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The Wild Dead (The Bannerless Saga #2)
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Group Read - The Wild Dead > Group Read - The Wild Dead chap 1-7 spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments This topic is for chapters 1 -7 of our group read book, Carrie Vaughn's The Wild Dead. Spoilers are welcome on this thread.
If the first to post, please briefly summarize the segment to drive the discussion.


message 2: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments Chapter one: The Precarious House. Investigators Enid and Teeg travel to the Estuary area on the Coast Road; Teeg is a new young recruit and Enid's potential new partner. They were called to mediate a dispute over using precious resources to save a pre-fall one-hundred year old house that is falling down. The request for intervention and approval comes from Erik, a member of the Semperfi household and descendant of the original owners. The house is in terrible shape, threatening to fall down a hill into the water.

Chapter two: Death on the Tide.
Chapter three: An Unknown Burden
An agitated man, Kellan rushes to tell them a dead body is on the marsh flats. A murder takes precedence and lengthens their trip. Enid was eager to get home before, now determined to find the killer. None of the Coast Road settlement members know the victim, a young woman apparently from the Wild; her throat slashed.

Chapter four: Bonavista Juni and Jess, their teen son Tom offer hospitality and advice as Enid asks questions to find out who the young woman was.

Chapter five: Judgement. Erik pushes Enid and she tells him the house his family has kept up for a century can't be saved from falling down the crumbling hill, it is hopeless and isn't safe and the settlement reskurces can't be spared.

Chapter six: Last House. The house furthest from the others, closest to the Wild houses misfits and ostracized members and the distraught Kellem. The woman, Neeve is apparently Juni's twin sister. They say they know nothing. Enid isn't sure.

Chapter seven: Ruin. Enid settles in determinedly questioning the residents, showing them the body, gathering evidence. Erik angrily goes after supports for his ruined house with an ax. Teeg questions staying.


message 3: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments I am drawn right back into Enid's world and find her curiosity and determination wonderful. The flashbacks to her own household, Serenity, and their own banner and impending birth of their first child give depth to her character and are a counterpoint to a twenty year old case where Neeve, in a different household had removed her (birth control) implant - scandalizing the settlement and bringing judgement down on her house.
We know more from the first book; children are only approved by the council when sufficient resources and stability are in place, and a banner awarded. Bannerless pregnancies are strictly prohibited. The fall was precipitated by greed and over use of resources.


Sandi (sandin954) | 1196 comments Thanks for the summaries Ann.

I am listening to the audio and, like you, was immediately drawn back into the world after the fall.

I like that Enid is now the veteran investigator with a younger partner.

Erik seems a bit off with his attachment to the house, which in no way could be saved, and his reaction to their ruling.

Lots of questions about the Last House too.


message 5: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments Sandi: I really enjoyed the audio and was nervous that there wouldn't be one as it was not available to view before the release date. I also picked up the paperback edition from the library and now see the chapters have names which add definition to the story progression.
Erik's obsession with the house was interesting. He certainly saw it in different eyes than everyone else. I was expecting something less decayed until they took a tour and that left images of what the toll of one hundred years might be on a structure. The precipice the house totters on top of also appears to be a glimpse of the impact of what the fall meant to areas previosly not on the coast.
Those ideas are subtly prsented but hover right below the surface.


Geri I really like being back in Enid’s world. It is interesting that she is training a new investigator. I also find it interesting that they find the young woman’s body the same day the investigators get to town. Being on the edge of the coastal road, the settlements feel a little lawless. So not sure anything would have been reported if Enid hadn’t been there.

And Erik is pretty rageful. Something Enid is looking out for. But I don’t think Erik had anything to do with the young woman’s death. He seems too obvious. But they did find belongings to an outsider in the dilapidated house he wanted to save. That is curious.

