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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Hello, everyone and welcome to my first ever book club meeting. Here's how we're doing this-- I'll be reading and discussing a book chapter by chapter and I encourage anyone that wants to to follow along. Of course, use spoiler tags especially if you read ahead. On that note, first up is Cursed World: Initial Sparks by Aya McHugh, AKA LaZodiac. Yep, that's right. Our LaZodiac. So, have a seat and a nice chardonnay, and let's dig in.

    Spoiler: Chapter One
    Show
    In our first Chapter we meet our protagonist Rei Scios as she goes to high school on a day that two new transfer students arrive. We also meet her friend Verde and of course the transfer students Kestrel and Ella. Rei is assigned the task of acclimating Kestrel to the school and Verde is assigned to do the same for Ella. During lunch, Rei and Verde talk with Ella and Kestrel and learn more about them. As it turns out, Kestrel is very quiet. Almost guarded. Ella meanwhile, seems very friendly and forthcoming. During lunch, Ella offers to read Rei's palm. Rei allows this, but a tiny spark results. Whether this was a static shock or fire is left somewhat vague, but it does leave a scorch mark on Rei's hand.

    Like most first chapters, this mostly serves as an introduction to the characters and the world in which they inhabit. So doing a rundown of characters seems a good place to start.

    Firstly our hero, Rei-- she seems like a likable, relatable protagonist. Maybe a little lost in her own head, and slightly spacey, but I relate to that. Rei briefly interacts with her mother during a rushed breakfast, but it's clear that the two have a healthy, loving relationship. Which honestly kind of feels refreshing. When Rei is smitten with Kestrel on meeting him, she manages to carry on a conversation but is clearly shy and second-guessing herself. Which y'know... relatable.

    Next, Verde. We don't get to know her quite as well as Rei yet. She's implied to have been Rei's friend for some time and despite having a lot of snark does a good job at reigning in Rei's spacey tendencies. Not much else to say about her yet. Though apparently she either plays video games with Rei or knows about Rei's gaming habits.

    Ella is one of our two transfer students. She comes off as very elegant, very proper and has something of an eye for detail. She can also put away a lot of food, as evidenced by her getting a big tray of lunch. We also probably learn most about the setting from her, which makes sense as she's established as being more curious about the world around her. She also carries an umbrella with an embroidered depiction of an old fable sewn on the inside, which she shows to the others by opening it at the lunch table, (didn't anyone ever teach you that it's bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, Ella?) Ella explains that the fable is about appearances being deceiving.

    Lastly, we have Kestrel. I assume the least important seeing as he's the only one not depicted on the cover. Not much has been said about Kestrel yet, aside from how he makes Rei feel. If you've ever had a conversation with a boy you have a crush on, that's pretty much the gist. Unfortunately for Rei, she seems to be most of the work in these conversations. Kestrel keeps his answers pretty vague and doesn't open up much. Whether this is because he's shy or otherwise not ready to share much about himself, or if he's deliberately hiding something is not yet clear.

    We're also introduced to the setting, which despite appearing like modern North America, is not. So far multiple Provinces have been mentioned, including the one where we're starting Dulace in the north which is quite cold. Exova, in the south, which is implied to have an impressive fashion scene. Kaiga in the west is mentioned in passing, Verde mentions that people tend to assume that Rei is from there, because her name "sounds foreign." Verde herself is mentioned being from the Hub, which presumably is at the geographical center.


    Join me soon for Chapter Two, won't you?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    It probably goes without saying but I'm definitely following this thread with an extreme excitement. I hope you (and everyone else) enjoy!


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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    I, too, will be following along... but also probably not saying much, given that, well, I don't want to taint any impressions, even inadvertently. I always like watching readalongs, though. People tend to be a lot more analytic about stuff and perceptive than I am.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    I'll chime in with thoughts every so often, but right now my discussion on this book is emailing LaZodiac points about worldbuilding going "IS THIS A CLUE?!"

    Sadly all caps isn't that much of an exaggeration.

