Escaping Reality: Characters

Helena Patterson


Helena is a 31 year old office manager who is missing a decade of her life and doesn’t let that bother her. She went missing at 4 and appeared a decade later with no memory of what happened while she was gone. She graduated with a GED and is thinking about taking up Accounting just to see if she can get a better job, since the current one is more frustrating than anything.

She longs for a more exciting life than she currently has, but doesn’t have the education for a better job or the vacation time for travelling right now. She loves swimming and spends most of her days dreaming of the beach. She doesn’t have to be brought down too often, as she’s good at planning ahead and can usually keep everything running smoothly enough for daydreams of vacations she’d like to go on one day with her boyfriend, Ray.

Olivia Patterson


Olivia is Helena’s younger sister, now in her seventh year of University and pursuing a PhD in Media. She is much more interested in enjoying her 20s than studying, so it’s a mystery how she’s getting everything done. She visits Helena often since her apartment is closer to school and downtown than home, and she knows just how to convince her sister to give her whatever she wants, so long as that thing is not money.

Ray Lam


Ray is Helena’s boyfriend of the past two years. He is the owner of a successful start up that is about to enter a strange time with investors. He is outdoorsy and adventurous in a way that complements Helena, though their schedules don’t often match so that they can. Still, when he makes a promise or a date, he will do whatever he can to keep it.

Avi Rowan


Avi is from the period of time that Helena cannot remember. He is an intense presence and continues to treat Helena in the same way he did when he knew her, regardless of the time past or how much she actually remembers, or even the situation at hand. At least, he doesn’t if there’s something else around that demands more attention than recognizing that she doesn’t know what the hell is going on.1



In any other story, Gale would be the main character. He’s strong, cocky, and he is probably the most gifted kid they’ve ever had. At fourteen, though, he’s also prone to jealousy and doesn’t like that Avi seems to have some sort of relationship with Helena. Because of this, he goes out of his way to prove he’s more awesome than she is and that neither of them need her.

Ven and Mystery Lady


Two characters that exist in the story but I’m not planning on having them actually appear. They are both important presences in the story, but they aren’t exactly characters during the story. Instead, their influences end up felt throughout and they are frequently talked about and referenced.

  1. He’s also way darker, but the skin tone on the doll maker only comes in one colour. []

Poll Closed! Novel Get and Other Bookish Things

Poll is closed and the internet has given me Escaping Reality for my birthday! Thank you to everyone for voting and to those options you wanted that didn’t make it, better luck next year. For those that do want it, look forward to the daily excerpts as I try to get it done.

Going to take a moment to pimp some of the other stuff I am doing today that’s book related. Because for some reason I decided today was a great day to do everything. And because some of you guys say I should tell you when I do things like this.

Put up the last chapter of Return to Wonderland, for those who have been reading along with that one.

Put out a collection of shorts under the dude.

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Release date October 22, 2014.

Put out a novel as well.

White Noise (Kindle Edition)

By (author): Tanya Lisle

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Release date October 22, 2014.

And hopefully that video will be done today and up tomorrow. Or I’ll spend the whole day looking for places who will give me free stuff. One or the other. Onward!


Rachel Rising: Vol 3 – Cemetery Songs Review

Review | Comic Minute

Since the introduction of the devil, I think this volume has actually started making less sense. As near as I can figure, the women are reincarnated witches, but I don’t actually understand what their goals are at this point.

I also have absolutely no idea how that magic with the rats worked. It strikes me as significantly different than the magic shown up to now and it really threw me off.

On the bright side, Rachel and Jet are still fantastic together and play off one another really well. This book more than any other, I have loved the interplay between the two of them and I particularly enjoyed how familiar they are with one another. They really feel like childhood friends, which is a surprisingly rare dynamic to find done well for me lately.

The relationship between Jet and Earl is starting to kind of creep me out. Earl keeps teetering between genuinely decent guy who isn’t going to force himself on an unconscious woman and dude holding a woman up on a pedestal. And I don’t feel like I can use Jet a a barometer for whether or not I should be creeped out because she keeps being mad that she’s waking up naked as a corpse with someone who deals with corpses hovering over her. Right now, it’s just really uncomfortable.

I’m also less big on Zoe right now. Her character is in this transition period that could go either way, so I’m not sure if I’m rooting for her or I want to just ignore her yet. When she settles into the new personality and role in the story, I’ll have more of an idea. For now, I just don’t know.

And there’s the ending. I liked that bit.

Overall, still a lot of fun!

