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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 8-14 spoilers welcome

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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments This topic is for chapters 8-14 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.


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Chapter eight Folk of the Wild
The residents of Last House view the body and Neeve admits they know her, she is one of the Wild, people who sometimes come to trade and who are living on the outside of society. Her name is Ella.
Enid and Teeg search either side of the San Joe river. Enid sees one of the Wild, a young man watching them. Neeve washes the body.

Chapter nine An Impossible Search
Teeg is horrified that Enid wants to travel into the Wild to try to find Ella's people. Teeg is competitive, but not curious. They see Kellan in the marsh mud frantically searching for something.

Chapter ten Just a Knife
The secrets being held are obvious and tensions grow, but Kellan finally admits he was searching for a knife in the mud. The knife had been made in the settlement and Ella had traded for it. The Wild don't have the same quality of knives. Enid and Teeg review what they know.

Chapter eleven Pyre
The funeral pyre is kindled. As they gather Enid spots the Wild man and makes pursuit, intercepting and talking to him, Hawk. She informs him that Ella is dead. He is upset and runs away.

Chapter twelve Scavengers
Kellan becomes more and more anxious and upset. Teeg interrogates Kellan and decides he must be the murderer. He closes his mind to other possibilities.

Chapter thirteen Evidence
Enid was lightly warned she might need to rein Teeg in before they set out. She sees Hawk confronting the residents of Last House looking for Ella's knife.

Chapter fourteen Small Debates
Teeg stubbornly refuses to think beyond Kellan as the murderer and is frightened of traveling away from the Coast Road to seek the Wild. Enid hoped he would go along or at least back her up, she expects a quick trip and sets out with the sunrise.


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Teeg is afraid of the people who are different; Enid knows they are just people. Enid was hoping for a partner, she misses the conversational discussions she had anbout cases with her previous partner Tomas. Teeg is stubborn and close minded; Enid is stubborn too but is curious and tolerant.
What could go wrong setting off after the Wild by herself?


Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments While I do like that Enid really wants to find out the truth going off without Teeg does not seem very smart. Teeg, however, is too closed minded to be a truly good investigator so I suppose Enid did not have much of a choice.


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "Teeg is afraid of the people who are different; Enid knows they are just people. Enid was hoping for a partner, she misses the conversational discussions she had anbout cases with her previous partner. . ."

I really mourn Enid's loss of Tomas, more in this book than in the first. Enid and Tomas complemented each other well. At this point, Teeg is more of a hindrance than a partner.

Ann also wrote: "What could go wrong setting off after the Wild by herself?"

OMG just about everything! They're bound to be afraid of her and possibly hostile. If it was someone in the settlement who killed Ella, the Wild may try to exact retribution. Even if not not actively hostile they may flee, which would mean no success. Why wouldn't they flee? What good can Enid bring to them?

Enid took light rations to sustain her, so I hope it all goes quickly. And that there aren't any storms.

Still, as this chapter ended with Enid taking off, I was relieved and excited. The story has been leading this way for almost 2/3 of the book. Finally we're going to the Wild! Are we almost there yet?


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Sandi wrote: "While I do like that Enid really wants to find out the truth going off without Teeg does not seem very smart. Teeg, however, is too closed minded to be a truly good investigator so I suppose Enid did not have much of a choice.

I agree she didn't have much choice. Teeg would sabotage, intentionally or not, any contact with the people in The Wild. Even if they could get close enough to talk, he'd do something dumb and alienating. Although always characterized as impatient, Enid is able to control her impulsiveness, curious enough to be driven to find answers wherever they may take her, and compassionate enough to form bonds with people even with the divide brought by her uniform.

I'm actually pleased that Enid is going into The Wild, her restless spirit having reason to venture into another frontier in the small world of The Coast Road. She'll have seen even more than Dak with this foray.


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Jan O’AreWeThereYet Cat
I cracked up reading your post. I needed that today! (Hearing we are off to see the wizard in my head.... 😀) More later!!
I do realize this is a serious trip into the Wild ... but thanks!


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "Jan O’AreWeThereYet Cat
I cracked up reading your post. I needed that today!"


Ann, sorry you had the kind of day that required silly cat antics as an antidote. But happy as always to be the silly cat!

Jan O'Cat, chasing tail, leaping at ghost shadows, washing ears


Geri I’m actually surprised at how close minded Teeg is. How can he be a good investigator? Does Enid have to create reports on his performance? I hope he does not pass his training.

Erik and Kellan are both emotionally unstable right now. I still don’t know what the heck happened, but I need to know if Erik or Kellan had anything to do or know something about Ella’s death. Neev has made it high on my list of suspects too.

Yes, Enid is persistent. One reason I love her character. Something will happen in the Wild for sure! But like OMalleycat, I am excited to find out what happens! :)


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Geri: I was really disappointed in Teeg. He is young, but so is Enid. He was afraid, and probably with good reason about traveling in the wild; but really. I couldn't believe how close-minded he became as soon as he thought he figured it all out.
Geri wrote: "I’m actually surprised at how close minded Teeg is. How can he be a good investigator? Does Enid have to create reports on his performance? I hope he does not pass his training.
..."