    Basically, I will have to filter my own contributions to potentially avoid details that may be a little series spoilery (nothing definite, but uncertain about having that out in public discussion vs. keeping as a brain storming thoughts).

    But this thread is a good excuse for another re-read.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    As long as it is within the current chapter I imagine any theory crafting is okay to be mentioned, just keep it in spoilers like Fury said. If I've said/confirmed something in an incidental PM, just avoid saying that stuff is definitive.
    Last edited by LaZodiac; 2020-06-19 at 10:21 AM.


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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    As long as it is within the current chapter I imagine any theory crafting is okay to be mentioned, just keep it in spoilers like Fury said. If I've said/confirmed something in an incidental PM, just avoid saying that stuff is definitive.
    That's fair. It's more a long winded way of saying "I am following and will chime in every so often, but may be passing on some topics since I don't want to **** up anywhere to be safe."

    But I will say as a general note: My favourite character in the book is introduced in the first chapter.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Just so we're clear-- chiming in is not just allowed, but encouraged. It wouldn't be much of a thread if it was just me yappin' and recappin'.

    I don't especially mind people reading ahead and using that to theorycraft, just so long as you use spoiler tags that indicate that's what you're doing. Within reason, of course. Using content from five or six chapters ahead of me to share your theories might be questionable. I'm keeping the rules sort of loosey-goosey for now.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    I'll give this book a shot. I've been a little starved for good fantasy reading, and I think my birthdays a good time to start something new as well get more use of my Kindle app. just don't be surprised when I go through the entire thing in like, a couple days tops, I'm a huge bookworm.

    Spoiler: Chapter 1
    Show

    Our protagonist: Rei, the setting a small town that kind of reminds me of where I live- wait, burn marks?

    Knight of the Stars? this world's star wars I guess.

    So we got Rei, Verde, Ella and a crush. okay. yeah, this seems a little too love at first sight, since I know magic's involved...

    Exova? Trestaria? ooooooh this is an entirely different yet modern world. I like this. too many urban fantasy set things on actual Earth, we need more custom modern worlds instead of medieval ones.

    hm, it seems Rei's a fire mage. and she can't really control it? emotions = fueling the flames? makes sense, its a common fire user thing in fiction.
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    Just so we're clear-- chiming in is not just allowed, but encouraged. It wouldn't be much of a thread if it was just me yappin' and recappin'.

    I don't especially mind people reading ahead and using that to theorycraft, just so long as you use spoiler tags that indicate that's what you're doing. Within reason, of course. Using content from five or six chapters ahead of me to share your theories might be questionable. I'm keeping the rules sort of loosey-goosey for now.
    Yeah, I just feel like I can't really say anything that doesn't invoke spoiler-y stuff, given that I've read it through several revisions worth of stuff and know external information. So I am very liable to say something that might not appear until later in the text. Granted, not really much that's spoilable with just commenting on what's been established already, but... I don't want to inadvertently say something that ruins the experience later on.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Gave it a quick re-read

    Spoiler: Chapter 1
    Show
    I love the start to this book. I think it drops you neatly into the flow of "normal life".
    Rei having trouble with remembering details works well with filling the reader in on details and dynamics of the world.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I'll give this book a shot. I've been a little starved for good fantasy reading, and I think my birthdays a good time to start something new as well get more use of my Kindle app. just don't be surprised when I go through the entire thing in like, a couple days tops, I'm a huge bookworm.

    Spoiler: Chapter 1
    Show

    Our protagonist: Rei, the setting a small town that kind of reminds me of where I live- wait, burn marks?

    Knight of the Stars? this world's star wars I guess.

    So we got Rei, Verde, Ella and a crush. okay. yeah, this seems a little too love at first sight, since I know magic's involved...

