Drakemight is on fire.
Blazes that detonated out of the massive metal rods that came shooting down from the clouds (page 53).
Towers are falling left and right and the dragons are fleeing in panic.
Mushroom clouds bloomed everywhere, spreading radioactive winds across the entire civilization as if to summon a deadly aurora borealis (page 53).
I don’t know how a non-sentient nuclear explosion can summon the Northern Lights, but I can hope this means that everyone in this book will die from radiation sickness.
Dennagon asks who the enemy is. Gorgash, flying by, asks him if he can’t predict.
It was rather obvious. “Humans.” (page 54)
If it’s obvious, I wonder why he’s asking. Maybe he’s an idiot?
Dennagon takes off. The narration informs us he’s stark raving mad, even as he begins methodically thinking about how the missiles flying through the sky can be defeated, which leads me to believe Eng doesn’t actually know what ‘mad’ means. Halfway up to the stratosphere he encounters one of them headed straight towards the Archive. Dennagon, of course, is able to calculate the precise angle of a flying object five miles above the surface and know where it will land within the accuracy of a city block, because he’s Smart.
“Velocity is distance multiplied by time,” he reminded himself (page 55).
And how is he going to use this nugget of wisdom?
He slashes at it with his sword and connects, even though it’s moving at the speed of sound…which he can also tell…because he’s a genius? The sword carves a groove in the side which makes it spiral off-course. He turns around and chases after it. They’re about five miles up, so math…Dennagon has about 23 ½ seconds to stop it.
Trigonometry and dynamics shuffled in his consciousness, guiding him with the mathematics of physical laws so that he could optimize his efficiency (page 55).
Right. Unfortunately, there’s “hordes” of dragons flying around five miles up in the air and getting in his way. He screams at them to get out of his way, then he starts punching dragons who are “stupid enough to get in his path”. One would think, with all the trigonometry and dynamics floating around in his brain, that Dennagon would know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction and if you’re trying to catch something hurtling towards the ground at 767 miles per hour and you have, by my calculations, 16 seconds left, punching people is going to have a negative impact on your speed.
Eventually he catches up (we’ve established that he can fly at ~1,500 MPH), turns it upside-down and “makes certain” it won’t explode when it hits the ground. How? It’s not elaborated upon. Because he’s fucking smart, I guess. They arrive at the ground. He drops missile and drops into a backroll, which is probably very effective when you hit the ground going several hundred miles an hour.
He spends a couple minutes examining the missile – it’s sparking from the groove his apparently indestructible sword cut in it. He can tell it runs on electricity and knows that if it exploded it would kill him.
Suddenly he hears another missile shooting towards him. I’m not sure how he can hear the missile coming if it’s moving at the speed of sound. Doesn’t that mean he wouldn’t be able to hear it until it actually hit him?
With a tremendous thrust, he hurtled the missile in his clutches to the one that sailed toward him. The two projectiles collided in midair a mile up, emitting a blast of illumination that scorched all of Drakemight with fierce pulses of light (page 57).
So not only can he fly at 1,500 miles an hour, Dennagon is capable of picking up a missile that is twice as big him and throwing it a mile.
This book is so fucking stupid.
The explosion throws him backward like being punched by 12 million knights. It doesn’t kill him, of course. Sure, at that distance he’d be hit by both the fireball and the blast of air pressure which would shred him like a paper airplane in a woodchipper. Instead, he crashes into a house which collapses on him. This is lucky, because he’s slightly protected from the radiation. Silver linings!
Also, at this point there’s really no need to be even slightly afraid for Dennagon’s safety. If he can shrug off a nuclear blast, nothing can hurt him. Swords? Guns? None of those have a fraction of the destructive power of nuclear bomb.
He crawls out – into the radiation, but let’s ignore that – and looks up and the other dragons flying to meet the incoming missiles. He screams at them not to engage, but they can’t hear him, probably because they’re flying faster than the speed of sound. The sky lights up like a fireworks show.
