Jealous Hater Book Club “Apolonia” THE END

I know you guys are due another Buffy recap, but the idea of just finishing this goddamn recap and wrapping it up once and for all is like, sunshine and rainbow farts to me. So that’s what I’m going to do, and then we can move ahead with our lives and forget this book, because ultimately it is forgettable. It’s not the worst book, it’s certainly not the best book, it’s not even a good book, but it’s not bad enough that we’ll remember it. I guess that’s the nicest thing you can say about it.

So, let’s do this, and then we can all go get our memories erased.

Chapter twenty-one starts with Apolonia trying to bust open the canister thing they found:

Apolonia swung again. “I! Am going! Home!” she said, grunting as her sword hit the metal.

Maybe this is why the book is named after her. She’s the only one who does helpful, proactive shit in situations that call for it.

The canister opens and lights everything up pink, while the parasites are spreading in the courtyard. The ship lowers and puts out a bridge to the roof.

A man in blue robes, massive and beautiful as his daughter, walked out.

Some of you guys hate when I point this out, because it’s too nit-picky, but I don’t care. I like the idea of Hamech having a beautiful, massive daughter to match his beautiful, massive blue robe. He runs out and grabs Apolonia, hugging her, and Rory thinks:

He didn’t look at all like someone who had just murdered thousands of innocent people.

But then, immediately following that statement:

I smiled, seeing how safe Apolonia looked in her father’s strong arms. I missed that feeling of security and surrender so much, and I was glad she still had it.

Like, this dude just killed everyone at the college and destroyed the only home you have. But what a good dad he is.

The soldiers who aren’t infected by parasites hit the underbelly of the ship with a missile, and shoot at the ship for as long as they can before they start turning into parasites, themselves.

Cy responded, his head slightly bowed, and then he looked back to me. “The ship’s weapon is no longer functional. It has been damaged by the missile, Rory. We must leave. I can’t leave you here to die. I won’t.”

Cy starts arguing with Hamech, and Apolonia translates:

“He is asking about your character,” Apolonia translated. “Cyrus had to reveal that Benji is Majestic.”

Couldn’t they tell just by looking at him? I’m sorry but “[name] is Majestic” has been cracking me up throughout this whole book.

Anyway, Benji can’t go.

Cy had sadness in his eyes. “You can come with us. Hamech has ordered that Benji be left behind.”

“You know I won’t leave him,” I said.

But Benji is like,

“There’s a reason you don’t need anyone here. Because you’re meant to go with them.”

So basically, “hey, your parents and best friend died and you’re left with no one, so go live with the aliens, it’s going to work out great for you.” Because when Cy said he wouldn’t leave Rory “here” to die, he doesn’t mean “here, on the rooftop.” He means “Here, on Earth.”

But Rory has a brilliant idea. She asks if they can use the glowing pink canister as a kind of bomb by overheating it, thereby killing the parasites and saving Earth.

Cy shook his head. “No. You wouldn’t be able to get out in time, Rory.”

I offered a small smile. “I’ve told you…I can’t die.”

Yes! You’re probably thinking. Yes, finally, we will have confirmation of Rory’s immortality! It’s going to be the one plot thread that isn’t discarded by the story!

Don’t get excited yet.

Apolonia let go of her father and walked over to me, cupping my shoulders with her elegant long fingers. “Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked.

“Apolonia, no,” Cy said, his voice low and stern.

“I’m sure,” I said without hesitation.

throughout this whole thing, Cy is like, desperate and screaming. No joke, the words “desperate” and “screamed” are in this section, so he’s like, out of his mind fighting for Rory to not destroy the parasites and save the Earth. This seems…wrong. The whole reason he came to the planet was to save Earth from the parasites, right? Because they a) didn’t want them getting out, and b) had helped Earth out before. So, if Rory sacrifices herself and saves the Earth, both goals are accomplished. And he’s been willing for Apolonia to put herself in harm’s way this entire time. Are we meant to think this means he loves Rory more? Is it more pushing of a love triangle that the reader has never felt, because all the people involved have zero chemistry with each other? It doesn’t make sense, and as Rory said, she’s possibly maybe immortal.

