We join Stevie now who’s says she feels like “a big ol’ pile of poo”. Stevie now having adopted Zoey’s personal prohibition against swearing because she’s a fucking wuss. Though so far, this book is doing a great turn in pretending that Zoey doesn’t exist. Every chapter we stay away from the author avatar is a blessing and a half. Stevie remembers bonding with Rephy then she remembers something about “True Blood” because she recently burned in the sun.
For a second she remembered the excellent season two True Blood episode where Goderick had burned his own self up on a fictional roof. Stevie Rae snorted a laugh. “It looked way easier on TV.”
Flash back time. Chapter Four in Chosen. It was still Zoey’s birthday, December 24th when she meets Stevie. She tells Stevie that tomorrow is Saturday, December 25th. In the post two thousand era, December 25th has only fallen on Saturday in 2004 and 2010. As this series has referenced things like the movie 300 and Twitter, it can’t have taken place in 2004. Ergo it must, at the very least, take place in 2010. And my timeline has established that it hasn’t been more than four months since Zoey arrived.
Now they’re referencing True Blood and a particular season which ran in 2009. This is important because it cements the place and time where this is all taking place. When PCK mentioned the kids going to see 300 in theaters we could argue that means this was all happening in 2007 but they could waffle and say, no it was a reshow because that’s something that happens regularly, right?
Oh and PCK? It’s Godric, not Goderick. I’ve never seen the show but a quick Google search told me I was a moron for looking for Goderick in conjunction with True Blood. So thanks for making me read and learn about a show I have no interest in to prove you’re a moron later.
Stevie jumps when Dallas appears and we learns she’s back at the school. She maintains her lie about tripping and falling. Dallas says that’s crap and they, being the undeadlings, tried to kill her. Stevie admits it to him but asks he keep it from the regular vampires. Nothing makes good allies like closely held secrets.
Stevie examines her back and she’s mostly healed, just a bit pink like she received a sunburn. There are bags of blood for her to drink, of course. How the school hasn’t run out at this point I don’t know. Between how much Zoey and friends have been knocking it back plus the regular meals for the adults they have to be a bit low by now. Then Stevie wonders if she still has a thing for Dallas or not.
Then Lenobia comes in and it’s clear she’s been crying. She delivers the news about Zoey being broken and how she will certainly die. This is a lot of setup for the non-surprise of Zoey’s resurrection. Also they beg Stevie to become their priest now that Zoey’s out of the picture.
Stevie kicks them out to dress and she looks at the vampire handbook. It just so happens to have a “super sad” story about a priest who suffered from a shattered soul and died. Stevie whines about how it’s not fair because Zoey’s had it so hard. Stevie then senses a presence and hears a voice telling her to go to Rephy.
We’re now with Aphro who is telling Erce to piss off because she doesn’t care about their rules. Apparently Zoey’s body is in the council chamber and she wants to go in. Erce is, as all vampires, not very open to the idea.
“Aphrodite, you are a human—one who isn’t even the consort of a vampyre. You cannot simply burst into the High Council Chamber with all of your youthful, mortal hysteria, especially during a time of crisis such as this.” The vampyre’s cool look took in Aphrodite’s messed-up hair, tear-stained face, and reddened eyes. “The Council will invite you to join them. Probably. Until then, you must wait.”
‘Look, you’re not a vampire and therefore not worth listening to. Maybe, if the vampires are done listening to intelligent discussion, they’ll invite you in and listen to you. At the very least, I’m sure they could use a good laugh.’ Aphro tells Erce she’s not being hysterical even though she’s been crying.
Aphro then starts bossing her way inside. She tells Erce that she’s Nyx’s prophetess, Nyx who is her boss and that she doesn’t need to be someone’s “refrigerator” to be taken seriously. Neferet says that, although Aphro could have put it better, that she has a valid point, which makes Aphro jump in surprise.
“It is not customary,” Erce said, but her capitulation was already obvious.
Have you been taking notes from Paolini, PCK? Because there are a couple of words that would have been fine right there. Besides, as we’re with Aphro, shouldn’t it be a simpler word? After all, Zoey’s slaves don’t know some of the most basic of words excepting Damien. So why is Aphro’s narration using a word like capitulation?
Neferet then sends Erce off on an errand and says that it’s odd that they’re once again allies. Aphro says they’re not and then Neferet looks at a stained glass window and says that it’s amazing how vampires always make the prettiest art. Aprho says that vampires have money and they buy the best, whether it’s human or vampire made. Which would be nice except PCK has made it pretty clear they favor the vampires.
Anywho, they banter a bit and Neferet is being clearly evil. Aphro notices that Neferet’s eyes are no longer green but darker and maybe red. The council then calls Neferet in who asks they recognize Aphro as she believes she’s Nyx’s prophet. She says she is, not claims, and Darius says that Nyx is more certain about her than Aphro is about herself.
Aphrodite smiled at him. He was more than her big, hot, mountainlike Warrior. She could count on Darius; he always saw the best in her.
Ah yes, the common attraction women have to men who resemble mountains. Large, triangular and home to some pretty scary wildlife. Darius reveals to everyone that he’s pledged to her and that’s impossible or something. That thing we no nothing about? It can’t be done the way it already has! They let her in, saying it’s unusual.
Let’s see, Zoey’s “tattoos” are all gone and then one of the vampires says Aphro isn’t using her gift to its fullest. This vampire calls herself Thanatos, because they may be hundreds of years old but their mentality was frozen when they were twelve. She can see spirits and talk to them which somehow relates to the visions Aphro has.
Aphro then says she must get her visions from the “otherworld”. Thanatos, who’s due back on the set of a Saturday morning cartoon, tells Aphro her powers must be stronger. Aphro says she doesn’t know what to do and Thanatos suggests that she does what all the characters do when they don’t know. Ask the author, I mean, ask Nyx!
Aphro confirms that Zoey’s soul isn’t there and that it’s broken. Thank the author for that. I didn’t believe them until they told me seventeen times. Then they yell at Nyx and they say it’s her fault. The council seems to admit there’s enough evidence that Kalona was there but not that Neferet had a hand in Heath’s death. Neferet tries to spin it, saying that Kalona said he was protecting his goddess. Then she has his body brought in and they see that it’s also missing a soul.
To confirm it, Aphro then scans Kalona’s body and can’t find a soul. Though she senses a “darkness” with, we’re told, a capital d. She also doesn’t disclose, purposefully she says, that his body is being held hostage. How does she know that, PCK? Oh right, magical prophet powers.