Snarking Obsidian: Chapter 9


Previously on  Obsidian, Katy and Daemon almost advance their relationship from Mutual Hatred to PASSIONATE SMOOCHES. Later, Dee begs Katy not to go to the library alone tonight, because the town’s lurking girlnapper might girlnap her.

Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold or block-quotes, it’s paraphrased snark.


Chapter Index

CHAPTER 9

Remember how I concluded the previous chapter with, “If she doesn’t immediately head to the library in the next chapter, I’m going to be so disappointed in her”?

FIRST LINE OF CHAPTER 9:

After dinner with Mom, I headed out.

Hold on, I need to find someone to high-five.

Now, assuming something plot-important happens while she’s out, this will be the second time in the book thus far—the second time—that Katy instigated an advancement in the plot; the first time was her fateful trip to ask her neighbors where to find the town’s grocery store. Every other plot-advancing action or decision in the preceding eight chapters has been instigated by someone else. You’ve finally earned your plot participation award, Katy, well done. It only took, uh, ninety-one pages.

The evening’s turning stormy as Katy arrives at the library, and “the unnatural darkening of the sky outside” lends the nearly-deserted library and eerie atmosphere. (Okay, hold on, “the unnatural darkening of the sky“? Does . . . does Katy not know how nightfall and/or storms work?) She pokes through the shelves a bit while laboriously explaining how deep is her love of libraries, until—thank god—the librarian kills the lights and boots her out the door, as eager to get Katy kidnapped as Katy is herself.

And then three things happen in quick succession:

  1. RAIN POURS (UNNATURALLY???),
  2. Katy rushes to her car and fumbles with her keys,
  3. A man steps out of the shadows beside Katy.

You know where this is going.

DUDE: “Hey girl, you got a tire iron I can borrow for totally innocent legitimate tire-related reasons?”

KATY: “My every instinct is wailing that I should GTF away from you, but you look sad and wet and ‘no’ literally is not in my vocabulary—so yeah, I do, hold on, let me open my trunk and lean waaaay inside it with my back to you so I can lend you this useful murder weapon.”

DUDE: “Sweet, thanks.”

ME: [AGHAST]

Okay, no, it doesn’t actually surprise me that Katy made this decision, for two reasons:

  • As we’ve seen with every other decision she’s made thus far, Katy habitually prioritizes other people’s feelings and their perceptions of her over everything else.
  • Katy’s been an accurate representation of the awful beliefs misogynistic society teaches girls. Here, it’s “being polite, helpful, and agreeable to men is more important than your own sense of safety.” Katy actually tells the reader that every fiber of her being is hissing to get away from this man, but she is still incapable of saying no. Her decision is heartrendingly realistic.

But here’s what has me rage-smashing my keyboard: instead of highlighting how awful Katy’s mindset and actions are, the book is consistently using each of Katy’s “I’ll just sacrifice my own comfort and security because they don’t actually matter anyway” decisions solely to advance the (shitty, abusive) romance.

Because yep, making your teen heroine a mess of misogynistic beliefs and behaviors to ensure she falls in love with the (shitty, abusive) alien next door is A+ responsible storytelling.

Moving right along:

KATY: [IS ATTACKED FROM BEHIND, WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING]

DUDE: [SLAMS KATY INTO THE PAVEMENT FOR THREE PAGES]

DUDE: “Humans are so stupid, so gullible.” [Sniffs her hair] “You carry a distinctively virile musk de mollusque. Where are they?”

KATY: “I . . . I don’t understand.”

DUDE: “You’re nothing but a stupid, walking mammal. Worthless. WHERE ARE THEY WHO MUSKED UPON YOU?”

KATY: “Uh, can you at least rephrase your ques—“

DUDE: “Maybe you need a little encouragement.”

KATY: [IS CHOKED]

DUDE: “FEELING MORE TALKATIVE NOW, HUMAN?”

KATY: “Not really, seeing as how your fist is crushing my neck into pulp.

