In the third part of the ninth chapter of The Book of Night With Moon, somehow, this slips into an even GREATER disaster. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Feline Wizards.
Who the hell is Arhu??? Not only has the pacing of this novel picked up, but Arhu is growing as a wizard on a page-by-page basis. And it makes sense that this would happen now. What better way to discover what kind of wizard you are than by using your newfound wizardry in high-stress situations? Arhu isn’t adapting spells for his own usage; he’s adapting himself to the situation, and this situation calls for both brute force and creativity. I can see how Arhu’s creativity is born of his newness, too. He’s not as restrained by rules as the others, so he just does what he sees as appropriate and effective, even if it’s chaotic or overkill or unnecessary. He explodes dinosaurs. He melts the metal wires and bolts in the skeleton of a stegosaurus to prevent it from coming to life and attacking others. He reads the minds of his fellow wizards and takes the ideas they have and turns them into an action. He is… impressive, to say the least!
But he also adds to the shocking nature of this chapter, which twists and turns around the bewildering intrusion of saurians into our universe. I had wondered during the last section how the wizards were going to deal with such an absurd bending of reality, but Rhiow explains it here:
“…we’ll patch this whole area over with a congruent piece of nonincidental time from an equivalent universe.”
It’s kind of amazing how much sense this makes??? Wizards would have access to all the parallel universes/realms, so it’s basically like a quick copy/paste job, only with an alternate timeline where the saurians didn’t break through. It actually feels far less invasive than going into the minds of each of these people and just brute-force changing their experiences, you know? I also imagine this is easier if no humans died in the midst of it, but I’m still not sure if that happened or not. What about the derailment? Did the saurians ever reach someone before the wizards could save them? I DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW.
Which is why this chapter is just chaos personified, and lord, I know I’m not done with it, BUT I LOVE IT SO MUCH. So many tiny threads or inconsequential details are proven to be VERY CONSEQUENTIAL INDEED. Which is Duane’s thing? I knew that and STILL, HERE I AM, NOT OKAY AT ALL. There’s the return of the “sixth claw” detail, which is very literal, given that the saurians all somehow have six claws. Not just six claws, but that extra appendage is… um:
It looked very much like a thumb.
Hi, who authorized this? I have a receipt, can I return this? WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS EVEN MEAN? Some weird evolutionary thing happening below? Duane gives us no real time to reflect before she throws us right into the next nightmare, which is the seemingly endless stream of saurians plunging through the gate that won’t close. That’s not an exaggeration, either, and Duane makes sure we know just how terrible this situation is:
As fast as they came out, they died of the neural-inhibitor spell being so repeatedly used that the bodies lay heaped high before the gate, and the new saurians had to clamber over the bodies of their dead or push them aside to leap, screaming, at the wizards.
Good gods, y’all. So, this threat is real, it’s overwhelming, and on top of it all, there’s a time constraint. Yeah, that whole patch from an alternate universe? It can only work if people’s ”memory tracks” aren’t engraved deeply from the experience. At which point, the patch is impossible because they’ll always remember it. SO THAT’S SUPER FUN! Just like everything else in this chapter, we learn a new, horrible detail, and before we can process it, we’re barreling on to the next.
I felt somewhat prepared for what came next because I assumed that the wizards would succeed in pulling the portal locus from the gate. My guess was that they would succeed, but would be forced to deal with the ramifications of having all four gates in Grand Central inoperative for over a day. However, let’s note that in the video, I did remark that it was a bit scary that Arhu was taking part in this because he wasn’t all that experienced as a wizard. I also said that maybe someone wanted them to separate the locui and the gates! I did not put two-and-two together. Now, it’s not Arhu’s fault that someone sabotaged the gate, and Duane makes that clear. None of them were prepared for what was going to happen next, and I am including myself in that because I DID NOT EVEN KNOW THIS WAS POSSIBLE UNTIL THIS CHAPTER. A gate can come separated from its loci and become a free-rolling portal to… well, wherever it’s linked? Because that is exactly what happens, and while it’s good that the gate isn’t more like a black hole, sucking matter into it, I don’t know that this is any better. The gate full of saurians on the other side is now moving into the Sheep Meadow while A HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE are there to see the Three Tenors. So… look, I don’t want to laugh because I know this is horrifying? But there’s something slightly amusing about the concept of a group of dinosaurs let loose on a Three Tenors concert in Central Park.
I’d like to say I’m ready for this, but I’m really not.
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