    Exova? Trestaria? ooooooh this is an entirely different yet modern world. I like this. too many urban fantasy set things on actual Earth, we need more custom modern worlds instead of medieval ones.

    hm, it seems Rei's a fire mage. and she can't really control it? emotions = fueling the flames? makes sense, its a common fire user thing in fiction.
    I'm actually going to bring this up because it is amusing to me specifically; Knights of the Stars is not a Star Wars reference, it is a Saint Seiya (or, in english, Knights of the Zodiac) reference. LEO FANTASY! SAINT SEIYA~. Suffice to say, this will get elaborated on later to be made clearer, so I don't fault you for thinking that. It's interesting a read~

    also, happy birthday Raziere! I hope you have a good one, and I hope the book serves you well.
    Last edited by LaZodiac; 2020-06-19 at 07:20 PM.


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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I'll give this book a shot. I've been a little starved for good fantasy reading, and I think my birthdays a good time to start something new as well get more use of my Kindle app. just don't be surprised when I go through the entire thing in like, a couple days tops, I'm a huge bookworm.
    If you read faster than me, that's alright. I'm going to stick to the "chapter a day" format as best I can because I feel like that's a pace that new people can catch up with if they want to pick up this book and start reading too. Also, hey, yeah! Happy birthday!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Spoiler: Chapter 1
    Show

    Our protagonist: Rei, the setting a small town that kind of reminds me of where I live- wait, burn marks?

    Knight of the Stars? this world's star wars I guess.

    So we got Rei, Verde, Ella and a crush. okay. yeah, this seems a little too love at first sight, since I know magic's involved...

    Exova? Trestaria? ooooooh this is an entirely different yet modern world. I like this. too many urban fantasy set things on actual Earth, we need more custom modern worlds instead of medieval ones.

    hm, it seems Rei's a fire mage. and she can't really control it? emotions = fueling the flames? makes sense, its a common fire user thing in fiction.
    Spoiler: Chapter One
    Show
    I guess Zodi has already mentioned that Knights of the Stars is more like Saint Seiya. Though the Verde mentions Rei "playing" it, so it seems like it's more of a game franchise than a movie one. Maybe there's a manga or an anime though.

    So with regards to Rei's crush on Kestrel... Is magic involved here? I'm not discounting the possibility, but I wasn't given much reason to think this is the case. Then again, I wouldn't describe it as "love at first sight" either. To me it seems more that Rei saw Kestrel and thought he was hot.


    Now, let's dive into Chapter Two and see what's what!

    Spoiler: Chapter Two
    Show
    Chapter two opens with Rei and Verde in computer class, in which we learn two things-- Rei is bi! She's also only out to Verde, which y'know, valid. After all, choosing when to come out and to whom is something that pretty much every LGBTQIA person needs to contend with at some point.

    Secondly, little events with sparks and fire are apparently not new to Rei. This is something that has her understandably spooked. Especially since she uses her time in computer class to read articles about ONY (a worldwide manufacturing corporation mentioned earlier as "[making] everything,") funding underground think-tanks looking into the supernatural, and a woman with similar fiery traits to Rei accidently burning down a dance club.

    This also fleshes out Rei's and Verde's friendship. Evidently Rei is sort of emotional and scattershot, while Verde is more level-headed and rational. Speaking as a very scatterbrained, emotional person, having someone like Verde is comforting. Having someone that's willing to listen, while being sympathetic yet willing to question your fears makes them feel more manageable. At least for me. Going by some of Verde's lines in the rest of the scene, it seems like she's friends with Rei because she finds her an exciting person to be around? I'm only guessing here.

    We're also introduced to our resident mean girl, Chloe. Chloe catches wind of Rei pining for Kestrel and uses this opportunity to be catty while claiming to be Rei's friend. She's also got it for Kestrel... I guess Kestrel is just effortlessly sexy?

    Later Rei and Verde, along with Ella decide to explore the burnt out club that Rei had read about in computer class. The former club is a burnt ruin in a run-down neighborhood. This is where we get to see another side to Ella. In her earlier scene, Ella comes off as very suave, smart and confident. Here, exploring an abandoned shell of a building with people she doesn't know very well, she's nervous. I can only guess that Ella isn't the sort of kid that would act out or do anything illegal.

