Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm Back

I'm back. Once again, thank you, thank you to Thrownaway for donating the needed material to me. I will try hard to be worthy of such generosity.

For those of y'all who don't know, we are officially on book twenty so we are halfway into the series. I'm sure that it was vital that Ellanjay stretch out the series so long and they aren't using it as an excuse to put more money in their pockets. :eyeroll:

When we last left our brave heroes, the freaky locusts were flying towards the baby's crib and I was already composing rants full of righteous rage because if the locusts started attacking the baby, it would be a major inconsistency with their philosophy. After all, didn't Zod slaughter bamf all the kids into heaven because they were below the "age of accountability" line or something like that and therefore, they could be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse? I was so looking forward to tearing Ellanjay a new one with my rants, but I'm afraid that it turns out that the locusts are unable to attack the baby, so give Ellanjay a little credit: they're occasionally consistent.

I just thought I'd give you the heads up: if it sounds like all I'm doing is summarizing that's because that's pretty much all I can do. So far the first few chapters are just the characters watching shit happen. I admit, I almost put reacting to stuff that happens, but I didn't because even reacting is still being more active than the Heroes who Don't Do Anything are.

Basically, Vicki and the others at the school are freaking out over the locusts. Meanwhile, Judd on the plane, is doing something related to the plane--truthfully I'm not really sure what's happening because there's a lot of mention of stuff about hatches and manual overrides and other techie stuff that I don't understand, so I can't really give you an accurate summarizing of what's going on, sorry. Lionel and Sam are watching the locusts swarm and we get some indication that Sam isn't completely dispassionate about what's happening--he expresses concern for his father--but before you give him any brownie points, he is only concerned about blood kin, not any of the others. Remember kids, anybody who isn't a believer or a blood relative is an untermensch and you need not concern yourself with them.

Mark and Carl talk and that's it. Meanwhile, I will give Vicki credit in that she and the rest of the kids at the school are trying to fight off the locusts by commanding them to leave them alone in the name of TurboJesus. It's a bit melodramatic but I'll allow it simply because it's nice to see the characters occasionally care about someone else's suffering. Either way, the chapter ends with Lenore saying The Prayer, which is the exact same prayer that everyone else says, because apparently The Prayer operates on the Bloody Mary principle; merely uttering the words makes you an RTC but it has to be the exact words or else Zod's hands are tied and he'll send you to Hell. For those of you wondering, here's the prayer. Word of advice: don't read it outloud unless you wanna become an RTC.

Lenore trembled and bowed her head, her face in her hands. “God, I need you. I know I’ve done bad things and I’m sorry. Forgive me. I know you’re real, and you mean what you say in the Bible. I believe you died for me and that you’re coming back after all this is over. So come into my life and make me a new person.”

Second chapter, Judd and Lionel and Sam start attacking the locusts, spraying them with fire extinguishers in an attempt to drive them off so they can let the people off of the plane. Surprisingly, the fire extinguisher plan works until they run out of spray. Frankly I can't remember that being in the Bible, the idea that the demon locusts of Hell can't handle fire extinguisher spray but then again, I've actually read the Bible beyond the few verses Ellanjay like to cherrypick in order to support their theology so what do I know?

Meanwhile, at the school apparently Vicki is baffled by the fact that Charlie and the baby were spared being bitten by the locusts, though Melinda and Janie weren't. Charlie, if you're wondering, doesn't have the mark of the believer. She decides to email Token Jew and ask why, but I can already guess why. The baby is covered under the "age of innocence" rule and as for Charlie, it's been established that he's slow, to use that euphemism, so maybe this is Ellanjay trying to answer a question laid out by their critics, the "What about the profoundly retarded unable to make a commitment to Christ?" question. Of course, if that does turn out to be the case, they'll have to answer then "Why wasn't Charlie bamfed into Heaven along with the other RTCs before all this shit happened anyway?"

