I know I’ve said before that Chapter 19 is my favorite in Something Strange & Deadly. It’s not that I don’t love all the other chapters, but I actually wrote chapter 19 first.

Yep–it’s true! It was originally the opening scene in Something Strange & Deadly, and then the story jumped back to Eleanor waiting on her brother at the train station. OBVIOUSLY, that was a terrible way to open the book, and a wise critique partner quickly pointed out just how terrible.

But the fact remains that once-upon-a-time, Chapter 19 came first. So it’s special to me.

And because it’s special to me, I thought I’d share with YOU a playlist that goes along with the entire dynamite factory kerfuffle.

First, I’ll share the actual playlist so you can listen (and possibly be inspired to write your own stuff…?), and then I’ll break down which piece I associate with which pages. Happy listening!

1. “Arming the Soldiers” by Sound Adventures. I think this music is a great “traveling piece.” I can see Daniel and Eleanor stalking alongside the Schuylkill, the moon blocked by hazy clouds and the air smelling of a coming rain. I can also feel how strange and yet absolutely free Eleanor must have felt wearing trousers for the very first time ever–and also how disturbed she had to have been by Daniel’s story about his past. (p. 250-258)

2. “The Viking Arrival” by Tom Howe. This piece picks up when Daniel first hears road bandits coming. I like the tension and steady heartbeat-like rhythm–it makes met think of Daniel as he breaks into the dynamite factory grounds, Eleanor anxiously at his side. Of course, as soon as he gets in, he leaves Eleanor to sit and wait….which will never do. So right at the 0:46 mark, I can imagine her finding Daniel’s lock-pick wallet and debating if she should set off after him. (p. 258-261)

3. “The Dragon Book” by John Powell, from How to Train Your Dragon. I feel like this music really fits the feeling of Eleanor sneaking across a wide open lawn, keeping lookout for guards, and then accidentally startling Daniel when she sneaks up on him. But at about the 1:30 mark, the music turns gentle and sweet–which fits when Eleanor and Daniel are moving hand-and-hand through the dark warehouse filled with dynamite. And of course, that loud final clashing of notes is perfect for when Eleanor and Daniel are caught… (p. 263-267)

4. “Moving Shadows” by Two Steps from Hell. This music really fits the time Eleanor is sitting alone in the dark, breathing hard and shaking with fear over Daniel. What should she do? What can she do? At first, she decides to follow Daniel’s orders–right at the 0:21 mark–and gets the dynamite to safety. But then she makes an impulsive but pivotal decision…And that moment picks up right at the 0:48 mark, when she turns around and goes back for Daniel. She tiptoes and sneaks all around the factory, trying to find him–and then right at 1:16, she flies underneath a giant pipe to hide. (p. 267-270)

5. “Nemesis” by Two Steps from Hell. I LOVE the intensity of this piece. Eleanor has made her choice, and now she has to follow through to the end–wherever that might lead. At the 0:35 mark, I see her slipping into the empty nitroglycerin warehouse right before everything falls apart. Then, right at the 1:03 mark, there’s a pause in the music that’s perfect for the gut-crushing moment when she realizes she broke the nitroglycerin’s cooling mechanism–and it’s going to explode… (p. 270-273)

6. “Septimus” by Ilan Eshkeri, from Stardust. Everything about this piece fits PERFECTLY for when Eleanor and Daniel are racing away from the dynamite factory, certain it will explode. Right from the first note, I can imagine El and Daniel bolting up a hill, through the rain…and then at 0:32, they’re through the factory gate and sprinting full-speed down the road–still too close to the factory for safety. Then at 0:58, they stagger to a stop, wondering why nothing has exploded yet… (p. 273-275)

7. “Tranquility” by Bear McCreary, from Defiance. I like how gentle and achy this piece is–I think it really fits the warring emotions inside Eleanor as she works to get Daniel’s bindings off. He’s angry with her when he should be grateful, and she just can’t grasp his fury after the sheer insanity of almost dying in the factory. I can also imagine this very soft rain falling on Eleanor’s skin while this music plays… And Daniel racing toward her through that rain–but to kiss or to speak, she never finds out. 😉 (p. 275-278)

Well, I hope you all enjoyed that! And if you missed this week’s discussion questions, be sure to check them out here! And stop by the Epic Reads forum for some really awesome discussion.

Happy listening!

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