Apolonia turned to her father, speaking the beautiful words I had fallen in love with,

“Let this bitch die so we can go home,” I presume.

just as I had fallen in love with Cy and even Apolonia.

Writing Tip: Even if your character says something and believes it, that doesn’t necessarily make it true. In this case, we’ve seen nothing that would suggest Rory has even room-temperature feelings for Apolonia. Rory disliked Apolonia on sight, and since then there’s just been a long string of disparaging comments about how savage and heartless she is. So Rory tells the reader that she’s come to love Apolonia, but the author hasn’t shown the reader any proof of it at all, so it makes no sense.

Hamech looked toward the edge of the roof just above the courtyard from where the shrieking could be heard, even louder than the roaring flames that were now a hundred or so yards away. Then, his eyes settled on me, a fatherly look of pride on his face.

So, even Hamech, destroyer of worlds, agrees that this is a great point for that whole immortality thing to play out. But you know who doesn’t agree? I mean, besides Cyrus?

“Would you give him a lift?” I asked Apolonia, gesturing to Benji. “I know he didn’t want to take him back to Yun. But just take him far enough away to keep him safe.”

Apolonia nodded to her father’s men. Just before they grabbed Benji, he pulled the canister from my hands and then shoved me into the arms of one of the soldiers.

That’s right, dear reader! What the hell were you thinking? Rory doesn’t make things happen! Things happen to Rory! If she actually stayed behind and used her immortality trick, then she would have taken on a role in the story beyond “abused girl every man wants to protect”, and that would just be absurd. Of course Benji is going to be heroic (and certainly not stupid at all) by stepping in and needlessly dying.

Hamech’s guards hold her back as Benji prepares for his inevitable immolation:

Benji smiled at me with so much love in his eyes that it made me choke back tears. “You were right, Rory,” he said. “You can’t die because I won’t let you.”

He turned on his heels and ran for the elevator that led downstairs.

As opposed to the elevator that led up. From the roof. That this entire scene is taking place on. It’s crucial for the reader to know that the elevator also goes down, as so many rooftop elevators just shoot you the fuck into space.

“Benji!” I screamed so loud that my voice broke. “You promised you’d never leave me!”

Benji paused for just a moment, waiting for the elevator. He looked at me one last time and then stepped in. The doors closed in front of him.

This is like something you’d see in a movie that was parodying what happens in movies.

So, they wrangle her into the ship, and then…well, see if you can make anything out of this word salad, because I’ve read it several times, some of them out loud.

“At the edge of the open door, the ship moved away from the warehouse and then sped off, quickly leaving it behind.”

At the edge of the open door it moved away from the warehouse? At the edge of…what door? Now, you can get the book and look and see if I’ve somehow left something out, but the last time a door of any kind was mentioned was the closed elevator doors. I’ve spent the better part of the morning trying to figure out what the hell this was supposed to mean. At the edge of the open door. At the edge of the open door, the ship moved away from the warehouse and then sped off, quickly leaving it behind. Leaving the warehouse behind? Leaving the door behind? Did the elevator come back and that’s the door that’s being left behind? At the edge? The edge of the door? Or the door is at the edge of something?

Please. Someone please tell me I’m just reading this sentence wrong, that it makes perfect sense, and then please, please explain it to me.

The cold wind whipped around us, but I couldn’t feel it.

Because of the open door, maybe? Are you inside the ship when it’s flying, or outside? Are you still on the little gangway thing? Is that the door that’s open?

Within moments, the structure was engulfed in a huge ball of fire, dwarfing the inferno that was Helena.

Apolonia kneeled beside me, holding me, as we watched the warehouse burn.

“He died an honorable death,” Apolonia said, touching her cheek to mine. You were lucky to have him in your life.”

So, Apolonia has done a completely 180. Now she likes Rory, now she’s compassionate, they’ve grown to like each other. But…how? I feel like the editor dropped a note at the end of the book and went, “You know, I feel like Apolonia needs to be more of a buddy instead of competition,” and the author went, “Ugh, sure, I’ll cram it in there in the last two percent of the book.” Because we’re literally at 98% right now.

He was the one I needed,” I whispered. My lip quivered. “I should have known I would lose him.”

