They grow quiet, and after a minute, Oskar says, "Eli, are you saying you’re okay with being a vampire?"
"No! I'm not okay. But I think I have to learn to be. Living like I’m not responsible for what I do – that makes me unhappier than anything I can think of."
I'm a bit like Oskar, I'm not sure where you're going with this. If Eli were to become truly comfortable with being a vampire would he still be the same character we all love? It does bring up a good question though. Now that Eli has found a playmate just like himself, why would he bother trying to hang on to his human side anymore?
Great questions, JK. You'll read in part 7 that Eli challenges the family in a conference. It will come out that when one is infected, the previous personality (feelings, memories, morals) remain intact, creating a conflict. She wants to be "okay" with being a murderer and
a nice little kid. She'll never be "comfortable" with it. Mainly, she wants to be herself instead of pretending to be a host to a vampiric infection and blaming it for her less than savory behavior.
She acknowledges during the conference that getting infected was a one-time event that changed every cell of her body. She hunts because she is a vampire and lives on blood, not because an evil part of her takes over. What takes over, as we saw in the basement scene, is the hunting instinct of a hungry predator, not some evil being living within her.
She gets Oskar to help her take responsibility for her actions by them attempting to become vigilantes. But she's a little kid, and she begins to doubt that she can pull it off. In part 7, the grownups point out that it's still murder and, actually, isn't she trying to repudiate being a vampire instead of accepting it?
Where will this take us? I know where, but it will have to play out in Barcelona. Mr. Ávila has an idea, but part of his wisdom is that the answer has to come from the kids. Then he can help facilitate it. The situation will have to ripen into fullness, and that won't be until part 8 or beyond.
She and Oskar make a start in "Flying," but, yeah, she's a kid and realizes she needs to talk the whole thing over with the grownups, which she does in part 7 in the family conference.
I think Ávila and Grigore are way too accepting of the situation and have fallen into the same trap as Eli's other caretakers. I know they want to protect the kids and try to give them as normal a life as possible but how far are they willing to go? What would happen if the kids became housebound and couldn't hunt or if they killed a person that Ávila or Grigore knew?
Several good points, JK, but you'll have to wait for part 7. Eli is going to hold the grownups' feet to the fire about being accessories to murder. She's going to quietly ask the questions that rip the grownups' rationalizations to shreds, like "vampires are part of Nature's scheme" and that Eli and Oskar are "magnificent predators, like wolves." As to what happens when plans don't work out right? The grownups are two remarkably able people, as we saw in "Rakel." There are threatening things that could come up, but I trust the grownups to handle them. And they really are part of a powerful team of four able people, each with his or her own contribution to the whole.
As for what would happen if they kill someone whom the grownups love? I put a very important person's workplace only a couple of blocks from the Old Cemetary Park where Oskar and Eli hunt a lot. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! That gives me the willies, but I doubt whether anyone else thought much about it. Nobody has mentioned it to me.
Individually, Professor Grigore has made it clear in part 3 why he bought in, in "The Reveal" and in "Equations of Survival." Mr. Ávila ditto in part 2 and at greater length in part 6 ("Señor Ávila").
I wish you would do what JAL does and include more pop culture references and news events from the time. It would make it feel more realistic and remind the reader that the story takes place in the 1980s. You could also go into more detail about how the kids hunt. It's a big part of their lives but you kind of skip over it in the story
I wish for the pop references, too. I've solicited stuff on our forum about what kind of music, books, movies, etc., the kids would buy for each other for Christmas, so some of those pop or period references are gift wrapped under the tree on Järavallsgatan (part 7). As for the kids hunting, you'll have to settle for the many, many great descriptions in other FFs. I don't normally do extreme violence ("Rakel" excepted), graphic murder, sex, or even bad language.
As usual, JK, I can count on you to present an honest appraisal of "Set Me as a Seal upon Your Heart." It has pretty much reached novel length, so thank you a thousand times for sticking with it.