Black Panther Productions
(515) "Soft Kill (CVT-515)" (Sentinel)
By Laurie Borealis
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (2)
This story was one I liked. The idea behind it was good, the execution was fine, and the conspiracy theorists were amusing.
(516) "Sandburg Squared (CVT-516)" (Sentinel)
By Zadra & Cindy Combs
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (3)
This story was nominated in the Cascade Times 2000 Awards in the best BPP story and best original good guy character (OMC) sections, and I can see why. Obediah Sandburg was a great guest-character, having a bit more depth than he seemed to have at first, and the plot rolled along with some interesting complications. I've got one nit to pick, though; the author seems to have mixed up Australia with South Africa -- so far as I know, Australia isn't famous for its diamond mines. Opals, yes, but not diamonds.
You can contact Zadra (robinh2 at hotmail dot com) or Cindy Combs (spacecloud at juno dot com)
Addendum: Apparently Australia may not be famous for its diamond mines, but the authors have pointed out to me that such mines do exist and are quite big. See http://www.mbendi.co.za/indy/ming/dmnd/au/au/p0005.htm if you're curious.
(519) "Sensitive (CVT-519)" (Sentinel)
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (4)
I liked this idea! Is she another Sentinel, or is she something else? I would have actually liked to have seen more discussion between Jim & Blair and Valerie; too much was left unsaid and not followed up. But I liked the way it was built up, how they figured things out about each other.
(520) "Hazardous Duty (CVT-520)" (Sentinel)
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (5)
This was a good case story (it read like an episode of Police Rescue), with some nice Jim-Blair banter.
"I don't know. Maybe we should both just quit trying to date. You know, get a room together at St. Sebastian's. Contemplate the error of our ways. We'd save a lot of money that way. No rent to pay, no utilities and a really cheap wardrobe, robes and sandals provided for free."
After a moment of silence, both men stared at each other and in perfect unison answered, "NAH!"
"No TV, no radio, and more importantly, no paycheck."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Besides, those robes are really drafty."
(522) "The Janus Effect (CVT-522)" (Sentinel)
By Hephaistos & Mackie
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (6)
I liked this. I loved the misdirection about what was really the problem, while getting Jim introspective and worried. The "case" part of the story was good too; some nasty bad guys plus a cool touch of the mystical. I also liked how the Major Crimes folks rallied round at the end, and Jim expressed some nonverbal affection.
This story won the Cascade Times 2000 Awards in the best BPP episode section.
(523) "Depths of Evil (CVT-523)" (Sentinel)
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (7)
I have mixed feelings about this one. There is some good senses stuff, some lovely banter between the guys in lots of spots, but the plot didn't grab me. It just felt like a random evil psycho of the week, and Blair raving on about it being a pseudo-Satanic cult rather than a Satanic cult just seemed to be trivializing it, though having him write the article for the department was good.
"What with Blair's cold and my working on a case, neither of us has felt like doing a grocery run," Jim admitted. "Tell you what. As soon as Sleeping Beauty over there wakes up, we'll do a big Saturday breakfast out."
"Try to kiss me, Prince Charming, and I'll be forced to slug you," came a muffled voice from the direction of the couch.
"Then get your ass up off that couch, Princess, before I'm forced to do it. Your mom and I are hungry!" Jim winked at Naomi as he stealthily crossed the room and flung the covers off his half-awake partner, shouting, "Kiss! Kiss!"
Blair leapt off the couch with a surprised yelp and dashed into his room. "Jeez, man, give a fella a chance to at least get his eyes open before you start threatening to kiss him!"
(524) "Determining the Right Path (CVT-524)" (Sentinel)
By Lori Wright
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd December 2000 (8)
I liked the guest-character Nyajiru in this! Not to mention the Dreams! Visions! Angst! It was an interesting take on the Sentinel-Shaman thing that the spirits come to Jim because he wouldn't listen otherwise; that's an interpretation I haven't seen, that doesn't make Blair out to be lacking or slacking. Jim is a bit too suspicious of Nya, IMHO; I wondered what bee had got in Jim's bonnet; but maybe that's because I, the reader, already knew that Nya was a good guy.