Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 16

Posted January 16, 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 15: Gemelda’s sacrifice is discovered. People are Not Amused, but the Wyler Witch is very determined to keep hold of her peacock.

Chapter 16 – Scene 1

We start off, for some reason, with a description of Tiy’s half-naked body’s reaction to cold. It is oddly specific about his nipples.

We get some changes to the post he wrote and didn’t post. Basically we change Goldstrike into ‘tequila’ and ‘psychopath’ into ‘Norman Bates’.

Okay, so… We have a ghost dog barking up a storm and… Tiy is convinced it can’t be their dog and Maxmatt is convinced it is and… Tiy points out that their dog never barked that way and Maxmatt shoots back that the dog was never dead before either. And the Dutch version calls it ‘infallible logic’ and the Engilsh version calls it a fool’s logic. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

Chapter 16 – Scene 2

Book, why are we jumping from a text message by Lau during class to Ste asking him wether something is up that night? There’s no visible scene break or time shift. It’s just literally the text from the message and then a question from his dad and then the change of time.

Also, I’m not sure why the book turned it into a PM when the original has it as a text message as PMs are… More of a forum kind of thing, as far as I know? It just seems like such a strange thing to change the message to when there are more well-known and more expected ways to go about it. And there’s no explanation on what service is used or anything. It’s just confusing.

That said, the English version specifies what time Tyler is going to bed and that Obama’s just been confirmed to be re-elected.

And apparently Lau promised Tiy that they’d go into the woods. But we only learn this after Tiy’s already gone to wake him up at 1 at night for seemingly no good reason. Look, I’m all for skipping scenes that don’t add anything when a short and simple addition to a scene that’s important can fix it, but, like, there’s absolutely NOTHING lost by adding the information on what Tiy is planning before this point. If you don’t want it when his dad’s asking him what’s up because you want that conversation to be ambiguous in retrospect? That works. But damn it let the reader know what’s going on when Tiy is on his own and climbing out of the window because he’s got a plan. It would have made him waking up Lau in the middle of the night more suspenseful because we’d have known the guy was supposed to be awake and isn’t and WHY ISN’T HE AWAKE?! Rather than “WTF is Tiy doing? Why is he waking up his bestie for NO REASON WE CAN SEE?”

Except. Except. Lau doesn’t know what Tiy is planning. Even though Tiy specifically told him to set his alarm and be awake for whatever is going down and right now I’m just lost and confused because this book can’t make up its mind. And it does this in both versions, so clearly it makes sense to someone. It’s just that that someone is not me. Which is a shame because it’s also supposed to make sense to me.

Huh. They’re talking like “little boys around a campfire: muffled, hushed”. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a girl or because I’ve never been around the right campfires, but the ones I’ve been around have always been with kids talking boisterously, singing, and generally being goofy.

The badger they may or may not be hearing has become a raccoon. *yawns* This book is trying so hard to be creepy and I’m just… not creeped out. Sorry, book. Also it turns the generic use of a flashlight or torch into a branded Maglite. And Tiy falls into the creek and his camera survives because he’d dropped it earlier, his flashlight drowns because he was holding it, but what about the other stuff he was described as packing in his bag? He also had an iPhone on him. How’d the water affect that? We don’t know!

Chapter 16 – Scene 3

Oooh, and one thing I forgot to mention: the Dutch version has residents of Beek dress up as police officers. In the English version they’re park rangers.

AND OH GOD NO THIS IS THE SCENE I WAS THINKING ABOUT THE LAST TIME JAYMER WAS PRESENT, ISN’T IT?! KILL IT WITH FIRE.

THIS IS THE SUPER-MISOGYNIST CHAPTER AND IF YOU’VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO HOW OFTEN I’VE COMPLAINED ABOUT MISOGYNY BEFORE PLEASE KNOW THIS IS THE MOST BLATANT EXAMPLE OF IT.

Okay, so Jaymer, Ju, and Burak are all taunting the Witch. With broomsticks. There’s an implication that they’re already beaten her up badly and there’s an explicit statement that she’s a) in pain, b) in a panic, c) refusing to do anything because she won’t let go of that peacock.

Considering that gift of a peacock is probably the nicest thing someone has done for her in centuries, I can imagine she’s not willing to let it go either, but DUDE. And, of course, she gets called a whore too because this isn’t bad enough. And this is the moment where I point out that, for all their talk about how she’s a supernatural evil and nasty, this whole scene plays out as three young men beating up a woman who is physically incapable of defending herself. All she’s physically capable of doing is walk away and they’ll just trip her up and beat her up and block her way because there’s three of them and only one of her. And then there’s some homophobic slurs (in the Dutch version) by our pov character and protagonist as he and his bestie launch into a fight to get the other boys to STOP and they fail because it’s three against two and one of those three, we know, is physically strong. Also, the three have broomsticks.

Anyway, the witch gets pushed down into a hole and gets pelted with rocks. Because CLEARLY this is a good idea. And Tiy and Lawrence get away with the camera that filmed everything and yeah. You know you’ve hit the halfway point of the book when Shit Got Real.

But. Just. *SCREAMS*

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