Mark Reads ‘Melting Stones’: Chapter 19

In the nineteenth chapter of Melting Stones, OH MY GOD NOOOOOO. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones.



Okay, I’m totally in love with the idea that Luvo was simply unaware of his own power. Had he ever used it like that? My guess is that he hadn’t and thus, he didn’t know that it nearly squashed Evvy and her volcano spirit “friends.” Also, can we talk about this?

Who else do you talk to like that? I asked.

Other mountains. Glaciers. Faults in the earth. Things that vex me.

WHAT THE HELL VEXES YOU ABOUT GLACIERS, LUVO? Are you angry that they’re so cold? That they move so slowly? What did they ever do to you?

Lose Yourself

I think a great deal of this book deals with something that’s literally unfathomable to us. The idea that Evvy can just pour herself into a magical body and then travel rapidly through the earth is such a surreal thing to comprehend, and yet I’ve not once felt lost in Melting Stones. I’ve long complemented Pierce on her action sequences, but many of them in Melting Stones are all so absurd that I think in other hands, they wouldn’t be as understandable or as exciting. How do you describe a magical spirit body traveling through a pool of volcano spirits while conveying the intensity of the experience? Like this:

Volcano spirits grabbed my stone sphere. They passed me down the pipe. Even granite has limits. My shell began to melt. The heat from the volcano spirits sizzled along my magical skin. It burned.

I was spreading out. My granite shield dissolved. My muslces felt like warm honey, my bones like melting butter. I fought to stay whole, but it was so hard.

Pierce’s narration is direct because that’s how Evvy thinks and speaks. It works for me because I’m able to comprehend why this happening to Evvy. Previous scenes clued me in to the fact that these spirits’ magic drew Evvy in, tempting her to join them. More than ever before, Evvy nearly slips into oblivion. She almost gives herself over to the comforting nothingness of this pool of spirits. It’s frightening! And it’s only one thing amidst TWENTY OTHER THINGS that threaten her life. Hell, if it weren’t for those diamonds, would she have survived?

Well, I don’t want to discount the fact that Flare and Carnelian do protect her. Oh god, they really don’t suspect that she trapped them earlier! Even Flare, who just moments ago wanted to burn Evvy out of existence, has been won over, definitively stating that he wants Evvy to lead them to the crack that’ll allow them to find freedom. Carnelian, on the other hand, has never been friendlier. She’s excited and eager for the future, but she’s also willing to talk to Evvy about the life she’s led thus far. She does so in such a casual manner that… gods, y’all, I feel sad. I do! I like Carnelian. I like the way she speaks of her time in the earth as one of wonderment and exploration, and I like that she’s been so eager to befriend a being as strange as Evvy. It’s all so unfortunate because in order to make her truly happy, Evvy has to lead her TO HER DEATH.

How is that fair???

Fairness isn’t really part of the equation, and it never has been in Melting Stones. Volcanic eruptions have always been a part of the creation cycle in this world (and ours!) and they aren’t moral judgments or malevolent acts. They just happen, and while they might be responsible for tragedy and destruction, Pierce doesn’t try to make this about some sort of ethical fight. All Evvy is trying to do is provide freedom for these spirits, as they are destined to find anyway, while also sparing Starns Island as best as she can. It’s a delicate operation, sure, but it doesn’t follow the same sense of wrong and right that the Emelan books usually concern themselves with.

And just as I got hope that this would end in the best possible way for all parties involved – the spirits could escape into the sea harmlessly, sparing Starns and its inhabitants, while also avoiding the escaping citizens on the sea above – Pierce has to go and drop this at the very end of the chapter:

It never occurred to me that the sea might be even worse.

WHAT? WHAT??? WHY??? Why would it be worse??? This genuinely feels like the best solution presented in the whole book!!! WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME???

The original text contains use of the word “idiot.”

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be seasons 1 & 2 of The 100, Death Note, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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