Of all the characters in the series, Stevie is the closest to a real person. She’s considered the leader of the undeadlings but not by choice of god or author. She has a limited power, earth, which is very strong but it’s not a Swiss Army knife like Zoey’s. Stevie’s love interest is a bundle of conflicts waiting to happen. So it’s a real shame that she’s been relegated to second string to a popsicle stick puppet. It doesn’t help that she doesn’t have much more flesh than a stack of poster board either.
Stevie is apparently moping and Kramisha is whining at her about it. In terrible fiction, that’s all “friends” exist for, so they can remind the heroes that they’ve got important plot related shit to get moving on. Kramy is telling Stevie that she’s clearly not herself and that she can almost hear her thoughts. Stevie says that Kramisha can’t hear her thoughts.
The hard edge to Stevie Rae’s voice had Kramisha’s eyes widening. “ ’Course I can’t. They’s no need for you to get all huffy. I said almost. I ain’t Sookie Stackhouse. Plus, even if I was I wouldn’t listen in to your thoughts. That’d be rude and my mama raised me better than that.” Kramisha sat next to Stevie Rae on the little wooden bench. “Speaking of—am I the only one who thinks that werewolf is hotter than Bill and Eric put together?”
Allow me to translate. PCK: “Please love us for we are aware of the same pop culture as you! Also, don’t stop buying our books or we won’t be able to write them from the Cayman Islands.” Stevie tells Kramisha not to ruin the next season of True Blood as she hasn’t finished the DVDs yet. Kramy says that she, being a priest, has to attend these ridiculous things that PCK dares to call a ceremony.
Stevie argues that she has reasons for being depressed like Rephy leaving and Zoey almost—but not really—getting killed in vampire heaven. Kramy then says that she’d also like to stop getting prophecy poems about beasts and things. She hands over the previous one and a new one for Stevie to read through. I don’t care enough at this point so at the first hint of italics or shitty meter, I skip ahead. It’s not like it matters really. When PCK wants to explain it they’ll fully quote it again and I can read it them.
Stevie says she can’t help Kramy figure out what they’re about and Kramy says she knows Stevie is lying. Dragon then shows up, reacts to the mention of “beast stuff” and tells Stevie these poems are important. Yes, that’s valuable ink that should have gone to character development. It’s almost as big a waste as the maps every fantasy author bangs out while drinking Scotch, fudging the coastline of Europe and wishing they were descended of Tolkien.
Dragon says that, had Stevie listened to the warning of the poems, that she might not have been injured so badly between the bulls. Also there was a raven and it might have been Rephy who is a monster. Dragon reminds her that Rephy killed his wife and Stevie feels a bit conflicted about that and checks the bond to see if she can feel anything from him. She’s upset that she doesn’t and Kramy says she’s sure the poems aren’t about the bulls.
The council meeting is called and Dragon mentions that Zoey won’t be home yet. They talk about the celebration party and Dragon’s mood flips one eighty from anger at his wife’s death to giggling about Jack making paper claymores to honor Stark. I suppose that there must be yet another stage of mourning, bipolarism.
We switch over to Jack who’s busy prepping for the party and hanging out with Damien. Duchess, Stark’s dog, is there as well. He’s complaining to the dog that she’s been acting “psycho” all day. We’re not going to get to see this but we’ll probably have it told to us. Who here wants to see a dog acting crazy? Probably not anyone that’s a fan of levity, that’s for sure.
They’re busy bickering about the spot Jack picked for the celebration. It’s the tree from where Kalona popped up like a mechanical mole so Zoey could protractedly prepare her mallet and knock him down later. Damien thinks this is a bad idea, rightfully so, being as there have been a lot of deaths since Kalona appeared. And being as it hasn’t been but a couple of weeks or so, this is probably fresh in everyone’s mind.
‘Hi, I’d like to reserve this spot of the highway for a picnic.’
‘Right here? There’s just been a fatal accident!?’
‘I know and I don’t want anyone to take it out from under me.’
‘Don’t you think that’s a little morbid?’
‘Some people won’t agree but I have reasons that are incredibly stupid.’
Jack says that it’s a place of power and power isn’t evil or good. Damien says, uh sure, as he tries to recall if there wasn’t a snake faced man who held similar views. I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about, Jack couldn’t possibly be a budding villain. He’s on the side of Zoey, the ever-good and incorruptible. Damien then says he’ll support Jack in this.
There’s also a lot of threatening undertones from the author towards Jack. For example, Damien is worried about the ladder being stable enough for him to climb and hang decorations from the tree. He also gives the sword that Jack is using as a template for his decorations a meaningful look as it’s sitting on the ground and, might be, pointing blade up.
Jack’s gaze followed Damien’s over to where the long silver sword rested, hilt down on the ground, blade up and shining in the flickering gaslights that illuminated the school at night.
If it’s on the ground, then it’s got to be lying flat but then the blade couldn’t be up. I think PCK meant to say it was stuck hilt down into the ground. Even then, that’s stupid as it’s not like Jack needs a close look at the blade to make an origami sword. It seems like the setup for a Mr Bean style ladder fall and impalement routine.
Damien says that Jack’s paper swords look very realistic and Jack says Damien is the best. Damien then says he’s sorry he can’t help. Jack then tells Damien to talk the dog for a walk because she’s clearly depressed.
“Okay, no problem. I was going to go for a jog. You know what they say: a chubby gay is not a happy gay. Duch can take some laps with me. She’ll be too exhausted to obsess over you.”
Wow, do they really say that, PCK? Because that just sounds like a stereotype you made up because the only gay people you know are characters in romantic comedies. They trade innuendo for a bit then Damien takes off and the last thing Jack says is that he love him.
Beep beep beep beeeep beeeeep beeeeep. Hold on, we seem to have an incoming telegraph. Something about how Jack is five seconds away from dying. Why do I get the feeling that Jack’s soon to be death will be reenacted in a safety video that the school will have to watch every Fall from now on.
Jack then starts the song he’s going to sing when Zoey returns as he moves the ladder around. He’s singing “Defying Gravity” along with the cast of “Glee” when he sees movement at the base of the tree. It’s Neferet wearing a hood and she shocks him when she pulls it back. Neferet says she can help Jack if she helps her. Jack says no and Neferet says that he will help her.
Neferet tells the darkness that Jack will be the sacrifice that her master demands. Shadows grab the sword and aim it at him. Neferet tells it to wait until the clock chimes twelve for no apparent reason. He sings along with the song still when midnight hits and Nyx shoves him off the ladder, with magic and he falls. Don’t worry though, he doesn’t get hurt even though he dies.
Jack’s sweet tenor was ringing through the branches of the shattered oak when Neferet’s lingering, waiting magic hurled him off the top of the ladder. He fell gruesomely, horribly, onto the waiting claymore, but as the blade pierced his neck, before pain and death and Darkness could touch him, his spirit exploded from his body.
I have to assume that’s metaphorical though I relish the idea of Jack going nuclear and flattening the school. Nyx is there and says yes, he’s dead. Jack doesn’t feel sad though he says he’ll miss Damien. Nyx says not to worry about it as “some souls find each other again and again”. Which brings up a whole host of questions I have to mull over. Then she hugs him and what little sadness and loss he feels vanishes as he knows “perfect happiness”.
well so long as it was “perfect happiness” how could he not want a better Death. Nyx like totes acknowldged him to, like he was Zoey or something.