Burned Chapters 13 & 14

Chapter 13

When we last left off, Stevie had managed to summon vampire satan. Which was kind of impressive as PCK had set that up, albeit books ago. Though Nyx making sure to tell Zoey about dark not equating to evil when it was Stevie who needed to be warned undercuts it a bit. It also make Nyx appear even less wise that she did before.

Rephy is our character this chapter and he’s immediately able to sense darkness. Why is that, PCK? He’s half immortal and half human. The immortal portion comes from Kalona who isn’t a creature of darkness. Sure he might have been corrupted but that was after the fact. Or are you saying the sins of the parent carry to the child, PCK?

Sticky moral questions aside, Rephy is busy staring at the sky and trying to ignore the ghost girl who’s pestering him. I didn’t really touch on her before as the book didn’t either. She’s that special brand of obnoxious that authors always seem to force on children when they’re not the overly precocious prodigies that beg for a slap.

“Come on, tell me! Is it really fun to fly?” the young spirit asked for what Rephaim thought was probably the hundredth time. “It looks like it’d be fun. I never got to, but I’ll bet flying with your own wings is way more fun than flying in an airplane any day.”

Because that’s how kids talk, right? All they do is babble endlessly on all the time. They never shut up or ask questions, they just keep talking until your ears bleed. Rephy finally has enough and yells at her. She squeaks and disappears while we’re told about how the dark energy isn’t Kalona and it’s waking up sprites that have been forgotten. He feels Stevie’s fear and realizes she needs him.

Rephy isn’t sure how he’s going to find her and he’s getting angry. Apparently, he can’t give into the anger or he’ll lose the connection with her. How the hell he knows this when no raven has ever been imprinted with a vampire is beyond me. I guess he’s been reading ahead. He calls out to the darkness and it fills him while healing him.

Now Rephy can fly to her now that he’s whole. Because there’s nothing quite like a character’s disability going away when it’s inconvenient. Rephy then tells the darkness to point him to Stevie. A crimson mist forms and leads him over to Stevie right in the park. He finds a ball of blackness that’s clearly where Stevie is and commands the darkness to take him through the barrier.

Once inside, Rephy sends strength to Stevie. Then he sees the white bull and knows it to be the incarnation of darkness. The bull spots Rephy and then the action really ramps up when it and Rephy start talking. Let’s see, vampire satan doesn’t know Rephy but he knows his father. Rephy says his blood allowed him to pass through the barrier and vampire satan, VS, says he thinks Rephy is lying.

Isn’t that all very exciting? Nothing like the embodiment of darkness having a chat with one of the heroes. A conventional author might have it result in some sort of combat. Rephy tells VS that Stevie belongs to him and Stevie tries to send him away. Rephy then offers to pay Stevie’s blood debt. VS starts sucking blood from him via shadow tentacles. Stevie summons the other bull then, offering to pay any price. It shows up and banishes VS and tells Rephy that he’d better be worthy because she paid the price.

With the bulls gone, Dallas runs over. Stevie trips him with magic and tells Rephy to fly off and she’ll meet up with him later.

Chapter 14

Back with Stevie, Dallas tries to get her to go to the infirmary. She waves him and everyone else off saying she only wants to go to her room and to call Aphro. And then, being as something happened, everyone as to talk about it. There’s plenty of speculation about what happened in between Dallas relaying what little he saw.

They then hand her a blood bag and Stevie says she’s going to need more. Now, I’m not an expert in anything but where exactly are they getting all this blood from? For one, they can’t just be buying it from blood banks. Actual people who get injured need that to live. Not only is blood often in short supply but it expires so the need is constant. Add a bunch of vampires into the mix and there would be blood shortages the world over.

How could they fix this? PCK could explain that the vampires pay good money to people who regularly donate. That’s why they have so much money, they need it to purchase blood. Or they could explain that there are laws decreeing that every healthy human must donate blood at least four times a year. But that would be world building and no one likes that.

Stevie tries to explain that it was darkness that attacked her and a raven. No one seems to understand how that works because how would they? Stevie gets irrationally angry at Dallas and they start arguing about Stevie defending the raven. They then banish Dallas, claiming they’re going to remove her clothes to treat her, and demand to know more about the raven.

They make fun of Stevie’s fashion sense, again, because we need to be reminded she’s a redneck. She demands a phone to call Aphro and the nurse tells Stevie her wounds are serious. She says Stevie will need more blood and recommends getting one of the “human volunteers” brought in to feed her. Stevie says no, drinking from some stranger would be gross, and will be fine with bags.

Then everyone notices Stevie’s blood smells wrong. She sort of explains about Rephy drinking from her. Then she talks about summoning VS and Lenobia is aghast that Stevie summoned the essence of darkness. Should I be surprised that everyone seems to have heard about these supposedly forgotten gods?

After recapping last chapter for them, they notice Stevie’s healing factor at work. She waves if off as an undeadling power. Then she demands a phone and calls Aphro and Stevie goes over the story one more fucking time. Because when something is worth doing wrong it’s worth doing over again. She tells her all about what Stark has to do and hangs up.

Stevie and the rest then babble a bit about how she’s not done dancing with beasts, which was part of Kramisha’s prophecy poem. Then she thinks about how Rephy standing against VS was very brave and strong. Thanks for ruining that, PCK. You had almost allowed us to be shown, rather than told. She thinks that he might not have embraced light but he’s definitely rejected darkness.

Just before Stevie Rae fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, she thought of the beautiful black bull and the payment he had exacted from her, and, again, Rephaim’s words played through her mind: “I’m here because she’s here, and she belongs to me.”

With her last waking thought, she wondered if Rephaim would ever know how ironically true his words had suddenly become for them . . .

Is it as ironic as a vampire eating Count Chocula? Or is it ironic like rain on your wedding day? I think I’m going to buy an old fashioned dictionary and send it to PCK with a number of words highlighted. It might have been better to say, “little did he know how true those words were” or something of the like.

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