Zoey and Friends Begin Their Close Reading of the Prophecy From Aphrodite’s Vision: Untamed Chapter 23

Posted on February 11, 2016 by

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If you can’t remember what happened last week, you’re in luck! The Lazy Reader’s Guide can help.

House of Night, Untamed, Chapter 23:

Everyone agrees on things that are super obvious if you’ve even been paying cursory attention to this story.

  1. Aphrodite’s visions are warnings.
  2. Nyx is guiding our heroes.
  3. The events in Aphrodite’s visions can be changed.

“She also clearly wants you to help us,” Aphrodite said. “It was you who I saw reading the poem.” She hesitated, looked at me, and I nodded, understanding what else she wanted to say to Grandma. “When I copied the poem, it came out in your handwriting.”

I heard Grandma’s small gasp of surprise. “You’re quite sure of that?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I even got one of your letters and double-checked. It’s definitely your handwriting.”

“Then I must agree that Nyx wants me to play a part in this,” Grandma said.

I like that the handwriting detail is what seals the deal for Grandma, not the fact that she (and her quilt!) were in the dream.

“That’s not surprising,” I said. “You’re the only Ghigua Woman we know.”

“Oh, sweetheart! I’m not a Ghigua Woman. That’s something an entire tribe votes on, and besides, there hasn’t been an official Ghigua Woman for generations.”

“Well, you’ve got my vote,” Aphrodite said.

“And mine,” I said. “And I’ll bet Damien’s and the Twins’, too. Plus, we’re kinda a tribe all our own.”

Grandma laughed. “Well, I wouldn’t think of arguing with the will of the tribe.”

Yes, who could argue with the will of a tribe arbitrarily declared moments before. And who could argue with votes that would probably be cast by members of a tribe that was arbitrarily declared moments before without informing said members of its existence.

Aphrodite, Zoey, and MVP Zoey’s gut decide that Grandma needs to come to the House of Night immediately. Grandma understands that Zoey’s gut makes the decisions here, so she agrees immediately.

Although there is a very brief moment where Grandma protests saying, “I really don’t like to leave my lavender farm. We’ll just talk on the phone or instant-message each other and figure this out.” I love the imagine of Grandma straight chillin’ at her lavender farm, instant-messaging Zoey and Aphrodite about ancient prophecies.

Zoey tells Grandma to come tonight, and they start hearing ravens, so they know it’s a good idea to have Grandma drive late at night when the ravens seem to have the most power. If you weren’t already convinced that something terrible is obviously about to happen to Grandma, this next bit will do the trick:

“They’re spirit creatures,u-we-tsi-a-ge-ya . They can cause me real harm only if I am near death, and I can assure you—I am nowhere near death,” she said firmly.

Well, now you’re just asking to die, Grandma! Or at least nearly die!

Aphrodite reminds Zoey of all the crazy things she now has to juggle in addition to probably saving the world:

She sighed. “You have to round up the nerd herd, brief them on the poem and whatnot, and figure out where your grandma’s staying, which means you’ll probably have to okay something with Shekinah, since I’ll bet you don’t want to have a cozy one-on-one with Neferet, and there’s still the nanny cam you have to have Jack set up in the morgue. Good luck with all of that.”

The House of Night wiki actually says somewhere that Jack’s affinity is for electronics. I’ll just leave that for you to mull over since Aphrodite has kindly reminded me that Jack has been tasked with setting up the nanny cam in the morgue to see if Stark becomes…undead.

Also, that is definitely going to be a weird conversation to have with Shekinah. Like there is no way it’s going to be normal.

Zoey also casually mentions to Aphrodite how the one class she made it to that day was with Erik and that drama class got dramatic, but then she won’t give Aphrodite more details! What a jerk.

When she goes to find the rest of her friends, they’ve already heard about what happened, and Zoey doesn’t give them more juicy details. The twins also kindly offer to claw Becca’s eyes out since she clearly has a crush on Erik. True friends.

Zoey rightfully points out that bigger things are happening. Everyone convenes in Aphrodite’s room and get caught up on the plot. Jack has to fan himself, he’s so alarmed by the prophecy! The twins are also frightened:

“Okay, that’s the creepiest story I’ve heard in ages.” Shaunee sounded practically breathless. “I swear it’s even scarier than all of the Saw movies put together.”

“Ohmygod, Twin. Saw Four scared the bejezzus right outta me,” Erin said. “But you’re right. This Kalona stuff is even freakier. And I think it was a good idea to get your grandma here, Z.”

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Is Saw IV specifically scarier than all the other movies? I found this detail so distracting that I just read the Wikipedia entry for the movie, and I still don’t know what sets this one apart from its predecessors.

Jack, though, continues to be a scene-stealer:

“Oh, Z!” Jack cried, petting Duchess’s ears frantically. “Just thinking about those disgusting raven things croaking at your sweet grandma sitting there in her little house on that lavender farm way out in the boondocks gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

You paint a vivid picture, Jack, I’ll give you that.

As usual, everyone starts bickering, and Zoey has to calm them down. She points out that Duchess, Stark’s dog who is also in this scene, has been having a rough time. Then Zoey takes this moment to hope that Stark will come back for Duchess and Zoey. Just in case you thought Zoey actually was focussed on bigger things than her love life for a second.

The gang begins their close-reading of the poem, which Damien points out is a prophecy. And a poem.

Ancient one sleeping, waiting to arise

When earth’s power bleeds sacred red

The mark strikes true;

Queen Tsi Sgili will devise He shall be washed from his entombing bed

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Everyone agrees that Kalona is the sleeping one. No brainer, right?
  • Aphrodite/Zoey think the earth bleeding is from Professor Nolan or Loren’s death.
  • It takes awhile, but eventually everyone agrees Neferet is the Queen Tsi Sgili. Which I still have no idea how to pronounce.
  • “She’s chosen a different path from Nyx,” Aphrodite said.

    The Twins gasped. Jack hugged Duchess, and I swear he made a little doggy whining sound

Yeah, you heard her, different. Path. From. Nyx.

  • They discuss whether Neferet was responsible for the deaths, and if she was using the People of Faith as scapegoats.

The realizations get even crazier!

“Okay, I might be wrong, but what if Kalona is somehow reaching out from his grave or whatever you want to call it? He’s been there a long time. What if the earth that has been holding him is losing its grip? He’s an immortal. Maybe he can reach from where he is and get inside people’s brains. Nyx can do it. She can whisper things to us. What if he can, too?”

“Whisper! That’s what Nyx said—that Neferet was listening to the whispers of someone else.” I shivered at the thought and at the gut feeling that told me we were on to something.

How is the earth losing its grip on him? I don’t really get why now. Is this a global warming thing? I KNEW IT.

Of course Zoey’s gut confirms that the link between Aphrodite mentioning whispers and Nyx mentioning whispers holds the key to understanding Neferet’s whole evil operation.

They’ve only read the first stanza, which means that Matthew gets to deal with more of this tomorrow. NA NA NA!

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