House of Night, Chosen: Chapter 9
Zoey’s crew, having just found out that Aphrodite has an affinity for earth, is Not Pleased with this revelation even though Aphrodite is the only character who is somewhat bearable to read.
“Oh, no damn way!” Shaunee shouted.
“Ditto, Twin! Only no fucking damn way!” Erin said.
Woah the twins are so alike except one threw some profanity in her statement! Character development. [Matthew says: Oh snap! It’s got a “fucking” AND a “damn” in it! This is one serious way!]
Zoey explains that Nyx definitely sent Aphrodite to them, and this was part of her plan. Even though there is supposed to be tension in this scene, we know that once Zoey informs everyone of the goddess’ plan, they’ll just believe her and reluctantly accept the situation. To prove Zoey’s point, Nyx apparently shows a “powerful thread of goddess-given light that bound the four of them together.” What more evidence do you need???? Checks out, Nyx.
Zoey doesn’t understand why Nyx would have chosen the most interesting character in a book filled with a bunch of fuckwits who can’t make it through even one conversation without commenting on the fact that one of their friends is gay (DO YOU REMEMBER WHO?) to be part of their circle. This doesn’t stop her from delivering one of her usual, uninspiring speeches to convince her friends of her truth. Again, the amount of tension here is akin to watching an episode of Blue’s Clues and wondering if
Blue Steve will find a clue at some point. [Matthew says: Uh, Ariel, Blue LEAVES the clues? Although I guess that wondering if Blue will find her own clues is actually pretty comparable to the tension here, now that I think about it.]
[Ariel says: Damn it! I thought I remembered the format of that show so clearly. Okay. Just went back and kept my blunder in under a strike-through. SEMI-COVERING SHIT UP!]
“I don’t pretend to understand Nyx. The Goddess’s ways are mysterious and sometimes she asks really hard things of us. This is one of those hard things. Like it or not, Nyx has made it clear that Aphrodite should take Stevie Rae’s place in our circle.” I looked at Aphrodite. “I don’t think she’s exactly thrilled about it.”
I continued. “But we have a choice. Nyx doesn’t force our will. We need to be in agreement about letting Aphrodite in, or—” I hesitated, not knowing how to finish. We’d tried to cast the circle with someone else, and Erik hadn’t been allowed to represent earth. Maybe it was just Erik the Goddess didn’t want standing in the circle, but I found that hard to believe. Not only was Erik a good guy and already a member of our Council, but my gut was telling me that the problem wasn’t that Nyx didn’t want Erik. The problem was that Nyx specifically wanted Aphrodite. I sighed and blundered on. “Or I guess we can start trying a bunch of different kids and seeing if any of them are allowed to manifest earth.” I looked outside the circle and met Erik’s shadowed eyes. “But I don’t think Erik’s the issue.”He smiled at me, but it was just a movement his mouth made; the smile didn’t reach his eyes or touch his face.
It is getting incredibly old that Zoey’s gut is the easy answer to everything. It makes an already dull scene arguably less interesting when you can’t even wonder if maybe part of the problem IS that it’s Erik rather than having Zoey’s gut swoop in and be like, “Nope. Nope. Erik is cool, it’s just part of Nyx’s plan.” Oh, okay, thanks Zoey’s Gut for removing any sense of intrigue whatsoever. Also, take note of the Erik stuff that just happened – I feel bad for him in this scene, but some stuff comes up with him later in this chapter that makes this worth noting.
I also find it hilarious that to make things more tolerable for her friends, Zoey pull the classic, “Aphrodite hates this as much as we do!” Which is appropriate because, again, these people are terrible.
Of course, the gang agrees to let Aphrodite become part of the circle. A crucial argument ensues over whether the twins can still call Aphrodite a hag. It’s a real nail-biter, but in the end, Zoey tells them they can’t, and says that Aphrodite has to be nice as well.
Zoey actually tells everyone to look deep down inside themselves and see what their conscious is telling them.
Aphrodite looked mockingly around like she was searching for something that might be hidden int he night. Then she shrugged. “Oops. Seems I don’t have a conscience.”
