Mark Reads ‘Lifeboats’: Chapter 6, Part III

In the third part of the sixth chapter of Lifeboats, Kit returns a pet to its owner. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

I feel like this book is sitting on the edge of a precipice. We know what’s at the bottom of that fall—that haunting image of Kit watching Thesba tear apart Tevaral—but we have no idea what pushes this story over. That’s how all stories that begin with in media res work. Rather, that’s how they’re supposed to work. I do love it when a writer bucks expectation, though, but that’s an entirely different essay.

I bring this up because I’m still getting this sensation that the story isn’t actually moving forward. There was a moment here where I thought we might finally get a big shove, but it fizzles out. I mentioned this in the video at the time, but I was really excited about Kit returning the sibik to its family because of the potential in that scenario. For the first time in the book, Kit would ACTUALLY get to talk to a Tevaralti who was remaining behind. THAT IS A HUGE THING. And what if there was some mysterious reason why that sibik got separated from its family? What if there was some revelation in the tracking method that sibik use?

We do get a sense that the sibik pass an incredible amount of information through the scent trails they leave behind. That’s fascinating in and of itself, but for now, it’s just an interesting fact about these creatures. Could that change? It’s entirely possible. And look, I’m quite smitten by the sibik, so y’all know I’m invested just on this point alone. Reading about how the sibik interacts with Kit is a delight.

But where else is this story leading? Aside from that ending image, where are we headed? I was thrilled by the reunion between the sibik and the child, and then I was INCREDIBLY excited once I realized that the Tevaralti were going to talk about why they are remaining behind. Like, as soon as one of them stated that Kit didn’t understand what was going on, I WAS READY. However, all one of them admits to is just feeling that it’s wrong to leave.

Which suggests that even these Tevaralti don’t understand what’s happening to them. It’s a mystery. Why do they feel so strongly compelled to remain behind? Well, we’re still no closer to an answer than we were before. Ah, I really want to know! Why are they tormented so visibly by this sensation that keeps them behind, that compels they to stay? I don’t get it!!!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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