Let’s Read Otherbound ch. 34-36

Jacket

Chapter 34

This chapter begins with Amara in the middle of some sort of Clever Ruse, namely a variation on the old “pretend to be sick so the doctor opens your cell door”.

otherwise known as the Solid Snake Ketchup Gambit

otherwise known as the Solid Snake Ketchup Gambit

More specifically, she got Nolan to stop possessing her midway through healing so that Jorn will think she’s in serious bodily danger. She looks all fricked up on the outside, but internally she’s actually fine. Pretty clever!

Jorn tells someone called Gacco who I guess was introduced earlier to take her to the doctor. Amara thinks back to the last time she was in a similar state, only that time she was all scared but now she’s mad as hell and not going to take it any more.

Gacco takes her to the “carecenter”, which is where she had her tongue cut out as a kid. So you know, happy memories.

She’d tasted the blood but not the pain, and even the blood hadn’t lasted long. The palace mages had performed that trick a hundred times.

I am more relieved than I thought I’d be to learn that they do this with magic anesthetic.

While the doctor’s back is turned Amara grabs a scalpel and skedaddles out the door, Gacco following along shortly after. A chase scene ensues, which I’m going to skim over. PUMP THOSE LEGS AMARA.

Eventually she encounters Lorres and briefly considers stabbing him in case he turns her in, but she can’t bring herself to do it. He won’t help her escape directly, in case he loses his job and gets replaced with a cruel caretaker, but he offers to slow down any servants who come after her. Eventually she finds a place to hide until Nolan returns and she can heal.

I’m going to jump, Amara thought. The trees are close enough to
make a run for it. No one’s expecting me to leave on this side, but if we
wait too long, they’ll have marshals all around the perimeter.

I like how this book’s use of effective immortality veers more toward doing damaging or painful shit like jumping off roofs or swimming underwater for extended periods instead of being an awesome badass at fighting.

Anyway Amara is leaving the palace for now, but she’s still determined to free Cilla somehow. I’m guessing her next priority will be to find those mages that were hunting them before. If the ministers didn’t send them, who did?

Chapter 35

Nolan is in his room pacing around, when Pat barges in. EXCEPT IT’S NOT PAT IT’S ACTUALLY RUUDDE POSSESSING HER BODY

Gotta say, I didn’t see that coming. Also that’s unbelievably creepy. Also also I’m glad there’s no “man it msut hav been werd being in a wmoan’s bdy lol am i rite guys am i rite hi 5”.

“I did. And I didn’t need pills to do it, either. If we see
someone travel, we can piggyback along. We can hop into any
body we see and remember it for later. You didn’t know any of
that, did you?” Ruudde grinned. “Pills. You’re pathetic.”

Then he reveals that he flushed Nolan’s pills down the toilet. Aaaand threatens to make Pat and Nolan’s parents kill themselves if Nolan doesn’t force Amara to turn back.

But hey, theoretically Pat should believe Nolan now, right? She’s experienced exactly what he claimed was happening to him, but in reverse. We don’t get to find out just yet though, because Pat collapses as soon as Ruudde leaves.

Chapter 36

It’s Shawshank Redemption: Dunelands edition as Amara goes on the lam, stealing clothes and whatnot. In this situation her status as a servant is actually useful, as people mostly ignore her. She tries to find Captain Olym’s ship but settles for a different ship travelling to the island that they had been hiding in with Jorn, banking on meeting back up with the bartender who sheltered them before.

She couldn’t leave Cilla to Ruudde, and she wouldn’t beat herself up for that. The world was bad enough without her help. That one kiss in a storm-soaked world, for all its baggage, was the only good thing to happen to her in a long time.

So I talked a bit last time about how my opinion of this book is kind of slipping due to how over-complicated it’s getting, and I’m starting to realize that Amara’s character has not really been gripping me for a while now. She’s had a lot going on (grief over Maart, guilt at her feelings for Cilla, wondering if she should even be trying to save Cilla etc) and I find that I just… don’t really care. I’m far more invested in Nolan and Cilla.

But anyway, Nolan tells Amara that BAD SHIT IS GOING DOWN re: Ruudde possessing Pat.

Amara naturally assumes that Nolan is going to give in to Ruudde’s demands, acknlowedging that she’d do the same in his situation but instead he’s all “yo hurry up and find out some information bc my pills got flushed, Nolan out”.

Regretfully, Amara looked down at her winterwear and
scarf. She couldn’t seem to go long without ruining her clothes.
She dove into the water and swam for the ship.

LOOK AT ME ASSHOLES I’M IMMORTAL 😀 😀 😀

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3 thoughts on “Let’s Read Otherbound ch. 34-36

  1. zephyrean

    So that’s where I stopped buying it. The ministers can hop into, and exert long-term control over any body they ever saw — which means any body, fullstop. They can force these bodies to do absolutely anything. They can dig through the victims’ memories. And at least some of them are educated, creative and broad-thinking enough to build a train network in a low-tech world within like ten years. They should be doing crazy transhuman conspiracy things on Earth. (Unless they care more about the Dunelands and the people there, in which case why didn’t they cancel slavery [preferably in a heavy-handed moralizing way which only made the local economy and people’s lives worse — I trust Duyvis to pull it off]? Or they like the local rustic charm, in which case why trains?) And why the hell didn’t they jump into those anti-minister mages and made them commit suicide (or, if they are, say, protected by anti-possession spells, just hunted them down)?

    The fantastic elements, with the exception of specifically Amara’s healing, are used as single-charge plot devices, in a very superficial way, as if the specific elements were picked at random out of an Adobe Plot Devices standard library and given no second thought. Which is a damn shame, because the plot of the book actually centers around characters trying to figure out what the hell is happening and how to exploit the rules to outwit their enemies. As a reader, I’m not just supposed to feel happy or bad on command, when the protagonists demonstrably feel happy or bad, I’m also supposed to analyze the current situation and be appropriately scared or hopeful. (It’s usually the former part where books tend to fail, so Blink/Otherbound is still miles ahead.) Duyvis needs to either recruit a geeky beta reader, the type who likes pointing out movie plotholes more than watching movies, or cut down on the power and variety of the supernatural in her work.

    Reply
  2. thefedorist

    You didn’t know any of
    that, did you?” Ruudde grinned. “Pills. You’re pathetic.”

    OH NO GRINNING

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Let’s Read Otherbound ch. 31-33 | Doing In The Wizard

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