Today is the last chapter of the third House of Night book, Chosen! Spoiler: nobody appears to actually make any sort of significant choice whatsoever.
House of Night, Chosen: Chapter 27
After Zoey casts
yet another motherf a circle that seems to have restored Stevie Rae back to an ambiguously new form of life, the gang realizes Aphrodite isn’t dead. Despite their best efforts.
“You were dead!” Erin said.
“I don’t think I was,” Aphrodite said, rubbing her forehead
I love how this sort of reads like they had just hopefully taken Aphrodite’s death as a foregone conclusion, like she had left the room for five minutes and they took her seat and were like, “Whaaaaaaat I thought you left!”
Things get much worse for Aphrodite, however.
I got my first good look at her. My stomach dropped down somewhere around my ankles.
“It’s gone!” I gasped.
“Oh shit! Zoey’s right,” Damien said, staring at Aphrodite.
“What?” Aphrodite said. “What’s gone?”
Just in case it wasn’t super obvious what’s going on already, we have to meet this chapter’s quota of Zoey’s friends confirming that Zoey is right about something, and also behaving like Real Human People.
“Ah-oh,” Shaunee said.
“Yep, it is gone,” Erin said
Seriously though. The characters in House of Night behave so unrealistically and mechanically, even the Casts secretly suspect they’re robots.
“Here’s a news flash: Not even I can look perfect all the time, especially when—” As soon as she focused on the mirror and got a look at the reflection of her face, Aphrodite’s words ended like someone had pushed her STOP TALKING button.
Man, I’d have loved to be in the Casts’ writing room for that one.
Cast #1: OH GOD OH GOD We need figurative language for someone to suddenly stop talking.
Cast #2: What if she has… like… a stop talking button…
Cast #1: CRISIS AVERTED
It might sound strange, but we have a lot of story to get through this chapter. And yet I cannot resist the siren’s call…
- And in that moment, I swear that someone had pressed our BE INFINITE button.
- You wanna fly, you got to press the GIVE UP THE SHIT THAT WEIGHS YOU DOWN button.
- As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found someone had pushed his TRANSFORM INTO A GIGANTIC INSECT button.
Okay. Let’s get the obvious reveal out of the way already:
With a trembling hand she reached up to touch the spot in the middle of her forehead where Nyx’s Mark had been. “It’s gone.” Her voice was a hoarse whisper. “How can it be gone?”
Everyone assures her, yes, this is very strange and unheard of. Aphrodite – in a character moment perfectly representative of the depths of the human experience available to not-Zoey characters in the House of Night series – runs away in tears.
“It’s how Stevie Rae was healed.” Aphrodite sounded dazes […] “I have to leave. I don’t belong here anymore.” […]
“Wait, Aphrodite,” I said, starting after here. […]
“No! My Mark is gone. I know it. Just-just leave me alone!” She ran through the door sobbing.
Aphrodite runs through the trapdoor, setting off Neferet’s alarms. Stevie Rae decides that she’ll go off after Aphrodite, but when she goes off under the walls, Zoey notices that an alarm is not set off. I hate to say it, but Stevie Rae might be my new favorite character, because 1) she has the only mildly interesting thing happening to her now with this un-undead thing going on, and 2) she just came back to life and immediately decided to peace from the plot anyway.
The gang quickly decides to lie about what they’re doing outside to hide Stevie Rae’s existence. Damien and the twins decide that they found Zoey here after Erik dumped her, and Aphrodite set off the alarm because… Zoey annoyed her? That’s seriously the story they come up with. I can’t knock it, though, because seeing all of Zoey’s friends throwing shade at Zoey right now 100% makes reading three House of Night books worth it.
“We’ll just say [Aphrodite] came out here with us and got annoyed at all of Zoey’s blubbering.”
“And self-pity,” Erin added.
Not-yet-a-major-character Darius and the rest of the warriors appear and quickly take everyone back to the school for an assembly called by Neferet. Then Zoey experiences more anguish, because this chapter is like anti-fan service.
Pain seared from my stomach to my heart. Was I dying? I wasn’t coughing up blood.
Zoey’s episode of intense pain suddenly stops, leaving Darius confused and concerned. Zoey continues House of Night‘s proud tradition of coming up with impossibly shitty cover-up stories.
I lifted my chin and swallowed every last bit of my pride. “I have gas. A lot of it. Ask my friends.”
Zoey quickly realizes that she didn’t really set up quite the “and then my friends rally to my side” that she was hoping for. Unfortunately, not even Zoey’s friends shittalking Zoey can make House of Night readable.
“Yep, she’s one gassy girl,” Shaunee said.
“Miss Smelly, that’s what we call her,” Erin said.
“She really is extraordinarily flatulent,” Damien added.
Once again, I can’t remember if these characters are seventeen or seven.
They get to the auditorium, Zoey’s friends ignore her, and then Neferet takes the stage to talk about the tense relationship between humans and vampyres, and how “if they murder just one more of our sisters or brothers, I will declare a state of war against them”. Naturally, not more than one paragraph later:
The doors to the auditorium were flung open as Darius and two other warriors rushed into the room […] Neferet stepped away from the microphone and leaned down so that he could whisper to her the news. […] Slowly she returned to the microphone and in a voice like death she said, “The body of Loren Blake, our beloved Vampyre Poet Laureate, has just been found nailed to our front gate.”
I like how literally every time Loren Blake is mentioned, it’s also mentioned that he’s the poet laureate. Sorry, is the vampyre poet laureate. Sorry, was.
Given the insanely (in)convenient timing of all this, Neferet declares war. Damien also realizes that Loren and Zoey must have Imprinted, and Zoey’s pain must have been Loren’s death. Neferet further details that “it will not be an outright war, but it will be deadly”, which probably means the next book will also not actually progress the narrative.
