 07:49

I mean, I will, I will sometimes read it depending on fandom and author and mood.

Lilly Ellison 07:57

But yes, I think if something is extremely short, I will read it even if it's terrible. Because I'm not investing that much time in it. Yeah. Anyway, at some point we had to cut that off because we got very distracted. And what I did read for this evening was run with the hunted a novella by Jennifer Donahue, the first one in a series of Sarah, I think you said there's four out now

Sara 08:23

there are four out now I believe that she has said that the fifth novella is going to come out sometime in October. So it's an ongoing series. Well,

Lilly Ellison 08:35

I read the first one, which well, we'll get to that.

Sara 08:42

I've mentioned these novellas on the podcast before because I've had just a lot of fun reading them. I think they should be action movies. Like that's the kind of vibe they give off. Essentially, they follow three women who are, I guess, criminals. I was gonna say semi criminals. But no, they're basically just criminals. There's

Lilly Ellison 09:03

even there's a whole moment in this book where Bristol is trying to think how they are described by the government. And it's just a bunch of different adjectives in front of thieves.

Sara 09:15

Yes, so this book in particular centers around a diamond heist. We will talk more about that in the spoiler section, but it's very fun. I love these novellas to death. They're just such great popcorn books.

Lilly Ellison 09:28

It did give me very broad top level Ocean's eight vibes. Ocean's eight is the ocean's 11 sequel that stars Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett and is an O and Rihanna doesn't star Rihanna she's in it. And it's just like very competent women being good at what they do. And holy shit Am I end? And that's about as far as the similarities go. Not all female thieves. Hashtag not all female thieves. So I'm gonna start that right now, this book does a lot more interesting things with the plot progression. But I agree that's a spoiler. So we're not going to talk about the highest part for a minute. We're just gonna tease you. I was very glad, however, Sarah, to hear from you that the novellas sort of cycle through the three main characters as far as points of view goes, because this first book was from the point of view of Bristol. And

Sara 10:31

as I was rereading this today, I was like, oh, yeah, Lily is probably not very into this point of view character. I was not wrong. You know,

Lilly Ellison 10:43

it's funny. If this book followed Bristol from a third person perspective, it probably wouldn't have bothered me. Because there's enough space there that I can get around it. But first person perspective is just so fraught, like there's so much that can go wrong. It's so easy to fuck up and Donohue didn't even fuck it up. She just picked a main character that I could not fucking stain.

Sara 11:10

I like I love Bristol. I mean, don't get me wrong. Bristol is an asshole. Like, she's kind of insufferable. And yet I find her so much fun to read about. Like, I just, I would hate her in person. Like no question about it. I would not get along with her. I would not, I would not be able to stand her. But for some reason, I just really love reading about, like her point of view.

Lilly Ellison 11:36

I mean, okay, I get that there is a fantasy fulfillment element, which I also enjoyed, because she's the, she's the glamorous fence, the towel of the trio. She's the one who's great at social engineering, and just always like, flipping people on their heads in, you know, mentally, emotionally, socially, always so poised, and on top of it, and I enjoyed that aspect of her like, she has makeup, there's okay, no spoilers. That was fun. But she's a pretentious douchebag, which is much softer language than I used in our notes. Which is also mostly fine, except she's also really rude to her. I'll say co workers. And she picked these co workers. Like, if you

Sara 12:36

Well, technically we don't know how they got together as co workers.

Lilly Ellison 12:40

Okay. Oh, I guess she's not the one who found the highest is she?

Sara 12:45

She's not the one who found the highest. That was bad since

Lilly Ellison 12:47

Yeah. Okay, nevermind. Well, if she thinks so lowly of them, she could have turned it down. Like she's just so rude to them constantly. And I'm okay with her being rude to other people. But her being rude to these other two women who frankly, I liked much more than her. Even though they weren't even the prospective characters. It was just very difficult for me, to the point where I think every other page, I called her a dunk in my notes, and I'm going to bleep that out. Because I don't use that word very often. It fits here. I will not inflict it on our listeners. See, I

Sara 13:23

don't know, I feel I feel like her pretentiousness. And her being a douchebag are kind of the point. And like they were so over the top. And she's also self aware about it. Like she knows she's an asshole and she just doesn't care.

