So. Where were we?
Right. Lia and Utah are meeting Seir, Fin's brother. AKA gold-haired Q. Apparently Seir has been stalking Fin and the Dino Corps across the country, and while it's getting rather annoying he's been useful more than once. They'll put up with him.
Like Fin and Zero, Seir is pretty. She likes Utah more.
They discuss things, like family, and how fucked up family can be. He says all he wants is to talk to Fin for a little while, and then he drops that Adam's competition is feeding under a specific bridge and they need to go there. Lia and Utah head back inside. They flirt. She has a headache. They go to bed.
Sir meets with Zero, who is apparently his other brother. We also find out that Fin's real really for real name is not "Infinity", and that he picked that name out for himself, and he picked out Zero's name for him too. So I get the feeling that Fin has the maturity level of your average Mega Man/Sonic fanfic writer, and that the universe is kind of tolerating it.
Seir asks Zero why he doesn't just obliterate the earth with an asteroid, and it is apparently because he thinks the non-humans are kind of cool and that they deserve to fight for their right to
The expositional dialogue is horrible:
Better question: WHO WOULD TALK LIKE THAT.
“Fin and his damn obsession with numbers. Who would name themselves Fin meaning infinity?”
In the morning Fin lets Lia know that he watched her entire conversation with Seir, I also have to say that I do like the ambiguity around Fin, Seir and Zero. Zero is batshit. Seir is, as I have already said, Q. Fin is not trustable. At all. It's good that we're not entirely sure we're on the right side. Saving the planet is very good, but who are we saving it for?
What do I not like?
“Millions of years ago, I had a series of nine visions. They detailed where and when each of Zero’s immortals could be defeated. The visions also showed me the nine human women necessary to do it.”
Yep. Lia is a Child of Prophesy. A Chosen One. Also apparently she is destined to defeat Seven. He gives her no clues, but he accepts this vision thing as a gosh darn given. Oh, it's presented as them needing her, but not as if she has any choice in the matter. Nope, you're already going to do it. Get used to your new role as savior of the human race. Lia even asks "what if I walk away" and Fin replies thusly:
See, the problem with making your wonderful heroic heroine a Child of Prophesy is it kind of takes her agency out of the equation. This isn't happening because Lia is a good and strong and durable heroine who takes no shit from no one ever. Nope. It's happening because Fin had a vision. Even Lia voices surprise that the heroines of this age are "Nine human women".
“You won’t. The visions don’t lie. It will happen. The tough part will be finding whatever you were holding in your hand.”
...speaking of which, if the heroines are women, what the fuck are the dinos for? Are they bait? They are.
Yeah, so that part's kind of icky.
Fin scares the shit out of Lia by showing her a hint of his true nature--again, who are we saving the earth for?--and Kione shows up. It's like watching a Doberman circle a Felia Brasillero, and Kione is the doberman. You're out of your league, Mr. Dark Sex Elf.
Oh, and Fin talked to Lia's dad:
- Fin smiled at Lia. “I spoke with your father. I assured him you hadn’t asked the first vampire you met to change you.”
Lia was not amused. “Dad needs to stop checking on me.” Every time her father did something like that it reminded her of the insecure little girl who wasn’t brave enough or strong enough to make her mother love her. She hated the feeling.Yeah, so Lia's motivation with this whole "ruler of Philly vampires" thing is not, you know, power or wanting to do a good job or any of that jazz. It's her mommy issues. And her Daddy is probably planning a shotgun wedding with the creep that turns her because this is just not creepy enough.
...But it's still not Anita Blake.
And then we meet the best part of the book's batshit insanity.
His name is Greer. He appears in this scene and this scene only. He gets no real development. He doesn't really do much at all. Why is he here? Why do I find him so very very very entertaining?
“Greer is Otherkin. His soul is tiger, but it’s trapped forever in his human body.”Greer is Otherkin
Greer is Otherkin
Greer is Otherkin
Now, if you've been on the 'net longer than a few minutes you probably ought to know what this is. If you do not, well...let's see if I can do this tactfully.
There are people who believe exactly what it says up there. Their souls are Insert Animal Here, they are trapped in a human body, and they want to get out but they can't, and they can feel their animal form poking out sometimes, animal instincts and whatnot. They look human, they were born and raised human, but they really are a wolf complete with instincts and pack behavior.
Oh, but this particular rabbit hole gets even better.
See, far as I can tell Nina Bangs is using this Very Special Internet Term wrong, and it is rather sad that I actually know this. What she's describing (IRL animal in human body) is more frequently called a Therianthrope. "Otherkin" are people who believe their souls are well...other. Elves. Fairies. Dragons and basically anything from Tolkienesque DND. There's another layer called Otaku-kin, but we won't be going into that one just now.
And it was not until I read that term in this book that I realized there are some Very Special Internet Things that should never appear off the internet ever. Especially in something trying to mainstream. First, because it makes you laugh very very hard. Second, because the mainstream thing will get it very wrong (the furry CSI episode, anyone?).
I am not going to say that all Therianthropes and whateverKin are crazy, because there probably are a lot of sane ones out there, and if I get to believe in a three day old zombie-god who died for my sins, you get to believe that your soul is a tiger. BUT HOLY FUCKING SHIT does this attract a lot of insanity.
Meanwhile, Kione reveals that he straight up murdered a clan of vampires, leaving only five survivors that nobody but Jude (that vampire from a few chapters ago) would touch. Jude took them in. They got their revenge by torturing Kione with a very painful curse. The only thing he can wear is this enchanted robe that keeps the pain away. He's here to kill those last five vampires so that he won't hurt anymore.
. Fin decides to draw off Kione's pain into himself so that Kione will become his buddy rather than Adam's. He does, only Utah's pack instincts kick in and he decides to interrupt to spare his master the pain. Things get icky almost immediately. The pain goes into Utah, and somehow Lia takes some of it too...and then everything gets better and somebody goes to get Kione a shirt.
So that was completely pointless.
They discuss the Burnside Bridge, where Seir said Adam's enemy is feeding. They decide to look it up on Google Maps.
Yes. Google Maps. It's in the book.
They decide the best thing to do to capture the vampire is provide bait.
End of chapter.