The Devil’s Paintbox | Chapter 8

devils paintbox

Warning: Contains Spoilers!

Cherry Cerise moved through a dreamlike, warped vision of Whitby.

Aufwader’s Thoughts: I love Cherry’s little adventure through Lil’s mind. It’s a fascinating concept, and makes me wonder what Cherry would see if she did her ‘party trick’ on us rereaders. Hidden among the great and small impressions of our lives, would there be a rippling wheat field or ancient oak to represent our enjoyment of Mr Jarvis’s books? I’d feel sorry for Cherry exploring that aspect of my psyche – she’d probably be set upon by hordes of poison-clawed forktails…

I really appreciate the return of Scaur Annie, even if it isn’t really all of her. So now it’s confirmed that Annie was a weather witch – with Cherry and her colours and Lil with her knot magic, here’s a question: what sort of witch was Alice Boston?

Matt’s Thoughts: I was trying to put my finger on what was different about the feel of this particular Whitby book, relative to the original trilogy and even Power of Dark, and I think it’s to do with the pace of the story at this point. Jarvis’ stories are usually more steadily-paced tales with mounting peril rather than breakneck thrillers, but there is no let-up here.

Bugs are out of control, Scaur Annie must be brought in – it’s all urgent.

This cameo by Annie was quite interesting because I realise that we never quite got to see Annie in full magical flight in the first book. Her story was always intertwined with that of Pyke’s. But here she is in her element, conjuring up nature. (Just like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds only you’re happy to see the birds.)

It’s a reminder that every witch in Whitby has had their own style of doing things, while still having an enormous amount of power. Annie, the wild nature child. Mrs Boston with her tweed and cups of tea. And Cherry with her Canadian accent and 70s record collection.

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