16 Mar 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 24 - Commentary

Officer Matt returns, in The Soul Blade Chapter 24.

Brenna made a big step, calling Matt.  It`s something she should be doing; it`s the 21st Century, after all.  But she has had issues in the past, so calling Matt is a Big Deal.  The choice of using White Castle boiled down to two reasons.  First, word count.  Every time I typed White Castle meant using twice the words than with MacDonald's or Wendy's.  Second, it exists in San Diego, even if there isn't one by the highway that has a drive-through, but not locally.  Yes, I checked.  Fast food is never a romantic getaway, but it'll do in a pinch when the better places are all closed or take too long during a dinner break.

One thing that I don't think I've made clear is that while Brenna is the older sister, Grace is physically bigger than her, taller, more athletic.  Grace had a growth spurt in high school that shot her past her older sister, so she gets away with being the more physical of the two.  Brenna can get the upper hand, but they are evenly matched.

The reveal came from something I find annoying, the masquerade.  While Brenna did originally come from a superhero idea, via Champions, where costumed crusaders disguise themselves to prevent villains from harassing them and their families, it doesn't hold well for an urban fantasy, which is what The Soul Blade is.  Brenna doesn't have a need to hide away beyond making sure that no one thinks she's insane and needs to be locked away.  Thus, Missy and Krista know about her abilities, as do her extended family.  Bringing Matt into the circle is showing her trust in the officer.

For his part, Matt is accepting of the oddness.  He knew Brenna was different somehow, sometimes lost in what appeared to be her own little world.  The field trips to various historical sites meant that Brenna got to meet several ghosts, especially at battlefields like Gettysburg.  The reason why Brenna doesn't remember the haunted fort is because she was possessed.  It hasn't come up much, but Brenna is susceptible to being possessed by ghosts.  She's mystically open and some ghosts will take advantage of that.

Matt is getting a fair warning about what life around Brenna would be like.  Bren's just too nice to not let him know what happens around her.  How many superheroes give their loved ones this much warning?  Usually, it's more, "Oh, hi, by the way, I have some funky powers and a rogue's gallery who will probably--  Would you guys wait until I'm done speaking before kidnapping my significant other?"  Brenna doesn't even have a rogues' gallery and she's still giving Matt a heads-up about weirdness.

The main plot really didn't move forward, but Brenna's romance did.  It was a trade off, but she wound up doing something this time around.

Friday, Brenna and Matt have dinner, in The Soul Blade Chapter 25.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, localizations.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga".

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