What Jenny's Reading

{July 9, 2015}   Review: Nightfall, Pt. 2

Happy late Wednesday!  I have part two of the Nightfall review today.  I’ll have another of the throwback manis for tomorrow.

So last time, we left Beenay, Theremon, and Sheerin drinking their troubles away.  I wonder what Athor’s doing while those fuckers are just partying it up, bro-style?

Poor Athor’s been working himself to the bone while Beenay hangs with his lifemate and contract-mate’s uncle. He’s pissed and weary and looking for an explanation for Beenay’s findings. Like, fuck that Beenay guy, right? Why isn’t he in the lab, working his ass off?

Well, okay, because Athor doesn’t want anyone else’s help. Methinks he’s a little stung in the pride section of his ass, despite his remarks to the contrary. To make a long story short, they decide that the LUG (ha, okay that’s the one) is still good, except now they’ve found an additional satellite that’s causing the problems in the calculations. It’s Kalgash’s moon, though they don’t realize it. They call it Kalgash Two. Athor’s like, yeah, play with this all you want, I’m going home to get some fucking sleep.

Well, not before he shits all over Beenay’s gravitational lens theory. Heh. Athor totally hopes Beenay dies in a fire or something.

Somehow Siferra and Beenay start consulting about her Thrombo problem. I’m really not clear on why she sought out his help. Beenay exposits that they’re friends and have been for years, since working on some library committee together. Maybe Siferra just wants an unbiased opinion, since everybody else is telling her she sucks or trying to get in her pants.

So they chat about how often the village was destroyed and how she’s basically proving the Apostles of Flame right. Beenay’s all, hey! I have a friend who’s totes in with the Apostles, and he writes for a newspaper! Let me talk to him about this!

Siferra, because she’s not stupid, shuts that shit down. Well, she hasn’t met Theremon yet. She hasn’t fallen for his hypnotic powers. Yet.

Also Beenay gets destracted and offends Siferra, because she thinks he’s ignoring her, even though she’s making him freak out about the Apostle stuff Theremon told him, and it gives him an idea. So he runs off to the Observatory, where he abuses his position to force lower staff members to do his bidding.

Well, that’s not fair. He wants projections of how all the suns have moved around Kalgash for the last four thousand years, essentially an eternity for them. Then one of the grad students starts doing the same calculations he’s doing, and hilariously, the student finishes up before Beenay. All the while, Beenay’s trying to figure something out, something to do with the suns and their various positions in the sky. Turns out he’s trying to determine whether the suns would ever bunch together on one hemisphere, leaving another in darkness.

Duh, Beenay. Has that ever happened before? No. So why would it happen now?

But the calculations do show that Kalgash Two’s orbit brings it closer and closer to Kalgash and that sometimes it coincides with Dovim-only days. And wouldn’t you know it? In very rare occurrences, Kalgash Two eclipses Dovim when Dovim is the only sun in the sky. Only once every two thousand forty-nine years.

Hey, did you guys get to see the pictures or streaming video from the total solar eclipse earlier this year? Wasn’t that awesome? I may not “get” science, but I can appreciate it when I see it.

Beenay and his grad student think this is horrible, rather than awesome. They determine that the next Dovim-only event that will happen is the two thousand forty-nine year event, and wouldn’t you know it? It’s on the nineteenth of Theptar.

Next is essentially the convening of the Knights of the Round Table, I guess. Athor’s called together Beenay, Siferra, and Sheerin to discuss the impending catastrophe.

The long and short is, they’re responsible for keeping the human race together and sane (Me, from the future: Great job, team!). Beenay wants to arrange for Athor to talk to Folimun, because maybe they can help each other, as the Apostles claim to have astronomical charts dating back from the previous eclipse. No one’s excited about the idea, but they agree to pursue it.

Siferra is there to provide the expertise about the previous civilizations, and Sheerin, of course, because he specializes in Darkness-related disorders. There’s a long portion of the chapter that’s Sheerin bitching about how much Darkness sucks and it makes people crazy because it’s unnatural.

