Well last week, as y'all would recall, ended on some cliffhangers. This week, we'll finally get some answers and we'll find out just how predictable Ellanjay are.
So Nada fainted as soon as she opened the door. Judd enters in and it turns out a man with dark beard and mustache is in the apartment. The man then proceeds to introduce himself as Kasim.
So okay, turns out Nada's brother isn't really dead. On the day of the quake, he said The Prayer as it happened and faked his death, by throwing his ID badge in the rubble, figuring that it probably wasn't a smart idea to keep working for the anti-christ, which is more sense than either of Ellanjay's Mary Sues have demonstrated. Ever since faking his death, Kasim has been hiding out, too scared to contact his family. Apparently he's afraid the phones/emails might be traced but I can't help but think he's an asshole since the YTF and TF both use phones and emails with nary a thought that they might be tapped. The apartment he's been living in was something Dan had modified for use as a hideout, so he's been hiding in a hideyhole in the floor and eating the food left in the apartment.
But this happy reunion is short-lived: the
Predictability of Twist: Well, gotta hand it to them, Kasim turning out to be alive is fairly unpredictable. But it loses points because the reader never has a chance of piecing it together: Ellanjay don't bother to plant clues for the reader to gather, then later say, "Oh yeah, that's what that meant." Still, I'll give them points nonetheless.
Now as to the Chris Traickin cliffhanger...
Basically he's riding along asking very pointed questions about the members of their group. Conrad still doesn't trust him, so Chris decides to tell his story. He tells them about how his wife, Dana, was a believer and naturally was
Next chapter, Judd and Nada and Kasim are huddled together in the hideyhole. Kasim realizes that they're likely going to test the ice-pack for prints, which means his cover will be blown unless they get the pack back.
Well, for those of you wondering, it's finally revealed, to the readers at least, that Traickin is dirty. Omer shows up and he speaks into a hidden microphone on his clothing.
Predictability of Twist: Fairly predictable. I mean, they kept saying over and over again how his mark looks weird and the locusts are tailing him, so not too hard to see coming.
Creepy Note: Omer says he's in love and I'm assuming he's referring to Vicki as she's the character he's spent the most time with. My response: That's kind of gross. Though to be fair, I'm not certain how much time has passed in the Ellanjay-verse so I don't know if Vicki's still underage or not.
For those of you on pins and needles, biting your nails to the quick wondering how Nada and Judd are going to deal with the Ice-Pack of Death, here's what happens, Nada goes to switch it with another but gets caught. Poor Nada...starting to wonder if she's the Series' Butt Monkey now that the previous one has died.
Meanwhile on the road, Omer tells the YTF that Traickin is dirty and Vicki takes his protective headgear and throws it out the window. Pete smashes the wire Chris was wearing but Chris, no doubt, rubbing his hands with fiendish glee, says it's too late. But the YTF get him talking by threatening to open the window which would unleash the demon locusts whose bite makes you long for the sweet release of death. So lesson for the kids reading this book: Torture is A-Okay so long as it's done by manly Christians. Yeah, I'm really starting to think this is the favorite reading material of the Bush II administration.
If you're wondering about the mark, Traickin faked it by basing it off of the drawing of a kid from a house church. You'd think it'd be easy to tell the difference between once stamped by God and one smeared with greasepaint but hey, that's just me.
So Nada and Kasim have climbed out of the hideyhole and are listening at the door as the GC question Nada. Kasim says he has a plan and tries to break the windows with a nightstand, but the windows won't break. The chapter ends with the GC saying let us in or we'll shoot the lock because yeah, that's totally how locks work.
Me, I'm rolling my eyes and predicting that this will all come to nothing on both the New Babylon and the American front because the plot armor runs pretty thick for these kids; they never suffer so much as a bruise as a result of what they're going through.