    Ultimately, Rei is the only one to actually jump the barricade and approach the building. She doesn't go inside though. She touches the door, which results in another "spark event." Again, it's described and experienced by the characters in a way that gives enough plausible deniability. In the end, our trio heads home having learned not much of anything.

    But... There were a "pair of blue eyes" watching from inside the boarded up ruin of the burnt dance club. This person evidently could see the "spark event" for what it was-- actual fire. Which hey, Rei is on the cover shooting fire out of her hand, it would be stranger if she didn't have fire powers. Who is this person? Hard to say. The text refers to him as a "he," so it's probably not Chloe, and Kestrel's eyes were described as brown. It's likely that "Blue Eyes" is a character that has not yet been properly introduced. There's also the question of why Blue Eyes can clearly see Rei's power for what it is, while the others can't. Even Rei herself has doubts about what she's experiencing. However, Blue Eyes does not seem to be a friend. Seeing as how he lives in a dark condemned ruin of a dance club and didn't see fit to be especially helpful.


    Next time, we'll go over Chapter Three. Won't you join me?
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-06-19 at 11:58 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Regarding love at first sight; "wow that guy is made sexy" is a former of love at first sight, for a given definition of the term love

    And for Chapter Two:
    Spoiler
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    This might be me being too much of a worry wart, but the intent with ye olde Blue Eyes seeing things that our heroes did not is because of a difference in focus. Rei just had her fear receptors explode and her friends were busy paying more attention to Rei, not the things around her.

    I'm going to try and NOT clarify points like this in a response in the future, because typically I want the work to speak for itself, but this felt like something I could bring up and have it be interesting. I know it's interesting to me!


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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    Regarding love at first sight; "wow that guy is made sexy" is a former of love at first sight, for a given definition of the term love
    And/or "That girl is really, really cute." Guys don't have a monopoly on that.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    And for Chapter Two:
    Spoiler
    Show
    This might be me being too much of a worry wart, but the intent with ye olde Blue Eyes seeing things that our heroes did not is because of a difference in focus. Rei just had her fear receptors explode and her friends were busy paying more attention to Rei, not the things around her.

    I'm going to try and NOT clarify points like this in a response in the future, because typically I want the work to speak for itself, but this felt like something I could bring up and have it be interesting. I know it's interesting to me!
    Spoiler
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    Yeah, that seemed like one possibility. Even in stories with magic and strange things lurking in the shadows, sometimes there's a perfectly mundane explanation.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Faster doesn't being to describe it, Fury. I use Stormlight Archives books as airport fiction and even then I have to careful about when and balance it with playing videogames and reading fan fiction, because I'll just devour them like nothing. I've already read very far ahead, I'm just restricting my comments to match yours out of respect to spoilers.

    Spoiler: Chapter 2
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    Yeah ONY is seemingly omnipresent. its kind of creepy

    Verde is good friend. best friend. she is the bestie that Rei deserves.

    Yeah this is basically Rei having her reckless protagonist moment where she sticks her nose where it doesn't belong out of curiosity and it leading to more stuff. Rei isn't the wisest decision m maker as all protagonists of her type tend to be.

    Ella's good to. bit formal, but she is a good egg.

    I think I have a theory on/know who burned down the club actually, but thats future knowledge.

    As for Blue Eyes, Kestrel and Chloe....I'm not saying anything on them yet.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    I think my favorite thing about watching people experience media (especially when said media is my own creation) is watching them slowly develop a favorite character.

    Something tells me Raziere's got one in mind already


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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    I think my favorite thing about watching people experience media (especially when said media is my own creation) is watching them slowly develop a favorite character.

    Something tells me Raziere's got one in mind already
    Maybe. maybe not. you won't know until later chapters are talked about. I can't say yet. I've finished this book, I have to be careful as you or Data Ninja. if you can really tell just from that post, props you know me but I'm not saying it. you have to guess at this point. say a name no context, I'll tell if your right or not, but I will not say why until the appropriate chapter comes.
    My Fan Fiction:
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Maybe. maybe not. you won't know until later chapters are talked about. I can't say yet. I've finished this book, I have to be careful as you or Data Ninja. if you can really tell just from that post, props you know me but I'm not saying it. you have to guess at this point. say a name no context, I'll tell if your right or not, but I will not say why until the appropriate chapter comes.
    Very enigmatic. I'm going to just wait


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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Now let's get into Chapter Three. This one's a doozy!

