Zoey, Aphrodite, and Undead Stevie Rae Walk Into a Bar: House of Night, Chosen Chapter 12

Posted on August 21, 2015 by


House of Night: Chosen, Chapter 12

Zoey goes off to the rendezvous point to meet Stevie Rae, and the Casts set the scene by describing how badly the undead Stevie Rae smells, just in case you haven’t picked up on it by now.

Seriously, apparently the Casts are under the impression nobody reading this book has retained the “Stevie Rae is dead” information.

After all, she was, well, dead.

It's a lot to process. Don't mention that Damien is gay too.

It’s a lot to process. Don’t mention that Damien is gay too.

There’s actually a fair amount of how not to write exposition in this chapter, if you’re the sort of reader who looks for those things. Or even if you’re not, because this book is written so badly that it’s impossible not to notice how often it slams on the brakes and goes “OKAY WELL ACTUALLY OKAY WELL WELL OKAY  you should know this thing I’m gonna mention now”:

I called as quietly as I could. Okay, vamps have the ability to move silently and to create a kind of bubble of invisibility around them.

Why was the “okay” necessary? Is this a huge shock that this information was left out? And House of Night does this all the time. It’d be like if every time someone performed a spell in Harry Potter, someone said “okay, wizards have the ability to do magic”.

Zoey locates Stevie Rae, starving for blood after Zoey stopped her from feeding the previous day, which Zoey describes as “look[ing] like an absolutely crazy person” and “ohmygod”. Zoey gives her one of the bags of blood she took from the House, and watches in horror when Stevie Rae rips it open with her teeth and downs it. Naturally, Zoey uses this time to continue to insist that Stevie Rae is probably totally okay, despite having no evidence supporting that, save for how by this point the reader just kind of assumes that Zoey will just happen to know the reason for everything anyway.

She was even thinner and paler than she had been the night before. I drew a deep breath. “This has to stop, Stevie Rae.”
“This is how it is with me now. This isn’t going to change.”

But actually.

But actually.

Zoey tries to convince Stevie Rae that she must be some kind of alive, that she must just be going through a different kind of vampyre change than the one most people are familiar with. Stevie Rae counters that, what, no, this reasoning is still not based on literally anything.

“I don’t know how you can be so sure about that”

So far the central conflict in HoN #3 is a dead person trying to get Zoey to understand that they died.

So far the central conflict in HoN #3 is a dead person trying to get Zoey to understand that they died.

No basis on anything, except, of course, for House of Night‘s usual plan B when it can’t provide a reason why it is the way it is: A GOD SAID SO

“I’m sure about you being okay because I’m sure that Nyx still loves you and she let this happen for a reason.”
The hope that flashed in Stevie Rae’s red eyes was almost painful to look at.

Successfully convinced there is hope, Stevie Rae follows Zoey to the mysterious safe house, which Zoey seems to have forgotten we know about.

We cut around the grounds of the museum [to the street with] Aphrodite’s mansion (well, it’s really her crazy parents’ mansion)

We… we got it? We’ve literally been there with Zoey every step of the way during this mansion business. There is nothing about it Zoey knows that we don’t know.

On the walk there, Stevie Rae explains that her bloodlust is super intense now, so much so that she can identify the ages and genders of people in the houses in the general area. They get to Aphrodite’s mansion (WAIT SORRY HER PARENT’S MANSION ARE YOU STILL FOLLOWING THE STORY?), but – and this is honestly kinda interesting, because for a book series about vampires, there is weirdly little vampire lore involved in the proceedings – Stevie Rae can’t enter without being invited, because she’s that kind of vampyre now apparently.

“Uh, come on in,” I said quickly.
Stevie Rae stepped forward and ran smack into an invisible barrier. She gave a painful yelp, which turned into a snarl. Her eyes glowed up at me. “Guess your plan won’t work. I can’t get in there.”
“I thought you said you just had to be invited in.” “By someone who lives at the house. You don’t live here.”
Above me, Aphrodite’s coldly polite voice (sounding uncomfortably like her mother) called out. “I live here. Come in.”


“You brought me to her house!” Stevie Rae was talking to me, but staring at Aphrodite. […] “I die and now she’s your friend?”

rita repulsa surprise bitch

Zoey manages to assuage a seemingly insurmountable issue by pointing out that she can never be disagreed with because she’s the protagonist. Stop me if this sounds like something you’ve read before in House of Night.

Stevie Rae goes to the bathroom with her change of clothing and some more blood, and Aphrodite continues to be the only character questioning if Zoey really has any idea what she’s doing. Zoey insists that she thinks she, Aphrodite, and Nyx can help her. For some reason.

“Then for the record I just want to say that the girl doesn’t feel safe to me,” Aphrodite said, holding up her hand like she was taking an oath. “I have two words for her: time bomb. I think she’d even freak out your nerd herd.”

Which is, of course, a natural transition for House of Night to suddenly be a two-page treatise on the pros and cons of geek culture, for some fucking reason.

“You have geek-ends,” she said.
“Huh?” I had no clue what she was talking about.
“There are weekends where your whole gang gets together to watch marathons of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies.”

We haven’t even gotten to the dumb part yet.

I knew exactly how geeky those movies were but that geeky could also be fun

standing ovation applause

The Casts interrupt their “it’s OKAY to be geeky!” public service announcement to remind us that they hate the gays.

I kinda like Legolas, too, but the Twins say he’s way too gay. Damien, of course, adores him.

PRO BEING-A-GODDAMN-HUMAN TIP: If you’re going to include a gay character in your book,  have your characters make over-the-top declarations about how they accept him being gay, and even have that gay character dole out one explanation per book on how he can use the word “fag” because he’s in a position to reclaim the slur, then maybe don’t also have your book’s characters literally use “too gay” as an insult.

Kiiiiiiiiind of defeats the purpose.