We have five more chapters to go after this and so far the book can be summed up simply. Zoey thinks about breaking up with some of her boy toys and she puts Stevie up in Aphro’s house for a few days. Not exactly the stuff that legends are made out of. There’s no interpersonal conflict and the barest hint of internal conflict in Zoey. Even then it’s hard to give a crap about Zoey and her problems. ‘Oh no, all the boys want me and I can’t decide which one I want! It’s just like at Starbucks when I can’t decide between caramel or mocha frappachinos.’
Last time we left Zoey, Erik had fallen over in pain. It turns out that long term exposure to Zoey causes kidney stones and Erik has just started to pass them. Right now he’s got a mineral deposit the size of a quarter working its way out. Zoey begins to panic because she believes that Erik is about to die just like Stevie. She hopes he manages to become an undedling like Stevie so she can keep him around though. Not even the grave will let him escape Zoey’s clutches.
Aphro tells Zoey to calm down because Erik’s not dying but changing. Apparently changing hurts and causes the fledgling to fall down and get hot while they groan a lot. Again, I’d think this would be one of those things they cover on day one. ‘Hey professor? Shouldn’t we all know what signs to watch for when we’re about to change?’ ‘Well, class. It seems mister smarty pants Elliott thinks that memorizing monologues isn’t as important as knowing about vampires. Just for that, you’re all to complete a seven page essay on why Shakespeare was the best playwright ever, due tomorrow.’
Jack comes running in with towels and Zoey tell him that Erik’s not dying. Then Neferet shows up and touches Erik which makes him stop whining. She tells everyone to rejoice because Erik has made the change and isn’t that great. I say it’s pathetic. If the “change” is such a big deal why is it over faster than the time it takes to nuke a Hot Pocket? Erik gets up and Zoey’s third pair of panties of the day are soaked.
Erik stood up and raised his head. I gasped along with everyone else. His face was luminous. It seemed someone had turned a switch on inside him. He’d been handsome before, but now everything was intensified. His eyes were bluer, his thick hair was wild and black and dangerous, he even appeared taller. And his Mark had been completed. The sapphire crescent was filled in. And framing his eyes, along his brows and over his well-defined cheekbones, was a stunning pattern of interlocking knots that formed the shape of a mask, reminding me instantly of Professor Nolan’s beautiful Mark. I felt dizzy with the Tightness of it.
‘It seemed someone had turned a switch on inside him. Erik now came with vibrating action! If only he came with a trust fund, Zoey could have been sure that he was her one true love.’ Of course the perfect boyfriend just got better, superficially anyway. He was always a douchebag and that won’t change but at least he’ll make an excellent trophy for Zoey.
Erik’s gaze touched mine for a moment. His full lips tilted up and he smiled a special smile just for me. I thought my heart would burst. Then he raised his arms over his head and cried out in a voice filled with power and pure joy, “I’ve Changed!”
The key to solving the energy crisis is going to be wiring these vampires into the grid. All of them are always dripping with extra power and it’s time they gave back to the community. Everyone cheers Erik, because doing something that’s biologically programmed into them is a big deal in vampire land. Considering how few student die, the odds are in everyone’s favor so it shouldn’t be a big deal. They carry Erik off to what Aphro says is a secret ceremony that the adults all go through but never talk about. Then Zoey’s servants cluster around her to tell her how cool that was.
“Oh, baby! Now Erik Night joins the other vamp hotties like Brandon Routh, Josh Hartnett, and Jake Gyllenhaal.”
‘Did you know that I am aware of famous people? Some of whom are attractive? I should probably work them into the book somehow so people don’t suspect I am an alien.’ PCK said. They also throw in Loren and say not to forget his hotness, never minding the pedo vibe. They think it’s really cool that Zoey’s boyfriend is an adult. Now they have someone who can buy them lottery ticket, cigarettes and porn. Damien has some bad news for Zoey though he’s hesitant to tell her.
“God, what it is? Just spit it out!” I snapped.
He flinched at my tone, making me feel like a jerk, but answered me. “Well, I don’t know much about it, but once a fledgling goes through the Change he leaves the House of Night and starts his life as a full-grown vampyre.”
Maybe Damien would be more forward if there wasn’t a risk of him being thrown into traffic by a “mysterious wind”. Everyone feels sad for Zoey because Erik is leaving and that means she won’t be able to use him for a little while. She’ll only have two boyfriends to console her and that’s just not enough. She’ll have to call Anita Blake up and see if she’s got a spare boy toy Zoey can borrow until she gets her harem back into shape.