So, now we’re in chapter 22. And yes, I know they’re short chapters, but it’s the end of the book, where chapters generally start to get short, so that’s not really a thing we can criticize here. At least, I can’t, because I understand how weird the ends of books can sometimes be.

Hamech sets his ship down in a field, and Rory gets off.

A few days ago, my days consisted of being a bitchy, self-absorbed college student, whose worst problem was an overenthusiastic admirer.

No, Rory. Your worst problem was that your entire family was dead.

Now, more alone than ever, I was left mourning that boy. The one who I had once foolishly wished would leave me alone…had.

The one who you were ready to drop at a moment’s notice every time you perceived some kind of betrayal, even after he proved over and over again that he wasn’t betraying you.

Cy and Apolonia bid Rory goodbye. Apparently, she can’t get a lift off the planet anymore.

He hugged me back, kissing my hair. “You must know that they’ll be checking back here for the parasite. If they detect it–”

“They’ll blow us out of the sky? Now that I’m not sure I can survive.”

But you haven’t “survived” anything, Rory! Not once has the author bothered to put you in any real danger that you didn’t immediately and easily escape from. The one time you were hurt and might possibly have died, other people saved you. Nothing you did, nothing you have done, has had any real impact on this story at all. You were just there, watching events happen, and occasionally using bad ass combat skills to make people drop their weapons. That’s all. Our protagonist was just along for the ride in someone else’s story. If this book had been written from Cy’s POV, it could have been good, and Rory would have been a serviceable side character. But that’s all. Rory hasn’t “survived,” she’s tagged along.

Underlines = italics, standard disclaimer.

So, Cy tells her that he would come get her if they were going to blow up the planet, and he tells her that his first name is Osiris, which is so super important for us to know 99% into the book.

Cy’s face compressed.


“You wouldn’t give up two years ago, Rory. So, you can’t now.”

I lifted my chin, knowing why he was worried. He was leaving, and everyone else I cared about was dead. Everyone. “I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I think someone up there enjoys watching me suffer.”

So, again with the “I can’t die”. We are at 99% in the book. REPEAT WE ARE AT 99%. And we still don’t know if Rory is actually immortal. And if she is, it doesn’t matter, because IT HAS NEVER BEEN USEFUL OR INTEGRAL TO THE PLOT AT ALL.

Cyrus tells Rory that she could still come with them, but she declines, saying she needs to get Dr. Z and Benji’s stories out there, so people will know that they saved lives. Which, like…did the CIA just stop existing? The whole CIA? Because if someone knows that they’re out there doing secret shit involving aliens, that person is not going to last long. The wisest course of action would be for Rory to go with Cy, or keep her mouth shut and change her identity (she’s probably presumed dead anyway).

So, Cy leaves, and Rory goes back to the warehouse. They were ten miles from the warehouse when she left the ship, so somehow, after everything she’s just been through, she still  has the strength to walk ten miles back to a burned out building.

I sat on a large piece of concrete about twenty-feet from where the warehouse once stood, touching my fingers to my hands.

Unless you’re fresh from some kind of horrible accident, your fingers are always touching your hands. There had to be a better way to word this, but who the fuck cares at this point. I’m just going to accept it, like the eventual Trump presidency.

Dr. Z was gone. Benji was gone. It was one thing to say I wouldn’t give up, but at the moment, I was likely the only living person left in Helena. The sole survivor. Again.

She goes picking through the wreckage of the warehouse, thinking she’s going to find Benji’s body. Um…what if those parasites are still around? What if you find a body that isn’t quite dead? I ask that, because that’s exactly what happens. Rory finds Benji, and he’s alive, having survived the immense explosion that was way bigger than the explosion that leveled an entire town. He’s not only alive, he’s conscious, and just has some broken ribs.

So…something could have survived the blast. The infected people could still be there.

They think they have no way out of their situation, since he has broken ribs and can’t really move, and she has no way to get him out of there.

Just then,

You know it’s going to be convenient when “Just then” shows up.

a car engine caught my attention, and my head perked up. It was an orange Mustang with Bryn at the wheel.

Whaddaya know.

Benji growled with every movement,

If your main character shares a name with a famous dog, this is a word choice you’re probably going to want to rethink.

Benji’s dad was in the front seat, still not quite conscious.