Lilly Ellison 13:37

Okay, sometimes when a couple of the characters are very suspicious of her because they know she's being manipulative. Her reaction is Yeah, fair enough. And that was fine. That was great. That makes sense. But there are moments when she is surprised by bits or Dali. And she's like, Wow, I can't believe they never shared this with me. And then the very next page, they say something and she's like, wow, that's terrible. And it's like, get that's why they never tell you anything you don't. Why did they ever share anything close with you? We would need she's rude about it. She

Sara 14:19

knows she's self absorbed. She just doesn't care.

Lilly Ellison 14:23

Which only works when she's not like, taken aback by people not trust, like, that's why it's only bits and Dolly that bothered all of those

Sara 14:33

moments. She's like, Oh, yeah, we haven't. Like we haven't talked about that. Mostly because I haven't cared about it. Like she's she's aware of that.

Lilly Ellison 14:41

Hmm. I felt like the self awareness slipped with her coworkers and that bothered me immensely.

Sara 14:50

I didn't feel like that so much, and thus did not bother.

Lilly Ellison 14:57

Fair enough. I mean, she does some douchey stuff. But like you said, it can be fun to read about a douchey character. It's not always terrible.

Sara 15:05

Yeah. And I think I, like I don't always like reading about douchey characters, even self aware douchey characters, but I think what I enjoy about Bristol is boasts that she's unashamedly and ass. And also, it's mostly how to phrase this. It's mostly I don't want to say harmless because she is an asshole to her co workers. But it's not. It's not in a way that undermines their competency. Hmm. Like she she acknowledges that bits is the best at what she does. And that dolly is the best at what, at what she does.

Lilly Ellison 15:49

Oh, this is where I'm regretting not bringing my my annotated book over here. There's a moment at the beginning where she changes the plan for the heist. And okay, that's that's her annoyed with it. And she's just like, the whatever. It's the better plan. That is later they do something unexpected. And she's like, whoa.

Sara 16:11

I mean, that that is an asshole move.

Lilly Ellison 16:14

I agree. You have the double standard like she she

Sara 16:17

is an asshole. Yeah, she does have a double standard.

Lilly Ellison 16:20

And that frustrates me. Like, I'm okay with there being an us versus them. But you can't be the only us. I think, okay, there is another us, which is the marquee who I did love as the marquee was great. The marquee probably redeemed the first half of this book. They were incredible. They are an incredible, good friend. And

Sara 16:44

they are a much better friend than Bristol deserves. Oh, yeah. Like 100% No, no doubt about it. Bristol does not deserve to Marquis.

Lilly Ellison 16:54

And Bristol gives them more respect and understanding than she does to her coworkers. And it's like you chose to work with these people.

Sara 17:05

Yeah, but like, I don't know, I very much feel in the beginning. Like they have a very superficial relationship, because we don't know how Bristol and bits and Dali got together. And I feel like they are just coworkers, people you know, but you don't hang out with like, I don't have a deep relationship with my coworkers. Whereas I have a deep relationship with my friends of which Marquis would be one of Bristol's. That's true. That's true. Like I don't I don't get the sense that these are bosom buddy friends who have gotten together to do a heist like their coworkers.

Lilly Ellison 17:46

Yeah, that's a good point. But when you're picking a co worker to do a heist, there has to be some amount of mutual respect or there doesn't. But I enjoy the storyboard when there is some amount of mutual respect. And I feel like that was missing. from Bristol side. For at least the beginning of this book. I think it gets less bad. But she's also pretty classist. And that's just extremely grating. For me.

Sara 18:19

I find her classes I'm tolerable because it's very clear that at least I think it's very clear that she is. It's something that she has consciously learned. And so it's just another layer of her like asshole lessness.

Lilly Ellison 18:35

She verbatim uses the phrase rags to riches to describe herself. And I think that makes it worse. Like, why are you so rude about people enjoying vending machine food?

Sara 18:48

I mean, I don't enjoy vending machine food.

Lilly Ellison 18:51

Yeah, that's fine. But would you judge someone for enjoying it?

Sara 18:56

Depending on how much they ate? Maybe? No, that's not true. Yeah, you can you can eat whatever you want. I don't care. It doesn't affect me.

