Hunted (House of Night) Chapter 6: Where’s the Potty?

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Zoey tells Aphrodite she’s cutting her off, even though the last thing Aphrodite said was, “Yeah, they bite” about the red fledglings which doesn’t seem like a sign of someone being very drunk but a pretty basic and accurate comment.

We get a few reminders from Zoey that Stevie Rae is an adult vampyre now (I had completely forgotten that was a thing. Did anyone else remember?) and also that the red fledglings might be hiding something. She’s too tired to worry about the red fledglings being dangerous, so I guess she’ll just keep casually reminding us of this but not doing anything until the most dramatic time.

Aphrodite, despite Zoey’s admonishment to stop drinking, starts her second bottle of wine and bickers with Kramisha about using correct grammar. Yet again, Zoey/Stevie Rae need to calm everyone down and focus on the logistics. They figure out where they’re vulnerable in the tunnels and decide who is going to stand guard. I mean, I don’t know about you, but reading about logistics in House of Night is just such a treat.

‘Jack and I will take the first shift guarding the sealed-off entrance to the downtown tunnels,’ Damien said. ‘That is, if it’s okay with you guys.’

‘Yeah, we could even plan some menus and write down some things we need for the kitchen,’ Jack said.

Wow, these kids are so plucky and resourceful!

Anyway, since we can’t go two pages without hearing about Zoey’s love life, Johnny B makes a slightly flirty comment to Zoey, and this happens:

I stifled an eye roll. Even without the red fledgling issue, the last thing I needed was another football player-like guy in my life. My eyes slid over to Erik and I had to force myself not to jump guiltily. Yes, he’d been watching me. Great. He’d mostly ignored me since we’d gotten to the tunnels and chose the instant when some other guy was acting flirty to stare at me.

Why would she jump guiltily here? Stifling an eye roll does not sound like a flirty response at all, and Erik and her aren’t together!

More important logistics talk, which is a vehicle for equally important character development:

‘Where do we sleep?’

‘Good question.’ I turned to Stevie Rae. ‘Where do we sleep?’

Johnny B spoke up before Stevie Rae could answer. “For the record, I’m willing to share my bed. My heart is more giving than Kramisha’s.’

‘It ain’t your heart you wanna share,” Kramisha said.

‘Don’t go hatin’ on me, baby!’ Johnny B said, trying (unsuccessfully) to sound black.

Kramisha rolled her eyes at him. ‘You so crazy.’

Can someone explain what I’m supposed to be feeling about these characters right now? Actually, it’s Zoey’s narrative, so the “trying (unsuccessfully) to sound black” thing is more of her typical tendency to make ignorant comments like that.

‘Any of us who wanted his or her own room has one,’ Venus answered me. ‘They’re really not hard to fix up. In this part of the tunnels there’re lots of little dead ends. We’ve been turning them into real rooms. I definitely have my own room.’ She smiled at Erik. I had to remind myself it probably wasn’t ethical to evoke fire and have it burn all the hair off her bobble-head.

At this point I hope Venus and Erik just start hooking up everywhere so Zoey’s head explodes.

‘This is probably where most of the bootleg liquor was stored during Prohibition,” Damien said. “It’s logical because this is right here at the train tracks, and it would have been easy to sneak stuff in and out at night.’

‘That’s so cool and romantic!” Jack sighed. “I mean, the whole 1920s flapper thing and juke joints and gangsters.’

Damien smiled indulgently at Jack. “Actually, Prohibition lasted in Tulsa until 1957.’

‘Well, never mind. That’s not so romantic. That’s more like gay Bible Belt stuff.’ He giggled. ‘Gay! Hee hee.’

Is there ANY teen, especially one who is actually gay himself, who would say the word ‘gay’ and then follow it up with ‘Hee hee’. WHO IS JACK FOR AS A CHARACTER???? Aphrodite at least reacts by just saying, “Barf,” which is yet another basic and accurate observation from her.

