It’s my girlfriend’s birthday today, but she’s in South Korea teaching English abroad, so I’m going to go see the new Captain America movie today to celebrate. It’s what she would have wanted. [Ariel says: I can’t imagine anything more romantic except bashing someone’s head into a car to defend her honor or getting pissed off at anyone who throws a snowball near her head or buying her a plot puppy.]
The Casts fulfill their author-ly duties of describing a new setting by having Zoey say start by saying the “dining hall wasn’t a cafeteria.” Thanks, Zoey. My imagination was lacking there. Neferet leads Zoey out to the balcony and “a server magically appeared”, because apparently Bad Books, Good Times authors really struggle with understanding how hired help move around.
Zoey awkwardly reminds herself that Neferet is kind and a great mentor, despite the fact that she overheard her being so mean to Aphrodite, which is totally not foreshadowing that Neferet is evil or anything. Zoey tells herself what she wants to hear:
Aphrodite was a selfish bully who deserved to be in trouble. Hell! She’d probably been gossiping about me.
Neferet asks Zoey if she’s doing okay with the news that Chris Ford has disappeared. Zoey explains that she didn’t know him that well, but she just has an uneasy feeling about it. Neferet explains that that makes sense because vampyres “have a gift for precognition or clairvoyance” whereas humans “have been frightened out of doing [this]”. Cool story, Neferet. Please continue not doing anything remotely related to the plot in this chapter. [Ariel says: So that’s why all none of Zoey’s friends suspect Neferet of being evil or had an inkling that Chris was dead and not off exploring his sexuality.]
Neferet expresses surprise that Zoey didn’t come to her after she did her research on the Dark Daughters, and Zoey tells her that she went by but overheard Neferet’s talk with Aphrodite.
Neferet sighed again and sipped her wine. “I would not normally talk about one fledging to another, [Sic. Yes, “fledging” is a typo in the actual book. House of Night has typos in its own goddamn terminology.] but this is a unique case.”
Yes, we know. Zoey is special.
“You know that Aphrodite’s Goddess-given affinity was to be able to foresee disastrous events?”
This seems like a good time to remind everyone that Neferet’s Goddess-given affinity is strong intuitiveness towards cats. No wonder Neferet goes evil.
I nodded, noting the past tense she used when she mentioned Aphrodite’s ability.
I get that the people reading House of Night aren’t really the most discerning readers, but it feels like the book is really holding our hand through this one. If only it could also clearly spell out whether Damian is gay or not. [Ariel says: I’ve given up on that. Apparently, they’re not ballsy enough to go beyond a heavy implication.]
“it seems that Aphrodite’s behavior has caused Nyx to withdraw her gift.”
Man, it must be terrible for Aphrodite to not be ceaselessly bombarded with visions of people dying anymore. In a more competently written book, I’d wonder how much of the truth Neferet is telling, but Zoey and Neferet basically just agree that it sucks for Aphrodite and move on to important matters: Zoey’s plans for reorganizing the Dark Daughters! Zoey explains her idea for a Prefect Council representing the entire student body, which – in a great example of how Zoey is mature beyond her years – conveniently has all of her friends on it.
“I agree with you that you and your four friends have more than proven your worth and are already an excellent working Council.”
Really? Even the Twins? [Ariel says: She was just impressed by the way they hid behind those plants at the museum in the last book, I guess. Or maybe their views on race and equality impressed her.]
“Yes. The Council wants to nominate Erik Night for the first of the two open positions.”
Neferet nodded her head. “Erik is a wise choice.”
Eager to demonstrate that she isn’t all about nepotism – just 5/6 of a council worth of nepotism – Zoey’s other nomination is for one of Aphrodite’s inner circle, with her logic being that it would demonstrate that she’s not starting a silly clique war, and because fuck all the other kids at this school. Neferet is hesitant about this plan, arguing that Aphrodite doesn’t even have friends anymore
So they discuss the idea further.
“Announce that there is one spot left on your Council, and that it must be filled by a sixth former. You and I will look over the applications and decide who is the best fit.”
I frowned. “But I don’t want it to just be our choice. I want the faculty to vote, as well as the student body.”
“They will,” she said smoothly. “Then we will decide.”
Come on, Zoey. You were all about nepotism one page ago. All four of your friends are on this six person council. You couldn’t even pare it down between the Twins, and they’re the exact same character.
Zoey says that another part of her plan is to have the Dark Daughters get involved in community work, and Neferet immediately disagrees with involvement with the human community. Although any other high schooler would be thrilled by their principal discouraging community service, Zoey counter-argues that the people of Tulsa only don’t welcome the vampyre community because they don’t know the vampyre community. [Ariel says: But apparently they have no qualms buying all their music and movies.]
“You think they will welcome your help? They shun us. They abhor us. They are afraid of us.”
“Maybe that’s because they don’t know us,” I said.
Tell that to the gay kids and athletes and people who don’t use product in their hair that you’ve been stereotyping and judging without knowing them, Zoey.