Lilly Ellison 19:03

Exactly. That like that's the shit that really bothered me. I'm also a bouquet of vending machine food poking out of one cargo pants pocket is an absurd mental image. And I'm trying to envision how large these pockets are,

Sara 19:21

or how small the vending machine food is

Lilly Ellison 19:24

even just like one of those little bags of chips though.

Sara 19:27

Maybe they're all like, I don't know, granola bars.

Lilly Ellison 19:30

Okay, fair enough. I guess I just only buy chips from vending machines. That's my own bias showing through.

Sara 19:37

I mean, I Well, I think the last time I bought anything from a vending machine was in Japan.

Lilly Ellison 19:42

Yeah, that's a whole different thing. That's a whole different thing. And some of the vending machines in this book are more advanced. So this book does have a really cool sort of near future vibe, maybe a little farther than near close.

Sara 19:57

I definitely wouldn't call it near future if you It's some kind of like semi cyberpunk, close future ask. Yeah,

Lilly Ellison 20:05

it's close future. That's a joke because in stone top, you have different ranges and it goes like hand near close far. So if it's not near, it's gotta be close. Ah, you're welcome.

Sara 20:20

That went whoosh right over my head.

Lilly Ellison 20:23

It was a good joke,

Sara 20:24

though. It wasn't a joke for the subset of people who placed on top.

Lilly Ellison 20:29

Daniel will laugh at it for me. But it was very cool. There is some really neat technology. There's some neat, you know, like cybernetic enhancements. VR is used in a very interesting way, in this book, not from Bristol's perspective, but bits, uses VR constantly. And I know Sarah, I think you mentioned the second book is from business perspective. The second

Sara 20:57

book is from business perspective. And we get a lot more exploration of the technology side of the world in that book, understandably so because it's from like, the big tech person point of view. So it is really cool to explore this world and explore the concepts. And like all of the technology things and how everything is still recognizable, but like just a little bit different and cooler.

Lilly Ellison 21:25

There's a very neat element where our main characters don't have to kill anyone, because weapons are advanced enough that they can just incapacitate people without being lethal. And I don't I don't think that's a spoiler.

Sara 21:38

I don't think that's a spoiler

Lilly Ellison 21:39

that happens pretty early on. The main confrontation is pretty early on in the book. And Dolly, the weapons expert just takes out the security guard with science not know with brute force, but her weapon is not lethal. And that just makes I would never describe these books as cozy. But it sure does make them easier to read, when you don't have to worry about the implications.

Sara 22:06

I think it's so much more fun when you can unabashedly cheer for the main characters, because they're not killing people. Like they're doing crime. And it's not victimless. But like it's not it's not bad.

Lilly Ellison 22:22

And I think that's maybe why Bristol bothered me so much. Because her bullshit got in the way of me just soaking in the over the top awesomeness that this book could have been and is for other people, but not for me.

Sara 22:41

Yeah, I mean, like, I love Bristol. Bristol is my favorite character by far. But I can like I acknowledge that she can be frustrating to read about, I think, I think you would really like Book Three. Book Three is the dog Hi. So which is from Dolly's point of view.

Lilly Ellison 22:57

I mean, both of those things. So then we have our excellent, classic question, Sarah, why should someone read this book,

Sara 23:09

you should read this book, if you want a heist book that goes in interesting directions with the trope. If you want kickass female characters doing kickass things, namely stealing diamonds, if you enjoy Ocean's eight, or Ocean's 11 If you just want like a feel good, very short, popcorn book, and I say that like as a compliment. Oh, I love popcorn. Yeah, that was delicious. So like, if you're just if you just want something to like, take your mind off of whatever shit you've got going on. For an hour and a half. This is a really great book to read for that.

Lilly Ellison 23:50

If you have patience for some classist bullshit.

Sara 23:53

Or if you really enjoy reading about someone being an asshole, which I don't normally, for some reason with Bristol, I

Lilly Ellison 23:59

really do. I mean, it is amusing. She's not always miserable all the time, I think miserable like 90%, I think I think her

Sara 24:09

mannerisms are so affected. And so over the top, that it goes from annoying to enjoyable for me. But I can see how it would not cross that threshold. For other people.

Lilly Ellison 24:19

It didn't make it for me. However, I do like starting series from the beginning. And I absolutely loved the format of this book, the plot progression, which we're still going to get into in a minute, literally can't talk about that without spoiling where the plot goes. And so I'm much more excited for books two and three. And I'm glad I started with book one.

