I’m often hard on Zoey for abusing her powers and it might not seem fair, at first. After all, I wouldn’t whine about Superman using his heat vision to cook a bratwurst or Iceman chilling a beer. Nor would I complain about Flash using his super speed to drop off flowers for his girlfriend. So why would I gripe so much about Zoey using her powers in frivolous ways? The source of that, like so many things in this series, is Nyx.
See, Zoey’s powers aren’t hers. Zoey didn’t develop them after a radioactive spider bite or by being splashed with chemicals during a lightning strike. They’re gifts from Nyx, given so she can go out and enforce Nyx’s will on the populace/world. This basically makes her a D&D style paladin and her alignment is I-do-what-I-want which has some awful implications.
Zoey is charged with stopping Neferet because she’s using her powers wrong. Nyx isn’t upset about all the killing that’s going on or anything but she can’t abide Neferet using her powers in a way she doesn’t like. So Zoey, who’s supposed to be the all good protagonist who puts things right, is supposed to stop her while being a huge hypocrite. And PCK wants us to buy into the idea that Zoey really is the hero.
Anywho, we last left Zoey being tempted to snack on Heath. PCK won’t allow this as it would tarnish Zoey. That’s an avatar’s primary objective, to do no wrong. The corollary is that if they did do wrong, which they won’t accept right away, then it’s someone else’s fault. Declarations of mind control or manipulation are sure to follow. Zoey gets snippy with Heath for being distracted.
“Heath, focus.” I channeled the heat that was shimmering through my body into annoyance. “The tunnels. You’re supposed to be telling me what you remember.”
Here’s a question, Zoey. Why does it matter? Heath shouldn’t be involved, at all. It’d be better for him to lose his memory then go back to being away from vampires, if only because Zoey is more hazardous to his health than radioactive waste. One causes cancer, the other simply is. Zoey tries to jog his memory and says that she rescued him and Heath doesn’t remember from what.
“Jeesh, do you not read the papers? The story was on page two.” It had been a lovely, but fictionalized article where they quoted Detective Marx and his very brief and mostly untrue statement.
No, Zoey. Nobody you know reads the paper but that’s because they’re not all sixty year old librarians who rub themselves to orgasm with the underwear ads from the Tulsa World. Heath says he did but wants to know what really happened. Being as Zoey doesn’t want anything to do with him, she says that he fell down and hurt himself then bumped his head. Or something along those lines. Heath doesn’t care and then Zoey tries to break up with him by saying they can’t se each other again.
His forehead wrinkled. He looked like he was trying to figure out a complex math word problem. “Why would you say something like that, Zo? Of course we can see each other again.”
‘Durr, Heath throw ball, durr. Not good at maffs, doh. Maffs is hards.’ I mean, he’d have to be stupid. It’s not like there’s anything interfering with his brain like drugs or alcohol or vampiric mind control. Zoey starts explaining how she’s no good for him and it has to end. She tells us that she read somewhere that lack of exposure might make it easier for him to live normally.
As I’d been talking Heath’s expression had become more and more serious and his body had gotten very still. I knew because I could feel his heartbeat, and even that had slowed. When he spoke he sounded old. Really old. Like he’d lived a thousand years and knew things I could only guess at.
Wait, his heartbeat slowed why again? I’d think being broken up with would cause your heart to beat faster in panic. And what exactly does a face look like when it becomes “more and more serious”? Did his smile fade? Did the corners of his mouth turn down? Did his eyes lose their usual jocular spark? Heath argues that loving her is normal and he’s been in love with her since he was nine. He pleads like any addict that clearly this is good for him and he needs it and don’t take the dragon away because that’s all he has left.
His eyes pleaded with me and I felt my gut twist. He was right about so much. It had been the two of us for so long—and if I hadn’t been Marked, we probably would have gone to college together and then gotten married after we graduated. We would have had kids and lived in the suburbs and gotten a dog. We would have had fights once in a while, mostly over him being too obsessed with sports, and then we would have made up when he brought me flowers and teddy bears, like he’d been doing since we were teenagers.
