Bad Life Decisions: Chapters 5 & 6

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. Fuck around and find out.

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June 16, 2015


This was basically my face at the end of Chapter 6.

Onwards to Chapters 5 and 6.

So far, $1,500 has been raised. That’s to the end of Chapter 19. If you want me to read more of this book, you know the drill. It’s for a good cause!

Oh, the delights that await us below the jump.

War in Heaven, Theodore Beale

Chapter 5: The Darkness Rising

Well, that was a thing. Yes. It was. As you can tell from the tweets, Holli and Jami are the focus of this chapter. They meet their guardian angels as well as Christopher’s–Mariel manages to escape from her bonds (well, she still has the handcuffs on, but they’re not attached to anything) off-screen which is an absolutely stellar example of telling and not showing.  This is a thing that keeps on happening throughout the chapter.  They end up going to church–a church which has a weeknight service in an elementary school gymnasium that has at least 700 people in the congregation.  There’s a praise band and this, apparently, is how to keep the forces of darkness at bay: by singing generic praise songs at it. Are we fighting evil or putting it to sleep?

There’s some theological stuff going on here, but as Beale doesn’t bother actually explain it to his point of view characters, any readers who are unfamiliar with the idea of a prayer cover will remain unfamiliar.  Same for the citation of Romans 16:19–which, to my reading, is a verse about obedience and knowing good from evil. I’m not sure how this works with singing demons away.

Found the song they’re singing in this chapter on YouTube. It was on an album that came out in 1998, so it fits. It is insipid, at best.

Chapter Six: The Gates of Heaven

I really don’t know what to say about this chapter. Christopher continues to be whiny and awful and there’s an angel who is even more whiny and awful than he is, then Christopher is inspired by a D&D campaign and stabs two angels in the necks with their swords even though he’s shown no such fighting ability before–that must be the Kaym in him or something.

Then there’s the bit at the end with the magically growing key that Christopher sticks in a lock which then explodes. But not before he inexpertly gropes around it and stuff. And then there’s another Warhammer reference and scene.

So very much telling instead of showing. This book, so far, is a text book example of how that’s not a good way to get people interested in the story.

Later this week, Chapters 7 and 8.

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Words of Wisdom

"It's chaos, be kind."
Michelle McNamara