Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 14

Posted January 14, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Bilingual read-through of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

List of Prominent Characters

So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)

  • Beek (NL), Black Spring/Black Rock (EN), Black Beek (both)
  • Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
  • Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both), aka Wylerheks (NL), Black Rock Witch (EN) Wyler Witch (both)
  • Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
  • Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
  • Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
  • Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
  • Robert Grim (NL, EN)
  • Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
  • Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
  • Jasmine Aerendonck (NL), Bammy Delarosa (EN), Jasmy (both)
  • The Aerandoncks/The Delarosas, Aerenrosa (both)
  • Martijn Winkel (NL), Marty Keller (EN),Winler (both)
  • Loes Krijgsman (NL), Lucy Everett (EN), Loucy (both)
  • Pieter van Meerten (NL), Pete VanderMeer (EN), Pete van Meer (both)
  • Marieke (NL), Mary (EN), Marie (both)
  • Laurens (NL), Lawrence (EN), Lau (both)
  • Jelmer Holst (NL), Jaydon Holst (EN), Jaymer (both)
  • Mirna (NL), Sue (EN)
  • Burak Sayers (NL), Burak Şayers (EN)
  • Bert Aerendonck (NL), Burt Delarosa (EN)
  • Gemma Holst (NL), Griselda Holst (EN), Gemelda (both)
  • Kobus Mater (NL), Colton Mathers (EN) Colbus (both)

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

In chapter 13: The dog is very definitely dead. And there is blood in the water. The Wyler Witch is doing stuff she’s not supposed to and no one knows why. (Well, no one in charnge knows why. Our teen protagonists know why perfectly well. They’re just not talking.)

Chapter 14 – Scene 1

Mrs Litaer has become Mrs Talbot. The English version also has a townsperson interrupting the local Reverend (by name of Newman) whereas there is no indication of this in the Dutch original. Mrs. Van Oort has become Strauss and Mr. Penninkhof has become Pierson. Mrs. Schaeck has become Mrs. Schaeffer. I think I mentioned her before.

Kobus Mater has been Colton Mathers for, um, a while. I should’ve added his name to the masterlist ages ago. But hey I added him now. Now I can talk about him! Not that I want to. Gemelda is also seriously calm four days after getting raped. Which, you know, is how some people will react, but I’d kind of have liked to feel like it was because that’s how she reacts, not because the narrative is brushing it off. (Also that having killed her rapist is more upsetting than being raped.) This… Look, I don’t know what the intent with this section is. It’s entirely possible that this fits with Gemelda’s characterisation. Colbus’s dismissal of what happened and his assurances certainly fits with his characterisation. But it just… I don’t know how to read it that way. It just reads like what happened to Gemelda was a plot point and now that it’s happened and is no longer necessary it can just be ignored.

Gemelda is a little (okay a lot) more concerned with thinking the Wyler Witch is after her personally because Reasons.

Also, the local sheep farmer has totally lost it and is the kind of xenophobic, homophobic zealot you might expect to pop up around a time like this. The narrative does weaken his points her by making him a character or ridicule that the pov characters don’t agree with, though. Hm. It did that with Jaymer in chapter 12 too. I think I haven’t been giving the book enough credit for the way the narrative treats its –isms because it clearly does disagree with the characters’ opinions and actions, as do other characters in the book, but these moments are quite brief. Still. I’m glad they’re there and I think it important I try to point them out as I find them.

More names have changed. Kijkshop has become Best Buy. And the Veronica-gids (a tv guide/magazine) has become Autoweek.

Chapter 14 – Scene 2

Fair warning: Gemelda is Islamophobic in this scene. Also she abuses animals.

Gemelda is drinking wine. Not beer because beer is a trigger for her, but wine. She is that shaken by everything that’s happened. She’s also thinking that what she really needs to do is slaughter an animal for the Wyler Witch. Like a live one. Because clearly the Witch wants a live animal. Anyway, we learn that her beating a rapist/would-be rapist to death was at least in part a response to dealing with the trauma from her husband’s abusive behaviour.

Then she starts making her plan and is all “Don’t want to deal with my competitors. EW Muslims” and I grit my teeth through this section because at least it’s only brief.

Jaymer come home with a black eye. Gemelda is deeply alarmed because it reminds her of the domestic abuse they’ve both suffered at the hands of Gemelda’s husband, but Jaymer doesn’t want to talk about it. Don’t worry. We’re probably going to jump back in time to see what happened to him soon.

Gemelda’s car changes from a Kadett to a Dodge and the location of the petting zoo has changed as well. It’s now in Monroe and used to be in Groesbeek.

Huis Wylerberg has become Hopewell.

And just because we’re keeping track, she threw her entire weight onto a peacock and she’s concerned she’s broken its wing. Sadly not because she’s concerned about the bird’s welfare. It’s because she’s kind of afraid it is now not the perfect creature to sacrifice to the Wyler Witch.

And after all that she’s decided to just… tie the live bird to the Witch because then it’ll spontaneously combust when she vanishes. (This is assuming the poor creature hasn’t died of fright before then, obviously.)

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