Awakened Chapters 23 & 24

Chapter 23

I hate, hate, hate how dull the confrontations are in this series. It’s like Eragon and Gabby fighting all over again. I know not every book needs to end with a knockdown, bare knuckles brawl that end with the hero leaking blood just slightly less than their antagonist. In fact, I’m all for a conclusion that doesn’t end in a fist, sword or energy blast contest.

The problem here is something called consistency. It’s a term PCK has heard of but only uses when complaining about what comes out of their blender as they turn their latest sacrifice into smoothies. Neferet has been established as being a rather traditional villain. She attempts to solve her problems with deceit, murder and torture.

When Kalona failed to keep Zoey trapped in vampire heaven, he was publicly whipped and banished. Darkness demanded a sacrifice so she, personally, threw Jack onto a sword. Her lies are always simple and used to cover up her evil-doings, not as weapons themselves, and she’s not very good at it. So it just seems fucking silly when the plot stops and Neferet attempts to use guile to turn the school against Zoey. It’s the equivalent of bringing a knife to a tank fight while leaving her bazooka back home.

What should happen is that Neferet attempts to kill Zoey, I suppose she should fail as PCK loves their trips to the Caymans, and Zoey flees. Then, when the heat of battle isn’t around, Neferet lies to everyone about Zoey being evil. That would be fitting with what we’ve seen so far. If they’d wanted to rewrite this proper, they could have had Neferet plantings the seeds of doubt and distrust in Zoey long before she returned to the school. Maybe spend some time wondering aloud why someone who calls herself a spiritual leader of the school has decided they can take a vacation while everyone else gets down to the business of cleaning up. It wouldn’t take much to start some grumblings against Zoey.

We’re with Rephy right now and everything is happening too fast for him to “take in”. All he knows is the glowing orb of isolation that Neferet had around them, for some reason, is now gone and people are coming to kill him. Stevie then speaks up.

“No. We don’t attack people who choose the path of the Goddess.” She spoke in an amplified voice, and the Warriors halted uncertainly in front of her. Rephaim noted that Stark had moved to stand on one side of her, and Darius on the other. Both Warriors had their swords raised, but their expressions spoke volumes; it was obvious neither of them wanted to strike their brothers.

It was so obvious that it negated the requirement of the author to show us. Again, PCK, how can you tell? Is it the pained expression on their face as they ready their weapons? Is it the furrowed brow and uncertain look they keep giving the others? I don’t know except that “it’s obvious”. If you’re going to go that route just declare by fiat that “they didn’t want to fight their brothers”.

Also, small gripe here, how the fuck are these guys bonded so close with everyone else? Stark has been an adult vampire for, what, two weeks? And didn’t Darius come from some other school just like Stark? Yet they’re all connected by a bond which, if war movies have taught me anything, is intrinsically linked to the uniform.

Neferet and Stevie argue about killing Rephy. Stevie says they can’t kill him because he serves Nyx. Neferet says that Stevie can’t judge what is in someone’s heart. Then what is probably the stupidest thing in Zoey’s world happens. No, you’re right, Zoeywas already born. Second stupidest.

Rephaim felt the change in the air before she materialized. It was as if a thunderstorm had been contained and its lightning had charged the air around them. In the middle of the surge of power and light and sound, the Great Goddess of Night, Nyx, appeared.

Great and goddess are both capitalized. I presume that means that, not only is that the official name of her group but that there are also lesser goddesses. So yes, god shows up to save Zoey’s ass, yet again. This time in public in front of a crowd. This causes the shadow tentacles of Neferet’s to get camera shy and pull back.

From all around him Rephaim heard awestruck whispers of “It’s Nyx!” “It’s the Goddess!” “Oh, blessed be!”

‘Praise the sun!’ There were, apparently, also some jokers in the audience. Which leads then to a paragraph describing how beautiful and perfect she is. Remember kids, dark may not always equal evil but good is never ugly. Everyone kneels, because evil would never use that moment of vulnerability to hurt anyone.

Then Nyx tells Damien, no it’s totally cool about Jack. He’s in vampire heaven having brunch. Also, he’s super pure of soul that she’s ever known. Damien, of course, is perfectly fine with this and responds like a machine which has been programmed to follow a script.

Tears filled and overflowed Damien’s eyes. “Thank you. Thank you for telling me that. It will help me try to get over him.”

Observe, everyone, at how passionless that dialogue comes across. Damien is supposed to have just lost the love of his life. Also, he’s a teen, and most teens can’t imagine that they’ll ever get over something mildly traumatic. Why isn’t he the least bit angry or upset with her? Apparently god could have just shown up at any moment, told everyone that Neferet was evil and left, potentially sparing Jack. Instead he’s all, gee I guess I’d better put on my big boy pants and move past all this grief I’m feeling.

Nyx tells everyone that some of them are at a crossroads, others are stuck and others are at “a life precipice”. Then she decides to shame Neferet by saying she’s not sure if she can really call her daughter anymore. She tells Neferet that forgives isn’t so easy and she’ll get it if she can earn it. Then she tells Dragon that his dead wife is happy now and won’t he just move on already like Damien? She then looks at Rephy and Stevie says she won’t hurt him.

Nyx asks how Stevie knows that. Stevie says because Nyx can see into his heart and knows better. Nyx says they Rephy is the only raven who has found the right way, her way, and says as long as he regrets what he’s done and wants to change then it’s all good. Murder is no biggie just as long as you promise to not do it and believe in Nyx.