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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Sadly highly likely Ms. O'Cat --
Teeg would likely be a liability in the Wild. I think Enid knew that. She's more likely to get answers.
OMalleycat wrote: "...I agree she didn't have much choice. Teeg would sabotage, intentionally or not, any contact with the people in The Wild. Even if they could get close enough to talk, he'd do something dumb and alienating. "


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Geri wrote: "I’m actually surprised at how close minded Teeg is. How can he be a good investigator? ..."

I think Teeg is a type you often see in real-life police forces. It's never said directly, but he seems only interested in the enforcement part of the job. How often is he depicted bringing his staff forward when talking to others or in other ways brandishing it. He's not interested in getting to know people, getting all sides to a story, putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Look at how quickly he jumps to accept Kellan's 'confession' though it's so obviously doubtable.

At this point in the story he strikes me as mentally lazy and not exactly physically lazy, but at the very least lacking the tenacity and drive a good Investigator would need.


Bruce Perrin | 131 comments There was some progress on the case – learning Ella’s name, meeting Hawk, learning about the knife (possible murder weapon), etc. And the strongly suspected trek into ‘the wild’ finally started. But overall, a pace that felt a bit slow in the first 7 chapters turned into a crawl. Enid did start to show a bit more determination, but Teeg regressed even further, becoming a true pain in the rear. The disposition of the Semperfi house remains an issue, as does Kellan’s and Erik’s questionable mental states. But what compounds the slow pace for me is the author’s repetition of themes and thoughts. How many times do we hear Enid assess a house’s living conditions? How many times will Teeg question their responsibilities? How often will Erik bemoan losing the Semperfi House? How often will Enid dream of home?

The technology that has survived remains a mystery to me. Why wouldn’t they have microscopes? (Not the high-end ones, but simple ones like in any high school or college would have. They couldn’t all have washed away?) It’s like Vaughn has arbitrarily picked some technology to come forward, others to be lost for little apparent reason. (And I realize this is an issue that probably doesn’t bother anyone else, but my nerd tendencies come out when I read stories set in the future.)

Some of Enid’s best evidence came when she was eavesdropping on Last House and Hawk. My question is, why did she come out of hiding so soon? And why is Erik chopping down the house supports in one chapter, then standing guard over the house in another? And why is Enid letting this issue fester so long?


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Bruce wrote: "The disposition of the Semperfi house remains an issue. . .And why is Enid letting this issue fester so long?"

I didn't like the way the disposition of the house lingered on and on. It seemed very much a MacGuffin anyway, to get Enid and Teeg on site for the discovery of the body. So once they've observed the condition of the house and the body has been found, why not just rip the house-is-coming-down bandaid off in one fell zip. Erik is going crazy as it is. Give the poor guy a break!

Speaking of MacGuffins, it strikes me that, if this series goes on for a while, it will have the Jessica Fletcher problem. How can one person run into so much murder in a world with a small, relatively content population?

Bruce also wrote: "It's like Vaughn has arbitrarily picked some technology to come forward, others to be lost for little apparent reason. (And I realize this is an issue that doesn't bother anyone else, but my nerd tendencies come out when I read stories set in the future.)"

Oh please, if I can nerd out about silent letters and missing syllables, you're welcome to nerd out on your own thing.

You raise a good point about solar panels. I was unaware that they couldn't have survived (or been somehow continually restored) for 100 years. What goes into manufacture of solar panels? Could they be made in any kind of a cottage industry? Between Bannerless and this book Enid has walked from one end of the Coast Road to the other and she didn't mention passing the solar panel plant along the way.


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

Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Jan O'Cat and Bruce: I didn't have the same impression of the disposition of the century-old Semperfi house. Back in chapter 5 Judgement Enid told Erik that there could be no resources expended to save it. I saw that as "pulling off the bandaid" and any further gnashing of teeth was Erik not being happy.

OMalleycat wrote: "Bruce wrote: "The disposition of the Semperfi house remains an issue. . .And why is Enid letting this issue fester so long?"

I didn't like the way the disposition of the house lingered on and on. ..."



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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Bruce: That's a reasonable question about more low-tech items like microscopes. It's been about a year since I read Bannerless so my memory could be faulty but I recall something about survivors saving only what they could immediately after the fall and I assumed that knowledge was lost over the generations. There seems to have been a mass exodus from cities, and based on the lack of technology I guessed that some things are simply no longer available because no one remembers what they do, so the artifacts were lost or never retained. There was some commentary in Bannerless on how the knowledge to continue to produce birth control implants was saved. They might have microscopes in that context however there appears to have been a considerable effort to shun the things deemed to have caused the fall. Some tech may have been a casualty of that thinking (somewhat like book-burning -- get rid of what you fear or don't understand.)
I don't recall a solar power explanation before, and didn't think about how long a panel would be effective. That seems to be a gap if solar cars are running.

