Bad Life Decisions: Chapters 9 & 10

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.
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June 23, 2015

Want to make me read the whole thing? We’re $365 away from making that happen!

And don’t forget: for every $100 over goal, Mary Robinette Kowal will record a passage like it’s phone sex.

War in Heaven, Theodore Beale

Chapter 9: That Which is Done

(what rough beast)

So we get a deployment of the magical negro trope (remember, in the previous chapter with Holli and Jami, the preacher had been described as a black man)–he’s there to bless Jami and Holli and dispense some wisdom, but he doesn’t get a name. Or a shirt.

I mentioned on Twitter that I’d been told that angelic hierarchies were a big deal in evangelical circles back in the 80s and 90s, at which point two separate people pointed out this RPG.  I can hear the dice rolling, Beale.

This chapter really wasn’t all that bad, but one thing I’m finding frustrating is the weird mixture of things I can trace back to scripture or at least some sort of general belief on the part of evangelical fundamentalists with stuff that’s just made up or religious stuff I can’t trace back–like the daughters of Lilith thing. Everything I can find–and everything I’ve ever read on the subject–has the children of Lilith being demons, not human beings. So I don’t know if this something about the inherent sinfulness of young women or if it’s Beale trying to be clever with his angel-lion-maybe-a-demon Khasar. At any rate, it’s confusing and badly written and his editor should have made him rewrite it.

Chapter 10: Circle of Fire

(Next few tweets, I get a little bit off the track, as a whole bunch of people told me.)

(this is where corrections came in)

(thank you, many someones.)

I feel like I am being hit over the head with not-so-sub subtext. ENOUGH WITH THE MAGIC GROWING KEY ALREADY. And with the fact that Chris is totally getting played by the fallen angels. We know that.

And, I suppose, as tedious as all this is at least there’s not a weird obsession with telephones (Fred Clark’s dissection of those books was part of my inspiration for this project. He’s much better at it than I am, much much much better).

But looking back at these two chapters together, it looks like Holli and Jami might have been sent to Rahab in anticipation of Chris’s arrival, so perhaps our two plots will come together. I’m 160 pages in and it really doesn’t feel like a whole lot has happened yet.  Lots of moving pieces around, a lot of exposition, but not a lot of action.

I also feel like this is a mish-mash of a bunch of different things and there’s no one unifying theology. I find it upsetting that this is a book about spiritual warfare and there’s been precious little God so far–but then again, that shouldn’t surprise me. I do think it’s very, very, very telling, though. Very.

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2 Comments

  1. --E

    Excuse me, but why is there no Fury Road screen at the top of the post?

    • Natalie Luhrs

      Because I was so miserable and ready for bed by the end of Chapter 10 that I completely forgot until you mentioned it.

      🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

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