I went to see Moonlight earlier this evening by myself. Lately, I have been on a going to the movies by myself kick. The experience is liberating, and the only reason I started doing it is because I have a ton of Fandango and Movies.com gift cards. Next on my list is Lion. I appreciate all of the movie theater gift cards my family have given me, but I notice they never buy me Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift cards. What the heck fam? What do you have against buying books? It sucks being the only reader in the family…
And speaking of reading, let’s talk about this hefty set of chapters. We start off with, once again, a Sin of the Uncle. The Mage is contemplating his relationship with Simon Snow. Should he harness Simon’s power or protect him? I’m sure Dumbledore thought like this but we did not see it nearly enough.
Then we get another Lucy chapter. I have formed a habit of rolling my eyes every time I read her chapters. But upon reading this particular chapter, I was actually pretty invested. Plus the chapter was longer than a few sentences. Score! From this chapter I gather that Lucy is dead and will come back during the lifting of the Veil (apologies for not paying attention to what Rowell calls this phenomenon) to give Simon a message about a guy named Davy?
I’m gonna take a shot in the dark here and say that Davy is the Humdrum. Maybe? I mean, he talks about how Watford seems only for the elite and doesn’t want to accept anyone else, going so far as to compare it to the Catholic church. Religion is an area that Harry Potter never touched and, again, the series isn’t worse off for it but it could have made a much more complex narrative in terms of muggle and wizard relations. The reason Davy compares Watford to the Catholic church is because the church used to only preach their sermons in Latin, making it only accessible to those who could speak the language. They didn’t want the word of God in the hands of the people because that would take away the church’s power. Oh no! Normal people educated on the bible? The horror!
Anyway, Davy is angry and says he wants to see the world, not just the world of mages. Understandable. Perhaps, if Davy is the Humdrum, he grew up to hate the world of mages and thus now is trying to rid the world of magic? Maybe Lucy will tell this information to Simon to give him a clue about how to defeat the Humdrum? I have to say, not only did I really enjoy this Lucy chapter but I feel so much more invested in this book!
Simon and his girlfriend Agatha reunite. I don’t think I mentioned Agatha in the first post…She is kind of dull. The book tries to make her interesting. She loves horseback riding and competes in competitions. I believe it is this chapter where it is introduced to us that mages don’t necessarily have to pursue a magical career. I find this to be very interesting and dare I say fixes a Sin of the Uncle as Potter, while having interesting career choices, didn’t dive deep enough into them nor did they feel that convincing. Like, you graduate Hogwarts and either work at the Ministry or….Hogwarts. WHAT ELSE IS THERE?
Apparently before summer began, Simon found Agatha and Baz (his arch nemesis!) holding hands but before he could confront them he was zapped away with Penelope by the Humdrum. Agatha wants to talk about what happened but Simon says they should just move forward. I mean…okay Simon. This won’t come back to bite you later, right? Right??
Agatha gets her own chapter and I’m asking myself, why? Dear God, why? She reflects on the fact that she doesn’t truly love Simon. I mean, I can see why. Sorry to all the Simon fans out there but right now, he seems like a jerk. Not saying I don’t like the character as a character, but as a person he doesn’t score too high.
Watford has this awesome welcome back picnic and as I am reading I am thinking how much I want to be there! Seriously, the food sounds amazing. Then again, all food sounds amazing when you are on a detox as I am right now. Ten more days to go! Then it is back to normal food…which translates to food I should not be eating.
Simon, Penelope, and Agatha lay out a blanket after they eat and gaze at the stars. They see someone cross over he Veil which is kinda creepy. Then Simon goes to bed and wakes up having this strange feeling that he is not alone. I can’t really explain why but I really loved this passage. Simon wakes up and turns on the light in his room to see if anyone is there. He empties his closest to be sure he is alone. Then he comments on the crisp, chilly night, and suddenly I can imagine myself waking in the middle of the night during the early fall when the windows are open and the crickets are chirping and a light breeze is blowing the tree branches and into my bedroom. Yes, I am aware that is a run on sentence. I guess it is nostalgia that I am feeling. Nostalgia for spring and autumn days, and for stupid winter to end. I want to say more but I’m having a difficult time putting my feelings into words…
So I have hardly mentioned Baz and I probably should. Baz is Simon’s roommate who he hates (and Baz hates him too). In a strange turn of events, Baz has not returned for term and Simon is very suspicious as to why. He notes that Baz’s family used to be in power. His mother was the headmistress at Watford before she died and the Mage took over. Yet another Potter trait, Simon is obsessed with what his arch nemesis is up to. Like he is really obsessed with finding answers and all I can think is, chill out dude. It’s not like you are in love with him or…well, okay. You may be. But we haven’t gotten there yet. That isn’t a spoiler by the way. I mean, come on. Have you seen the cover of this book? Have you noticed the formula of forbidden romance? It’s all here!
Simon learns from one of the professors that Baz’s dad acted like it was no big deal that his son would not be returning for his final year of school. Strange, yes. Since Baz is an adult, he does not legally have to attend school anymore. Okay. We learn more about the Humdrum and how he pulls magic from areas and that magic never returns. That definitely is frightening! Also in this chapter we officially meet Ebb who is a really strange character. She herds goats which also gives her a connection to Aberforth Dumbledore. What is it with magical fictional characters and goats? Seriously, it is very creepy. I don’t understand why everyone just accepts this.
We get a flashback of Baz and Simon in a place called the Catacombs. Baz is taunting Simon and clearly has the upper hand in the situation. It sounds like he usually does. Honestly, Simon comes off as desperate in this flashback. Baz points out that magic requires being good with words and Simon isn’t, nor is he good with a wand (heh, get it? Phallic imagery?). That is a really interesting characteristic that I appreciate about Simon. He isn’t super skilled (cough cough, Sins of the Uncle) but extremely flawed and unpredictable. This means he has more to struggle with and more growth to be had. He is compelling. Not that Harry wasn’t compelling. But he is just so good at so many things! He is too perfect. Simon is no where close to perfect.
I don’t know if you know this about me but, I love flawed characters. The more flawed they are, the better. Maybe that is why I love A Song of Ice and Fire so much. There are so many jerks and complicated, messed up characters in that series. That makes it all the better when you watch them do something noble or grow. It gives me all the feels (a saying I hope to never repeat again).
That being said, what is Simon good at? I love flawed characters and all but I also like interesting characters and this guy seems kind of blank.
We end with a Lucy chapter. We get more Davy and now I’m wondering if he isn’t the Humdrum but possibly the Mage? Perhaps he is Simon’s father? Lucy talks about Watford being an elitist school instead of giving all magicians a chance. The thoughts in the chapter are compelling but seriously, who is Lucy? I’m not cut out for this, book! Stop playing mind games with me!
It is safe to say that this set of chapters really hyped up the book for me. Ironically, it is all thanks to a Lucy chapter. I’m very interested to see when Lucy will come to visit Simon (because, narrative economy deems it so) and I am also interested to meet Baz. Is it wrong of me to say that I just don’t care about the whole war/mystery plot too much and just want to see these two get together already? I am interested in the whole Veil stuff but let’s get on to the romance (another thing I never thought I would ever say).
Until next time, friend. Danielle.