Honestly, part of me wants to mock the idea that these people are so terrified of darkness and stars that they go insane on the regular. But then I remembered that one time I saw this article, talking about what all the planets would look like from Earth if they were the distance the Moon is from us. And there were pictures. And I have to be honest, it freaked me out a little bit.

But in reality, that was because they were so close. And the stars are pretty far away, they just look like pinpricks of light. And I know this is true because of that scene where the science kids experimented by going into a dark room with a roof pricked with tons of dots, so it would look like stars.

Maybe I should be nicer about it. I mean, aren’t there parts of the world that sometimes have no darkness at all? Like in northern Alaska, I think. I think there have been studies done regarding what constant daylight does to people, leading to insomnia (duh), violent behavior, and even suicide. I guess this would be similar. Okay, I should think about it in those terms.

Oh, and Athor proclaims it will be the end of the world. Drama queen.

This ends the first “book” of the book (Twilight except there weren’t any fucking sparkling vampires, so plus!), and now we’re in the second “book” which is called Nightfall. We skip ahead to the nineteenth of Theptar, because seriously that’s what we’re all waiting for anyway and don’t pretend you weren’t. It starts with Beenay and his lifemate, Theremon. They’re at the Observatory, and Beenay’s telling Theremon that Athor’s pissed at him (Theremon) and he should just leave. Theremon refuses, saying Siferra invited him.

At the end of the first book, they were positioning Theremon as an ally, and a helper with the Apostles. So what happened?

I really like this, actually. They skip a whole bunch of important stuff, but go back and explain it all in flashbacks and memories. Also, I enjoy the insult “superannuated crackbrain.” I need to start using that in regular conversation.

We get another taste of what’s been going on in the last year when Theremon “casually” asks about Siferra. Heh. Hee hee hee. Oh, Theremon.

He’s spent the last several months painting a black streak over the Observatory scientists. It seems like he was first attempting to be unbiased, since he’s friendly with Beenay and was desperate to fuck Siferra, but then I think he got scared, honestly. They don’t really cover this, but I think he was afraid of the idea of the Darkness and the Stars, and decided to play at the scientists being foolish.

Theremon even sticks to his story when he’s at the Observatory, among all the scientists who believe the eclipse will happen. I really don’t know why he’s so surprised they all believe it. Where’s he been the last fourteen months?

It seems that everything started to fall apart when Beenay asked Theremon to arrange a meeting between Athor and Folimun. Theremon was hilariously quick to point out that he and Folimun aren’t FRIENDS, OMG HOW EMBARASSING, they’re professional acquaintances only. Theremon thinks it’s nuts that Athor wants to confirm astronomical stuff with a crazy cult, but does end up setting up the meeting.

Theremon really doesn’t come off all that well here, guys. The columns he wrote mocking the Observatory folk sort of sound like tabloid stuff, rather than respected journalism stuff. And then he’s shocked, just SHOCKED, that people might be mad at him! I mean, who could’ve predicted that writing mean things about people would upset those people you were writing the mean things about? Not Theremon, Kalgash’s most famous journalist, not he!

I know I’m being mean to Theremon right now, which is funny (to me), because I actually love him. I just think he’s wrong, and surprisingly oblivious about how upset his friends would be with him.

Athor, of course, is PISSED, like ready to toss Theremon out a window. Theremon’s all, but I’m with Siferra, who hasn’t even showed yet and can’t verify her invitation. They dwell briefly on where she is, but move on quickly. Athor tries to force Theremon to leave, but Beenay’s on his side (because DUH), and Theremon says he has a proposal for Athor. He wants to be Athor’s emissary, to the world, because they’re all going to be pissed off when the eclipse doesn’t happen and the world doesn’t end. He won’t have credibility, and Theremon will help him rebuild it.

Well, I mean. You did destroy all of his credibility almost entirely on your own, Theremon. I think Athor has reason to be pissy with you. Was this some form of job security you were crafting behind their backs?

Before Athor can practice defenestration, Siferra appears, says she’s late because of a problem at her office, and confirms she did invite Theremon. Athor’s feeling betrayed by this, but is also reaching his limit for all the bullshit surrounding him, so he relents and says Theremon can stay, as long as he doesn’t interfere with what the scientists are doing.

Ha. Sit in your corner, missy, and let the grownups handle this.

