The Book Still Refuses to Tell Us if Damien is Gay: Betrayed Chapter 4

Previously, Zoey had a creepy encounter with Loren the Vampyre Poet Laureate/visiting poetry professor. We’re not supposed to view this as creepy, though, because Loren is super hot, and apparently the Casts are totally down with this but not consensual blow jobs. [Matthew says: Apparently giving a blow job is “being used”, but statutory rape isn’t? I… I think Zoey should… maybe not think that?] Also, Aphrodite witnessed this go down and may or may not have identified it as inappropriate. It’s unclear based on the fact that she just smirks at Zoey afterwards.

Chapter 4

Zoey decides it’s best not to tell Stevie Rae about all this while the rest of their friends are around as she’s trying to process it on her own. Not because she feels it was wrong, but because omg does he totes like me? [Matthew says: I like how the Casts wrote this exact same arc in Book 1 and just… started it all over? Without even ending the first one? Like they really had no idea how to write a book without a will-they-won’t-they subplot.]

They would totally lose their minds when I told them what had happened. (Plus, had anything happened? I mean, the guy had just touched my face.)

BAD TOUCH. It is still a bad touch, Zoey, come on!

“What’s wrong with you?” Stevie Rae asked.
The attention that the four of them had been focusing on trying to figure out if there was a hair in Erin’s salad or if it was just one of those weird string things from a piece of celery shifted instantly to me.

Zoey’s problems are so dull that the Casts had to choose celery to compete with her attention and lose. Also given how little attention I assume you would need to pay to this situation does this mean they’ve now shifted almost no attention to Zoey? That would actually make a lot of sense and would be a brilliant literary move on the part of the Casts.

Because the Casts never miss an opportunity to show how incredible and special Zoey is, she lies and says she’s been thinking about an upcoming ritual. Another ritual, you say, I was just starting to worry I wouldn’t have future chapters to skim through.

Also because the Casts never miss an opportunity to heavily imply that Damien is gay, this happens:

“Oh, Zoey! You’re going to be an awesome High Priestess.” Damien was all misty-eyed and his voice cracked adorably. “I feel like I’m in the court of a great queen.”
“Or you could just be a great queen,” Shaunee said.
“Her Majesty Damien … hee hee,” Erin said, giggling.

whyareyoulaughing

The Casts are so adept at demonstrating Zoey’s amazingness and reminding us of Damien’s sexuality [Matthew says: Damien’s sexuality? WAIT, IS DAMIEN GAY?] that they’ve now been able to just smush them together into one lazy scene.

This continues to be a meeting about the future of the Dark Daughters and Sons, and oh my fucking god it just goes on for pages and pages of STUPID. I know you could say that about this entire series, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ I don’t care if you guys let one of Aphrodite’s friends onto your stupid council! And I don’t care if the new “Prefects” (because the Casts are trying to forcefully remind us at all time that this is Harry Potter but with vampyres) have plaques put up in their honor.

“Yeah,” said Shaunee, warming to the idea. “But not just a plaque. We need something cooler than just a plain old plaque.”
“Something that’s unique—like us,” Erin said.
“Handprints,” Damien said.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Our handprints are unique. What if we made cement casts of each of our handprints, then signed our names below them,” Damien said.

Fine, do whatever shitty thing you want, you guys, just stop telling us about it. Tell me more about what’s going on with Aphrodite.

“But that’s what I saw!” Aphrodite’s voice, carrying from the cracked door of Neferet’s classroom, jarred my thoughts and made me stop short. She sounded awful—totally upset and maybe even scared.
“If your sight is no better than that, then perhaps it’s time you quit sharing what you see with others.” Neferet’s voice was ice, terrifying, cold, and hard.

It’s funny, I wrote that line above about Aphrodite before I actually knew if she was going to appear in this chapter. Sure enough, here she is. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone in this book is just taking a dump on good old Aphrodite. [Matthew says: But on the flip side, no one ever takes a dump on Zoey and in turn she gives us poopie. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.]

Also, lest you think she’s exercising her civic duties and responsibly reporting what she witnessed in the library, it seems like she’s just telling Neferet about a vision, which Neferet refuses to believe. BECAUSE SHE IS OBVIOUSLY TOTES EVIL! [Matthew says: This actually really confused me, because why introduce (another) new thing? She already has a good reason to be talking to Neferet. Every time it looks like the Casts know how to string together a competent narrative, they forget what they were doing, and wonder if they’ve reminded us that Damien is gay recently.]