Sara 24:43

I do think you need the context of book one. They mostly can stand on their own, but like it does kind of help to have some of that context.

Lilly Ellison 24:53

To avoid spoilers, skip to 4545 So I know we probably call this a heist book, or a heist story at the beginning, but I would actually argue that it is not.

Sara 25:13

I think that the inciting action is the heist.

Lilly Ellison 25:18

Well, yeah, there is a heist. Yeah. Yeah,

Sara 25:21

there is a heist in this book. And so that makes it easier to call it a heist book than to say anything else about it, because like, that's what drives the initial plot. And you don't obviously, you don't want to give away any of the great twists that it takes.

Lilly Ellison 25:39

Oh, yeah. You don't have to explain to me why you have a spoiler section.

Sara 25:46

I would actually say that it's the same thing for the dog heist story. To be fair.

Lilly Ellison 25:50

I mean, that makes sense. Yeah, I would say if there's one thing that I learned about Jennifer Donahue as a writer reading this book, it's that she is very good at taking tropes that I'm familiar with, and then growing with them building upon them in ways that are so much more interesting than just indulging in the original trope. And I think the diamond heist is the obvious first example of that. That happens in the first like, 10% of the book, the diamond heist happens so early.

Sara 26:29

It happens very early on, and I definitely when I first read this book, I definitely expected it to be more. I don't want to say irrelevant, but maybe more prevalent. The

Lilly Ellison 26:39

basic bitch heist plotline? Yeah.

Sara 26:42

Because I heard about it. Like when I first heard about it, it was in the context of diamond heist, and our like, Great diamond heist,

Lilly Ellison 26:52

which we just agreed is how you should describe the book. Yeah.

Sara 26:57

But the story goes so much, like further than that. It takes it in such an interesting to is such an interesting conclusion that I was really very pleasantly surprised. Yeah.

Lilly Ellison 27:06

Oh, yeah. It was great. I that was probably one of my favorite parts of this novella. The complication is that our heroes, our bad guys. Bad gals. That's awful. Pretend I didn't say that are criminals. Yes, our badass criminals steal some diamonds. And that's fine. But it turns out that the diamonds have secret espionage information etched on them. So it's not just their diamonds, it's that they are higher risk security data. And that obviously takes their situation to another level, which they aren't completely unprepared for that they were not expecting. Yeah. And it was just really good.

Sara 27:54

I really liked how, although they absolutely were not prepared for it, or they were not expecting it, I should say because they did have contingency plans in place. And like they they are well bits and

Lilly Ellison 28:08

Dolly did anyway.

Sara 28:09

Bits and Dolly did Yes. Bristol. No contingency plans,

Lilly Ellison 28:15

shocked that her bumbling idiot coworkers could possibly do something right.

Sara 28:22

There is a little bit of that, but I really loved that they like they don't panic about it. They're like, okay, things went south in ways we didn't anticipate. That's okay, we're badass pitches and we're just going to carry on with selling these diamonds. We're not going to worry about like, the secret espionage implications. We're just gonna get these off our hands like we planned. Oh, I loved, loved loved love.

Lilly Ellison 28:50

All of the characters are three main characters, reactions to adversity. I feel like okay, when we were when we were planning this episode, Sara, you and I had a lengthy conversation about why these women don't count as Mary Sue's why they're not, you know, over the top perfect, ridiculous wish fulfillment people and they are wish fulfillment to some extent. But no more than James Bond is. This is just three specialized James Bonds, and no one is justifying him to the greater pop culture audience. So why when I read this book, I was like, okay, but let's explain why these characters aren't overpowered or whatever. That's garbage. And I'm sorry, I wish that wasn't my reaction.

Sara 29:48

Yeah, I mean, it is garbage. It shouldn't be the reaction, but I agree that we do tend to view female characters from a more critical lens when we

Lilly Ellison 30:00

Shouldn't I mean, we're not even going to talk about pray? Partially because they know you haven't? No, I haven't. Oh, it's a good movie. And it definitely suffers from that a lot.

Sara 30:14

I'm vaguely aware that it's a movie. And that's the extent of my knowledge.

