Burned Chapters 19 & 20

Chapter 19

Stark is being forced to repeat dialogue so we can catch up on the conversation that happened while we were away. Aphro is forcing him to memorize what Stark calls the poem and Aphro calls a prophecy. While I could argue with the fact that Kramisha is a poet and not e prophet, I’m instead going to bitch about how recently they get all these prophecies. When your creator gives them to you a couple of hours before you need them, it’s less like divine inspiration and more like quest objectives in a linear shooter.

The pilot interrupts them talking about how useful Kramisha’s poem have been. He tells them he can only drop him off and if Stark doesn’t have permission, he will die. They land and Stark jumps out along with Aprho and Darius and Zoey’s body. What kind of shit is this, PCK? Shouldn’t this guy have to go it alone? That would prove how tough he is and how serious. And why would Aprho be pressing him to memorize a fucking poem if she’s coming along?

The place feels creepy, like really creepy. Like run away right now creepy. Did I mention it’s creepy? Because the characters keep saying it like someone taught them the only way to keep their parents from dying of cancer was to say creepy every six seconds. They come to a bridge over water and begin to cross while Aprho whines about how she’s sure she’s going to die. Darius assures them that it’s just a spell meant to drive people away. How he knows that, not being magic, is a mystery to me.

They step up to the stone arch, of the bridge apparently, and wonder if there’s a doorbell. Someone speaks in Gaelic, asking if they speak. Because that’s the most likely thing in the world. Then they speak in English, asking what they want. Stark says they have to talk to Sgiach on a matter of life and death.

“Sgiach isnae concerned with uze wains, even if it be a matter of life or death.”

If you’re going to go Scottish accent, you might as well go full bore and give it the Mike Myers treatment, PCK. A vampire wearing a kilt magically appears and asks what’s the deal. Stark explains about Zoey and her soul and MacVampy says she’s going to die then. Stark tries to go through the arch and MacVampy says he’s not part of the vampire council and blah blah blah. Stark hands Zoey off to Darius and demands to get through because he’s of the bloodline MacUallis.

MacVampy goes off to look over the list of approved VIPs. Stark almost croses without permission until Darius tells him to calm down. MacVampy and a lady show up and she gets a paragraph of description. Which means she’s the all important Sriracha, I mean Sgiach. Stark demands entrance again and apparently that means he’s part of MacVampy’s clan. Stark says he’s there to learn more about being a “warrior”, Sgiach whines about them not coming anymore and Stark says he’s there.

Stark gets his hand stamped and he’s allowed in. Darius wants to come along and MacVampy demands to know about Aphro. She bitches him out for calling her a regular human. This is all it takes to get her permission to go across as well I guess. The same kind of conversational tone which wouldn’t get you a smile from the employees in retail get’s her onto the forbidden island.

Without any further discussion, Stark, carrying Zoey, followed by Darius and Aphrodite, passed beneath the marble archway and entered the Isle of Women.

Thanks for spending a whole chapter doing that, PCK. It was terribly important for us to sit around while Stark demanded his way into Vampire Island. I can’t wait for the training montage where Stark will learn everything he needs to know in a couple of days so he can be almost special enough for Zoey.

Chapter 20

Let’s talk about the language in PCK’s world again. Specifically, I’d like to revisit the topic of gendered language. Particularly grating is PCK’s use of “prophetess” and “priestess”. I’ve already talked about how silly it is to say priestess being as priest is, generally, a particular religion and not just a generic term for a spiritual leader. But maybe the vampires didn’t come up with their own word in English so they just appropriated a term which can be used generically to mean a spiritual leader. Fine.

So why say “priestess”? It’s not like priest is explicitly male only. And by saying “priestess” that implies that there aren’t just women doing all the rituals. Which runs counter to everything we’ve seen so far. There are no male priests, leading vampires through magic circles and burning herbs. And if there are, I’d bet a solid dollar that PCK would make them gay because gay men are just straight women with penises, right?

“Prophetess” is worse though, in my opinion. The term prophet doesn’t necessarily mean man even going back to early Judaism there were a few women who are counted among prophets. That anyone would picture a man when hearing the word prophet is more of a personal problem and one you’d think PCK would address by just having Aphro called a prophet and having one douchebag say something like “but you’re a woman” to drive home how they’re challenging notions.

Also, to quibble a point—because all I have are quibbles, they just vary based on size—a prophet isn’t really someone who gets visions of the future. They’re more people that claim to commune with god and relays messages from god to everyone else. Zoey would be better called a prophet while Aphro is more of an oracle or a seer.

