What if Nyx didn’t actually exist? I mean in universe, of course. What if Zoey were merely hallucinating visions of Nyx whenever she was stressed? Think about it, Zoey’s been exposed to a fundamentalist environment at home during her later formative years. She had to be influenced in some small part, even if she didn’t realize it. Zoey claims to have hated him but maybe she’s always wanted approval from him because she wants to be part of the family like her mom and siblings.
So what if she internalized all the things she learned from Stepdad and couldn’t come to grips with it until she substituted his god with her own? Then it turns out that Zoey’s servants are just going along with the whole Nyx thing because Zoey’s got powers. That would be both fascinating and one hell of a mind screw. I know I’m wrong but I can dream.
Zoey’s servants says they want to talk to her and are glad that Aphro is leaving. The rabble insult Aphro, because PCK hasn’t officially welcomed her into the group yet. ‘Blargh! You are blonde and skinny and thus I hate you!’ ‘Hurblah! You guys be nerds so I leave now!’
These exchanges are getting more and more tiresome. We get it, PCK, they don’t like Aphro and Aphro doesn’t like them. We don’t have to go through the insults every single time them meet. Then again, if you stripped out the unnecessary bits of all these books there wouldn’t be more than six pages left and two of them would be the chapter list and the copyright page.
“Aphrodite, you’re not going anywhere.” I had to wait till the Twins got over making sputtering sounds of disbelief before I could go on. “Nyx is working strongly in Aphrodite’s life. Do you trust Nyx’s judgment?” I asked, looking at each of my friends.
Oh snap! Do you trust Nyx’s judgement? Huh, huh? Being as Nyx gave the power to Neferet to raise the dead and kill people for fun and profit, I’d say no. Unless Nyx suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome just like Zoey. Nothing Nyx has done would inspire me to trust and believe in her and I’m privy to all the religious visions Zoey’s had. If I were a secondary character in this universe, I’d have no basis for any trust in Nyx.
Damien says that Aphro may be chosen by Nyx but they don’t really trust her. Finally, a sane voice among the idiots. Naturally Zoey has to try and persuade them to come over to her side. She does this by telling them that she trusts Nyx.
“I trust her,” I said. Okay, maybe I didn’t trust her one hundred percent, but Nyx was working through her.
“Which is ironic, because we’re having trust issues with you,” Shaunee said.
My old nemesis, irony, we meet again. Not for the last time, I’m afraid. At least in this case, PCK can claim it’s Shaunee who doesn’t understand irony and not her. But because there’s no correction from Damien, the walking dictionary and honorary grammar deputy, I have to assume that PCK condones the use and she’s too stupid to know irony. Which is, itself, ironic considering that PC is a teacher. Aphro doesn’t like the way Zoey’s other servants are acting though.
“Nerd herd, you make no damn sense,” Aphrodite said. “In one breath, you’re all ‘Oh, yes! We trust Nyx!’ and in the next you’re saying you have trust issues with Zoey. Zoey is the fledgling. No one—vamp or fledgling—has ever been so gifted by Nyx. Get a clue, would ya?” Aphrodite rolled her eyes.
Damien says that Aphro has a point. Wait, what? The logic there is a beautiful mind screw. Zoey has powers, powers come from Nyx and therefore Zoey is perfectly trustworthy. By that logic, Neferet is actually one of the good guys because she has powers. I mean, if Nyx didn’t trust her she wouldn’t have powers, right? And we all know people with any kind of power got it because they deserve it and they’d never abuse it ever. The lesson here is blindly follow the people in charge because there must be a good reason they were made leaders.
Aphro then tell them about her latest vision of Zoey’s death. This immediately defuses any anger the servants were felling because without Zoey, what would they do? Who’s boots would they lick if she died? Who would they fetch random assortments of soda for? Who would make them retrieve ceremonial supplies or hand over phones to be destroyed? They all say that, though Zoey has angered them, they don’t want her to die. They all begin wringing their hands and whining which will become wailing and gnashing of teeth if Zoey doesn’t step in and shut them up.
Damien whines that what makes them really upset is that Zoey is clearly telling stuff to Aphro and not them. Aphro tells him to stop whining, that there’s a reason Zoey has been talking with her. She tells them it’s because vampires can’t read her mind which makes Damien realize that Zoey’s mind must be impervious to thought probes as well. Zoey’s lesson number two; when your betters keep secrets it’s because they absolutely must. Never question the people in charge lest you lose their favor.
And now, suddenly, it’s not just Neferet that can read minds. They start talking about how vampires can read most fledgling minds or punish them for minor infractions. Because if they did, PCK would have to explain how Zoey got away with sneaking off campus those other times being as her servants knew about it. But if they scanned the minds of kids knowing they were up to something, then all hell would break loose.
