Unfortunately, this is going to be less a review and more of a highlights. So, without further adieu (since I still have Volume 4 to read and it's due back at the library tomorrow):
Lucifer as God; Angels as Demons
Still enjoying the inversion that's going on here. Lucifer makes his realm and his only command is
Bow down to no one. Worship no one. Not even me. Do you understand?
And then of course one of the angels comes to the man in the form of a serpent, inspiring doubt in the man's (the man's! gender-bender) about Lucifer's role as creator as well, the paradox (so popular in Christian mythology) of freedom in slavery to a deity, polarizing opinions of good and evil, the philosophy that the end (or, in his words, the intent) justifies the means, the nature of desire, and other things of a philosophical nature that I wish I had the time to more thoroughly think about.
Still. Gender-bendery goodness, nature of good and evil, all good stuff.
Yesterday, I enthused how Mazikeen didn't tie herself down to Lucifer and how she went off on a journey and how I still liked it, regardless of how much the reader saw of her journey or not.
Well. I'm here to tell you that Mazikeen's journey was bad ass.
She goes to find her identity, and is instead elected leader of the Lilim after she outwits her trial (since her fellows thought she had betrayed them by staying with Lucifer).
And when in hell, someone introduces her as Lucifer's consort? Oh no. She's having none of that.
Also, I really love how she refused to play act by costuming to the period that Hell had set as its desktop.
I also think I want her t-shirt: normal consciousness will be resumed.
I think I know my next Halloween costume. Oh yes.
So, in volume 2 she left to find her face -- a quest for identity. And then she found her identity in a role of leader of the Lilim. And when Lucifer refused to ally himself with them -- she didn't stay again. She left with her people. I think that's so great.
And you know what's also great? That Lucifer isn't threatened by her not staying with him all the damn time.
Pain As A Drug
One of the things I've learned in my writing class is that people -- and especially writers -- thrive off the misfortune of others. We love to gossip about it. Etc.
I've often thought about this -- noticing the little ways I myself take pleasure in the pain or discomfit of others (I can only speak for myself, but I think every individual has their own private bit of themselves that enjoys the non-happiness of others in their own unique way).
And that was illustrated (heh, pun) here, with the pain powder that was...orgasmic. But it was orgasmic because it wasn't true pain, not like he later describes:
One of the nobility of hell has picked me out to be her toy. Compared to you I am happy indeed. But somehow it rings like false coin. Do you remember the first lad or lass you loved? When you felt your chest was too narrow to hold your heart? When it seemed the world was made anew by your passion? And do you remember the fear that comes with love? The fear that it cannot last? The fear that you cannot be worthy of it? Truly we were not. none of us. But did it not come anyway? How we have poured our souls into another's lips and eyes. How we have died and been born again in the ebb and flow of their breath. All gone. The flesh you loved is dust. The words you whispered stir no echoes. And it may e that the one you loved most dearly sits at supper now with angels, and has forgotten your name. They think they mortify us with whips and wheels. But then, they have neither lived, nor loved. In truth -- they know nothing of pain at all.
I found that an interesting concept.
Lucifer as Anti-hero
There's this problem, see, with anti-heroes in stories. Anti-heroes walk a fine line. They can't be too base because then they'd make poor protagonists and then nobody would like them anymore.
Sometimes writers try to avoid this by defanging or declawing them, as it were. Spike sort of went through something similar (unfortunately).
It's difficult because you don't want them to stagnate and be boring, but they can't really be someone whom they're not at the same time (I fancy all characters have this problem, it's just really obvious and more noticeable with anti-heroes in my experience).
So, there are these two scenes where Lucifer is a magnificent anti-hero -- and the writers could have shied away and had him done something more palatable.
But they didn't.
First, he gives a demon a soul. I mean that's just. Wow, that's just cruel. And I'm in awe of it and yet, at the same time, that's...cruel (well, I suppose one doesn't become lord of hell for nothing). But yet - it's a testament to the multi-facetedness of the character.
The second bit was when some kids snuck into his house -- and prayed to God. Of course, he wouldn't save them for that. It reminded me of those people who are like -- and thank god my loved one survived this terrible accident when, in reality, it was because someone was a damned good doctor who gave a shit about his job.
So I really enjoyed that scene as a writer -- because Lucifer's still an anti-hero here instead of bowing out and taking the noble option -- and as a person who is appreciative of social commentary, wherever it can be found.