Why do fledglings get their powers before they’re mature? Unlike the rest of vampiric puberty, the extra powers aren’t something that’s inevitable. Nyx has to give them to someone, right? Which means she has to sit down, pick a moron and choose a power to assign them and then never take away.
It just seems like a dangerous, and stupid, move to hand world shaking powers to a bunch of hormonal teens. Wouldn’t it be safer for Nyx to wait until the vampire makes it to a century or so? That way they prove they can survive and that’d give her an idea of what kind of their morals. At least Rowling had an excuse as magic was accessible to a large number of people and their talents were their own.
Back with Zoey, she’s introducing grandma to everyone in her room. All of Zoey’s servants are there because not much happens at the school anymore. Ever since they cancelled movie night, boredom permeates every corner of the school. That’s why the students get excited about things like Shakespeare monologues.
For some reason, everyone has to ask Zoey if she’s doing okay. Because it was Zoey who was woken up at three in the morning, surrounded by evil spirits. Grandma just dropped in, unannounced, and brought cookies because that’s something grandma’s do. Grandma sees the dog and has to ask if that’s what it is. Apparently grandma has not been living on a farm as she has a prepper compound for the last sixty years. ‘I’ve heard about dogs. They were friendly and cuddly and would do tricks for bacon. Or was that your great grandfather…’
They decide to tell grandma all about the undeadlings. She asks how they’ve been keeping secrets from Neferet, before they start talking about Stevie, and they explain that first. No, I don’t know when grandma found out that vampires are psychic. She probably just knows because there’s a legend about it. Zoey’s slaves say that their working theory is to focus on banal thoughts. Which isn’t too hard as that’s all they care about anyway.
“Then she won’t think to look any deeper,” I finished. “But Neferet underestimates us. I don’t think she’d make the same mistake with you, Grandma. She already knows you follow the Cherokee ways—that you’re in touch with the spirit of the land. She might look deeper into you no matter what is buzzing around in the front of your mind.”
Wait, what? Is Zoey saying that Neferet will scan her mind because grandma is a native American? Is PCK trying to imply that Neferet is racist or that the cherokee religion is opposite of all evil? Besides, we all know grandma will share the same mental immunity that Zoey possesses. PCK will probably throw in a post hoc explanation about being descended from the cherokee lady who trapped Kalona. Grandma isn’t bothered by the idea of Neferet getting into her head though.
“Then I will have to clear my mind and practice the meditation skills I have been using since I was a girl.” Grandma’s smile was confident. “She cannot force herself into my mind, not if I block her first.”
Zoey then asks what if Neferet’s the queen of the evil witches. Grandma says then they’re in trouble and demands that Zoey tell her everything. Yet again, PCK proves they know how to skip over unimportant things because the next paragraph is all “and so I did”.
Screw you with a rusty ice auger, PCK. You’ve been forcing us to recap shit that we already saw and you knew how to summarize all along? That means you’ve been hurting us on purpose. I’m pretty sure that’s assault with intent to kill in some states.
Zoey then asks if Jack installed the camera like he was supposed to. Which is a funny thing to picture. It means Jack put a teddy bear with a hidden camera in the morgue. Not suspicious at all. He hands the receiver to Zoey and she can see the morgue and there’s a body with a sheet over it.
Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure they don’t just put dead bodies on tables and cover them with sheets. At least not for long term storage. You’d think Neferet would want to preserve the body in case it rises back up and put it in cold storage. Then again. Maybe she doesn’t mind if they have a little brain damage. It makes it a bit easier to keep them under control if their only independent thought is “pudding!”
They all complain about how gross the dead body is and how sad. Not that they’d care if it was someone like Elliott. Grandma says that Neferet’s ally is secrecy and blah blah blah so they’re going to break it by revealing the undeadlings. That is if they actually show up. Though Zoey has read ahead in the story and knows it’ll happen. Jack yawns and grandma says it’s getting late and also that it’s past curfew for having boys in the girls dorm.
“Uh-oh! We totally forgot about that. Like we need detention crap to worry about right now on top of everything else!” Jack said. Then, looking chagrined, he added, “Sorry, Grandma. I didn’t mean to say crap.”
Ah, my old nemesis, chagrin. After looking it up, I suppose it’s possible for someone to look “chagrined” but there’s got to be a better word. How about flustered or vexed? They all file out except for Aphro and Zoey. Zoey offers to have Aphro stay there so she’s safe but grandma says that would look unusual. Yes, if Neferet ever came into the dorms and noticed that Aphro was staying in Zoey’s room. Grandma says that Aphro won’t have to go to sleep unprotected and hands her a dream catcher. She also give Aphro a candle to light while she’s sleeping and Zoey jokes that grandma has been thinking about protection a lot lately.
“Been a little obsessed with protection lately, Grandma?” I asked with a grin. After seventeen years, I was used to Grandma’s weird way of knowing things she shouldn’t know—like when guests were coming, or a tornado was brewing (long before Doppler 8 was invented)—or, in this case, when we would need protecting.
Doppler 8? I’ll just assume that’s a local channel in Oklahoma. So grandma has been predicting tornadoes long before Doppler weather radar, huh? So how old is grandma anyway? Because radar was being applied to weather study in the fifties after surplus radar units became available. While it wasn’t until the eighties that they had tornado signatures down, that means Zoey’s never been alive to see her grandma predict a tornado before the weather service existed.
Grandma sends Aphro off, calling her “little daughter” and tells Zoey she’s never seen a mother’s love. Right, because the only thing that can make people awful is not having a mother’s love. Zoey says her parents are awful but she’s getting better and grandma says Aprho is her friend. Then she tells Zoey to open the window and hang the dream catcher because they’re trying to protect from the outside in not the inside out.
I reached up with both hands to pull apart the thick drapes. They opened, and I felt a stab of raw fear as I looked directly into the hideous face of a gigantic black bird with terrible glowing red eyes shaped like a man’s. The creature was clinging to the outside of my window with arms and legs that were human. Its dangerously hooked black beak opened, showing a forked red tongue. The thing let out a soft “crooo-ak” that sounded mocking and threatening at the same time.
How does the “croak” sound mocking again? ‘Croak, croak, I’m Zoey and I sound like a frog.’ ‘I do not sound like that.’ ‘I don’t sound like that. I sound like someone with a bag of dicks in my mouth! Caw!’ And good going, grandma. Maybe grandma is secretly trying to get Zoey killed.
Grandma tells Zoey to call wind and grandma tells the wind, in cherokee, to do something. It carries some magic dust from her palm to the raven which makes it scream. It flies off and grandma tell Zoey to send wind away and it does. This has apparently scared Zoey because she’s shaking and whining about how frightened she is. Crawling around an abandoned tunnel full of bloodthirsty undeadlings had no effect on her but a raven spirit showing up makes her piss herself.
Grandma says that Zoey did good in the same way that the kid in first place at a paste eating contest did good. Zoey asks what that dust was and grandma says powdered turquoise. She gives Zoey a small bag of it and tells Zoey to tell wind to circle the school and keep the ravens away. They both pat each other on the back and say how much they kick ass before going to sleep.
I think Zoey said that grandma is in her fifties in Chosen… not sure though