In the twenty-fourth chapter of Deep Secret, GODS, IT WAS RIGHT THERE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deep Secret.
- HOW MANY TIMES DID I SAY THAT WE NEEDED TO ACKNOWLEDGE ANDREW AND HIS WEIRDNESS OR HIS APPEARANCE IN BABYLON?
- SO CLOSE AND YET MILES AWAY.
- “Oh God!” I said idiotically. “You have your dinner in the middle of the day!” DAKROS’S RESPONSE IS BEAUTIFUL.
- But let’s talk about Nick, because this part is also so wonderful: “Nick, for a moment, almost had me fooled. Then I remembered the smoothness with which he had three times ducked out and evaded Janine, and I realized that he intended to do it again. From the Empire this time.” GRAB YOUR BOWL OF POPCORN, THIS IS GONNA BE FANTASTIC. I know this is grossly simplifying what’s actually happening, but I couldn’t shake the hilarious thought that this was actually all about a teenage boy shirking responsibility without people knowing that’s what he’s doing. I was also so interested to find out how he was going to get past AN ENTIRE SQUADRON OF TROOPS WHO COULD TRAVEL BETWEEN PARALLEL UNIVERSES.
- Despite addressing it in the video, I also wanted to put it in text that I was so horribly wrong about guessing what Ted Mallory was going to say to Dakros. I was thinking of his behavior on the panel, where he tried to push past the fact that literal magic was happening on front of him so that he could continue speaking about his writing “job.” I completely forgot about the fact that HE JUST WATCHED HIS WIFE DIE IN FRONT OF HIM. WHICH… sweet lord, that had to be so awful.
- Maree to the rescue, though! I think it’s important that Maree is the one to finally get her… wait who is he to her now? Uncle? Father? Both? None? Anyway, she’s the first to get him to admit to a world beyond his window. It’s a huge part of his character growth in this book because he’s spent so much time being… well, a bland capitalist. And now, he’s just witnessed the sort of horrors he writes about. They’re real.
- Mervin Thurless sucks, pass it on.
- So, right. Everything after the short interaction with Mervin is unreal. I’ll be honest: I’m still trying to wrap my head around some of this, which worries me because there’s only one chapter left and a whole lot left ambiguously open. I will attempt as best as I can to work through what I learned, WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS.
- ROBBIOS IS ALIVE
- WOW, THAT ONE ALONE MADE ME SUPER HAPPY BECAUSE I ADORE ROB.
- Robbios brought someone with him!
- The Emperor!
- Which I had to re-read multiple times. But Nick is the Emperor, I thought. You mean the fanfare is for Nick. Why does he say Koryfos the Great? Koryfos is dead, THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
- Why is Zinka in this parade of people? OH SHIT, IT’S SIMON VENABLES. That’s cool!
- “Following them, the Emperor came in.” But he’s already in the room.
- HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE
- “There was no question he was Koryfos the Great.”
- NO THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS, MOSTLY ALL CENTERED AROUND HOW THE HELL IS THIS POSSIBLE
- “There was also no question that he was my neighbor Andrew as well.”
- I am done with you, Deep Secret. YOU HAVE TRICKED ME FOR THE LAST TIME.
- NO THIS ISN’T EVEN POSSIBLE
- HOW IS THIS TWIST IN A WORLD I LIVE IN????
- THIS IS ALL AN ELABORATE LONG CON LEADING UP TO THE MOMENT WHERE I FILM THIS REVEAL ON CAMERA, ISN’T IT????
- Koryfos literally beckons Gramos forth, and Gramos can’t disobey the order. That is some boss shit, y’all, oh my god.
- I am firmly in the camp of those who believe that Rupert should not feel guilty for what happens to Gramos here. The man murdered a ton of people, tried to kill Rupert and Maree, GAVE MAREE’S FATHER CANCER, and is undeniably a terrible person. There’s no defending what he does in this novel, and Rupert took away his magic to prevent more people from dying. Gramos chose to use magic, knowing it would kill him, as some last ditch effort to inflict emotional pain on Rupert. That’s all that display was about. He wanted Rupert to suffer.
- Fuck ’em. I’m glad he’s gone.