    Spoiler: Chapter Three
    Show
    As Rei, Verde and Ella leave the burnt out dance club, they briefly discuss a broken space heater that Verde has been tinkering with. I've not discussed ONY much, but now seems like a good time to get into what they are. As far back as Chapter one, ONY Manufacturing has been mentioned as "making everything." At this point, it's becoming clear that statement is not hyperbole. Not only does ONY have a monopoly on nearly everything, but they are also a company that guards their engineering secrets so closely that no one understands how to repair their products when they break. Of course, they also believe in planned obsolescence. Verde's space heater was built by ONY as well, and evidently uses some proprietary technology that Verde doesn't quite understand.

    This brief detail is actually a good characterization moment for Verde. If Verde just wanted a working space heater the others mention that there are easier ways to get one-- either send it back to ONY for repair or get a replacement. For Verde though, neither is good enough because she doesn't want a working space heater as much as she wants to understand how it works.

    After Ella gets teased a little about her overly formal way of speaking, and a brief mention that Rei is sort of a Japanese Kaigan pop culture enthusiast, the trio run into Kestrel again. In typical form, Kestrel doesn't give up much about himself and mentions that he's out trying to get a feel for his neighborhood.

    Now about Kestrel... he seems like a guy that specifically is not saying things about himself if that makes sense. So far he's only said brief things about himself which raise further questions which he avoids answering. He said that he works out because he "likes to stay fit... just in case."
    In case of what is deliberately not answered.
    Kestrel has also mentioned that his parents work for ONY's marketing department, considering that ONY holds a monopoly on products as diverse as cars and space heaters, it's easy to assume that his parents are probably rich. Yet they moved to the neighborhood with the burnt dance club, which is described as dirty and run down. Kestrel says that it's more affordable and his parents want to be closer to their work. OK. That seems to make sense, but it still seems like Kestrel's parents could afford to live in a nicer neighborhood if they wanted, and what sort of marketing work is done in a sketchy part of town? ONY might be moving to gentrify the neighborhood or something, I guess. Though the fact that Kestrel seems to be playing his cards close to the chest makes it seem like there's more at work here.

    For her part, Rei heads back to the dance club alone. Once there, she starts to find evidence of her powers actually being what they seem to be. The barricade she jumped over is distorted from heat damage and has small dents that fit her fingers, suggesting that she did it. There is also a scorch mark from where she touched the club's door and had her "spark event." Rei also notices that a board from the window is now missing. After being unsuccessful at removing the boards from the door, she crawls in through the window. Inside the burnt club is predictably spooky. Maybe derelict buildings just make me feel this way, but I got some Silent Hill vibes from this. And of course, anything that recalls a horror franchise should have a monster, so one shows up. It's an especially nasty monster too-- a skeletal beast made of red crystal which drains the blood of its victims in order to grow flesh! It looks like Rei might meet a nasty end until someone shows up to pound Red Crystal's skull into the floor. It's Blue Eyes!

    Now that we can see Blue Eyes in better detail, we learn more about who he is-- a shirtless man that's apparently tangled with something before. That is if his poorly treated injuries are anything to go by. Even though he's been injured he declines Rei's offer to get him to a doctor, but does accept help and allows Rei to patch him up as Red Crystal's corpse disolves to dust. For his part, Blue Eyes is much more forthcoming than someone like Kestrel. Blue Eyes doesn't say much substantial, but it also seems like he doesn't know much. From what he's said, he's spent time in and out of hospitals, running from place to place, seeking shelter where he can find it. Surviving seems to be the number one thing on Blue Eyes's agenda. He does call Rei a "mancer" though, which seems to confirm that he knows what Rei is better than Rei herself does. Blue Eyes also reveals his name-- Gamma.

