Warning: Contains Spoilers!
The wild boar was a horrendous spectacle. Carved from rosewood, it had once been a handsome creation, but the feral years had wrought a monstrous change.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: Oh boy, Old Scratch is a creation, isn’t he? In case any of us were in any doubt as to the malevolent nature of this mechanical, Robin has gone and named him after the very Devil, and even let him be mangled into a scarier shape by long years of rampage in the Malmes-Wutton woodlands. (As if ‘rogue clockwork wild boar’ were not alarming enough!)
Again in this chapter we see the dynamic between Adam and Henry. I commented before about Henry having an unpleasant selfish streak, so I was relieved when he chided himself for even thinking of leaving Adam to face Old Scratch alone. Henry might be mischievous, covetous, and even childishly cruel, but hopefully there’s no real meanness in him.
Finally, this chapter adds a little to our understanding of how Motive Science works. It’s confirmed that the people of Englandia did not invent it, but had the knowledge passed to them by certain other beings from beyond their Isles. Since these ‘special ambassadors’ were evidently held in high regard by the newly uplifted people, we now understand how it is that the human characters we have met so far can all blithely accept that of course pigs are made of wood, and of course ‘leather’ is gleaned from trees.
Though there is evidently still a degree of suspicion around more human-like mechanicals and those with black ichor, the clockwork animals are (with the exception of rogue beasts like Old Scratch) generally looked upon as benign gifts from the ‘ambassadors’ of long ago. The question is – why did those diligent tutors stop visiting?
Matt’s Thoughts: Whew, I was a bit worried someone would get taken out by the wild boar in this chapter, but mercifully we are spared yet another ‘death-by-mechanical-animal’ – at least at this stage!
A little more backstory about the ‘ambassadors’ who first set up the elevated isles. This is still intriguing. Maybe it’s because it takes me back to the days of watching LOST on TV. What kind of place is it? Is it a government experiment? Is it the afterlife? Is it … ? Is it …?
The answer is, of course, is that it’s awesome – like all things that are slightly mysterious and unknown. However, now that our stranger has now recovered the power of speech, shall we see more questions answered? And this stranger friend or foe? Or a bit of a Jarvis combo of both?