Bad Life Decisions: Chapters 3 & 4

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.
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June 11, 2015

Doof Warrior

Doof Warrior

Once more into Theodore Beale’s Eternal Warriors™: The War in Heaven™! Wait. That was entirely too excited-sounding for a book as aggressively mediocre as this one is.

If you want to make me read the whole thing, here’s how to make me do it.  Currently I am only obligated to read to page 280, the end of chapter 19.

War in Heaven, Theodore Beale

Chapter 3: Daughter of Devils, Mother of Kings

I swear to God if this ends up being a Jesus-y retelling of Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks I am going to be pissed.

In this chapter Kaym takes Christopher to a nightclub for a meeting. Also to talk about how nightclubs–or maybe just this particular one, as Purple Rain was filmed there and Prince knows all about eroticism because rock music is of the devil I don’t even know what the point of that was it seemed really gratuitous–are dens of iniquity so it’s a safe place for them to meet with Melusine, Christopher’s guardian demon. Who is a totally hot devil girl in case anyone was wondering. She is totally interested in his welfare, y’all.

But just when things start to get interesting–there’s a Host of the Divine on their way to the nightclub to kick some demon ass–Kaym decides it’s time to take Christopher to the Courts of Light. No, no–they’re not running away, not at all. They would totally win a fight, but they can’t be bothered. Melusine wants to come along and Christopher wants her to come along because he wants to get to know her better if you know what I mean but Kaym is having none of that nonsense and in a fit of pique transforms into a tall imposing angel with black wings with a totally kick ass grey dress I mean robe with a sparkly I mean shimmery cloak and hauls Christopher out of there. I think someone is jealous.

Chapter 4: The Courts of Light

The Courts of Light is seriously the tackiest sounding place ever. Like Liberace cranked up to a million or something. At least on the outside. On the inside, it’s all clean lines and pale marble and a kickass statue of Lucifer bringing enlightenment to the world. Also a tedious infodump section about how God is totally jealous of Lucifer for being cooler and better at everything and they want Christopher to open the gates of Heaven so they can take the place back…

…and now I am wondering if Beale sees his machinations with the Hugos as some sort of bizarre religious crusade and I’m just going to leave that there.

This really isn’t all that interesting–again, this is mostly characters standing around talking. There’s talk of conflict but no actual conflict. Christopher doesn’t have any moral qualms about throwing in with Lucifer and he does so without hesitation.

There are a lot of bits that can be read as vaguely homoerotic between Kaym and Christopher–there’s a lot of hand-holding but Beale might be going for more of a muscular Christianity-ish sort of thing here, even though Kaym is on Lucifer’s team. Or, you know, maybe not. If one were a homophobe, it is entirely possible to read Kaym’s attention to Christopher as predatorily sexual–especially since Christopher is only sixteen years old.

Next up are chapters 5 and 6. It looks like chapter 5 is from Holli and Jami’s point of view which will, at least, be something different. Do I think that Beale can write from a female point of view in a way that doesn’t suck? No, not really. But at least it’ll be different.

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5 Comments

  1. Rafael

    I can feel the pain from here. You are a hero.

  2. delagar

    “Awww, bless. Chris can recognize the most rudimentary allusion to Plato.”

    Of course he can. Can’t every sixteen year old who spends most of his time playing Warhammer and trolling the internet?

  3. Jane Routley

    Hang in there. Enjoying following this. Reminds me a lot of novels I have manuscript assessed for the Writers Centre. Sorry for your struggle, but keep driving that rig Imperator. You shall reach the green place!
    To be honest though my favourite bits are the Mad Max pictures at the top.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Jane: They’re my favorite, too.

  4. William Stiteler

    This can’t be easy for you, but as far as I’m concerned it’s worth it just for the reference to War for the Oaks

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