In the twelfth chapter of Melting Stones, HOW COULD THEY HAVE MADE THIS WORSE??? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones.
Well, this is going to be an utter disaster, isn’t it???
So, I wanted to know how there could be half of this book left, and now one of the answers just arrived: Luvo and Evvy may have doomed the entire Battle Islands to destruction. Obviously, there’s no malicious intent here, and I think that Evvy’s improvised plan to delay Flare and Carnelian was as brilliant as possible given the situation. Look, it was realistically possible that Mount Grace could have begun eruption right outside Nory’s house. At the very least, I bet lava could have come up out of the pond, as Evvy theorized. So what was she supposed to do? Let it happen? Risk losing these people?
So no, Evvy isn’t exactly selfish in the strictest sense of the word. I don’t find selfishness to be an inherently negative thing, as I certainly see her self-preservation as a necessary and valuable part of her. But her actions in this chapter are done to save lives! She’s trying to buy time for Starns so that people can evacuate prior to the eruption.
Even in her actions below the mountain, she’s trying to do the best for everyone. And it’s admirable! She has to save the people of Starns, but she also recognizes that it’s in the nature of Carnelian and Flame to do what they’re doing. They’re not evil or malevolent at all, and that makes this predicament a million times worse. But what I loved about this is that you can see Briar’s influence on Evvy all over this. When she devises a method to trap the two spirits in quartz, she realizes that she’s got to exploit their natures in order to trick them. How does she do that?
She lies. She lies to them, she goads them on by appealing to the sense of competition between the two spirits, and she gets them to enter the quartz without a single suspicion otherwise. There’s a neat side affect to this, though:
It never occurred to me this would be wonderful for them. Flare and Carnelian had only known the lava pool and the spirits, or the melting stone and earth that kept them from breaking free. They hand’t realized yet the quartz bed was a prison. Maybe it would keep them happy for a long time. Then I wouldn’t have to feel bad about sticking there. They were only kids like me, after all. It wasn’t their fault they could destroy so much.
I just adore that this is acknowledged, not only because it’s true – these spirits are not trying to hurt anyone. They don’t know any life otherwise. But I think this makes Melting Stones a better book. It’s far more challenging than a tradition antagonist/hero narrative because there’s no blame to be had. It’s just a fact of nature, and even though Evvy is doing her best here, the inevitable is still the inevitable.
Which is how we get to the next part of this story. Did anyone else feel a swell of pride and appreciation when Luvo approved of Evvy here??? Because IT MADE ME FEEL SO GOOD. And then, Luvo returns after his little “experiment” and suddenly, there’s no room to feel good anymore:
“Sooner or later Flare and Carnelia would have found the end of the quartz bed,” he told me. “You said it yourself. So… I arranged for them never to find it.”
LUVO, YOU MADE A MOBIÜS STRIP OUT OF THE QUARTZ AND NOW THEY CAN REASSEMBLE THEMSELVES, MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO DISCOVER THE TRAP AND THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE.
“We shall pray we are off Starns when – if – they do manage to free themselves. I fear they will destroy much more than this island should they escape.”
Hahahaha. OH GODS, THIS BOOK ISN’T FAIR.
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