Harry heads off and finds the dead spellwolves. AWKWARD GINDER got his stupid ginger face shot off! That’ll show them for running over the author’s dog on their way over to sleep with his wife or whatever they did that pissed him off so much. FAT DUDE bled out.
CRAZY BITCH? Well, she naturally transformed back into something with tits.
naked but for a business skirt soaked in blood.
Yes Harry, you only mentioned that literally every time she showed up.
There was a line of greenish goo around her waist, probably the remains of the wolf belt. Its magic must have died when she did.
So let’s consider this.
She died and her belt turns to goo as a result.
Harry just ran around as a wolf using the belt from Harris, who got his face shot in a while ago.
There’s ways to make this work – there’s a good tradition of people reverting when killed. But it’s obvious this was just to let Harry leer at another naked body, because the author doesn’t say anything that makes sense here (and just as only she decided to strip in human form, only she managed to die in wolf form, suggesting it’s really about having an excuse to provide something for the non-furry audience to sexualize one last time.)
“Killing the wolf form must kill the wolf spirit of the belt.” would’ve worked. It would’ve even made more sense than the idea of belts tied to their owner’s life in the first place, because now we’re being told a specific reason for it to happen. And that’d have created the also traditional setup where the horribly injured wolf reverts to human, then bleeds out all over again, and even allow for the possibility of killing a berserk wolf but then managing to save the resulting human with speedy first aid followed by a hospital.
I could still see Marcone hog-tied up there. The position must have been excruciating-it isn’t every day that you get crucified and hung up as dinner for a monster, and you can’t really train your muscles for it. I couldn’t see Marcone’s expression, but I could almost feel his agony.
We know at least one of Marcone’s hands was free to retrieve a hidden knife and throw it. Even the very broadest definition of crucifixion requires being suspended from your arms, that’s how it kills you. Neither of those things is compatible with being hog-tied (fun fact – I tried to search for an image and it turns out that Google’s image search returns zero results once you turn safe search on) which involves getting your hands and feet tied together, in the case of humans usually behind the back. If Marcone started off hog-tied and somehow immediately freed one hand (maybe going crazy from magic drug spirits makes you bad at knots) he would currently be dangling by two legs and one arm in a way that would still resemble being hogtied but which is not having your weight supported solely on your arms. Now, if he freed both his legs without freeing his other arm, he’d currently be dangling by one limb which isn’t crucifixion or hogtying, although it would be pretty painful and might kill you in a similar way to crucifixion. But that would require him to be a total idiot who thought he should free both legs before his other arm so I’m assuming that isn’t it either.
I’m going to guess that both of Marcone’s arms are free and he’s dangling by his legs, and Harry’s said hogtied because he’s picturing how you carry a dead pig with its feet tied around the stick you’re carrying and the body dangling underneath and he thinks that’s what the word means because he’s never been on the internet and hasn’t seen all the porn. Marcone’s position would then very loosely resemble crucifixion on the basis his weight is completely supported by two limbs presumably at the last joint and it’s pretty painful to dangle from your ankles too, plus Peter was crucified upsidedown because he didn’t think he was good enough for how Jesus died (this is why an upsidedown cross is traditionally a symbol of holy humility and has nothing to do with Satan), and while Harry is unlikely to have meant that comparison the narration could want to set up how Marcone is suffering for people like Jesus (he did help them out) but, you know, not actually a Jesus figure because he’s not that good of a person, and unfortunately we don’t have a good option for “kind of an asshole but did help people out” figure so sure, go with guy who said he wasn’t as good as Jesus figure as your reference.
But if he’s dangling from his ankles there’s a mythological figure that actually did that (unless he hung by his neck, there’s debate)and which Harry should be directly familiar with, Odin! Odin’s knowledgeable patriarch thing not only fits Marcone, but his big knowledge boost comes from that time he was hanging, just as this has been Marcone’s big introduction to the broader world of the supernatural and how little control he actually has over it. Just like last book, there’s a dangerous supernatural threat, but last book it only hit his bodyguard and then was removed without ever even inconveniencing him. This book four different supernatural things are all rampaging on his doorstep while he’s completely helpless.
(But we know Harry knows tarot, at least enough to sneer at someone for pronouncing it as rhymes with carrot, so he knows the hanged man
Maybe I could get out of this. Maybe Murphy and I could escape with Marcone, join Susan and the others, and get out of here.
No. That was a happy fantasy. Even if I did get everyone out, I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I let the loup-garou go loose tonight, on another killing spree.
…really? Because you were ambivalent to obstinate about helping before – certainly wholly willing to use the ticking clock as a bargaining chip, and spending the whole trip to the police station whining about how you wanted to know the time left as if you wouldn’t have tried if you confirmed he’d transformed. I think the happy fantasy is more the idea you can outrun it at all – plus, given it only did one killing spree a night each time before, it’s unlikely MacFinn would continue to be a danger. He’d just go run back into the woods. But if you don’t think you have a chance at running, it sure sounds more noble to say you totally could but you’re so worried about all those other people.