- At this point, I was clearly overwhelmed by everything, and I understood virtually none of this. So I was particularly affected by Rupert’s self-doubt. I don’t know, it just hit me a lot harder than I expected it to. For good part of the second half of this chapter, he insults himself. He belittles his own contributions. And he assumes that everything that’s happened is his fault, and it’s just so sad to me. That’s not to say that there weren’t things Rupert could have done differently, and I think Jones has done a fine job pointing out his flaws. But there’s a difference between that and self-hatred, you know?
- One of the many things I also adore about this chapter is something I brought up in the previous review. The Empire’s carriers? Yeah, they’re parked outside the hotel, and they’re not cloaked at all. SO EVERYONE CAN SEE THEM. Which gives us this incredible exchange:
- “Why is it… that they see a thing and don’t know what it is, and I tell them that it’s an unidentified flying object, and they go away perfectly satisfied?” Nick laughed. “Everyone knows what a UFO is!”
- GODS ALL BLESS THIS BOOK, I SWEAR.
- Whew, wave of emotions for that tiny moment where Nick is relieved that his father still wants Nick around. That was intense, despite how short it was.
- Um, Maxim Hough? “Well… I’ve never seen anyone die before. Perhaps one should. It’s part of life, after all. But if you had told me a week ago that any of this could happen at a convention, I’d have laughed in your face.” Well, that’s a fairly optimistic view of events!
- I do finally get some answers from this chapter, though. I enjoyed the chance to get to know Simon, however brief the scene was. It’s great that the three Venables brothers are so clearly different and distinct! I can’t remember if Simon is the elder brother, but I certainly got that dynamic from Simon from the way he spoke to Rupert.
- So, Maree Mallory was Intended as the Magid that Rupert was supposed to pick!!!!
- I’m pleased that some of this Intention business is explained, too. For example, the whole idea that the Koryfonic Empire was “Intended” to fall? That was meant as a way to bring about Koryfos’s return. But what’s inherent in this is the admission (however subtle) that the Upper Room messed up. I don’t know how much of that they’ll admit to, but y’all, RUPERT WAS ALWAYS SUPPOSED TO BE THE EMPEROR MEANT TO COLLAPSE THE EMPIRE. How the Upper Room meant to make that a reality is beyond me.
- WHAT, THEY ARE SURE RUPERT WILL MARRY MAREE? HOLY SHIT. Does that mean the Upper Room ships people and then twists their fatelines so that they end up? Is the Upper Room full of fanfic writers?
- ZINKA AND SIMON ARE MARRIED?
- WHY IS THIS BOOK CONTINUALLY SURPRISING ME?
- Lord, then there’s Koryfos/Andrew, who unloads a ton of exposition that makes my brain hurt. The story of Koryfos’s demise is actually true; the problem, though, was that a Magid accidentally opened a gate THROUGH KORYFOS’S BODY. It scattered him into twenty pieces, cast into worlds on either side of Infinity, and half spread as ANTI-MATTER.
- Which is pretty damn cool.
- So, Koryfos had spent centuries trying to re-assemble his self, but most of this was done in an unknowing matter. He was always drawn to his other pieces and to other Magids, which explains ALL OF HIS BEHAVIOR WITH RUPERT. Oh gods, there are no coincidences.
- RUPERT WAS DRIVING ANDREW TO NODES.
- OH MY GOD IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE.
- And this is also how he ended up in Babylon! As we already knew, that’s the only place where you can get back the parts of you that have disappeared due to being stripped. WHICH IS WHERE ROB WENT: WITH KORYFOS. Oh my god
- But I don’t understand the Archon thing at all. Of course, it’s possible this detail is buried in a past part of this book, but I can’t remember it at all. So yeah, I was extremely confused by this.
- QUACKS IN ANDREW’S POND. ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD.
- I’m still not sure how there’s more to this book at all. This is a deeply complicated novel, and I think re-reading it is the only way I’ll truly understand everything that happened. But I don’t need a re-read to feel quietly devastated by the sudden absence of Stan. The Upper Room took him back. 🙁
- Hey, at least Maree has her Magid training and her vet schooling to look forward to! That’s exciting.
- How is there another chapter?
The original text contains the words “mad,” “idiot,” and “crazy.”
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