Mark Reads ‘Deep Secret’: Chapter 6

In the sixth chapter of Deep Secret, I can’t summarize what I just read. I can’t. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deep Secret.

Chapter Six


  • just… what. what WHAT
  • Look I will talk about THAT THING when I get to it because what is this book??? FOR NOW, let’s just deal with things chronologically.
  • I am really not here for Rupert’s constant hatred of Mallory. Oh my god, it’s so grating. Look, you wasted a day on her to find out she’s not a stick in the mud. At best, she might be irritating to Rupert’s sensibilities, but the way he talks about her is really gross? And he comes SO CLOSE to realizing why this is terrible when he admits that he’d been projecting his idea of who she should be based on context clues in her life. But HE IS STILL DOING THAT.
  • Anyway, if you took out every single moment that he profanes her entire existence in this chapter, this would be pretty much perfect. Seriously, there’s so much here that’s just UNREAL and EVERYTHING I WANT IN PARALLEL WORLD STORIES.
  • Stan’s idea that he referenced in the previous chapter is to TWEAK THE FATELINES OF THE CANDIDATES SO THAT RUPERT CAN INTERVIEW THEM ALL AT ONCE.
  • Y’all, Magids can’t just travel between parallel worlds. They can bend and manipulate people’s fate.
  • And I’m glad that Jones is very quick to have these characters constantly acknowledge what a huge responsibility this is for them. Toying with the fate of people doesn’t just have the potential for being messy; it can be so disastrous that “it could bring chaos to more than one world.” It’s also a scary thought to realize that someone could control events like this. Does it still count as free will if you choose to go along with the fate-twisting that a Magid sets up?
  • It’s both horrifying and comforting to know that there are safeguards in place. Namely: “A Magid is supposed to be a free agent. One of the things which is done when you become a Magid is that your personal fatelines are freed from those of the rest of the multiverse. Rather a lonely state, actually.”
  • So holy shit, that’s sad, but that just made me think of the two people who manage to get tangled in Rupert’s life: Mallory and Andrew. If there are no coincidences, how do you explain their behavior and intersections with Rupert?
  • I absolutely loved the section where Rupert and Stan set out to find a node of power. It’s a combination between logic, science, and mathematics, and it’s fascinating. SOLITARY NODES LIKE STONEHENGE.
  • Look, nothing’s a coincidence, right? So I refuse to believe that Wantchester, home to one of Rupert’s worst memories of his childhood, being the perfect node of power is a coincidence. It can’t be! SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN THERE.
  • Because Hotel Babylon??? REALLY??? I would have run screaming from that place.
  • I GET IT. ALFRED DOUGLAS. BOSIE. “…but that was not his fault.” I GET IT NOW.
  • And then it happens
  • the thing
  • y’all.
  • “I was within a whisker of deciding to try another town when it occurred to me to ask what kind of convention – expecting the reply to be Freemasons, Social Workers or some kind of Business Training.”
  • Oh, okay. Fair enough. Maybe it will help?
  • “A book-lovers’ convention, Mr. Alfred Douglas told me. Science fiction and fantasy – or he believed the term might be speculative fiction. That kind of area, sir, anyway.”
  • …………
  • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • DID
  • BUT I
  • “PhantasmaCon hotel liaison here.” OH MY GOD IT HAS AN ADORABLE NAME, TOO.
  • “Oh, we try to fit everyone in,” he said cheerfully. “A lot of fans sleep on the floor – don’t tell Alfred Douglas that – but I’ve got the Station Hotel lined up to take the overflow if there is one. But you’ll want to be in the Babylon if you can. That’s where the action will be.” THIS IS SO SURREAL BECAUSE NONE OF THIS IS FALSE BUT I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYONE TALK ABOUT IT IN A BOOK AND WHAT THE FUCK.
  • “The hotel manager has asked that no actual construction of green slime etc. be done in the hotel bedrooms.” Oh, you know Diana Wynne Jones is not even making this shit up any more. That is 100% true and happens ALL THE TIME.
  • “‘Hobbits will be mustering under Gandalf as usual in the Ops Room,’ I read out to him.” I AM D Y I N G THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING TWIST I’VE COME ACROSS IN FOREVER. Oh my god. “Stan, who are these people?” THE BEST PEOPLE EVER.
  • The best part about this? I’m pretty sure this is going to directly tie into the narrative in a vital way because science fiction cons influence worlds. If Lewis Carroll’s Alice books were important to the Magids because they helped push our world Ayewards, then wouldn’t a SFF con do that in spades?
  • BLESS.
  • And then this book continues to turn my brain to mush. Y’all, how cool is the scene where Rupert draws the double spiral Eternity to control the fatelines? I love how physical it is, and it reminds me of why I’m loving the magic system that Mendanbar uses in Searching for Dragons, which I am currently working my way through on YouTube. Anyway, it’s physically demanding (as it should be), and it’s why it’s so scary when THE THING HAPPENS.
  • The thing being Andrew walking in on Rupert.
  • However, it’s so much more worse than that. After Andrew surprises Rupert with a request for a ride while Rupert’s working on his Eternity drawing, Rupert sets all kind of “heavy prohibitions” around the barn to prevent Andrew from coming in.
  • (There are no coincidences, there are no coincidences.)
  • Given that fateline work is so complicated and requires so much concentration, it’s truly scary that Andrew shows up after somehow getting past all the protections, and then he’s just in a trance the entire time. How? Why?? What the fuck??? Didn’t Rupert say that Magids never get their fatelines tangled with others on purpose? So how did Andrew get tangled up in this?
  • “Probably the worst that can happen is for our Andrew to take a whim to report to Gandalf as a hobbit.” BLESS THIS BOOK. BLESS THIS LINE. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M READING THIS.

Part 1

Part 2

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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