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The Phoenix Gate

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Comments for the week ending September 27, 2020

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Just wondering if anyone might know if David Xanatos has a middle name?
a - [arorah_2001 at yahoo dot com]

MATTHEW - [One detail I hadn't really thought about was Rain not thinking about using the internet for her search. What computer the Caciques may have is probably reserved for business and smartphones are something of a rarity in the Ghosts.]

Which proves useful to Greg, offering a good explanation for why Rain doesn't use the Internet (the "behind-the-scenes" reason, of course, being that using the Internet would make a less interesting story).

I forgot one other possible reference in those chapters: one of Isaac's colleagues is named Juno. I suspect that was another nod to "The Tempest"; the original Juno, the Roman goddess, appears in that play, in the masque that Prospero conjures up (alongside Iris, who provided the name for Rain's mother).

Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd.
I have to admit I was rolling my eyes at Rain's lack of scholarly skills especially when it came to books. And the whole Rain searching through things rapidly and without much concern while Charlie has to smooth things out is a pretty clear picture what their relationship is.

One detail I hadn't really thought about was Rain not thinking about using the internet for her search. What computer the Caciques may have is probably reserved for business and smartphones are something of a rarity in the Ghosts.
Incidentally, I'm a sucker for old maps or replicas of old maps. If I had one of the Ghosts it's the kind of thing I'd love to frame and hang on my wall.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

MATTHEW - Thanks for your review of the next five chapters.

A few things that stood out to me when I read them:

1. The scene where 'Bastian goes to the Orleans Theatre to watch an old movie adaptation of "David Copperfield". I suspect that the name of the Orleans Theatre was intended as another Joan of Arc allusion, alongside Charlie Dauphin's name. I was curious about 'Bastian's response to Micawber; apparently this is an "actor allusion" joke that I haven't got. (I haven't read "David Copperfield" - though I really should - but I know enough about it to know that Micawber was the guy who was constantly experiencing money troubles, yet hopeful that "something will turn up".)

2. The bit where Rain reshelves the book in Miranda's father's library, and Charlie then reshelves it to where it belongs, amused me the first time I read it. At that time, I was working as a shelver in the St. Louis Public Library, and during my work, often came across books that someone else (presumably one of the visitors) had shelved in the wrong place and returned them to their rightful place.

3. The indication that the mosquitos are the real source of the "vampire attacks", rather than the bats, reminded me of an old episode of "Mighty Max".

Todd Jensen

Covering chapters 11-15 this week. Or as I like to call it, "Mystery, History, Hormones and Horror." There's a lot to unpack but I'll try to keep it short.

When reading these chapters I started thinking about how Greg covered relationships and the "will they or won't they" in some of his other works. The fact that Rain is the one oblivious to Charlie's feelings is kind of an inversion to his other works. Peter being oblivious to Gwen, Wally in general, those sort of things. We also see the root of Renee's animosity though that won't be made explicit until near the end, right now it just adds another angle to the love triangle.

The chapters also give a little depth to the Taino people, it's a sad fact that the Christopher Columbus story that's taught to so many youth is basically a bastardized version of the real life conquest and near extermination of an indigenous people. It does show Rain what she's ultimately meant to heal but it does bring up question, how is she supposed to heal something so big? A historical illusion taught throughout the generations? How does someone heal a near genocide? Were also informed on what zemis are and I started drawing comparisons to similar beliefs. In Hawaii families have what's known as an ʻaumakua. A family god or spirit that generally manifests as an animal or a piece of nature. In Shinto households have the kamidana, an alter for the home where spirits dwell within the
shintai or mitamashiro. It's one of those commonalities even to people so far away from each other that fascinates me.

Here is where we also find out that Isaac Naborías is far more important to the story than you'd expect. Not only does he provide background to the origin of the demon but nearly becomes his second victim. We'll see soon enough that like Rain he has his own connection to the old, forgotten world of the Taino.

A couple things to close on, one is the huge class clash that we have between our main characters and Miranda. It brought to mind the times I briefly saw how people better off than me lived and the insecurities that come with it. The second are the little references about the dolphins and the Kims that have been scattered over the story and how they'll intertwine later on.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________


“Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings, conquer all mysteries by rule and line, empty the haunted air, and gnomèd mine - Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made the tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade” - John Keats, Lamia

Demona May - [realdemona at yahoo dot com]
Real Living Insane Gargoyle....

Todd Jensen

Wow I'm only second?
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka