The Climax Is Ghosts That Have Never Been In The Novel: Marked Chapter 28

Chapter 28

Everything continues to go wrong for Zoey – she’s forcing herself to hang out with popular kids who hate her, a boy she’s crazy about kissed her, some other people who aren’t her are dying, everything! – and now Heath has shown up at the ritual! Zoey is all “Ah! Go away!” and Heath is all “Ah! I wanna stay!” and Erik is all “Ah! Go away!” and Aphrodite is all “Ah! Stay!”. That’s written only slightly worse than the book itself.

Heath tore his eyes from Aphrodite’s boobs to glare at Erik. “Who’re you?”
Ah, crap. I recognized that tone. It was the one Heath used when he was getting ready to have a jealous fit. (Another reason he was my ex.)

[Ariel says: I thought he was her ex because he was buggin? Did I miss a vital piece of information?] 

How the hell is Zoey the only BBGT character who understands that jealous, possessive behavior is not twu wuv? (I’m looking at you, Beautiful/Walking Disaster. And Fifty Shades. And Bared To You. And- okay, we’re going to be here all day.) [Ariel says: All of these characters should feel deeply ashamed of themselves right now. And always.] 

Heath and Erik have a little spat over Zoey, but get interrupted by Aphrodite’s increasingly weird behavior, sensually summoning Heath to the circle. Zoey realizes that something is wrong with Aphrodite and that harm with come to Heath if he does enter the circle. [Ariel says: The only thing driving the book forward anymore seems to be Zoey’s “intuition” and weird feelings about situations. It’s the only reason she does anything anymore.] Zoey focuses on these pressing issues:

“You’re cheating on me!”
“Can you not listen? It’s impossible for me to cheat on you. We are not together!”

Suddenly, the climax happens when the spirits that had been possessing Aphrodite seep out of her body and try to attack Heath.

This is a pretty good visual representation of the novel's narrative arc.
This is a pretty good visual representation of the novel’s narrative arc.

No, seriously, that’s really what this all led up to.

The spirits, including the ones that had obviously been possessing [Aphrodite], rushed to the edge of the circle

Yes, book, it was very obvious that these things we didn’t know existed were doing a thing we didn’t know could happen! [Ariel says: More importantly were they responsible for the sexual laugh? Are we going to slut shame the spirits now? And how long has Aphrodite been possessed by the slutty spirits for?] 

Suddenly all of Zoey’s friends pop out of hiding places in the museum. [Ariel says: Seriously. They’ve officially become the gang from Scooby Doo.]

“Stop them, Aphrodite. If you don’t they’ll kill him!” Damien shouted as he stepped out from behind an ornamental hedge

Worst surprise party ever. [Ariel says: This line just gets me every time. “An ornamental hedge”.  It’s just too brilliant.] 

Aphrodite’s lackeys get scared by the ghosts that are suddenly a thing that exists in this story and run away, dropping the candles, and breaking the circle, which frees the ghosts that are suddenly a thing that exists in this story.

Astute readers will notice there is a problem with this climax
Astute readers will notice there is a problem

In contrast to the ghosts that came out of goddamn nowhere, Stevie Rae is revealed to be the girl under the cloak being used as the refrigerator, which was so obvious I thought we already knew this. [Ariel said: I was wondering that last chapter, but when nothing came of it during any of the times it seemed relevant, I just forgot about it as, you know, you’re meant to do with anything that resembles a plot point in this book.] 

“Stevie Rae!”
She was standing unsteadily in the middle of the circle. She’d thrown off the cape that had covered her […]
“It’s up to you, Zoey.”

Of course it is.

Heath is being devoured by the ghosts or something and Erik is fighting them off by “hitting at the mist”, so… that’s happening. We have a climax that we have zero context for, ignoring every single other plot and subplot that could have set up a climax. Where the hell do we go from here?

And so they cast another circle, by virtue of it being the only thing in this book that has happened more than three times. Zoey then opens a dialogue with the ghosts, because that’s apparently a thing you can do with ghosts.

“Here is your sacrifice!” I yelled, sloshing the liquid in the goblet in a messy arc around me […] “You weren’t called here to kill.” […]
The ghosts paused in their attack. […] “We prefer this warm young blood, Priestess.”

Oh, shit! It didn’t work! Maybe Zoey should just try again.