Bruce wrote: "There was some progress on the case – learning Ella’s name, meeting Hawk, learning about the knife (possible murder weapon), etc. And the strongly suspected trek into ‘the wild’ finally started.
The technology that has survived remains a mystery to me. Why wouldn’t they have microscopes? (Not the high-end ones, but simple ones like in any high school or college would have. They couldn’t all have washed away?) It’s like Vaughn has arbitrarily picked some technology to come forward, others to be lost for little apparent reason. (And I realize this is an issue that probably doesn’t bother anyone else, but my nerd tendencies come out when I read stories set in the future.)
.."



OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann, until tonight I hadn't noticed the link at the top of the M/T page to the short story that's a prequel to Bannerless. I enjoyed getting to know Auntie Kath a little. In the comments below that story I found a link to another Vaughn short story set in the same world. It's not quite so prequelesque--no characters we know and set in a different community--but I enjoyed reading it too. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic...


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Good point Jan O'Cat; I am curious about the earlier survivors so perhaps a prequel could come later or more anthropological explorations off the Coast Road - what else is out there!?!
OMalleycat wrote: "Speaking of MacGuffins, it strikes me that, if this series goes on for a while, it will have the Jessica Fletcher problem. How can one person run into so much murder in a world with a small, relatively content population?
. ..."



Bruce Perrin | 131 comments OMalleycat wrote: "Oh please, if I can nerd out about silent letters and missing syllables, you're welcome to nerd out on your own thing."

I have license to be nerdy? That could be dangerous!

Yes, Enid told Erik the house couldn't be saved, but I don't remember her telling anyone else. Why didn't she and then they could have given it a shove and it would all have been over. I was all for ripping the bandaid off!

What goes into the manufacturing of solar panels and could it be a cottage industry? Good questions and I have no idea. I just know the current ones have a life expectancy of 20 years and after 100 they'd be worthless. But something like a microscope has nothing to deteriorate. We have ones from the 1600s and even without anyone preserving them, some from 100 years ago should still be around. (Nerdy, nerdy, nerdy)


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Wow! Thanks Jan! I am excited to read the short story and realize I can listen as a podcast - so excited!!
OMalleycat wrote: "Ann, until tonight I hadn't noticed the link at the top of the M/T page to the short story that's a prequel to Bannerless. I enjoyed getting to know Auntie Kath a little. In the comments below that story I found a link to another Vaughn short story set in the same world. It's not quite so prequelesque--no characters we know and set in a different community--but I enjoyed reading it too. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic...
."



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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Bruce: that would have been a more dramatic bandaid ripping!
I guess I thought the others would all know that no one in their right mind would want to save it and expected Enid's proclamation. She could have announced it but appears to lose interest after she told Erik.
Bruce wrote: "Yes, Enid told Erik the house couldn't be saved, but I don't remember her telling anyone else. Why didn't she and then they could have given it a shove and it would all have been over. I was all for ripping the bandaid off!.."


Ceelee | 206 comments I felt really sad when they found out Ella's name, not that it should make any difference since she is a human who was murdered, but it brought home the fact she is a human who lived with hopes and dreams and everyday likes and joys sorrows and pain, and it is a shame when a life is cut short any time but especially murder.

I don't think there was any question in my mind that Enid would go it alone to check out things in The Wild. I agree with those who think Teeg is not a great partner for her. Enid can be pretty stubborn but I think her experience and wisdom are mixed with that stubbornness and her instincts are pretty good and that is what makes her a good investigator. Teeg is more of a "what you see before you is most likely the truth" and doesn't want to look beyond what he thinks is the obvious. He also doesn't seem to want to speculate or look beyond what is in front of him. He accepts Kellan as the murderer because he "sees' it in front of him and thinks it is a waste of time to look any further. Yeh, I am sure Enid knows he would drag her down if he came with her.

This book is so good! I hope I can finish it this weekend!


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Two good points, Ceelee. In the beginning the discovery of the body was somewhat clinical and with no one knowing her identity it wasn't until she became somebody with a name that was real (or had been, which then was sad)
You've described Enid well, and why I really like her so much. I think the difference between Enid and Teeg is that she isn't afraid of things or people that are different from her. Not that she isn't afraid at all, but she is more open and curious.
Ceelee wrote: "I felt really sad when they found out Ella's name, not that it should make any difference since she is a human who was murdered, but it brought home the fact she is a human who lived with hopes and dreams...
Enid can be pretty stubborn but I think her experience and wisdom are mixed with that stubbornness and her instincts are pretty good and that is what makes her a good investigator."



OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "I think the difference between Enid and Teeg is that she isn't afraid of things or people that are different from her. Not that she isn't afraid at all, but she is more open and curious."

Ceelee, I think you've got Enid just right. She's a very good character.

Ann, Enid seems a lot more tolerant than many of the people she encounters. I'm kind of hoping that the next book is set in Enid's home community so we can get to know her family and housemates and see if they are also as tolerant of outsiders or people who don't cleave to the community norms. I'm wondering if it's a internal quality of Enid or one she was raised with.


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Ann (annrumsey) | 14607 comments Jan: what a great idea, it would be nice and perhaps enlightening to see Enid in situ.


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