When I first read this in… I’m gonna say 2013 is when I read the whole thing after getting my own copy, and the first few chapters after found it at the (school?) library a couple years earlier, I was like “Oh, shit, is this a YA vampire romance that’s better than Twilight?” Now I’m just like… nah, this is shit, and I’m only keeping this for nostalgia reasons.
So anyway, it’s the first day of school, and it’s the first time Jessica sees… a dude. And she’s just chilling at the bus stop at the end of her driveway on her family farm in the middle of fucking nowhere.
Oh, fun. Dude’s being creepy as fuck, and somehow he knows the name given to her by her birth parents. Because apparently Jessica’s adopted.
Also, her birth name is Antanasia, but I keep fucking up and wanting to call her Anastasia.
Saved by the bus. And now Jessica’s on the way to school and coming up with bullshit explanations about what the deal was with the creepy dude and how she was imagining seeing him.
Except for the fact that the creepy dude just got left by the bus.
On today’s episode of “the concept was great, but the execution sucked…”
OK, so, this first journal entry from Scythe Curie. We’ve got the whole moral dilemma of scythes being official killers once science made it so that people are effectively immortal. Which, again, sounds great in theory, but I’m definitely going to be complaining about how awesome this could’ve been because the execution was shit.
So, yeah. One of these Scythes just showed up at Citra’s house. Which is fun.
Apparently Scythes aren’t supposed to wear black because black represents the absence of light. And not because of the whole “grim reaper” connotations. Right.
Anyway, this dude’s got ivory robes.
So now Citra’s mom is inviting this Scythe to dinner because she didn’t want to seem rude. And because, like, she’s trying to not die and shit.
Also, why specifically baked ziti? That just feels like an extremely random detail that I didn’t need to know.
This Scythe is called Faraday. OK.
Also, this dinner scene is dragging on, and again, I really don’t need all this random filler about the dinner. It’s not quite Twilight bad, as far as random filler goes, but there’s more of it than I remembered.
Wait, hold up. So, Citra’s little brother is a science nerd and a Scythe fanboy, and… he’s got a shitton of Scythe trading cards? Why are there fucking Scythe trading cards? Why are these guys being treated like superheroes?
This conversation, though… Citra’s like “why do you look old when you can just use age reversal tech?” and the mom’s like “don’t be rude” and Scythe Faraday’s like “nah, it’s all good, I like curiosity.” Because that’s not foreshadowing.
OK, so, Scythe Faraday’s only there for dinner and not to kill someone in Citra’s family? Maybe? WTF?
Yeah, nobody in the family’s going to die, but they’re still doing the awkward small talk thing as if they are going to die. Because why not make things weirder than they already are?
Oh, fun. The small talk led to Scythe Faraday vaguely mentioning he thinks there’s a right way and a wrong way to glean people. Because the whole moral element to the story that got weirdly executed.
So now Citra’s yelling at Faraday to get shit over with and kill whoever he needs to, the mom’s yelling at Citra for being rude again, and Faraday’s still like, “nah, she’s good.” Because foreshadowing again.
Also, Faraday’s over here trying to remind Citra’s family that technically Scythes are still human.
And now Citra’s mom is getting gleaning immunity for her hospitality.
Wait, what? Faraday was just there for dinner to kill time while waiting to glean the neighbor? For real? That’s totally not convenient and foreshadow-y.
And now Faraday’s just like, “yeah, Citra, you’d be a great Scythe one day.” That’s totally not hitting the readers over the head with foreshadowing at this point.
So, my take on Citra is that she’s basically an off-brand Katniss from The Hunger Games.
Also, fuck, unrelated note, but the overhead light here in my bedroom is about to burn out, and it’s getting almost too dim in here to read well.
So, apparently Cleo is Kim’s BFF/roommate. And now the two of them are trying to figure out what to do with the money.
OMG. “Too bad we already got that fancy new TV last year…”
So now they’re thinking clothes and renovating their apartment. Or flat. Or whatever.
OK, so, apparently Cleo works at a photo store, and Kim’s a translator.
Kim had big dreams of traveling, but that… apparently got crushed by a bad relationship. With a guy in Sweden. Which is why she’s hesitant to actually travel anymore, even for work. OK.
OK, yeah, Kim and Cleo keep going over all the super-shallow options for how to spend the inheritance, but y’all know the whole travel option that Kim keeps avoiding is what’s actually going to happen.
No, but seriously. This whole plastic surgery option is just… why?
So, apparently Kim’s mom is even worse when it comes to being obsessed with looks. Fun.
On a related tangent, this whole concept of looks and shit, is it weird that I can’t help picturing Kim looking like Billie Piper and Kim’s Mom looking like Camille Courdri (I probably spelled that wrong), even though they’re totally not described as looking like that? I probably watch too much Doctor Who.
OK, honestly, I never actually finished this book before, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I hate how everyone tried pushing Kim into a relationship when she wasn’t ready. And I’m completely prepared to hate this book if she does end up with a guy because Chick Lit. Like, can we have a chick lit book where the girl doesn’t end up with anyone? For once? Please?
So anyway, Kim and Cleo are still going on their shallow tangent, and now they’ve got a surprise visitor.
Oh, fun. This is the whole bit where Arthur just yeets all the newborn baby boys out into the sea because of the whole Mordred prophecy. (Because that description makes it sound that much less depressing and cruel.)
Even funner: Arthur’s just like “Yep. This specific one’s the kid. I’m still yeeting them all though, just in case.”
So, this is one of those things I picked up a few months ago, before the quarantine, thinking it sounded interesting (and trying to find it was kinda in the back of my mind for a while), and then ragequitting a couple chapters in because I hated it.
