In places, concrete slabs rose straight up and Shelly had to drive off the road, but mostly the driving was slow, watching out for potholes or separated roadways.
This is a welcome change of pace, but it's still not enough suffering. They sound like they're driving down an old country road, not the freeway post-apocalypse.
The kids were aware of news reports of roving bandits. Before the locusts had come, groups of bandits had taken over lonely stretches of roads. They stopped cars, robbed the occupants, and stole vehicles. Sometimes the people inside the cars were even killed. But now reports of these bandits had dwindled.
Between this and the previous quote, I wonder if Ellanjay or the ghostwriter is attempting an Author's Saving Throw by saying, "See the roads are bad!" in response to my continuous complaints that the entire world should look worse than Haiti post-earthquake. But you'll note that these bandits do not appear. Apparently they're a great threat to all the off-screen characters, but the YTF, with their titanium steel plot armor, don't suffer so much as a bruise. You ever read The Road by Cormac McCarthy? It should be more like that.
So they arrive at a town outside Des Moines called Darby and am I the only one still wondering the point in why they're traveling and witnessing to believers? They already believe; it's called preaching to the choir. Why not continue doing what they were doing at the schoolhouse: rounding up non-believers, treating their locust stings with a steady dose of Vitamin Church?
So Vicki begins her talk. She mentions that they are in the middle of something called a great Soul Harvest and that at the end of it, there will be more believers than at the time of the Rapture?
My Response: How is that possible? After all the disasters back to back, we should count ourselves lucky that the Earth still has a population, let alone one that large.
Mark, who's at the schoolhouse, decides to call Vicki and read her Lionel's email. Basically Lionel's still bitching and moaning about Judd's crush on Nada. Vicki's like "What kind of name is Nada?" and I headdesk because really?! Vicki, could you sound just a little more culturally insensitive? But I suppose we could chalk this up to her being jealous.
They discuss what could happen to the Tennessee believers (death or imprisonment) but I don't really care because it's not like I knew much about them. Though if anything does happen, it'll illustrate that bad things only happen to off-screen characters. Vicki does worry that Omer might do something stupd to try to rescue the believers. Me, I'm hoping someone does something, anything in this book. Again, I still mourn for Taylor and Hasina aka Power Couple of Awesomeness. I know I'm not supposed to like them as much as I do, but they did stuff.
Vicki goes for a walk in the cornfield and turns out I was right about that jealousy thing. Woo...
Finally after a long uninterrupted part set in America, we're back in Israel with Judd. Sam hasn't returned, so he, Lionel, and Mr. Stein decide to go after him. But when they get to Sam's home, they find Daddy Goldberg who tells them that he's gone. Turns out Daddy Goldberg turned his son in but is now having second thoughts.
Next chapter, Daddy Goldberg is tormented by bad dreams. Mr. Stein decides to play Daniel and try to interpret said dream. Naturally Mr. Stein interprets the dream as a call for Daddy Goldberg to convert or
Next stop, for the traveling YTF, is a town called Mankato, Minnesota. Shelly's excited about it because it's near one of the towns in the Little House on the Prairie books and I have to admit, I rather like this bizarre little mention. It's nice to see the characters have interests beyond being little automatons to move the plot along.
Nothing else really happens in this section except Vicki does her little speech, awes the audience, and that's it. Now back to Israel.
Nothing really happens there either except that they pray about Sam, but Judd does receive a phone call from Nada. Apparently her brother, Kasim, wants to tell his old flame, Kweesa, about Zod, but their father won't hear of it, even though even if it doesn't work, Kasim will, not only go to heaven, but get the bonus points that come with martyrdom. But apparently Kasim did go behind their backs and tell Kweesa, but still no word on if it worked or not.
And that's where I'm going to leave you for next week. As always, comments are welcome and if you see something I overlooked, let me know.