Marked Chapter 21

So PCK’s comment about Stoker last chapter really grated against my nerves. That Stoker vilified vampires and that makes him awful. It’d be like saying that The Matrix vilified humans because one of them betrayed everyone to the machines.

For one, Dracula only featured one vampire and that was the Count. Is Neferet trying to says that it was unfair? That there have never been vampires which abused their powers  and killed people to survive? Are they all really that angelic and perfect and would never ever consider snacking on people just because they can?

Next, let’s consider that Stoker’s Dracula is directly and indirectly responsible for vampires in popular culture. And I’m not talking about the book. I’m talking about the movies that resulted from it, specifically Dracula and Nosferatu. Those two movies did far more to cement the vampire as a pop culture staple than the original book, if only because of the terrible imitations and illicit sequels they spawned. So screw you PCK for insulting Stoker. If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t be able to bastardize the creatures of legend into the Nix worshipping leech people you fawn over.

Oh, and PCK? Replacing an I with a Y is not cute or clever nor does it differentiate your books from everyone else. I will never accept them as “vampyres” and no one else will either. Yes, I get that she’s trying to tie them to Nyx with the new spelling but wouldn’t it be easier to say that vampires are a slang term and their proper name is Nyxians or something?

Getting past my incoherent rambling again, we start the chapter off with a phone call to Grandma. Have I mentioned that Zoey’s nickname of Zoeybird is infuriatingly stupid? If the best nickname her family can come up with is a portmanteau of her last and first names, then she doesn’t deserve a nickname. In my experience, nicknames are rather personal and sometimes owed to an embarrassing story. If anything, Grandma should have an embarrassing one for Zoey like Splash or Skid because of a few accidents she had as a kid.

Anywho, they banter and Zoey says she hasn’t heard from her mom. There’s still no word on what Zoey’s mom’s name is. I think she’s going to be called Carroll from here on out just so I can stop saying Zoey’s mom. Grandma says that maybe she has just kept missing her and Zoey realizes she forgot to charge her cell phone.

Wait, Zoey has a cell phone? Call me crazy but most people under forty treat their cell as their lifeline to friends and family. Either Zoey is so happy to be a vampire that she’s gotten distracted or she’s a sociopath who never really understood this communication thing and ignored most text messages and calls that came her way. ‘What am I doing? None of your business, Kayla. I’m not dignifying that with a response. Though I will yell at you later for looking at a car I was planning on buying but haven’t.’

So Zoey tells Grandma what happened. Though, just like Patterson and Otis and Chris, PCK isn’t content to say ‘Zoey told her what happened the last couple of days.’ Oh no, because publishers demand that their books be a little thicker than Where the Wild Things Are, PCK has to pad. We are dragged along in excruciating detail as we hear every word Zoey uses to tell her grandma that she’s enjoying her classes and learning fencing and blah blah blah. She doesn’t tell her about everything like drinking blood because she’s worried her grandma won’t love her anymore. Then she angsts how her mother traded her in for a new husband.

Which is one of the most selfish and whiny things Zoey has ever said. Again, it would be appropriate if Zoey weren’t right. I can’t wait for Zoey’s family to get their comeuppance for not doing everything in their power to make her happy. I’m betting that Stepdad will end up dead or in prison and Carroll will come crawling back, begging for Zoey’s forgiveness.

Grandma then asks if Zoey’s holding anything back. She tells Zoey that she can share anything with her and she won’t stop loving her so Zoey tells her about the blood. So far this chapter has been a character telling another one things we already know. This is the third time Zoey’s related the blood drinking and it wasn’t interesting the first time, PCK.

Rather than be horrified, Grandma says that vampire are supposed to drink blood and like it. Zoey says that fledglings aren’t and Grandma reminds Zoey that she’s special and wonderful and that everything will be all right.

“You’re special, Zoey. You always have been. Why should that change now?”

That’s right Zoey. You’re special while everyone else is dull and boring. Then Grandma tells her to always look inside herself for strength and then she says daughter in Cherokee. Before Grandma hangs up, Zoey also tells her about how she might be an elemental priestess which brings more praise from Grandma.