Benji’s dad. Who was hooked up to the rock. The rock with the deadly parasites. But he’s fine, and they’re going to go ahead and go to the hospital, where a lot of people are. Because an explosion = dead parasites, even if someone at the literal center of the blast survived with just broken ribs.

I mean, how the fuck can Benji hear or see anything? Why weren’t his eyeballs seared from the light? Why didn’t the explosion rupture his ear drums? Why didn’t the shockwave from the blast not liquify his internal organs? Because he ducked behind a door. That’s the only explanation given. He ducked. Behind. A door. How powerful was this explosion? It was supposed to “dwarf” the explosion that leveled the town. But he’s fine? Then how did it kill all the parasites? If concrete and rebar and doors and shit survived, the rock could have, too, right? The entire resolution of this book–we are at 100%–is just this one, giant plot hole. That’s all you get, after suffering through the entire book. Absolutely no promise that the enemy has been vanquished or anyone on Earth is safe.

Oh, silly me. That wasn’t the most important part of the book!

Benji lifted his hand to the back of my neck and pulled me the short distance to his lips. As he kissed me softly, slowly, and passionately, I knew that I finally had the unconditional love, safety, and security I’d been missing.

“Well, you’re the only guy left on the planet who knows me, guess you’re my goal as a heroine now.”

I looked at the road ahead. For the first time in a long time, it felt like good things were coming, and for the first time since I died, I felt alive.

Wouldn’t that be an awesome last sentence for a book that wasn’t this book?

So, things we didn’t find out at the resolution of this book:

  • Whether or not Rory is immortal
  • Whether or not Dr. Z is dead
  • Whether or not the parasites have been destroyed
  • If the characters are still in danger from the Majestic
  • Why the book was called Apolonia in the first place

For fun, go back and reread my recap of the first chapter, and see how cautiously optimistic I was. And then imagine me in my room, swaddled in blankets, sobbing softly into pillow and whimpering, “It’s happened again! It’s happened again!”

Goodbye, Apolonia. If only you had been as compelling and competent as your namesake.

65 thoughts on “Jealous Hater Book Club “Apolonia” THE END

  1. just as I had fallen in love with Cy and even Apolonia.

    Wait, she’s in love with both of them? Were we meant to interpret Rory’s hateboner for Apolonia as some kind of attraction then? That might have made Rory even somewhat interesting, but of course, no. We can’t have that.

    The writing in this book feels like it was run through Google translate before being published. That word salad is a prime example of it.

    1. This book would have been way better if Apolonia was Rory’s kismesis. That would actually be an interesting social dynamic to explore though, instead of tired and cliché ones we see. Also there would have been something akin to chemistry there and can’t have that.

      I think that’s what frustrates me most about this book, not even how bad it is, but that sprinkling of good ideas that would have made for a gripping read in the right hands. :/

  2. I just needed to get out o the room because I got case of hard laughter. Good God Almighty! I HAD expected a happy ending but not like this. Like I expected the werehouse to blow up and that’s all that there was to it and thus the parasites are gone not that it destroyed entire town. That was just werid but I thank you for struggling through this and for giving us this recap. It was hilarious at least

  3. Thanks for reading and recapping this atrocity!

    Also… “Cy’s face compressed.” I LOLed, then I read, “What?” I LOLed even harder.

    100+ interwebs awarded.

  4. Over at last. What a strange ride it’s been.

    If any of you want to read another awful sci-fi YA book, I recommend Modelland [sic] by Tyra Banks. It’s horrible, but you’ll get a good laugh out of it.

    1. I read Modelland! It tied up its plot threads way better than this book did. And it was a lot more creative than this, too. I never thought I’d read recaps of something that would make Modelland look like a work of brilliance, but this book has managed it.

    2. Admittedly I’ve only read the preview, and it might just be because I’m sick to death of YA that prides itself on how witty and quirky it is (I’m looking at you, Green) but I . . . found it kinda charming? Not enough to finish it, but there’s something endearingly bad about it, like it’s trying really hard to make a social commentary but isn’t quite sticking the landing. So in a guilty-pleasure, totally condescending way, I can’t help but like it a little bit. This might make me a huge asshole with terrible taste, but I’m okay with that.

