Reviewer: Kurogane335 Signed
January 30 2018
Chapter 33: Affection
Wow, things are progressing quite well between Penny and Jack. I'm really glad to see them both growing as characters like that. I really feel that a girlfriend who truly loves and cares about him will do wonder for our little Beta's main character, especially when she has basically told him that she loves him the way he is and wouldn't want him to be an Alpha ! In the meantime, I would really like to see Penny talking with her newly found boyfriend's parents, I think she could help them realize that their son doesn't live in the same world they grew up. Now, the question is, will we have a battle of the century between Mama Bear Penny and Feral Wolf Caitlinn ? I suspect that the answer is a yes, but I can't wait to read it anyway ;)
Speaking of the resident red-haired Queen of the school, I can't help but feel that you present her overwhelming presence so well. Just the sight of her sneakers terrified Jack, and Delon got afraid just seeing her face hovering above the rest of the Alphas. It really gives her an aura of intimidation which makes her so much more than simply a bully. For Jack and even Delon, she seems to be more of a mythological threat than anything normal, and I find it awesome. I also can't help but notice how, when something physically bad happened to Jack when he was abducted, Caitlinn face was almost always obscured.
I really does wonder to add layer to this character. I'm thinking especially about the pool scene (which sent Alex over her friendship to help rescue Jack). For the Beta, Caitlinn was cold and emotionless, not caring at all about his suffering, and we assume it is the case, because he couldn't see her face and we follow his point of view. But we don't know how she reacted truly, and it adds this veneer of mystery, at least for me. Basically, it boil down to two simple questions :
-Does Jack knew Caitlinn as a child but forgot about her like he did Penny ? It was implied in their first encounter that Caitlinn may know him before hand, at least it was my impression reading it again recently.
-Is she in love with him but unable to express it in a healthier way ? There is several indications that it could be the case in the story, and considering their world, the very little tidbits we know about her parents and what she told about men and how she feel about them... It wouldn't surprise me that she felt sick harbouring feelings for a Beta, that she has been abused or at least used by men when she was younger and that her pouncing on Jack is both her way to express her love and her pain. She needs to sort out her feelings anyway, that's for sure.
I think I must also comment on Delon. That guy is basically the best friend everyone would love to have. He's calm, collected, cool under pressure, caring about his buddy and always willing to help as best he could. I really think that him being a solid rock for Jack will help our main character as much as Penny's love.Author's Response:
The fact she made a point of saying she categorically liked him as a human being is a huge one. There have also been hints that she perhaps is quite fond of Betas or Beta-sized things anyway, but it's yet to be explored... might be a red herring (I've thrown in a few)!
Caitlin is, as you say, practically a supernatural force from the perspective of the Betas. It's not just that she's bigger and stronger than the other Alphas (who are in their own right supernatural-seeming) - but it's her capacity to 'go there', inflict pain, not give a damn about the consquences. Her social standing, aggressive behaviour and connections just make her this perfect storm-like package if she decides to train her sights on you.
Your point about her face is semi-deliberate, but you've definitely given me food for thought. I've tried to portray Caitlin as someone who presents herself off as terrifying, but has glimpses of humanity, which you've speculated on. Your ideas are ones I have explored in my notes.
As for Delon, he's an amalgamation of several traits that make him solid 'best friend' material without being a particularly well-rounded or pivotal character. Compared to Penny, he simply hasn't been explored in the same detail, as the plot hasn't required it. In addition, it has to be said that in some respects, Delon and Jack's friendship is a marriage of convenience - two Betas mostly in the same classes - they were bound to be friends even though they're not terribly alike. He's not completely sure how to help, or how to support his friend other than to try and do what's right, but he is a likeable and conscientious fella and gives 100%. He'll never let you down, and that's worth a lot.