Lilly Ellison 30:19

Yeah, that's fine. But I would say that the three main characters in this book have triumphant competency. And that is so enjoyable to read. That that is that popcorn element that you're talking about, right? Like these women know what they're doing. They don't always get it. Right. They are able to cope with the fallout. And they don't panic at any point. And I really loved that. They were just like, Okay, what next? Like, we know we can do this. So what do we have to do to get out of it? And that made it never feel bull. It never felt like the stakes are that high, frankly, even though we had like several governments chasing them down. But I was like, yeah, these, as you said, badass bitches got this. Let's find out how they get out of it. And

Sara 31:17

honestly, from a story like this, I don't need to feel like the characters are ever like in genuine danger. I don't want to. For me, this is a comfort story. And I want to feel that there's enough danger that they are actually like getting into shenanigans, but not so much danger that it goes from shenanigans to actually like, life threatening.

Lilly Ellison 31:43

And in that sense, isn't it?

Sara 31:49

What was the cyberpunk? I don't know if this call qualifies the cyberpunk. Really. There are definitely cyberpunk elements to the world.

Lilly Ellison 31:56

Well, speaking of genres that have weird definitions for that's one of them. I think it's adjacent. It's definitely cyberpunk adjacent. It has, you know, augmentations for people, but I don't think it focuses enough on the identity aspect, which to me, but there's also like, I'm weird about sci fi, I there has to be like a philosophy bit.

Sara 32:20

No, I mean, and I agree, this isn't. This isn't a cyberpunk novel. But I think it's a kind of cyberpunk world. Does that distinction make sense?

Lilly Ellison 32:31

Yeah, I'm okay with that. Oh, there's not enough corporate bullshit for it to be truly sci fi. Or sorry for it to be truly cyberpunk. That'd be more garbage capitalism.

Sara 32:44

Yes, I will. I will grant you that I have not reread the other three novellas recently enough to talk cogently about them. But I don't recall any huge capitalism garbage. I mean, there's some stuff in the background like you. In this book, for example, like Dali talks about the BS.

Lilly Ellison 33:07

But that's more dystopian than cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is a flavor of dystopia, but model topia is cyber.

Sara 33:16

I mean, I agree with you there. I just That's an example of capitalism bullshit that does appear in the books.

Lilly Ellison 33:22

Yes. And the fact that bees are so hard to find, oh, now is what I brag about all the bumblebees. That's obnoxious, Julie, I just too late. No, it is a really cool world. And I'm really excited to read more about it. It is so similar to our world today. There's just like really tiny bits that go a little bit farther. And I think that's something that definitely has room for exploration. And it sounds like gets explored. I wouldn't

Sara 33:56

say that it does get explored. Like we get a lot more of that in Dolly's story in bits of story. Because they're more heavily involved with that, than Bristol is like Bristol is very superficial. And dolly in bits are not quite as much.

Lilly Ellison 34:15

I mean, would you say she's a

Sara 34:18

duck? No, because I like her more than you do. Yeah, that's fair. But it's not. So I think as we get these changing perspectives, we do get to see different aspects of the story. And that's one of the things I appreciate about Donahue, like switching POVs throughout the books is that we get all of these different aspects of the world just because these characters understandably focus, like they have. They have different focuses and different motivations. And I think that makes it really interesting to see the world from these different perspectives, and you get a much more well rounded view of the world than you would if it was just from one point of view.

Lilly Ellison 35:04

See, that's an interesting use of the first person perspective, which could make it worth it to me. You also mentioned that bitss book has some strange, was it timeline or just conceptual shit going on?

Sara 35:22

I don't want to go into too much detail because that's a spoiler for a book that we're not talking about. Right. But because of because of things. It's this book, which is Book Two, has some interesting, like, timeline, and perspective lapses. And it plays with perspective in an interesting way that I think you only could do in first person.

Lilly Ellison 35:48

Fair enough. And I think you had mentioned that it wasn't your favorite, but that sounds like something I'm extra excited for. Because that is the strength of First Person is that Yeah, do that. And if you're not doing that, then

Sara 36:04

Bob. Yeah. Like, it's not my favorite book of the four. But I think it's really cool. What Donahue does in that book.

Lilly Ellison 36:16

It sounds like I will love book three because I love Dolly, which is true.

Sara 36:20

Yeah, I think Dolly, and book three is going to be your favorite. That's my guess.

