Zoey’s just received alarming news that her death might bring about a horrific war between vampires and humans. Death! Destruction! A world where Zoey ceases to exist and no one has the chance to be one of her many boyfriends! The horror.
At least it’s the perfect time to for an unfunny Zoey to try to make us all LAWL with her plucky attitude.
“Ah, hell,” I said, and then my knees gave way and I had to sit down on my bed. My ears had an odd buzzing sound in them, and it was hard for me to breathe.
“You know it doesn’t mean it’ll come true for sure,” Stevie Rae said, patting me on the shoulder. “I mean, Aphrodite saw your grandmamma, Heath, and even me dying. Well, I mean me dying a second time. And none of those things happened. So we can stop it.” She looked up at Aphrodite. “Right?”
Aphrodite fidgeted uneasily.
“Ah, hell,” I said for a second time.
Ah, hell, I’m just a regular, special vampire teen who doesn’t even have a boyfriend anymore whose death will unleash untold horrors on the world. Shucks, what’s a girl to do?!
The “Ah, hell” reads (and continues to read) like it’s supposed to be an amusing reaction from Zoey, but then it does seem like she’s inwardly scared. Is this bravado for Stevie Rae and Aphrodite? Are the Casts just trying to channel other, better characters who could pull off this kind of balance?
Aphrodite explains this vision was different because it confused her. Uh, oh. Sounds serious.
“I was seeing shadows inside shadows inside darkness. It was like ghosts were turning back into living things, but the things they were turning back into were too terrible for me to look at.”
“You mean like not human or vampyre?”
“Yeah, that’s what I mean.”
Automatically I rubbed my hand, and a skittering of fear slithered through my body. “Ah, hell.”
Zoey explains that earlier she was attacked by the night. Which I’m sure is just a coincidence.
Based on Zoey’s complete lack of an explanation, Aphrodite deduces that Zoey being alone is the issue. Damn it! Her friends being mad at her could cause the end of the world. Oh well, World, you had a good run.
Aphrodite’s vision is full of contradictions designed to keep us guessing and intrigued. Obviously a wild success.
“It was a strong vision, filled with powerful images, but it was totally confusing. Maybe because I was feeling it and seeing it from your point of view.” Aphrodite paused, swallowing hard. “I saw you die two ways. Once you drowned. The water was cold and dark. Oh, and it smelled bad.”
It smelled bad! Twist the knife some more, won’t you, Aphrodite?
The girls somehow come to the conclusion that Zoey might have been somewhere in Europe because of this gold nugget of a quote:
Then her eyes widened. “I remember another thing about the vision. There was something close by the water that looked like a real palace on an island all its own, which means tasteful old money, probably European, and not some tacky upper middle class version of oooh-I-have-money-let’s-go-buy-an-RV.”
New kid on the block and Archer Master Extraordinaire Stark is also apparently with Zoey in this vision. He wasn’t the cause of her death, though, he was the only person she had left.
Given it’s pretty fucking clear this vision is never going to come to fruition because there’s no way in hell the Casts are going to let Zoey’s friends stay mad for more than another chapter or so, let’s speculate wildly on how in the name of all that is holy and good Zoey winds up somewhere in Europe with Stark as she lays dying.
Are they taking a break from it all in the middle of the end of the world? Are they on their honeymoon, kickin’ it Gideon/Eva style? Does Zoey have another boyfriend in this scenario who is her rich benefactor?
Rather than continue to discuss this seemingly important vision, the girls switch gears and talk about Zoey’s boy drama. They don’t know Loren is dead, so surprise.
Stevie Rae’s reaction is so amazing in its stupidity:
“Zoey, that’s so awful,” Stevie Rae said. I could hear the tears in her voice as she put her arm around me. “Y’all were like Romeo and Juliet.”
“No!” Then because the word had come out more sharply than I’d intended, I turned to Stevie Rae and smiled. “No,” I repeated in a saner voice. “He never loved me. Loren used me.”
“For sex? Ah, Z, that’s crappy,” Stevie Rae said.
The word/sound “Ah” has never been more abused than it has been in this one chapter.
Zoey clarifies that Neferet was pulling all of Loren’s sensual strings, and suddenly everything ties together.
Aphrodite and Zoey solve the plot. Stevie Rae is just there, contributing nothing.
“Hang on. Go back. You said Neferet had Loren come on to you?” Aphrodite said. “Why would she do that if they were lovers?”
“Neferet wanted to get me alone.” My heart froze as the pieces of the puzzle began to fit together.
“Huh? That doesn’t make sense. Why would Loren acting like he was your boyfriend get you alone?” Stevie Rae asked. [SHUT UP, STEVIE RAE.]
“Simple,” Aphrodite said. “Zoey had to sneak around to see Loren, being as he was a professor and all. My guess is she didn’t tell any of the nerd herd she was playing bad little schoolgirl with Professor Blake. My guess is also that Neferet had something major to do with our boy Erik finding out Zoey was doing the dirty with someone who was definitely not him.”
Is this the part where House of Night just becomes a series where Zoey and Aphrodite solve a new mystery in every book? I mean if The Boxcar Children and Baby-Sitters Club could go down that route, I wouldn’t put it past this series.
They rehash everything that happened in the last book, but this time with their mystery solving glasses on. I like that Aphrodite emphasises here how Erik was extra mean when he revealed Zoey and Loren’s relationship to her friends.
Aphrodite explains how Zoey dies in the vision. I’m not going to deny you the privilege of reading it for yourself:
“Well, that’s when it gets confusing again. I get an image of Neferet as a threat to you, but the vision gets jumbled up all weird when you’re actually attacked. I know this is going to sound bizarre, but at the last moment I saw something black floating around you.”
“Like a ghost or something?” I swallowed hard.
“No. Not really. If Neferet’s hair was black, I’d say it was her hair blowing around you in a big wind, like she’s standing behind you. You’re alone and you’re really,really scared. You try to call for help, but no one answers you and you’re so terrified you freeze and don’t fight back…”
“She, or whatever it is, reaches around and somehow, using something dark and hooked, slashes your throat. It is so sharp, it cuts through your neck and severs your head from your shoulders.” Aphrodite shuddered and then added, “Which, in case you’re wondering, bleeds. A lot.”
In summary, in the first vision Zoey drowns, and in the second vision Neferet’s hair kills Zoey. That’s what I’m going to take from that. Forget about the throat slitting, and focus on the part where Zeferet’s hair is blowing around Zoey and then she dies. That’s what we all need to remember.
Aphrodite tells Zoey she calls for help in the second vision, but everyone ignores her. It’s not clear if that means Zoey’s horrible ex-friends are in the vicinity and are still so angry she didn’t tell them about Loren that they’re ready to let her throat get slit. That seems to terrible, even for them.
Stevie Rae let out a big, long breath. “You have a point, Aphrodite.” She turned to me. “We gotta keep you alive, Zoey. Not just ‘cause we love you more than white bread, but ‘cause you have to save the world.”
“Oh, great. I’m supposed to save the world?” All I could think was, And I used to stress about geometry.
I wonder if Zoey’s new catch phrase is going to appear again or if it was just a special and much-needed addition to this chapter. I also wonder if Stevie Rae really loves Zoey more than white bread of if that’s a horrible exaggeration.