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.
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.
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.]
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.]