“Then I’m not asking anymore; I’m telling you. I command in Nyx’s name that you close this circle, pulling back to it the dead who have been allowed to escape. Now! […] With the power of the elements I command you: Go!”

Oh, phew, it worked the second time! Good thing Zoey somehow knew she could just tell the problem to go away! BOOK ONE CLEAR.


Zoey and co notice that her Mark is now even more super special or something. Zoey confronts Aphrodite.

“it was your fault that negative spirits found the circle to begin with.” [Aphrodite] looked confused […] “Sage, you hateful hag! [Ariel says: The Cast’s teen speak just gets weirder and weirder.]You’re supposed to use sage to clear out negative energy before you use sweet grass.”

Because apparently the entire climax wasn’t enough completely new information to cram into this chapter.

“This refrigerator crap is the first thing that’s ending.”
“Oh, so now you’re going to pretend that you don’t crave the taste of blood more than any of us?”
I glanced at my friends. […] They weren’t going to shun me. They were my friends […]
“We’ll all eventually crave blood,” I said simply. “Or we’ll die. But that doesn’t make us monsters”

BECAUSE YOU’RE FUCKING VAMPIRES. It is what they are! This isn’t a conflict! It is what they are! How is this revelation so monumental it had to be saved for the end of the novel? WHAT IF OTHER BOOKS WERE WRITTEN LIKE THIS?

  • I glanced at my friends. They weren’t going to shun me. “We’ll all eventually learn to use magic,” Harry said simply. “Or we wouldn’t be wizards.”
  • I glanced at my friends. They weren’t going to shun me. “We’re all unstuck in time,” the Tralfamadorian said simply. “Or we wouldn’t be Tralfamadorians.”
  • I glanced at my friends. They weren’t going to shun me. “We all gotta catch ’em all,” Ash said simply. “Or we wouldn’t be Pokemon Trainers.”

Aphrodite points out that Zoey can’t just take over the Dark Daughters because only Neferet can assign a new leader. So Neferet walks in, because everything about this book has to be insanely predictable except whatever it was supposed to be about. [Ariel says: I guess Neferet was just behind the other ornamental bush in the room.] 



  1. Stephanie Reply

    Okay but this entire series has been about Zoey having “intuitive weird feelings” and then keeping those feelings from her friends and being confused when they’re mad at her

  2. Madeline Reply

    That Arrested Development gif had me rolling!

    Btw, if you want another stupid YA book (tho I’m sure you’re sick of them right now) I’d like to suggest Spellbound by Kara Lynn Shultz. It’s got the slut-shaming of this book, the stalky insta-love of most the other books on this site, the teen angst of The Host, and so much more. It is tailor-made for this blog.

    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      I think I’ve heard about that book! We’re reading the next House of Night next, but I’ll definitely do some research for Spellbound.

    • scummy48 Reply

      you should also look into Wings. Its about a fairies and a fairy/fairy/human love triangle and the line “the more evil you are, the uglier evolution makes you” is used somewhere in there

  3. travesaou Reply

    That ‘Three-Act Structure’ pic is beginning to be as regular a feature in ‘Marked’ as counting/plotting the ‘Holy Crap’s were in Fifty Shades. And that’s a lot.

  4. scummy48 Reply

    I just…I have so many questions.

    Why was it obvious that the ghosts were possessing Aphrodite? Was it obvious to Zoey and she forgot to tell us? Or did these ghosts suddenly appear and then Zoey was like “oh, of course, obviously, yes, I know about these things.” …?

    How did Heath find her?

    Did she know her friends were hiding? How did Stevie Rae end up being the refrigerator? Shouldn’t the rest of the gang have done something about this? What was up to Zoey? Why were the ghosts so polite when Zoey talked to them?

    How long were ghosts possessing Aphrodite? Seriously, was it just since forming the circle or has she been possessed this whole time or what even.

    Are ghosts different from dead vampyre zombies?

    What teenager that says poopie every ten seconds also use “hateful hag” as an insult? What teenager that doesn’t say poopie every ten seconds uses “hateful hag” as an insult?

    How did she know about the sage? does anyone else remember that Zoey has quite literally been at this school for 3 days?

