Deathscent | The Scorched and Drunken Bee

b_0002 copyWarning: Contains Spoilers!

‘Whatever it is,’ Adam put in, ‘it’s beautiful.’ 

Aufwader’s Thoughts: I can’t actually describe the feeling that chapter title elicits in me. It’s firstly that familiar glee you get, about Chapter 4 or 5 in a Robin Jarvis book, when you see that the main plot is about to kick in. There’s also dread, because I know I’m about to be emotionally dismantled again, and alongside that, a measure of fond nostalgia. If I had ichors, they’d be all discombobulated round about now.

That aside, there’s a lot happening in this chapter even before the eponymous ‘bee’ crashes, UFO-style, into the side of Malmes-Wutton’s leaden sky. First off, I really like the dynamics between our three young heroes. It’s clear that Adam and Henry, though they get along, are not exactly bosom buddies – there’s an underlying nasty streak to Henry that reminds me uncomfortably of the Doolan brothers, and it says a lot of Adam that he still feels bad for Henry even after the way the older boy treats him.

There’s also Jack Flye, who strikes me as a kind of Finnen Lufkin. Older and cleverer than our other protagonists, but compassionate and even somewhat self-sacrificing, he seems to mediate between Adam and Henry in a familiar way that suggests he has been doing so for a long time. Sad to say, Jack is a little too nice, a little too competent, and we all know where that leads.

Finally, there’s a hint of what I was looking into last chapter – the gift of black ichor has made Suet affectionate and loyal toward Adam, making the piglet more like a real animal than perhaps any on Malmes-Wutton. So, the more black ichor, the more sentiment mechanicals are capable of. Fascinating!


Matt’s Thoughts: So an island estate with leaded space protection windows (that can regenerate) plus its own oxygen-creation system in case of a breach? Fascinating!

This actually reminds me a lot of one of my favourite sci-fi movies, Dark City, where a city that looks on the surface like ours – cars, trains, people – instead is run by other-wordly beings as a sort of experimental lab on humans.

Whereas Deathscent has the concept of Beatification, where everyone believes that they are on these islands to be closer to God. Or are they really? It is possible that this is some sort of re-created essence of the original humans that were left on earth long ago?

However, it plays out, I’m very much wanting to find out what happens in Part 2!

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