  5. I… this… what… how… That is possibly the worst final chapter to a book I’ve ever seen. It’s so rushed! An event like that should have more build up, more emphasis on the strength of the emotions involved. She’s just like ‘man, everyone I love is dead. That kinda sucks… oh wait someone I love is alive, yay!’ And that’s it?! I want to hope that if I actually READ the book instead of the recaps that maybe I would actually feel something for some of these characters but I really doubt it. They were all boring, the main character is loved by everyone despite being a reprehensible jerk who has no redeeming qualities or does anything of value, and the side characters are repetitive and idiotic. None of the motivations make sense, the sci-fi element of this sci-fi book had no research to it and felt pushed aside for ‘drama’ that wasn’t believable, and the whole plot is just ridiculous.

    I tried to find a way to rewrite the ending so it had some emotional impact but I feel more (both negative AND positive) emotion towards Ana and Christian than I do towards Rory and Benji so I just can’t write it so I give any fucks about the fates of any of them… But a much better ending would have been having Benji die and having Rory go to space. Could make it the first part of a Rory in Space series, hopefully taken over by a competent author. Or having Rory sacrifice herself and it turns out that she’s been lying about being immortal this whole time just so they wouldn’t worry about her and she just wants to be the one to die so she can see her family again. Then have an epilogue from Apolonia’s point of view (since the book is named after her and she doesn’t seem to play a major role in this book might as well give her the epilogue).

    The epilogue could talk about how Benji is being taken with them to answer to some kind of space court for his part in the group that released the parasites, but it’s mostly just a cover because they know he’s no longer safe on Earth because the CIA knows he was a traitor. That her and Cy are going to do what they can to keep Benji out of too much trouble for Rory’s sake and that they’ll keep watching Earth to keep it safe from future threats. Then you also have room for a sequel that follows the adventures of the potentially much more interesting aliens.

    I kinda figured since the book was called Apolonia that Apolonia would actually have some kind of central role in the plot, but she really doesn’t. Take her out entirely, have Cy or her father do the few things she does that actually impacted the plot, and nothing changes except that Rory has less reason to fall for Benji. Something she only seems to do because of Cy’s unavailability. Not that she had any chemistry with Cy either. It basically came down to ‘there’s two guys she could fall for, and she can’t choose both, so we’ll give one of them a girlfriend so she doesn’t have to choose at all. Man, I really like the name I came up with for Cy’s girlfriend. I should name the whole book that! It sounds so cool!’ That’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

    1. They just named the book “Apolonia” because no one thought anyone would buy a book called “Rory.”

    2. ‘there’s two guys she could fall for, and she can’t choose both, so we’ll give one of them a girlfriend so she doesn’t have to choose at all. ‘

      I feel like that’s what they did in the Hunger Games, too. Two love interests that both sucked at that point, but what’s-his-name moves away, so yay for Peeta, I guess?

      Also, I would totally read your story. Or any story with Apolonia as the focal character, really, because she’s the only character in the book who’s not totally stupid/useless/annoying…

      1. Nope, I think Hunger Games made the choice a bit more relevant to the plot. Gale’s bomb was used to kill Katniss’ sister. Kind of killed any relationship they could have had. Not that this makes her choosing Peeta any more sensible. Not like she had to choose anyone at all…

        1. Having just watched both parts of MockingJay last weekend I agree the bomb that killed Prim (set by Gale/Coin) COMPLETELY negated all the hells and everything Katniss had gone through just to save Prim from the games. So there’s no way she’d go back to Gale.

          As far as going back to Peeta, they both did have one thing in common that no other mate could possibly understand, namely, those very hells they went through to survive. How can you share that with anyone who hasn’t been though it? (Of course, in real life you can, but in movie life it is better, I think, to offer some hope at the end that they can show the audience they go forward and make sure their society never does anything like that ever again.)

          Great series. Loved it.

      2. I was kind of disappointed Katniss “settled” with Peeta. Katniss never seemed to have strong feelings for either him or Gayle for that matter. I would have preferred she focused on taking care of herself and her PTSD, instead of “oop, gotta marry Peeta now and have kids because that’s what I’m supposed to do” The way Collins wrote the “triangle,” it felt more like something that was shoehorned in as an afterthought. If there was no love triangle, the book wouldn’t have suffered any.