Seriously, nothing fucking happened in Chosen. Zoey leaves the ceremony, feeling uneasy about everyone’s enthusiastic cheers for the upcoming war against humans, and Neferet secretly confronts her, which is the same damn situation these two were in at the end of the last book. Zoey tells Nefret she knows she’s evil, Neferet insists she’s going to win, Zoey insists she’s going to win because the goddess is on her side (which, I dunno, should be a fairly convincing argument…). But seriously:
“They’ll all think you’re not crying because you’re brave and strong,” I said. “But I know you’re not crying because you don’t have a heart.” […]
“Here I am, a powerful High Priestess, and here you are, a silly, stupid fledgling” […]
I shook my head […] “You caused all of this. You know it. I know it. And, more importantly, Nyx knows it.”
WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE LAST HOUSE OF NIGHT BOOK:
I heard her whisper into my ear, “If you speak against me I will make sure no human or fledgling or vampyre will believe you.” […]
“Humans and fledglings and vampyres don’t need to believe me about you because Nyx does. This is not over between us.”
Why have we made no progress? In terms of advancing the narrative, nothing happened in this book. Hell, the only important thing that did happen was Zoey and Aphrodite reviving Stevie Rae, and that’s a bit less impressive when you realize that’s essentially just undoing the events of the last book.
Neferet laughed. “You’ve used the Goddess’s name before to threaten me”
Why, yes. Yes, she has.
Now, by this point, maybe even the Casts realized, shit, book 3 has the exact same ending as book 2 and it’s gonna be pretty obvious nothing new happened during the rest of the book either unless SOMETHING HAPPENS FAST. And, oh, something does happen.
I told you
this book’s climax
was Zoey pushing Neferet
I straightened my spine. Focusing on the five elements, I raised my hands, palms out, and without touching Neferet, I shoved. The High Priestess was thrown backward, stumbled, lost her footing, and fell smack on her butt.
The climax of this book is the same as the last book, except Zoey pushes Neferet and she falls on her butt. Sure, she uses her mind powers to do so, but the book is way more fixated on the butt part.
I cuddled [my cat, Nala]. “Some day you’re gonna jump too soon and fall right on your butt.” I smiled, remembering. “Kinda like Neferet fell right on her butt.”
Let us never forget.
Anyway, I skipped ahead to get to the bit with Zoey and her cat (because lol wtf), so let’s backtrack. In the immediate aftermath of Zoey pushing Neferet (which I feel the need to emphasize is this book’s actual goddamned climax, because seriously):
- Zoey and Neferet whisper more heated words at each other
- Zoey discovers that, of all people, Erik saw the exchange! In shock from what he witnessed, Erik admits maybe he doesn’t know about everything that’s going on. But that it doesn’t change “what you did”. Which, yeah.
And that would seemingly suffice, as this is not a very complicated story, but… but then there is a massive summary. I’m not even going to pick it apart. I can’t. I’m just copy/pasting this massive infodump because you guys have to see that this shit is seriously in the book:
my thoughts easily organized themselves into two neat little columns.
On the positive side: One, my best friend was no longer an undead-dead blood-crazed monster. Of course, I wasn’t really sure what she was, or, for that matter, where she was. Two, I no longer had three boyfriends to juggle. Three, I wasn’t Imprinted with anyone, which was also a good thing. Four, Aphrodite wasn’t dead. Five, I’d told my friends a whole bunch of stuff I’d wanted to tell them for a long time. Six, I wasn’t a virgin anymore.
On the negative side: One, I wasn’t a virgin anymore. Two, I no longer had a boyfriend. Not one. Three, I may have somehow caused the Vampyre Poet Laureate’s death, and if I hadn’t caused it someone in my family might have. Four, Aphrodite was a human, and clearly totally freaking out. Five, Most of my friends were pissed at me and didn’t trust me. Six, I wasn’t done lying to them because I still couldn’t let them know the truth about Neferet. Seven, I was smack in the middle of a war between vampyres (which I was not one of yet) and humans (which I was no longer one of). And, for the grand prize winner, eight, The most powerful vamp High Priestess of our time was my sworn enemy.
Speaking of neatly organized thoughts:
- Seriously, why?
- Why is the Wikipedia summary of this book at the end of this book?
- If I knew there was a two-page summary of the book at the end of the book, I wouldn’t have read the rest of the book!
- Is this here because the Casts thought that people would actually get to the end of this book and need it explained to them? Like, that it was too hard to follow?
- Are the rest of the books going to be like this too? Can I read this whole series by just reading two pages of the last chapter of every book?
And without further ado, it is time to see how the Casts wrap up another wonderful adventure with Zoey Redbird:
Nala sneezed directly in my face
Off to a good start so far.
As usual, Nala summed up my life perfectly: kinda funny, kinda gross, and more than kinda messy.
Also “kinda unclear how anyone can tolerate it”.
And that’s it for Chosen!
We’re not sick of House of Night yet, so we’re planning on reading the fourth book next, the name of which I can’t be bothered to google right now, but is probably something like Spirited or Awesomesauced or Millennial. BUT before we do that, we’re doing our annual Goosebumps reading. Because Halloween. Ooooooooo.
In other news, I want to take a moment to thank our readers, and those who during on first week on Patreon decided to support us. I still can’t believe that people actually enjoy our work that much. In case you’re curious or haven’t looked into it yet, we just put up our first exclusive post for our Patreon supporters. It is about Ariel and myself trying desperately to make up our minds on which of the tons of book suggestions you gave us that we want to tackle next. If you’re interested in getting this sneak peek at what we’ve narrowed it down to, consider supporting us on Patreon.
But don’t forget: all of you are the best. Thank you for reading about us reading books.