Oh, whoops—while Katy’s literally being choked to death, let me backtrack a couple pages and tell you that bits of the guy’s body are flickering in and out of transparency, which Katy remembers had happened with Dee, too.

So Katy’s blandly narrating her dying aria, (“The pressure wasn’t bad now. The rawness in my throat seemed to ease. The pain was leaving. I was leaving, fading into darkness”), when someone rips her attacker off her and chucks him across the parking lot. What proceeds is a twenty-word fight conducted in the shadows (because it’s harder to screw up a fight scene if you actively avoid writing it), but don’t worry, the fight we aren’t shown is totally awe-inspiring and cinematic:

The strength [her savior exhibited] was shocking, brutal. Inhuman. Impossible.

Her rescuer then shouts a manly curse and there’s a flash of light and the villain’s gone.

(I’ll just quickly note my discomfort with the fact that the book chose to relish every minute detail of Katy’s assault over the course of three pages, but dismissed the fight between her rescuer and attacker with only two bland lines.)

Having thus saved the day, the rescuer crouches down beside the broken, bloody, wheezing husk that is Katy, delicately slides one tentacular club down her arm to encircle her (possibly broken?) wrist, and slowly oozes his calming (or maybe healing?) alien warmth into her body. “I was reminded of days lying out on white beaches, basking in the sun,” Katy thinks, further affirming my connection between the aliens and the ocean, and thus their true squidly forms.

Now alive enough to speak, Katy begins to thank her rescuer for his superb rescuing technique, but—quelle surprise!—the face looming over her (whose individual parts she catalogues and whose whole she deems “striking and so cold“) belongs to Daemon. Her thanks fade half-spoken, and she notices that her (possibly broken?) wrist “wasn’t throbbing any longer but his touch was doing something else.” I’ll bet.

She yanks away, giving Daemon an opportunity to call the police and ambulance. Katy then thanks him for his chivalrousness, and Daemon pushes a distraught hand through his distraught hair and growls that he doesn’t deserve thanks because the attack was all his fault.

I leaned back carefully and peered up—way up—and I immediately wished I hadn’t. He looked fierce. And protective.

“See something you like, Kitten?”

Oh, shut up, guy. She was just assaulted (for three pages) by a man whom she thought was going to rape and kill her. If ever there’s not a time to make snide comments about how much you think she wants your dick, it’s now.

They briefly discuss her injuries (crunched throat, smashed face, possibly broken wrist), then how she got these injuries (DAEMON: “A stranger approaches you for help in a dark parking lot and you go and help him? That has to be one of the most careless things I’ve heard in a long time.” ME: “SHE WENT WITH YOU INTO THE WOODS. ALONE. TWICE. WHY DOES THIS SURPRISE YOU”).

I’m impressed that Daemon pointed out the recklessness of her decision, though. Less impressive is Katy’s response to his point:

I ignored the last comment. “So why were . . . you out here?”

Yes, can’t have our heroine learning the value of protecting herself from men who make her uncomfortable, can we.

Daemon stopped pacing and ran a hand over his chest, above his heart. “I just was.”

“Geez, I thought you guys were supposed to be nice and charming.”

He frowned. “What guys?”

“You know, the knight in shining armor and saving the damsel in distress kind.” I stopped at that point. I must’ve hit my head.

“I’m not your knight.”

“Okay . . . ” I whispered.

This is the quality of writing I’m working with, guys. Look at it.

Daemon then affects his most careful I’m Totally Nonchalant Right Now, Just Inspecting My Knuckles pose and offhandedly asks if the guy had said anything to Kat; he just about collapses with relief to hear that the guy had asked her “where are they” instead of specifying “where are the gorgeous teen alien twins,” and therefore his secret identity is still (however briefly) safe.

Overcome by her assault, Katy begins full-body trembling; Daemon, actually being a decent person for once, kneels down beside her, “whip[s] his shirt off,” and drapes it over her, and thank god the book is respectful enough of Katy’s physical and emotional state to not have her notice the bareness of his chest.

