Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 24

Posted February 27, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Not-A-Review / 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)
  • Jules Helsloot (NL), Justin Walker (En), Ju (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 23: We finally learn concretely what happened to Tiy and Maxmatt. Also we see how our protagonists react to the tragedy that took both sons. Well, mostly. I mean one is still alive but in a coma, so let’s say that tragedy took both of them for now because Maxmatt might not make it.

Trigger warning for more descriptions of self-harm and graphic description of self-harm to eyes.

Chapter 24 – Scene 1

Ste, despite being, like, a lecturer is medicine, has decided not to send his living son (who has a) put glue in his eyes, b) ingested a bunch of poisonous toad stools) because, well, reasons. We don’t yet know what those reasons are because the text doesn’t say. I KIND OF REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW IN THE HELL THAT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA.

I mean, realistically the answer is going to be something like “For the protection of this town’s secret horror haunt and having no good explanation on WTF happened to make a teenage boy do that”, but the text doesn’t yet say.

Oh, good. Grim is going to explain why. I am so thrilled to be in his pov again. See my joy. But at least the GP who’s there is very upset that they’re not taking the boy to hospital right then and there. THANK YOU, DOCTOR SUIDMAN/STANTON FOR BEING SENSIBLE ABOUT HUMAN INJURY.

Wait. Grim has a morality? The text says he does. I’m not sure I believe the text. No. Actually, I’m very sure I don’t believe the text.

Oh and apparently Grim wants to remove Maxmatt without the parents noticing, so I have no idea why Ste had such a hard time deciding not to take his son to hospital immediately because HE HAS LITERALLY HAD NO CHANCE TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS ABOUT THE MATTER. It’s all Grim deciding that he knows best.

Also given the fairy tale references so far I’m kinda disappointed that Grim is not some allusion somehow to the brothers Grimm. But nope. No, we’re probably not going to go there. And also I suspect the brothers Grimm deserve better than this dude.

Grim. Grim, dude. You just said that your morality got turned off (not that I think you had any) and now it’s shifting? YOU DIDN’T TURN IT BACK ON YET.

And hey Jocelyn finally did something! It involves hitting the Wyler Witch in the face with a tea kettle because the guys couldn’t get her to move from the body and we finally know how she stopped people from taking the corpse down. She actively stopped them and behaved uncharacteristically by moving and reacting and stuff and apparently Grim’s morality, which was already turned off, has shifted enough that the potential death of an elderly person is worth being able to get the corpse down and the living boy to hospital. But his morality was already turned off, so I have no idea how this is different from what he was considering before.

Chapter 24 – Scene 2

So… Apparently we’re just going to leave Ste on his own while his wife has been taken to hospital because this… somehow makes sense? Like why didn’t they take Ste too? I’m sure the police could go to the hospital to interview them there and I’m sure Grim could somehow contrive to keep them away from a woman who is “clearly going to tell them all about the Witch” (and, like, why would the police even believe her when she’s clearly too upset to be thinking straight and “There is a Witch that did this!” is just as likely to be seen as “Shock has addled her brain” because rationally what happens in the town cannot happen at all.

Suddenly hemlock! I’m sure this is hinting at something or meant to be foreboding, but sorry I am just sat here going “Suddenly hemlock!” because I don’t think it’s come up before that there’s hemlock growing in the wooded area before now.

Oh, ugh, and now Grim is thinking that he didn’t do Tiy any favours letting his website slide. We’re just… going to ignore the fact that one of Tiy’s friends is the one who tormented the Wyler Witch and was publically tortured on Tiy’s testimony, are we? ‘cause that’s… kind of where I would start looking: the guy with a track record for Witch-related violence and who has a very good reason to hold a grudge against Tiy.

Oh, now we’re thinking about Jaymer and oh look the torture almost killed him but he “came out on the right side” so he’s obviously not the dude to suspect has anything to do with this. FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING, GRIM, I KNOW YOU’RE A MISOGYNIST PHOBIC ASSHAT BUT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE NOT THINKING OF THIS.

I just. I just. I cannot with this book. Now Grim has sent people off to deal with the Witch (she has not murdered anyone for getting a tea pot full of hot tea in her face) and is watching security footage and one of his colleagues is staying in hospital in case our comatose surviving boy wakes up and started talking. Again because obviously the outside world is going to believe a word he says about Witches and horrors and not see it as a way to cope with trauma.

And now the Witch has appeared to stare at Grim, who is making noise for all he’s worth to protect himself from the Wyler Witch looming over him. And oh did we mention she smells of death and decay and her nails are all yellow and icky? Because the book has mentioned it a few times and I don’t think I have and as much as I think it goes with the whole “creepy undead Witch is creepy” it is also part of the way women in general are described as unattractive in this book. You know, when they’re described at all to start with.

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