Holy rusted metal Batman!
I'm totally freaked out about this Awakening business now! Have I got it right that the only way they're not totally freaking doomed is if they manage to Awaken before Shamhezai rises? If they Awaken they can't be taken over?
Let's get them good and Awoken, then! lol.
I loved John in this chapter -- so raw and protective and at the same time totally wrecked. Like this scary pillar of strength, and at the same time a dried husk of a man. It's sort of exactly how I picture him. Some people tend to portray John as being more of a hard-ass than I think was really earned on the show, especially if you consider how often we see him cry. (More in a few episodes than Dean does in the entire series, I think). So yeah, the emotional wreck you've conjured here is sort of picture perfect and totally in character. He'd have to be both rigidly hard and at the same time weepy and vulnerable to have earned both his reputation and Dean's unwavering faith and devotion.
But at the same time, he's sort of a crap father, too. lol. I mean, poor Dean looks in the mirror and hates what he sees. So there's some definite neglect issues going on with the poor kid, and I'd say John's treatment of him is probably largely to blame.
The psychology of the Winchesters never ceases to amaze me. Seriously. And to bring it back to this wonderfully freaky tale of yours, I think you've been playing with the psychological quagmire that is Winchesterdom wonderfully. It hurts to read sometimes because it's so raw, but kind of exquisite at the same time.
*Have I got it right that the only way they're not totally freaking doomed is if they manage to Awaken before Shamhezai rises? If they Awaken they can't be taken over?*
You are, indeed, correct. On both counts.
*I loved John in this chapter -- so raw and protective and at the same time totally wrecked.*
Whew. My biggest fear with this installment in the series is that someone will consider my portrayal of John to be "John-bashing" - which is the last thing I wanted people to think. I personally believe that John - on the show as well as in this series - truly cares about his sons and is driven to fight an essentially unbeatable foe given what the Circle can bring to bear.
I actually tried to show this through Charlotte, who also has an understanding of what they're truly up against. She believes in his cause if not his methods - and it doesn't matter that he will probably *never* trust her completely...
*And to bring it back to this wonderfully freaky tale of yours, I think you've been playing with the psychological quagmire that is Winchesterdom wonderfully. It hurts to read sometimes because it's so raw, but kind of exquisite at the same time.*
That psychology degree of mine does get put to good use in this story. I think characters with true flaws are much more interesting to write than not, and I tried to extrapolate from the show how they would react in this situation - Sam wanting the normal while dealing with the big bad inside of him (literally) and Dean having to deal with his emotional distance by being forced to do it. And John. He was the hardest of all.
And I always try to be honest with the psychological stuff in my stories. Even when it is so raw. Writing some of the things I've written in the last two years hasn't been easy. ;)
Woo-hoo! Another novel! I really do need to send your e-mail address to work so I can write you novels on my lunch hour.