        With that all said, the Katniss/Gayle/Peeta thing was a billion times more interesting that the Rory the Immortal decides to love Benji the Magestic because of reasons.

        1. Agreed! I never understood why she was into Gale or Peeta… well, Peeta, maybe. But the whole “I know about the kiss” thing felt weird and shoehorned.

  6. “As he kissed me softly, slowly, and passionately, I knew that I finally had the unconditional love, safety, and security I’d been missing.”

    It feels like she really shouldn’t spell that out. It’s the kind of thing the reader should be able to tell from the situation.

  7. I don’t understand this book. I just don’t. I’ve read every recap, but it still feels like I’ve missed chapters here and there because nothing seems to make sense!

  8. Benji survived by ducking behind ‘the edge of the open door’ of the down elevator. Had it been the up elevator, he never would have survived.

    Did the ship have the ability to speed off and slowly leave it behind?

    Why does Rory think that she was ‘a bitchy, self-absorbed college student’ days ago? Methinks it was more recent than that.

  9. I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book for a conclusion but wow, this managed to be worse than I could have ever imagined.

    You deserve a nice break after this horrid recap. I can’t wait for that 50 Shades behind the scenes movie parody.

  10. “That’s all you get, after suffering through the entire book. Absolutely no promise that the enemy has been vanquished or anyone on Earth is safe.”

    What if … and this is a horrible, horrible, terrible thought … there’s going to be a sequel?

    You forgot we never really got the answer to why, exactly, or even how they killed Rory’s entire family and her best friend.

      1. Can I just say that is the most disgusting mental image of a descriptive pejorative I’ve probably ever seen? I wish I could remove the neurons from my brain storing that phrase so I never have to remember it again. :(

      2. I think she turned out to be a villain, made some cheesy speech to accentuate her “evilness” and then ended up getting killed by some random solider.

        I could be wrong though, so many weird pointless things happened in this book that I can’t keep them straight.

        I just prefer to believe that she just up and refused to participate in the plot any further.

    1. I hate to tell you this, but this is the first book in an planned trilogy. At least if Goodreads is to be believed . That would explain the anticlimactic ending and no plot resolve

    1. I think the author meant that Rory was standing on the edge of the ships’ door? Which was open as they zoomed away from the building?

  11. Yeah, I agree, that might be one of the most viscerally unpleasant insults I’ve ever heard. And I’ve lived with some pretty foul-mouthed people. There’s just something about it that feels extraordinarily cringe worthy.

  12. Jenny, I love your recaps, but yeah, no, I want this over, too. This was terrible. I’m still so confused.

  13. It kind of kills me that the author had a pretty good starting point. This book could have been compelling if it had just been about Rory attempting to heal after her family’s murder. Instead, it became a boring and cliche college love triangle that became a confusing and … confusing science fiction story. What range!

  14. “Cy’s face compressed.” Lmao, like this?

    Oh man, what a wild roller coaster of emotions it’s been. And by “wild” I mean “disappointing,” by “roller coaster” I mean “malfunctioning carousel,” and by “emotions” I mean “confused eyebrow raising and jaded sighs.” Props to you, Jenny, for actually going through this sad excuse of a novel.

  15. I feel like we all ought to send comfort blankets and therapists for getting through this god awful book in so much detail. I skimmed it after the first two chapters and it was still one of the worst reading experiences of my life. No idea how you survived.

  16. Wow, that would be an awesome last sentence for a book that isn’t THIS book. It’s almost as if it came from some other book. It’s interesting that it seems to sum up the author’s head story — none of which actually got into this book.

    And no one can make sense out of that word salad sentence. It’s impressively incomprehensible.

    But yay! You’re done!

  17. Yeesh, and I thought Bliss and Punch! had weak endings, and the second one didn’t even have an ending.
    So, so glad this “book” is finally over.

  18. I am reasonably certain that one sentence was supposed to mean something like “[As Rory stood] at the edge of the open [spaceship] door, the ship moved away from the warehouse and then sped off, quickly leaving [the warehouse] behind.”

    Still a terrible sentence though.