Harry wonders where the wolf is as he starts to get Marcone loose and then he heads over to the pit and Marcone’s like what no you idiot! because of course it’s in there and now it’s mad because he reminded it he exists. Marcone, sorry, surprisingly actually have to go with Harry on this one, how did you expect him to know?
It was coming up the wall of the pit, simply gouging its claws into the mud and hauling itself upward, toward me. I reeled back from the thing, threw out a hand and screamed, ” Fuego!”
Nothing happened, except a little puff of steam, like a breath exhaled on a cold night, and sudden, blinding pain in my head. The loup-garou hurtled toward me, and I threw myself down to the earth, rolling away from its claws as it came up over the edge of the pit. It raked at me, caught the edge of my leather duster, and pinned it to the earth.
Okay, that’s a valid point, they’re not very tight fitting jackets. On the other hand, because of that Harry just slips out of it because I liked the coat, but I didn’t like it that much but ironically that actually seems to have saved it because it has no interest in mauling the jacket without him in it
I’m actually really interested in the jacket because we know Harry will get out of this and he’ll have a pretty good ending but will whine about how it could’ve been better. The jacket is actually at risk. Harry pretended it was in trouble earlier in the water, but now it’s actually been clawed at. Will it be wrecked and give him something to whine about/symbolize him not turning leatherpants Harry? Is the author going to protect it because it’s a cool jacket and Harry gets cool things? Is it going to get destroyed but then Harry gets an even more awesome replacement one as an apology by either Murphy or Marcone?
We’ll have to find out later because right now Harry is running, but he gets as far as to the lawn before remembering he can’t outrun a werewolf, duh and decides to fight it.
If I was going to go down, I’d go down as a wizard should-proud and ready to face what was beyond. I could spill out my death curse, a potent working of magic, if I had time to speak it. Maybe I could counter MacFinn’s curse with it, take the horrid transformation off of him that Saint Patrick had allegedly laid on him. Or maybe I could bring down Marcone’s criminal empire with it.
I feel like human MacFinn would probably still kill Marcone and take down the empire given this sort of opportunity. Guy’s evil and tried to kill him. Also, given his life’s wrecked, the only chance of getting that park built is if he takes out the last person standing in the way so other people can push this through and I think he wanted the park for Tera’s sake too, so he’d do it even if he could no longer benefit.
Point is, decursing him would probably do both. Also, not decursing him means he’s just going to turn around and eat Marcone, so again, criminal empire pretty much done with.
We don’t get further explanation. I’d like to know if death curses trigger upon death or if saying them means putting your life into the spell and kills you regardless. Done one way, they’re a contingency plan or even something you could use to get an attacker to back off. The other way, you’d have to be sure to never use them unless you’re sure you’re about to die. First one’s more versatile but I like the second for the fact it means wizard death curses are likely pretty rare, since they have to be something a wizard sees coming but is absolutely certain they can’t stop – I think that fits better with the minimal amount of impact wizards seem to have and means mobbing squishy wizards before they can get off the full spell continues to be an option. Death to the overmen!
While Harry is pondering if he wants his final act in this world to save a good man trying to do good things while laboring under a terrible curse or to just dick with Marcone who’ll probably be too dead to even care, he decides to consult Mommy’s Pentacle and then’s all oh my god inherited silver.
If only my brainlessness hadn’t kept me from realizing what I had until it was too late.
I think it works – narratively, we actually are told it’s silver all the damn time, but a person really just thinks of a beloved keepsake as the thing itself, and the fact we were told that makes it more acceptable from a detective point of view.
Harry grabs the necklace and starts whirling it like a sling while doing some sort of magic chant and also whirling it counts as a circle somehow fine whatever, and he’s all MUST DIG DEEP FOR MAGIC!!!
Magic comes from the heart, from your feelings, your deepest expressions of desire. That’s why black magic is so easy-it comes from lust, from fear and anger, from things that are easy to feed and make grow. The sort I do is harder. It comes from something deeper than that, a truer and purer source-harder to tap, harder to keep, but ultimately more elegant, more powerful.
My magic. That was at the heart of me. It was a manifestation of what I believed, what I lived. It came from my desire to see to it that someone stood between the darkness and the people it would devour. It came from my love of a good steak, from the way I would sometimes cry at a good movie or a moving symphony. From my life. From the hope that I could make things better for someone else, if not always for me.
Somewhere, in all of that, I touched on something that wasn’t tapped out, in spite of how horrible the past days had been
Except, of course, that the past few days sucked due to being physically painful, not because they’ve been an orgy of noir betrayal.