‘Oh, and I have one more question,’ Jack said, frowning at Aphrodite.

No, don’t do it, Jack, please. Whatever it is, don’t!

As he started to put his hand up, I said, ‘Yes, Jack. What is it?’

‘Where do we potty?’

‘Potty? Did he really just say potty?’ Aphrodite giggled until she snorted. We ignored her.

oh my god oh my god

So the Casts are aware he sounds ridiculous because they’re using Aphrodite as a mouth-piece here. So again I am seriously questioning why he has been written this way? Do the Casts think they are realistically representing a specific group of child-like teens who will be so happy to have someone in this series they can identify with finally? Like they have been searching all their lives to find a character like Jack.

It turns out there’s a fully functioning bathroom complete with hot showers in the depot upstairs. So lucky and convenient, wouldn’t want our beloved characters roughing it. Especially not fan-favorite Jack!

Dallas explains how he fixed the plumbing and the electricity, and Zoey again notices there might be something going on between him and Stevie Rae. I’m on the edge of my seat.

Everyone starts to disperse, and Zoey agrees to crash with Stevie Rae. Then Stevie Rae makes the mistake of offering Aphrodite a place to stay too, and the gay panic flows. Totally unclear since it was obviously just a polite offer.

‘An Imprint is nothing to be ashamed of, my beauty,’ Darius said, putting his arm around Aphrodite gently.

‘It is weird, though,’ Stevie Rae said. Darius smiled kindly at her. ‘There are many types of Imprints.’

‘Well, ours is not the drink-your-blood-and-have-sex-with-you type,’ Aphrodite said. ‘Of course it is not,’ Darius kissed her on her forehead.

‘Which means you can sleep in here without being freaked out,’ Stevie Rae said.

Wow, I love Darius and Stevie Rae in this scene. I actually could understand Aphrodite freaking out about an Imprint causing her to be sexually attracted to someone because of what is basically magic that the book sort of claims is science. Losing control over your body in this way does sound scary, and I really like how Darius frames it for Aphrodite and Stevie Rae.

Darius, who obviously adores Aphrodite, heads off with her to take first guard. Aphrodite belches away as they walk off together to find her a sleeping bag first. They’re my OTP.

For some reason Erik is still lingering in the room, and the chapter ends with this:

‘Better him than me,’ I heard Erik mutter as he watched the blanket swing back into place. I made no attempt to hide my smile. I was glad Erik wasn’t still interested in Aphrodite. Erik met my eyes. And slowly he smiled, too.

Um, yes better him than you, you jackass. You don’t deserve Aphrodite! Or even your own hand! YOU ARE TERRIBLE, ERIK, GO AWAY!

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I’m curious, who is your least favorite character? Usually for me, I feel obligated to say Zoey, but right now it’s Jack.

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11 comments

  1. Utsutsu

    It’s still Loren for me. I don’t care if he’s dead. I’m sure he’s going to show up again anyways.

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    • 22aer22 Post author

      It’ll be the last book, we’ll have possibly never seen Loren again (but you’re probably right and we’re not really rid of him. Or maybe Kalona will have Zoey dream about him or something) and he’ll still be everyone’s least favourite. But like besides him who is the worst now?

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  2. Jennifer Layton

    My least favorite character depends on which one is actually speaking at the time. It’s usually that one.

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    • 22aer22 Post author

      Preach. I feel like you just solved a riddle I didn’t know I was asking.

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  3. Andreas

    Honestly, I think what the Casts are doing with Jack is hilarious. Obviously I don’t speak for all gay guys and I’m sure some of us feel the description is borderline offensive, but for me it’s highly amusing to see the Casts stumble aimlessly through the process of describing something they have never seen before* and bumping into each cliche ever while trying to be as painfully politically correct as possible. It’s the literary version of slapstick 😀

    * I guess. I really think they never met an actual real life gay and try to write about something that’s so alien to them as the migration patters of deep sea octopi. Deep sea octopi from outer space.