Rephy says thatnks and Nyx says he gets a present for accepting his humanity. She will let him turn into the “true form” that he “deserves” every night. That way Stevie can have sex and PCK doesn’t have to run uncomfortably close to the fur culture for her audience. Nyx then disappears as Rephy turns into a real boy.

‘Hey Nyx? I suffer from a constant burning pain in my lower back which I’ve lived with for the past sixty five years…oh, I see. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve only been a loyal disciple for over a century. But this bird boy shows up and gets his looks fixed because he just switched sides. No, no, that seems fair. I’ll see you on the other side of the battlefield.’

Stevie just stares at him now that he’s boneable while trying to hide the growing damp spot in her pants. Rephy then goes and apologizes to Dragon. He offers to serve Dragon for his life to make up for what he’s done. Dragon says no and Zoey says he has to forgive or else it’s like he’s a bad guy or something and she totally knows what it’s like to lose someone.

Dragon’s eyes were cruel, his voice cold, as he answered the young High Priestess. “You say you know what it’s like to lose a love? How long did you love that human boy? Less than a decade! Anastasia was my mate for more than a century.”

There’s some arguing about Nyx and how she’s too nice for god. Neferet and Dragon agree that Rephy has to leave the school. Zoey and slaves decide, fine, they’ll just leave and go start their own school in the tunnels. Neferet says they can’t do that because the council won’t let them. Zoey says if there’s a vampire queen, which she says she is, they can do whatever they want without council interference. Then Stevie and Rephy kiss.

Chapter 24

We’re with Neferet who is very angry. She “inhales” darkness and then tells everyone to celebrate. She says that Nyx’s appearance was a really good sign and to ignore the dirty looks god was giving her. She also uses a little magic on anyone who looks like they’re doubting her to muddle their brains. She tells everyone to reflect on this in their “chambers”.

Dragon asks if they shouldn’t keep vigil over Jack’s body. She says yes and everyone who brought purple “spirit” candles should throw them in the fire when they leave. She thinks this will rid her of those pesky things. Now candles are a danger to her? Does that mean one employee from a Yankee Candle is actually the biggest threat Neferet could face?

Lenobia tries to confront Neferet, sort of, and Neferet uses darkness to muddle her a bit too. Then she storms off to the penthouse, which is off school grounds, certain that Kalona will be waiting for her. Why he might even have made a trail of rose petals that lead to the bed.

Being as convenience if everything, she’s suddenly drawn to a graveyard for no reason. She dashes inside and runs into the white bull. She then takes off the shirt Stark handed her and kneels. There’s a bit of the evil overlord bantering with their evil minion recapping those that Neferet has betrayed and used. Then Bully offers her a “vessel” which will be stronger than Kalona if she can find the right sacrifice.

To create the Vessel, I must have the lifeblood of a woman who has ancient ties to the earth, passed to her through generation upon generation of matriarchs. The stronger, purer, older the woman, the more perfect the Vessel.

That’s pretty goddamned specific. It might as well be written out as ‘I need Zoey’s grandma. The one she’s close to. Not the one that we’ve never seen. Also, Zoey has to bear witness to it so she has a reason for revenge.’ She says she knows exactly who will fit the bill, climbs onto the bull and thinks them there.

We swap over to Zoey’s mom, Linda. Looks like the comeuppance has occurred so she can be turned back to the right religion. She caught Stepdad cheating on her and how right Grandma and Zoey were about him. She’s very sad so she decides to go running to her mom. I guess PCK won’t let Zoey bear the brunt of this, just Zoey’s mom.

Zoey’s mom drives out to Gradnma’s house, finds a note saying she was expected. Grandma didn’t care though and still went to the powwow. Linda goes on in anyway, decides to drink a bottle of wine and read a romance novel. Then she’ll pass out and Grandma can make her an herbal tea which will cure her hangover. Also, she thinks Heffer is a stupid name and that’ll be the first thing she will be rid of.

Well her heel face turn has happened just a bit too quick. That probably means she’s about to die. She then comments on the scents in the house that are made by “real herbs” and whines about the “plugins” that John makes her use instead. PCK never does miss a change to take a shot at anything they don’t like, do they. Then someone shows up and Linda opens the door, surprised to find a naked vampire woman standing there. Please let the next chapter start with Neferet ripping her throat out and downing her blood in one shot.

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1 Response to Awakened Chapters 23 & 24

  1. Guest says:

    Of course Zoey’s grandma can’t die as Zoey can’t truly suffer any loss. Only minor characters of little consequence are allow to die in Zoeyland x_x

    While I can see why Darius is connected with the Son of Erebus since he is one of them but why is Stark? I mean he hasn’t been a vampire for long nor is he actually one of them. He didn’t go through their special training or anything as he is basically only made to be Zoey’s guardian @_@ Also, shouldn’t the Son of Erebus actually pray or ask for blessings from Erebus? I mean they name themselves after him and they’re supposed to be the warriors for the vamps.

    Lastly, Nyx suck so much. She appeared to basically tell Damien and Dragon to stop grieving, move on and be happy even though someone they loved died. Those that didn’t, Dragon, is now “evil” while the other gets to stay on the side of Zoey. Also, Neferet would not be allowed to do that as anyone who is against Zoey is “evil” and all the “good” people must agree that she is prefect and allow to shirk her duties and take a vacation whenever she damn well pleases or die. Even then they might not be able to escape the story.

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