a CLOAK GAMES summary

Yesterday’s post about CLOAK GAMES and urban fantasy genre conventions inspired some interesting comments, but I like these ones from Matthew. It’s a neat summary of the series:

In fact between her boyfriend troubles, her emotional instability, and the fact she has a lot of brute strength, but not a lot of finesse, Nadia’s basically going through her magical puberty, isn’t she?

Actually I realized what my overall problem is. This series is an RPG game waiting to happen. I want her to explore the world, pick up some items, do some side quests. If it were me I’d stop main questing and find a couple of sweet dungeons to crawl for a level up. Go look in the shadowlands for a magic gauntlet that let me stop bullets or block dark magic or something. She’s a glass cannon, all offense and no defense. Then she combines that with way too much mercy when her opponents are going to cheat to win. GIVE THE GIRL SOME POINTS IN DEFENSE JM!

So to sum up. I just called your book series a video game based around a girl going through puberty which features ancient Elven school teachers, sociopathic ex-boyfriends and the potential end of the world. Feel to use that in a review….

See? Breaking genre conventions. 🙂

And the “glass cannon” thing does cause Nadia trouble in CLOAK GAMES: HAMMER BREAK.

Of course, Armand Boccand foreshadowed some of this all the way back in CLOAK GAMES: SHADOW JUMP:

“Good God, woman,” said Boccand. “Seriously? You have no idea, do you?”

“Idea of what?”

“Just how dangerous you are,” he said. “I have never, ever met a human wizard who could cast a Cloak spell. You Mask yourself so effectively it’s like you’re some kind of damned shapeshifter. You can open rift ways, and I’ve never met a human wizard who could do that, either. You can do all this, and you’re what…eighteen?”

“Twenty,” I said.

“Twenty,” said Boccand. “You’re a kid. I know you don’t think so, but you are. What will you be like in twenty years if you’re still alive? If you practice your magic that entire time, I can’t even imagine what kind of unholy terror of a wizard you’ll become. God! I don’t even want to think about it.”

Kytheros wonders why Nadia doesn’t seek out better teachers than the likes of Morvilind:

If I were in Nadia’s shoes, I’d like to think that I’d put a significant emphasis on seeking to expand my magical knowledge as much as possible. It’d doubtlessly be difficult and time-consuming to find suitable sources/instructors and learn what they had to teach, but it’s definitely something that’d be worth the effort.

Nadia doesn’t like risk. There’s a joke that there are old thieves, and there are bold thieves, but there are no old bold thieves. She knows that if she pushes things too hard and Morvilind finds out about it, he’ll either kill her or let Russell die.

Of course, that’s the way things have always been her. But the events of books #6 and #7 have brought her relationship with Morvilind to a crisis. But more on that to come next year!

-JM

-JM

9 thoughts on “a CLOAK GAMES summary

  • August 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm
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    Ohhh question (I know you’re shocked) Riordan has taught Nadia 3 spells simply by touching her forehead and passing the knowledge on. When Araveleon does this in book 6 it causes Nadia pain. In fact it causes her pain from the first spell. Why no pain from Riordan or Jacob Temple?

    • August 9, 2017 at 10:15 pm
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      To quote the man himself:

      “No,” said Arvalaeon. “As I said, a measure of psychological torment is necessary to begin the process.’

      • August 9, 2017 at 10:45 pm
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        Sooo he hurt her even as he taught the spells on purpose? She still would have had to practice in hell to make herself stronger but he damages her before she even gets there because he thinks it’s more efficient? I’m going to quote Nadia

        “No wonder the Archons are so pissed off.”

        • August 10, 2017 at 12:15 am
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          That’s why in Chapter 11 of HAMMER BREAK Nicholas took a stab at getting under her skin and getting her to join him in truth.

  • August 10, 2017 at 1:48 am
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    Jonathan wrote: “She knows that if she pushes things too hard and Morvilind finds out about it, he’ll either kill her or let Russell die.”

    In TOMB HOWL, where Nadia jumped from 4 to 16 on the handy dandy scale of wizarding power between visits with Morvilind, Morvilind seems almost amused (he came closer to both laughing and smiling than in any of their other meetings) and says, “or you are now powerful enough to be trusted with a greater level of responsibility.”

    So it almost seems like she could ask Morvilind himself for additional training, ostensibly to help with the tasks for the rebels and perhaps to better control her new power level but also eventually for the “greater level of responsibility.” He might say no, but given that he tolerated her yelling at him, it seems unlikely that he’d kill her for asking. And who better to learn from than Morvilind, even if he is a bit of a cruel teacher?

  • August 10, 2017 at 2:13 am
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    That was my thought also, that Morvilind saw possibilities in her increased strength. On the other hand though, if he wanted a super powerful shadow agent, why didn’t he use an Enternity Crucible in the past to create one? Or use one now to create a replacement for Nadia?

    In the epilogue for Rebel Fist Morvilind was thinking about Nadia. Strength and utility were a risky balance in his opinion because a stronger agent was more likely to rebel against him. He is paranoid.

    I missed the discrepancy of the pain from imprinting new spells in Nadia’s mind. I thought it was the trade off to balance out the shortcut from not having to learn the spells the long way.

    • August 10, 2017 at 2:55 am
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      Morvilind wouldn’t purposefully use a Eternity Crucible on a shadow agent because supposedly humans can’t withstand the torment (and Nadia is pretty borderline for sure, especially in Tomb Howl). But now that she’s been cruciblized? If she stabilizes, what’s the downside of giving her some knowledge and control to go with the power? He has her until Russell is cured and then he can use the heart’s blood to kill her if she gets outta hand.

      • August 10, 2017 at 3:07 am
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        Normally, Morvilind would have just executed Nadia and started over with a new shadow agent, since having a mentally unstable shadow agent with her level of power is a massive security risk.

        But! He’s willing to take that risk. He really, really wants the information the Forerunner has, and it’s valuable enough to him that he’s willing to run huge risks to get his hands on it, since it could give him what he needs to accomplish all his goals. The Forerunner himself doesn’t know the value of the information and thinks it’s harmless, but he’s wrong in a big way.

  • August 10, 2017 at 6:58 pm
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    In the exchange of services between Morvilind and the Forunner both are getting what they really need to accomplish their goals. You already said that the Forerunner has miscalculated. So I guess in 2018 we shall find out if Morvilind has also miscalculated. Or if he is relying on Nadia to save the day. 😀

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