Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘The Jill of Spades might’ve been sly an’ deadly, but she weren’t no Suffolk girl. We ain’t subtle!’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: One of the really interesting things this trilogy explores is the traumatic aftermath of supernatural events. Conor, Emma, and Sandra now have to get through at least the next few minutes with the knowledge of everything they’ve done and said as the Jacks and Jills fresh in their minds, and each reacts in a different,yet completely realistic, way.
Having not really warmed to Emma in the first book, I now find that her relentless self-assurance and bravado are actually really well suited to the life-or-death situation. In a crisis, she (and the Jill of Spades’ knives) are quite handy to have around, and maybe a bit of conceit is what’s required in a world where nobody has any personality left.
Perhaps I missed it, but there’s one thing I have to ask – Conor, Sandra, and Emma end up de-jaxed and fleeing the beast, but where is Paul?
Matt’s Thoughts: Maybe I blanked this out, but I did not remember there being quite so much mass slaughter in this book the first time around. (I pity poor Aufwader, keeping careful notes for the obituaries on this one!) If it consisted of the kids going down heroically – somewhat like the 90s Jarvis battles we’ve just been enjoying in Hagwood 2 – it wouldn’t be so bad. But scenes like the slaying of the ‘choir’ are just horrific.
The highlight of the chapter, without a doubt, was having Sandra, Connor and Emma come back (particularly Emma!). The last time I read Fighting Pax, because I had left it so long since reading Dancing Jax, I actually couldn’t remember much of who the three of them were. But being only a few months ago on the reread, memories of them from Dancing Jax were much more fresh in my mind.
When you consider Emma’s last memories as Emma were running from Mauger in Felixstowe and standing up to a huge horde of Jaxers, it’s immensely satisfying to see her instantly at her obnoxious best when she is dragged out of the dream world!