I think my Nook skipped a page or two here.

Siferra tells Theremon she thought he was more dignified than accepting her invitation. Well, basically. She says she’s surprised he can look Athor in the eye, after all the awful things he said about Athor and the rest of them. Theremon’s like, well, you invited me! Also, I will be helping you once I’m proven right about this eclipse thing.

This leads into a flashback. Siferra started out hating everything about Theremon but then grew to have feelings for him. So their story is essentially every rom-com, ever. Ugh. I’m actually glad we skipped it and are just getting the highlights. They met through Beenay, who totally BROKE HIS PROMISE to Siferra and blabbed to Theremon about her discovery and tablets. She’s pissed at Beenay, and Theremon manages to talk her into having dinner with him. Then he tries to invite himself into her bed, and she declined. That happens several times and Siferra starts to fall for him. You know, till he started calling her a crackpot. Sorry, crackbrain.

Theremon AGAIN demonstrates a lack of basic human understanding when he’s shocked that Siferra’s upset about the stories he writes. I mean, really, Theremon? How long have you been a journalist? And you’ve never had anyone upset by something you wrote? Especially when they’re supposed to be your friends?

Honestly if he’d managed to talk her into bed after that I’d proclaim him the dudest of all dudebros (“Do you even seduce, bro?”). Halt your search, good college students. We have found him.

WTF is wrong with me, seriously. I blame my oddly tasteless mojito.

Siferra stalks off, pissed at herself for inviting him, which she did only because she wanted to issue the most epic “I told you so” of all time. Countdown till she falls back in love with him is now on. I give her about three, maybe four hours.

It occurs to me that every time I’ve read this book, I’ve pictured Beenay as Jeffrey Wright as Beetee from The Hunger Games. I guess it’s their similar names, though I’d honestly forgotten the THG character’s name. Maybe he should play Beenay in the movie that’s happening only inside my head.

I do this a lot. Cast books or even re-makes of movies. Like, in college, my friends and I thought they should remake Flash Gordon with Owen Wilson and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Shut up. Go watch the movie and think about that. It works.

So Siferra apologizes to Athor for thinking that Theremon could possibly be civilized, and he forgives her, because now he doesn’t care anymore. Oh, and she also tells him her Thrombo tables were stolen, which is why she was late. She says she thinks the Apostles stole them, and Athor agrees. She’s quite bitter and calls this “like a rape.” No. That is not correct, not even a little bit.

Athor tells her it doesn’t matter, because in a few hours no one’s going to remember about the tablets anyway. Cheery!

A lot of this is sort of draggy. I mean, not that it’s bad writing or anything, just that we’re all sitting around, waiting for the main event.

Siferra and Beenay have a conversation about how the Apostles are just the fucking worst, with the stealing of the tablets and the wearing of bulky shapeless robes and all. I guess they demanded the tablets, and she demanded their code key to translate the tablets, and they came to an impasse that was apparently broken by the stealing.

These Apostles didn’t really think all that far ahead, did they? They’ve known about the tablets for months, and yet they wait till the very last minute to do their stealing?

All of this gets broken up by Sheerin’s arrival. Athor’s hilariously pissed, like what does he have against Sheerin, anyway? He’s all, excuse me, fatass, I thought you were hiding in the Sanctuary with the rest of the smarties?

Sheerin’s really weird here, I think. Very…happy. Like, I feel like the Tunnel of Mystery really did fuck him in the head, and it’s just now manifesting itself. He’s all excited to see Theremon, because again, everybody wants to fuck Theremon except Siferra (she’s lying) and Athor (probably him too), and even manages to make light of Theremon’s recent articles that call him a crackpot. Sorry, crackbrain.

So the Sanctuary is something they didn’t originally tell Theremon about. It’s a bunch of intellectuals, probably mostly from the university, who are going to be protected and have food, provisions, and I guess a few generators for when the power fails. Sheerin was supposed to be with them, but he got bored. Well, I don’t really blame him. I’d be bored, too. Okay, so Athor says that the Sanctuary is supposed to be a counter-force against the Apostles, and they have all the smarts and the actual knowledge (like books and so forth) to educate people about the next cycle.


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