Destined Chapters 26 & 27

Chapter 26

I really, really hate the laziness that comes with Random Capitalization of proper nouns for titles. I hate how PCK always calls them “Priestess” as if that’s sufficient or what Zoey and crew does a “Ritual”. Look, ladies, if you’re going to crib from the ancient Greeks, which you’ve already done by having both Nyx and Erebus, go all the way. Borrow ancient Greek words for proper titles.

We’re starting off with Dragon who’s a “Sword Master” and the author tells us he notices things which is useful. This is counter to the other characters who are constantly bumbling into furniture because they’re so distracted by the pop culture they have to cram. The author tells us Dragon didn’t need his preternatural abilities to know something was going on with Zoey’s group. No, you just need pattern recognition.

Also, since when did Dragon have the preternatural ability to notice shit? This is the same guy who’s been working around Neferet for two books now and hasn’t noticed anything wrong. ‘Huh, she keeps drinking an inordinate amount of blood and is constantly surrounded by strange shadows. Nope, doesn’t register to me!’

He thinks that Stark and Darius are a bit young to be teaching people. Then he waxes romantically about his dead wife who was also made a “professor” when she was young. Dragon also whines about teaching Rephy and how he doesn’t want to but his duty won’t let him quit. He says this is counter to the fact he’s “stepped away from the path he’d walked with his mate and his Goddess”. So he acknowledges that he’s a bad guy then?

Dragon goes to check on their class and sees that Cowboy is leading the training. He demands to know why and Darius says shit happens. They have to escort Zoey and Aphro, Dragon wants to know where, and they mention the ritual. You know, the one which will reveal the murder to have been done by the known murderer. They explain, in excruciating detail, what’s going to happen tonight.

Dragon felt the shock of it—this was major spellwork, and one that entailed some measure of danger, even if the threat was more emotional than physical. I should have been informed. I should have been included.

I don’t know which is funnier, that they boys who are in no way participating have all the details or that Dragon knows it’s “major spellwork”. I suppose he got a master’s in the rapier and minored in spell theory. He sends the boys off and goes to have a chat with Thanatos. This brings us to a conversation which could only be used as background noise in a sitcom.

‘Did you know I’m the sword master here?’ ‘Why yes I did! I too have read this shitty book.’ ‘Am I not supposed to be involved where people need protecting?’ ‘I suppose you would but I doubt a lavender farm is anyplace you’ll be much help. Unless you plan on fighting off my hay fever.’

Thanatos says he’s not welcome because Rephy will be there. Dragon says he’ll be there to protect students, regardless of his feelings. Thanatos says ok, then how do you account for Aprho’s vision of death, mister stabby-pants? She also says his presence would run counter to the spell.

Dragon marches off and PCK tries to drop some characterization. He was tasked with protecting his wife one hundred seventy seven years ago. She didn’t die, of course, but somehow that was the same evil which killed her. Being as he was banished from the ritual, he’s going to make sure he’s there.

Over to Zoey who’s depating if they should ask the aura reader to show up. No, neither her nor Krammy are getting to tag along. Oh no! The vampiric early warning system will be running on half power, counting Aphro’s visions and Zoey’s prophetic dreams. Zoey and Damien are scarred because seeing how Zoey’s mom died will be “super hard to watch”. Just like that goddamned Casablanca movie. It didn’t have even one vampire or ‘splosion in it.

Thanatos appears out of nowhere, telling them fear can be useful when tempered. Also she’s holding a “ginomic spellwork basket”. Spellwork meaning it’s a basket made of spells or for holding spell related bric-a-brac? Because I’d like to meet the sorcerer who was tasked with weaving a basket of mighty holding.

Thanatos says, before they go, everyone has to get something they’ll use in the ritual. See, as it’s a “reveal ritual”(a highly technical term which I’m sure is explained in the glossary) they’ll need to reveal something about themselves, something that is normally hidden. You mean like a spleen or their kidneys? I can help Zoey reveal the empty part of her skull where a brain should go. Everyone else has to run off but Zoey has a Mcguffin in her purse, deposited there by the authorial fairies.