    Although I do have to say that, after 28 chapters, there is finally one thing I find tolerable about Zoey. Her reaction to Heath. Zoey doesnt let him convince her shes cheating on him during their breakup like any of the other lovely BBGT heroines would if they were with someone else during their short lived breakups (remember that time Christian and Ana were broken up for five days and during that time when she looked at Jose, Christian pulled her behind a building and kissed her while telling her “You. Are. Mine.” Yeah. Way to go Zoey for not being Ana/Eva/Abby. It’s sad that a character not being attracted to or manipulated by a guys jealousy can be seen as impressive.

    • Guest Reply

      The only problem with Zoey “realizing” that she can’t cheat on Heath since they’re not together is that she’s mad at him for “cheating” on her when according to her they were never together. She calls him her “ex” or “almost-boyfriend/ex-boyfriend” and yet is mad that he might have cheated on her at some party. Also when Kayla goes after him even though she’s not with him.

  5. Rachel Reply

    Since other people are throwing out suggestions, I wanted to put my two cents in before I forgot about this book! The reviews of it on Goodreads are scathing and hilarious, so I figure it’s probably a good bet for this blog. It’s called “September Girls” by Bennett Madison.

    • Madeline Reply

      So many bad books, so little time. September Girls makes Twilight look like a feminist manifesto.

  6. KayMia Reply

    I think the one thing that is very teenager-esque about the writing is the insane level of pointless detail. I was in a creative writing workshop in high school and a sophomore wrote a story about a super hot girl who was going to college (transparently the author herself) and for whatever reason it was critical to note that her “chunky, stylish, black heels” went “clunk, clunk, CLUNK” on the stairs (clearly this is seared in my memory; never did understand why the last sound was so much louder- did she fall?). The author didn’t like me very much after I suggested that the main character seemed a little superficial. Pretty sure we have seen an equally silly description of shoes with >1 adjective in this book. It all makes sense now. I’m off to acquire me an ornamental bush, y’all.

  7. Beatriz Reply

    I’m not trying to make any sense of this book, but I.completely lost what the refrigerator is

      • bookbaron Reply

        When she revealed herself as “the refrigerator”, I was like… wait, she was like “the refrigerator” like the refrigerator in a kitchen? So when she threw off her cloak I just imagine her standing there with a refrigerator in replace of a torso, looking all proud.

        Yeah. I was paying attention.

      • bookbaron Reply

        In my mind the refrigerator reveal was handled like this.

        I was there all along! And you just didn’t know it! I WAS THE REFRIGERATOR.

  8. Kristin Reply

    Wasn’t there another vampire series where the new vamp didn’t want blood because that would make him/her a monster? I know in Twilight, the Cullens were “vegetarian” because they only drank from wild animals *eyeroll* but I swear this blood thing has happened before.

    Anyway, now that Aphrodite is free of the spirits is she going to join the Vampire Field Hockey team and become nicer?

  9. future venusian Reply

    So…Aphrodite’s been possessed this whole time and all of a sudden the ghosts pop out and want to do…something…and Zoey uses her super Mary Sue skills to get rid of them. Does not compute.

    Also: “You hateful hag”. That’s 24 karat gold right there. Truly a magnificent example of the Casts’ deep understanding of the intricacies of teen speak. Just call her a bitchy ho and get it over with, Zoey.

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  12. Guest Reply

    I like how neither Zoey or her friends think it’s weird that Nyx gave Zoey all the powers just so she could get Aphrodite kicked out of the Dark Daughters. Their goddess apparently care about such trivial things as that instead of all the dying kids that don’t survive the change -_-‘

    Also, to clarify about the ghosts possessing Aphrodite. Zoey noticed DURING the ritual that Aphrodite was doing it wrong (because of her super special magical Indian grandmother @_@) and yet decided to say nothing. Then after Aphrodite’s “friends” abandoned her and so the spirits were free to leave the circle, Zoey’s friends popped out to tell her to do something. You all notice something wrong with this scene? NO ONE, including Neferet, does ANYTHING until after Aphrodite messes up and could no longer do anything about the ghosts. Then they all pop out and tell her that she must do something because the ghosts are evil. Since she obviously can’t, and didn’t even know that she was doing something wrong, Zoey must step in and save the day. Notice how easy it was for her to do so with little to no trouble and no fear of the ghosts possibly harming her or her friends.

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