Lilly Ellison 36:26

But the fun perspective stuff does also sound like something I'm interested in. So I'm very excited to continue this series. I just really did not enjoy it. And part of that is definitely me, but I don't think I'm alone with hating Donald. So

Sara 36:49

I really didn't think she was that bad. I mean, she was an asshole, but like, she's the kind of funny one.

Lilly Ellison 36:55

Okay, the marquee was like, don't quote on her team, but I needed more than just them. I can have an asshole character. I'm fine with that. But I needed her team to be a little bigger. And that frustrated me so much.

Sara 37:11

I don't know. See, normally I hate someone like Bristol, but for some reason, and I can't explain it. I really can't. Like I have I have no thought out commentary on it, but I just really enjoyed Bristol's perspective.

Lilly Ellison 37:28

I mean, there's definitely something to be said for that. It's definitely consistent and well crafted. I just didn't enjoy

Sara 37:39

and I really did. The books could be from Bristol perspective, I'd be happy Bristol is my favorite. I know. I know you wouldn't be I know you wouldn't be. But I make no apologies. I'm unapologetic and my love

Lilly Ellison 37:53

for Bristol. Okay, okay. Okay. I thought to ask though, one of the elements I loved about Bristol was how she interacted with the male. I'm gonna call him an FBI agent, we have no idea who he's actually working for. But

Sara 38:09

that's, that's the vibe that I got. I would call him an FBI agent, too. So

Lilly Ellison 38:14

he's kind of the love interest for this book. They go on a couple dates, but they're also both very aware that the other one is the other side. So it's always like a two faced interaction.

Sara 38:28

There's always a tension there.

Lilly Ellison 38:30

Yeah. In every time they do interact, it's for both reasons. It's not like we're trying to date and get around the fact that we're on different teams. No, they're using each other the whole time, which

Sara 38:43

is, which is great. Like, I don't want any of this pre taps or any of any of that kind of pretense like we don't know that the other is on the other side and we're gonna hide it and none of that bullshit they know exactly what they're doing. They're attracted to each other but they're they're still like working for their own teams with their own goals. I love that

Lilly Ellison 39:05

and because will is the they say the good guys and there's a whole thing about how everyone thinks that the good guys that was also a very well done, but in this case, we'll represents the side that is not trying to just remember our three heroes, so that's nice. Also, they're still

Sara 39:24

representing the government so they're still kind of the bad guys.

Lilly Ellison 39:28

And there's definitely some antagonism. I anyway, that whole thing was very good. And I kind of feel the vibe that will could come back. He doesn't die at the end. No, she just leaves him. Bristol just knocks him out. She does the classic knockout lipstick, which is so good and

Sara 39:48

I was not expecting it. Like I know she she had been set up as this femme fatale. Like she had all of the accoutrement and like everything But like, I still was not expecting that she would just leave him because they had developed this relationship. And I was so glad that she did not come out. One of the

Lilly Ellison 40:11

things that I was trying to articulate and I don't think I'm quite there yet is that will is the romantic interest. And I almost tried to say he's the femme fatale on the towel,

Sara 40:26

but he's really not

Lilly Ellison 40:28

know what this is, is looking at the fence a towel experience from her perspective, which I'm sure happens plenty. But this is a really good example of it that I really enjoyed. And yeah, I mean, that's,

Sara 40:46

yeah, that's what it is. Yeah, that is what it is. And I think that's part of what I really like about Bristol is that she was just unashamedly the femme fatale. And it manifests in ways that are very consistent with like femme fatale tropes, but you don't expect to see them from her perspective. And so they feel fresh. And it's just, it's just fun.

Lilly Ellison 41:10

Well, that part of her I enjoyed that part of her perspective, I enjoyed completely. I feel like in this book, at least, she is completely understanding when Will is disgruntled when she pulls one over on him? Because she's like, Yeah, I pulled one over on you. But when dolly or bits are disgruntled, she's like, What the fuck is wrong with you? And that double standard bothered me a lot.

Sara 41:37

It didn't feel that antagonistic to me.

Lilly Ellison 41:41

Well, that's fine. I'm maybe dramatizing it a little bit. But I definitely have those notes in my Kindle version, where I'm like, Why are you surprised? You're such a bitch off? Course, this is how they responded.

Sara 41:55

Like I'm saying, I'm saying like she didn't, she didn't feel that, like, genuinely surprised or antagonistic when things happened.

