Betrayed Chapter 8

Ok, this chapter’s a bit bigger than the last one so it might drag. Strap your eyes open and brace yourself. We begin with Zoey leaving the dining hall. Because if we couldn’t draw up a map of the school and plot out Zoey’s day, PCK panics. Zoey whines about how she didn’t tell Nefert about the ghosts and how she just wants to go back and watch “bad reruns” on TV and ignore that she had a premonition about that random football player’s disappearance.

Wait, what? What premonition, PCK? Zoey had an upset stomach for no apparent reason and then she watched the news at the behest of her friends. If I were writing a story about the character thinking they were psychic, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’d put in. That’s why when authors write characters that are supposed to be genuinely psychic, they put in that scene where the character gets flashes of a knife and the smell of blood or something else. Otherwise they’re just an idiot who’s correlating improperly. Zoey then gets the next plot point delivered when she realizes she has a paper due on Monday. Somehow this requires her to head towards homeroom where her stuff is.

As usual, the door was unlocked. Why have locks when you had vamp intuition to scare the bejeezus out of kids instead? The room was dark, but that didn’t matter. I’d only been Marked one month, but already I saw just as well with the lights off as with them on. Actually, better. Bright lights hurt my eyes—sunlight was almost unbearable.

Yet another mention of vampire intuition. I wouldn’t trust it myself as vampire intuition didn’t tell them that Elliott was about to die. Hell, they couldn’t even see the signs when it was right there in front of them. If there were someone stealing from other student, not only would the vampires not notice, they’d probably chalk it up to losing the favor of Nyx. ‘Hey, I had twenty dollars in here last night! Where’d it go?’ ‘I’m sorry, Ted, but you lost the favor of Nyx. That means you’ll have a lot of bad luck which will appear to be theft but is your own fault.’

Zoey marvels at how she can see better in the dark than with the lights on even though she’s only been a fledgling for a month. And somewhere in the distance I can hear the wet slurp of Zoey’s Unicus as it swallows that morsel whole.  Then she opens her locker/cubby and finds a slip of paper with a haiku on it that makes her feel even more special.

We transition back to the dorm where Zoey is talking to Stevie and demanding she promise to keep it a secret. Zoey searches her feelings and the miticlorians tell her it’s okay so she tells Stevie all about Loren. Stevie’s first reaction? To tell Zoey how it must have been hard to keep that a secret because he’s just so hot and blah blah blah. Zoey tells Stevie about the two times Loren touched her mark and all Stevie can do is go on and on about how hot he is.

Stevie, of course, completely understands why Zoey would rush to let Loren grope her. After gushing about how amazing and romantic that he was standing out in the courtyard getting inspiration for poems, Stevie actually interjects reason into the conversation. But only because Zoey complained that Loren suddenly ran off just when they were starting to make out.

“Zoey, you’re a student. He’s a teacher. This is a vamp school and a whole different world from life at a normal high school, but some things don’t change. Students are off-limits to teachers.”

Though I don’t think for a minute that she cares about the rules, it’s nice to see Stevie fulfilling her primary function. She’s supposed to tell Zoey when she’s doing something that she shouldn’t which is how Zoey will know it’s the right choice. She’s also making it a forbidden love which means that Zoey wants to bone Loren even harder now. Though when Stevie asks if Zoey like Loren more than Erik—completely ignoring that Loren is off limits—Zoey doesn’t know.

And once again I have to complain about bad storytelling. Over half of this chapter so far has been Zoey telling Stevie all about what happened with Loren. And of course PCK can’t just skip to the end and tell us in a single paragraph that Zoey told Stevie all about it. No, we have to read through the dialogue lines between them complete with questions and clarifications. I don’t care if you’re trying to write a big broad action thriller or a tight character driven drama, you should never do that. With one exception. Unless you’re telling the audience something new.

It seems like one of the more obvious things out there but the reason is simple. Repetition is dull and having characters repeat the story back at the reader is tedious. Why did I read those chapters before if the characters were just going to recap them for me? The exception would be if Stevie revealed that Loren was implicated in a scandal with a student last year or if she’d heard he’d beat someone to death. Because then you’re adding new information to the mix, details that might flesh out the rest of the characters. Otherwise it’s like I’m trapped in an elevator with a parrot who sat through half of a book reading at the school for people without brainstems.

Then Zoey says that Aphrodite saw Loren touching her and that Zoey saw Aphrodite in Nefert’s office when she ditched Spanish class. Stevie says “that bitch was telling on you” because everything in the world must always revolve around Zoey. And, again, Stevie knows teacher/student romances are forbidden but is implicitly condoning this one. PCK’s opinion: statutory rape is cool as long as both people are hot.