    Least favourite character is definitely Zoey for me. It’s not that I dislike characters with a bit of Mary Sue or omni-competent pulp hero in them (actually I like them), but I prefer it when they either have to work for this kind of competence or are confronted with a Moral conflict. Just moping around the whole book until at some point in the last three chapters the local deity pops up and announces “hey, I just downloaded the next power upgrade into you, use it to solve exactly your current problem and btw, you’re forever 100% right in all your decision” is – quote Aphrodite – “Barf”.

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    • 22aer22 Post author

      Hahaha I mean you’re right it IS funny and probably as foreign to them as deep sea octopi from outer space, but like…are they writing him that way because they had no other ideas on how to make him distinct from Zoey’s other friends? Damien isn’t written the same way, so maybe it was more that they couldn’t figure out how to differentiate Jack from Damien/Erik/Darius/Stark if he wasn’t so child-like? But then again could you imagine Zoey falling in love with a guy who wasn’t such a manly man? I don’t know, I find Jack funny but also terrible.

      I really hope Nyx tells Zoey she’s getting a power upgrade. That would be amazing!

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      • Andreas

        I think the Casts write him so infantile to remove all connotations of “sexy” from the character, so there wouldn’t be any thoughts of yucky gay sex in the books. It wasn’t such a problem with Damien, when he was still the only gay guy in the story, but now that he has a love interest, it could come up. It’s a series that more or less tries to be mature (how successfull it does is another question …) about the relationship-stuff and get not just the romantic but also the erotic aspect into the story, but it seems the Casts are not too excited to include homo-erotic stuff.

        It’s what tvtropes calls “But not too gay” and that IS homophobic to a certain degree. No clue if this came from the Casts being uncomfortable with gay sex or from the publishers wanting to have the book PG-free. I tend to think the best of people, so I give the Casts the benefit of the doubt here: the problematic description of Jack is done out of ignorance and not out of maliciousness and that’s why I can laugh about it and not see it as highly insulting.
        After all, the Casts deliberately wrote a gay couple with positive connotations into the book instead of an evil, depraved gay monster or no gays at all. And imo that should count for something, huh?

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        • 22aer22 Post author

          Fuck that makes so much more sense now. They want to depict it in this positive way, but they’ve made the relationship ‘safe’ by writing Jack (and Damien too) as though they’re asexual with a bit of fond dialogue between them. They do this on Modern Family with Cam and Mitch too. The heterosexual couples on the show have entire plots about sex, but Cam and Mitch are a non-threatening gay couple.

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  4. wordswithhannah

    How…charming?

    I can 100% confirm that gay people find the word “gay” deeply hilarious. That’s not a projection on the part of a straight teenager writing the character at all. Gay men are also either classy and well-educated or act like 3-year-olds. TRUE FACT! Thanks for this true-to-life representation, Casts. The Gays everywhere are overwhelmed with gratitude.

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  5. Anne

    My vote goes to Nyx. She is a horrible goddess and also the one who makes Zoey so special. I think that the Cats have forgotten that Nyx is supposed to be the goddess of all vampires instead of Zoey’s own personal deus ex machina. Considering all the power she gives to Zoey Nix should be able to put an end to all this bullshit immediately, but why do that when you have a chosen one who needs to go on a journey to become a hero. I hope Nix will soon realize her mistake of making Zoey the chosen one and goes over to team Aphrodite.

    I love it when heroes need to run away because of a disaster only to end up in a hide-out that is just as good or even better than their home. No sleeping in dirty sewers for Zoey and co, although I guess they wont have access to netflix (unless they live in a world of super wifi.), so they will suffer at least a little bit in their five star sewer.

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    • Jennifer Layton

      Seriously. They have showers. They have running water and showers. I don’t care if Dallas “fixed” the plumbing — who is paying the water bill? Isn’t that an abandoned depot? I hate these people so much.

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