'I'll ask once more,' he said in a low voice, wiping a hand down his face to clear away the rain. 'Who are you?'
[…] 'One of the Devil's brood,' he answered. (P.10-11)
In Patch's first introduction in the book, he identifies himself as associated with the Devil, often thought to be a fallen angel as well. This link is a pretty clear connection between Patch and evil.
The boy clasped his hands around Chauncey's; their heat scorched him and he cried out.
'I need your oath of fealty,' the boy said. 'Bend on one knee and swear it.' (P.16-17)
Looking for some proof that Patch is indeed pretty vicious? He tortures Chauncey into swearing his loyalty. Not exactly a friendly maneuver, we'd say.
Fallen angels are the same evil spirits (or demons) described in the Bible as taking possession of human bodies. Fallen angels roam the Earth looking for human bodies to harass and control. They tempt humans to do evil by communicating thoughts and images directly to their minds. If a fallen angel succeeds in turning a human toward evil, it can enter the human's body and influence his or her personality and actions. (19.44)
This is a helpful little explanation about how fallen angels bring evil into the human world, brought to us courtesy of Nora's Google search. The passage also seems to indicate that fallen angels are always, and will always be, evil. Information like this makes Patch's character all the more unique for wavering between good and bad.
Fallen angels who have a sexual relationship with a human produce superhuman offspring called Nephilim. The Nephilim race is an evil and unnatural race and was never meant to inhabit Earth. Although many believe the Great Flood at the time of Noah was intended to cleanse the Earth of Nephilim, we have no way of knowing if this hybrid race died out and whether or not fallen angels have continued to reproduce with humans since that time. (19.49)
And here's some additional information about Nephilim. This explanation suggests that evil is part of the genetic makeup of the Nephilim. Is that true in the book? Can a Nephilim overcome this background?
[Vee] was quiet a moment. 'What do you mean by 'physically threatened?'
'[Elliot] dragged me out the front door and shoved me against the house.'
'But he was drunk, right?'
'Does it matter?' I snapped.
'Well, he has a lot going on. I mean, he was wrongly accused of being messed up in some girl's suicide, and he was forced to switch schools. If he hurt you—and I'm not justifying what he did, by the way—maybe he just needs…counseling, you know?' (20.40-44)
How does Vee factor into the issue of good and evil? Here we see her betray Nora by defending Elliot rather than taking Nora's side, and in a scenario that's pretty cut and dry: Elliot is totally out of line in how he treats Nora.
'Once he sacrifices you, he'll be human. He'll have everything he wants. And he won't come home with me.'
She unsheathed a large knife from the wood block on the counter. 'And that's why I have to get rid of you.' (25.59-60)
Dabria is both jealous and possessive—she's jealous that Patch shows interest in human girls, and she's willing to kill to keep Patch from pursuing a life that would separate him from her. As bad as she is, is there anything sympathetic in her character that makes evil seem kind of complicated?
I had to test Elliot's loyalty. I took away what was most important. Elliot was at Kinghorn on scholarship, and nobody let him forget it. Until me. I was his benefactor. In the end, it came down to choosing me of Kjirsten. To put it succinctly, choosing money or love. Apparently there's no pleasure in being a pauper among princes. I bought him off, and that's when I knew I could rely on him when it came time to dealing with you.' (28.62)
It's not just the Nephilim and the fallen angels who are evil enough to commit murder; Elliot murders Kjirsten, and he has a hand in trying to lead Nora to her death. Sure, Elliot is under a powerful influence in Jules, but does that mitigate his evil choices and actions?
'Every year at the start of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, he takes control of my body. Two whole weeks. That's how long I forfeit control. No freedom, no choice. I don't get the luxury of escaping during those two weeks, loaning my body out, then coming back when it's all over. Then I might be able to convince myself it wasn't really happening. No. I'm still in there, a prisoner inside my own body, living every moment of it,' he said in a grinding tone. 'Do you know what that feels like? Do you?' (28.70)
Okay, we can understand why Jules is miffed at Patch. Patch possesses Jules's body two weeks every year and does whatever he wants with it. Does explaining why Jules has developed his plan to kill Nora make him seem any less evil?
Jules was Chauncey. He was Nephilim. I remembered my birthmark, and what Dabria had told me. Jules and I shared the same blood. In my veins was the blood of a monster. I shut my eyes, and a tear slid out. (28.75)
Nora has evil blood running through her veins. Take a peek at Jules and Nora's pages in the "Characters" section to get our discussion of what the bad blood connection could mean.
'You saved my life. Turn around,' I ordered solemnly.
Patch gave a sly smile and indulged my request. I rucked his T-shirt up to his shoulders. His back was smooth, defined muscle. The scars were gone. (30.23-24)
Okay, so Patch isn't kicking back on a cloud in heaven and playing his harp, but the scars (which are reminders of his past sin) are gone, and he is now a guardian angel. This change indicates that he has reformed his evil ways. Tune into the next books to see if it sticks.