Yes, we are on our fourth straight chapter of Zoey and co. trying to understand the prophecy that Aphrodite received in a vision. This is how slow this fucking book is.
House of Night: Untamed Chapter 24
Damien reads the second stanza and the couplet at the end of the poem again. This part:
Through the hand of the dead he is free
Terrible beauty, monstrous sight
Ruled again they shall be
Women shall kneel to his dark might
Kalona’s song sounds sweet
As we slaughter with cold heat
Even one of the fucking twins points out that spending a whole chapter analyzing this is entirely unnecessary.
“Sadly, most of the rest of it isn’t too tough to figure out,” Erin said. We all gawked at her. “Okay, I’ll admit— under duress— that I actually learned something last semester in Poetry class.”
Look, House of Night. We get it. Your characters are too kewl for skewl. But it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that “Women shall kneel to his dark might… As we slaughter” is a little on the goddamn nose.
The gang goes over the “hand of the dead” bit. Damien thinks that the hand will cause something that’ll make the ground bleed. Aphrodite asks how something that’s already dead could cause anything to bleed, which doesn’t even make sense since “living things” are hardly the only entry on the “things that could make bleeding happen” list, but this prompts Zoey to have an epiphany anyway.
“Oh! Oh, no!” I suddenly knew what the prophecy had to mean […] “It’s Stevie Rae – she was dead, and now she’s undead. She bleeds. She bleeds a lot. Plus she has psychic powers, along with other major earth powers. What if she’s the queen?”
The others are skeptical, since Stevie Rae is decidedly not evil. Zoey wonders if one of the other “gross kids” (it occurs to me now that Zoey calls them “gross kids” way more frequently than she calls them “undead fledglings” or anything else, so I guess that’s the technical term now) could be the queen then. Aphrodite points out that the others don’t know that the dead students have been coming back as gross kids, which I totally forgot was where we were at in one of House of Night‘s eight zillion subplots. Thankfully, it doesn’t become a whole painful thing like it did last time.
Weirdly enough, it was sweet Jack who saved me. “You mean this is more stuff you couldn’t tell us ’cause you didn’t want us accidentally thinking about it and having Neferet, who really isn’t one of the good guys, listening in to our minds and finding out that you knew?”
Although this is House of Night, so it’s still incredibly painful for the reader.
“Jack, I could kiss you,” I said.
“Oh, hee hees!” Jack giggled
Damien realizes that Neferet must be behind all the undead kids, which I seriously didn’t realize was still a thing that the main characters hadn’t all established yet. The gang also realizes that Aphrodite was Zoey’s confidant because she is immune to vampire mind reading, which is another detail I’ve totally forgotten. But things get straight up weird when everyone suddenly begins apologizing to Aphrodite.
“That must have been hard, especially when we were being so mean to you,” Jack said.
Aphrodite blinked in surprise.
“Yeah,” Damien said. “Sorry about some of the stuff I said. You were being a good friend to Zoey, even when we weren’t.”
“Ditto,” said Shaunee.
What? Everyone in this book realizes they’ve all been huge assholes to Aphrodite? What’s going on here? Am I still reading House of Night?
“So, instead of [taking Stark’s body from the morgue to wait and see if he comes back,] I got a nanny cam.”
“Oh, cool!” Jack said. “I saw that on Dr. Phil the other day. God, it was just awful. Some horrid and, may I say, fat, poorly dressed nanny was caught by one of them shaking the crap out of some poor little kid.”
lol nevermind everyone’s an asshole. This is totally still House of Night.
“But Zoey said the other kids are, well, gross,” Jack said. “They are,” Aphrodite said. “They’re like”— she paused, and then her eyes lit up—“ they’re like blue collar workers. Eesh.”
“Aphrodite, there is nothing wrong with blue collar workers,” I said, completely exasperated.
Oh, sure, say nothing when Jack fat shames someone, but Aphrodite says something and it’s Woke-As-Fuck Zoey to the rescue.
I know I’ve written this same criticism about House of Night a billion times by now, but 1) House of Night‘s selective social justice does it more harm than good, 2) especially when it plays it for laughs, 3) especially because its “diverse” cast are all terribly written stereotypes. You wanna talk about being exasperated, Zoey? Try reading the fucking book you’re in.
Zoey also fills in the others on their plan to reveal Stevie Rae and the rest of the red fledglings (which I guess is their name now?) at the ritual tomorrow. Aphrodite also reveals that she no longer has her earth affinity because she’s still a human. You would think that this would get a huge reaction from the group. Maybe they do. The writing in this book is so terrible it’s impossible to tell.
“Okay, that’s majorly freaky!” Jack said.
“It’s totally queer,” Shaunee said.
“And she doesn’t mean that in the gay sense,” Erin input.
We interrupt this dramatic revelation to bring you a gay joke! btw don’t make fun of gay people
I looked at my friends. They all seemed frightened and unsure, and I knew this would not do. We had to be strong. We had to stick together and believe in each other.
“I don’t think it’s scary.” When I started saying it, it was a big fat lie. But the more I spoke, the more I began to believe. “Change can be weird, or even queer.” I grinned at Damien and Jack, and they smiled hesitatingly back at me.
Seriously, what the fuck is with this book?
They all come up with a plan to make sure the rest of the book has some sort of plot. Jack is going to sneak into the morgue to set up the nanny cam (because he’s “good with technology”, because nanny cams basically require engineering degrees to get going apparently) while Aphrodite and Damien plan a diversion. Zoey is going to go talk to Shekinah about her grandma staying at the House of Night because of the threat. Finally, Shaunee and Erin are going to get more materials for the smudging rituals, because even House of Night has realized that the twins are fucking useless.