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Week 2: pages 54-109 (week 9: 26th of Feb - 4th of March)

Taake

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Welcome to week 2! Here are some general topics for discussion, if you wish to add anything please feel free to do so!
  • What do you think about Eleanora's decision not to tell Lyse about the coven etc., was it a good or bad decision? Was it noble?
  • Do you feel Benson is explaining/setting up the mythology well? Like do you have a firm grasp of what a Dream Walker is/does?
  • Do you like the term "blood sisters" instead of witches?
  • What do you think of Daniela and her powers?
  • What do you think of Arrabella's introduction? Is she right not to trust Daniela?
  • Is it too many characters or just enough?
  • Is the tempo picking up? Are you engaged in the story/curious about what'll happen next?
Happy reading this week!
 

Taake

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What do you think about Eleanora's decision not to tell Lyse about the coven etc., was it a good or bad decision? Was it noble?
This is pretty much the whole plot - Lyse finding out. And while I can see that there is a reason for keeping something like this secret, because it's a lot to take, I think it is a bad decision to keep it a secret from someone you want to be apart of it. I mean, Lyse could've had years to learn about important witchy things and now she'll just be thrown into it. Imagine Buffy, in her early twenties, out of college and ready to start life and someone comes and goes, no no, your destiny is slaying. It was always slaying. Hop to it.

For me, for some reason, that seems worse and more cruel than finding out when you're younger. Yes, it's a terrible burden to bear, but it's always going to be. Isn't it better to have been properly prepared? Especially if it's a big deal? Couldn't Lyse have been told and still have gotten to go to college etc, just with the knowledge that she'd eventually have to come back?

That said, I did think we got a better feel for Eleonora and her feelings for Lyse in this chapter. There were some nice sections like this

"Eleanora remembered the haunted look in Lyse's blue eyes as the girl had stared up at her. This was a child who'd endured misery and had accepted that her life would only contain more of the same. Eleanora had vowed then and there to place this child's needs above her own. She was going to love Lyse with the fierceness of everything she possessed."

I also feel like Lyse not knowing makes for tedious fillers with her wondering how El knew she'd be arriving at LAX and what not. I kind of hate those kinds of moments when a character no in the know has to have all these "oh my, this is strange, however did it happen?" then shrugs and repeats the same question until someone finally let's them in on the secret.

I also found it super ridiculous for some reason that Lyse grew up with Eleanora yet they had never discussed her religious views? It just didn't really seem credible that she wouldn't have an inkling that Eleanora wasn't like a hardcore bible thumper but more of a wiccan sorts

Do you feel Benson is explaining/setting up the mythology well? Like do you have a firm grasp of what a Dream Walker is/does?
For me the mythology is not really all that well set up. Like the Dream Walkers, are they just regular ghosts? They don't only seem to appear in dreams so why are they called Dream Walkers which seem to indicate that that is their realm of being? Maybe I'm missing something.

I don't really like the term blood sisters, but it doesn't bother me either. A rose by any other name... ;)

What do you think of Daniela and her Powers?

I thought it was a nice reveal that she's an empath, it reminded me a bit of Cordy and the visions though with it being so deadly. Does it make sense that empaths, it being a naturally given gift, is so destructive to the person who harbors the gift?

What do you think of Arrabella's introduction? Is she right not to trust Daniela?

I thought her introduction was pretty great, Benson is getting better at character development. Not entirely convinced about the importance of witches though, like without them civil war and genocide occurs, I feel like telling the audience this is pretty ineffective, but that's just me. I'd rather see the terrible effects in the plot, then being told they could possibly, ostensibly happen.
I think it's interesting that the coven, though blood 'sisters', doesn't seem to be so close. Like they just happen to be thrown together in a sense.


Is the tempo picking up? Are you engaged in the story/curious about what'll happen next?
I do think the tempo is picking up! Maybe it's because there are so many characters, haha.

Random thought:
"Lizbeth was tentative in her approach, meeting Lyse halfway. She was unused to shaking hands and sequeezed Lyse's fingers too hard."
I'm sorry but what? She's unused to shaking hands? She's not the empath so... why? Does she like just not meet people, ever? It's not hard to give a handshake... like you don't really need practice in it?
The kitten part made me really sad for Lizbeth though!


Additional question: what did you think about the flashbacks to Eleanoras past and her grandmother?
 

Grace

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What do you think about Eleanora's decision not to tell Lyse about the coven etc., was it a good or bad decision? Was it noble?

I can understand Eleanora's decision, but hiding such a huge part of herself from the person she loves most seems hard on both of them. Maybe she needed to feel like she was loved for who she was instead of just her blood sisterness?

