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Chapter 11: Beach Party

Hello, and welcome back to our irregularly scheduled nonsense!

Last time, we had a lot of actual Plot happen!  Ren broke up with Kelsey because he can't smush protect her, and Durga gave them two gifts--a kamandal and a spear/trident/sai combo, and pointed them to the right direction once they get to the City of Seven Pagodas to complete their quest.

Exhausted with this massive amount of plot happening all at once, Houck made this chapter more filler.  It's the obligatory Beach Episode!  So, uh, more annoying relationship drama.  And I was wrong about the new character showing up, sorry--that's next chapter.  Whoops.

Chapter Eleven: Beach Party

It really feels like there should be an exclamation point after that chapter title.

Kelsey meets up with Wes, Ren, and Kishan to do some shark training exercises, which involves watching videos of sharks swimming around in the ocean.  Wes gives some advice on how to avoid provoking sharks, including not wearing bright colors.  Ren sa…

Chapter 10: Durga's Temple

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Hello, and welcome back to our irregularly scheduled nonsense!

Last time, uh, Kelsey learned how to dive.  Wes clearly isn't a very good teacher, because Kelsey bonked herself in the head with a coral reef/big honking rock and knocked herself out.  It's like she has a power switch on her noggin.

This time, Houck remembers, oh yeah, she already gave us the prophecy, so it's about time they try to fulfill that!

Chapter Ten: Durga's Temple

Mmm, that's some good Plot.  It's like drinking some instant coffee at a motel after driving for twelve straight hours--it's not good coffee, but it's still coffee.

Kelsey regains consciousness lying on the deck of the yacht and coughs up a bunch of seawater.  She looks up and sees Kishan leaning over her, concerned.  She asks what happened, and Kishan says not to worry.  Ren's standing against the far wall as far away as possible.

Wes looks Kelsey over for injuries and seems satisfied that she's not in serious da…

Chapter 9: Diving Lessons

Hello, and welcome back to our irregularly scheduled nonsense!

Last time, Kelsey got to flirt with three hot guys all vying for her attention at once, she bought a cute new swimsuit, and we met an outrageous Texan accent in the form of a diving instructor.  This time, Houck shows off that she did some research on how diving works, and this research takes up the majority of the chapter.  Joy.

Chapter Nine: Diving Lessons

Kelsey wakes up to a poem on the pillow next to her.  It's about how she's the moon and Ren is the sea, and it's very Romantic.  Instead of letting some actually subtle bit of symbolism stand for once, Kelsey immediately explains how much it applies to the current situation:

I'd told Phet I was like the moon.  Maybe the universe was trying to tell me that I belonged with Ren.  It was an accurate comparison.  The moon and the sea were destined to affect one another but were never able to touch.

You know, the whole point of a literary allusion is to draw co…

Chapter 8: Goa

Hello, and welcome back to our irregularly scheduled nonsense!

Last time, Kelsey & Co. regressed to Oregon-level character interaction, and we toured Ren's megayacht.  That's literally it.

This time, we at least meet a somewhat more important character than Captain Dixon.  He's still not that important, but he does at least contribute more than an offensive Jamaican accent.

Chapter Eight: Goa

If you remember, the plan is to sail from Mumbai around the coast of India, stopping in Goa to pick up the diving instructor so they can learn how to dive before getting to the City of Seven Pagodas.  If you thought Houck could stop in a single location without sightseeing and doing general touristy things, you really haven't been keeping up with how these books go.

Anyway, we don't actually start off in Goa.  Kelsey tells us what it's like sailing in the yacht, in a rare bit of actually decent description:

The breeze hit my face as the ship started to move, and I peered …