Suddenly, Native Americans: Marked Chapters 5 and 6

Remember that weird, out-of-place reference at the end of chapter one to Zoey’s Cherokee roots? Apparently that’s going to be a Thing. [Ariel says: I still standby my theory that they’re actually aliens from The Host.]

Chapter 5

Zoey sets off to the bluffs to find her grandma, who can “figure out” what to do about Zoey turning into a vampyre because “she hadn’t lost touch with her Cherokee heritage and the tribal knowledge of the ancestral Wise Women she carried in her blood”. Which is kind of a jump in logic. [Ariel says: I bet what these Wise Women don’t have is an Elder of the People of Faith. OR a prayer tree.] We learn that Zoey’s mom was kind of a disappointment to Grandma Redbird because she didn’t have any “ancient Cherokee magic”. Is this offensive? I have no idea. [Ariel says: Here at BBGT the answer is usually yes.]

Ariel says: I’m going to halt everything to discuss the strangest pop culture reference I’ve seen in recent memories. This is coming from someone who lives for pop culture references. 

I was dizzy and my stomach had started to gurgle so badly that I was reminding myself of Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss after she ate all that cheese and had a lactose-intolerance fit. (Kevin Kline is really cute in that movie—well, for an old guy.)

It was all well and good last chapter when Zoey mentioned she liked Star Trek, but this is such an obscure reference, and I’m at the age where I remember when Meg Ryan wasn’t terrifying to look at. Yes, this Zoey sure does talk like a teenager as promised by PC Cast! 

Things get really weird as Zoey starts hearing and seeing things and also apparently passes out at some point during this chapter, but her narration is actually so vague and awfully written that it’s impossible to tell when she’s talking figuratively and when weird things are actually happening, and then whether it’s physically happening or supernaturally/spiritually happening.

Wind? No, wait! There hadn’t been any wind just a second ago […] Then in the wind I heard them – the sounds of many Cherokee voices chanting in time with the beating of the ceremonial drums.

Is there really wind? Are there really drum noises? Are there really Cherokee voices? Are they not real, but “real” in her head because of the “ancient Cherokee magic” that is apparently a thing in this vampire novel? And you may be saying, “Now, Matthew, that wasn’t so hard to follow, really.” [Ariel says: I guess you just don’t get ancient Cherokee magic, Matt. But actually I was also confused by this scene.] Well, this is after she’s knocked out:

I felt better than fine. I wasn’t coughing. My arms and legs were amazingly light, tingly, and warm, like I had just slipped into a bubbly hot tub on a cold night.
Huh?

cat huh

She says “Huh?”. Even she has no idea what’s going on. Is she in a real bath? A figurative bath? A spiritual Cherokee magic bath? Maybe things will get less confusing when she realizes she’s floating above her own body – WAIT NO IT FUCKING DOESN’T.

The light wasn’t coming down. I was moving up toward it! […] I glanced down to see my body! […] Didn’t this mean I was dead? Maybe I’d be able to see the Cherokee ghosts better now. Even that thought didn’t scare me. Actually, instead of being afraid it was more like I was an observer, as if none of this could really touch me. (Kinda like those girls who have sex with everyone and think that they’re not going to get pregnant or get a really nasty STD that eats your brains and stuff. Well, we’ll see in ten years, won’t we?) [Ariel says: It’s both a bizarre metaphor and stereotypical slut shaming!]

I’m not making this up. This is actually how this book is written. I’m not making this up.

Zo continues her spiritual journey/near-death-experience/bubble bath until she finds a woman who actually tells us what the fuck is going on.

No, U-we-tsi a-ge-hu-tsa. [Ariel says: Is this offensive? It feels offensive.] You are far from dead, though your spirit has been temporarily freed to wander the realm of the Nunne ‘hi.(It says a lot about how horrendously this novel is written that this is when it starts making a lot more sense.) […] you, Zoeybird, my Daughter, may call me by the name by which your world knows me today, Nyx.
“Nyx,” my voice barely above a whisper. “The vampyre Goddess?”

To save you a Google search, no, of course the Cherokee don’t have a fucking vampire goddess named Nyx. [Ariel says: Awwww.] 

Nyx explains some things to Zoey and to paraphrase, I guess she’s the goddess of night who has been worshiped by humans marked by the Change since the ancient Greeks, although only recently have they been called “vampyres”.  [Ariel says: She couldn’t just be a normal teenager who got turned into a vampyre like all the other teens at school.] Also that Zoey is special (of course) and is her first true Daughter of Night because she’s a combination of magic/ancient tribal blood and vampyres, and so she has a special task that, like everything else in this chapter, isn’t actually explained.

Zoey Redbird, Daughter of Night, I name you my eyes and ears in the world today, a world where good and evil are struggling to find balance.
“But I’m sixteen! I can’t even parallel-park!”

While this is obviously the primary reason why she is under-qualified for such a task, Nyx is unyielding in her decision.

You are old beyond your years, Zoeybird.

Is she fucking serious right now? [Ariel says: I guess she missed the part where Zoey talked about wanting to bone Ashton Kutcher. You grow out of that phase between 16-18 generally.] 

Believe in yourself and you will find a way. But remember, darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good.

[Ariel says: Is it weird that I imagined this whole scene like the one from Lion King where Simba is talking to Mufasa in the sky after he died? Simbaaaaaa.] 

Mufasa Clouds

Chapter 6

Zo wakes up narrating in figurative language again, and fuck this shit, I’m just gonna skip to where where we actually know what’s going on. Her grandma found her passed out and bleeding from a head injury and took her to House of Night where she’s conveniently completely recovered.

“I’m not surprised you were Tracked and Marked. The Redbird blood has always held strong magic […] it makes no sense that you were just Marked. The crescent isn’t an outline. It’s completely filled in.”

Which is apparently a significant thing that we’re just hearing about for the first time right now. [Ariel says: I still didn’t realize it was a crescent on her forehead. Maybe it was negligence, but I was still hoping it was the shape of a penis.] Zoey asks what it means and a woman vampyre walks in, saying she was hoping Zoey could explain. Kristin and P.C. Cast’s incomparable powers of prose describe the woman’s beauty.

Her body was, well, perfect.

It gets better. And by “better”, I mean “sounds like a twelve year old boy wrote it”.

And she had great boobs. (I wish I had great boobs.)
“Huh?” I said. Speaking of boobs – I was totally sounding like one. (Boob … hee hee). [Ariel says: I thought we were doing this book to get away from erotica and talk of boobs. We get enough of that from Travis Maddox these days.]

She said "boobs".
She said “boobs”.

The woman smiles (Without fangs! Is this significant?) and explains that no one knows why Zoey, a fledgling vampyre, has the Mark of a mature vampyre on her forehead, and asks if anything unusual has happened. Instead of saying “Basically all of Chapter 5 – seriously, what the fuck was that?”, Zoey has a strong gut feeling to keep her encounter with Nyx a secret and just says she hit her head and woke up in the House of Night. Grandma Redbird is concerned, but the vampyre woman, Neferet, promises Zoey’s safety and says she’ll be her mentor.

I know it looks like I got bored and half-assed this chapter summary, but that’s basically all you need to know. Zoey’s at the House of Night now, she’s keeping her secret divine destiny a secret, and her vampire mentor has a sweet rack. [Ariel says: Yeah that about sums it up. Vampyres and boobs. What more could you ask for in a book?] 

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