Her gut clenches, twists and rolls at least once a chapter. Is it just me or do all of Zoey’s emotions reside in the gut? Maybe half of the way she thinks she feels is merely the result of undiagnosed IBS. And why would they only fight because he’s obsessed with sports? Or does she assume that her being a royal snot wouldn’t cause conflict?
Zoey says that it’s not as good for her as it is for him and she has a real boyfriend. She then attempts to belittle him by asking if he knows what vampire men are like. Heath says that he doesn’t and doesn’t care because they can’t do what he does. Which is cut his neck lightly with a razor blade and entice Zoey with the scent of fresh food. Heath tells her to drink from him and stop the pain.
Zoey tells us that being imprinted means she wants to blood more than any other kind. Also, that not drinking from an imprintee can sometimes cause them pain. So she tells herself that she’ll just drink this once to ease his pain. She does and it’s described in what PCK probably thinks is erotic only to be interrupted by a couple of guys.
“Yeah, bitch! Ride him! Make him hurt so gooood!”
“That little white boy don’t have nothin’ for you. I’ll give ya somethin’ you can really feel!”
Ah yes, the rude, crude passerby that give the protagonist and excuse to flex their powers. They’re dressed with the “stereotypical ridiculous sagging pants and stupid, oversized down coats”. Zoey tells them to get away or she’ll kill them and then one of them says she’s a vampire. The other says that can’t be true because, clearly, she hasn’t a “tattoo” in sight. Being as Zoey doesn’t think before she acts, she tells wind to blow them away. A gust of wind knocks them down and drags them into the street.
I didn’t even flinch when the truck hit them.
Of course not, they were only humans. Heath reacts like someone who hasn’t traded their heart for a freezer and is shocked. Zoey says they were going to try and hurt her and Heath. Heath wonders if they killed them and Zoey says no, all she did was get them away and the truck did the rest. You know, it sounded a bit more pithy when Tom Cruise said it.
Heath goes back to being a slave and tells Zoey she has to get out of there because the police will be there. Zoey starts to feel bad about killing random thugs and asks if Heath if afraid of her. He says no, that he’s afraid for her. Heath and her have a childish conversation about morals and changing. It all boils down to Heath saying that Zoey shouldn’t be mean because that’s not who she is. Also he didn’t read anywhere that Nyx is mean so Zoey should be either.
Heath tells her to hurry or else it won’t be good for the vampires. Zoey sighs and says that wasn’t supposed to happen like that, that she was supposed to break up with him. Heath says that’s not happening and that he loves her. Zoey, of course, returns the sentiment.
“I love you, too, Heath.” I didn’t turn around, but whispered into the wind and willed it to carry my voice to him.
First she makes wind carry her down, then kill some guys and now it’s running messages for her. With great power comes great opportunity to abuse it. I’m willing to bet it turns out that the thugs are not only alive but merely bruised and scraped up. PCK won’t allow Zoey to commit manslaughter because no one can identify with characters who’ve committed murder, even in self defense. That’s why everyone hates Han Solo.
Zoey abusing her powers wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t so self-righteous about it. obviously just obtaining powers she’s going to accidentally use them–getting into an argument and really WANTING the wind to blow someone away, which usually doesn’t work but once or twice it does and preferrably with horrible consequenses to drive the point home– but nothing she’s done so far has been accidental.
So our protagonist accidentally kills some people and feels nothing about it. I am beginning to wonder if PCK are setting up these stories as an “Ascent of the dark queen” tale where “all shall love her and despair”. I mean nothing else explains this sort of callous disregard for human life and the casualness with which she treats having a human slave(Heath). And how does she know that the “thugs” meant her harm. They only seemed to be trash talking. Please tell me she gets some sort of comeuppance in the following books.