Marked Chapter 6

We start off with Zoey thinking about some “ancient song” whose lyrics happen to still rhyme in English. It’s always amazing how that works out, isn’t it? Zoey’s memory is slowly coming back to her, because remembering that you’re turning into a vampire is a lower priority than a grocery list. Zoey vaguely recalls that she wasn’t feeling good but can’t quite remember why.

‘Hmm. Let’s see, I went home and fought with my parents after fighting with my friends at school. Nothing unusual there. Then for some reason I was feeling sick, I got in my car and drove out to grandma’s. Oh, now I remember. I had a piece of shrimp for lunch. I must be allergic to shellfish.’

Then it comes back to her. Grandma then talks to her, asking if she’s awake. Grandma has a couple of pet names for Zoey, Zoeybird and “little bird”. Maybe she’ll share the fate of other flightless birds and get deep fried. Grandma says Zoey shouldn’t have scared her like that. Zoey seems confused that her grandma found her.

“Promise,” I said. “So, you found me….”

You were only on her property, moron. Did you need details? Apparently PCK believed their audience couldn’t enjoy the story unless they knew exactly what happened to Zoey when she was unconscious. Did she snore? Call out for her mom? The whole plot will be left dangling if we don’t find out!

“Bloody and unconscious, Little Bird.” Grandma brushed the hair back from my forehead, her fingers lingering lightly on my Mark. “And so pale that your dark crescent seemed to glow against your skin. I knew you needed to be taken back to the House of Night, which is exactly what I did.” She chuckled and the mischievous sparkle in her eyes made her look like a little girl. “I called your mother to tell her that I was returning you to the House of Night, and I had to pretend that my cell phone cut out so I could hang up on her. I’m afraid she’s not happy with either of us.”

Grandma knew she needed to be taken to the vampires, so she called Zoey’s mom why? She knows that Zoey’s mom wouldn’t be happy about it. The only explanation I could come up with is because grandma likes antagonizing her daughter. Which explains why their relationship is strained.

Grandma asks why she wasn’t told about Zoey being a vampire. Zoey says it just happened today and grandma says that’s impossible as the crescent isn’t an outline, it’s completely filled in. Zoey borrows a mirror from grandma and looks and, sure enough, the crescent is all filled in. Neither grandma or Zoey or the third person in the room who didn’t speak until now know what it means.

Oh, oh, teacher! I do, call on me! It means that Zoey isn’t just special enough to be a vampire, she’s a special vampire. I’m guessing that something like this hasn’t happened in a thousand years or so. If we’re lucky, it hasn’t happened in a century and is only uncommon. Author forbid their avatar be a dirt common vampire or anything.

The other woman in the room gets a very large paragraph of description. Let’s see, redhaired, green eyes and good body but not skinny like “Paris Hilton”—whoa, a reference to the early ‘00s—but curvy and strong. So, like a slightly out of shape female bodybuilder?

Oh and Zoey says she has great boobs. That description is like a lot of what PCK uses. They tell you something but it’s so vague it doesn’t really mean anything. They’re great how? Are they large? Perfectly symmetrical? Do they grant wishes to whoever can restrain them with a bra? Don’t worry, I’m actually going somewhere with this.

See, this would be an opportunity to paint brighter characters with just a little bit of description. For example, if this woman is well endowed and Zoey isn’t—or is more average—but insecure, have her feel a little like a child in comparison. That would serve to inform us on three things; what this lady looks like, what Zoey looks like and how Zoey feels about herself. All without having to explicitly tell us any of it.

Anywho, if you guessed that this lady is a vampire because she’s perfect you’d be right. Zoey describes the ornate blue tattoo on this woman’s face which look like waves. That means she’s a vampire rather than someone who just enjoys using their skin as a canvas and collecting tattoos.

The lady is Neferet and she’s curious as to how a fledgling has the mark of a mature vampire. She says it’s a good omen and she would know being the high priestess of the ‘house of night”.

