*SPOILER ALERT* You've been warned. I mean, serious spoilers, because I am analyzing the crap out of everything.
Ok, so where was I? Oh yes, the titles as themes. The titles themselves have made me stop to ponder their meanings. What is it in the book that exemplifies the title? What in the nature of the characters fits in with that theme, and how does it shape their development?
Let's look at Covet. The character of Vin diPietro is almost self-explanatory. From a young age, he desired a place in the world that was a far cry from the one he knew. He wanted more than what he had. Using that desire, the demon Devina exploited Vin, nurturing in him a covetous nature that wold lead him to an exceptionally wealthy lifestyle. Later, after his meeting with Marie-Therese, Vin's desire for ownership seems to shrink from the whole world to just her. He also realizes very early on that with her, it is not about the monetary ownership; he could buy her if he wanted to. The crack in the glass that is Devina's hold on him is the realization that he wants to be chosen by Marie-Therese. I think if he had tried to buy her body and/or affections, it would've just deepened the hold Devina had on him. Also, Fate gave him the one person he couldn't buy; Marie-Therese's own past would have made it impossible for her to give herself to Vin if he had tried outright financial branding.
Marie-Therese is a bit harder. Her nature seems to be the very opposite of covetous. The nightmare of her past makes it hard for her to accept a financial free ride. So she doesn't desire money, or at least not in the way a banker does. She just wants a way out of her situation. More specifically, she desires a normal life for her and her son. The ability to walk around with her head held high, her son attending a regular school, and the lack of fear from her past would all be high up on her wish list. However, her fear at repeating past mistakes almost traps her in a reality she can't live with. I suppose then she covets a normal life, though not with quite the same avarice that Vin wants his life.
As for Jim Heron, he wanted out. His background in black Ops made it impossible for him to live a normal life too. He just wanted out of that old life, and to start over again. Or maybe, deeper down, he wanted to be the good guy. His life had lead him down some dark paths, and his conscience had begun beating a path to his door. In the end, I think he wanted to be the person his mother would want him to be. He coveted the normalcy that it seemed others had. However, he could also see he wasn't cut out for life in the 'burbs with a wife and 2.5 kids. So maybe it was just as simple as to be the hero, for someone, anyone. I'm not sure he'd voice the wish that way, but that's how I see it coming out.
Crave is a harder one for me to see. In what ways were the characters exemplifying the theme of craving? In the end, the only one who shows an attitude of craving anything is Devina. Her attempts to defile and break Jim Heron fail miserably (at first), and this only intrigues her. It's like the Prom Queen in high school; she's so used to everyone falling under her spell, that the one person she really wants is the one person who tells her to f*ck off. It's like an itch under her skin, she can't satisfy it. As for the other characters, I'll have to think on it a bit longer. I'd welcome anyone else's input.
I guess you could say that Isaac exhibited an attitude of craving in his feelings about Grier. To him, Grier was exactly the kind of person he felt he couldn't have. She was raised in an affluent, urban setting, receiving the best life had to offer. In drastic contrast, Isaac grew up in a rural area, one of five sons in a lower class family. Grier was a double-decker chocolate cake with frosting and sprinkles; Isaac wanted her despite thinking she was something he wasn't supposed to have.
As to Grier herself, I think her relationship with her dead brother could be considered in line with the theme. That one is a bit harder to define. Or rather, I suppose Grier's lifelong yearning for the truth might fit the bill better. It's hard to say on this one.
Finally, a few questions/theories on the story thus far. One, is Colin really Dog? From the first book on, I felt that Dog was definitely more than met the eye. My own theories seem to switch every 100 pages of story. Could Dog be one of the archangels (Colin being the most likely)? Or could the author being using a dyslexic joke as a plot point? Will Eddie be given his body back? I personally like the idea that God would be so benevolent that once the contest was over, S/He would be willing to reinstate Eddie to his former glory. What is going to happen with Jim and Sissy? It seems like the author is making overtures that perhaps they will have their own story, streaming as a subplot. I am totally intrigued with Devina's OCD/mental illness, and her crush on Jim is also a neat twist. I am looking forward to how that will play out. All in all, a very good series, and I am totally bummed I have to wait so long for the next one.