Awakened Chapters 25 & 26

Chapter 25

This is the chapter where we get to see Neferet’s intelligence put on display. Also, she has a chance to do something genuinely evil. When we last left her, Zoey’s mom had just had the authors shit all over her because they’re horrible. Of course the instant she’s away from Stepdad, she instantly reverts to the way Zoey likes.

Neferet stands there for a second before stating that she’s not Zoey’s grandma. Good to see that being evil hasn’t done anything to your vision, Neferet. Whatever anyone can say about you, that’s all in working order. Zoey’s mom says no, she’s Linda, grandma’s daughter. Then the synapses in Linda’s brain begin to fire and she notices that, hey, there’s a bull out there.

“Oh! It’s a … a … b-bull! Is it making the ground burn? Hurry! Hurry! Come inside where it’s safe. I’ll get you a robe to wear and then call animal control or the police or someone.”

I like how she says that the same way someone might exclaim that there’s a shark in the water. As thought the most terrifying thing in the world is a bull out in a field. Also, how the hell can she see what’s going on? Are there a lot of streetlights out on Grandma’s farm? Or did someone aim the bat signal a little too low?

“He isn’t burning the field; he’s freezing it. The withered plants just look scorched. Actually, they’re frozen,” Neferet said in the same matter-of-fact tone she often used in her classroom.

Oh yeah, that makes sense. Frozen things often look burnt to me. I can’t tell you how many pizzas I’ve thrown away, believing they’ve been overdone by the freezer. Pretty sure that’s why I got fired from the grocery store. Linda then says she’s never seen a bull do that before. Neferet then asks if he looks like a normal bull to her. Linda says no then demands to know what’s going on.

Instead of simply killing her, Neferet decides to play nice and ask if Linda can help her. Does she know when Grandma is going to get back? Wait, what? Why not ask where she is, not when she’ll be back? I’d think Neferet would want to kill her right rather than planning a death around Grandma’s cruise schedule. ‘She’ll be back next Sunday but she’s already got lunch schedules with Satan. Can I pencil you in for dinner?’

Linda says tomorrow and asks if she can brings Neferet a robe or take a message. Neferet says no then tells darkness to bind and gag her then take her outside. Neferet then tells the bull that she has his sacrifice. Bully says that she is not a powerful matriarch but a pathetic housewife. Neferet says sure, but she’s still the daughters of Grandma and that has to count for something. Bully says her blood is diluted and the sacrifice chosen will affect the strength of the vessel he will give her.

“Will she serve as the sacrifice or not? Can you use her to make my Vessel?”

I can, but your Vessel will be only as perfect as your sacrifice, and this woman is far from perfect.

Neferet, deciding that it would be cheating to have a really powerful “vessel” says to go ahead with it. Neferet conjures an obsidian knife and slits her throat. The darkness drinks then returns to the bull.

Flip over to heath now who’s playing football in vampire heaven when god shows up to chat. I wish that were a half assed joke instead of the truth. Nyx points out that there aren’t any girls around him in this heaven. Heath says there’s only one girl for him which makes Nyx smile. I guess even in the afterlife, Heath is being rule by Zoey. The grave itself is not far enough to shake off her grip.

Nyx transports him to some canyon that’s very nature-y and pretty, so the author says. She says she has a proposition for him, saying only choice. Heath asks what kind of choice and Nyx offer him three futures. One, he can hang out in heaven forever. Two, he can be reborn at some point and be reunited with Zoey who is his soulmate. The third option, he can be stuffed into the “vessel” that Neferet is going to get.

Nyx says that if Neferet had chosen better, then it would have been flawless. But because she used Zoey’s mom, Nyx can touch it. Heath asks if he will have memories of himself. Nyx says not quite.

“You would only know that which all reborn souls know—the most refined essence of what you are. That never fades, no matter how many lifetimes you circle through.” Nyx paused, smiled, and added, “And, of course, should you choose, you will also know love. That, too, never fades. It is only suppressed or missed or set aside to circle back around.”

Wait, wait, wait. Now there is an essence to someone’s soul which can never change? No matter how many lifetimes they live? So that means that anyone truly bad can never find redemption and anyone truly good is just bound to be that way. Yet Nyx reminds Heath she can’t interfere otherwise because she gave everyone free will.

