Mark Reads ‘Deep Secret’: Chapter 20

In the twentieth chapter of Deep Secret, I was not expecting any of this. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deep Secret.

Chapter Twenty


  • So, I continue to be wrong. We’re still in Rupert’s POV, and now that I think about it, the narrative device Jones uses would kind of make it impossible to read Nick or Maree’s POV, at least right at the moment. Maree’s chapters were always her journal on her computer and she’s clearly not on the computer right now.
  • That’s my fault for expecting something that wasn’t going to happen at this time. But it didn’t hinder my experience reading this! It just shocked me that so much happened off the page. And I understand why that’s the case.
  • ROB CRYING. TAKE IT BACK. NO, DON’T SHED TEARS ON THAT BEAUTIFUL FACE OF YOURS. What truly hurts about this is that Rob was double-crossed, too, and it’s left him in this confusing, painful place. He’s obviously torn up about his role in recent events, but then he feels even worse when his behavior earns Will’s ire. The whole thing is a complex disaster, one that Jones treats with a whole lot of sympathy. And I appreciate that! I love that she gives these characters space to express a myriad of emotions, whether that’s fury, guilt, or desire.
  • oh god HE DEFINITELY GOT PAST THE KIDS AT THE GATE. It had to be someone they knew, and Gramos used that to murder them.
  • Okay, he’s ALSO THE LITERAL WORST. My god. He tried to kill HIS OWN SON. (Oh, right, SURPRISE, KRIS IS HIS SON!!!!!)
  • But y’all, the reveal that Janine is actually Empress Jaleila?
  • It’s too much
  • Also, it’s a lie, since Lady Alexandra survived. HA. TAKE THAT, JANINE. YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY AN EMPRESS.
  • Now, I don’t think I need to defend Rob’s behavior here, and Will is right to explode so furiously at the centaur. What Rob says is extremely callous, and it’s the product of his environment. He’s been raised to value bloodlines so much that few other things matter to him. It doesn’t excuse his detachment, but it sure explains it. I can’t remember if this was confirmed, but did he know that everyone at that colony was a possible heir to the throne? I think context clues suggest this.
  • Anyway, I’m actually surprised that after all the information I got, I didn’t put it all together and figure out that if Maree was indeed related to the previous Emperor, that meant she was the oldest surviving heir. The throne would go to her. It provides the motivation I was missing all along: If Maree is killed, that would mean that Nick would be next in line for the throne, and Janine would be that much closer to power.
  • “She said she wanted to be a Magid.” AND IN THIS MOMENT I WAS DONE FOREVER. OH MY GOD, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Please, please let Maree make it out of this alive.
  • It’s possible, y’all. As it turns out, I wasn’t far from the mark in postulating that time in Babylon passed differently than it did here, because by this point in the chapter, Nick returns. HE MAKES IT BACK. Well, sort of? Unfortunately, there was a verse that they missed, and this verse contained the information that they needed in order to pass the guardians at the bridge. I have no idea how much time has passed for Nick, but he arrives “kneeling between the rows like a spent Olympic sprinter.” Oh my god, Nick, I NEED TO KNOW SO MUCH MORE.
  • Ah, the con stairwell party. I found one of those at Worldcon last year! I have never been a muggier stairwell in my entire life.
  • But you know what’s great about the stairwell scene? Rupert is reminded once more that all the other candidates for Magid aren’t right. Maree Mallory is the right one.
  • Mervin Thurless still sucks.
  • I would watch Zinka flirt with random strangers for a whole day. I would. I really would!
  • I am legitimately scared of what Rupert and Zinka are going to find in his hotel room. What happened to Rob??? Where is he? WHERE ARE GRAM AND JANINE TAKING NICK??? You can’t take him, HE HAS TO GO GET MAREE!!!

The original text contains the word “mad.”

Video 1

Video 2

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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