Warning: Contains Spoilers!
“That’s what all this has been about, the real purpose behind the book. Austerly Fellows planned all of this from the very start.”
Aufwader’s Thoughts: Well this chapter is the elephant’s eyebrows and no mistake. I had actually forgotten that we meet Estelle Winyard again, so she was a… well not a pleasant surprise, exactly. An interesting surprise. She adds some spark to proceedings, let’s say.
The whole scene at Fellows End would make a great short story in its own right, and, like a lot of plot threads in this trilogy, seems to contain an entire novel of its own just beneath the surface. I love how the Dancing Jax books really are so ‘genre-busting’ that one minute we can be in the middle of huge Hollywood-like action scenes, and the next, we’ve got an old-fashioned M. R. James ghost story going on, and yet it all fits together as seamlessly ol’ Austerly’s circuits.
And of course, the big reveal about the Ismus’ special plan for this world. We all guessed way back in Dancing Jax, but it’s important to finally hear it from the characters, because now all the cards really are on the table.
Matt’s Thoughts: So maybe this chapter was a sly insert to a) show us a potential way to defeat the powers of evil and b) ensure that Evelyn could make another appearance, but I’m not going to complain about a potential detour to the Fellows home where all of this started.
Estelle Winyard makes a brilliant one-chapter villainness and I’m only sorry that there wasn’t some way for her character to have been a sort of sidekick to the Ismus way back at the beginning of this. What a pair they would have made, eh? I’m guessing that her character possibly wasn’t created until her stunning appearance in Freax and Rejex, which would explain why she didn’t just take over Shiela in the first book and wreak havoc from there …
As we approach this finale, while there are some things that are seared in my brain from the first time I read it, I will be honest that the fate of Eun-mi is not one of them. So I am now curious to see what happens to the ‘angel’ of this chapter. We now want her to turn good and join forces with the aberrants, but will she be able to get past her own upbringing?
Which is, of course, another thing I meant to mention in passing earlier. While the Jax series may have been started in England, where the parody was having a dig at British shallowness and a lack of belief in anything, I feel like Robin’s portrayal of the North Koreans is dropping the hint that there are other systems of thought – besides a messed-up kids’ book – that can take over a whole nation…