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Annotation Alcatraz Chapter Twenty


All right. It’s true. I lied to you.

I really am going to get to that scene with the altar. I promise. It’s not a gimmick. Or, uh, it’s not just a gimmick. You’ll find out more in book two, but let’s just say that an Oculator’s blood mixed with glass when you forge a lens will make it so that anyone–not just Oculators–can activate it.

What do we do now?

This is a nice, fun denouement. Alcatraz’s guard is down now, and he’s finally to the point where he can ask serious questions about his family–and Grandpa Smedry is willing to answer.

I hope that the Ms. Fletcher reveal was a nice one, though with the amount of foreshadowing I laid down on that one, I won’t be surprised if you got it early. I mean, come on. Can you really have a book about orphans without at least wondering when one of the parents will show up in the text?

This series is really about Alcatraz and his experiences with his parents. Book two is essentially a quest to find Attica.

You understand the lies the Librarians are teaching.

Grandpa’s explanation for why Alcatraz was left to grow up in America is mostly true. As far as Grandpa knows, it’s completely true. The Free Kingdoms do need more people who understand the way that the Hushlands work.

I took the way that Grandpa and the others don’t understand America from my time in Korea. Even the most fluent Koreans I met still had an accent, and the Americans who lived there never quite understood the way that Korean culture works. It’s all too different. Not a reason not to try, of course, but I think that the exaggerations in this book aren’t as much of an exaggeration as you might think.

Anyway, there are other things going on, of course. Having Alcatraz grow up in America was a decision Attica and Shasta made together, and both had various reasons for wanting it to happen.

Either way, I think–personally–that the Sheldons have been much better parents to Alcatraz than his biological parents ever were or will be.

Alcatraz, everything we do is about seeing!

We end off here with some final talk of morals from Grandpa Smedry. I know that we’ve had a lot of lessons in this book, which is kind of an irony built in by me complaining so much about meaningful books.

However, I like it when things fit. I like it when things come together. And things came together really well in this book. The final conversations here round out the ideas, concepts, and themes of the novel.

I came for you, as promised.

And, of course, I had to end with a lead-in to the next book, along with a final potshot at Harry Potter. You were all thinking it, weren’t you? You were worried I was just going to leave him there.

I’ll admit, that’s how I originally wrote the ending–not to be like Harry Potter, but because I really wanted Alcatraz to get back and read the note from his father. However, after I wrote the ending, I was dissatisfied with it. There needed to be something more, something to make it seem less cliché. I didn’t want to end in the same way I’ve always mocked the Harry Potter books for ending. That’s when I decided, “Hey, why not go ahead and make fun of that ending?”

So, here we have a fitting ending to the book. I hope you enjoyed it.