The animosity between Neev and Junie’s household is interesting too. I wonder if Last House will have something to do with the young woman’s death. The girl was from the wild and had no implant. And Neev tampered with her implant in the past. And Kellen seemed very upset. He went back to his home and did not tell his household what happened. I know it would be upsetting to find a dead body. But I did find Kellan’s behavior a bit strange.

So much more to find out. I am glad I haven’t figured out anything yet. Vaughn does a great job at keeping me guessing. And brings her interesting characters to life. I really want to know where the story is going!


message 7: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments Geri: There are lots of questions and Enid is in her element which is fun to watch. It is interesting that she is training a potential new partner. I think she’s thoroughly qualified but imagine she would prefer someone more seasoned. I am posting o. the app so can’t mask a spoiler for the previous book, but those who have read Bannerless will know who she really would prefer as a partner but not possible.
Kellan is so distraught and odd acting that it seems suspicious, there’s a lot of denial going on.


message 8: by OMalleycat (last edited Jul 24, 2018 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "I was expecting something less decayed until they took a tour and that left images of what the toll of one hundred years might be on a structure..."

One thing I found a little hard to believe in Bannerless was the complete devastation of buildings from before The Fall. After all, it's only been 100 years. We all have buildings at least as old in our cities.

Bringing the scale down to a single house, not made of brick and steel, doesn't tweak my credulity as much. I suppose it serves narrative purpose to have total destruction and survivors cast back to limited housing resources. I suppose Vaughn intends to explain the devastation on the unruly weather changes, but still.

On another subject related to the dilapidated house, it's driven me crazy that Enid didn't go back after the murder was discovered and more thoroughly examine the remains left there by the squatter. It seemed such an obvious place to start and nagged at me as I continued reading.


message 9: by OMalleycat (last edited Jul 24, 2018 10:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Geri wrote: "The animosity between Negev and Julie's household is interesting too. . .The girl was from the wild and had no implant. And Neev tampered with her implant in the past."

Geri, I can't help but think this is a key to the mystery. I just haven't figured out how or why yet.

Interesting that both books have people who are literally and figuratively on the edge of the community and of whom the village is immediately suspicious and willing to blame. In the Bannerless discussion, some people mentioned the Amish and shunning. It makes it easier for me to understand everyone's fear and loathing of Investigators considering that they can invoke consequences that amount to shunning. In this interdependent world, being isolated has far-reaching consequences, including being under constant suspicion.


Bruce Perrin | 127 comments I hadn’t thought about the parallel that Geri drew between Neeve and the dead girl from the wild not having implants. Interesting idea. Seems like it could grow into something.

The whole dystopian setting certainly changes a murder investigation, doesn’t it? Perhaps everyone is used to this fact, having read Bannerless, but it was one of the first things to hit me. No DNA analysis. No FBI databases. No security cameras. We’re back to talking to people and a lot of legwork…literally. It’ll be interesting to see if some of the lower tech investigative tools are still in use, like fingerprinting. (I guess you need clear tape to keep them from smugging, but not much else). And as OMalleyCat pointed out, it is really nagging that Enid didn’t go back and really look at the dilapidated house closer, low-tech tools or not. She did examine the body pretty well.

And speaking of technology, my understanding is that solar panels have about a 20-year lifespan. If they aren’t manufacturing them somewhere, how could they be using them after 100 years? It’s interesting to me what technology Vaughn is bringing forward and what she is leaving in the past.

Vaughn’s scene setting is spectacular! I'm almost depressed reading about the debris and mud and rotting buildings. And the grabber in the first chapter – the body – was good. But chapters 2-7 seemed a little slow. Like the neighbors, I wanted Enid to make a decision on the Semperfi house so we could stop talking about it (although the scene with the ax added to the plot). And I found Enid and Teeg saying the case is impossible a bit wearing. I guess I’d like a bit more determination…although I recognize, Enid is very inexperienced.

That Enid knew the girl was from the wild because of the lack of an implant made me wonder if “The Wild” will become some sort of bastion of personal freedoms (people make up their own mind about families) rather than living under the control that Enid and Teeg represent. That would be a little trite, but it popped into my head.

