Altered has satisfied all my deepest desires.
Dante became a real, identifiable, interesting character that makes the story a perfect re-examination of Adelice's allegiances and fears.
Jost simply fucked off.
Erik became a valuable character again, one that I'm honestly beginning to love. His relationship with Adelice has drifted into beautiful friendship territory and I'm honestly crying because this is honestly happening.
Everything kicked up a notch and I love this book so much. It's not just a story about the threads of existence weaving their way through simulated time and space as real as non-simulated time and space. Now, it's a story about obligation and confinement. It has become a story that until now didn't have me cuddling a pillow and making incoherent book reaction noises. (Well, my mild indifference died.) Now every page is either heartbreaking, heartwarming, nail-biting, fascinating, perplexing, terrifying, or all of these at the same time.
This book is beautiful, man.