Everyone gets their crap and Darius starts driving. On the way, Thanatos gets out some Angelica flowers and tells them it’s very powerful and mystical. So they’re going to make a crown of it for Stevie to wear. Afterwards, they’re going to have some nice tofu burgers and plan a community recycling drive. She makes everyone braid flowers together and Rephy is really talented for no apparent reason.

Upon arrival, Thanatos says that it’s a good thing Zoey’s mom was killed on a lavender farm. Even Zoey who normally just goes along with whatever bull the vampire fling has to ask why. Thanatos says that lavender is peaceful and the land, which nurtures peace, will give up the reveal easily because it doesn’t like it. She also tells them to clear their minds while focusing on the fact they’re seeking truth. PCK tries to wrap things up with Zoey worrying about her mom and missing her.

Chapter 27

Over to Heath as Aurox who’s driving out to the site. I would think a near perfect magical vessel made to serve darkness would have better means to get around than a school issued SUV. Something like flight or fleetness of foot.

We learn that, as a vessel, he is fueled by the emotions of others. He’s feeling sad because they usually go away after awhile but Zoey’s emotions are making him depressed. Why he may just have to go jump of a bridge later today. He wants to know why he feels her emotions. Because PCK can’t leave a love triangle dead?

Aurox gets to the place and realizes that darkness has been there. No just because he can sense it but it also left its initials on the side of Grandma’s house along with the date. Aurox knows that it was the white bull and Neferet. So he takes up post near one of the trees and just waits.

Over to Dragon who is also on his way. PCK felt the need to tell us how he found Grandma’s address. It was listed as Zoey’s home in case anyone gives a serrated tin shit. He’s now following the bus Zoey is in. He’s still feeling sad and upset, telling himself that all he had left was the duty and the dragon. He smells something that reminds him of his wife and he yells that she’s gone and he’s nothing left.

We then shift over to Zoey. Look, PCK, I get you’re trying to do the whole converging storylines thing, I really do. But you can’t just suddenly have all the characters headed to the same location for almost no reason and have it count. You have to actually spend time amongst each character and develop them, making the head on collision inevitable. I know that would distract from the references to Game of Thrones and the characters constantly repeating the story but I think the series could survive a skillful excision.

Thanatos is telling them about the spell, which is beyond pointless. It’s called a “reveal ritual, I think we know what it does. She tells them that intent is really important while I thought the fact it was violence done on a lavender farm would do the trick. She then reassures Zoey that she’s strong and can do this. Zoey is thinking that, if that were the case, she wouldn’t have had a broken soul a few books ago.

Before they can do the ritual, which apparently has to be done before midnight because otherwise it’ll be the sixth day and too late, Zoey stops by to talk to Grandma. Zoey marvels at her traditional medicine belt for a bit. Then she notices Grandma has lost weight and has dark circles “under her expressive eyes”. That’s good, I wouldn’t want the grief to be marring her inexpressive eyes. Those are Grandma’s money makers.

Thanatos comes over and meets her, saying it’s a pleasure. She says she isn’t death but standing in for her. Grandma asks what she means and Thanatos has a long winded thing about mother’s bringing you into the world and how it only makes sense that a mother would see you off. Everyone says how nice that sounds and how much sense it makes. Because if the characters don’t reinforce the idea, the audience sure as hell won’t.

Thanatos then starts asking details about the death. If your memory was broken, you could always flip back and reread the details if you’re fuzzy. PC must assume their audience is reading at five letters a minute and can’t spare the time so they go over it, again. Her throat was slit and she was drained of blood.

Now it’s time for everyone to get their positions in the circle. This is all very riveting stuff and no more interesting than it was the first time Zoey joined a magic circle of stupidity. Then they start confessing their stuff.

Damien has a compact and says he’s secretly worried Jack’s death has broken him. Butthead has a feather and says she is afraid of being alone and wants to be free of that fear. Beavis has an ice cube and says she feels frozen inside. Stevie has a piece of black paper and says she fears losing Rephy. Zoey has a rubber hair tie because she feels like she’s always being pulled in different directions.

Grandma hands them all their candles and warns them she feels eyes watching them. Now it’s time for the ritual to start for real and now is a good a time as any for a chapter break. When we come back, the secret to Zoey’s mom’s death will be revealed. Hint, it was Neferet all along.

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