I think the best things to come out of this chapter were Opal and Matt. Getting to know more about them was great and that’s not to say we didn’t learn more about other characters. It’s just that how we found out more about Matt and Opal was so much more organic. Their character growth came up seamlessly through the narrative and didn’t have to be explicitly stated to us. I think the writing so far is much stronger when it’s operating in the present day and not in the flashbacks.
Admittedly, I’m having a hard time getting a grip on the flashbacks right now. It’s hard to figure out where I’m at and what exactly is going on. But I have a feeling that what I’m feeling now will peel itself away as the story progresses. I say this because I’m feeling like this world is more vivid and alive for me than in the previous chapter. It seems to be almost like a steampunk kind of post-apocalyptic future. You have some fancy tech advances, but you still have folks who choose to ride around on a horse.
Oh and my drug dealer as counselor cliché got smashed in this chapter. Apparently all people in Karla’s position are former addicts. That kind of makes sense in a way, but I like how the story doesn’t shy away from just how hard that job is.