Sorry about the recent delay. My already anemic posting schedule was interrupted by frantic last minute studying for a certification test. Being as the cost was all out of pocket to me, I spent a solid week doing practice tests and reviewing because I didn’t want to fail and have to pay for it again. Thanks to no small amount of help from my wonderful significant other, I passed quite easily. Hurray for small victories.
I think PCK needs to sit down and tell us what the ravens look like in a clear and concise manner. We’ve gotten scattered descriptions but most of what they’ve said has been that they’re ugly and smelly. We know they have wings and beaks but, from the last chapter, we learned that Rephy has arms. Do they all have arms? Do they look like men with wings but animal heads like Egyptian gods? Do they have more feathers on the rest of their body?
Anywho, we’re back with Zoey who’s busy talking to Stevie on the phone. Remember the laws of hackery state that if you absolutely must have something happen then you must rehash it in the subsequent chapters. Tread the ground over until nothing will grow then salt the earth and leave only once you’re starving for new content. Zoey pesters her about being burned and Stevie says she’s fine and not to worry.
Though Stevie lies to Zoey when she asks why she was out so late in the day. Stevie is proving to be the only interesting character in the whole series right now. If it wasn’t for the faux “hayseed” act PCK forces on her, I’d find her almost likeable. That’s high praise considering I wouldn’t hesitate to hunt down Zoey and friends and cleanse them with fire.
Zoey has to keep being a nosy bitch about it though. ‘Are you sure you just fell? Because Aprho said you were in a cage.’ ‘No, I’m fine. Everyone’s fine.’ ‘But what about your imprint? How did that get broken?’ ‘Look, I don’t want to tell you but I also don’t want to lie to you so just shut your boyfriend complaint hole and drop it.’
Luckily the phone call gets interrupted by Erce telling Zoey that the council is calling them in now. Conveniently, Aphro has been taken upstairs to sleep off the random drugs the vampire shoved at her. Which makes me think they did it intentionally so they didn’t have to allow a human that could speak inside the council chamber.
Zoey says her goodbyes to Stevie, telling her she’s glad she’s not dead. Which is an incredibly clinical and cold way to remind us they’re friends. ‘I’m glad you are not dead.’ ‘I too, am relieved that your heart continues to beat. What a time we have had, exchanging emotions. Let us part now for we have things to do.’ I know realistic dialogue is hard but put a little effort into it, PCK.
Pagebreak to Zoey going into the vampire council hall. Apparently the vampires like taking things from other religions and changing them up. Their place used to be a catholic church but everything has been swapped out with Nyxian imagery and pentagrams. There are bench seats facing seven marble thrones which Zoey figures would be uncomfortable.
Zoey sees a stained glass window which shows Erebus and begins to panic because it looks almost like Kalona and everyone will believe him. Stark says not to worry, that’s why she’s there and Erce tells Zoey where to sit. This angers Zoey because how dare a lesser vampire tell her, lord of the vampires, what to do. Also, Stark and Heath are getting along and agree to look out for Zoey.
And they weren’t kidding. They weren’t being sarcastic or testosteroney or overly possessive guy-like. They were so worried that they were working together.
Whoa, guys not acting like broad masculine stereotypes in Zoey’s universe? That’s a reason to mark the fucking occasion. Someone get me my calendar. Zoey then whines about missing grandma before they announce the high council. They don’t say what they’re doing, just “the vampire high council” and we know they’re coming in.
We’re told they’re all female as if that should be a surprise at this point. Zoey says she knew that because their society is matriarchal. Because vampires may have taken to modern ideas like cell phones and jets but gender equality can go fuck itself. If nothing else, this series is an excellent teaching tool for how obnoxious sexism really is. It’s also a good example of ageism though too, just like Twilight.
[…]On one hand it gave me a little squee of pleasure to see proof that even though vamps did age and, eventually die, they didn’t get all grossly Shar-Pei–looking and full of wrinkles. On the other hand, the sense of power they exuded was totally intimidating. Just thinking about speaking in front of them, let alone the rest of those in the cathedral, grim, silent vampyres, made my stomach want to turn itself inside out.
No, we’re not told why she’s thinking that. Not even that they have lines on their faces or gray hair or anything like that. And how do you know they don’t get wrinkly, Zoey? Maybe vampires turn into sacks of crushed velvet the moment they kit their one hundredth year and spend the rest of their life looking like Clint Eastwood.
I still love the ephemeral “powerful” vibe that all these vampires throw off. PCK can never describe it to us but they reassure us they’re powerful and intimidating. Then Kalona and Neferet come in and Zoey says that Neferet has changed. Would you like to know how? Well so the fuck would I. We’re told that the “air around her seemed to vibrate with power” and that’s all. When everyone’s seated, they get started.
“The High Council is convened for this special session. I, Duantia, call us to order. May Nyx lend her wisdom and guidance to us.”
