And now we return to our regularly scheduled flailing programme. SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW FOR CHAPTERS 21 THROUGH 32.
In this part of the book, a trap is sprung and the game is changed. But what will it all mean?
Let’s discuss Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
The Sky Is Failing
So I finally get to talk in a bit more depth about Eliza here, and it’s about time too. I STILL HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.
I speculated last time that she might have some sort of prophetic role to play, but now I’m wondering if there’s way more to it – and to her – than that. Basically I’m wondering if Eliza is even as human as she appears to be.
Quick recap: a couple of guys in dark suits with Very Serious Manners turn up at her lab and are now taking her and Dr Chaudhary … somewhere? They won’t say where? But they had badges? WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, RIGHT? Except we have no idea what it means and neither does Eliza, though she’s presently assuming it has something to do with testing angel DNA and … yeah no, I suspect there’s way more going on here. Waaaay more. But what’s really got my flailing arms going is this:
She would find out what the angels were. That was Eliza in control of her thoughts. Phylogeny. Order. Sanity.
Then the thought spun around and seized her, forced her to look at it, and it wasn’t what she’d thought she was chasing. It had madness in its eyes.
It wasn’t: I will know what the angels are.
What Eliza was really thinking was: Will I know what I am?
WHAT. DOES. THIS. MEAN?!
OK. Let’s look at everything else we learn here. We know that Eliza has been having truly terrifying nightmares, and here we learn that they involve the sky ‘failing’. Darkening in strange and awful ways. A lot like the sky over Eretz, in fact. Which arguably draws a connecting line between Eliza, whatever she’s hiding/running from, and the seraphim/chimaera war.
It’s mostly guesswork on my part, but it seems pretty obvious that something about what’s happening there is literally tearing Eretz apart – but what’s Eliza’s part in all of it? Is she like Karou, someone who was resurrected without her memories of a past life? Or is something even more sinister going on? Because I can’t see how it won’t be sinister, somehow…
A Dream Come True
Moving on, let’s talk about what happens to Liraz in this section, and the developments that follow. Her entrapment, and Ten/Haxaya’s betrayal, made a tough few scenes to read for me. Now, either I’ve forgotten most of what’s known about the events at Savvath at this point, or it’s always been mostly alluded to and never fully explained, because I only suspect I understand what the significance of it is. Liraz killed a chimaera there, but for whatever reason she didn’t do it cleanly or honourably? It cost her a tally? And now it’s coming back to haunt her because the chimaera she killed was Haxaya?
… Who is now dead once more at the hands of ‘Thiago’ to stop her from revealing the truth, that the White Wolf is dead and gone and Ziri is helping Karou to deceive them all, for the sake of stopping the war.
Oh, Ziri. You are too good and too pure for this bloody mess.
But … I can definitely appreciate that he’s not afraid to get bloody. There is far too much at stake for him to hesitate in moments like this one. THIS IS DESTROYING ME I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL AAAAHHH.
But! Good things come of it? I mean, what else is that display by ‘Thiago’ and Liraz, dragging the body of a traitor through the caves together, meant to represent if not the real beginnings of an alliance that might save them all? But. BUT. Did Ziri tell Liraz the truth about who he really is? I can’t imagine anything less would have convinced her not to murder him when she woke up in the thermal pool after being TORTURED BY HIS LIEUTENANT. Right? So I’m assuming she knows. (Also: oh, my frantic shipping heart. THAT SCENE.)
Good priorities there, because I was beginning to worry that Liraz’s need for vengeance might overshadow her better judgement. Now I’m just worried that she doesn’t see herself as good for anything BUT delivering vengeance.
Never mind Akiva; Liraz is my new favourite messed up darling.
(I can even appreciate her mostly unintentional moment of Interruptus. I’m glad Akiva and Karou are getting over their misguided rage/despair/angst and remembering to Use Their Words with each other – ahem – but come on. “At least you still have your clothes on.” Indeed.)