House of Night (Hunted) Chapter 30:
Everyone shows up at the stables and praise Zoey for her brilliant plan to tell them to meet her at the stables without Neferet reading their minds. They then summon the elements to protect their thoughts, which raises the question, why didn’t they do this in the first place?
Then the single greatest interaction in the history of House of Night happens:
“Do you need me to cast a quick circle?” I asked.
“No, Z, we just need you to hush for a second,” Damien said.
I have re-read these two lines over and over again, and it only gets better. My heart is soaring! Someone has shot Zoey down when she suggested a circle. And a “quick” circle no less!An abridged version was an option this whole time? When has casting a circle ever been quick? This sounds like the majority of work emails I receive which start with, “quick question” but whose answers are usually tedious and time-intensive.
Some very fluid storytelling occurs, and Zoey turns away from her friends to examine her scar and worry about what her boyfriends will think if they see it. Professor Lenobia shows up out of nowhere and shows Zoey her own scar. We’re only like two pages into this chapter, and it’s so weird.
Before Lenobia can tell Zoey how she got her scar, Zoey’s friends say they’re done summoning their elements and ready for the next stage of the plan. It’s unclear how far away Zoey walked from her friends and how they didn’t overhear her conversation with Lenobia or notice that Zoey was staring down her shirt at her scar.
Aphrodite then reveals she’s had another vision about Neferet and Kalona going to war with humans, Raven Mockers raping humans, and Neferet becoming the Queen Tsi Sgili which I dread typing because I can never remember how to spell it.
“I also know that the war starts right here in Tulsa.”
“So the Council they want to take over must be the Council at this House of Night,” I said.
“Council?” Lenobia said.
“It’s too much to explain right now. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that they’re only thinking regionally and not globally,” I said.
It sounds more like Zoey’s describing Neferet and Kalona’s latest wacky business proposal than their plans for human genocide.
It’s also worth noting that this is the first time Lenobia is like, “WTF is going on?” but no one can be bothered, for the first time in the history of this series, to not recap the plot. Circles casted aside, refusal to recap plots…what next? Will Zoey decide she’s not interested in Heath/Erik/Stark?
Darius suggests that if they can get Kalona and Neferet to flee Tulsa, then they can probably avoid the war. Counter plan: convince Kalona and Neferet that they’ve won a sweepstakes and need to go on a cross-country adventure in order to retrieve it, kind of like the movie Nebraska. I think this would be more effective than trying to scare them away because they would probably just regroup and find another place to begin their war, but if we occupy them with thoughts of prizes and road trips they’ll be too distracted to kill all humans.
“It is Neferet,” Lenobia said in a voice so calm it almost sounded dead. “She is the impetus behind Kalona. She has desired a war against the humans for many years.” She met my eyes. “You may have to kill her.”
I blanched. “Kill Neferet! No way. I’m not doing that!”
“You might have to,” Darius said.
“No!” I cried again. “If I was supposed to kill Neferet, I wouldn’t have this horrible sickness in my gut just thinking about it. Nyx would let me know that it was her will, but I can’t believe killing a High Priestess of hers would ever be the Goddess’s will.”
There’s never any point in having a moral debate in these books because you know you’re just meant to side with Zoey’s gut – her direct line to Nyx – at all times.
Lenobia helps the gang begin to formulate a plan of escape using horses and the power of fire to melt the ice. The chapter ends with her mysteriously saying that the Raven Mockers might let them walk right out the front gates. But how?!