Well, Snowflakes, we’ve done it. We’ve made it through one whole Forever Knight book. I hope you’ve enjoyed the recaps, because there are two more of these things sitting on my desk, as well as a sequel to Dracula that I might do next, just to cleanse the palate a little.
I hope you enjoy this final recap!
A page and a half to tell us Nick and Nat are in an empty hotel ballroom!
OK, guys, I will try not to complain about this much, since I spent so much time on it last week, but jeez. I get why most of this exposition is here – Nick wants a big space for the showdown, he memorized the layout of the hotel/convention center on an assignment last year, the hotel keeps the security cameras off unless the space is in use – but do you see how little space that took me? Even if I wanted to write it correctly, it wouldn’t take 500 words, my god.
So Nat’s there as bait, and Nick runs off to…get Radu, I guess? It’s left up to the reader to guess, because we’ve already used all our space on discussing the fee structure of the city fire marshal in respect to hotels.
Meanwhile, Radu is looking in jewelry store windows, amazed that people just leave their silver and gemstones behind glass-that’s-too-clear-to-be-glass. He wonders if it’s a display of wealth for some merchant, or if the penalties for stealing are so harsh, no one would dare attempt it. He remembers back in the day he knew a ruler who had such penalties.
Yup. Finally, we get Dracula.
For one measly little sentence.
How much cooler would it have been if Radu really were Vlad? Like, come on, now. That would be an excellent use of the “famous people” trope this series can’t get enough of, and might make me more interested in Radu. As it is, he’s a pretty one-dimensional villain, and I’m yawning, because of course Nick’s going to defeat him. Duh. When the outcome of your story is a foregone conclusion, you can only keep people around to the end by making the journey interesting.
This journey? Boring as fuck.
Anyway. Radu recalls that Vlad’s Wallachia was full of bodies on stakes, but there was very little crime.
He doesn’t mention that all that staking stuff was wildly exaggerated by Vlad’s Western enemies, and many of the stories we have about his rule come from those sources, so, you know. Probably not that many stakes, even if there also weren’t that many thieves.
So Radu steals a bunch of stuff, and flies off. Good thing Nick is already in the air, looking for Radu. Nick spots him as the jewelry store alarm goes off, and he flies after him until he gets close enough to taunt Radu with the silver box.
Radu goes after Nick, but Nick says he just wants to talk. He wants to return the box, and suggests that he and Radu team up against Lacroix. Radu isn’t convinced, so Nick tries harder, but…
Nick forced himself to smirk, to exude sincerity.
Like, seriously? Smirking does not make me think you’re sincere, Nick. It doesn’t make anyone think you’re sincere. Quite the opposite, in fact. We’ll all think you’re a lying douche.
Which…isn’t wrong, I guess.
Anyway. The sun’s rising, so Nick’s all, “I’ll tell you more, but not in the middle of the sky. Follow me,” and takes him to the ballroom, of course. Nick tells him that he can’t keep killing the way he has. The mortals are too organized, and the kills too noticeable. Radu agrees, for once, and recalls that it was difficult for vampires to hunt in Vlad’s Wallachia, too. (Probably because he wanted to keep it all for himself, but whatever.)
Nick tells Radu that Radu needs him to navigate the world, that Lacroix kept him imprisoned for over 200 years. Radu is shocked at the length of time, but dude, come on. You haven’t recognized anything about this century, so clearly, it’s been a while, yeah? It’s not like you went in the box in 1940 and woke up all confused by smartphones.
Nick then offers Nat to Radu, and OMFG, there is so much goddamn exposition here! Including the fact that holy objects affect Radu – because Nat’s wearing a cross – but also that it’s the faith in the object that creates the magic.
Or, you know, TWO CHAPTERS AGO, WHEN IT WAS APPROPRIATE TO MENTION.
This is our big, climactic battle scene, right? The end of the whole shebang, when we finally get rid of Radu, and the reader is spending it hearing about things Nick left out of the plan when he told Nat and the nuances of holy objects as weapons. WHAT THE FUCK. It’s like Sizemore got to the end of the book and just went:
So, Radu’s coming at Nat, and she’s more and more worried that Nick is really going to let her get chomped, when Nick gives the signal and Nat opens the curtains on the eastern-facing glass wall of the ballroom.
Radu goes up in flames. Which takes like four paragraphs to get to. And Nick is pretty sure he’s going up, too, despite the driving gloves, sunglasses, ski mask, and floppy hat he’s wearing. (Sizemore tells us he always keeps these in the “Caddie”. That is not a word. The diminutive for a Cadillac is a Caddy. Like in golf.)
Radu continues to burn, and so does Nick, so Nat pulls Nick out the door, which – why didn’t you just do that in the first place? Like, hit the button, run for the door, boom. Not roasted.
But anyway. Radu goes on screaming and burning, and Nat waits for Nick to recover a little in the hallway. After a while – a while, in a public hotel, but sure, let’s go with it – Radu shuts up. Nat peeks through the door and sees his ashes – which she and Nick just leave there, hoping the housekeeping staff will take care of it.
OMG. You guys. Whut.
Last time Radu was “killed”, the ashes weren’t scattered, and 200 years later, he woke the fuck up and caused a goddamn ruckus that went on for 245 pages. So you’re just going to leave him there and HOPE FOR THE BEST?!
Nat takes Nick home, works the day shift, then comes back to his place to nurse him back to health. Tracy calls, and Nat’s all, “No, he has the flu, don’t come visit”, and Tracy brings Nat up to speed on everything: Drezerdic was found dead, there’s no more “animal” attacks, and Reese isn’t pleased that Nick’s called in sick for three nights, but wevs, everything’s wrapped up with a nice little bow now, isn’t it.
Nat and Nick reflect on getting rid of Radu, and then Nick says this:
“I had the chance to toally destroy him once before, but it didn’t work. I should have been more thorough….”
But leaving him for the hotel staff to find this time around is just awesome! Good job, Nick!
IMO? Nick should feel guilty about this whole episode. And the next one. Because RADU WILL COME BACK YOU MORON, AND THAT WILL BE YOUR FAULT TOO.
But instead of an ominous last scene involving Radu re-coalescing and eating some poor hotel maid, we just get more nonsense from the Nightcrawler, as usual, and Nick drinking his gross cow’s blood, also as usual.
And that’s the disappointing, dumb end of Forever Knight: A Stirring of Dust. I had high hopes for this book, guys. I thought it was going pretty well right until the end, when everything just hopped the rails and ran off to Nonsenseville, Population: Too Many Words. There was no tension in the final battle, and the wrap-up was as ridiculous and insulting to everyone’s intelligence as the dumbest episodes of the show were.
So in that case, I guess it really does succeed as a Forever Knight property, doesn’t it?
Next Week: I don’t know! It might be Forever Knight: Intimations of Mortality, or it might be Dracula: The Un-Dead! Stay tuned!Show RitS Post List