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Alex + Ada: Vol 1 Review

There is a certain feeling that comes with a Luna book. It’s people in their mid to late 20s trying to figure out their shit with some fantastical element thrown in that serves as a parallel to something else. It ends up feeling this strange mix of very realistic and completely foreign at the same time.

Alex + Ada is no different. Alex is a guy from the future in a rut whose grandmother decides to buy him an android girl. From there, it turns into Alex getting used to a girl who is willing to do whatever he asks and getting bored by her lack of personality while robots who do have a personality are being victimized and legislated against.

I looks like it’s going to be a story about where the AI turns into true sentience and deserves to be treated as a human, with subtext about marginalized groups and their treatment in society. All in a pretty basic story about a guy who is going to fall in love with a robot his grandmother bought for him.

It’s one of those stories that feels like it’s asking you to think about it. It’s not light and there’s no physical danger in it anywhere. It’s almost all political, with much of the danger being relayed as news reports and second hand stories where the only immediate elements are some prejudice and distrust.

Still, it’s an interesting start. We’ll see where it goes.

Alex + Ada Volume 1 (Paperback)

By (author): Jonathan Luna, Sarah Vaughn

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Release date July 29, 2014.

Amulet: Vol 1 – The Stonekeeper Review

So for those folks out there who have been looking for something to fill the hole that Bone left behind, I might have something for you.

Amulet is a book I found a while ago, but I’ve only just gotten back to it and I forgot how much fun it is. It’s definitely for kids, despite how dark is gets, and it has a nice emphasis on family.

The most important relationship here is probably the one between the main character, Emily, and her brother, Navin. So far, they act like real siblings, without irrationally hating or loving one another and without the blind trust now that they’re in a fantasy world.

Speaking of the magical fantasy world, it is dark colour-wise. The creature and robot designs that we’ve seen so far are great and the evil stuff looks legitimately sinister. Miskit is the brightest thing in the book as the pink rabbit sidekick. And maybe the plane.

Also, I don’t know how much I trust that rabbit. He’s adorable, but he got over the death of his master way too quickly.

In short: I have to get my hands on a lot more of these.

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Gunnerkrigg Court: Vol 4 Materia Review

Yes, I bought volume 4 of a hardcover for a webcomic I could read for free. Gunnerkrigg Court really is that much fun.

For those who have read the online version, it’s chapter 32 to 41 collected in  lovely hardcover, although the binding did some weird stuff on mine where I could see the binding pretty clearly when I went to certain places in it. And it looks like a print book rather than a webcomic scaled up, so it’s negligible.

I always love the fact that Annie is a legitimately detestable character in parts of this book. She does certain things that are awful and it’s not presented as acceptable because she is special, and continues to make the same mistakes because doing the right thing is hard. She’s embarrassed by them, but not willing to change yet. I love it.

This is also the section of the story where we start to get the first hints of Kat’s bisexuality. I remember following weekly and feeling like it came out of nowhere, but reading it again I can see the lead in to it and it’s pretty fantastic.

And, of course, remembering that the forest is dangerous, Coyote being an asshole and all the magic and plots that happen in it. But there’s a comic where you can read it for yourself.

In short, super fun and I recommend at least checking it out for free. 

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Morning Glories: Vol 4 – Honors Review

See the Comic Minute

See the Spoileriffic! Review

First off, neither of the people shown on the cover are actually main characters in the volume. At all. The book isn’t even about the Glories1, but about getting to better know a few of the Truants.2

So I’m still iffy on the truants, but I do like two of them a little better after this one. Ian is sill a dick. He’s this unfortunate combination of Hunter’s pop culture knowledge and Ike’s disdain for everyone around him. I get that he’s had a bad childhood before Casey’s time travelling adventure3 but he is still a dick.

Akiko has a personality! And all it took was a coma to let the rest of us know it. I kept getting her mixed up with Irina originally, given their similar character designs, but I don’t see myself doing that anymore,4 I also do like that she’s apparently getting a bit more involved in the story and has been handed an abstract role in the overall plot by future!Jade5 and I don’t hate her. She is, admittedly, still a little bland, but she is growing on me.

And the last character from Casey’s time travelling adventure that she decided to help push toward the school that killed her parents is Fortunato, who is also very important and ends up suffering for how important he ends up being. We get a glimmer of some sort of power out of him, though I think my newfound enjoyment of the character stems entirely from how much undeserved pain he’s put through.

Lastly, as for the reveal at the end I FUCKING KNEW IT.