Do you feel Benson is explaining/setting up the mythology well? Like do you have a firm grasp of what a Dream Walker is/does?

It's a ghost, right? I feel like I'm still intrigued, but I don't have a lot of answers yet. I really liked the setting up of the circle in the park. I was getting really into that part of it when the book cut back to Eleanora, Lyse and Lisbeth, which made me a little impatient.

Do you like the term "blood sisters" instead of witches?

Yes, I like the emphasis on sisterhood, and I think it makes sense that people in the know would have their own term.

What do you think of Daniela and her powers?

I felt really bad for her -- what a challenging power. Channeling evil grandmothers does not sound pleasant.

What do you think of Arrabella's introduction? Is she right not to trust Daniela?

Arrabelle seemed like she might be overbearing, so I don't really read much into her decision not to trust Daniela yet. I'm still making up my mind about all of them.

Is it too many characters or just enough?

Considering I had to think for a minute before I remembered which character was Daniela, I think maybe it's a couple too many characters. But I'm guessing they'll all become more familiar once Lyse is officially part of the coven.

Is the tempo picking up? Are you engaged in the story/curious about what'll happen next?

I was until that section at Arrabelle's house that kind of dragged on. I liked the creepy kitten part at the end, though, so I'll be interested to see what happens next.
 
Additional question: what did you think about the flashbacks to Eleanoras past and her grandmother?

That section was well-written and quite disturbing, but the scary religious grandma aspect felt a little too familiar?
 

Taake

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I was until that section at Arrabelle's house that kind of dragged on. I liked the creepy kitten part at the end, though, so I'll be interested to see what happens next.
 


That section was well-written and quite disturbing, but the scary religious grandma aspect felt a little too familiar?

I liked the creepy kitten too!

Maybe that's what it is! It was technically fine and well written but I was somehow bored by the religious grandma thing, maybe I just felt like I'd seen/read it before
 

Mr Trick

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What do you think about Eleanora's decision not to tell Lyse about the coven etc., was it a good or bad decision? Was it noble?
Tough one. I'm guessing that maybe Eleanora always intended to tell Lyse about the coven when the time was right. Becoming termally ill does change things. She probably figured that she would have more time to do it. Don't have strong feelings one way or the other on this, but I do agree that if Lyse was someone she felt especially close to than she probably should have told her such a thing.

Do you feel Benson is explaining/setting up the mythology well? Like do you have a firm grasp of what a Dream Walker is/does?
Think she's doing a decent job. Some of it feels a bit cliche and on the nose, but I do think her descriptions of them are quite dramatic and interesting. I like the atmosphere she set during those parts. A bit more definition wouldn't go amiss.

What do you think of Daniela and her Powers?
I liked it. Like @Taake said it was a good reveal. Its also a way to make her stand out from the other characters and makes an impact with her from the off.

What do you think of Arrabella's introduction? Is she right not to trust Daniela?
It was a promising introduction. Think her direct, but grounded attitude is a nice contrast to some of the other characters. She does have a bit of a Cordy mixed with Faith vibe to her. I have a feeling she might be right not to trust Daniela. For the purpose of drama I think there might be someone from the group who is secretly against them. Could be interesting too considering Daniela's powers. Her first scene with Eleanora might point to a darker side also.

Is it too many characters or just enough?
Because its quite a short book there might be at least one too many. But I will wait before properly judging. If they play them off each other like ensemble casting in a film then it could work well enough.

Is the tempo picking up? Are you engaged in the story/curious about what'll happen next?
Yes. Think this section has had a greater sense of rhythm. There have been fewer flat passages and Eleanora has improved a little too.

I'm a little down on flashbacks in general, but the one involving Eleanora was solid. And I'm all for creepy Cats. There should be more!:D
 

Taake

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What do you think of Arrabella's introduction? Is she right not to trust Daniela?
It was a promising introduction. Think her direct, but grounded attitude is a nice contrast to some of the other characters. She does have a bit of a Cordy mixed with Faith vibe to her. I have a feeling she might be right not to trust Daniela. For the purpose of drama I think there might be someone from the group who is secretly against them. Could be interesting too considering Daniela's powers. Her first scene with Eleanora might point to a darker side also.

Haha, this made me realize that as I was reading it I wasn't sure I trusted Arrabella. Not that I think she is secretly against them, but I feel like she wants to be leader of the coven more than she lets on and might not let go of that dream so easily, you know. Agreed that she was a nice contrast to the rest though, I think as a character she's needed in that sense.
 
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