Untamed Chapter 26

This is what happens when I set a future post. I pick the wrong date, because it’s late in the morning, and I don’t notice it didn’t go up. Anywho, here’s the post.

Why is telling, not showing, a bad thing? It seems like a simple question but there’s no single answer. Though I believe I’ve stumbled upon a single piece of the puzzle. It often creates logical inconsistencies that people pick on, even when they don’t see it. The author will often say one thing while the actions of a character will conflict with what we’re told. Take Sheky, for example.

Again I listened to my instincts, and instead of sending away my concealing spirit right outside the Council Room, I moved quickly down the hall, retracing my path until I was at the bottom of the stairs. Then I lifted the concealment, thanking spirit, and started back up the stairs completely visible and telling myself, Be calm . . . be normal . . . Neferet is a liar and Shekinah is very, very wise . . .

Ok, I’ll dare you to tell me how Sheky is so wise, PCK. Just the way she praises Zoey leads me to believe she’s a total moron. PCK tries to wow us a bit though by having Sheky tell Zoey she can come in before Zoey knocks. That must mean she has psychic powers! Or a camera feed on an intercom. Sheky and Zoey talk about the charity work with the cats. Zoey asks if she knew about the nuns running the place.

She smiled back at me. “I did not, though I did expect the charity to be run by women. Women have long had a strong connection with cats. Were the good sisters open to your volunteer work?”

‘Well they kept throwing holy water at me and branding me with crosses but I think they warmed up to me.’ ‘How do you mean?’ ‘Well, they tied me to a stake and lit a fire beneath me so I wouldn’t get cold.’

They talk about Aphro getting a cat and the cat’s name. There’s nothing quite like having characters discuss the most inconsequential details. Next I’d like them to go over the lunch menu and see if Zoey approves. Finally Sheky asks if Neferet it Zoey’s mentor, she says yes and Sheky asks if she feels close to Neferet. Zoey’s “instincts” kick in and she carefully answers ambiguously in case Sheky turns out to be evil too.

“I used to. We were very close when I first came here. Actually, my mom and I haven’t been close for several years, and I kinda felt like Neferet was the mom I wish I’d had,” I said truthfully.

Or she says something incredibly suspicious and stupid. This may sound like an odd question PCK but what does a vampire mentor do, exactly? I mean, I remember that Elliott had Dragon as a mentor and he didn’t do anything and so far Neferet’s done between jack and shit for Zoey. It probably just sounded cool to PCK so they threw it in without thinking.

Zoey debates telling Sheky everything but doesn’t because her gut tells her to. That seems incredibly stupid, Zoey. Let’s see what lying to Sheky at this point will accomplish. One, it will ensure that no one knows the undeadlings are showing up tomorrow and mean the vampire secret service will kill them when they’re spotted. Two, it will mean pissing off the vampire pope/president because you lied, Zoey. Thirdly, there’s no reason not to other than her “gut” which means the authors’ are meddling because they want a climax.

Sheky asks if Zoey no longer feels close to Neferet and she says not so much because of personal stuff between them. Being as it’s not really important if Neferet’s evil and building a small army of undeadlings, Sheky says that’s fine and she respects Zoey’s privacy. Because it’s okay to violate Aphro’s privacy, by eavesdropping in her conversations, but Zoey’s privacy is sacred. Only god/the author can even consider that but only because Zoey’s their avatar.

Sheky says that she remembers what it’s like to have been a powerful fledgling who carried such a large burden. This makes Zoey cry because, OMG, she feels like that too. Because every teen feels exactly like that and Sheky is manipulating Zoey into telling her what she wants to know. Or she’s just stroking Zoey’s ego and telling her that she’s special. Sheky says that it gets better, she promises.

“I really hope so,” I said. “Oh, and speaking of making things better—my grandma would like to come for a little visit. She and I are really close. I meant to spend some of winter break with her, but, well, you know that break was called off. So Grandma said she’d like to come here to spend some time with me. Do you think it would be okay if she stayed at the school?”

That’s the funniest bit of dialogue this series has produced in a long time. That’s exactly how people segue when they’re kids but I suspect that PCK thinks they wrote Zoey as transitioning smoothly. ‘Yeah, ice cream is awesome. So, you remember how the dog normally looks? Well, he doesn’t look like that anymore. I don’t know, he followed me into the bathroom and the hair clippers fell off the counter and they must have turned on because they shaved him bald.’

Sheky “studies” Zoey “carefully” and says they have a few guest rooms but those are all filled in by her and the VSS(the vampire secret service which is what I’m calling the “son’s of erebus” from now on). Zoey asks if grandma can stay in her room then and Sheky says yes. She then tells Zoey that it’s not wise to ask for favors just because you have special powers. This angers Zoey.

