Brown pop is a phrase I’m sick of hearing in this series. I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating seeing how PCK keeps using it. Some authors will stuff a brand in their work because that’s their favorite. Stephen King often mentions Pepsi and I can’t help think that’s his soda of choice. It may be annoying but at least the characters show a preference for something.
The way PCK says “brown pop” it could just about any soda. I don’t care if Zoey prefers Dr Pepper, Coke, Pepsi, RC Cola or off-brand. If PCK doesn’t want to show brand loyalty—which is weird considering the Count Chocula mentions—then simply say cola. Just anything so I never again have to read the phrase “brown pop”.
We rejoin Zoey who’ still in shock over hearing about her potential death. She’s out of breath and falls to her knees. Stevie says that Zoey knows Aphro’s visions don’t mean it will come true. No, they’re just things Aphro gets which motivate the plot and the protagonist. Otherwise she’d do nothing but sit around, whine about how hard it is being special and flirt with the flavor of the week.
Zoey then says there’s something different about this vision of Aphro’s. Aside from the fact that it’s the only one she’s had as a human. How Zoey knows this is beyond me. PCK’s ability to separate herself from her avatar has finally begun to crumble. Aphro says that, aside from having visions as a human, this one feels different.
“Well, it felt more confusing—more emotional—more jumbled up. And I literally didn’t understand some of what I saw. I mean, I didn’t recognize the horrible things that were seething around in the darkness.”
It felt jumbled because PCK wrote it and she couldn’t write clear instructions for Velcro shoes. And I like how Aphro has to qualify that she literally didn’t understand some things. As opposed to the things she figuratively doesn’t understand? ‘Sure I saw blood running down the streets in waves, carrying the bodies of those I love but I just don’t know what it means.’
They blather on and talk about the shadowy things Aphro saw in her visions. Things that aren’t vampire or human even. You mean like cuttlefish? Egad! There are flying, ghost cuttlefish which can stick their sinister tentacles into your brain and control you! Don’t look now, Zoey, but I think there’s one angling for your skull right now. Don’t struggle, just relax as you become a wooden puppet without emotion, no change there. On the upside, your intelligence will double once the cuttle-ghost is in charge.
Zoey whines that some ghost thing touched her just tonight. How coincidental. Zoey asks what else Aphro saw and she says that Zoey had multiple deaths, which is—big surprise—unusual. And my multiple, Aphro meant there where two deaths for Zoey. One was drowning in smelly water that was too big to be some lake in Oklahoma. Aphro thinks it’s European because she saw a house at the edge and not an RV. Stevie calls Aphro a snob for that and Aphro thanks her. She also says that there was someone with her not long before and she didn’t know who it was until today. It was Stark!!! Were those exclamation points sarcastic enough?
Aphro isn’t sure if Stark killed her or what, just that he was present. Stevie says that must mean Zoey will get over the three boytoys she had before. Stevie quickly explains that Aphro told her about all three of them. Zoey then starts to whine about how Loren is dead and she proceeds to recount how and when. Blah blah blah, Zoey thinks it was horrible that a pedo died so gruesomely, blah blah.
“Zoey, that’s so awful,” Stevie Rae said. I could hear the tears in her voice as she put her arm around me. “Y’all were like Romeo and Juliet.”
Zoey can hear the tears but not see them. Stevie must have been taking lessons on acting while she was wandering the streets. And how in the hell were Zoey and Loren anything like Romeo and Juliet? Because they were both horny and did something stupid so they could get laid? Did their families have a blood feud between them? Having two people who bone on impulse does not make them like Romeo and Juliet, even if they’re motivated by the same blind idiocy.
Zoey whines about how Loren never loved her and how he used her. They slowly, agonizingly go over the details of how it happened and how Neferet planned the whole thing. We get it, PCK, we already read the previous book. You don’t need to remind us by having the characters talk and stupidly discover what happened to one another in the last one. Just sum it up in a short paragraph and if the people who read series out of order want to know more then they’d best read the others. Aphro and Stevie are shocked and realize that’s why Zoey was crying when they found her.
I sighed again, realizing I couldn’t ignore her. “Yeah. And Erik announced the news about Loren and me to everyone.”
Only because your servants went and dragged him over. If Jack hadn’t brought him over, Erik wouldn’t have said anything except to his friends, assuming he has any. And it’s really not everyone if only the help hears, Zoey. If they can’t be discreet then they can search for another job minus a recommendation letter. Aphro, angling for position as butler, says that Erik did it in a mean way and Zoey says that, if Aphro says it was, it must be very mean indeed.
Aphro’s second vision, because PCK just remembered she said there were two of them, is Zoey alone. She’s just in some place that’s dark and Zoey’s calling for help and no one comes. And then something slashes her throat and she bleeds to death. That would be one mister Vorhees. He hasn’t been doing much since the early two thousands so I thought I’d give him a bush hook and tell him Zoey’s been a bad camp counselor.
Zoey says they need details so they can stop it. Wait, who said anything about stopping it, Zoey? Stevie and Aphro are just trying to figure out which way they’d prefer you die. Aphro says that it’s all because she has no friends and all she needs to do is fix that. Zoey whines that it’s easier said than done and that everybody still mad at her. Stevie says it should be easy to fix, just tell everyone the truth.
“Yeah, that’s brilliant. Tell them that Neferet is an evil bitch who’s behind making a bunch of undead dead kids and the first time any of the nerd herd members get within the distance of a thought of Neferet, all shit will break loose. Which means our evil bitch of a High Priestess will not only know what we know, but she’ll probably do something majorly nasty to your little buddies.” Aphrodite paused and tapped her chin. “Hum, on second thought, some of that scenario doesn’t sound too bad.”
There are times when Aprho is an incredibly sympathetic character. I’m all for any option that ends with Zoey, or at least her servants, ground up and sold as off-brand taco meat. Aphro says that Neferet must know about Stevie being alive again. Zoey says not likely because she’s too busy planning a war. A war that will turn rather lopsided when the humans show up to a cat fight with flamethrowers and phosphorus grenades.
Aphro says that she doesn’t really like humans, because we’re supposed to hate her, but she’s not worried because Zoey’s alive. So all they need to do is keep her alive and everything will be fine. Except for all the awful things she does to people because Zoey’s got the mental stability of hamster coming off their antidepressants. Stevie says that makes sense, they’ll protect Zoey so she can save the world.
“Oh, great. I’m supposed to save the world?” All I could think was, And I used to stress about geometry.
Cue rimshot. Like you even know how to do math, Zoey. You’re too used to asking your servants to do it for you. Then she says “ah, hell” and the chapter ends. Giant surprise that the whole world revolves around keeping Zoey alive. Maybe this will all turn out to be a dream in the comatose mind of a teen who’s slowly dying because her parents took her off of life support. Who am I kidding? PCK doesn’t believe in happy endings.
“Zoey whines that some ghost thing touched her just tonight. How coincidental.” I believe you mean “ironic”?
“On the upside, your intelligence will double…” Zero times two is still zero.