Let’s just back that though up, PCK. All vampires can read minds? Was it not enough that they’re all immortal runway models with super strength? They had to have mind rape powers built in standard with every pair of fangs? And yet humans are portrayed as fearing vampire for no particular reason. What do humans have to fear from a race of people who are stronger, faster and can read their minds? Also, they all live in closed communes where humans are rarely allowed. That’s not scary at all. Those silly humans are simply being racist.
They figure the secrets must have something to do with Stevie and immediately start prying. Aphro and Zoey tell them nothing more than they already know which causes them to whine. Zoey shuts them all up by whining louder than them, once more asserting her dominance over them. She whines that she’s going to die and that’s a very sad thing. Only this time they know Zoey’s serious because she swears, twice! They start laughing at her which Zoey doesn’t like.
I saw the Twins actually have to stifle smiles. Jeesh. Why is my not liking to cuss such a big deal?
Because it doesn’t go with the careless attitude you hold towards life. I mean, you’re more than willing to kill people but cursing is for the lower castes. They all decide they have to get along and put their hands together and say “for Zoey”. Zoey’s heart squeezes, because feelings are things that happen to organs always, because she has awesome servants.
With that settled, Zoey dismissed her servants with the exception of Aphro. She needs someone to draw her a hot bath and do her laundry while she washes. Aphro and Zoey share a laugh after they leave because, Zoey’s friends are dorks and that makes Aphro one. Then Aphro says that she wants Zoey to follow her because there’s something she wants to go over before the council meeting. Aphro says they should be focusing on what’s really important.
“Me, of course, and what I need you to help me with.” Aphrodite opened the door to her room, and we walked into what I liked to think of as her palace. I mean, jeesh, the place looked like she’d decorated it out of a Guide to Gossip Girl Design magazine—if there was such a thing. Which, sadly, there probably was. (Not that I don’t adore Gossip Girl!)
Where do you find the time to watch gossip girl, Zoey? Between ordering your servants to go get candles and food, I can’t believe you have a spare moment. Also, I love how PCK is desperately trying to connect with any audience at this point. ‘I love the shows that you kids like! Please identify with my character! My mortgage isn’t paid off yet and this teacher’s salary barely covers my yearly bile cleaning costs!’
Zoey asks if anyone has ever told Aphro she has a personality disorder and Aphro retorts that several over paid shrinks. Then Aphro says that they need to find a way to get allowed off campus so they can come and go as they please. Zoey asks why and Aphro says so they can visit Stevie and the other undeadlings. Zoey whines about that until Aphro reminds Zoey that she’s the one with the superpowers as granted by the author. Zoey is shocked that Aphro has so much faith in her but Aprho explains that she knows how much power the author has given her and that Zoey has the immunity to go with it. Aphro then mutter about finding a candle and Zoey wonders if that’s what Aphro needs her help with.
“No, genius. Sometimes I really wonder about Nyx’s choices.” She handed me the little gold lighter. “I want you to help me figure out if I’ve lost my affinity for earth.”
What a cliffhanger, PCK. Does Aphrodite still have magic or is she back to being a regular human? Just think, I might be left to worry for a day or two…if I actually cared about Aphro. As it stands, I can only hope Zoey ends up lighting herself and Aphro on fire and they spend the rest of the book in the burn ward at the nearby hospital.
there are a couple interesting things going on here that PCK will probably not do anything about:
1–Stevie, with her already filled in red mark, new powers and a bunch of followers with unfilled red marks, could become the High Preistess of the red cresent. i have no idea why they would need 2 versions of vampires, unless they proved to be higher up on the food chain than vampires.
2-if Aphro DOES still have her earth powers, she could concievably be the bridge between humans and vampires, making her the rightful person to “save the world”. Especially since Zoey clearly has no love of humans, at least until they offer up stepdad as a sacrifice so she can take out all her anger.
Two kinds of vampires aren’t completely out of the question, other authors have done different classes with varying strengths and weaknesses. For such a young author (I think she was 14 when she wrote her first one), I really liked Amelia Atwater-Rhodes books when I read them in middle school/high school.
But I’m totally with you that she probably just created the red crescent vamps for the hell of it. That’s what most of this feels like. She and her daughter come up with one “cool” idea for the book and fill pages with shit to get it in the book. “What if-now stay with me on this-what if…Zoey has THREE men after her in this book.” “Holy cow, Mom! That’s just nasty!” “Don’t I know it?” *Then they high five*
Do you think PC and Kirstin do a London Bridge or an Eiffel Tower over their laptop?
Not only that, they have a secret handshake that they do when they come up with a REALLY good idea. And I assume said handshake will make it’s way into the books eventually when they go visit the head vampires (it involves a lot of finger snaps and “You go girl!”).
My guess is that PCK didn’t want Stevie to be dead but didn’t want to say that they undeadlings could go back to being what they were. And while Stevie being a bridge would be interesting, I don’t think PCK will allow a human to have powers. They’re not her favorite, unlike the vampires.