This book is finally over. I still have no idea who was being hunted.
House of Night (Hunted): Chapter 33
The chapter kicks off with Sister Mary Angela saying “Language”, chewing out Zoey for ending the last chapter by saying “Well, hell.” This is a chapter break that made sense.
“Priestess,” Darius addressed Sister Mary Angela, “you don’t, by any chance, keep firearms at the abbey, do you?”
Her laughter sounded completely out of place yet utterly comforting. “Oh, Warrior, of course we do not.”
There’s nothing particularly remarkable about this joke but for some reason I rather like it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because two characters who are not Zoey finally had a conversation that isn’t about Zoey. I’m actually trying to think how often this happens. It’s like the Bechdel Test, but for author-insert characters!
Darius super-speeds back to the House of Night to “bring help”, although Zoey isn’t sure what kind of help he could bring since all the other Sons of Erebus have gone missing. Stevie Rae and the other red fledlings emerge from the abbey. Zoey very naturally brings up a subplot that’s barely been in the book.
“Hey, I hear y’all need some help out here.” […]
I hugged her hard, not caring about the secrets she was keeping from me in the joy of seeing her safe.
Spoiler: This is the last time Stevie Rae’s secrets are mentioned in this book. So hopefully you weren’t hoping for any payoff on this subplot in the book that brought it up.
Zoey reunites with Erik and Damien reunites with Jack. But Zoey’s more important, so we don’t even hear Damien and Jack talk.
I wished it could be simple and easy between the two of us. For that instant I did wish it could be just be Erik and me, instead of Erik and Stark and Kalona and Heath…
Wait, how much is this Kalona+Zoey pairing supposed to be a serious thing? Hasn’t she had a whole “he’s attractive, but NO! He is the primary antagonist!” crossroads moment like four times this book alone? Why is he on this list of love interests? Why does he rank higher than Heath?
Darius tells Zoey that Kalona will be here soon. Yes, Darius who just ran back to the House of Night. No, at no point does the book tell us he’s returned or what help he brought with him. I honestly can’t tell if this really obvious news is what he came back with or if the book forgot he left.
While they’re waiting for Kalona to arrive, Sister Mary Angela takes Zoey and the others to the shrine inside the abbey, which Zoey intuits is the place of power in Kramisha’s poem. But before they can do anything, a black Hummer arrives, and out steps Kalona (who is still shirtless, just FYI), Neferet (who has “a dark aura puls[ing] around her”), and also Stark (who Stevie Rae recognizes as the kid that shot her, but has now Changed to a red vampyre like her).
“Do not trust him, Zoey.” Darius’s voice came from directly behind me. “You see where he has placed his allegiance.”
“Darius,” I said sternly, without turning to look at him. “You need to trust me, and that means trust my judgment.”
“Sometimes your judgment is wacked,” Erin said.
Your words, book.
“Not when I’m listening to Nyx,” I said.
“Are you listening now?” Shaunee said.
Even the characters in this book are tired of how the explanation for everything is “because the gods told Zoey so”.
Zoey warns Sister Mary Angela about Kalona’s hypnotic powers, but she assures Zoey that Kalona “does not draw me in, but I do pity him.” Zoey asks how old he looks to her, and things actually get kind of interesting when she unexpectedly says that Kalona looks “Ancient. Older than the earth”, whereas Zoey is still seeing him as her age.
Neferet tries to convince Zoey’s friends that Zoey is the real evil and has clouded their judgment. Sister Mary Angela tells Neferet that that can’t be true because “I barely know this child”, which is kind of hilarious?
Neferet’s calm façade cracked as she scoffed at the nun. “Human woman, you are a fool! Of course you sense darkness from me. My Goddess is Night personified!”
Sister Mary Angela’s serenity wasn’t a façade, (oh my god, Casts, we get it, you have a dictionary) so her demeanor didn’t change. She simply said, “No, I am acquainted with Nyx, and though she personifies Night, she does not traffic with darkness. Be honest, Priestess, and admit you have broken with your Goddess for that creature.”
Sister Mary Angela tells Kalona that she recognizes what kind of evil he is and tells him to repent. Neferet tells Sister Mary Angela that she should worship at Kalona’s feet. Kalona laughs and says, “Ladies, do not battle over me.” Zoey shouts “I will never be with you” at Kalona, just in case anyone forgot that everything in this story revolves around Zoey’s love life.
Heath shows up pushing Zoey’s grandma in a wheelchair, who begins to address the Raven Mockers.
“Oh, sons of my mothers’ mothers! […] What have you allowed him to make you become? Do you not feel your mothers’ blood? Can you not imagine their hearts breaking for you?”
Amazed, I watched several of the Raven Mockers turn their heads, as if they were unable to face my grandma.
Zoey gives Kalona and Neferet one final warning to go far away and stop hurting people, which they refuse. Zoey begins the circle in Kramisha’s prophecy to banish Kalona, and then they realize it’s time to start panicking. Neferet orders Stark to kill Zoey, Kalona tells him to kill Grandma instead, and they have a power struggle while Stark visibly has an internal conflict about whether to follow either of their orders.
“That’s what my aim won’t miss.” Stark spoke across the icy distance to me as if he and I were alone. “The part of my lady’s heart I hold as my own.” […] with a rush of panic I understood what he was going to do.
Zoey commands the elements to protect Stark from his arrow, which fires out of his bow and immediately turns around towards him. The elements destroy the arrow before it hits, but the force of the blow still knocks Stark back. Zoey then completes the circle, Grandma starts saying a blessing, and Kalona recognizes he has been sorta kinda defeated, I guess.
“Why, A-ya?” he said.
I gazed into his incredible amber eyes and banished him with the truth. “Because I choose love.”
I guess that was a theme of this book, apparently.
The circle produces a blinding light that whips and wraps around Kalona and Neferet, which somehow prompts Kalona to spread his wings, grab Neferet, and take off into the sky. Then the thread of light whips them into the sky.
it snapped, whiplike, at them, lifting the winged man and the fallen High Priestess up and up until they disappeared into the clouds with the Raven Mockers screaming and following behind
Kalona and Neferet are banished! Or… away? So I guess they’re just gonna come right back and do this all over again? I’m not actually sure what just happened, now that I think about it, but Zoey gets another magic tattoo from the goddess, so according to the rules they won the book somehow.
The afterward takes place immediately after Kalona disappears. No idea why this couldn’t just be part of the last chapter.
Zoey goes over to Stark and learns that he’s ok.
“Well,” he said with that cocky smile I loved so much, “serving this lady might be cause for a whole new book of rules to be written.”
“You’re telling us?” Erik said.
“Yeah, not something we don’t already know,” Heath said.
“Well, hell,” I said, shaking my head at all of my boys.
The book ends with Sister Mary Angela telling Zoey that it’s not finished with Kalona and Neferet yet, as though this were somehow unclear.