Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘My place is here,’ she said. ‘This town is under my watch.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: In true Robiny form, things get ever more cinematic and intense as we zoom toward the finale. I have to say I really like the transition of Cassandra’s little mini-cult from a sort of gothy Crystal Prison outlook to full-on Felixstowe Jax Weekend, with her seaside altar and ‘oxblood leather’ getup. She might’ve missed the Black Sceptre by a couple of decades, but she’s holding her own as a high priestess of a different sort, and now as secondary villain to Mister Dark.
Speaking of, he’s one of my least favourite villains in all Robiny canon, so I do feel rather smug that Jack Potts is deceiving him over Verne. Who would’ve guessed Mr Potts had all his ichors aligned to nobility and justice? Well then!
(Finally, I have to laugh over Cherry’s little spy mouse being chewed by Catesby. I suppose Robin ‘mouse killer’ Jarvis couldn’t resist that one.)
Matt’s Thoughts: I’ve got to say, the steampunk/goth showdown in Book 1 is starting to feel like the distant memory of a Sunday picnic compared with the goings-on in this chapter.
All the townsfolk out for some public burnings? It’s like Summerisle on the mainland!
Actually, I think what I like most about the Whitby stories is that things will go absolutely insane within the village, but there’s always some reason worked out why nobody in the outside world realises what is happening. For instance, there was the giant reset that happened at the end of The Whitby Child, where the town was back to normal and nobody could remember anything. Or in this case, there’s a military quarantine going on, and the outside world presumably knows bits and pieces due to social media, but nobody really believes that there are dark magical forces at work unless you live in the village.
The best part of all these goings-on is that Jack Potts finally joins the good side. He’s such a great character, it would have been a dreadful waste just to have him as a villain. The worst part is the loss of Ziggy the mouse …