The evil masterminds of all this turned out to have good intentions and you even added it took supernatural warping to make them bad so it’s not a situation where the world just automatically grinds down all goodness. Murphy is furious with you but you know she’s a good person who does good things and stands between people and the darkness. MacFinn was good. Tera was good. The babywolf pack is nothing but bright-eyed good people. Rodrequiz not only is more than you deserve but she just fucked you precisely to make this point. (You’ve spent the last day running around with naked women you wouldn’t stop staring at.)
It’s been rough, but it really hasn’t been anything that’d shake your convictions in the goodness of man. You’re not actually in a noir story, Harry.
It began to glow, azure-blue like a candle flame. The light spread down the chain and to the amulet, and when it reached it the light became incandescent, the pentacle a brilliant light at the end of the chain, spinning a circle of light around me, trailing motes of dust that fell like starlight to the grass around me.
You know, I feel like “fell like starlight” is a phrase I’ve heard enough to seem almost cliche, but if you think about it, it really doesn’t seem to be “like starlight” at all, since that’s faint enough that it functionally doesn’t fall, you know? I think we use this because “fell like glitter” sounds less profound. Maybe the phrase started out meaning “tiny bits of glow, the same size as the stars above, but falling” and got simplified down to the current version. I wonder if the fact we think of stars now more as giant distant things and less as what we literally see influences anything. A dust of stars sounds pretty solidly magically, but it’s hard to think of star-sized as meaning to our eyes here and not the incomprehensibly giant things they actually are.
Ventas, vento servitas!”
Something about wind servant.
Without warning, Murphy stepped between me and the loup-garou, her gun held in both hands in a shooter’s stance, though the cast made that awkward. She held her gun pointed directly at me. “Harry,” she said in a very calm tone. “Get down on the ground. Right now.”
Okay, so we’re to believe somehow, the giant ragewolf is also quieter than a kittycat.
Anyway, I think you can kind of guess the surprise reveal coming.
My eyes widened. I could see over Murphy. I could see the loup-garou, moving rapidly toward her through the trees. I saw it focus on her, felt its malice and hunger spread toward her and envelop her. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t break the chant, or stop whirling the amulet. To do so would have released the energy I’d gathered, the very last strength I had in me. My head hammered with pain that would have had me screaming on any other night. I kept the amulet whirling, spraying motes of light, the brilliant white pentacle at the end of a leash of blue light.
Recall, for example, the words back at the station, that Harry would know what to do and his directions should be followed. Consider also that her one concern with his plan was suspicion that if she died stuff could be covered up, but she has just interjected herself into something unrelated he’s doing.
“I mean it, Harry,” Murphy said. “I don’t know what you’re doing, but get down. ” Her eyes were intense, and she lifted the gun, thumbing back the hammer.
Note how she’s still speaking calmly and evenly and she has said nothing about arresting him.
Trust. Whatever trust she’d had in me was gone. She’d seen or thought of something that made her think I was trying to betray her.
And Harry’s explaining this is a big deal and he’s really sad about it being true.
(Oh also he suddenly just knows that, despite repeatedly saying earlier his noble sacrifice in staying has saved his girlfriend and the babywolf pack, they’re still around and the ragewolf will kill them after it’s done here.)
“Harry,” Murphy said, her voice pleading. Her hand was shaking. “Please, Harry. Get down.”
Consider we’ve seen how she dealt with him earlier.
Consider perhaps also that she’s being really repetitive and not trying to explain herself like someone might to convince another person, as if whatever she said might give it away.
Harry chucks the spell at the jumping ragemonster as Murphy fires.
I didn’t think there was any way she could miss, and I thought, with a pang of sadness, that I wanted a chance to apologize to her before the end. For everything.
“For everything” does pretty much cover it.
The pentacle flew toward the loup-garou like a comet, incandescent white, and struck the creature’s breast like lightning hammering into an ancient tree. There was a flash of light, too much power unleashed in a flaring of energy as the mystic substance shattered the loup-garou’s invulnerability, carved into it, coursed through it in a blinding blue-white shower of sparks. Blue fire erupted from its chest, its black heart’s blood ignited into blinding flame, and the creature screamed, arching backward in agony. There was the sound of thunder, flashes of more light
In what could’ve been quality foreshadowing had the belt thing not just been some bullshit “oh I guess when you die the belt dies with you for no reason”, killing it then turns him back into a human with a corresponding massive injury.
He stared down at the wound for a moment, and then I saw him relax. MacFinn looked up, and in his face I saw all the grief and agony and impotent rage, everything he’d felt during all those years of being unable to control himself, cursed to cause death and destruction when all he wanted was to open a park for the wildlife. And then it all flooded out of him. His eyes cleared and warmed as he looked at me, and he gave me a small, quiet smile. It was an expression of forgiveness. Something to let me know that he understood.
Oh thank goodness Harry’s forgiven and actually this was the right thing to do, wouldn’t want your murdering an innocent man because your string of fuckups mean you were out of options to be anything but an unqualified victory.
Harry then passes out because that’s what he always does after the climax.