    A final thought for this chapter, I glossed over the details of the articles that Rei was reading back in Chapter Two. Mostly for the sake of brevity, though brevity has gone out the window with this post. One of the articles mentioned a Dulacean farmer finding a red bone fragment that dissolved into ash overnight. This foreshadowed the existence of creatures like Red Crystal. Which might make details like this interesting to revisit.


    Next is Chapter Four! I'll try not to be such a bore!

    (No idea how long I'm going to keep up this rhyming.)
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-06-21 at 04:07 PM. Reason: keepin' it clean

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Spoiler: On Chapter 3
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    Yeah I kind of started noticing that not a lot was known about Kestrel after a while compared to everyone else to. I think you were faster though. Why? who knows with mysterious heartthrob introverts like him, Sasuke Uchiha, or that one vampire guy from Twilight?

    As for Gamma, I don't think its too hard to figure what he is, given the setting. I basically guessed it right away.

    the red skeleton and his flesh thing, I'm going to be honest is the part that caught me by surprise, because up until this point I was under the highly mistaken impression that Zodi had written a happy harry potter like series of wonder but NOPE! turns magic can be horrifying and dangerous.

    and mancers....thats something for later.
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
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    the red skeleton and his flesh thing, I'm going to be honest is the part that caught me by surprise, because up until this point I was under the highly mistaken impression that Zodi had written a happy harry potter like series of wonder but NOPE! turns magic can be horrifying and dangerous.

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    I really do appreciate how people have all had consistent reactions to this particular moment. Good way of telling I did something right


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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
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    Yeah I kind of started noticing that not a lot was known about Kestrel after a while compared to everyone else to. I think you were faster though. Why? who knows with mysterious heartthrob introverts like him, Sasuke Uchiha, or that one vampire guy from Twilight?

    As for Gamma, I don't think its too hard to figure what he is, given the setting. I basically guessed it right away.

    the red skeleton and his flesh thing, I'm going to be honest is the part that caught me by surprise, because up until this point I was under the highly mistaken impression that Zodi had written a happy harry potter like series of wonder but NOPE! turns magic can be horrifying and dangerous.

    and mancers....thats something for later.
    Spoiler: Chapter Three
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    Despite Gamma being "easy" to figure out, I still don't know quite what his deal is. I have a pretty thinly sketched idea but that's about it. Then again, I don't make it a secret that I'm kind of dumb.

    What I do know is that something definitely is after Gamma. Something definitely hurt him. Unlike Rei and the others it's clear that he knows about the supernatural, maybe this is the reason something's out to get him? My thought is that Red Crystal was after Gamma, not Rei and she just happened to get caught up in the mess. As for other details... Maybe Gamma's mention of being in and out of hospitals is related? It could be that he wasn't there for medical treatment, but rather he was experimented on. Maybe ONY was involved?

    I don't know if something like Red Crystal was necessarily "shocking" for me. Beyond this being a YA Fantasy I wasn't sure what to expect. That said, Red Crystal is pretty horrifying. It drains blood and uses it to grow flesh onto its bare bones! If that's not bad enough, Gamma's comments and the article that Rei read suggest that there are others like it out there! That's some quality nightmare fuel.

    As for "mancers" ...I'm pretty sure Gamma means "magic users." Of course what that is tends to be heavily setting dependent, So we'll wait and see.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    It is so satisfying to read these thoughts. I'm already anticipating the next couple chapters~


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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Time to dig into Chapter Four!

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    Our chapter begins with Rei where we last left her. As she leaves the burnt dance club, her mind processes what she's just experienced. She collapses and screams in panic. Thankfully Verde isn't far away and comes running along with Ella, the latter of whom bought an unhealthy amount of candy bars. As mentioned previously, Verde is a good friend and is always looking out for Rei, so it's not surprising that she's worried. Rei... either doesn't expect Verde to believe what just happened or doesn't want her to be concerned and lies rather unconvincingly. Even forgetting that her initial justification for going back towards the club was to get Kestrel's phone number. For her part, Verde doesn't press the issue. Even though she probably suspects that something's up.