Zoey decides to spy a bit longer and continues to listen as Neferet is really, terrifyingly cruel to Aphrodite. [Matthew says: Which in Bad Books, Good Times-world also means “hilariously”.] But of course, Zoey has to go and make it all about herself no matter how idiotic and out of place it is.

When I was unconscious I’d had an out-of-body experience, which ended with me meeting Nyx. The Goddess told me that she had special plans for me, and then she kissed my forehead. When I woke up my Mark had been filled in. I had a powerful connection with the elements (although I didn’t realize that till much later), and I also had a weird new gut feeling that sometimes told me to say or do certain things—and sometimes told me very clearly to keep my mouth shut. Right now my gut feeling was telling me that Neferet’s anger was all wrong, even if it was in response to Aphrodite’s malicious gossip about me.

That actually is a great summary of the last book. Thanks for that, Casts? Also, seriously, Zoey, you still think this is about YOU and what happened in the library? It very clearly is not at this point.

Neferet basically tells Aphrodite that Nyx fucking hates her and that she needs to search her soul in order to realize that. Zoey decides maybe it’s time to stop eavesdropping. [Matthew says: Not that you’re expecting nuanced or realistic dialogue from the Casts by this point, but you seriously need to check out how heavy-handed this dialogue is:

Aphrodite sobbed. “Please don’t tell me that Nyx has rejected me!”
“I don’t have to tell you anything. Search within your soul. What is it telling you?” […]
“It’s – it’s telling me that I’ve – I’ve, uh, made m-mistakes, but not that the Goddess hates me.” […]
“Then you should look closer.”

Man, people just go ALL OUT in this book. “No, Aphrodite. God hates you.” How much more thorough could you get? That’s some really thrifty writing for two authors that needed eleven books to tell this story. If only they could just tell us if Damien is gay or not.]

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9 comments

  1. Madeline Reply

    This series has a tragic heroine in Aphrodite. God everyone just hates this poor girl for no damn reason. I like to think her smirk is just acknowledging Zoey’s dumb hypocrisy about slut-shaming a girl that gives blow jobs while being super inappropriate with a teacher. Zoey and the “Dark Daughters/Sons blah blah blah” sounds super boring.

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  2. AJ Reply

    Right now I like Aphrodite a hell of a lot more than I like anyone else in this dratted mess of a novel. Sure, she still hasn’t owned up to her nasty behavior from the previous book, but at least she’s being humynized here. But knowing the Casts, she’ll just keep getting shat on (ABBY GODDAMMIT STOP SHITTING ON PEOPLE’S HEADS), while perfect Zoey will bask in the glory she never deserved. Oh, and Damien’s sexual identity will be shoved in our faces every three sentences or so.

    A side note: who the fuck names xir child “Aphrodite”? Names like that aren’t just too difficult for us ‘MURRICANS to pronounce (kidding–sorta), but they practically scream OH HAI LOOKIT ME I’M SO SPECIAL AND UNIQUE. Considering how her parents are presumably not vampires–and there’s no way I’m spelling that word the way the Casts do–why would she have such a name? Unless her parents are huge on Greek mythology, it sounds more like Aphrodite gave herself that name or was given the name sometime after becoming a vampire.

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    • Dana Reply

      I think she actually chose her name after becoming a vampyre.

      …I sort of hate myself for remembering that.

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      • 22aer22 Post authorReply

        It’s funny, I actually know people with the names Aphrodite, Athena and Apollonia, but it’s definitely not too common.

        Aphrodite really has become my favorite character, which completely shocks me. But seriously Zoey and her moronic friends are a parody of themselves, and I can’t even believe that the Casts could possibly find them appealing to write. I don’t get it.

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  3. Bellomy Reply

    I have to admit, if my mentor told me that God hated me, knew it because she had a personal connection with Him, and that if I didn’t realize that it meant I should pray more, then I would be pretty fucking upset.

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  4. Kristin Reply

    How do I know that Zoey and Aphrodite are going to be friends at some point? Zoey is just too speshul not to be friends with everyone. And Aphrodite will either morph into a good person and her new BFF or will stab her in the back and Neferet will be all “Just kidding about Nyx hating you. We just said that so you would step up your game to take the Dark Daughters back…” I just realized why I stopped reading teen fiction after my teen years…I’m too old for this “poopie.”

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  5. E.H.Taylor Reply

    I still can’t get over the creepy teacher bit. How can you be a teacher and write that? How can you say the inspiration for the main character is your daughter and write something like that?
    I want to know why things like this are okay so long as the guy is hot.

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  6. Judy Reply

    I’m shocked that Damien could not come up with something more “fabulous” then handprints for the plaques. What is this preschool? Maybe they could make the handprints look like (Thanksgiving) turkeys too.

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