Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘He intends to eat her.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: For me China White is the second most horrifying paintblock after Scourge Yellow, especially when Verne’s dad asks him if Noreen is ‘aware’ in there. Is she? Are the others? We have no idea. How ghastly is that? And then some of the transfigured people get stepped on and there are little ceramic organs in them? Yikes and thrice yikes!
Here’s our Whitby Witches veteran theory for this chapter: Mister Dark is referred to as a ‘devil’ quite a few times throughout this series. He is dark-haired, has the ability to put on a suave persona, and has time travel in his repertoire of evil gifts. I’m probably way off the mark, but readers, I’m thinking of Miss Wethers’ charming man.
Matt’s Thoughts: Because I’m assuming we all have illustrated editions, we won’t need to do a dedicated post on illustrations at the end, but I do want to point out that if it comes to picking favourite illustrations, the two in this chapter rate pretty highly for me.
First up, the broken china figure with anatomically correct internal organs is chilling. (It’s also a nice way to sneak in some gore without actually having any blood. Nice one, Mr Jarvis!) The concept is horrific, and also adds a real sense of danger to what would otherwise be a more pedestrian fight between Verne’s dad and Clarke and the dodgy Rory Morgan.
Second great picture is the one of Lil on the mantelpiece, especially because we don’t get many full picture of Lil and Verne (too many horrific villains and ugly characters to go around).
The fight between ghost dog Sally and Catesby is also now the top thing from this book that I would like to see on film. They’re both great animal characters, utterly improbable in one sense, perfectly logical in the scheme of this book.
But most of this stuff in the chapter was wiped away because of the last line. We knew Dark was creepy, but a cannibal??? Shudder … What sick person dreams up these ideas? 😉