In many ways, Out of Egypt is becoming a different animal to Dark. Oh, I don’t mean in terms of characters or content, or even in tone – in that sense I think they’re pretty even. But the necessity of telling two sides of this story in two different locations through Out of Egypt has led me to introduce a second viewpoint character: Stryke.
I’ve always loved Stryke, even though he didn’t quite have room to shine in Dark. He’s one of those people it’s impossible to feel miserable around. He’s open, funny, good-natured, and intelligent. So really, it’s been an unexpected pleasure to write as him as well as for Alice.
Sometimes it jars readers when they have become used to a single POV only to have another added along the way. I remember my mother being unsettled when, during The Morganville Vampires series, Rachel Caine broke from Claire’s point of view to use Shane’s. Mum got used to it, but it was unexpected at first, and might have been hard for other readers to adapt to. I hope I don’t confuse anyone by doing the same. It can even be done to great effect, at times. Just read Misery if you don’t believe me.
I always intended that these books be split by location, you see. Specifically, Dark and Alice’s location. Book 1 takes place at the Temple, and Book 2 very much in the city. But you still need to know what’s happening at the Temple, right? You need to know what the climate there will be like when – and if – our two return. Stryke’s journal is my way of keeping both sides of the story immediate and in the present, told as it happens and not in some long-winded recap later on. I hate those.
Oh, what the hell, I reckon the title of Book 2 gives away this much anyway. There’s no use in my pretending that Dark and Alice won’t return to the Temple in the end. It won’t be in Out of Egypt – again, the clue is in the title – but Dark has become a kind of Moses to the people in his care. Moses went back to free the Israelites from Pharaoh’s rule, and our boy is no different. Except that, when it comes time to part the Red Sea, perhaps it won’t be the Israelites that are forced to leave by it.