Previously, Zoey telepathically links with Heath to find out where he is post-kidnapping. He reveals that he’s being held by the group of zombie ghosts, which, shock of all shocks, includes Stevie Rae.
Also, Erik Night isn’t too thrilled about Zoey and Heath, but then again I can’t imagine that fans of this book would even be excited about Zoey/Heath.
Zoey starts to plan out how she’s going to save Heath. This means we have to learn about the freight train business for some reason:
The old downtown depot was six or seven miles away in a dark, unused part of town under a big, scary bridge that linked one part of the city to the other. It used to be majorly busy, with freight and passenger trains coming and going almost nonstop. But in the past couple decades all of the passenger traffic had stopped (I knew because my grandma had wanted to take me on a train trip for my thirteenth birthday, and we’d had to drive to Oklahoma City to catch the train there) and the freight train business had definitely dwindled.
This is all too vague. I need more backstory if I’m going to invest in this part of the plot, damn it. Can you give me a bit more information on the subject like why the business dwindled, Zo? How many people lost their jobs? What was the effect on the local economy?
Zoey realizes that she’s not going to be able to drive because the roads are too slow, [Matthew says: If only there were a faster transportation option available, like a train. Maybe Zoey should look into that.] and her “feelings” are telling her that walking won’t be fast enough.
By the way, while all this is going on, Zoey is at the stables petting a horse. I was wondering why this was happening until Aphrodite chooses this moment to show up and say, “Take the horse.”
So Zoey is going to go on fucking horseback to save Heath. What. The. Fuck? [Matthew says: Which is amazingly not quite as “what the fuck” as Zoey not figuring out that she is currently touching a faster means of transportation.]
Aphrodite knows this is the only way because she had a vision about it. Of course.
“And if you don’t get on that horse and get your ass to wherever he is, Heath is going to die.” She paused, meeting my eyes. “That is, unless you don’t believe me.”
This would be the best prank ever. Come on, Aphrodite, don’t let me down!
“Call your friends first,” Aphrodite said.
“You can’t beat those things on your own.”
“But how are they going to go with me?” My stomach hurt, I was so scared my hands were shaking, and I was having trouble understanding what the hell Aphrodite was saying.
“They can’t go with you, but they can still help you.”
Oh, come on, this has to be a prank. We’re seriously supposed to believe that the twins are going to be useful to Zoey somehow?
Zoey calls Shaunee to issue her orders, which are as self-centered as you’d expect coming from Zoey.
“Just be together, manifest your elements, and think about me.” I was getting really good at sounding calm even when I thought my head might explode.
This was shortly followed by, “No wait, scratch that. Just sit together and think about me. Talk about me if you like…be sure to mention how I have an affinity for all the elements while you guys only have an affinity for one.”
Aphrodite tells Zoey that she had visions about the zombie ghosts kidnapping the other boys, but that’s when Neferet started accusing her of making up her visions. You guys, you don’t…you don’t think Neferet is evil or something do you?
Anyway, I’ve also just realized that I’m shipping Aphrodite/Zoey. I don’t think Zoey is good enough for Aphrodite, but I do think Aphrodite would put Zoey in her place a lot and could potentially make her more likeable. Exhibit A:
“Sorry,” I said shortly. “I didn’t know.” [That she had told Neferet about the visions.]
“Whatever,” she said. “You need to get out of here or your boyfriend is going to die.”
“Ex-boyfriend,” I said. [Matthew says: This is clearly the most important point of clarification to make right now.]
“Again I say whatever. [Matthew says: Aphrodite is like the audience surrogate for the portion of the audience that doesn’t actually want to read this book.] Here, I’ll give you a leg up.”
I let her hoist me into the saddle.
I’m going to root for this now for however long we read this books, and will get aggressively pissed off when I don’t get what I want like any self-respecting fan girl!
She did look up at me then and her expression was flat and unreadable. “Don’t start acting like we’re friends or anything,” she said.
“Wouldn’t think of it,” I said.
“I mean, we’re not friends.”
“Nope, definitely not.” I was pretty sure I saw her trying not to smile.
I’ve been watching too much Orange is the New Black.
“As long as we have that straight,” Aphrodite said.
Yeah, straight. Let’s go with that, Aphrodite. [Matthew says: Fucking thanks, Ariel. Now people are going to demand we keep reading these books to see if Aphrodite and Zoey ever make out.]
“Oh,” she added. “Remember to pull silence and darkness around yourself so humans will have a hard time seeing you on the way there. You don’t have time to be stopped.”
