Warning: Contains Spoilers!
And so Shiela witnessed the arising of the Ismus, and her mind reeled.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: If Jezza arising as the Ismus on the third day after undergoing his Great Ordeal in the name of the Dawn Prince then appearing before his followers with his arms extended in a cruciform doesn’t practically loudspeaker from the rooftops what this series is going for, then honestly I don’t know what does. It’s all out in the open now, folks, even if neither the book, nor I, will be explicitly putting it into words quite yet.
Matt’s Thoughts: Yep, it’s pretty messed up. We’re not even entirely sure what the full extent of the book’s powers are, but we can clearly see that people are identifying with characters in the book and turning into pod people. But it’s the random ‘Oh no!’ nature of who picks the book up at the book fair that is the terrifying part. Conor Westlake, all right, if he picks it up, a bit unfortunate. Sandra – we’re concerned. Paul? NOOOOO!!!
Also worth a mention is the brief tragic interaction between Shiela and Martin. The fact that she was one of his brightest and went off to uni, only to now not be in uni is really sad. Especially because we don’t know what happened. Did she bump into Jezza, and he led her down a bad path? Did something else go on, she dropped out and Jezza was part of her plummet to the bottom? I don’t think we ever find out, but it ties into the wasted potential of England’s youth, all ripe to be sucked into the vortex of something like Dancing Jacks.
Actually, that’s one other great mystery, which I forgot on the way through. Why is the book called Dancing Jax with an X, when the book in the story is Jacks with a C-K-S? As with everything in this story, none of the details are in there by accident, so we’ll have to wait and see on that question as well.