    Rei makes it home safely where her mother is fixing dinner. While Rei is home much later than she is normally, her mother, Aria isn't angry and is very understanding. When asked about her reason for being late... Rei lies, saying she lost track of time. Now, just to be clear I'm not throwing Rei under the bus or anything. I wouldn't expect that Aria would believe things like a red skeleton that grows flesh by draining a victim's blood. And knowing that your daughter is trespassing in condemned dance clubs would be a shock to even a tolerant parent like Aria. Rei justifies her lie to herself by thinking that Aria is "averse to danger." This a very teenager sort of rationalization. Now, by that I mean sometimes teenagers understand that parents worry, but maybe don't fully comprehend why. While I'm not a parent, I still know what it's like to feel protective of someone. Knowing that someone you care about is in trouble and you're completely powerless to do anything is a terrifying thought, and I feel like this is something parents deal with a lot.
    As Aria remains ignorant of things like Gamma, Red Crystal, and the burnt dance club, their conversation remains fairly light. Aria teasing Rei over her crush on Kestrel, and the two watch a horror movie together.

    After this Rei plays some online matches of Knights of the Stars, in a rather hammy fashion. It was previously mentioned that she'll be competing in an upcoming tournament.

    Our chapter closes on Aria finishing up some paperwork, (it's been mentioned that she works from home,) and checking in on Rei at around 2:00 am. Rei has fallen asleep on the floor playing video games. Aria lifts Rei up and puts her in bed, tidies up a little... and makes a note of the burn mark on the carpet in Rei's room. Aria briefly regards her wedding photo on the wall. Aria is pictured with a man named Samson. Aria says, "I wish you could see her."

    Up until now, it was not clear if Aria was a single parent or not. This seems to confirm that she is. And Samson not being able to see Rei suggests that Aria is widowed, rather than divorced.


    Next is Chapter Five. If indeed I'm still alive!

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

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    One would think even a tolerant parent would be concerned about a burn mark near their child, but whatever.

    also yeah this is where I realized that Knight of Stars wasn't star wars and was some anime fighter thing, and Zodi was possibly drawing upon more anime stuff than I thought she would be. Rei is basically your average reckless anime protag when it comes to Knight of the Stars

    and of course, Rei realistically experiences some trauma/stress from her recent experience. which I commend Zodi for, its probably not 100% realistic, but its better than most stories I've read personally.

    also, some backstory, in this chapter its said ONY used to make weapons! the government ended a civil war 100 years ago. also we see President Yamata, head of ONY manufacturing advertising a computer.
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Spoiler: Chapter 4
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    One would think even a tolerant parent would be concerned about a burn mark near their child, but whatever.
    Spoiler: Chapter the fourth
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    I took this to mean that Aria knows enough about what Rei is that she expects her fire powers to manifest. What that might imply, I can't say at the moment. We'll just see in later chapters, I suppose.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    Spoiler: Chapter the fourth
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    I took this to mean that Aria knows enough about what Rei is that she expects her fire powers to manifest. What that might imply, I can't say at the moment. We'll just see in later chapters, I suppose.
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    I'm just saying what my thoughts were at the time. Rei says that her mother was always concerned for safety, but Aria doesn't even frown at finding a burn mark, which could y'know pose a fire threat to her house? but yeah basically I had the same thought.
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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

    It's a new day, and that means a new chapter! Let's dig in and see what's what.

    Spoiler: Chapter Five
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    Our chapter begins with a new day at school. Verde asks Rei if she's planning on asking Kestrel out. In her own sardonic way, Verde shows concern for her friend amid making fun of her terrible math notes. This also seems to suggest that Rei is actually a good student when she's able to focus. She's just kind of all over the place right now. Verde also reveals her own hopes for the future-- she wants to be a doctor.

