Arc 2 finale time! This chapter is almost twice as long as the average ADoF chapter length and I considered splitting it in two but decided that it was most effective to keep it as single bumper edition. Having it be longer gives the finale a sense of importance and plays into the idea that Kay has found herself in a situation from which she’s unable to escape.
This and the previous three chapters all carry on from each other without jump cuts (to borrow a film editing term), which is unusual for ADoF. As I’ve discussed in previous notes, I tend to like leaping ahead between chapters so as to keep things a little unpredictable and make the narrative more interesting. That also means that when chapters directly flow into the next it feels like there’s a growing momentum to events.
As with the arc 1 finale, this is another Point of No Return chapter which both caps this arc and sets up the next one. Where our characters find themselves at the end of Cortex is wildly different to where they were at the start of arc 2, let alone arc 1. It’s also a place which is largely foreign to the reader, which hopefully makes them want to tune back in for arc 3, to find out how on Earth Kay and Marv are going to get by…on Earth.
While Apex Predator, the climax to arc 1, had some action stuff it was really quite subdued compared to what happens in Cortex. This is when we see Cal at his most powerful, which just happens to be when we’re also wondering whether he can be trusted.
Anyone who knows me will be well aware that I am rather partial to the occasional superhero story. While a lot of that feeds into the general setup for A Day of Faces, I didn’t want it to ever feel like a superhero-story-in-disguise. This chapter is probably the closest I’ve come to doing just that, and it’s not coincidental that events conspire to take Cal out of the picture for a while. His growing powerws are vital to the story but they also threaten to imbalance the whole thing – the closer Cal gets to being a walking, talking deus ex machina, the bigger that problem.
What is fun in these closing chapters of arc 2 is examining how these people fit into a context closer to our world. On Locque, their oddness is entirely normal. To Wynton Simons, in the supposed safety of his home, having a reptilian woman and a bear-like man smash their way in is far closer to a horror film. Context is all. That’s something I’ll probably be getting into more in arc 3.
Talking of which – I’m going to take a 1 week break in order to do some planning work and put together the arc 2 ebook, before returning with the first chapter of arc 3 on 2nd October. See you then.
Score: Didn’t actually listen to anything while writing this. I was very zoned.