“May Nyx lend her wisdom and guidance to us,” intoned the rest of the room.
Is that the same wisdom that gave Zoey a whole team of X-Men powers? Then let’s hope she doesn’t lend it to everyone. They start interviewing Kalona and he gives vague answers that aren’t quite lies. Zoey keeps mentally begging him to tell the truth which he is if you forget that you can lie through omission. Then they call on Zoey as their next witness.
I really hope PCK isn’t going to try and make this a climactic courtroom drama scene. Not that they have the skill to make it a climactic action scene either but at least that’s a terrible I’m familiar with. I don’t want or need new reasons to hate PCK’s work.
Anywho, Zoey’s biology is all fucked up because she says she’s both hot and cold. I’m assuming PCK is trying to tell us she’s nervous but I’ve never been hot and cold because I’m nervous. Sweaty, trembling, dry mouthed, wide eyed and barely able to speak but not hot and cold. They greet each other and Zoey gets called to the floor where she’s addressed as high priestess.
This causes Neferet to bitch and moan that, she’s actually the high priestess of Tulsa. Which has just a touch more dignity than high priestess of Billings Montana but not much. The council says, not if she’s been deposed. Wait, what? Here I thought being a high priestess was something Nyx picked for you. Now it’s an elected office?
They finally settle the matter and declare that, Zoey might be young but they’re pretty sure she’s in charge. They say Zoey claims Kalona isn’t Erebus and wants to know who she thinks he is. Instead of just flat out telling them he’s a former guardian of Nyx, she starts into the whole spiel about the Cherokee story about him and blah blah blah. She says that he made a choice to be close to Nyx but Neferet isn’t Nyx or even a priestess anymore.
My proclamation was met with exclamations of outrage and disbelief, the loudest coming from Neferet herself.
“How dare you! As if you—a fledgling child—can know who I am to Nyx?”
Great, we’ve just been subjected to the “you don’t know me” defense. Now someone in the audience will get the microphone and start telling Neferet how she needs to get rid of that zero and get herself a hero. Kalona says he knows Zoey believes she’s telling the truth and starts babbling about how he wants to bring back the old ways and vampires shouldn’t cower in the dark. It’s semi-inspirational and PCK ruins the effect by telling us how magnificent and convincing he is.
The council says they won’t sanction a war on humans. Neferet says that she has done no such thing, even going so far as to buy the island that was the vampire’s old home. Apparently all the vampires used to live on the island of Capri. Which raises far more questions about the population of vampires but for another time. Neferet and Kalona then storm out which makes everyone angry but it seems everyone believes them.
Zoey and Stark are shocked that they could believe Kalona is Erebus. Here’s a stupid suggestion Zoey but one I think might help. Instead of telling everyone old legends maybe you should tell them what you know and plainly? No time for that as chaos has broken out! Or rather some mild discussion which PCK insists is chaos. They clear the room and say they’ll hear from Zoey and slaves around dusk tomorrow.
Zoey then tells her slaves about Kalona being a former guardian—or “warrior” as PCK keeps saying—of Nyx. Everyone is shocked but that’s because the vampires just put in new carpet. They think Zoey has fallen under his spell and all hope is lost.
Everyone runs off to get Aphro so they can talk about what Zoey knows regarding Kalona. She talks to Heath while everyone’s away and he says she has to fight her feelings because she’s the only one who can stop Kalona. Then he says he’ll go find Stark and send him to Aphro’s room to talk with her. He also says he’ll tell him he’s a “jealous dork” and punch him because “a good punch makes guys feel better”. Then he ruffles her hair and says he loves her.
“I love you, too, but I really hate it when you mess up my hair,” I said.
Insert “that’s what she said” and a laugh track and that could be a sitcom moment. Zoey then sits by herself on a bench that was in one of her dreams and wipes her nose after Heath leaves. She tells us how beautiful the place is and how much majesty and blah blah blah tell not show. Then she prays to Nyx, asking for guidance yet again.
Well considering Kalona asked her to save him the last time they met in her dreams and she said “no”, I see no reason why he should tell the council the truth. I mean he gets nothing out of it since Zoey won’t get off of her lazy ass to even contemplate trying to save him.
Also, this whole “problem” of theirs could easily have been fixed if Nyx wasn’t just like Zoey and just banished Kalona to Earth and let the humans deal with him. I imagine Nyx behaving almost like Zoey whenever we get to hear her whine about her boy troubles which she brought on herself since she refuses to have a discussion with all of them about it. Nyx was the one who thought it was okay for vampires to have 3 possible suitors and then ignore how those suitors would feel. Nyx is a terrible goddess and it’s no wonder vampires are so fucked up. It’s a wonder that they haven’t all died off by now as I can’t see how the majority of them could possibly be happy.