What she notices instead is how Daemon’s soothing salt-and-seaweed odor “wrapped around [her],” and, “[a]s if [her] body recognized [she] didn’t need to fight anymore,” Katy falls over sideways and passes out.


All right, Katy. Daemon’s list of Totally Obviously Not Human Traits now officially includes “supernatural speed and strength,” “calming/possibly healing through touch (and smell?),” and “speaking an alien language” (she heard, like, a couple words of it during the fight; it sounds like whale song, who’s surprised). If you don’t address any of this in the next chapter, I will officially lose my shit.

<PREVIOUS CHAPTERNEXT CHAPTER>

CHAPTER INDEX


35 thoughts on “Snarking Obsidian: Chapter 9

  1. This had me laughing so hard I nearly snorted tea out my nose – most particularly the bit about the “unnatural darkening of the sky”. I went back to catch up on the previous chapters (being more careful about when I chose to take a sip of tea) and thoroughly enjoyed them… makes me wish I could replace every underwhelming/infuriating book on my bookshelf with your snark version of it 🙂

    So far I think this story has managed to use all the paranormal YA romance clichés on my most-hated list, except, perhaps, for the love triangle… but maybe there’s still time for that? After all, this other guy just showed up – I know he tried to strangle her, but from what I read in the previous chapters it seems aggressive, predatory behaviour doesn’t necessarily rule him out as a love interest. Also I still can’t get over that random bear attack…

    Looking forward to the next instalment!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaah don’t snort tea out your nose! That sounds horrible, please resist that urge. I’m glad you’re enjoying Obsidian with me so far, though!

      Ha, if I had the patience and fortitude necessary to summarize all your awful books for you, I’d get right on it.

      If this book ends up having a love triangle in it on top of everything else, I’ll throw it out my window. Let’s keep every finger crossed that doesn’t happen!

      But ahahaha oh man okay if the attacker turns out to be the third in her love triangle, that’s totally fine, because at that point I’d literally be dead of horror and disgust. Bring it on, book.

      Thank you! It’ll be a week late, but hopefully the wait is worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Offers up my hand for the highest of fives

    OMG. Plot participation points. Are these a thing?! I remember regretting this chapter the entire time I was reading it (as if I were the one who had written it and could have done something to stop it from existing) because look… we still have an ENTIRE book to fumble through and I don’t have to guess whodunit? and whydunit? for the next 200 pages. And I know for a fact this girl has to go to school. The author didn’t spend all that time counting down her days till school as a NEW PERSON OMG!! to just NOT let her go.

    Don’t you love how much it rains for no other reason than the fact that there are literal aliens investing this small town fucking with the weather every ten seconds for… brownie points maybe?? (Do aliens eat brownies? That’s the real question here.)

    Please note that when the book mentioned Katy’s head striking the ground on the parking lot, all I could picture was this: https://cdn.meme.am/cache/instances/folder587/500x/67324587.jpg (because I would have died… I’m sure that alien man was not gentle when that happened… and since Daemon– posing as a child– was unnaturally strong, I can only assume that this alien– posing as a man– was also strong?? Like unless Daemon is King of All Aliens, we can probably say strength is a thing those guys have over us human folk). UGH… One day we will get to see Daemon do something alien-y instead of getting the lackluster “THE LIGHTS WERE BRIGHT… then the lights were gone and everything was normal.”

    “Katy thinks, further affirming my connection between the aliens and the ocean, and thus their true squidly forms.” – I can’t wait till the big reveal.

    P.S. I think Chapter 10 has my FAVORITE scene in it (if I’m remembering correctly), so I can’t wait for it to appear in your snark.

    P.P.S. Your posts are so great for my health. I managed to forget I was having a low day for a good 20+ minutes while I read, absorbed, and tried to conjure up a worthy enough comment to grace your blog. So, thank you for being awesomely you. ❤

    P.P.P.S. One of these days, you won’t have to deal with me leaving obnoxiously long comments on your posts (that day is not today, though, and I’m sorry).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I remember regretting this chapter the entire time I was reading it (as if I were the one who had written it and could have done something to stop it from existing)”

      I wish you were, and could have. I wish this with my entire soul.

