Book Club: July: The 7.5 Thoughts About Evelyn Hardcastle

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by flatearthpandas, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. Sawneeks

    Sawneeks Queen Doppelpopolis

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    Do you have a link to that AMA?
     
  2. Fireblend

    Fireblend ABLF

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  3. Fireblend

    Fireblend ABLF

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  4. TearablePuns

    TearablePuns Member

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    BRUH. Wtf haha.
    I’m so intrigued by how tf these crime simulations were created now. It sounds like something living and breathing but would only make sense if it was a giant computer or something artificially intelligent
     
  5. Sawneeks

    Sawneeks Queen Doppelpopolis

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  6. Faddy

    Faddy of, having, or involving transitory whims

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    I hate this ending even more now.

    "The thing that created Blackheath" wtf. Authors are the worst. If they didn't put the stuff in the book then they should be banned from talking about it.

    The thing that created Blackheath was a future society
    The thing that created Blackheath was an Alien Race
    The thing that created Blackheath was love
    The thing that created Blackheath was a maniac with a really powerful PC and a few VR headsets
     
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  7. Natiko

    Natiko Administrator

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    This feels like a good example of why I preferred the limited information that was provided within the book. It's better than a half-answer like this.
     
  8. Fireblend

    Fireblend ABLF

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    lol I agree with this, but also, I feel like it also applies to my theoretical reality simulation machine from page 1 so I'm declaring it canon.
     
  9. weemadarthur

    weemadarthur Mad as in angry, or mad as in crazy?

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    It doesn’t matter what the thing is, though. We know it needs intelligence and data. Doesn’t matter if it is a higher power, an AI, or aliens, what matters is whether Blackheath could work for its intended purpose, which appears to be torture of someone convicted of war-crime level atrocities.
     
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  10. Faddy

    Faddy of, having, or involving transitory whims

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    It is worth remembering Annabelle Caulker's alleged crimes seem extremely ANIME and completely made up.

    Sounds like Anna was a good comrade and Aiden, his sister, Blackheath and everyone in this system is Fascist.

    The revelation in this novel is that Bougie Aiden starts to identify with the worker after having to deal with all these upper class twats.
     
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  11. Pedro

    Pedro The Last Airbender is actually a great movie
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    that's exactly why i compared her to someone in Danganronpa in the last page, both characters give the same vibe and have the same reputation xD
     
  12. flatearthpandas

    flatearthpandas Round Moon Bears

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    Well put lol
     
  13. weemadarthur

    weemadarthur Mad as in angry, or mad as in crazy?

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    New topic.
    The horrors of poorly written first person view.

    Many new authors write self insert fiction. The most common PoV for self inserts is first person. My opinion on reading a lot of this stuff is that most people who want to be authors suck at writing.
    This book gains from having a first person viewpoint, as the main character switches bodies and feels differently in them, we gain insights that aren’t seeable from Bell’s view. Note: isn’t Bellevue a famous prison/asylum?

    It also uses amnesia, an extremely overused trope in the video game genre, in order to allow the Player to learn about the world along with the playable character. In this case it also works. David Eddings used adolescent characters for a similar purpose, and when he explained why, he said that he chose a Galahad-esque trope deliberately, and also euphemised the trope as Sir Dumb. As in, a character learning about his own world looks like an idiot for not already knowing. Amnesia has so often been a shortcut for that, and in the mystery genre specifically, used to make the character wonder if they might be the murderer, that just seeing amnesia makes me cringe. This leaves out the medical reality compared to the fictional version, which is another topic entirely.

    Yet I’m okay with it in this book.
     
  14. RetroMG

    RetroMG Bergentrukung
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    In my mind, Annabelle absolutely looked like the mastermind from Danganronpa 1 when they were describing her crimes.

    When I was much, much younger, I wrote a mystery story about a cop investigating a serial killer, only for the big twist at the end to be that the cop had been bitten by a Vampire and was going into a fugue state every night and committing the murders as part of his transition to full vamp-hood. There's no real point to me telling you this. I just wanted to make you share in my own personal cringe.

    I also feel like the sequel to this would inevitably become like the sequel film to Battle Royal, with Aiden and Anna becoming "freedom fighters" to take down the oppressive society, and this just all makes me really glad that the author doesn't plan to do another story in that world. (Although I'd be okay if he did another body-jumping murder mystery like this one.)
     
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  15. weemadarthur

    weemadarthur Mad as in angry, or mad as in crazy?

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    Good, another one. We need more of them. XD
    Would you like me to pontificate on a Star Trek episode which was quite similar? No?
     