That’s what makes stories like these so aggravating. Characters are constantly praising the protagonists for things they didn’t earn. Zoey didn’t work hard and learn how to command the elements, she naturally has it. It’s like praising someone for being tall or for their blood type, they didn’t have any control over it. Zoey doesn’t deserve a medal because she happens to have a talent for the elements. Then, for no apparent reason, Grandma asks if Zoey remember the purification ritual.

I thought about it. I couldn’t count the times I’d gone with her to the little stream behind Grandma’s house and watched her bathe ritualistically in the running water and speak the purification prayer. Sometimes I stepped into the stream with her and said the prayer, too. The prayer had been entwined throughout my childhood, spoken at the change of seasons, in thanks for the lavender harvest, or in preparation for the coming winter, as well as whenever Grandma was faced with hard decisions. Sometimes I didn’t know why she purified herself and spoke the prayer. It simply had always been.

Ok, so if it had been entwined throughout her childhood, why would Grandma ask if Zoey remembered it? And what hard decisions did Grandma use it to make? See, this is where a competent author would have seen an opportunity in revision. If this purification prayer helps her make decisions, they would have had Zoey do it when she was trying to figure out where to go when she was running away. And maybe once more somewhere else in the book, like after she drank blood, to steady her nerves.

Grandma runs down all the things Zoey needs to do the purification prayer, even though Zoey just said she remembered it. I’m guessing Grandma is starting to suffer from senility. Zoey picks out a spot to do the prayer then says her goodbye to grandma before heading off to class.

We skip class and cut directly to the lunchroom where Zoey is thinking about the prayer when Erik makes an appearance. He enters while making a “witty” observation about baby corn and how they’re creepy. This causes Zoey to drop the ladle back into the ranch dressing.

And the only think I can think about is, what happened to the vampires only providing health food? Yes, I’m sure you could call their diets generally healthy but ranch dressing is definitely not. Personally, if they really do stress the healthy foods, I would be stressing how such luxuries aren’t allowed. No ranch dressing, no chocolate, no soda and no snacks or any unrestricted access to food.

They banter and Zoey giggles like an idiot. He heard she’s decided to join the “dark daughters” and he casually mentions that they only let him in for his acting. He claims that he’s really a dork and that he’ll bring over the original Star Wars trilogy and do all the lines, even Chewbacca’s. Right, because everyone knows that liking Star Wars is all you need to get nerd cred.

Erik awkwardly asks her out to go do something and Zoey says no. He takes it in stride for a guy who’s not used to being rejected or at he appears to. Two minutes later he reappears with a flamethrower and barbecues all the unsuspecting students who think he’s just doing an odd performance piece.

All of Zoey’s friends are shocked that she didn’t pounce on Erik right then and there and begin ripping his clothes off. They ask, what could be more important than going out with the main love interest? Why, defeating the villain of the story, such as she is.

This entry was posted in House of Night, Recap, Spork and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Marked Chapter 21

  1. redclause says:

    see in a better book the ‘they only let me in for my acting skills’ would have set off alarm bells that maybe this dude isn’t all what he seems and that he’s actually a spy for the sisters. But a ‘nice’ and sexually attractive guy turning out to be lying through his teeth? Pttt only red haired fat guys called something ‘normal’ and unspecial would turn out to have bad intentions.

    • vivisector says:

      And of course Zoey didn’t wonder when Erik said that. Especially when we’ve been in formed that all the people who could, admire his looks and wouldn’t hesitate to sleep with him if given half an opportunity. Surely a guy like that must have had a hard time convicing the ladies to let him join the group.

  2. maeverin says:

    That Stoker’s Dracula was popular isn’t all that special in and of itself, but the fact that, like you mentioned, it spawned countless movies and books even in this universe is pretty funny.
    Who has been dominating the arts and entertainment world for centuries? Sure a few humans could sneak in here and there, but if vampires really hated Stoker’s book, its ideas would have never gotten as far as they did.

    • vivisector says:

      Good point. I guess the vampire authors all stepped out for a collective lunch in the late eighteen hundreds. Us lowly humans had to make do with the literary equivalent of banging rocks together until they came back.

  3. Murasaki Lynna says:

    Excellent spork. However, I’m fairly certain it was stated somewhere near the beginning that Zoey’s mother is named Linda

    • vivisector says:

      Thanks. You got me thinking so I went back and looked. Sure enough, Stepdad does call her Linda towards the very beginning but her name isn’t used after that.

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