“Stop it!” I snapped, and the energy I’d evoked with the circle whipped between Aphrodite and me, snaking dangerously around her body. The power augmented my voice, making Aphrodite’s blue eyes widen in surprise and fear. “Not here. Not in this circle. You will not lie and pretend. Decide now. You have a choice, too. I know you’ve ignored Nyx before. You can choose to ignore her again. But if you choose to stay and do the Goddess’s will, you’re not going to do it with lies and hate.”
Zoey’s super, magical awesomeness just saves the day as usual. After this is settled, everyone starts to head off to go see 300, which has apparently become a legitimate plot point in the story. [Matthew says: There’s also a bit where Aphrodite tells them to “get back to your Dungeons and Dragons or whatever”, which gets some “Hey, we don’t play Dungeons and Dragons!” complaints from the group before they decide to all go to IHOP, which will certainly defend their ranking on the totally-cool-and-not-lame teenager spectrum in comparison.] Zoey tells her friends to go on ahead because she needs to talk to Aphrodite. This is where the interesting bit with Erik happens:
“They need to talk, so let’s go,” Erik said.
I didn’t like how he sounded—almost like he didn’t care—but before I could say anything else he was walking away. Crap. I was definitely going to have some making-up to do with him.
“Erik likes things his way. He also likes a girlfriend who puts him first. Guess you’re just finding that out,” Aphrodite said.
It came up in the comments previously that Erik winds up being kind of terrible later on, and it does seem like the Casts are doing an okay job at setting this up. Dude’s got every right to be annoyed when Zoey is hooking up with Heath or Loren, but to be annoyed with Zoey for staying behind to talk to Aphrodite or bitter that he’s not part of the ritual actually makes him look like a dick in a realistic way. I think there are a lot of people that get pissy in situations like these, so very minor applause to the Casts for this.
After some banter between Zoey and Aphrodite, Aphrodite reveals that she knows Stevie Rae is undead because she’s been having visions. A big part of the vision of is Neferet dragging Stevie Rae into the light and killing her. I’m not sure if I’m paraphrasing poorly or incredibly well, but it doesn’t matter because you know Zoey will repeat all of this to us 60 times.
There’s also a really nice moment in the middle of all of this where Zoey makes Aphrodite laugh and says that when she laughs it makes her look “warm and beautiful.” So shipping these two! [Matthew says: You’d think their friends would have a hard time processing their beloved Zoey and their hated Aphrodite as a couple, but they’d have a way harder time comprehending that they have another gay friend in their group to constantly comment on.]
This by far, though, was my favourite part of the whole conversation (even more than Zoey’s love for Aphrodite!):
“That’s what she is, isn’t it. She’s turned into some kind of horrible vampyre cliché, the monster humans have been calling us for centuries.”
“Not all humans. You know, you really need to get over your completely crappy attitude abouthumans. You used to be one,” I said.
HOLY SHIT. The CASTS were actually probably responsible for #NotAllMen!!!!!! NOT ALL HUMANS BEGAN IT ALL!!
“Whatever. I used to be in love with Sean William Scott, too. Talk about old news.” She flipped her hair back. “Anyway, I saw Stevie Rae when she died. Again. This time for real. And I knew if the vision was allowed to come true that it would somehow mean all of the vamp deaths I saw would really happen. So we have to figure out a way to save Stevie Rae because Nyx is seriously not happy about a bunch of vamps being killed.”
…I…Why Sean William Scott? I get that maybe there were a few people in love with him in 1999 when American Pie came out, but Aphrodite would have been like 7 or 8 when that came out. Nothing about this adds up.
By the way did anyone else think the way Erin used the word ‘ditto’ at the start of the chapter was weird? I always thought ditto was used in place of “same,” which makes no sense in this context. Like if Shaunee had said, “I can’t believe this!” Ditto would have been an appropriate word. If someone was like, “Pizza is awesome!” I wouldn’t respond with “Ditto.” Am I wrong? Please share your thoughts on this.