I’m starting to wonder what will happen to all the humans when the bugs are pulled out. Being as Jackie Otis will probably keep her memories of her time possessed will the rest? Take the main ‘seeker’, because picking names is hard, for example. Will she remember all the things she’s done while under alien influence?
If so, there are going to be a few humans that can’t live with themselves when they wake up. They’ll have gone around hunting and killing others and they won’t want to face that in the mirror.
Then of course there’s the question of what those who are in charge as ‘healers’ will recall. And what about those aliens in positions of technical knowledge. Otis would probably say the aliens memories won’t cross over into the human minds. Fair enough but they’ve still been exposed to alien theory and technology. Once you have a working model and proof that it works the rest is simply development.
See, I picture the real story happening after this book ends. Humans, having freed themselves from the grip of mental tyranny, rise up and drive the aliens out. We steal their tech, weaponize a few spaceships and drive them back to Bug Prime. A couple of nukes, if we’re feeling low tech, later and their home world is no more. In fact it would bring the story full circle as the ‘vultures’ found the bugs and the bugs found us, thus continuing the cycle.
This chapter is called ‘prepared’. Ah, Eve must be a member of the Boy Scouts. I’m prepared too, I’m prepared for this tripe to come to a steaming end full of stupidity. Otis only has eight chapters to make it happen. The clock’s running on overtime and she’s got one last shot. Let’s watch her blow it shall we?
Well, in spite of a looming plot point Eve has time for a detour. I love this style of loose, everything goes kind of writing. ‘Well, the plot’s coming to a head it looks like.’ ‘Yeah, do you think we’ve got time to go window shopping?’ ‘Oh, I imagine so. It’s not like the story can move ahead without us.’
Eve wants to run and grab some ‘cryotanks’. Luckily the aliens leave them outside, exposed to the elements and completely unguarded. That’s good for us because then we won’t have to see any tense moments where Eve will almost get caught and have to lie her way out.
Oh, I think I may have skipped over the ‘defense mechanism’ these aliens have. Apparently they can shred the brain of their host if they feel threatened. That’s not really much of a defense if you ask me. It’s more like smearing your feces all over the inside of your house after you’ve been evicted. It’s what Otis’s characters are best at, dick moves.
They go to the Jeep, they grab some water. Eve wonders if it’s worth it to share this sacred knowledge with Doc. She decides it isn’t, steals the gun from Jeb and installs a blowhole in her host.
Eve asks Jared why they’re being kind to HK. Jared says it’s because of Eve.
“It’s not a good feeling—knowing that you profoundly deserve the title of monster. It’s better to be kind than to feel guilty.” He smiled again and then yawned. That made me yawn.
This whole book made me yawn, a lot. I’m not one of those that would feel guilty for gutting an alien. If there’s something out there that would compete with humanity for resources and space, I say us first. Especially when that species has already tried dominating us before. They get to be among the first I want hurled into the sun.
It’s like Otis is taking us on a tour of the southwest. They go to sleep, they wake up and drive. Eve points out the nearest exit and they keep driving. She says time seemed to be going faster. Oh, how I wish that were so.
They find the tanks and Otis decides now is as good a time as any to explain Bug Removal 101. Because Otis can’t tell a story, she has to have her characters do it, Eve has to tell Jared how she figured out how to remove her friends.
Now Otis, this is the kind of thing that would have been better off earlier. In the last couple of chapters or so would have been perfect. Eve could have remembered it rather than explain. Oh but that would require descriptive talent, something you don’t have. Pardon me for forgetting such things.
Blah blah blah. Eve was a ‘bear’ when some friends and her were attacked by a winterized version of a Dune Worm with legs. It crushes her friend so she cuts him out and then jams him into the brain of the worm. As cool as that might sound, Otis predictably can’t pull it off. It comes across as no more exciting than crossing the street to collect the post.
‘How was your day?’ ‘Not bad. I picked up the dry cleaning, did some shopping, oh and I was bit by a rabid bull spider.’ ‘Really, how’d that turn out?’ ‘Well, the cleaners said they couldn’t get the stain out without ruining my shirt but last time…’ ‘No I meant the bull spider thing.’ ‘Oh that. Uh, I fought it and it died. No biggie.’
Jared, being the dullard that he is, finds the story fascinating. Of course his opinion might be invalid as he still enjoys watching people play darts. They decide now is the time to steal the tanks, now that the chapter is coming to a close. Oh no, will their plan fail? How terrible it would be if the aliens were waiting for them with a plasma gun and cut them down just as their victory seemed imminent.
Vivi, just grabbed this from a commentor on SparkNotes who in turn got it from Otis’ website. she has an FAQ page that includes, among other thing, how vampires can do the nasty:
“Now, on to the “how is this possible?” question. First of all, of course it’s not possible. None of this story is possible. It’s a fantasy story about creatures that don’t actually exist. Within the context of the fantasy, however, this is how it works:
Vampires are physically similar enough to their human origins to pass as humans under some circumstances (like cloudy days). There are many basic differences. They appear to have skin like ours, albeit very fair skin. The skin serves the same general purpose of protecting the body. However, the cells that make up their skin are not pliant like our cells, they are hard and reflective like crystal. A fluid similar to the venom in their mouths works as a lubricant between the cells, which makes movement possible (note: this fluid is very flammable). A fluid similar to the same venom lubricates their eyes so that their eyes can move easily in their sockets. (However, they don’t produce tears because tears exist to protect the eye from damage, and nothing is going to be able to scratch a vampire’s eye.) The lubricant-venom in the eyes and skin is not able to infect a human the way saliva-venom can. Similarly, throughout the vampire’s body are many versions of venom-based fluids that retain a marked resemblance to the fluid that was replaced, and function in much the same way and toward the same purpose. Though there is no venom replacement that works precisely like blood, many of the functions of blood are carried on in some form. Also, the nervous system runs in a slightly different but heightened way. Some involuntary reactions, like breathing, continue (in that specific example because vampires use the scents in the air much more than we do, rather than out of a need for oxygen). Other involuntary reactions, like blinking, don’t exist because there is no purpose for them. The normal reactions of arousal are still present in vampires, made possible by venom-related fluids that cause tissues to react similarly as they do to an influx of blood. Like with vampire skin—which looks similar to human skin and has the same basic function—fluids closely related to seminal fluids still exist in male vampires, which carry genetic information and are capable of bonding with a human ovum. This was not a known fact in the vampire world (outside of Joham’s personal experimenting) before Nessie, because it’s nearly impossible for a vampire to be that near a human and not kill her.
I didn’t get into all of these details at my signings because it’s a long, complicated mouthful. Also, it’s hard to be clearly heard with all the screaming. Mostly, though, I waited to do this in writing because I have an immature, Homer Simpson-like tendency to giggle when I say the words “seminal fluids” in public.”
Otis just doesn’t get it does she? First she hand waves the whole thing and then she goes on to explain it.