Zoey sort of told her friends about the teen zombie ghosts. Huge emphasis on sort of. She leaves out the part about how they might be less ghost and more zombie because she doesn’t want to also have to tell them that Neferet is involved in all of this, and she caught zombie!Elliot drinking Neferet’s blood. [Matthew says: And because the Casts don’t want to move the plot along too quickly. Ten books to go!]
We last see Stevie Rae looking mysteriously pale and feeling sick and probz about to become a teenage zombie ghost herself. I hear it’s way less fun than being a teenage witch.
Funnily enough, some of you have started pointing out how these vampyre teens read a lot more like witches. I mean, think about it, there’s even the whole affinity for cats bullshit.
Zoey picks up a vampyre sociology book to have a little look into the bloodlust she’s been experiencing. [Matthew says: And to finally provide an answer to, “How could this book be even more boring?”]
By the time a fledgling is well advanced in the Change process, she can detect the scent of blood from a distance. Because of changes in metabolism, drugs and alcohol have increasingly less effect on fledglings, and as this effect dissipates, they will find that the effects of drinking blood correspondingly increase.
I wonder what the Casts’ stance is on drinking blood if the side effects are similar to that of drinking or drug use, both of which we know our beloved authors simply abhor.
The next section of the book is called “SEXUALITY AND BLOODLUST”, and it reveals how drinking blood is a pleasurable experience for vampyres, so much so that sometimes it can lead to orgasms. [Matthew says: Can House of Night decide if it’s pro- or anti-sex already? I did not get a BA in English to get confused reading a young adult vampire book.] This is the perfect time for Zoey to slut shame herself:
I blinked and rubbed a hand across my face. Well, hell! No wonder I’d had such a slutty reaction to Heath. Being turned on while I drank blood was programmed into my Changing genes. Fascinated, I kept reading.
My feelings right now may be even more complicated than Zoey’s. I want her to stop constantly changing her mind about her three love interests. I want her to stop having a creepy flirtation with Loren. But I also didn’t like her when she was a slut shaming asshole either. I don’t want her to slut shame herself, but I do want her to realize she’s being a fucking dick. Sigh. [Matthew says: Zoey was shaming all the sluts, but the real slut was inside her the whole time :'( And now you understand the gender politics in the bestselling House of Night series!]
It also really sucks that the Casts are trying to write off Zoey and Heath’s hookup as biology, because you could make that same fucking argument for ALL hookups ever. “Oh gee, my boner is because of my changing hormones! No wonder I’d had such a slutty reaction to that woman’s boobs.” ~ Every straight male ever.
The gist of Zoey’s very scientific reading is that the older the vampyre, the more “endorphins are released” while the vampyre sucks the human’s blood, and both experience intense sexual pleasure. This is apparently why vampyres have been vilified…because humans are scared of how sexy this is.
Humans feel threatened by our ability to bring them such intense pleasure during an act they consider dangerous and abhorrent, so they have labeled us as predators. The truth, of course, is that vampyres can control their bloodlust, so there is little physical danger to human donors.
[Matthew says: Remember how last week I talked about how the Casts are drawing attention to what untalented writers they are by having Loren Blake – the greatest living vampyre poet – only write in haiku? They’re doing something very similar here. This is supposed to be Zoey’s textbook, and look how fucking subjective and even catty the writing in it is! This would be like reading a book on, say, the Cold War, and reading, “The truth, of course, is that capitalism is better than communism, so it really wasn’t even all that complicated of an issue.”]
The danger lies in the Imprint that often occurs during the ritual of blood drinking.
Apparently, there is no way to truly predict when or why an Imprint will occur despite the amount of what I’m sure are incredibly rigorous studies conducted in this area. One of the factors which may determine if an Imprint occurs is sexual orientation. No explanation as to why the fuck this would matter is given, it’s just thrown in there willy-nilly. I was shocked the Casts didn’t add some sort of footnote being like, “This means that perhaps Damien could Imprint on a human very quickly because as you may or may not know he is totally gay!!!”
There the text went off on a tangent about how Bram Stoker had actually been Imprinted by a vamp High Priestess, but that he had not understood her commitment to Nyx had to come before their tie, and in a fit of jealous anger had betrayed her by exaggerating the negative aspects of an Imprint in his infamous book, Dracula.