I met Shekinah’s gaze steadily. “This is the first favor I have asked for since I came to the House of Night.” Then I thought about it for a second and corrected myself. “No, wait. It’s the second. The first favor I asked for was to keep a few of my roommate’s things after she died.”

Sheky just nods and I’m starting to warm towards her a little. Finally somone is calling Zoey out on her behavior. Not that it’ll come to anything. Just seeing it means PCK is somewhat aware of the complaints. Zoey gets angrier and tells us what she would say if she had the guts.

Shekinah nodded slowly, and I hoped as hard as I could that she believed me. I wanted to yell: Check it out with the other professors! They know I don’t ask for special treatment! But I couldn’t say anything to let Shekinah believe that I’d overheard her conversation with Neferet.

What? How would telling her to talk to other professors let Sheky know Zoey overheard her conversation with Neferet? And Zoey, you shouldn’t lie to yourself of all people. You don’t “ask” for special treatment but you certainly expect it. There’s all the classes you’ve missed, the treats you eat, stealing the horse because you “needed” it and sleeping with Loren. Zoey always acted like all of those things are simply to be given to her and they are with no consequences.

Sheky reminds Zoey that with great power comes great responsibility. Zoey says she knows, she saw Spiderman too, and Sheky says she believes her. Yes, Zoey is very responsible with her powers. Using it to scale walls because she’s lazy and throwing people into traffic are both signs of a mature hero who knows when to use their powers.

With grandma’s permission granted, they say their goodbyes. Zoey then runs into the next person PCK wants to have Zoey talk with. Zoey runs into Erik and Zoey apologizes while Erik just says “it’s you”. Erik has come to realize that whenever he “runs into” Zoey he’s going to be dragged through terrible conversation and leave with a migraine. He can’t change it but at least he’s resigned.

For what it’s worth, Erik does try to walk away without talking to her. Zoey gets in his way, telling him that she has something to say to him. As Erik knows Zoey will not be denied, he tells her to just say it.

“You liked kissing me today. You liked it a lot.”

Is she trying to hypnotize him? ‘You were totally into in and you’re going to forgive me!’ Is anyone else getting that vibe that Aphro was giving off I the first book? The same desperation of trying to hold onto something that isn’t theirs? That must be my imagination. Erik says yeah, he’s always liked it but too many guys have as well. Zoey says how dare he talk to her like that and Erik brings up Loren and Heath.

Zoey tries to explain away Heath, saying Erik knew about him and how hard it was to be imprinted and care about Erik. Ok, that still doesn’t change the fact that you allowed it to continue longer than it should have, Zoey. Erik comes back to Loren and Zoey yells that he was a mistake. Yes, and sometimes mistakes follow you forever, Zoey. Sometimes you do something wrong and you can’t make it right. That’s something everyone gets to learn as an adult.

Not Zoey though. She tells Erik about how Loren was sent by Neferet to seduce her and use her and blah blah blah. Erik is immediately cowed instead of outraged. It might have sounded plausible if you’d told him right away, Zoey. But waiting a few days makes it seem like you’ve been trying to figure out the lie which will make you out to be the victim. I’d be suspicious but I’m not a paper vampire who folds under a breeze.

Zoey says that they both just need to forgive each other and move on. Erik is shocked that Zoey thinks he needs her forgiveness. Zpoey begins yelling again about how he called her a slut and embarrassed her in front of the help. But he’s right, Zoey, you screwed up. Just because Loren was sent to “seduce” you, doesn’t absolve you of guilt. Remember how Nyx gave you free will? You used it to bone Loren. Mistake or not, that was your choice.

Erik and Zoey then get to the point where they say they miss each other. They make arrangements to sit down and talk sometime. Grandma suddenly calls, because ruining moments it what family does best, and Zoey tells Erik all about grandma coming to stay. Erik gets ready to leave but Zoey stops him because grandma will have luggage to bring in.

Erik doesn’t offer to help, because he’s a named character. Instead, he grabs a nearby “warrior” and tells him that Zoey needs his assistance. He says he’s all to happy to help and that’s exactly why he took all that combat training, to fetch luggage for a brat like Zoey. Erik then leaves and they say they’ll see each other around. They go over and meet grandma in the parking lot.

Grandma is happy to see her and Zoey makes a joke about bringing so much luggage. I’m convinced that PCK has a grudge against humor. A joke once made them laugh and it hurt and now they’re out for vengeance. Grandma then says the place is surrounded by “ravens” but they’re outside the grounds. Zoey says, of course, because she blew them away. Grandma immediately praises, and believes, Zoey who says she’s scared because they seem to be getting their bodies back. Grandma says she knows and they head off to Zoey’s room. That’s quite a cliffhanger, PCK.

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