Neferet calls her Redbird. Zoey says her last name isn’t “redbird”—yes I know it’s an abrupt transition but that’s how it is in this book—and Neferet says that doesn’t matter. Apparently as Zoey’s starting a new life she can choose her TrueName™. So Zoey chooses “Zoey Redbird”.

This is like every teenage fantasy rolled up into one. Running away from home, finding out they’re a superbeing and changing their name at will. I will attempt to feign surprise when Zoey’s family and anyone she’s ever hated gets their comeuppance for opposing her.

Neferet—who I’m picturing as a robed ferret in a training bra because it’s amusing—asks is Zoey knows what happened to her. She reiterates that they’ve never had a fledgling come to them like Zoey has. Zoey starts so tell her what happened but she gets the feeling that she should shut up. Grandma helpfully says that memory loss is common with head injuries.

Then PCK spends a page telling us that even young vampires can recover very quickly and that Zoey should probably be fine. Grandma asks if Neferet is sure she doesn’t want to keep Zoey for observation. Neferet says that Zoey’s healing powers would astound grandma and she shouldn’t worry about it. Grandma isn’t quite convinced though.

“Sylvia Redbird, I give you my solemn oath that your grand-daughter is safe here. Each fledgling is paired with an adult mentor. To ensure my oath to you I will be Zoey’s mentor. And now you must entrust her to my care.”

Ok. How much more special can Zoey get? She’s already a vampire—a supposedly rare thing—and she was visited by god. Now she’s going to be taught directly by the high priestess. How soon until she’s immune to sunlight, PCK?

That’s enough for grandma. Now that grandma has fulfilled her function for Zoey, she can go back into the closet until Zoey needs her again. They say goodbye and grandma leaves. Zoey thinks how awesome it would be to be the high priestess. Why? Does it come with a great parking space? A cool office? Do you get to throw the first pitch at baseball games? No, it’s because that’s what PCK would want.

Zoey tries to be humble though and tells herself she isn’t high priestess material. Which is true but that won’t stop the authors from making her one. Neferet asks if Zoey is ready to start her new life and she says she is. Please let part of that new life mean mucking out the vampire toilets.

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5 Responses to Marked Chapter 6

  1. chocolatesamus says:

    Okay, so… we haven’t figured out how these authors have ruined vampires, but they still hunt and kill humans, right? So when Zoey got marked, it meant she was going to have to extinguish human lives on a regular basis for the rest of her immortal existence, and… she’s overjoyed? Yet another point of evidence that the protagonist is the real villain here…

    • maeverin says:

      well she gets to show her superiority to everyone else now, not just verbalize it.
      Grandma seems pleased, too.
      That’ll make for some awkward conversations at the senior center on cribbage night.

      • vivisector says:

        ‘Hey, Sylvia, how’re your grandkids?’ ‘Well I don’t really keep tabs on any of them except for Zoey you know. She just recently got over her aversion to killing and did in her first vagrant.’ ‘Well. That’s…something.’ ‘It brought tears to my eyes. To think one of my own relatives would be a sociopath. I was so proud.’ ‘Yeah, I don’t think we’re inviting you anymore, Sylvia.’

  2. Curmudgeonly_Caiman says:

    If I may get srs biz for a second, this was the chapter I literally threw my book across the room. I was disgusted when they were describing Neferet that they made a crack at “girls who threw up” or however it went. I was disgusted. Momma Cast, you’re a teacher. Shouldn’t you know better at making throw away lines at people with a serious eating disorder. They don’t do it to be super hawt kool, they do it because they have a problem and need help. I just, ugh, I don’t need my protagonist to be morally correct all the time, but Zoey is obviously the smartest, bestest Mary Sue so what she says is supposed to be taken right all the time.

    • vivisector says:

      True, it’s exactly like her comments about Heath’s drinking. I’d ignore it if I thought it was simply Zoey’s ignorance, as there’s nothing wrong with a character who’s morals are flawed. But there’s something in the way it was presented, like PCK was expecting us to all be nodding along with their avatar, that grated my nerves.

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