      Oh, god, two hundred pages. You’re depressing me, Morgan; let’s talk about them in terms of chapters instead of pages. Ten or twelve sounds so much less awful than two hundred.

      Ha! I hadn’t thought about the possible repercussions on the local environment/ecosystem. Have they drowned any vital crops? Are there ravening hordes of mosquitoes divebombing the town? WILL THEY RAIN OUT PROM???

      (Surely the aliens eat brownies. Who DOESN’T eat brownies?)

      Yes! I was just imagining her head as an overripe melon and her bones as dry spaghetti, shattering at every touch. How on earth did she survive that?

      Ugh, I’m sorry you have to wait an unexpected week for Chapter 10’s snark to be released. Hopefully the anticipation will make you enjoy it that much more.

      And double ugh, I left you for a whole week without snark to brighten your day. I’m sorry, Morgan, I failed you. (Your comments, no matter how short, are always worthy and loved.) (But I do especially love your long comments, never fear.) ❤

      Like

  3. I just sooooo want to give up on this book even though I’m not reading it because it’s a freaking awful, terrible snorefest with awful, terrible behaviors… but I can’t leave you… I enjoy your snark too much… Daemon is possibly bipolar? ‘See something yo like, Kitten?” and then ‘I’m not your knight.’- dud make up your mind what it is you want from our poor self-destructive Katy…
    I wonder… normally, there’s a big revelation about half way through the book… is it going to be the 50% mark when Katy FINALLY finds out about the alien thing?… pfffft… buckle up, we’re in for a long, soul-destroying ride!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahaha, well I seriously won’t blame you if you can’t make it through even my snark version of it; I can barely make it through my snark version of it. Though of course your insight and commiseration would be sorely missed!

      Huh, that’s a great point about his widely swinging moods and behaviors. Having a mental illness certainly makes a lot more sense (as is much more acceptable) than “He’s conveniently doing whatever will increase the sexual tension or angst at this particular moment.”

      If Katy remains oblivious to the alien thing all the way to the halfway point, I will cry. I will cry tears of agony. Because chances are looking pretty good that she won’t be going out of her way to solve the mystery of What Is Up With Those Twins; she’ll probably end up being in some kind of Daemon-induced danger, and he has to reveal his alien self to her to protect her. And I will HATE IT.

      I am buckled, but my soul is not prepared for this. Are you prepared for this? Please let at least one of us be prepared for this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Liam… I shall not leave you to suffer alone 😀 hahaha… nope, I’m with you every step of the book… Sorry for moaning and whining there… I just felt totally sad after that chapter! 😀
        I wonder would bookies start taking bets on when the big reveal will happen and how.. lol… but I am buckled up as well.. It’s actually getting interesting for me now… how much fluff and ab-staring will happen yet before the green slimy alien is revealed to Katy? Intrigued, so I am! 😉 And, will the green slimy alien have abs as well? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. *DUDE: “You’re nothing but a stupid, walking mammal. Worthless. WHERE ARE THEY WHO MUSKED UPON YOU?”

    KATY: “Uh, can you at least rephrase your ques—“*

    She is a stupid, walking mammal. Hit the nail on the head with that one, man in need of a tire iron.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great recap for this chapter. Oh “the unnatural darkening of the sky outside” part practically made me snort I laughed so hard. I do love your chapter recaps, though it sounds like this book is getting painful for you to read, especially given it’s taken 90 odd pages for Katy to finally do something, and when she does she doesn’t even make it to actually doing research (I’m assuming because it wasn’t really mentioned in your recap, or the book from what I can remember) before being attacked and rescued by Daemon.
    I swear if the alien reveal doesn’t happen in the next chapter I will be very disappointed. Katy practically has all the information she needs to out Daemon as an extra terrestrial now. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it awful? She’s sixteen and still apparently baffled by the affect storm clouds and nightfall has on daylight. Lord help us.