  16. heymonkey

    heymonkey yesssss my guinea pigs

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    Welp, turns out feps gets all the credit here; being out of town and on slower internet has really cramped everything I wanted to do this week. :(

    I agree here; the whole system seems flawed at best. However, with Anna, the author seems to take special care to indicate that she, at least, may actually deserve it - but it isn't the system that gives her release. It's the others involved who engineer it. I think that's about as close as the book really comes to making a larger statement, and I really don't know how I feel about it. Sure, people can bend a system to make it work for a few so-called deserving individuals... but who gets that help? That it's a woman here, a woman presented as "innocent" even when we know more about her, that's not lost on me. She benefits, but not because of the system. No one really addresses fixing the system itself. Kinda made me sigh at the end.
     
  17. heymonkey

    heymonkey yesssss my guinea pigs

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    I haven't read the rest of the discussion yet so maybe this is already addressed but I agree here - I felt for so long that maybe this was a game, in fact. The elements were there - a map, the questing feel, the retries, the different characters. The fact that it's some kind of punishment system that isn't really built out or addressed felt like a let down. Especially since we don't really get anything after the moment of release. Even Aiden's struggle with himself and his hosts just feels... dropped at the end. What has he learned? What has he become? We have to speculate because we don't even know if what the Plague Doctor told him about himself and his motivations is fully accurate. We don't see pre- and post-Aiden at all. I just felt... not much at the end. Which was a disappointment, because I was very invested through most of the novel!
     
  18. heymonkey

    heymonkey yesssss my guinea pigs

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    Reading through the thread now and I just want to say I really appreciate you all and I'm delighted that we're doing this and it fuels such good discussion. There's so much I want to respond to!
     
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  19. Fireblend

    Fireblend ABLF

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    Please do! I at least am still checking the thread :D
     
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  20. Natiko

    Natiko Administrator

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    As am I!
     
  21. Faddy

    Faddy of, having, or involving transitory whims

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    I'm still checking
     
  22. heymonkey

    heymonkey yesssss my guinea pigs

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    I will tomorrow. I drove through four states today and I am very tired.
     
  23. Gorlak

    Gorlak Is not technically Roytheone

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    Hello dear book club,
    today I decided to finally write in this thread.

    Overall I enjoyed the book. The underlying principle of body switching time travel was neat. Some hosts were more entertaining than others. Or rather Aiden's confrontation with the new body & environment was what I was looking forward to most of the times. Dance was probably the highlight for me, especially because of the surging conflict within him.

    I echo the disappointment with the ending. It fell flat for me. Of course it was the author's wish to bring our attention to the central questions and that not providing a more elaborative history for the mc or Anna was the point.
    But I need my backstory, damn it! In general everything regarding the outside world seemed to be on a shaky ground. How on earth could that be a legitimate way of punishment? In what kind of world are these people living? Why would they let Aiden in to torment her? How does losing every memory equal repenting? How can Silver Tear slip in and on the other hand be kept there?
     
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  24. Gorlak

    Gorlak Is not technically Roytheone

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    Anna seemed fine in the sense that she did everything in order to escape? All she did was trust Aiden would get her out? What kind of redeeming character traits did she show?
    I don't think we have enough info to judge Anna, all we see are 8 days of trying to get out by helping Aiden. She may have lost her memories, but who is to say what kind of person she is now?

    -----
    What would you consider reliving the same day for years without a possible escape? Is losing all your memories mercy in that regard? And obviously Aiden was let in by supervisors so it was intended to be a torture chamber at that point.

    This thought also crossed my mind, but in the end there was not enough info drop to justify a sequel.

    -----
    Not much to be honest and I don't think the author intended it. Parts were purposely hidden, like @Faddy mentioned. The two solvable riddles were maybe Daniel and Evelyn/Madeline. Daniel not being host was obvious to me once Gold signaled being one. I think numbers didn't add up, so I side-eyed him hard.
    At that point I also had some theories of another host with the ability to jump bodies and tried to think of characters involved (Helena - Millicent - Evelyn - Anna - some maids?).

    The Evelyn/Madeline switch went over my head. When Millicent Derby discovered it, I knew I missed an important piece, but I was too lazy to look into it and just continued reading.

    How were we supposed to find out Evelyn was a psycho child who murdered two kids, one of which was her little brother(!), anyway? Was it ever mentioned Evelyn was out with the stable boy that went missing before the final reveal?

    -----
    I think the author was unable to follow through with his idea of a linear progression because the riddle had to be solved. Rashton was the hero in shining armour who connected all the dots because the plot needed it. All that ever happened was going after the footman (and nearly dying), which Aiden says he didn't notice Rashton taking over.
    The inner fight with Derby might stick in mind because of the actions Derby wants to take, but Aiden is able to fight it off. The discussion between Dance and Peter Hardcastle seems to demand a greater will from Aiden to pull through.
    Gold leaving no impression is why I was pretty disappointed there, he was almost as bland as the butler. The only struggle was actually being violent towards the butler, but that didn't seem like a hard task in the end.
    The progression was also shown in the memories he was able to retrieve.