Stevie asks if that got Zoey in trouble. Oh please, Stevie. Zoey will get in trouble for something the day Eragon feels guilty about exterminating a race. Zoey says that Neferet believes Aphrodite’s visions are false and so she didn’t believe her. Which just meant that maybe Aphrodite was telling Neferet about a vision she thought she had and not about Zoey and Loren because she’s saving that for later.

Now that the story is done repeating itself like your drunk cousin who never fails to remind you that they once almost got stuck on the railroad tracks when a train was coming, it’s on to wild speculation! Zoey says she has a bad feeling and Stevie asks about what, like Neferet? Zoey tells us that she obviously need to make an “okie analogy” to explain it to her. So she says that it’s like when a tornado is coming and you can feel it so Stevie should help her be a storm watcher.

“But first can we be movie watchers? Damien just ordered Moulin Rouge from Netflix. He’s bringing it over, and the Twins managed to get their hands on some honest-to-God real chips and non-fat-free dips’ She glanced at her Elvis clock. “They’re probably downstairs right now pissed because they’ve been waiting for us.”

First they’re not allowed to eat unhealthy foods then it’s only select things. Now they can get their hands on the stuff in spite of the school not stocking it and none of them having jobs to pay for it. It must come from a secret stash that Neferet keeps locked up for Zoey and her friends. Meanwhile everyone else must content themselves with cellulose ground up and packaged to look like granola bars.

Zoey is happy because Stevie will sit there and listen to Zoey talk, coo at all the right moments and then go back to talking about movies or boys. Zoey says this makes her feel normal. I’d say it means that Stevie is severely impaired. She should be asking Zoey questions about what happened with Loren rather than just sitting there like a lump and agreeing with her. And why does Stevie never tell Zoey anything? Don’t things happen in her life or does she really only exist for Zoey to confide in?

So they go downstairs and there are chips and Zoey gets a glass of brown pop which is starting to irk me. Why don’t you pick a brand, PCK? It’s not that PCK has a brand aversion as the chips are said to be Doritos and Zoey loves Count Chocula. So why now just settle on a particular “brown pop”? I mean, they’re not all equal, Pepsi doesn’t taste like Coke and neither taste like RC Cola. At the very least, please stop calling it “brown pop”. Call it cola. Otherwise it sounds like you could serve sewage to Zoey as long as it was effervescent.

But before they can watch the movie, the local news is on again. You know, as it often does come on at three in the morning with new information. They found the body of Chris and of course they’re blaming an animal attack because no one in this book has ever seen a horror movie. Also, there’s another missing teen named Brad who was—we know he’s dead, PCK—also a football player. Zoey doesn’t feel well and decides to go take a walk and she wants to do it alone so she tells her friends to stay put. No doubt she’s hoping to run into Loren again. All these news stories about people she knows has given Zoey the fame bug and a little teacher on student action is just what she needs to start her own reality show.

Zoey decides to walk over to the stables, presumably because the horses don’t need sleep after being pawed at by morons. Then Zoey hears a noise which isn’t a cat, though PCK takes a while to get this across. She zeroes in on it and finds Aphrodite having a vision while laying on a bench and muttering about how cold she is and she can’t get out.

Zoey says that Aphrodite has to come with her to see Neferet. Aphrodite can apparently respond while having a vision as she says no because Neferet doesn’t believe her. Zoey says she’ll go get her then and Aphrodite says Zoey ahs to stay put and hear the vision otherwise her grandma will die. Oh no, one of Zoey’s sycophants might expire? That’s one less person to feed her ego and I’m sure PCK won’t allow that.

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5 Responses to Betrayed Chapter 8

  1. redclause says:

    Do teenage girls really like characters like Zoey? 8I I don’t think I would have liked her even in my awkward phase.Also god this part was somehow more dull then the rest of the book so far x-x

    • vivisector says:

      I think that about the same number of teen girls like Zoey as the number of teen boys like Eragon. The few that do, enjoy wishing they were the character while the rest read it because they’re bored, or it looked like something they might like or even because they enjoy reading predictable books in between good ones.

  2. 13thscorpio says:

    And so the taming of Aphrodite begins…

  3. maeverin says:

    been noticing this trend in YA fiction–the girl protag is paired with a much older, usually inapprpriately so, male. they try to make it OK by saying it’s only a x year difference (which you pointed out earlier just doesn’t cut the mustard when you’re dealing with teens) or by having the male look young for his age.
    At least Tamora Pierce had the decency to bring up the inappropriateness with Daine and Numair.. they’re stil a couple, but at least Numair was feeling squicky about it for a bit.

    • redclause says:

      yes I’ve notice that too. >> It’s the age old wish furfillmentness of a girl finding someone older and mature so she can be taken care of and be protected…like a dad replacement. (yes I find it as creepy as it sounds) not that girls can’t date older guys, but when said girl has only JUST gotten over or is in the middle of pubity it starts to get…weird.

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