      Ah, you’re right, I should have made it explicit that she does NOT do any research in the library! She barely mentions what she does in there, except to describe how much she loves books and how books are her life and libraries fill her with peace, etc. It’s all very convincing. (That’s a lie, it’s not.)

      I couldn’t agree more. She’s due for her big WHAT ARE YOU? speech, and past due.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The education system must have really failed her if she isn’t aware of any of things like those; either that or slept through her whole school career.
        Maybe she didn’t even do any research, just stood in the centre of the library and stared at the books or something.
        Maybe that will be in the next chapter (like I said I really can’t remember what happens in this book at all.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I went back and reread the few paragraphs that she spends in the library, and literally all she narrates is stuff like “As with gardening, in the stillness of the library, I felt at peace,” and “Stopping by one of the empty tables, I let out a little breath of happiness,” and “I was always able to lose myself in reading,” and “Time passed faster than I realized.” Literally the only actions we see her take while in the library is (a) looking at the stacks of books when she first enters, (b) exhaling happily beside an empty table. THAT’S IT. She doesn’t even go to a specific section of the library, or touch a book. Oh my god.

        Prepare yourself to be disappointed with the next chapter, Beth. I’m sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Do you reckon that’s all she did. Maybe she arrived at the library so late that all there was time for her to do was stand there and bask in the atmosphere of it all before she was kicked out.
        Oh no, but I’m sure your recap of it will be hilarious either way so I have to look forwards too! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Liam, how did I not know about this? Holy shit.

    I am perpetually amused at how sudden meetings are met with intrigue. Like, dude, no. Someone comes up next to me with a spooky “hey” (or “boo”, for the unoriginal folk). Reaction tells me I either throw a punch or get the fuck out of there.

    If this were a CLUE game, it would read: DRENCHED MAN in the UNNATURALLY POURING RAIN (OUTSIDE) with WOMAN’S OWN CAR KEYS OPENING TO A REPOSITORY OF WEAPONS — FAN FAVOURITE: A VINTAGE 1982 VHS OF E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Fitting.

    Salt AND Seaweed cologne is a thing now? Okay Liam, gonna DIY this shit and send it to you pronto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s me, STEALTH SNARKER.

      I’ve made a note not to use a spooky “hey” on you, ever.

      Ha! This book would be significantly more entertaining as a game of Clue. Actually, I’m officially tempted to just drop the book and go watch Clue instead; Tim Curry always makes my day.

      Yes please, let me know when you need my shipping address.

      Like

  7. 91 pages? We’re already… or should I say only 91 pages into the story? Blah! Maybe Katy lives on Gallifrey and the suns never go down.. I mean, those people from Gallifrey were so dumb that I wouldn’t be surprised if Katy was one of their daughters. (Can you feel I need my David Tennant fix very soon? :p)
    Three pages of assault? Is it a step-by-step book about how to assault naive girls?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please try to contain your horror, but—I’ve never watched Doctor Who. I’m just going to go hide now.

      (And yep, the assault is portrayed in careful detail. Thanks, book! That’s exactly what I want to read three pages of in my alien romance story, definitely!)

      Like

  8. high fives Now I very sure where my weekly dose of entertainment is to be at 😀 Unnatural darkenings apart, what’s with the salt and seaweed odor? I totally wrinkle my nose at that. And omg this had me screaming-

    “I’m not your knight.”
    “Okay . . . ” I whispered.

    bangs head on table

    Liked by 2 people

    1. [High fives!]

      Aaah I’m so sorry I took an unexpected week off! I assure you the snark will resume as normal on Monday. [Sweats.]

      Isn’t the dialogue, uh, amazing? You’re, er, missing out by not reading the book itself. Yep.

      Like

  9. Liam, you are a comedic genius. Some of the things you point out are just so ridiculous, I can’t believe I didn’t notice them before. I nearly choked on my water after reading the part about the “unnatural darkening of the sky.” My lord. And “WHERE ARE THEY WHO MUSKED UPON YOU?” I can’t with you sometimes LOL. You are just too much haha.