“Huh. I had no idea,” I said. Ironically, Dracula had been one of my favorite books since I read it when I was thirteen. I skimmed through the rest of the section until I came to a part that had me chewing my lip as I slowly read it.
Omg you guys, Zoey used to love a book about a vampyre, and now she is one. It’s soo weird because when I was a kid I used to love shows about teenagers and then one day I became one!! Irony lololol. [Matthew says: Also, this isn’t irony. Zoey liking Dracula as a human and then later reading about Dracula in her Vampyre textbook as a vampyre isn’t incongruity; it’s coincidence. Once again, good job with using words, Casts.]
To summarize more needlessly complex and drawn out and convoluted “scientific” points:
1. Fledglings aren’t allowed to feed from human because they run the risk of Imprinting. Nice going, Zoey.
2. Fledglings are encouraged to experiment with other fledglings (the Cast’s words) because they can’t Imprint on each other.
3. Adult vampyres can Imprint on fledglings which causes complications when the fledglings become adult vampyres. My brain hurts. [Matthew says: Not problems like, say, pedophilia. But vampyre problems.]
4. Zoey realizes Neferet may be Imprinting on teen zombie ghosts like Elliot. Gasp.
5. It’s really hard to break an Imprint bond and you need a high priestess and it’s super painful and then you have to stay away from each other or the bond might re-form. [Matthew wryly observes: Just like breakups in real life! My god, what a great metaphor!] You also need to sacrifice 300 goats, you need to see a production of The Nutcracker, and watch Lost from start to finish, which is what causes a lot of emotional pain. [Matthew says: You know, after the ninth season of How I Met Your Mother, I bet I’d think the sixth season of Lost was pretty good.]
Erik would be getting back later that day. The thought gave me equal pangs of pleasure and of guilt, which, of course, made me think of Heath.
I’d probably Imprinted him. The thought scared me, but it also drew me. Would it be so awful to be emotionally and physically tied to a sober Heath? Before I’d met Erik (or Loren) my answer would most definitely have been no, it wouldn’t be awful.
WHAT?!?!!? Before any of this happened, Zoey wasn’t into Heath at all. She was very very clear about this. You mother fucking revisionist, Zoey.
Zoey’s dilemma seems to boil down to the fact that she doesn’t know if she could give up Erik or Heath [Matthew says: Unlike the entire first book, where she could.], but she knows she can’t date them both. She fails to mention that she forgot about Erik completely after reading Loren’s shitty haikus and showing him her bra strap. [Matthew says: She even narrates “I was really starting to care about Erik”, because we would have no idea otherwise.]
And then something happens which I don’t understand at all:
And suddenly it was as if a part of my mind lifted, like a string thrown out of a big ball of yarn. I could feel that piece of me searching … hunting … tracking … until it burst into a dark room and hovered above a bed. I sucked in my breath. Heath!
She starts talking to Heath, and I don’t understand if she’s fantasizing about talking to him, or if she’s connecting with him telepathically? The fuck is happening? Maaaaattt, I need you. Matt, help!! Tell me what’s going on. [Matthew says: YO I GOT THIS.
As you might have imagined, the answer is VAMPYRES. Zoey is using her vampyre magic to “reach out” to Heath semi-telepathically and see where he is, what he’s doing, and make him think about her, and come to her. Or just “make him think about her, and come” as the case may be.]
“Zoey!” This time Heath’s eyes were fluttering open. He moaned again and his hand moved down to the hard lump in his pants and he began to-
Heath starts moaning Zoey’s name and rubbing himself, and that’s when Zoey’s eyes snap open and she’s back in her room. I like how Heath’s erection has become a character of its own, eternally being rubbed through his pants. That’s the only way the Casts approve of masturbation.
I wanted Heath.
I needed Erik.
I was intrigued by Loren.
I had no damn idea what I was going to do about the mess that my life had become.
Needed Erik? Matt, I need you to explain this too me too. [Matthew says: I’m not a miracle worker.]
Zoey falls asleep thinking about how crazy her life has become/summarizing the “plot”.