There is one thing that I take issue with in this volume and a few of the others. We’re at volume 7 and we don’t have a plot yet. There are pieces and glimmers of plot when we have the set piece volumes, such as P.E., but this getting to know the characters stuff always pulls away from that. We find out some glimmer of why these characters are important, but there isn’t that backbone of knowing what exactly anyone is supposed to accomplish in it yet, so it feels a little aimless. If it were framed as more of what Casey was doing when she was in the past, that would have helped with the structure and tying it in to the main story, but without it doesn’t seem properly connected.

In short, series is still a lot of fun but I’m hoping for a solid plot, or at least a goal for the characters, coming up soon.

Morning Glories Volume 7 TP (Paperback)

By (author): Nick Spencer

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  1. At least, I think the first six are supposed to be called the Glories []
  2. Again, I think they are called the Truants. I’m taking guesses here. []
  3. And possibly after that []
  4. For a few reasons, yes, but that’s beside the point. []
  5. As I will continue to call her []

Chew: Vol 8 – Family Recipes Review

Once more, fair warning for you new folks, I am a huge fan of spoiling the hell out of everything, so if you don’t want to be spoiled you can check out the video review for the first volume or even the super old Comic Minute video instead.

They gone?

So after the death of Antonelle, I’ve been kind of sad about the fact that we lost the super awesome twin sister with the polar opposite power and temperament to our lead. In her short time on the book, she was becoming one of my favourites.

So imagine my joy when we get a whole book about her that not only has her front and center doing relevant to her character things in it, but it’s also not a flashback book! ((I was really expecting a flashback book and I am always more than a little mixed on those when they get stretched out for a whole volume.))

What we get instead is Antonelle saying goodbye to her family in a way that seems much more true to her character. She’s smiling, playful and wants them all to get along. We get her making Tony help out the brother he doesn’t like so they can have a little fun. She tells Tony it’s totally okay for him to go out high out of his mind and helps in the way a sister does.1 In the end, she always had a way to get the information he needed, so a little fun beforehand was fine.

Despite it being a book where we’re recovering from a character’s death – which is usually a slow and mournful book from a narrative perspective – the book does a good job with keeping the pace going. While not a lot gets resolved or moves forward amid Antonelle having her fun from beyond the grave, we get a lot of callbacks to old elements. The weird plant that tastes like chicken, apparently, makes you high enough to think pillows are ninjas. Savoy is still moving underground. Old faces like Chow come back, just so you don’t forget that they are a part of the world as well. It’s a good refresher of the things that you knew were going to play a role in the story.

In short, it was fun and now I need to wait for the next one.

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  1. By which I mean intentionally poorly because you know it’s going to be fine in the end and it will be amusing. It’s not intentional. Of course not. []

The Stuff of Legend: Vol. 4 The Toy Collector Review

I swear that stack is bigger every time I go to read something off of it. Probably my own fault.

Also, as a warning to you new folks, you should know that I have zero problems with spoiling things and will probably spoil the hell out of this book for you. If you just want to know what it’s about, check out the review.

The latest volume continues in the tradition of being fantastic, even though the main party is split into sevreal small pieces and we get little updates on each of them. Max inexplicably continues to have leadership roles despite the fact that he is the worst choice. The girls do very little of note.

And then we get the plot lines I actually care about.


Jester is still alive! I was far more worried than I should be about it, but now they’ve introduced a medic for the first time, with the ability to reassemble toys and who gives us a bit more insight into the motivations of the Boogeyman. Really, with Jester being in the shape he is, he spends most of his time helping to exposit the motivations of the Boogeyman.

I am… mixed on the reasons for the Boogeyman. On the one hand, I see it and it makes sense. He wants to be like the Boy, a god in his realm and master of everything. The problem is he seems to much less terrifying and more childlike now. I’m just not sure about it yet.

The book has been great at making me really dislike Percy despite his plight being perfectly understandable. I know he’s doing this all motivated entirely by knowing that the boy is going to murder him at some point and he just doesn’t want to die. That doesn’t make me like his attempts at playing both sides any more,1 but it does make me understand him. And I really think that’s good enough.

As for the boy, I’ve gotten a little hesitant about his the last volume. He was bland and generic before and that hasn’t changed. What has changed is the introduction of a single idea that would give him the ability to be God in this world. There is a possibility now, sitting in the back of my mind, that dead characters can come back if the Boy wants them to. I am not a fan of the notion.

Still, the book is moving. This volume was a lot of developing ideas rather than the action, but it was still set at a good pace and, while I’m iffy on some of these ideas, I am still looking forward to the next volume. Overall it was good times.

  1. Though mostly the Boogeyman’s side, honestly. It’s just the Boy’s side when the guilt gets to him. []