  19. Jen… Are you *sure* this isn’t a really, really bad book? Because honestly, I don’t understand anything that happens in it. I don’t understand why Benji was dropped in it. I don’t get how Rory knows there’s a cold wind, or feels the need to mention it, when she can’t feel it. I don’t get anything. I need to go lie down. This book.

  20. I’m sure that door that Benji ducked behind was made by the same company that made the coke machine in Simon Sez or the refrigerator from Indiana Jones 4, they’re a very niche company you see.

    What the fuck was this book?

  21. Oy vey.

    “Within moments, the structure was engulfed in a huge ball of fire, dwarfing the inferno that was Helena.”

    More lack of research, here: Even if super-dog Benji was behind a door when the blast went off, the blast overpressure and fire from the “huge ball of fire, dwarfing the inferno that was Helena” would have destroyed his lungs and fried him to a crisp, respectively.

    A person that close to the blast will receive “Primary” blast damage to lungs and gastrointestinal organs. From CDC: “Blast injuries are characterized by anatomical and physiological changes from the direct or reflective over-pressurization force impacting the body’s surface. ” Types of injuries associated with primary are:

    “Blast lung (pulmonary barotrauma)
    - TM rupture and middle ear damage
    - Abdominal hemorrhage and perforation
    - Globe (eye) rupture
    - Concussion (TBI without physical signs of head injury)”

    Next, the high temperatures from the “ball of fire” would produce “Quaternary” damage (He’d escape the “Secondary” and “Tertiary” damage from being behind the door, however, the fire wouldn’t stop at the door boundary.) So Benji-dog would suffer also from:

    “Burns (flash, partial, and full thickness)
    - Crush injuries
    - Closed and open brain injury
    - Asthma, COPD, or other breathing problems from dust, smoke, or toxic fumes
    - Angina
    - Hyperglycemia, hypertension ”

    In short, he’s literally toast. Most likely 3rd degree burns over most of his body, and that you just don’t recover from. Knew a guy from work who only lasted a week after getting burned badly. the skin just doesn’t recover.

    Why can’t authors do even a modicum of research?

    Oh, and I missed the canister from the end of chapter 20. Where did that come from? What did it hold?

    1. Thank you. This ALWAYS annoys me in movies when people just walk out of massive explosions.

      Maybe Benji is immortal too *eye roll*

      I’m sorry about your work person, by the way. That’s horrible.

      1. I feel like it was never made clear in this book, if Rory was immortal or not. I mean, yeah, she kept saying that she was, every once in a while. But it was never shown in any of the incidents. And I can’t tell the first time, if she was just lucky and made it out alive. I mean, people who are wounded severely one time do make it alive sometimes. Are they not?

        I also laughed to myself wondering if the author was going for some “Inception” style ending and we would forever be questioning if she was immortal or not. I do feel stupid for trying to make any sense of this book.

    2. All of this? Would have made Rory’s immortality really handy. But then she couldn’t have been rescued so she could feel “safe”, right?

    3. I thought I missed a recap when I saw the canister bit, though it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it just came out of nowhere. I mean, half the stuff in this book does.

      1. I did to. I actually went back to the previous recap just to make sure. I’m trying to give this book the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was in the book but just didn’t make it into the earlier recap, but somehow I think that assumption is overly generous.

  22. Maybe Benji ducked behind the door on the mysterious edge of whatever into another dimension/parallel universe/alternate reality and that’s how he survived? I mean, it wouldn’t be the most unlikely thing that’s happened in the book…

      1. Maybe that’s where the sci-fi finally comes in. Look forward to the sequel, “Through the door on the edge and what Benji found there”, coming soon…

  23. Another effing hilarious recap. Unlike the book, it ended too soon. Thank you for your sacrifice. I needed this today.

  24. I read every recap and i dont understand anything that happened at all
    I tip my hat to you for actually having to read the whole thing

  25. It feels like the author just made a list of stuff that would sound cool to be in a book, and used a bunch of words to try to tie them together.

