The chat was great. He caught all the major things, which gave me quite the ego boost. One of the things he picked up on that so few others have was so how unhealthy Skye's relationship is. No spoilers, so you'll have to read the book to discover what, precisely I'm talking about here. He also caught on that it is so very unhealthy, and it is unhealthy precisely because Skye is, in JP's words, "such a mess of a man." The relationship he forms is dangerously dependent, and that is never a good thing.
I adore that JP caught this, and thought it noteworthy. It's true, though, if I'm honest, I didn't give it that much weight when I wrote the thing.
More on the mess of a man that Skye was, JP noted:
I was kinda glad that he clearly started breaking, that his issues throughout the story just didn't go away and he was the big magically ok hero near the end
Felt more, reasonable? Logical?
Skye led a traumatic life. He was in top physical shape, but that isn't a match for five bullets to the chest. His mind was utterly broken, stitched together purely with grit and fakery. He wasn't alright, because real people wouldn't be alright after surviving what he did.
I wanted Skye to seem real the way that people are real. He is deeply flawed. He wasn't a hero because he was perfect. He was a hero despite his flaws.
Which serves Skye well. He'd be one out of spite, I feel.
The ending of the book made sense to JP, but he also offered an alternative: Skye, after the final battle, leaves earth behind and takes off with the daemon, their first ever human soldier. I didn't even consider that as an alternative. It's intriguing as an idea, and even opens the door for more Skye stories set in the post-battle world. As I said, the idea did not even occur to me, and I really like it as an idea.
So, and this is the longest way to possibly come to this place, this blog post is a permission slip to anyone who wants to write fan fiction if Skylark in an alternate universe where Skye does manage to head off planet on whacky adventures with the daemon. Go for it. You have my permission. As long as you aren't making money off my intellectual property, I'm totally cool with that (otherwise, I expect to be paid royalties). Oh, and be sure to let me know, 'cause I'd love to shout it out.
Right, I have more world-building things to do. I'm off.