Onto the chapter which I’ve been dreading because the Scottish accent makes my head hurt. We get it, PCK. You could just write out his dialogue and normal and remind us, once in awhile, that some words where hard to understand or that he pronounced can as ken.

Anywho, they’re getting into a “black Range Rover”. Apparently the island of misfit vampires not only has a gas station but gets regular fuel and part deliveries. So much for being an island cut off from everyone where no one is allowed to set foot. They notice Sriracha isn’t with them and learn that her affinity, still a stupid word, is with the island. She can teleport and Aphro asks if it’s like and “undorky version of Star Trek” and then reminds us that anything related to Star Trek is dorky.

I’m sorry PCK, but this nerd cred card expired in nineteen ninety five. And it looks like you’re not going to be able to renew it by mail. You’re going to have to take the test and a passing score is nintey one percent. Lucky for you, you can choose the subject. If you’re going to reference old science fiction TV shows, might I recommend brushing up on Lost in Space, Blake’s 7 or even the original Battlestar Galactica? Fuck, if you want to be timely you could drop a Doctor Who reference or two like Paolini does.

MacVampy knows all about Stark Trek which shocks Aphro. Apparently they have satellite out on this secluded island which is meant to train “warriors”. I’m starting to see why they decided Sgiach-y should remain in charge of the training. They also have internet because Sgiach likes to keep up on things. Author forbid anyone not have the same amenities they have in their house in Tulsa.

They drive past a “hangin’ tree” which catches Stark’s attention. MacVampy, like all obnoxious fucks in fiction, chides him for not knowing what it’s for and says his education is lacking. I couldn’t find anything about “hanging trees”, other than the obvious, but I did find a Wiki page about wishing trees which MacVampy says it is later.

Also, MacVampy believe in the “fey” because this is a universe were all legends that the author likes are true, maybe. They finally come to a castle which looks all old-timey and has torches setup for light. Which if fucking stupid because torches don’t work as well as lamps. Then again, vampires aren’t known for using sense when it comes to lighting. These are the same people that use gaslamps in the school like it’s Paris in the middle of the nineteenth century rather than the twenty first.

There are some dried heads on stakes outside and Darius says “the great taker of heads” which MacVampy says is Sgiach. Please say Zoey’s will join them soon, PCK. A bunch more “warriors” come trotting out with a litter for Zoey. Stark gets to go along with them and carry the unconscious form of Zoey within.

The interior of the castle was a major surprise, especially after the gruesome “decorations” on the exterior. At the very least, Stark had expected it to be a Warrior’s castle—manly and Spartan and basically like a cross between a dungeon and a guys’ locker room. He was seriously wrong.

Oh look, more sexism. ‘What do guys like, Kirsten?’ ‘Well, mom, if my research in sitcoms has taught me anything, it’s that they like sports.’ ‘Sports…hmm. That must mean they like all things related to sports. So if they were going to decorate…’ ‘And they weren’t gay enough to be women…’ ‘They’d probably decorate it like a locker room!’ ‘This is why you earn the big bucks mom.’

Loads of tapestries and marble everywhere because there’s no excuse not to rub your opulence in the face of everyone. MacVampy asks Stark if he wants to rest first or get started right away. They go into Sgiachy’s throne room—of course she has a throne—which is also white marble and intricately carved and blah blah blah I’ve seen better in shittier fantasy PCK. They close the curtains when they realize Stark can’t take sunlight.

They ask a bit about him like how he failed to protect Zoey. Uh, he’s not an adult and hasn’t been trained to do more than shoot the bow? He says he made a mistake, you mean aside from swearing anything to Zoey? They also says that he should know to follow Zoey’s soul into death is a death sentence. He says he wants to use the power of the bulls, which they dismiss as legends, and Stark says they fly the flag of the black bull on their castle.

“You speak of the tara, ancient symbolism long forgotten, like my island,” Sgiach said.

So long forgotten that they have both satellite and internet. Why it was almost an epoch ago, six days, when the last Amazon shipment was delivered. Stark says the bulls showed up in Tulsa and Sgiach demands to be told what was foretold.

When they learn of it they say Stark must learn about an even older ancient thing. Some “warriors” weren’t just that, they were also “shamans” and served their priestesses in greater capacity as such. So, as I said before, Stark has to undergo a class change. Now go get the rat’s tail from the Citadel of Trials and bring it to Bahamut, quickly!

This entry was posted in House of Night, Recap, Spork and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Burned Chapters 19 & 20

  1. Dizzie says:

    “This is why you earn the big bucks mom.” :’D

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