OK, so what’s the deal with Yelena’s vivid memories of fire? What was with the one dude telling her to put the fire out with her mind? Was someone trying to burn her? What even?
And she was remembering all this shit while stuck in a dungeon. Lovely.
And she’s about to be executed. Even better.
So, apparently it’s “the beginning of the warm season.” And apparently it’s been five seasons out of six? This world has six seasons instead of four? OK.
I was about to ask what the hell Yelena did to get sentenced to death, but apparently she murdered a general’s son?
Oh, fun. Self-defense and accidental deaths can’t get people out of the death penalty.
Now she’s got the choice of being executed or being a military commander’s food taster. So, she’ll either get a quick death sentence or a potentially slower one. Fun.
So, the dude giving Yelena is Valek, the commander’s head security dude. Apparently.
And now Yelena’s taking the job because she doesn’t see any better options. Fun.
OK, before I start: I’ve only read this and the second book in this series, and honestly, I like this series better than R.L. LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin series. Like, with the His Fair Assassin series, I was just like… it had such a strong premise, but it quickly fell into a lot of awful teen romance tropes. I’ll have to get a new set of those books sometime for this blog.
But anyway, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos.
So. This apparently starts off in December 1906.
And you know it’s gonna be good if the first line is “I don’t trust Clive Fagenbush.”
OK, so Theodosia doesn’t like Clive because he’s got weird eyebrows and smells awful. And because he thinks she sneaks around too much, which apparently isn’t too far off.
Oh, fun. We’ve got one of those “people don’t believe me about stuff just because I’m a kid” things. Again. Even though Theodosia’s dad is in charge of the museum. Also, apparently, her dad is Clive’s boss.
So, nobody really pays attention to Theodosia, so she’s torn between being a lonely kid and being like “hey, more time for me to snoop around the museum without anybody noticing, except for maybe Fagenbush.”
And we’ve got a new artifact for the museum, shipped there from one of the mom’s archaeological digs.
So, Theodosia’s trying to warn her dad about splinters when opening the shipment, but she doesn’t want to tell him about the risk of Egyptian curses because everyone always laughs at her when she gives curse warnings.
And of course this statue of the goddess Bastet is cursed, and Theodosia is the only one who can tell. And maybe Fagenbush.
Now Theodosia’s gotta sneak and do some curse tests on the Bastet statue.
Oh, fun. Apparently, the first two curse tests were positive, and the third test is one Theodosia’s gotta do one in the middle of the night in the middle of a creepy museum.
Is this one of those backstory chapters that kinda bored me even though backstory? I feel like it is.
Also, I woke up with a pulled muscle in my neck yesterday from sleeping weird, and it still hurts… which means I’m enjoying this less.
Also, yeah, it’s been a while, but I still haven’t gotten caught up on the Prydain books in a while, so I still forget who Ordo Maas reminds me of.
OK, so Ordo Maas is the dude who built the Dragonships. Also, the fact that the homes on the building were made from one of his older ships is totally not suspicious at all.
Oh, right, in addition to whatshisface from Prydain, I’m also getting Beorn vibes from Ordo Maas with how the Caretakers are chilling at his house and getting backstory stuff.
Oh… Oh… So Ordo Maas did make a First Dragon reference here in saying that he was there during the sinking of Atlantis. (Also there’s a reference to him being Noah?) Hooray for “foreshadowing I totally missed earlier.”
*Squints suspiciously at Ordo Maas getting Fire from his dad.*
*Squints suspiciously at Ordo Maas getting a huge “kettle” with Perseus’ shield as a lid.*
*Squints suspiciously at Ordo Maas’ wife getting kicked out of the Archipelago for opening the kettle.*
*Squints suspiciously in general.*
So, after the Great Flood, Ordo Maas built (rebuilt?) the Red Dragon.
And here’s the reveal that King Arthur was in charge of both England and the Archipelago because dragons.
So, the Dragonships’ eyes are what let the ships do their dragon thing. Because the eyes are the windows to the soul or something?
OK, so, the Black Dragon isn’t one that Ordo Maas built. So that totally doesn’t sound suspicious at all.
Ordo Maas retired to become a Cat-Herder, which involves knowing the cats’ true names. Is this the first instance of the whole inclusion of the “knowing a name is power” thing?
Yes. Yes it is.
Also, the fact that nobody knows the Winter King’s true name (yet) is probably going to come up again.
Random side note: I know I already talked about being in pain from my pulled muscle, but can I stop sneezing already? I could’ve sworn I already got over that cold I had the other day.
So, Bug doesn’t know his own true name because the Morgaine always called him Bug.
Oh, fun. Bug’s also been to Byblos when he was Way Too Young To Remember.
Also, apparently Bug’s almost 20? For some reason, I thought he was younger.
So, Bug’s mom was the last king’s youngest daughter, who barely survived the massacre of the rest of the royal family. And she died on Byblos after giving up Bug.
Apparently Bug’s name is actually Artus. And he was adopted by the Pandora or the Morgaine because there was nobody to take care of him on Byblos.
So John gave Bug… uh, Artus, the ring from Samaranth.
And Artus could take the Silver Throne, but he’s totally screwed as long as the Winter King still wants to take over.
So King Archibald’s fuckery with apparently being the first person to attempt to use the, uh… the Totally Not The Black Cauldron to create the Shadow-Born was basically “good intentions gone wrong.”
So, yeah, it’s Pandora’s Box.
Anyway, that whole thing is why Samaranth took back the royal ring and all the related power and stuff.
Oh. Oh… So it was Archibald who killed his whole family?
OK, so, it was Magwich who got the Pandora’s Box for Archibald? Yeah, sounds about right.