Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘Just another day chained up in North Korea,’ he murmured.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: The world of this trilogy is just so out-there that, when this chapter starts after Martin’s panicky blog post, we just accept it. Lee agreed to the Ismus’ terrible bargain and now the world is a hellish dystopia in which he lives with Charm and their daughter. Seems plausible. In fact, it’s actually more plausible than Lee waking up as a test subject in, of all places, North Korea. I suppose at this point, since we’re two books in and heading for the finale, it’s go big or go to hell, and I reckon Mr Jarvis is planning to do both.
Matt’s Thoughts: Well, any thought that I might be eased back into the world of Dancing Jax after my little break in Hagwood was completely wrong. Here in Chapter 1, front and centre, the tragedy of Charm and Lee is put back before us. The very worst events of Freax and Rejex – in fact, the very worst events in the Jarvis Universe – are dragged up and we’re traumatised all over again.
The only thing that makes up for this is the sheer brilliance of Lee waking up in North Korea. It makes perfect sense that if there was one country that was going to hold out against Jax, but still not feel like a safe place to be in, it would be North Korea. I did not see this twist in events coming the first time I read the book and it still makes me smile every time.