Save the Pearls: Chapter 10 (Or, Alpha Male Pwns Beta Leftists)

Previously, on Save the Pearls: Captured by Jamal and his FFP communist/terrorist/racist pals, Eden had to think fast to fuck up their plans. Her solution? Burn fucking everything. While this allowed her to escape, the FFP caught up to her. When all was lost, Bramford completed his transition to being a literal cat man, and Eden was totally into it.

Oh, and even though this chapter doesn’t escalate the rascism past what we’ve seen, it still manages to be the worst chapter yet!

If you recall, there’s also a count-down until the entire lab explodes. By this point, there’s a minute and a half left. But instead of trying to get out of there, Eden and her dad marvel at the man-cat Bramford has become. Eden thinks that Bramford could kill her dad with a “flick of his finger”, and hopes that he still has a man-brain.

Jamal tells his boys to stun, and not kill, Bramford. Eden tells “her boss” to run, but he doesn’t acknowledge her advice. Which is the first good idea she’s had in this entire novel. Anyway, she thinks about how sad it would be if the FFP were to dissect him, but she hopes his brand-spankin’-new animal superpowers can help him escape.

But he just growls:

The louder his growl grew, the more nervous the soldiers seemed. Eden understood with a rush of respect that like any alpha male, he needed to establish his dominance over them.

New hypothesis: this novel single-handedly jumpstarted the wave of male anxiety about interracial relationships and being “alpha.” The only problem is that literally no one read this novel, so I guess that’s kind of impossible. But still. I kind of feel like this novel is everything that a lot of ultra-conservative/modern-fascist dudes fears, which makes me like it a *tiny* bit more. Although I don’t think that triggering conservative manbabies was Foyt’s intention. She just thinks black cat men are sexy.

So anyway, Eden’s dad tells the FFP guys to stop “inciting the subject”, and the countdown says there’s only a minute until the place explodes. The countdown is wrong, though, because, you know, the place is already on fire, and a smaller explosion happens. Eden’s dad gets a little bit injured, and more fighting happens: an FFP shoots at Bramford, who dodges. then he pushes his bodyguard Shen out of the way of another blast, albeit a bit too vigorously, so he ends up getting kinda injured. Eden wonders if he was trying to save him or just felt like shoving him around for shits and giggles. Yep. Eden is way smart.

After more action, Jamal says he’s going to put an end to Bramford once and for all, and his bros known only as Giant and Squeaky provide backup. Eden realizes that it’s three-on-one, and for some reason this makes her think of Emily Dickinson?

She recalled that Aunt Emily said she felt as if the top of her head came off whenever she recognized poetry. Now, Eden felt a similar lift and knew what to do.

Which just means that Eden thought she might lend a hand to the catguy, so she picks up a flaming chair and throws it at Jamal. It hits him square in the face! Hooray! Bramford scares Giant and Squeaky away.

Once more, Bramford’s penetrating gaze fell on Eden. Did she imagine it or did something in his eyes soften?

HHMMMM I WONDER.

So after making moon-eyes at Eden, Bramford remembers that his loyal bodyguard is injured. He’s still mobile thoguh, so Bramford points at door, telling Shen to GTFO right the fuck now. Shen hesitates, then obeys. Then,

Bramford leapt towards Eden’s father, who lay helpless on the floor. The beast’s emerald eyes burned feverishly, the nostrils flared. Eden gasped, afraid the blood that oozed from her father’s wound might incite Bramford to attack. Any predator would.

Christ, this whole “is Bramford an animal or a MANimal” conflict is really forced and terrible. Did anyone reading this actually think he had become like super savage and beastly? I mean, honestly? Did Eden not notice that he still seems to care about his bodyguard’s safety, and somehow only attacked the FFP dudes?

To Eden’s surprise (and no one elses), Bramford gently picks her father up, and begins to leap around gracefully until he’s near Eden.

She stared up into his savage face, her mind a blank. To her amazement, Bramford spoke in a raspy growl, as terrifying as a tsunami, as thrilling as a rare bird in flight.

“Come, Eden,” he said, holding out a sharp-clawed, leathery hand.

WHAT A TWIST! Catguy can talk! Also, I’m honestly surprised that Eden thinks of his paws as “hands.” They’re clearly paws.

