Study Guide

Hush, Hush The Supernatural

By Becca Fitzpatrick

The Supernatural

'You belong to the biblical race of Nephilim. Your real father was an angel who fell from heaven. You're half mortal [.] [h]alf fallen angel.'

Chauncey's tutor's voice drifted up from the recesses of his mind, reading passages from the Bible, telling of a deviant race created when angels cast from heaven mated with mortal women. A fearsome and powerful race. (P.26-27)

We learn from the prologue that we're not just dealing with mere mortals here—there will be angels, fallen angels, and Nephilim in the mix, too. This passage gives us an introduction to the mythology the book will build on.

The truth was, I never felt completely alone. Right after my dad was shot to death in Portland while buying my mom's birthday gift, a strange presence entered my life. Like someone was orbiting my world, watching from a distance. At first the phantom presence creeped me out, but when nothing bad came of it, my anxiety lost its edge. I started wondering if there was a cosmic purpose for the way I was feeling. Maybe my dad's spirit was close by. The thought was usually comforting. But tonight was different. The presence felt like ice on the skin. (2.113)

Nora hasn't had any real contact with the supernatural yet (that she knows of), but her acceptance of the intangible presence primes the atmosphere and her character for interaction with the supernatural.

Five minutes ago, the window was smashed out and the door was bowed. Looking at the car now, it seemed impossible. No, it seemed crazy. But I saw his fist punch through the glass, and I felt his fingernails bite into my shoulder.

Hadn't I?

The harder I tried to recall the crash, the more I couldn't. Little blips of missing cut across my memory. The details were fading. Was he tall? Short? Thin? Bulky? Had he said anything?
I couldn't remember and that was the most frightening part. (4.26-28)

In the book, fallen angels and Nephilim have the ability to warp people's minds and perceptions of what is actually going on. The guy in the ski mask, whom we later find out is actually Jules, makes Nora think he is only attacking the car. Freaky.

I drew a steadying breath and told myself I'd imagined the words. Because the alternative was considering that Patch held the power to channel thoughts into my mind. Which couldn't be. It just couldn't. Unless I was delusional. That scared me more than the idea that he'd breached normal communication methods and could, at will, speak to me without ever opening his mouth. (6.49)

Another of the powers Hush, Hush assigns to fallen angels and Nephilim is the ability to speak directly to people's minds. Patch clarifies that this is a power only corrupt beings would use. He says, "Any other kind of angel wouldn't invade your privacy, even though they can" (23.148). It is a pretty major privacy violation, don't you think?

At the creation of the Garden of Eden, heavenly angels were dispatched to Earth to watch over Adam and Eve. Soon, however, some angels set their sights on the world beyond the garden walls. They saw themselves as future rulers over the Earth's population, lusting after power, money, and even human women.

Together they tempted and convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, opening the gates guarding Eden. As punishment for this grave sin and for deserting their duties, God stripped the angels' wings and banished them to Earth forever. (19.41-42)

Nora finds this info in a lucky Google search, and it provides the whole basis for the supernatural element Hush, Hush is working with. As this passage indicates, there is actually mention of angels and Nephilim in Genesis, but the novel only uses religious texts as a springboard, adding own its details to expand the fantasy world.

There was a phone booth on the corner across the street. I ran to it and dialed 911. While I waited for the operator to pick up, I glanced back at the bag lady's body, and that's when I felt the cold adrenaline shoot through me. The body was gone. (21.61)

In this scene, Nora tries to call police to report the bag lady's murder. However, when the body vanishes into thin air, Nora knows there's nothing she can tell the police that won't make her look like a raving lunatic.

A fingertip brushed his right scar.

Patch tensed under my touch. I froze, the tip of my finger quivering on his scar. It took me a moment to realize it wasn't actually my finger moving, but me. All of me.

I was sucked into a soft, dark chute and everything went black. (22.62-64)

Add this to the list of odd things about Patch: He has long scars on his back that suck any person who touches them into a twilight zone. The novel uses this feature as a clever trick to give us info on Patch, Dabria, and Chauncey by throwing us back into their stories with the scar-time-suck, enabling us to see these characters in action instead of getting a boring explanation.

'I'll make it quick,' [Dabria] continued. 'I'm an angel of death. I carry souls to the afterlife. As soon, as I finish, I'll carry your soul through the veil. You have nothing to be afraid of.' (25.62)

Dabria indicates that there are angels at work in our lives every day. Unfortunately for the humans she comes in contact with, this usually means game over for them since she's an angel of death.

I won't be able to stay inside you much longer, Patch spoke to my thoughts. It's not Cheshvan and I'm not allowed. As soon as I'm cast out, run. Do you understand? Run as fast as you can. Chauncey will be too weak and stunned to get inside your head. Run and don't stop. (29.59)

Patch shows off one of his fallen angel powers by taking control of Nora's body. Nora isn't upset about the move because she knows Jules is the real bad guy. This moment is also a reminder that though Patch is a rule-breaker, fantasy worlds must consistently adhere to their own strange but established rules; otherwise they aren't credible to readers.

'You can't see my wings,' he said. 'They're made of spiritual matter.'

'You're a guardian angel now.' I was still too much in awe to wrap my mind around it, but at the same time I felt amazement, curiosity… happiness.

'I'm your guardian angel,' he said. (30.24-26)

After rejecting Nora's sacrifice and saving her life, Patch becomes Nora's own personal guardian angel. They're both thrilled about this for the time being, but do you see any potential complications? For example, Nora grows older (as humans do), but Patch is immortal.