Previously, Zoey planned to get a plan and kept telling us how she absolutely must take Aphrodite down… because Nyx clearly bestowed her with amazing powers for this exact purpose. Really. Chapter 21 ended with Zoey saying, “I must take her down.” And then chapter 22 ends with her saying, “I really need to take her down.” If this pattern continues this chapter is going to just end with, “I really REALLY need to take her down.”
Even though she should be concentrating on her plan, Zoey is sad because earlier that night Erik had only said, “Hi, Zoey,” to her. [Matthew says: If this were Harry Potter – which it is very clearly trying to be – this would basically be the entire first book being “Main Plot: Harry must take down Draco! Sub Plot: Cho Chang said ‘hi’ to him”.] Stevie Rae points out that she hurt his ego when she said she couldn’t watch Star Wars with him. Man, the crazy twists and turns this plot takes. What’s gonna happen next with these two crazy kids?
The rest of the gang shows up bringing various doohickeys for the ritual. Zoey suddenly realizes she knows exactly how to run this show, and assigns everyone an element. For some reason, everyone finds it necessary to give arbitrary reasons why Zoey’s picked the perfect element for them.
I turned to Stevie Rae. “You’re earth.”
“And green’s my favorite color!” she said, happily moving to stand across from Shaunee.
“Erin, you’re water.”
“Good. I used to like to lay out, which involves swimming when I needed to cool off.” [Cool story, Erin.]
It’s like the results to a horrible Facebook quiz determining what element you are. “You’re fire because sometimes you light candles! You’re Earth because that’s where you live! You’re air because I hear you probably breathe that.” Or maybe you’re air because of this:
“So I must be air,” Damien said, taking the yellow candle
“You are. Your element opens the circle.”
“Kinda like I wish I could open people’s minds,” he said, moving to the eastern position.
I smiled warmly at him. “Yep. Kinda like that.”
What?? How is that at ALL like that? He could just as easily have said, “Kinda like I wish I could open doors” and it would have held the same level of meaning.
After a lot of blah, Zoey is finally ready to start the ritual. [Matthew says: Although the ritual is also a lot of blah, but you’re probably used to that by now.]
I smiled at Damien. “Ready?”
“Affirmative,” he said in typical Damien fashion.
I’m highlighting this line only to remind you at that she’s known him for less than a week. Over-familiar, much, Zoey?
Zoey gives the group a really long speech about how they’re not doing this ritual just to kick Aphrodite’s ass. They need to be pure and seek justice and what is right! They all admire Zoey and talk about how great it would be if she became head of the dark daughters. Snoooore. When’s Zoey’s crazy dad going to show up to make her go to Vegas and win him 25 grand? And where are the mobsters?
Once Zoey begins summoning all the different spirits, she also becomes a writer for Better Homes and Gardens.
“Fire reminds me of cold winter nights and the warmth and safety of the fireplace that heats my grandma’s cabin. I ask that you hear me, fire, and I summon you to this circle.” I lit the red candle and the flame blazed, much righter than should have been possible for an ordinary votive. The air around Shaunee and me was suddenly filled with the rich, woody scent and homey warmth of a roaring fireplace.
If only Shaunee had been set on fire and not sent on a lovely getaway.
Zoey says the rest of the prayer including this line:
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.
Clear eyes? I have no idea what straight eyes means. Is this another homophobic thing in this book? Someone explain. [Matthew says: Maybe it’s all about poopie. Clean hands symbolize how she needs to remember to wash her hands after going poopie, the fading sunset symbolizing the flushing toilet, and her spirit going without shame is obvious. It symbolizes going forth without poopie. Although, yeah, I guess that “straight eyes” bit is probably just about how the Casts think gay people are really funny.]
So that marks the end of this chapter. Will Nyx help Zoey defeat Aphrodite and bring justice (or whatever the hell the goal is), and will Erik ever ask Zoey out again? Find out next week maybe! [Matthew says: Here’s a little teaser for you guys. We find out the answers to one of those questions in tomorrow’s chapter! The other question we will probably never know the answer to because this book has no narrative structure.]