Anyway, Eden gets all flustered because senpai noticed her, and she stares into his “magnetic” “cat-like eyes”. Yep. And in case you’re thinking, wait, wasn’t there like a minute until the building exploded bigly? Why hasn’t it exploded yet? Well, Foyt just remembered that there was a bit of a time crunch going on, and the countdown tells us that there’s thirty seconds until the building self-destructs. Are “seconds” measured differently in this dystopia?

Bramford “barks” (wait, I thought he was a cat?) to move:

Eden liked him much better when he seemed mute. She certainly didn’t want to go anywhere with the scary beast.

Girl, the building’s going to explode in like 25 seconds by this point. Get your fucking priorities straight. Go with the Catboy. Bramford can literally not do anything without Eden thinking about how much she hates him but how he’s strangely attractive. It’s infuriating. Look:

She reached for Bramford’s hand, shocked once again by the electric feel of his touch. This time, there was no mistaking the reeling effect on her, despite the change in him. Or maybe because of it, she realized.

But then I swear to fucking god that she will go right back to “that arrogant asshole did XYZ thing and I don’t like him.” Fuck.

So then he puts her up on his shoulder, and it’s very stupid:

Bramford balanced her onto one broad shoulder, as if Eden were a little bird perched there.

That doesn’t sound very safe, but whatever. Bramford runs through a “wall of fire”. Fortunately,  this doesn’t  do any damage because:

Bramford was too fast for it to catch hold. He seemed to have the power of ten jaguars.

Are jaguars fireproof now? Seriously, what the FUCK. I apologize if this review has literally turned into an incoherent stream-of-consciousness raget-fes, but it’s just SO FUCKING BAD. I miss Zade so much right now.

So by this point, Eden’s a little bit stressed, and starts laughing hysterically, wondering if “they” had made all of this up and this is all just a holographic VR experience, or something.

Bramford and his passengers get to the hangar and the security dude recognizes Bramford, despite his new whiskers. Eden hears a siren in the distance (such response time!) and Bramford tells her to get on the plane with her dad.

Just then, she remembers her dog, Austin. Bramford tells the pilot to take off while Eden protests, but then I guess the count-down ends, because there’s a huge explosion.

See, normally, I’d be sad about the death of a pupper, even in a shitty book. But all I can think about is that this chapter started with the countdown at a minute and thirty seconds to go, and it’s only just now going off. Which means. . .time dilation CONFIRMED?

Eden is understandably sad that her dog got exploded. Eden’s dad fills Bramford in on who Austin is;

“Austin is of the species Canis lupus familiaris—a dog,” her father explained to Bramford in a soft voice, as if talking to a child.

what a FUCKING EGGHEAD oh my god shut up.

Bramford is all impressed that Eden wanted to turn back to get her dog. Eden takes this as mockery, of course, because she’s FUCKING Eden, so she bitches at him that he abandoned Shen. Bramford seems to feel ashamed, but he also seems to think that Shen will be fine, and that if the FFP thought he was just an employee, they’d leave him alone. I guess we’re supposed to think that Eden is smart because she realizes that this means Shen is MORE than just a friend (no, they’re not lovers), but Bramford refuses to elaborate.

Eden’s dad thanks Bramford for saving him, and wow, when stereotypical-socially-oblivious Mr Science Man has better social graces than you, you really need to do some reflecting. But of course Eden doesn’t do this. Instead, she thinks that Bramford must have ulterior motives!

Eden glared at him. Didn’t he understand why Bramford had taken them along? He didn’t care about them any more than he cared for Shen. If he hoped to restore his human form, he desperately needed her father’s help.

But what if her father failed? Then what would the wild beast do to them?

where the FUCK was this cynical skepticism when she was holo-banging Jamal??? Jesus CHRIST this book sucks. How do you write something worse than Handbook for Mortals? 

Oh, and I don’t think I even brought up racism once this go-round. Even in a cultural vacuum, this sucks.

2 thoughts on “Save the Pearls: Chapter 10 (Or, Alpha Male Pwns Beta Leftists)

  1. Wow. I mean the racism in the earlier chapters was horrific but now we’ve entered a middle-aged lady’s furry wank-fest fantasy and I’ve even MORE uncomfortable.

    Like

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