    Later in first period, Rei is approached by Kestrel who helps her out with her math notes. He does talk about himself in his usual guarded way... Yet some of his lines are more telling than he probably meant them to be. Rei asks Kestrel he moves around a lot He replies, "Yeah, I do a lot of run-- I mean, yes, my family does move a lot."
    While he plays it off like he assumed that Rei was asking about his hobby, training working out. Which he earlier let slip was for an unspecified purpose. I'll put a pin in that for a minute though. In the meantime, Kestrel adds some annotations to Rei's math notes to make them clearer. Rei takes her opportunity to awkwardly ask Kestrel to come to her fighting game tournament. As a <3 daaate! <3 Kestrel responds somewhat stoically, and seems to think that Rei will be going tournament where she actually fights people... Again, I'll come back to that. As for the invitation, Kestrel doesn't say "yes," but as Rei notes, he doesn't say "no" either.

    Later Rei is at lunch with Ella and Verde. Verde complains about Kestrel's non-committal answer. Ella for her part says that she would give a more direct "yes" or "no" if she were asked on a date. Rei takes this opportunity to ask Ella on a date, probably more on impulse, since Rei never showed much specific interest in Ella. True to her word though, Ella does provide a clear answer-- "no." Going on to say that she's ace. Later Ella demonstrates that she must also be part border collie, since she catches a sandwich that Verde throws at her with her mouth.

    Ella takes the time to read Rei's palm again. While Ella's reading is vague, Rei does note a burning sensation in her hand. The subject of Rei's adventure into the burnt dance club comes up, specifically whether or not she got any good pictures with her phone. She did indeed take pictures, but Rei quickly realizes that she lost her phone, likely it's still inside the dance club.

    Rei meets with Kestrel, who rather quickly agrees to go to the burnt club with her. Our chapter ends here, but there's still a bit of material to dig into.

    Now, let's talk about Kestrel... I've been suspecting Kestrel of deliberately hiding something for a while now. Now, I feel like I have enough material to actually speculate on what that might be. I'm beginning to think that Kestrel and likely his family are aware of the supernatural. More specifically Kestrel is trained to fight it. While his family is probably rich enough that they wouldn't have to live in a dirty, run-down neighborhood, the mancer's awakening power burning down a dance club, Red Crystal, and Gamma suggest that supernatural occurrences aren't uncommon to this area. Kestrel did say that his family wanted to be closer to their work, right? Also of note, Kestrel is vague and non-committal about going to a video game tournament, yet agrees right away to go to the burnt dance club, possibly because he expects actual fighting to happen.

    Ella coming out as ace is rather quick and matter-of-fact and thankfully isn't questioned. Ace people appearing in fiction isn't very common, and I feel like a lot of ace people deal with the "but are you really?" question. Truthfully, I feel like ace people get asked a lot nastier questions which are frankly not something I can or should get into. Rei and Verde are both quick to accept this about their friend and it's great. Be nice to your local ace. That's all I ask.


    Next time, come get your Cursed World fix, because it'll be time for Chapter Six!
    Last edited by The Fury; 2020-06-23 at 03:00 PM.

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    Default Re: The Fury's Book Club-- Reading Cursed World: Initial Sparks

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    Interesting thoughts on Kestrel. I personally was less certain waffling back and forth on whether or not he was hiding something or was just a very athletics and martial arts focused introvert, because its not as if someone who spends a lot of time on exercise and being fit would care much for videogames, especially if he is like me and doesn't really care for going to anything that doesn't concern my interests.

    meanwhile Ella is ace. nice to see. also keeps this from becoming romantically complicated. Verde and Ella quite deftly eliminate themselves from any romance with Rei while remaining friends her early on, thus clearly establishing their role and relationship to her: they are her friends. not her love interests. and that? is perfectly fine.

    and yes, Ella is established as a foil for Kestrel early on. right off the bat, while both are exchange students, Ella answers directly and is up front about who she is and where she is from, as well being direct about date-ability, but being afraid of getting into danger. while Kestrel is closed off and non-committal, and not afraid of getting a near a fight or danger at all.

    as for chapter six....I'll have more things to talk about for certain. cause that is when it starts getting real interesting.
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