Zoey and Stark Are Already Making Out: House of Night Untamed Chapter 12

Posted on December 15, 2015 by


Untamed indeed!

House of Night: Untamed Chapter 12

Stark is in the middle of a story about when he learned his special vampire power to “never miss” wasn’t quite what it seemed, which was broken up with a chapter break to seem more dramatic. Because apparently “I accidentally murdered someone” needed all the help it could get.

“It happened during the Summer Games. It was right before the finals. Will and I were way in the lead, so it was for sure that the gold and silver medals were going to go to us. […] We were warming up in the practice lanes. […] I really wanted to win. […] I drew the bow and thought, No matter what, I want to hit the mark and beat Will. I shot the arrow, seeing the bull’s-eye with my eyes, but really imagining beating Will in my mind.” Stark dropped his head, and he sighed deep as a storm wind. “The arrow flew straight to the target in my mind. It hit Will in his heart and killed him instantly.”

He goes to explain that not only that, but he was nowhere near Will. Nobody even thought it could be him. So whatever his real target is, even if it’s not what he’s aiming at, is what gets hit. Seems straightforward enough, right?


“Hang on! If I understand what you’re saying, then only you can know what you’re really aiming at ’cause it’s happening inside your head.”
He snorted sarcastically. “You’d think so, wouldn’t you, but that’s not how it works. […] I found a big old oak and set up a bull’s-eye in front of what I decided was the center of the tree.” […]
“You mean like the middle of the trunk?”
“Exactly! That’s what I thought I was aiming at— something that was the center of the tree. But do you know what the center of a tree is sometimes called? […] I looked it up afterwards. The ancient vampyres, the ones with earth affinities, called the center of the tree its heart. [I shot] an owl,” he said brokenly. […]
“The owl was the heart of the tree,” I whispered

aaron paul breaking bad what

Okay. Wait. Let’s get this straight. So Stark’s vampire magic is that…

  1. He will always hit his target
  2. Unless “his target” is something he’s consciously picturing differently in his mind
  3. Unless he’s thinking about a different target subconsciously
  4. Unless that target (conscious or subconscious) isn’t well specified or defined, in which case his target is something he’s not even aware of or even has any knowledge of it
  5. Unless there’s a target with a possible metaphorical definition, even when it contradicts the literal definition of what he’s either consciously or subconscious targeting


I mean, this isn’t just me who thinks that this is already just absurdly not-thought through, right? Because based on the poor man’s Machine of Death-esque rules of Stark’s magic, we have to assume that it’s possible that:

  1. Stark could aim at a target, but be thinking about cheeseburgers (let’s get our Beau hats on for this example)
  2. But while he’s thinking about cheeseburgers, he could be more subconsciously be thinking about McDonald’s (it’s a House of Night character, so it seems safe to assume he doesn’t have very high standards)
  3. But there are presumably a ton of people around the world with the last name “McDonald”. Such as hypothetical individual Brady McDonald, who probably exists somewhere.
  4. BUT unbeknownst to Stark, an ancient Mesopotamian culture coincidentally used the term “Brady McDonald” to refer to their highest political leader.

spongebob patrick it's the perfect crime

Zoey realizes that no one man should have all that power. Stark is a bit more “actually, I’m not that tortured about it tbh”:

“Maybe you should put up your bow and arrow, at least until you really have a handle on this gift of yours.”
“That’s what I should do. I know it is. But if I don’t practice— if I stay away from shooting and try to forget about it— it’s like a part of me is being ripped away.”

Congratulations, Casts! You’ve introduced a new character whose defining trait is deeply-seated selfishness. So just like every other character. With the possible exception of Jack, whose defining character trait is that he’s maybe just recently learned how to color inside the lines.

Zoey and Stark bond as Zoey assures Stark that she’s not typically that optimistic because she’s seen too much shit, goddammit. Stark/The Casts fuck up a common expression somehow.

“Are you always so optimistic?”
I laughed. “Oh, hell no!” […]
“You don’t make me think of Debbie Downer, but I haven’t known you for very long.”

Was nobody at the publisher willing to say “Hey, you know Debbie Downer isn’t a real person right?”, or do the Casts’ editors just not bother and/or live in fear of them by this point?

Erik talks about his transfer to the Tulsa House of Night, mentioning that it’s not uncommon for Houses of Night to try to steal other schools’ particularly talented students (such as Erik Night, obviously). This is genuinely the most interesting thing that’s happened in a House of Night book for a long time, because it’s a subtle bit of worldbuilding suggesting that even the perfect-ass vampyres fuck with each other through bureaucracy sometimes. Also, it has nothing to do with Zoey and her friends, which this book could use a lot more of.

Zoey prepares to leave, and Stark kisses her hand. As you might have suspected, the fact that Zoey has spent almost two chapters talking to a boy has not escaped Zoey’s notice. With emphasis on “Zoey’s”, because only Zoey could put it like…

[Stark] was obviously vulnerable and completely and utterly fascinating me and making me want to forget that I’d sworn off sex. Sex!? I meant guys. I’d sworn off guys. And sex. With them.

awkward tamara DIE

I mean, Zoey is a teenager. And this is stream of consciousness. It’s one thing to write a teenage character in “teenager stream of consciousness”. This clearly isn’t written to appeal to a reader like me who’s so different from Zoey, and that’s fine. But wouldn’t it be nice if instead of making that difference alienating, it was an entry point into a perspective different from my own?

Speaking of not really being accessible, Stark suddenly starts dying and he and Zoey profess their feelings for each other, and the Casts fill the scene apparently intentionally with melodrama and jokes.

No, really.

“Zoey!” My name was filled with liquid and fear when it came from his mouth.
I forced myself to turn around. Stark had already fallen to his knees. He was bent over at the waist, and I could see that he was puking up fresh blood

Naturally, it gets steamy.

I yanked off his sweatshirt, ripping it down the middle so that he lay there only in his T-shirt and jeans.

Albeit of questionable value from a medical point of view.

I used the sweatshirt to wipe at the blood that was pouring from his eyes and nose and mouth.

Stark and Zoey are already soulmates.

“No! I don’t want this to happen now.” He paused, coughing up more blood that I kept wiping away. “I just found you— I don’t want to leave you so soon.”

No, really.

“I should have kissed more than your hand . . . thought I’d have more time,” he whispered between liquid, panting breaths […]
“It’s not too late,” I told him. I bent and pressed my lips to his.

Isn’t Stark currently vomiting blood?

george takei oh my

The Casts have no idea if this scene is tragic, romantic, or funny. They test the waters for funny. For some reason.

“Promise me two things,” he said weakly […] “promise you’ll take care of Duchess.”
“A dog? But I-”

Zoey uses her air affinity to call Damien to bring help, which is apparently something her air affinity can do now. She fills Stark in on the possibility that he might come back as another kind of undead vampyre. Then the vampyre teacher Dragon shows up, with Damien, Aphrodite, and the twins.

So it’s too much to hope that Stark is already killed off, right?