Untamed Chapter 33

Why did Neferet wait until now to make Stevie bleed? Let’s think about this for a second. Neferet knew the prophecy and PCK can’t say otherwise because if Neferet was “listening” to Kalona he was probably telling her about how to get him loose. So why didn’t Neferet stab Stevie as soon as she found out she had earth?

And don’t you dare say it’s because she hadn’t figured out the prophecy, PCK. It’s not exactly in code or only obvious in retrospect. Especially not to someone who’s been a vampire for over a century and knows all about the elements like Neferet should. It would have saved her a lot of trouble to just take Stevie off to the side, slit her throat and see what happened. And if it didn’t work, just blame it on the humans like she’s been doing.

All of that could have been done before Stevie died and came back. It’s even worse since Stevie came back because Neferet knew exactly where she was and Stevie could have been rekilled without any consequences to her. So basically, Neferet didn’t enact her evil plans earlier because PCK hadn’t thought of it yet.

When we last left Zoey, she’d said the world had exploded. What she really meant was that she was experiencing a very mild and localized earthquake. Everyone begins to panick and Aphro says that have to stick close and keep the circle intact because PCK hasn’t worked out all the details yet, okay? They pick up Stevie and drag her close to the group while Zoey freaks out that she’s dying. Stevie says not to worry, that “he” just took her blood not her life. But again, they aren’t undead monsters risen from the grave and nigh unkillable. They’re just a “different” kind of vampire.

The undeadlings and Zoey slave gather together in a tight group. Zoey says that Erik is just staring at her. It’s at this moment tat Zoey demands he make an oath of fealty, to remain unbroken on pain of death.

“Make your choice now,” I said. “You’re either with us or with Neferet and the rest of them.”

Erik didn’t hesitate. “I made my choice when I volunteered to be your consort tonight. I’m with you.” Then he hurried to help Venus lift Stevie Rae.

This moment is confusing because I don’t think there any indication that he was going to side with Neferet. Just because he doesn’t like you doesn’t mean he’s evil, Zoey. Oh who am I kidding? We all know he’s madly in love with her and will forgive her anything so long as she’s not angry with him. He just needed a couple of days to get over his petty feelings of betrayal.

Everyone clusters to Zoey because she’s the safest person to be near in a disaster. It’s like they all know that there’s a mighty hand in the sky waiting to deflect any real danger. They decide to move towards the trapdoor because underground is the safest place to be during an earthquake. Zoey and slave begin to move very slowly away from the tree and the spot where Stevie’s blood fell. Zoey says you’d think there’d be vampires in the way but you’d be wrong because of magic. Finally they get far enough away that the bad guy can make his dramatic entrance. The tree splits apart and Kalona pops up.

“Oh, Goddess!” The cry was ripped from me at my first sight of Kalona. He was the most
beautiful thing I had ever seen. His skin was smooth and completely unmarred, and was gilded with what looked like the kiss of the sun’s loving rays. His hair was as black as his wings, and fell loose and thick around his shoulders, making him look like an ancient warrior. His face—how can I ever fully describe his beautiful face? It was like a sculpture come to life, and it made even the most handsome mortal, be he human or vampyre, look like a sickly, unsuccessful attempt at imitation of his glory. His eyes were the color of amber, so perfect, they were almost golden. I found myself wanting to get lost in them. Those eyes called to me . . . he called to me . . .

I know this may be a tiny complaint, in the grand scheme of things, but what exactly does and ancient warrior look like, PCK? Is that your lazy way of saying he looks like he hits the gym five times a week? Or are you saying that he looks like an ancient warrior, that is to say an old man who’s managed to survive through sheer luck and skill through thousands of battles for hundreds of years? Because now I’m picturing a seven hundred year old man, dressed like a Greek warrior doing the Hoplite run at Zoey.

Zoey’s attempt to bone a deity is cut short when he summons his “children” and a bunch of “raven mockers” come flying out of the ground. Wait, why were they in the ground again? I thought they were free and able to fly around getting old ladies to drive into the local gas station. Kalona looks at Neferet and calls her his queen and she calls him her consort. Then Neferet proclaims him to be Erebus, descended to earth.

A lot of people bow down to him because that’s clearly what you’re supposed to do when a being with the wrong colored wings claiming to be a god shows up. A bunch of the “sons of erebus” surround him and Zoey has no idea if they’re on his side or not. Then Neferet kills Sheky by wiggling her hand at her.

Shekinah’s eyes went wide, she gasped, grabbed her neck, and then crumpled to the ground. The Sons of Erebus rushed to her body.

That’s just pathetic. PCK dedicated more words to Zoey’s choice of hairstyle than to Sheky’s death. Sheky was supposed to be this ancient, powerful priest who carried a lot of weight with Nyx. And so she goes down faster than a pallet of lead. They go to the trapdoor where Darius is waiting. How he’s not affected by Kalona’s aura of conversion, I don’t know. I guess he gained immuity from it when Aphro gave him a quickie while Zoey was angsting.

Zoey says that Neferet is looking around wildly, unable to believe that Zoey and slaves escaped. I bet it’s more that she can’t believe that’s all it took to drive you away. Then the door closes and Stevie whispers “the tunnels”. So they decide to go to the icky, smelly tunnels where all the other undeadlings are.

They start arguing about it until they hear screams and see fireballs exploding in the distance. Apparently the “raven mockers” can “use” fire. Zoey says that they have their bodies back and are hungry and feeding on humans. How she knows this is beyond me. The fact that they’re “using” fire pisses off Butthead though. She gets ready to do soemthing with fire and Zoey stops her, saying they have to keep moving.

Zoey makes them all invisible and they wander the streets of Tulsa. She says that there are a lot of people out and about because it’s New Year’s Eve and the “raven mockers” are attacking them. And our hero Zoey just waltzes past them, unconcerned about all the death and suffering around her. They get to the tunnels and Zoey tells the elements to get lost. Then Zoey calls Heath and her mom and tells them to get to a basement or cellar. Though she only leaves her mom a voicemail, it’s probably the first time she’s done anything familial.

Zoey gather everyone and tells them it’ll be okay because they have truth and blah blah blah. A boring speech that is supposed to be inspiring and ends up being insipid. Darius whines that “priestess, this evil is like nothing I’ve felt before”. So now Zoey has supplanted the role of priest in the vampire culture and it didn’t even take Neferet’s death to happen.

Then the dullest cliche ever. They throw their hands together saying they’re in it to win it and all that we’ve seen a hundred times before. Zoey then says that, when she pulls her hand back, she’s sure she’ll see new marks because what would Zoey be without the douchy tribal tattoos that clearly warn everyone what kind of bitch she is? Then Zoey closes the book, saying that the path won’t be “pothole free” but that it’s her path and it’s unique just like her. And there is not enough force I could put behind a sledgehammer to crush her skull.

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