Chapter 3 opens with Lily running to check on him, all while her thoughts contradict her actions:
‘I pushed forward with alarming urgency […] What is wrong with me? It was like someone had taken over my body and I was just along for the ride.’
Isn’t it just the best thing when your protagonist has no agency of their own this early into the book? Can’t wait to see where this goes.
Once she gets to his side, we gets a very detailed description of his injuries, including the bruising on his ‘very nice abdomen’. Girl, you really need to get checked if you’re thinking about his abs while he’s bleeding on the ground with several bones crushed… Anyways, she pretty much goes crazy possessive over the onlookers, before turning to Mummy Prince (let’s call him MP for now) and noting that his eyes, which apparently change colour now because they’re ‘more amber than green’ (is this how hazel eyes work? I feel like it’s not), are alert and glued to her face. Like, this guy should be in extreme pain but ok, focus on Lily I guess. Which then brings us to this interesting line:
‘I could feel the emotions coming off him in waves, and the empathy it stirred within me was tangible. It licked my skin with a panicked heat.’
Um, I don’t know about you, but I’d be worried if empathy ‘licked my skin with a panicked heat’. Sounds more like hyperventilating than anything but I’m no doctor, and evidently neither is Lily. While she’s busy coming up with the worst similes since City of Bones, MP tries to engage with her, saying he’s ‘found [her]’, which apparently carry a meaning other than the obvious, all while looking ‘like an ancient warrior dying on a concrete battlefield’. Alas, this is not foreshadowing… (not for lack of me wishing it to be, mind you).
Now, knowing Lily’s track record here, what do you think she’s going to do? If you hoped, and prayed, that she’d be hit by a sudden burst of rationality and run away, you (like me) would be wrong. Instead she goes and comforts him, and his vulnerability makes ‘whatever remaining fearful thoughts [she] had about him dissipate’ even though ‘he was still crazy, no question about that’. I feel like Lily should get a Darwin Award for this and it’s only chapter 3 (maybe I should start a tally along those lines…).
Remember that convenient life-force leeching spell that MP used last chapter? Well it comes in handy right now when he uses her life force to heal himself like some sort of Egyptian vampire (which sounds A LOT better than this plot right here actually, one more reason to dislike this book). Now, this guy had pretty much half his body crushed by that car, and yet he’s healed enough after this to a) show off to the crowd (I’m not joking, he actually ‘nodded to the people, smiling as he turned in a slow circle to look at all of them’) and b) just order Lily to follow his because ‘there is much to do’. Meanwhile, Lily’s
common sense rebellious streak has been squashed 3 times so far, the worst being this latest one where he straight up mind controls her repeatedly as ‘[her] vision blurred […] the urge to fight leaving me just as quickly as it had come’. I’m so angry/exhausted and I’m barely halfway through the chapter. They walk away from the crowd and we’re hit with our second unfortunate simile so far:
‘The people parted like the Red Sea, and he strode through the crowd as boldly and as regally as a prophet’
Do you guys see the problem here? Now, I’m not jewish, or well versed in jewish history and culture but I’m fairly sure you really shouldn’t be making this particular biblical reference here unless you’re planning on mixing up the two cultures which is generally ill-advised, to use the nicer word. (Please correct me on this if I’m wrong)
After that unfortunate piece of writing, Lily and MP walk away, with Lily being ‘uncomfortable around him and itchy to escape yet compelled to stay by his side’. All this mind-control is so romantic, let me tell you. Being unable to run away screaming, Lily decides to, at least try and get some information but is quickly shut down by Patronising Mummy Prince who thinks she ‘asks too many questions’, her ‘thoughts are too busy’ and all this is ‘an extra distraction for [him] in a world already full of chaos’. Well boo-fucking-hoo. Out of nowhere, MP decides he needs to rest, steps into the sun, and falls asleep, because why not, right? But Lily’s common sense has made a return and she tries to escape only to find out that she can’t leave his side, other than to go in circles, or tell anyone because ‘the words kept coming out wrong’. Instead she accepts her fate and devotes a couple of seconds to hating on other girls, like the good Special Snowflake that she is:
‘If I were like the other girls at my school, I would have been in tears, but instead, my mind filled with questions.’
I’ve rarely been more disgusted, and I’ve read some pretty questionable things.
She finally settles on studying him in The Notebook, before MP just spoils her fun when he decides it’s time to go. We get a bit more backstory on how Lily’s parents disapprove of having a quick-witted daughter because it’s not right for their circles (I’m not all that familiar with them, probably, but it’s my understanding that you have to be incredibly quick-witted in order to keep up, at least I had to be when my mom ran in political circles, and ours was a tiny town), before MP snaps her out of it by stroking her cheek and murmuring softly, which is his way of assessing the damage he’s done to her. There’s a bit more banter between them where we learn that he’s not, in fact, a cannibal, that ‘[his] confidence wasn’t based on a superiority complex’ because that’s where everyone else’s confidence comes from, apparently, and his lack of understanding of our world can also serve as the comic relief this book is desperate for, before his name is finally revealed.
It’s Amon, which is pronounced in a ‘much more swoon-inducing [way] “Ah-moan”’. I have no clue (none whatsoever) about egyptian pronunciation but I think we can safely assume that that is not, in fact, the correct pronunciation. I’m nitpicking again, back to the big picture!
There’s a bit more of Amon’s backstory thrown in, which only fucks up the timeline more because the pharaohs were after his time, but he was buried in the valley of the kings (which was used during the time of the New Kingdom pharaohs) and his home city was founded and used during the Middle Kingdom (also during the pharaoh reign). There’s yet more banter, where Lily figures out that Amon is one of the ‘handful of people in the world who do not know what a car was’ (which, I beg to differ, because the Sentinelese tribe is estimated to be around 250 people, which is hardly a handful, and that’s just one uncontacted tribe), before they get themselves a hotdog and Amon proceeds to speak in similes whenever water is brought up:
“This water is more delicious than the soft kisses from the daubed lips of a dozen nubile maidens.”
“May I have more [water], Lily? My throat is as dry as a sandstorm in the desert.”
It’s not endearing, it’s annoying and you should stop.
While she gets Poetic Amon his water, her bag is stolen and, after Amon displays his creepy mind control powers by making the thief return her bag, Lily finally, finally, decides that enough is enough. She blows up on Amon, who finally lets her leave, but not without gently stroking her cheek again and proclaiming she has ‘the heart of a sphinx’ (roll credits for chapter title).
And that’s that, now excuse me while I go pour myself a nice glass of