It feels right to be reading House of Night alongside Calendar Girl given all the similarities people have spotted between Zoey and Mia. Also, it’s the perfect opportunity to make dual “OMG DAMIEN IS GAY/ALEC IS FRENCH???” jokes galore 4 times a week, which is something I’ve dreamed of since childhood.
Hunted Chapter 1:
This chapter may not have a lot of material to work with since it’s just Zoey’s dream about Kalona, but you know what it does have? All of our favourite Zoey quirks!
I looked down and let out a little yip of surprise. I was wearing a seriously short buckskin minidress. The top of it was cut in a wide V, front and back, so that it hung off my shoulders, leaving lots of skin visible. The dress itself was amazing. It was white and decorated with fringe, feathers, and shells and seemed to glow in the moonlight. All over it was beaded with intricate designs that were impossibly beautiful.
My imagination is so darn cool!
Inane and distracting pop culture references:
The dress tickled a memory, but I ignored it. I didn’t want to think too hard–I was dreaming! Instead of pondering d?j? vu moments I danced gracefully through the meadow, wondering if Zac Efron or even Johnny Depp was going to suddenly appear and flirt outrageously with me.
Nope, these two don’t show up to flirt even mildly with Zoey. Instead, the very sexy (BUT EVIL) and inexplicably naked Kalona shows up. He doesn’t understand why Zoey seems unnerved by a naked man appearing in a meadow, which is actually one of the most reasonable reactions Zoey has had to anything, and then he begins to sexually harass her in earnest:
“Do you pretend you do not know me?”
His voice brushed against my body, making the little hairs on my arms stand up.
“Yeah, I know you. I made you up. This is my dream. You’re a mixture of Zac and Johnny.” I hesitated, peering at him. I spoke nonchalantly even though my heart was beating like crazy because it was already obvious this guy was not a mixture of those two actors. “Well, maybe you’re Superman or Prince Charming,” I said, reaching for anything but the truth.
Apparently, deep down Zoey knows that this is Kalona, but instead she suggest she’s either two handsome actors or two handsome, fictional characters who have nothing in common except their looks. What a strange defense mechanism, if that’s what it is.
Kalona tells her that she’s his love, A-ya, “the maiden the Cherokee Wise Women had created to trap him centuries ago.”Just when we thought Zoey couldn’t get more special.
She finds herself being seduced by Kalona until she declares she’ll never turn her back on Nyx and the dream ends. Zoey realizes that Kalona can reach her through dreams, so now we know we have more of these dream sequences to look forward to.
Hunted Chapter 2:
Zoey wakes up and talks to Stevie Rae. At the end of the last book, undead Stark shot undead Stevie Rae with an arrow, but she’s apparently recovering just fine…even though it’s only been a few hours since she had an arrow stuck through her body. Zoey gets us up to speed on what happened earlier that night:
It was so darn weird how normal everything seemed here in the little bubble of peace we’d made. Looking at sleeping Stevie Rae I found it almost impossible to believe that just a few hours ago she’d had an arrow sticking through her chest and we had had to escape from the House of Night as chaos tore our world apart. Unwilling to allow myself to sleep, my exhausted thoughts circled back, replaying the events of the night. And as I sifted through them, I was amazed anew that any of us had survived…
After all the chaos at the House of Night, Zoey and friends ran away to the tunnels where the red fledglings have been hiding out. In case you somehow forgot the other characters and all their defining characteristics, the book reminds us of these crucial facts:
- Aphrodite is terrible, but Zoey is starting to like her. Even though Aphrodite is human again, she still has her visions.
- Stevie Rae is southern. “You know I love y’all like white bread, don’t you?” Who DOESN’T like white bread, though?
- The twins are “soul twins, not biological twins”, and still very boy-crazy. But their boyfriends didn’t escape with them, oh no.
- “Oh, Jack and Damien are a couple. Which means they’re gay teenagers. Hello. It happens. More often than you’d expect. Wait, scratch that. It happens more often than parents expect.” Pshh parents, so uncool and homophobic, not like the amazing Zoey “Open-Minded, Chill, Not-at-All Racist/Sexist/Homophobic/Slut-Shaming” Redbird.
- Darius is strong and kind.
- Erik Night is the best guy around! OR IS HE?
- The red fledglings are scary.
Erik shows up, with and old radio, and he explains that Venus told him they can sometimes pick up radio stations even though they’re underground. Zoey takes this moment to remind us that Venus used to hang out with Aphrodite before she was turned into a red fledgling, and that she’s sexy. So of course Zoey is super jealous of this like two second conversation that apparently happened between Venus and Erik. Wut.
Okay, before I sound like an uber-jealous freak let me explain: Erik Night is to-die-for hot in a Superman?Clark Kent kind of way and, to carry through with the superhero analogy, he’s also talented and honestly a good guy. Er, vampyre. Recently Changed vampyre at that. He is also my boyfriend. Er, ex-boyfriend. Recently ex-boyfriend at that. Sadly, that means I’m going to be ridiculously jealous of anyone, even one of the kinda freaky red fledglings, who might be catching too much of his interest (too much = any).
Before you sound like an uber-jealous freak? I’m sorry, but what does Zoey think she would need to say to reach that level? In her mind, Erik saying, “Yeah, that’s what Venus said” means he is paying her too much attention, but Zoey somehow has yet to cross into “uber-jealous” territory.
Stevie Rae kicks everyone out of the room except Zoey so Darius can pull out the arrow that is still lodged in her chest. But first, Zoey and co stop to admire all the new fucking tattoos that Nyx has bestowed upon Zoey for our chapterly reminder of how special and unique Zoey is.
No other fledgling had a filled-in, expanded Mark. That only happened after a kid went through the Change, and then the outline of the crescent moon on the forehead was filled in and expanded to a unique, one-of-a-kind tattoo that framed the face, proclaiming to the world that he or she was a vampyre.
So my face proclaimed that I was a vampyre, but my body said I was still a fledgling. And the rest of my tattoos? Well, that was something that had never happened before – not to a fledgling and not to a vamp, and even now I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what it meant.
And that is me being selective about what I’m quoting, there is like another page or two worth of this nonsense. Then everyone (except Erik, which makes Zoey sad) start gushing about the tattoos. I never thought I’d say this, but oh my god would someone help Stevie Rae already?
Also, just in case you were so confused about whether Damien and Jack were gay that you couldn’t focus on what else was going on this chapter, here’s the answer:
‘Yeah, Damien and I are gay. That means that we are guaranteed to be good cooks,’ Jack said.
With that painful bit of dialogue out of the way, it’s time to help Stevie Rae, right?
No, first we have to discuss whether the red fledglings are trustworthy. Stevie Rae promises they are because Venus helped Erik with the radio (chill, Zoey), and Aphrodite stayed there for two days without anyone harming her. Whelp, that’s all the evidence I, and every other idiot in this story, needs. At least for now.
‘Stevie Rae, once and for all – are the red fledglings safe?’ I asked.
‘I really wish y’all would concentrate on being nicer and accepting them. You know it’s not their fault they died and then un-died.’
‘See, they’re fine,’ I said. It was only later that I would remember that Stevie Rae never really answered my question about whether the red fledglings were really safe.
Bum bum BUUUUUUMMMMM.
Finally, the twins fuck off, leaving Darius, Aphrodite and Zoey to finally finally remove the god damned arrow that has been in Stevie Rae this whole time.