And so we have The Big Day. Snuff is nervous, even though he HAS done this many times before.
Fresh footprints of The Creature. Dun-dun-dun!
Lots of trust for an Opener and cat. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Like Snuff. Apparently Gray is still making use of her Wisdoms from the old cat.
Great, an alcoholic snake. But it's good to see Quicklime again. And with some important information - both who killed Rastov and Owen, and the fact that the Count is still... alive? Well, not fully dead.
"We left without bothering to check the door." A bit ominous. Also: at this point I had a sudden vision of an ending of the book a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail - All of the participants getting arrested with their "implements" just as they set out for the Big Night, thanks to the Great Detective, and the whole thing being a wash.
A small but interesting bit about the banefire, and its uses/properties. Also: the protest about use of a sacrifice has been ignored.
Preparations are finished, Jill and Graymalk show up, and it begins. And I'd forgotten that the main action takes place when the animal companions can speak, so yeah, that pretty much scrubs the "turns into a man" Loony Theory I briefly had.
The Count shows up... and is a Closer. As he says, he likes the world the way it is. Which makes sense.
Larry shows up to save Lynette, and gets her dragged off before getting shot and badly wounded. Morris and MacCab try to move her back, and get, well, stopped permanently by the Count. Not so much in his case to protect Lynette as to prevent the desecration of "the pattern." Which works pretty neatly to shorten the odds against Our Anti-Heroes at the same time. And while the Count is occupied with the Vicar (and being debilitated by him), the Great Detective, in the form of a (were-)wolf, slips in to finish rescuing Lynette.
I do have to wonder though, why did the Vicar bother doctoring the apparently fully dead Count's soil? "Just in case?" Did he know the Count wasn't really dead, because of the killing of Owen perhaps?
Anyhow, things continue. The players become odd... animal-things, and Snuff wears the form of a demonic hellhound, which makes me wonder yet again about his origins. Larry and the Count are still "alive," but unable to interfere for now, and just as the opening is starting, the Experiment Man shows up (surprise surprise!). He wants to pet the kitty!
Tentacles appear. And so does Bubo, who hitched a ride and reveals that somehow he managed to switch the two wands, so that if Snuff and Jack were dead, the Openers would still be Closing the Gate. Not to dumb in theory, but Jack and Snuff aren't so easily disposed of as that, which makes things trickier.
And then Things Happen. Snuff seizes the Opening wand from Jack, Larry has recovered enough to leap for the Vicar, and *poof* "they" go through the doorway (although who "they" are is unclear). The Things in the Port are used to help "gunk up" the doorway. Jill manages to close the doorway with the switched Closing Wand, and the experiment man saves the Count from being sucked into the gate.
And we end with a nice little rhyme about Jack and Jill. Heh.
Things that still bother me: So I'm assuming Larry and the Vicar are trapped in with the Ancient Gods? If not outright destroyed? Man, poor Larry!
And why was it so important that Snuff not stand to Jack's right? I'd imagine something to do with the Count... but what does it matter if he stands to the right of Jack, or Snuff? I don't get it. The only other thing that I can think of is without being on that side, he might not have been close enough to hear Bubo, but that seems a bit of a stretch.
And the ending, which I remembered at least SOME bit of, is why I wasn't so sure about the whole "losers being destroyed in the backlash Always" thing. I knew Jill and Graymalk survived, or at least I was pretty sure of it. So.. were they kept from dying because they happened to be wielding the Closing Wand, even though they were actually Openers? I'm so confused!
Anyhow, I guess this can be considered a place to discuss the book as a whole, as well as the last section. Unless you want me to post a separate post for as-a-whole book discussion, doesn't really matter hugely either way. :p