Okay forget fangirl shipping – the fuck is this? I would 100% believe that this was explained before but my eyes glazed over, but I really don’t understand what “pull silence and darkness around yourself” means. These aren’t any of the elements you can have an affinity for!!! [Matthew says: It’s another thing made up right on the spot as soon as it was convenient for the plot! How hard could it have been to work this detail into the story any earlier? All that scene would require would be walking around at night. I’m pretty sure that’s happened in this vampire book once or twice.]
Because nothing is ever hard for Zoey ever, she calls upon the elements to guide her and her horse (Persephone). Nyx, who has nothing better to do, immediately helps guide Zoey. Now is the perfect time for Zoey to fall deep into her nonsensical thoughts.
With the blanket streaming out behind us I imagined that I looked like the heroine in an old historical romance novel, and wished I was galloping to a naughty keg party with someone my kingly father had decided was inappropriate instead of heading into hell.
Please raise your hand in the form of a comment if you have ever read “an old historical romance novel” where the character rode a horse to a keg party. A keg party with someone her “kingly father” disapproved of. I’ve just tried to Google this to see if I was just unaware that this was an historical term, but I can’t find anything on it, which means I highly doubt that Zoey would be aware of this even if it is a legitimate term. [Matthew says: I’m also pretty sure that she’s technically mixing up “romance” with “harlequin”, which would explain a lot the other decisions Zoey has made about her love life.]
[Matthew says: ALSO, you gotta love that “I imagined I looked like an explicit description of the imagery I’m going for here”. What if OTHER stories were written this way?
- Dorian Grey looked at the decrepit picture, and imagined it to be a metaphor for his soul.
- Luke looked over the desert at the two setting suns, and imagined himself to be not terribly unlike a hero in an old Western, gazing contemplatively into the sunset towards his unfathomable destiny.
- What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be an imagined protector against the loss of innocence and all.]
Zoey arrives at the Scary Tunnel, but her description isn’t so much scary as it is hilariously redundant:
I could clearly see that homeless people must have been using the room. Actually, there was a lot of stuff left from them: big boxes, dirty blankets, even a shopping cart (Who knows how they managed to get that down there?). But, weirdly, not one homeless person was present. It was like a homeless ghost town
I love love love that we need to clarify what kind of ghost town it was, as though we wouldn’t experience the full visual effect without the specification. It wasn’t a ghost town of people with homes, no no, only a homeless ghost town.
Zoey takes the homeless ghost town as a sign that there must be zombie ghosts down there as nothing else could have possibly kept them away. I think it’s pretty clear that the zombie ghosts, Neferet, and the homeless people are all in cahoots. [Matthew says: With the railroad company. Everything’s coming together.]
Zoey hears Heath scream, and she goes into ass-kicking, ghost-stopping action.
I ran forward toward Heath’s scream. Okay, I probably should explain that vampyres are stronger and faster than humans, and even though I’m still just a fledgling, I’m a very weird fledgling. So when I say I ran—I mean I seriously moved fast—fast and silent. I found them in what must have been seconds, but felt like hours.
SO WHY THE FUCKITY FUCK DID SHE NEED TO RIDE THE HORSE THERE???? Fine, you can’t drive there. Fine, walking is too slow. But it damn well sounds like she has super speed, which she failed to mention when contemplating ways to get from here to there (which interestingly enough is one of my favorite Scategories rounds! Sorry, this aside was very Zoey of me.)
Zoey confronts the zombie ghosts, and she uses the element of fire to defend herself from Elliot.
I looked at the speaker. “Elliott!”
“I wasss. I’m not the Elliott you knew anymore.” Snakelike his head wove back and forth as he spoke. Then his glowing eyes flattened and he curled his lip. “I’ll ssshow you what I mean …”
He started to move toward me with a feral, crouching stride. The other creatures stirred, gaining bravery from him.
Wait why does Elliot suddenly have a lisp/snake-like features? Wait…you know who else had snake-like features…
[Matthew says: Also, suddenly Zoey has magic fireball powers.]
“Come to me, flame!” My palms started to feel hot. I opened my eyes and raised my hands, which were now glowing with a brilliant yellow flame.
“Stay back, Elliott! You were a pain in the ass when you were alive, and death hasn’t changed anything.” Elliott cringed back from the light I was producing. I took a step forward, ready to tell Heath to follow me so we could get the hell outta there, but her voice made me freeze.
Stevie Rae shows up and the chapter comes to a dramatic conclusion!
My question is clearly who else is going to ship Aphrodite/Zoey with me!! I know Zoey isn’t good enough for our beloved Aphro, but I think this would vastly improve the series.
Bonus question – who else fucking loves Orange is the New Black?