    -Weird space rock
    - Dead Parents
    - Awkward sex
    - Immortality
    - Evil Blonde “frienemy”
    - Cat
    - Hot Alien Dude
    - Hot Earth Dude
    - Explosions
    - Death
    - Surprise not dead love interest
    - The End

  26. This was a rare achievement: A book wherein none of the characters were necessary or possibly even actual characters. Reminds me of Flat/Round characters. These were all flat, and so was the writing and the thing that pretended to be a plot. If any.

  27. If you ever ever feel like blogging another book, I hope you do one you really like. You are really funny and the criticism is thoughtful, but I think that you love Buffy the Series really gives an extra depth to your recaps. Apolonia was not worthy of you.

  28. People hate it when you point out misplaced modifiers? I *love* it–I don’t always spot them off the bat myself, but when I do, or when you point them out, they’re freaking *hilarious*. Massive blue robes indeed.

    “If she actually stayed behind and used her immortality trick, then she would have taken on a role in the story beyond ‘abused girl every man wants to protect’, and that would just be absurd.”

    I actually got a little physically queasy at this, because you’re so dead-on. That’s what so much writing out there is, it seems–making sure the only narrative that seems realistic for women to live is one of passive victim.

    Fwiw, the “edge of the open door” makes no sense to me either. I would guess something got cut at not spliced together properly. Or else it’s a symbolic door into Rory’s future, contrasting with the closed door on Benji’s story? Idk, I’m literally just typing words now.

    Oh, wait–read a little further. Maybe this is one of those moments where lazy authors are abbreviating a common visual from movies, pointing to it rather than actually describing anything. Only it’s been taken to an extreme. Rory & co. are on the edge of the spaceship’s open door, gangplank still down, like you’ve seen a million bajillion times. The author just assumes “edge” and “open door” are enough to convey that, because she’s already made it plain there will be zero originality in this work.

    “’Well, you’re the only guy left on the planet who knows me, guess you’re my goal as a heroine now.’”

    Aaand…now I just have a sad, sad feeling in the pit of my stomach. This book. This fricking book. It isn’t even bad enough to warrant a “this f***ing book,” and that’s part of the problem. Even our fiction that rises to the level of mediocrity is still completely awful in terms of sexism. Sigh.

  29. That was disappointing. It would have been interesting if she had gone back to… Planet Cyrus or whatever the fuck, and been Cyrus and Apolonia’s second wife or something.

  30. Thank you for doing this recap. I admire your fortitude, and the skill you’ve shown in critiquing the book and being entertaining while doing so. It was educational.

    I wonder how many of your readers will be inspired to write their own, better sci-fi romances. I hope there will be a bunch, and that they’ll push books like these off of Amazon’s top sales lists.

  31. A few statements were made by Cy earlier in the book that Rory is attracted to danger and there was a specific reason for it. I don’t recall that ever being explained. Was it going to be revealed that she’s also an alien, and her species genetically modified themselves into a collection of professions/castes? She happens to be of the soldier caste. What Rory thought were suicidal or self-destructive urges were actually instincts implanted on a genetic level. Maybe that’s why she sees everything as a rival and is constantly seeking the worst in people — she just hasn’t had the training to focus her negativity and contrariness into the proper outlets. And then there could be a side-plot of Rory wanting to be more than what she was built to be, of wanting to finish school and become a peace-keeper scientist.

    I sort of wish Rory had grabbed the bomb back from Benji and dove into the elevator. This time, it’s not a box of horrifying memories but a war-chariot that’s transporting her to a way to save all of her friends. At ground floor the doors ding open revealing the alien-zombie hordes. She steps out, looks up to see the spaceship arcing off into the sky, and with a smile she activates the device. And yes, it turns out she’s actually immortal. She’s alive, but in tiny bits spread out across a couple acres. She might be able to pull herself back together, but it will take a while. But she’s content to spending several decades, if not centuries, as a semisentient collection of microbes existing in the topsoil of a forest in Indiana, because she saved her friends. But suddenly she wakes up on the spaceship. Turns out they had some sort of tractor-beam that hoovered up all the little bits of Rory and poured them into a jar — Rory’s regeneration abilities took care of the rest. And then everyone lives happily ever after in a polygamous relationship.

    Oh heck with this. Why bother trying to fix this horrible book when I can write my own? I’m going to try writing my own book, and if I finish it Jenny Trout will be in my dedication/acknowledgement page.

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