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Redwood (The Familiar #5)
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Volume 5: Redwood > November 1-6, pages 1-141

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message 1: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Scuffling (ianscuffling) | 96 comments Post thoughts, discussions, tidbits in this thread or create a new topic under Vol. 5 here as you read along with the Facebook Reading Group.

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message 2: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Scuffling (ianscuffling) | 96 comments Rough synopses of the first act--I admit, some of the facts may not be 100% accurate, so please feel free to expand or correct as you see fit:

Astral Omega: Cold Boot – the D.A.R.K. has lost to the H.O.L.Y., and their Versal Apex Predator has been unleashed on the world, winnowing the multiverse down to one. The D.A.R.K. perform a “cold boot” to reset the system.

Invite Everyone – A party planner struggles with her invitation lists and the sequence of guests, worried that the only person (unnamed) she wants to come won’t.

Caged Hunt – The three hunters, piqued by the mysterious fourth crate, move in to examine. Suddenly, a figure described to sound a lot of like Xanther and Satya comes in and slaughters the three men, ripping the head off one.

Ratings: D) Demand R ) Roar E ) Entanglement A ) Animality M) Murder

Artifact: Proto-Klamath Inscribed Thunderegg

1 – Anwar: Anwar hangs up on Jingjing who is calling to claim the cat after seeing one of Xanther’s signs in LA. JJ keeps calling back until Anwar must entertain the call, asking JJ to provide specific details and descriptions of the cat to ascertain if he’s telling the truth. JJ describes the cat in great detail—the missing whiskers, the single eyebrow, the extra claws on right (6) and left (7) paws, and the number of teeth missing/extra on each side. He also mentions the cat has blue eyes. This slight inconsistency is enough for Anwar to hang onto to deny JJ’s claims (and save the cat for Xanther). JJ also warns that the cat is dangerous, not only to Xanther, but to the family too. Anwar steps away from the phone to ask Xanther to count the claws and teeth (not mentioning the phone call), when the family realizes that the cat has lost its incisors.

2 – Astair: At first questioning Anwar’s motives for asking Xanther to count the cat’s unique features (and wondering who was on the phone), upon discovering the missing teeth, Astair screams and they wrap up the little one up in Anwar’s cashmere sweater running out of the house to take the cat to the vet. Xanther phones the vet’s office while Astair drives, but Dr. Syd is out. Suddenly, the cat starts having seizures and expelling a clear liquid from every orifice. In a panic, Astair notices they’re just outside of “Catholic Pet Hospital.” They run in and see the vet (Dr. Alice Caldwell), who says the cat is “cycling” and will continue to do so until it dies. She then steps away and sends in an assistant—Dwight Plaguer, the boy who didn’t show up as a witness for Shnorhk’s court date in Vol. 1

3 – Xanther: It’s unclear at first why Dr. Caldwell sent Dwight, but quickly becomes clear that his title “resident expert” means he assess and performs euthanasia at the hospital as Dr. Caldwell is “sensitive,” in his words. Xanther focuses on the practiced way Dwight carries himself, especially his fake-seeming pained expression. After at first refusing to let him, Xanther shows the cat to Dwight who confirms that the cat is in death throes and there is no hope for its survival. He then puts the question to Xanther and Astair to euthanize the cat to end its current suffering. Astair is horrified and takes his tone as accusatory if they don’t euthanize, but Xanther is calmer and more mature, realizing they’re dealing with the choice of allowing the animal to suffer for their own attachment to it.

4 – Orbists: At the meeting place in NY, Cas, Bobby and the rest of the group await Recluse’s arrival for the planned face-to-face with Cas. While waiting, Cas notes the presence of families and innocent people who would be affected if she were to detonate Mefisto’s orb in her possession. She also reflects on the divergence that caused the rift between Recluse and the rest, who were once good friends and colleagues working on the orb technology. The group has snipers ready and waiting to protect Cas and Warlock seems assured that they’re safe (with the backing of their insane arsenal details in book 4). There are several “gambits” planned for different situations, prepped for whatever happens when Recluse shows (alone or with an army). Suddenly, Bobby approaches Cas and lets her know that there’s a change of plans and that she’ll be meeting Recluse somewhere else nearby at midnight, alone. Cas decides that none of Warlock’s plans matter, because she is going to detonate the orb, sacrificing herself to kill Recluse.

5 – Luther: Domingo still hasn’t shown up, and Luther is thinking about how strange it was to be so kind to his mother at the end of book four, telling her to pass the message to Domingo that he should leave the area and not come back. Teyo, through Nacho, offers a gift of a bunch of fancy dress shirts to Luther calling him off the hunt, acknowledging that tracking people isn’t in Luther’s forte. Luther takes the shirts but refuses to give up on the search for Domingo. The gang gets news of a house where he’s been hiding for weeks and goes there immediately, but it’s too late, only finding a little girl jumping off a bed onto her unconscious father. Then news comes that Domingo was just spotted entering a bar; Pina is already there to stake it out after Luther tells her not to enter and cause a scene (which would make it easier for Domingo to escape again). On the way there in Juarez’s car, the engine breaks down and Luther tells them to call a cab.

6 – Jingjing: After hanging up with Anwar, who relents that the cat is the very one JJ described on the phone and gives the Ibrahim’s address to him, JJ pulls a monster card. He is elated and calmed by having found the cat, so much so that he almost forgets that he’s lost. As he makes his way around the area, he finally identifies familiar landmarks (the ice cream stand), and spots Tian Li sleeping on a bench, snoring loudly with pomegranate ice cream on her face. JJ shows her the lost cat sign, to which she marvels at the lamination rather than the fact that it’s their cat. Then he shows her that he has the address written on his hand. Tian Li warns that “she’s at even greater peril” than when they were near her at LAX—would the cat have survived if they caught up with Xanther there?—and the two quickly realize they need to get a taxi ASAP.

Entre’act I: Yarrow flowers with Hebrew script page

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