And finally, a totally trivial comment, but with all the names in the world, why do authors end up with two characters whose names are so similar – Enid and Erik? I’ve misread that a half-dozen times already. (I know, whine, whine, whine.)


message 11: by OMalleycat (last edited Jul 26, 2018 10:27PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Bruce wrote: ". . .with all the names in the world, why do authors end up with two characters whose names are so similar – Enid and Erik? I’ve misread that a half-dozen times already. "

I misread those names a few times as well. As you say--why, with all the names in the world? Especially as Vaughn seems adroit at making up names (Teeg?). Not only are there all the names in the world, but add those in Vaughn's head and it seems that she could have given Erik a more distinct one.

I've given some thought to the names. One or two syllables, four or five letters. Some are missing silent letters (Tomas, Dak, Juni) or entire syllables (Mart). It's as if names have been stripped of anything extraneous like everything else in the culture. But Vaughn doesn't take it so far that it becomes annoying. Olive, Rose, and Neeve retain their silent e's. Ariana has several syllables and Philos has a whole consonant digraph. (These two, along with Dak, are from Bannerless, Bruce.) And isn't Berol the name of a pen in our world?

Jan O'Cat, will obsess about anything


message 12: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments Bruce: The bastion of personal freedoms regarding families for the Wild is spot on. Along with the character names missing silent letters and a mixture of technology and completely backwards habits -- what was retained after the fall, be it knowledge or physical equipment is all colored by the lessons the early survivors put into place to recover society and survival. Oral history doesn't have spell check, if materials and knowledge survived then solar cars might still be around and implants still function. Crazy to contemplate isn't it ".

Bruce wrote: "I hadn’t thought about the parallel that Geri drew between Neeve and the dead girl from the wild not having implants. Interesting idea. Seems like it could grow into something.
....
That Enid knew the girl was from the wild because of the lack of an implant made me wonder if “The Wild” will become some sort of bastion of personal freedoms (people make up their own mind about families) rather than living under the control that Enid and Teeg represent. That would be a little trite, but it popped into my head
."



Bruce Perrin | 127 comments Ann: Yeah, it's a strange mix of high-tech and desolation. If they really have solar panels, they must have saved a manufacturing plant because no solar panel lasts 100 years. Likewise, they must have some place to manufacture birth-control implants. But there's still the question of the tech that should be there that isn't (see next section).


Ceelee | 205 comments Count me in for being happy to be back in Enid's world! I am not much for dystopian novels but I really like this series because of the mysteries being investigated. I was hooked again by the first chapter! I am so curious as to who this young woman is and I am sure we aren't getting the straight story from the Last House! Somebody knows something. I hadn't considered there might be a connection between Neeve and the dead girl. Interesting idea! I am trying to figure out if the issue with the house is somehow connected to the murder or if that is just a plot device to get Enid and Teeg to the area and just happens to be there when Kellan found the body. It also introduces us to Last House and the wild people who are almost total outcasts. I also feel the mistrust among these groups of people which is actually a good thing because it will be harder to find out what happened. I couldn't believe the house was still standing after 100 years considering that so many other houses were destroyed. It doesn't really sound too sturdy to me. And Erik's reaction was a little weird too so what is that all about? I guess that is why I am wondering just what the purpose of the scene is in relation to the murder. Maybe they will fund something when it is torn down? Everything in a story has to have some reason for it being there. Right now there are just so many questions! I love it!


message 15: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments Ceelee: The mental images I developed after hearing about the almost falling down house as described in the first chapter are still sticking with me.
Perhaps more a discussion for later segments, but I agree with you, everything in a story usually has a reason for being there. And in this case it provides a visceral link to "our time -- pre-fall" to characters who are interested in their history or family ties (after the fall) and to give the reader a path for contemplation of a possible future. Kind of creepy.


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