Meanwhile, Mark and Carl talk about John and Carl tells him about how John saved his life and gave him a Bible with a message written inside and we learn yet another thing about how Ellanjay think: apparently they believe that heathens are so unfamiliar with the Bible that when presented with a book (John, if you're wondering) followed by chapter and verse written in a numerical format, we'll be utterly baffled and unsure what to make of it. :eyeroll:

I thought I'd do a third chapter as a treat for y'all.

Anyway in Israel, we finally run into the Gruesome Twosome aka Moishe and Eli, who are preaching their message of "Zod loves you but you made him angry so he has no choice but to torture you horribly but it's your fault for making him so mad in the first place."

But anyway, in America, we hear from Token Jew again. He confirms my theory about Tolan, but his response still raises entirely too many questions.

As for the baby, Tolan, he is protected by the same love God had for the infants taken in the Rapture. God would not allow these beasts to plague a little child like this. His love and mercy continue, even in these dark times.

If Zod so loves the little children, then why did he allow them to be born into a period of such massive suffering? Why not make everybody sterile for the time being? Not to mention, wouldn't killing Tolan be a merciful thing to do? I mean, you know shit's just going to get worse and this poor baby's going to suffer horribly because of it and if you do kill him, he'll get a one-way ticket to Heaven, so why not?

But Token Jew is baffled as to why Charlie was spared so no confirmation of my theory, not yet anyway.

Anyway the kids begin discussing putting together a website called "The Underground" so to lead others to TurboJesus. I wonder how they're going to do this since didn't Nicky Cardamon say that those who visit Token Jew's website will be fined and imprisoned? Even the kids themselves wonder how they're going to pull this off.

The chapter ends with Judd, Lionel, and Sam returning to Jamal's house to find him, his wife, and Nada with their hands cuffed behind their backs, being interrogated by the GC and I think that's a good place to leave y'all until next week. Thanks again for the generous donation, Thrownaway, and I hope y'all enjoyed the snark.


Firedrake said...

Hurrah for the Mouse!

(But have Our Heroes ever been to Bawston in the fawl?)

Why are babies exempt from this particular peril? They're not, one assumes, exempt from drowning or starvation or freezing to death.

The strange thing about the Magic Words, to me, is that... well, they're magic of a very odd sort. There's no pleading, no "if it please you", it's always phrased as "do this thing" with a complete expectation of success. To me that's something you use to a spirit that you've already bound to your service, not something from which you're asking a favour.

And I agree completely on the child-murder. In fact the best thing to do would probably be a public, violent protest with the kids - you all get murdered for your faith, the GC goons are already damned so they aren't any worse off, and you might influence someone else to convert!

Hidden_Urchin said...

Of course fire extinguishers work on demon locusts. The locusts are from Hell. Hell is full of fire. Fire extinguishers put out fire. Therefore, um, yeah, I got nothing.

aunursa said...

Interesting. In Book #5 Apollyon, I don't recall any of the Tribulation Force ever attempting to battle the locusts through holy commands or fire extinguishers or any other means.

Apocalypse Review said...

What's interesting is that the teenagers are at least TRYING to do something about the locusts.

All Buck Douchebag does when he's with Chaim is hem and haw and refuse to give him a good answer about whether or not he'll suffer even after he's converted.

The third ghostwriter must have slipped a lot of this action-adventure plausibility past L&J by getting them to ooh and aah over the silly-ass sinner's prayer.

And that prayer? Like Firedrake says, it doesn't feel desperate enough. If I were that kid, I'd be begging harder than Supreme Commander Leon meeting TurboJesus for real.

Finally: YAY for getting the books and a huzzah for Thrownaway :)

rikalous said...

The bible never said fire extinguishers wouldn't work on the locusts, did they? So there's your loophole.

@Firedrake: The Magic Words are like Harry Potter spells. You aren't bargaining with spirits, you're just saying syllables that make things happen because that's the way the cosmos works. The Words just happen to sound like grammatically correct English rather than faux-Latin.