Neferet says she’s very proud of Heath, says some magic words and sends him off on his way. She also reminds him that love is the answer because PCK are a pair of hippies that think good feelings can stop a meteor.

Chapter 26

Back to Neferet who’s on the balcony of her penthouse where the bull left her. That was an important detail to share. Otherwise I might have though Neferet took a Taxi from Grandma’s house, back into the city. She too, waves her arms and starts casting a magic spell. And here I thought you didn’t need to do much but tell the elements what you wanted and they did it. Now PCk’s magic requires incantations in shitty rhyme that I won’t repeat. Really, you’ll thank me. She finishes and the Heath-bot appears in a poof.

He was beautiful, an utterly gorgeous young male. Tall, and strong, and perfectly formed. The average person would see no hint of Darkness about him. The skin that covered his mighty muscles was smooth and blemish-free. His hair was long and thick and the blond of summer wheat. His features were perfect—he was flawless in his façade.

His façade, which is necessary for what reason again? Neferet tells him to kneel and names him Aurox after the predecessor to cattle. Neferet then begins her maniacaly laugh which is, apparently, tinged with madness. She also doesn’t notice the light his eyes glows with which is special “like moonstones”.

Over to Zoey who’s talking about Rephy with Stark. Stark is confused about him turning into a bird during the day. Zoey, speaking for god as she often does, tells us that it’s his punishment for all the bad things he’s done. Stark keeps saying how weird it is that, one minute he’s a baddie but now he’s on their side.

They banter then in a romantic way that makes anyone in a five mile radius gag before they start making out. Then Stark kisses her and Zoey doesn’t think about how he’s holding both her hands over her head while one hand goes exploring. How she didn’t notice this but did later, is beyond me. She does notice his kiss goes “hard”. I guess vampire men get lip erections when they’re horny. Then he bites her but not in a way she likes.

Zoey struggles but doesn’t say anything until she gets a hand free then hits him. Stark comes to and beings to panic about hurting her. She swats at him and demands to know what’s wrong with him, telling him he didn’t let go of her when she told him to. Which is batshit, because PCK never skips dialogue so I reread the passage. Zoey didn’t say one word to him until he bit her. Then she said ouch and that it hurt. Stark isn’t sure what happened so Zoey retreats to some good old fashioned sexism.

I sighed. What the hell was I making such a big deal about? So, he’d gotten carried away, grabbed my wrists, bit me, and not jumped the second I told him how high. He was a guy. What was that old saying? If it has tires or testicles, it’s gonna give you problems.

Sure, that’s how that saying goes. Stark apologizes a couple of times and asks her to come over and give him a hug. He says he’s been having sleep issues lately. Zoey says of course, they’ve been boning and doesn’t pay any mind to it. You’ve got problems that might be related to being possessed? Well fuck you Stark, you’re not Zoey so no one cares.

Zoey then says there’s no one to help them anyway as all the teachers stayed behind. Stark says that it has to be hard to try and forgive someone. He asks if Zoey would ever forgive Kalona for killing Heath. Zoey isn’t sure but says that he did free Rephy so you never know. Stark then says yes and they’ll have to keep an eye on Rephy because you can trust a man who once had feathers.

Stark goes to sleep and Zoey does as well, finding herself in a dream. She’s flying and suddenly hears her mom’s voice say she’s dead. Nyx says, of course and Zoey looks down and calls out. Nyx tells Zoey to shut up and watch quietly in spite of the fact that Zoey’s mom can’t hear her. Zoey then sits in the corner, crying while Linda wonders if she’s in hell. Nyx says, of course not, she was just weak not bad. Linda then says Nyx is Zoey’s god and asks if she can wait in vampire heaven for her. Zoey wakes up crying that her mom is dead but she really loved her.

I closed my eyes and let Stark comfort me while I cried out pain and regret and loss, until all I had left was love. Always love.

Also, command of the elements, near immortality, a coterie of slave who obey her every whim, a bodyguard who puts out when she wants and god watching over her. So love and all that was all she had left. I can’t wait to see how calmly Grandma takes the death of her daughter in the next book. Or how quickly Zoey will get over her mom’s death.

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