In the bleeding heavens, hundreds of nukes were set off by the morons who decided it was a good idea to strike the warheads with their blades, fangs, and claws (page 58).
Morons like Dennagon, I guess. After all, he was the first to do it, and it apparently worked just fine. In fact, if the dragons were watching him, it’s probably his fault they’re dying. And why the fuck did it work for him and not for anyone else?
Dennagon takes off and navigates through the city which is rapidly being destroyed. Thesauruses and buildings are abused, but he makes it outside of the city before crash-landing into the wilderness. He looks back at the smoldering city and realizes it’s going to be a while before the dragons can return home. Yeah, probably.
He hears footsteps approaching and dives behind a shrubbery because he hides from things even though he’s fucking invincible. It turns out to be humans. Knights, some walking and some on horses, armed to the teeth. Dennagon is pissed, but resolves not to let them take Drakemight, which, as a reminder, is currently a nuclear wasteland being bombarded by a meteor shower of live warheads. What, precisely, are these knights going to do? Walk up and collectively die from radiation sickness, most likely. Naturally, Dennagon doesn’t wonder about this, because he’s holding the Idiot Ball.
Anyway, there’s about a hundred of them. He decides to hang back and watch. The last knight comes into view and it speaks in a mechanical voice.
And the enchantment was viewable as the paladin turned its head again. Built into the back of its skull was a chip of metal lined with wires, circuits and mechanical nodes that he had no idea what to make of (page 60).
Dennagon moves to follow them, but gets hit in the head with a rock.
At first, he thought he had been hit by a catapult shot, but as he rolled onto his back, he looked up, only to see a wurm, a dragon with no limbs (page 61).
The wurm picked up another stone (page 61).
How does it pick up the stone without hands?
Dennagon attacks and the wurm bashes him in the head with the rock and Dennagon falls over, unconscious. Nuclear blasts? No problem. Hit in the head with a rock? Game over.
The wurm wraps Dennagon up and drags him away.
We cut over to an omniscient narrator who explains that the world is changing and dinosaurs are killing each other en masse. This is the Age of Reptiles, which lasts until an asteroid impact wipes them out and the next dominant species is men. Men are greedy and cowardly and greedy and filled with bloodlust, which, okay, I’ll buy that interpretation.
Their technological contagion spread throughout the globe, computers lining every inch of the sky down to the very planetary core, creating a gargantuan multicellular organism composed of multicellular organisms (page 62).
I feel like a planet that full of computers would simply not be sustainable.
Then another time-center springs forward, which is called the Middle Ages for reasons.
Mana brimmed around the magical brain of the World, Gaia manifested in the form of the liquid of life bubbling around the souls of every conscious being (page 62).
I’m going to assume that Eng doesn’t know anything about the historical ideas and use of “mana” and “Gaia” and he’s just using it because it sounds cool and mystical and a little bit like you’re playing a poorly designed game. Although the title of this book would make a lot more sense of it was an RPG manual.
Anyway, the Middle Ages are a medieval time of chivalry and honor, which is weird, since the actual Middle Ages were also a medieval time. Or maybe this Second Middle Ages is called that because the giant computer-world reverted back to medieval times, which doesn’t make sense but something I could see Eng going for. Also, neither of these were full of chivalry, or honor, but that’s a popular misconception.
There’s a cloud that hangs over the world that turns into a giant storm of thesaurus abuse.
A mechanized dragon soared over the World, its biotechnological eyes scanning everything hat lived so that its cybernetic brain could process the info underneath its metal-plated body (page 63).
Don’t you mean inside its body?
All the liquid knowledge from the world boils up to the surface. Everything goes black. Black lasers fire down and kill everything. The mechanized dragons fly around thinking about how they need to find and exterminate the lone sentry named Dennagon, the only thing that stands in their way of whatever it is they’re trying to accomplish by destroying everything.