    I like how you pointed out that Katy’s decision to behave politely towards a suspicious man, even though she feels uncomfortable, is due to the misogynistic expectations of women in today (and yesterday’s) society. It’s disappointing that this message is clearly not the author’s intention. Katy’s behavior and poor decision-making is obviously a plot device used to advance the horrendous romance (can I even call it that?) between Daemon and Katy.

    And it really does bother me how ignorant Katy is, regarding her opinion of Daemon and her lack of suspicion (or curiosity about his identity as a human, for crying out loud). Also, three pages of assault and only two lines describing the fight? Horrible. Just horrible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Isn’t it weird, noticing ridiculous things you didn’t see the first time (or ten times) you read a book? I do it ALL THE TIME. It’s awful/amazing.

      That kind of misogynistic social conditioning really needs to be shouted about all over the place, especially because so many people—this author included—obviously aren’t aware of it or how damaging it is, or just don’t care. Honestly, I wish someone had pointed it out to me when I was growing up; I was assigned female at birth, and raised/socialized female, and I didn’t learn about the misogynistic conditioning stuff until I was in grad school. I STILL sometimes struggle with the instinct to be polite and agreeable to men, even though I know I should do whatever I damn well please. If I’d overheard someone shouting about this when I was a kid, I’d have been much better off.

      I guess I should feel some comfort in the fact that Katy’s (as you perfectly put it) behavior and poor decision-making are the plot device instead of rape. That’s . . . good.

      It’s certainly clear that the book’s only priority is the romance—and it knows that the romance would wither and die if Katy had two critical thoughts to rub together. Hey, book, that’s a great sign that there’s something seriously wrong with your romance.

      Yeah, this is all just disgusting.

      Like

  10. Granted, I don’t think a man has ever come to my rescue before, including my husband (he’s more of a “ya got this?” kind of guy…), but in my wildest dreams my knight in shining armour has never “whipped off his shirt” and draped it around me. Because I can’t figure out a scenario, short of being pulled from the frigid waters off NFLD, that would require this. If it was unnaturally raining and dark, wouldn’t he be soaked through too? Or does his squid-like demeanour repel water?

    Head meets desk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s wonderful to have a spouse whose first instinct isn’t to barge into the scene with fists a-flailing at the first sign of your discomfort; I’d pick a supportive spouse who’s concerned about both my comfort AND my sense of agency any day.

      Ha! I understand how intriguing the whipped-off-his-shirt thing is, but I hope you’ll refrain from any unnecessary drowning attempts. Swimming in wintry Canadian waters sounds terribly uncomfortable.

      Oh, you have an excellent eye for detail; I should’ve mentioned that, at approximately the moment Daemon arrived on the scene, the rain stopped. His weather-control powers are apparently greater than the attacker’s, which makes me think that perhaps Daemon is King of the Aliens. Wouldn’t that be . . . great.

      Yes, I’ll go ahead and head-desk with you.

      Like

  11. Why haven’t I seen these book snarks earlier? I’ve clearly missed out on something! They way you question things I would never have noticed in the first place is hilarious 😀 “This is the quality of writing I’m working with, guys. Look at it.” Thank you for making my day 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha 😀 Luckily they did, so we can all head-desk together 😉
        I listened to the audiobook a couple of months ago but I couldn’t really get into the story. Some people say the series gets better with every book but for the time being I have no intention to continue.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I certainly can’t blame you for not being able to get into it, and not wanting to continue the series. This book doesn’t make for a promising start, that’s for sure, and from what I hear the second book isn’t a significant improvement.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sometimes I’m just really tired of those girl moves to a new town, meets a handsome but mysterious guy, falls in love with said guy although he doesn’t even treat her well… stories. Why can’t we just have a strong independent heroine who falls in love with a kind and not so very mysterious guy for once?

        Like

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