Aphrodite and Stevie Rae continue to fight over which one is Zoey’s biggest BFF for the third goddamn chapter in a row. Coincidentally, we just put up an exclusive post for our Patreon backers about why we hate Zoey, but we love to hate Sweet Valley High‘s Jessica. Why is that?
House of Night: Untamed Chapter 6
We don’t have to wait long to get an answer to why we’re on our third chapter of Zoey, Aphrodite, and Stevie Rae talking about the plot: we constantly have to pause so the Casts’ characters can make dumb insults about each other.
“Stevie Rae, do not tell me you’re still hanging out with those gross kids from the tunnels.”
“You don’t understand, Zoey.”
“Translation: Yes, Zoey, I am still hangin’ out with the gross tunnel rejects,” Aphrodite said
I know that this chapter would be a boring infodump if the characters weren’t riffing off of each other to liven it up in some way, but somehow I think that joke insults that don’t work as jokes or insults and are mostly just rephrasing what other characters have just said isn’t reaaaaaaally making this any less dry.
Seriously, a good drinking game for this chapter would be to drink every time Stevie Rae or Aphrodite lobs an insult at the other one. Drink twice if even Zoey realizes it’s all a bit much. Let’s get wasted!
- Aphrodite said, mimicking Stevie Rae’s Okie accent.
“Stop it,” I told Aphrodite automatically
- “Because Miss K 95.5 FM over there just had to cowboy up and follow me.”
- “Well, you freaked when your Mark disappeared, and unlike some people, I’m not a witch with a capital B.”
- Aphrodite […] was wrinkling her nose at Stevie Rae and making an eew face. “Yes, I know that’s not normal, but I told you I’m not normal!”
- “Shit, it just figures! You two get all the cool abilities. I get the pain-in-the-ass visions,” Aphrodite said.
“That could be ’cause you’re a pain in the ass,” Stevie Rae said.
“What else?” I said before they could start bickering again.
- “Please note that the key part of what I just said is found in the root word, freak.”
Note that one of the drinking game rules wasn’t “drink if the jokes are funny”, because then you’d never drink.
Zoey is perplexed why Stevie Rae would spend any time with the undead fledglings, and asks her to “make me understand”, which is hilarious because Zoey never said this during the last book, where she instead kept telling Stevie Rae what she thought being undead was like. Maybe the entire last book wouldn’t have happened if Zoey didn’t suddenly think this out of the blue just now.
Stevie Rae explains that because she was undead and completed a change into a vampyre with a red mark, she’s guessing that she can help the other undead kids complete their changes too, theorizing that “They’re just, well, a different kind of fledgling”, despite having died. Surely Zoey will have some profound reaction to this revelation, especially since it’s actually exactly what she predicted in the last book but somehow seems to have forgotten.
Just in case Zoey narrating the word “Wow!” didn’t quite convey the magnitude of this moment, she also… paraphrases what Stevie Rae just said.
“They’re still fledglings. They’re just, well, a different kind of fledgling.”
[…] It was utterly amazing that there was now a whole new type of fledgling
It’s not that writing isn’t hard, but somehow the books we read for this blog make it seem way harder than it is.
Aphrodite questions whether it’s worth helping the undead fledglings because they were “losers alive” and will “still be losers if [they] Change”.
Aphrodite also adds “like redheaded stepchildren”, for clarification. Or something.
Somehow nobody is on board with Aphrodite’s “what if we don’t help people” idea. Including Aphrodite, strangely, who states about three pages later that she’s already bought stuff to help Stevie Rae help the undead because “Even I couldn’t just leave and let them be all […] all eeeew.” So, uh, is Aphrodite on board with helping people or not? Are the Casts remembering what they’ve written every three pages or is there like a Momento thing going on over in the Cast household?
“I’d offer you the services of my parents’ help, but your buds might eat them, and as my mom would say, good illegals are really hard to find.”
Aphrodite made this exact same joke in the last book. This is apparently a line that the Casts were too proud of to use just once.
Stevie Rae tries desperately to get the story back on track.
“I’m not gonna let Neferet use those other kids,” Stevie Rae told her firmly.
And what Stevie Rae said clicked. I shivered in horror as my gut told me my terrible new thought was right. “Oh my god! That’s why Neferet [made] the dying kids come back as undead kids. She wants to use them in the war she’s declared against humans.”
Wait, this is a new revelation? This wasn’t a given?
“This whole thing makes me think that Neferet has been hoping there would be a reason to fight the humans for a long time.”
THIS WASN’T A GIVEN?
Stevie Rae and Aphrodite fill Zoey in on the details of Stevie Rae being an un-undead vampyre (like how she’ll burn up in the sun and how she can control the minds of humans). Zoey also declares herself “Queen of Notnormal Land” to the first vampyre to ever become human again and the first vampyre to ever die and come back to life as a new kind of vampyre, because Zoey.
Stevie Rae has to leave to go back to the other undead fledglings, but intriguingly offers sanctuary to Aphrodite if she doesn’t want to keep pretending she’s still a vampyre. Aphrodite turns it down.
“I have to stay here and pretend I’m still a fledgling. I’m not going to leave Zoey alone, and I don’t trust the gay boy and the Dorkamese Twins to do the buddy thing right now. But thanks, Stevie Rae.”
I smiled at Aphrodite. “See, you can be nice when you try.”
Wait, that’s what Zoey considers “nice”? Suddenly so much of this book makes sense.
Stevie Rae leaves, Zoey and Aphrodite argue about whether it’s chameleons or geckos that change color (I wish I were making this up – this really happens), and then Aphrodite snaps about her new situation, prompting a heart-to-heart with Zoey.
“I don’t fucking know! I don’t want this.” She pointed at her fake Mark. […] “I just want to be what I was before you showed up and all hell broke loose.” […]
“You must hate me.” She stared a long time at me.
“I did,” she said slowly. “But now it’s mostly myself I hate.”
“Don’t,” I said.
“And why the hell shouldn’t I hate myself? Everyone else hates me.”
Then I think Aphrodite kind of cheers up because they make fun of how Zoey has no idea how to solve their problems? I can get behind that.
They leave to go to their meeting and run into Damien, Jack, and the Twins. Somehow I already regret complaining about how we just had three straight chapters of only Zoey, Aphrodite, and Stevie Rae just talking.