Lilly Ellison 42:04

But she says she's surprised in the narration. And it's from her perspective. So I have to assume that's how she feels because it's first person perspective. And if we're getting so meta, that first person perspective is not actually from that person's perspective. I missed that completely.

Sara 42:22

No, i i That's not what I mean.

Lilly Ellison 42:25

There are times when she says in the narration, why wouldn't they have told me this? Or why do they have a problem with this?

Sara 42:33

He follows up with? Oh, yeah, because I haven't been interested in them. Like she's self aware about it.

Lilly Ellison 42:39

I guess. The fact that that even comes up, though, people lie to themselves

Sara 42:43

like that all the time.

Lilly Ellison 42:45

It didn't feel genuine or sincere. Maybe just because I was so annoyed with her by then.

Sara 42:52

I think you were just annoyed with her by bed, to be honest. But also, also we have diverged from talking about will and Bristol being a femme fatale to talk about our feelings about Bristol again.

Lilly Ellison 43:07

But that's an example of Bristol being Bristol and me very much enjoying it. Her character did not bother me the whole time. It was only when I guess I wanted her to have friends. That's what I'm saying. It bothered me that she didn't have friends. And she had the marquee who again, I loved, but the marquee is hardly in it at all. And so I just needed her to have someone on her side that she agreed was on her side. And the fact that she didn't got really old.

Sara 43:39

Yeah, I mean, like, I definitely feel like dolly and bits are coworkers and not friends. And this book,

Lilly Ellison 43:47

but how could you have a co worker that you're getting into a life threatening situation with that? You don't because I'm okay. Maybe this is me showing my ass but I would not get into a life threatening situation with someone willingly, who I did not trust with my life. That feels basic.

Sara 44:05

I mean, because because you know, they're competent. But that doesn't mean you know everything about them. But she questions our competency. I don't think she questions or competency in the way that you do.

Lilly Ellison 44:15

Or the way that I interpret

Sara 44:16

it or the way that yeah, because I don't I mean, the way that the way that you think she questions or competency. I think we're arguing in circles. Now. I don't think we're gonna convince each other. It's gonna be bad listening. At this point,

Lilly Ellison 44:30

fair enough. You spoiled a little bit, which I'm willing to spoil for our listeners, but I'll cut it if you think I should, that they maybe grow a little closer. By the time Bristol comes back around.

Sara 44:42

I do think that they have a close relationship by the time we see Bristol's point of view again in the fourth book, yes.

Lilly Ellison 44:49

So I think I will immensely enjoy the rest of the series including Bristol's next perspective book. It this was just a rough start. But even then I can see Yeah, the elements of it that I will enjoy later, knowing that it changes perspectives. Knowing that Bristol grows. I'm very excited to read more. This was just a bad start for me.

Sara 45:15

I think Bristol is just not the point of view character for you. And I don't honestly, I don't think she ever will be. I love her. God knows why, but I love her. But I recognize that she's not going to be for everyone. And I do think that you will enjoy the other point of view perspectives more, but she does. I think I think the the areas that you find most frustrating about her do improve as the series progresses.

Lilly Ellison 45:46

So, one thing that Bristol does, which does not actually bother me, it just reminded me of that that's why it has become a pet peeve corner. She uses French in conversation, that's fine, and she's doing it on purpose to appear more bougie and it works. So whatever

Sara 46:09

but something that we know from because it's told in her perspective, that would probably bother you about her if it was told in third person. Her use of a French perhaps

Lilly Ellison 46:24

that is not my pet peeve for today. Would you like to talk about first person more?

Sara 46:29

That's not your that's not your pet peeve? It's not related. I just wanted to point out a

Lilly Ellison 46:34

close third person exists. Anyway. Bristol uses French conversationally she answers the phone bone spa and shit like that, which is fine. But it does remind me of people I know. And when we were reading notes for this episode, I realized both of them were professors. So we're just going to talk about pretentious bitches, but people who use How do I how do I even say this? So there are words in English that are from other languages, but they have been naturalized into English. Yes, there are English words now. And I have encountered people who insist on not pronouncing them correctly. If they were actually competent in the native language, did it 100% Correct. I would have no leg to stand on. But I have met people who insist on doing a half assed job. And maybe that's really the pet peeve don't do a half assed job at pronouncing a word, just do it the bad English way, or do it the correct way. At least for like place names, you know, like Los Angeles. Yeah. Los Angeles. It's fine. Yeah.