    And in that way I think the author intended to make it happen that way, but failed.

    -----
    My favourite was definitely Dance. Second would probably be Bell? Ravencourt did stick out, but to be plain I could sympathize and understand the struggle with being old way more than with being fat. But I liked the calm, clear and rational mind that he possessed especially in contrast to Derby. Derby was an emotional experience, but I wouldn't call him my favourite. Rashton was nice to follow because he lifted the most weight at the end and a detective just fits right in there. Yeah, I'd say Dance - Bell - Ravencourt/Derby/Rashton and way off Butler/Gold - Donald Davies, which leads me to:

    I know this is mostly in joking, but is there anything to him that was interesting? I only remember the talk with the plague doctor and that he ran off, which was pretty boring.
    What happened with him, when he woke up again? That was the "don't get out of the carriage" part?
     
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  25. Gorlak

    Gorlak Is not technically Roytheone

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    It's a nice thing to ponder about, but ultimately one I don't need to know. The plague doctor said he tried a lot of different orders and always came back to Bell's affection towards Evelyn(Madeline) being the key to keep Aiden solving.

    Natiko covered this. He should've never been allowed inside. After his cruel deeds, I'm not so sure. But this all just ties into the whole system being bananas.

    But the key in altering a person was to make them forget what person they are? It's not removed from their crimes, but removed from their whole life, from everything they ever were. For me memories are such a huge part of what makes a person that person.

    I agree that Aiden's view is very limited and should not be the point. I somewhat agree with Tearable's argument:
    It's probably that the plague doctor has seen enough of this endless cruelty and decides to free them because of that. Which leads to the question: Should this have been enforced at all? Is brainwashing prisoners okay? How should we handle crime & punishment?
     
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  26. Gorlak

    Gorlak Is not technically Roytheone

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    Unsatisfied with the AMA, the questions were not the best.
    Quick google search says Bellevue Hospital is the oldest public hospital in the United States (located in Manhattan). Another one is Belle Vue Goal in Manchester which operated in the second half of the 19th century and was known for abysmal conditions. And Bellevue Asylum is a location in Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy ;) Of course as a german I immediatly thought of Bellevue Palace the residence of the german president in Berlin.

    ---
    One more thing:
    I can't remember exactly, but didn't Aiden at one point very clearly state something along the lines: "There are two of them! Two footmen that look the same, twins. That's how he could be here and there and managed to stay ahead."?
     
  27. turmoil7

    turmoil7 more than six maelstroms

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    Yes he did but I don't recall where that line of thought went

    Probably it just crumbled when it came to light he was in cahoots with Daniel?
     
  28. TearablePuns

    TearablePuns Member

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    It was mostly in joking but I do find it fascinating that the author made the characters described by others as the one with the most friends as the one that falls asleep on the road for most of the story. But it also makes sense that he’s the host that everyone that came out to help as Aiden was being held at gunpoint. Since Davies had the most friends of all the hosts, he’s probably a real big people person.

    Yeah, they found him and took him back in the carriage and instead of staying inside he got out to grab the shotgun and that’s when we meet Silver Tear, Daniel gets drowned, and Thomas in the lake:(
     
  29. Natiko

    Natiko Administrator

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    That's a fair argument, though I feel like it could have been better displayed if that was the author's intention. I would agree though that this method of "rehabilitation" doesn't really seem like rehabilitation at all. It's like saying "dang, this table is broken. I'm going to fix it by burning it to ash".

    I think that was mainly a way to explain how they could do so much and that was pretty much that lol
     
  30. turmoil7

    turmoil7 more than six maelstroms

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    Yeah this is a feel I can't shake off, I know the author covers it by the plague doctor arranging the order but Rashton having super deduction skills on the last day felt oh so convenient
     
  31. TearablePuns

    TearablePuns Member

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    Even so, it only took him so far.
    Yes, it led him to finding out Michael “killed Evelyn” but not really.
    And even though he was this super detective that was formerly a soldier and all, he still died without putting up a fight.
    I like how most of the characters were balanced, apart from poor Collins lol
     
  32. Swamped

    Swamped Dazzling Mafia Queen

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    I just finished this book! I had a blast with it, and overall loved it. I can't pretend I fully understand everything, but maybe on a second reading. Reading through the discussion here will help too. Really basic and dumb question: Why would Felicity want to murder Evelyn? Because she was 'used' by Evelyn? Honestly, couldn't keep track of all the motives lol...
     
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  33. turmoil7

    turmoil7 more than six maelstroms

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    I think it was just revenge because Evelyn wanted to kill her for real instead of faking it
     
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