Aprho says she’s glad she’s not with him anymore and everyone but Zoey gets mad at her for it. Aphro leaves and they call her a hateful bitch while assuring Zoey that Erik is still her boyfriend even if he’s busy doing adult stuff. Zoey says yeah but it’s a lot to take in and then says she wants to get something to eat. They follow after her “like baby ducks”, because there is no animal Zoey won’t lure to its death, given a chance.
Zoey makes small talk with people while they eat and leave. She then lets her servants do all the cleanup excepting the food offering for Nyx. Zoey shoos them away, claiming she needs some alone time. Zoey’s planning on eating the offering and claiming “Nyx” did it. The same way she’d always eat the cookies left out for “Santa” at home. That’s why her siblings still believed in him until Zoey was sixteen. Once everyone’s gone, Zoey texts Stevie who’s still ok and still wants Zoey to hurry. Zoey then sits down and starts crying because she thought Erik was dead and she would have been sad like when Stevie died.
“I could feel that you needed me,” Loren said.
Oh look who showed up. Uninvited. Because he was watching Zoey from the shadows and getting ready to kidnap her. Zoey is so sad that she throws herself at him and cries. He pats her back while checking his watch and debating if he should make his move. It’ll take at least thirty minutes before her friends notice she’s gone and at least another thirty before they start looking for her. That’s barely enough time for Loren to talk Zoey into sleeping with him. Luckily she’s emotionally fragile and it doesn’t take much. Zoey finishes crying and complains that she must look like crap.
Loren chuckled and shifted me on his lap so that I was facing him. He gently smoothed back my hair. “You look like a goddess who has been saddened by stress and hardship.”
Yes, it must be hard to watch your boyfriend turn into a vampire. Especially when that was the point all along. And don’t forget the dead friend who’s not really dead. That’s especially hard on Zoey. Then there’s the powers which allow her to use wind as her personal Segway and the impending immortality. All those starving kids in Africa are always telling themselves ‘hey, at least I’m not Zoey.’
Loren then says the blindingly obvious that Zoey was worried about Erik. Zoey says yes and Loren gets mad, saying he told Aprho that more people should know about the change so it doesn’t scare them. Was that supposed to be Neferet he was complaining about, PCK? Anywho, then he decribes the change and how it is right after. ‘You know how Anne Rice described it with the heightened senses?’ ‘Yeah?’ ‘It’s exactly like that.’ Loren says there’s something else bothering her though and Zoey says yes. So Loren moves in to kiss her and Zoey briefly debates telling him all about Stevie and Neferet.
“Talk to me,” he whispered against my mouth.
Kristen Cast has to have been born of immaculate conception because there’s no way PC has ever had sex. Anyone who thinks that a pervy teacher whispering against their student’s mouth is in anyway sexy has never even seen genitals, including their own. Before her daughter told her what it is, PC thought that a blow job involved a can of air and minimum wage. If congressmen weren’t firing off dick pics into the internet, PC wouldn’t have ever seen one. She probably watches mating videos of the Praying Mantis to get in the mood.
Zoey whispers back that she wants to but it’s complicated. Loren says that, together, they can solve anything as his “kisses got longer, hotter.” He’s kissing you on the mouth, sans tongue. Those don’t really get hotter, in my opinion. He tears open his shirt and cuts himself, Zoey drinks it then he tears her clothes off and cuts her so he can do the same. Then Heath screams no in her head and Loren says it’s better this way because imprints with humans are complicated. Zoey asks if that means her bond with Heath is broken.
“It has. Our Imprint has replaced it.” He rolled so that I was under his body. “Now let’s finish it. Let me make love to you, baby.”
Wait, vampires can imprint now? Would you up your goddamned mind, PCK? Also, Loren can’t be in his early twenties. The only people who would say ‘let me make love to you, baby’ are hipsters and douche-nozzles from the seventies and I didn’t detect a hint of irony from Loren. Zoey says yes and then her world “exploded in blood and passion.” Fade to black, Zoey is banging her pedo teacher. No doubt we’ll rejoin her post coitus next chapter.
“let me make love to you, baby”
‘scuse me, gonna go barf for a while.
I know PCK wants us to hate him but she really didn’t have to start adding “baby” to Loren’s speech. Especially since he’s supposed to be a poet.