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The opening here is simultaneously a reminder of just how scary Cal and Kay can be, as well as showing how you always have a choice about how to act. Cal wields unimaginable power, and Kay is a strong and dangerous person, physically. But she’s not defined by what she is: she’s defined by what she chooses to do. Cal’s not quite as good at that.

This is Kay growing into her leadership position. Ezekiel is a horrid person. Revenge is easy. It even makes sense – one less enemy to worry about. But it sends a certain kind of message, and builds a certain kind of world, and that’s not what Kay’s about.

Despite the dystopian setting, A Day of Faces is, ultimately, a story of hope and of community and compassion. It’s Kay that injects those feelings into the story as well as into the characters who accompany her.

This chapter also marks a shift in her relationship with Cal. When he left, he was ostensibly the leader of the group. He was undeniably more powerful but he was also calling the shots with regards to what they were doing, back in arc 1 and 2. Kay’s changed a lot in the intervening period, while he was away on his jolly with Holt, and the woman he comes back to now is in a very different place. She doesn’t take orders anymore.

By the end of this chapter the gang are back together. Honestly, they’d been apart for longer than I’d anticipated. Taking Cal out of the main thrust of the story at the end of Arc 2 was very deliberate: he had become too powerful and was essentially a get-out-of-jail card and deus ex machina rolled into one. Keeping him separate for an arc and a half was longer than I’d anticipated but I think it allowed Kay and Marv to ease into their characters, as well as providing new perspectives on everything.

The most interesting aspect is how those relationships are different, now that Cal is back. Things have changed.

Another big change is taking all of our heroes to an entirely new world, one which we’d previously only glimpsed in interludes. More on that next time.

Soundtrack: Master & Commander. Contracting what I said in the previous notes. Bah.

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