After a series of dubious events force Zoey and her people back to the House of Night after they managed to escape in the last book they are left only with a random series of poems to guide them to finally drive off Kaloma.
Yes, it’s time for another House of Night book, inflicted on me by Cyna and Mavrynthia, who will either be co-defendants in my trial for trying to annihilate humanity for no longer deserving to exist, or will be the people I blame in my defence. I intend to use this link spam in my defence argument.
Let’s start small – this book is utterly overwhelmed with stand-alone-stuffing. I’ve said before that this series treats their readers as having the intelligence of algae – every book feels the need to recap every single book that has passed before. By the time we get to book 8 it will be 10,000 pages long and only 100 pages of it will be actual plot, the rest will be endless, painful, dull recap
Which pretty much sums up well over 100 pages of this book. We have a brief introduction of the Red Fledglings, most of them who are nothing more than a name (and the one who isn’t, frankly, would probably be preferable as a name). Zoey and Erik begin their relationship do-si-do and they all do… nothing. They hide in the tunnels, safe from their enemies that hates going underground. They have no idea what to do but they’re safe unless they go outside and are attacked by their enemies.
Which Zoey promptly does. Of course she does. In a desperate, forced attempt to move this limping plot forward, Zoey abandons even her limited supply of common sense. She gets injured, they belatedly decide they simply have to return to the House of Night for REASONS so we can try and drag out a storyline
I say try. Because when they get there they do…. They do… uh… well Zoey and Stark connect and then they escape. That’s pretty much it until the very last chapter. It’s one bizarre distraction which was really all about Stark and the clumsy relationship and terrible love dodecahedron (more on that later).
The one attempt at a plot line is the prophecy of how to get rid of Kaloma the big bad, brought by Kramisha, the convenient source for more Nyx “wisdom”. Like the last book, this prophecy involves everyone scratching their head about how impossible it is – only Nyx has even less faith in her minions than I do! Rather than suffer Zoey & co struggling to figure it out, she again plays Irritable Bowel Goddess and gives Zoey her special “feelings” whenever she’s right. Honestly when deciding what special people they need to banish Kaloma they didn’t even need the prophecy – they just needed to read the phone book aloud and wait until Nyx started churning
“Aaron A Aaronson? No Nyxy feeling, not him… next!”
Of all the bafflingly awful parts of this book, I think Nyx baffles me the most. Sure it’s not the most offensive, it’s not the most vile, but it’s the part that makes the least sense.
Kaloma and Neferet take over the school and possibly plot to take over the High Council. The kill the last High Priestess and then use woo-woo to stop the rest of vampirekind from finding out…. All of which would be utterly impossible if Nyx would do something. Let’s be clear, Nyx isn’t an aloof god – she constantly gives Zoey psychic feelings, she constantly sends them visions and prophecies, she even appeared last book to have a 10 minute conversation with Zoey and Aphrodite. She’s quite a chatty goddess. But she couldn’t appear before the teachers and say “nope, naughty bad guy!”? She couldn’t send a memo to the high council or something?
And don’t give me the “free will” excuse. Refusing to send a memo while the whole school is mind controlled into being happy little drones, even accepting and welcoming a rapist among them cannot possibly be excused in the name of “free will.”
Brace yourself readers, we’re now entering the dread pit known as Zoey’s love life.
And I’m going to start by saying something almost positive (well, it’s less “positive” and more “my expectations are so utterly lowered that anything being less than completely awful is an amazing relief”). Zoey and Erik end up back together (more on that later) and Erik is much more pushy with his attentions, his kisses more sexual. Zoey, probably rightly, assumes he is now initiating sex because she is no longer a virgin and there’s that nasty idea that once a woman has had sex with one woman she is somehow now “fair game” – in the same way a woman’s sexual history is often attacked in rape trials. Zoey is quick to realise and reject the idea that because she had sex with Loren means Erik is now in a stronger position to cross that same line. Which is good