What exactly do we humans get from the vampires in your universe, PCK? We’ve seen all the benefits Zoey gets for having bonded to Heath in that she could always locate a snack and the vampires seem to get plenty of powers from the get go even when they’re not. Yet Lenobia’s comment earlier in the book makes it sound like they’re supposed to have a symbiotic relationship and I won’t be surprised when PCK starts trying to flesh that idea out.
Thus far, we’ve seen that vampires form their own society where they spirit away children who are potential vampires and isolate them from humanity. They train them early on to hide their markings when they do go out among people and they don’t use their powers for the good of humanity. Hell, the one with the best power to help people is Aphro and the only time one of her visions helped people was when it involved Zoey’s grandma. They don’t obey human laws or conventions and the average person knows as much about vampires as they do unified field theory.
I’m betting PCK would argue the vampires are supposed to act as the spiritual warriors of humanity and protect them from the evil bull, a phrase more fitting than it sounds. Yet all I can see are a bunch of snobby hippies who won’t lower themselves to the level of humans by doing charity work for them.
Anywho, we begin the chapter from Heath’s perspective. For some reason, he’s busy massaging Zoey’s ego and whining about how hard she has it.
Zoey was getting worse. It was just not fair. Like she hadn’t had enough bullcrap to deal with lately? Now this had happened to her—this shattered-soul thing, and she was slipping away from him,from everything. At first it was little by little. Recently, it’d been more like humongous, cataclysmic pieceby piece. As they moved farther and farther into the heart of the grove, keeping away from the edges ofthe trees and what was probably Kalona stalking them out there, she’d started changing faster. Theredidn’t seem to be shit he could do about it. She wouldn’t listen to him. He couldn’t reason with her. Shewouldn’t even hold still. Literally.
Whoa, Heath. I didn’t call your word into question before. No one was putting your back up against the wall by calling you a liar who also lost his balls in a tragic girlfriend. The fact you have to assure me that What you say is what you mean only brings doubt to any previous statements you’ve made. Maybe Zoey doesn’t really have it so hard. After all, you didn’t say she literally had enough “bullcrap” to deal with.
Heath’s trying to figure out how to get Zoey to pull herself together and briefly remarks on how he’s not bothered by the fact that he’s dead. Though he’s been feeling like he doesn’t belong, something that’s perfectly normal at the best of times. Then PCK tips her hand in what would be a hint if Aphro hadn’t already told us and Stark that Heath is the one holding Zoey back.
It was like his spirit was searching for something else—something it couldn’t find here.
Zoey says that it must be because he died too young. He asks her what she means and Zoey says the other parts of herself said he died too young. She whines that she can’t do it then runs off. Heath then starts whining that he doesn’t know what to do when a shadow passes over the sun and a voice starts telling Heath what he needs to do. Never mind that the voice calls him an insignificant mortal then tells Heath to use his bond to make Zoey summon the other parts of her back so they can stay in the grove forever.
Wait, is PCK doing a gender inversion on the story of Adam and Eve? They’re in paradise and an evil is tempting the man. That would take skill though so I’m pretty sure that it’s a matter of coincidences coming together.
Stark appears then and reminds Heath he’s dead while asking Heath not to tell Zoey he’s there. Which makes sense to me. I’m sure that the best way to bring Zoey back to the land of the living is to operate in total secrecy and design a complex plot that will lure her back on her own. They argue a bit about keeping Zoey there and sending her back. Stark gives his word as a “guardian” that it’s best for everyone.
“What’s this Guardian stuff about?”
Stark drew in a deep breath. “It’s about honor.”
Maybe honor means something entirely different to vampires. It means watching the love of their life from the bushes and weeping silently while rubbing themselves to release. It’s just that seems like such a nonsense answer as we’ve seen nothing about the “guardians” that indicates honor. It’s more like unwavering obedience and lifelong servitude. Also, it might require a shitty Scottish accent and a kilt.
There’s a certain indescribable something that tells Heath Stark has changed and he’s telling the truth. They quickly start trying to work out how they’re going to convince Zoey to go back as PCK irons out the tiniest bump of tension for the dullards.
They walk on after her, with Stark saying he’ll hide until Heath has said his goodbyes. Heath starts whining about how this is hard for him. Stark gives his oath that he’ll look after her for Heath then steps back into the trees. Heath then approaches Zoey and tells her she needs to fix herself, not just for herself but for everyone back in the real world.