Sara 47:55

Man, I'm really torn. I agree with you in general. But then I think about me, and how I pronounced auntie, my auntie mare. And I definitely pronounce it on a may not animais, which is the American way, I think partially because, like, it wasn't a mainstream word until I was an adult. And so I grew up pronouncing it with an at least semi Japanese accent. I mean, I'm a quarter Japanese. And we do speak some random Japanese words in my household. So it's not like I'm intentionally being pretentious.

Lilly Ellison 48:29

I mean, there's a tiny douchey there. Yeah. But it's not bad. Like, I'm talking about my teacher who on like, the first day of class said, everyone tell me where you're from. And some poor girl was from Carpinteria. And this bitch was, I don't know if it was genuine. I can't believe it was genuine because she was white as but refused to comprehend the word Carpinteria. She was like, How can you be from the profession of carpentry? And after a very long time of this poor young woman explaining where she is in geographic relation to other places on the California coast. This teacher goes Oh, and I was like, No, fuck you.

Sara 49:25

Don't care how people pronounce on Amer I pronounce it my way. This isn't how other people pronounce it has no effect on my life. They can pronounce it however the fuck they want.

Lilly Ellison 49:34

Right. I find it hard to believe that she was genuinely she can't be if she was. I have more questions.

Sara 49:42

She can't have been I mean it it just It boggles the mind. Yeah. And

Lilly Ellison 49:48

I Oh, Mrs. Okay. I actually genuinely really enjoyed both of these teachers. I just hated the way they pronounced words. I'm sorry. I had another an art history professor who in insisted on saying, Louvre but two syllables loom I could not I could not deal.

Sara 50:05

And it's

Lilly Ellison 50:06

like, no, it's the Louvre or

Sara 50:09

you don't you have asked, there's no middle ground.

Lilly Ellison 50:13

No, just don't. It's fine. It's the Louvre. Everyone knows what you're saying. I understand that. It's a French word, but it's okay. No one is going around saying they're going to parry vacation. It's Paris. It's all right.

Sara 50:28

It's like the Jimmy Buffett song. He went to Perry. Looking for answers. No, Jimmy Buffett says Paris. Jimmy Buffett does not say parents. Okay, okay, good.

Lilly Ellison 50:42

I was about to do some gymnastics to justify is just

Sara 50:45

whenever whenever anyone says he went to Paris or they went to Paris, I inevitably think of the Jimmy Buffett song.

Lilly Ellison 50:52

Well, that's fine. As long as he doesn't say he went to Paris.

Sara 50:56

No, he does not. Like it extends

Lilly Ellison 50:59

right. There's a ton of words that we have in English language that we have stolen shamelessly, like hors d'oeuvres. No one is saying hors d'oeuvres with a French accent. And if you are You should be ashamed unless

Sara 51:11

you're in France, trying to order something in which it is. Okay.

Lilly Ellison 51:15

Yeah, of course. It's all about context. And, anyway, all or nothing, you guys, nothing.

Sara 51:26

I agree.

Lilly Ellison 51:27

I'm going to complain about Louvre until the day I die as you should.

Sara 51:31

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of fiction fans.

Lilly Ellison 51:39

Calm disagree with us. We are on Twitter and Instagram at the Compans pod. You can also email us at action fans

Sara 51:50

If you enjoyed the episode, please rate and review on Spotify and Apple podcasts and follow us wherever your podcasts live.

Lilly Ellison 51:58

We also have a Patreon where you can support us and find our show notes and some other nonsense. We probably not as much as there should you frankly.

Sara 52:08

Are you saying there should be more nonsense or there should be more other content? Both. Very true. Thanks again for listening and may your villains always be defeated by

Related Posts

See All

Episode 91 Release Date: May 24, 2023 Your hosts discuss Perilous Times by Thomas D. Lee and only spend SOME of the time talking about emotional connection (and lack thereof!) to Arthurian legend. The

Episode 89 Release Date: May 10, 2023 Your hosts get back on the Discworld turtle with “The Last Continent” by Terry Pratchett. They discuss Rincewind’s character arc, Definitely-Not-Australia, and th

bottom of page