Zoey whines and cries that she can’t and Heath says he has to go or else she’ll be stuff. Then he mutters about how he’ll have another chance at life, because everyone gets reincarnated, and he’ll find her again if it takes hundreds of years. He walks away and through an opening into another realm leaving Zoey alone.
Over to Kalona, who’s uncertain of how long he’s been in the spirit world. Which is a riveting way to start off with the villain. Watching villains wonder about the time when they forget to wear a watch. I think that’s what really sold Aladdin was Jafar debating if he’d missed his nail appointment while cursing the fact he lived in the pre-industrial Middle East.
Kalona then comments on how beautiful the place is. PCK figures if enough characters tell us it’s nice, we’ll believe her and stop asking her to describe things. Ladies, if that worked I’d believe Zoey was a nice person and not a horde of wasps clothed in the flesh of a sacrificed hobo. He once been good, blah blah blah, and protected Nyx from everything but himself. Which implies that Kalona was both a danger a aware that he was a danger to her.
Ironic that it had been love that Darkness had used to bring him down.
How is that ironic again? If it was established that the “darkness” worked just like the dark side of the force in Star Wars, then I’d understand. But it really hasn’t been explained how someone joins with “darkness” just that it happens and they wanted it so it’s okay to splatter their brains across the highway when you drop them from the overpass.
While Kalona is sitting around having a wonderfest, he’s also wondering if he’s capable of love and if he loves Zoey. Those are the questions that have given me many sleepless nights. Being as I care so deeply about all of PCK’s characters I’ve often stayed awake pondering just what drives them.
Kalona realized when he arrived that Neferet was right and Nyx only banished his body not body and soul. Otherwise Erebus would have shown up and booted his ass back out. So not only is Nyx a shitty god who doesn’t care about humans but her writ can be defeated by the legal maneuverings of a toddler. Are we sure she’s on the side of good?
Let’s see, lots of stuff we know. Mostly about how Kalona found Zoey easily enough and he’s been watching them. Then he whines about how he’s having feelings at the idea of Zoey dying. His complaint isn’t that he has feelings for Zoey, merely that he’s having feelings at all. So is it people without feeligns that are evil, PCK, or is it people who give into them that are? Because Dallas turned evil for having too much and Kalona is evil because he has none and it’s not very consistent.
Kalona can’t get into the grove but realizes Heath is the key to keeping Zoey trapped here so she’ll die. PCK, I think your editor was drunk again because we already know this. Why did you bother writing a scene that already happened from the perspective of Kalona? As usual you didn’t add anything to it, you’re just repeating things to waste out time.
Over to Stark who’s now in the present of time and watching Heath cross over into the light at the urging of a short woman with a raspy voice. Stark looks over at Zoey who’s starting to fade in a way that’s nothing at all like the photo in Back to the Future. Stark steps out and starts talking to Zoey. Considering that Stark is lying on a slab and being randomly cut up by a vampire while in a trance, it’s incredibly banal conversation they’re having.
‘Dur, I missed you.’ ‘Buh, I missed you too.’ Stark tells her to come back and Zoey says she can’t, she has to wait for Heath. Stark confirms that reincarnation is what they believe in and says that Heath will be reborn and come looking for her then. He says she must because it’s the honorable thing to do and then recites a poem at her.
I think the word you’re looking for is duty, PCK. Someone with honor might accept their responsibility or they will be honorable for doing their duty at great personal cost but honor itself is not a reason. Then again, I don’t mistake humans for Klingons because fiction is indistinguishable from reality to a harpy. Don’t worry, you don’t need to read it as Stark explains that it has something to do with Kalona who’s there with them somewhere.
Being as it references a double edge sword, a normal person would assume that it’s a waring about the power Zoey wields being dangerous to her as well as useful. PCK is so thick that it’s literally referring to a sword with two edges. Stark figures it has to do with the sword he got after fighting his mirror image. Stark says they have to leave the grove, Zoey doesn’t want to and Stark says it’ll be fine as he’s her guardian now and tied to her by honor and not just love.
Stark then calls out to Kalona who appears when his name is said like a moron. Stark taunts Kalona, saying he has a goddess complex and challenges him to a fight. Kalona pulls a spear out of darkness and then cuts a whole in the ground until they fall into…something. Why he did this, I don’t know. I guess the immortal who can fly would rather hamper one of his advantages. A flash of light happens and the magic claymore is just there which Stark draws. He then strikes a sword pose and tells Kalona he’s not a boy anymore.
Wow so much fail at tension here and over explenation of a thread bear plot. How do you make a trip to the under world this boring?