Zoey And Erik Have A Mostly Mature Conversation: House of Night Untamed Chapter 26

Posted on February 19, 2016 by

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It’s that time again. We’ve only got about another month of House of Night: Untamed. This will mean we’ve read four House of Night books, two of them in succession just now. Should we keep going?

House of Night: Untamed Chapter 26

Zoey is a bit more nervous about her meeting with the highest of high priestesses after overhearing Neferet’s meeting with Shekinah where LIES AND SLANDER were thrown about to turn Shekinah against Zoey. Like Zoey needed any help being unlikeable or something.

They begin by talking about the vampyre’s charity work with Street Cats, and how they’re both surprised to learn it’s run by nuns. It’s not an interesting conversation, but it’s as good a time as any to bring up that I’m really not sure how all of two vampyres secretly helping at a human charity is going to repair public relations between the town and the vampyre school.

Nah, just kidding. Of course there’s something unintentionally weird in the conversation.

“Oh, and Aphrodite adopted a cat […]”
“Maleficent? What an unusual name.”

Said Shekinah about Aphrodite’s pet.

Shekinah subtly begins to poke into this whole “maybe Zoey is the bad guy” theory by asking Zoey if Neferet is her mentor, and if she feels close to her.

“Well, I think she’s changed lately, and I’m not sure why. Some of it might have to do with some personal stuff that happened between us. I’d really rather not talk about that, if it’s okay with you.”
“Of course. I understand your need to keep things that are private to yourself. But, Zoey, you should know that I am here for you to talk with if you need me. Though it was long ago, I remember very well what it was to be a powerful fledgling and to feel like I was carrying so many responsibilities”

The rest of the chapter isn’t Zoey interpreting this as an opportunity to talk to the vampyre president about her boy troubles, which is supremely disappointing.

Zoey totally misreads Shekinah’s attempt to reach out to her.

“Though it was long ago, I remember very well what it was to be a powerful fledgling and to feel like I was carrying so many responsibilities that the burden of them sometimes became too much to bear. […] It gets better. I can promise you that.”
“I really hope so,” I said. “Oh, and speaking of making things better— my grandma would like to come for a little visit.”

Smooth.

boy meets world smooth

To House of Night‘s credit, even it recognizes that this is a sorta weird thing for Zoey to do right then and there.

“I suppose I don’t see any harm in that. […] Zoey, you know that asking for special favors is not always wise, even if you have special abilities.”
I met Shekinah’s gaze steadily. “This is the first favor I have asked for since I came to the House of Night.” Then I thought about it for a second and corrected myself. “No, wait. It’s the second.”

gossip-girl-blair-stop-talking

After her meeting ends, Zoey recaps the plot and how well it seems to be going so far, which is House of Night‘s cue to have one of Zoey’s boys reappear.

Things really were looking up! I was just opening the door to the front of the building and grinning like a fool when I ran smack into Erik.
“Oh, sorry I wasn’t looking—,” he began, automatically reaching out to steady me before he realized who he’d almost knocked over. “Oh,” he repeated, this time in a much less nice-guy voice. “It’s you.”

Oh. Yay. Erik Night. Our favorite.

Zoey decides this is the time for a dramatic confrontation.

“I have something to say to you.” […]
“So say it.”
“You liked kissing me today. You liked it a lot.”

asdf

Aw snap.

His smile was mocking and very well rehearsed. “Yeah, so? I never said I didn’t like kissing you. The problem is too many guys have liked kissing you.”

So, in general, our stance on Erik Night over at Bad Books, Good Times is that, yeah, Zoey was shitty to him and both openly and secretly cheating on him with different guys. He has every right to be upset. But the way he’s been expressing his anger has been entirely through angry slut shaming, which might make sense for his immature, shitty character, but is nonetheless immature and shitty.

Here’s where shit gets unexpected: this is the chapter where House of Night agrees with us.

I felt my face go hot. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that!”
“Why not? It’s true. You were kissing your human boyfriend. You were kissing me. And you were kissing Blake. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a lot of guys.”
“Since when you do turn into such a jerk? You knew about Heath. I never tried to hide him from you.”

kermit good point

Hm. You know what? I’m thinking I should go back on describing what Zoey was doing with Heath as “cheating” on Erik. I mean, it was still unhealthy as fuck and the book still hasn’t really acknowledged that, which is concerning. And boy, oh boy, does it make Erik’s slut shaming worse, somehow.

“Yeah, what about Blake? Explain that.”
“Loren was a mistake!” I yelled […] “You were right. He was using me. Only it wasn’t for sex— that was just the way he got me to believe he loved me. You overheard the scene between Neferet and me. You know there’s more going on here than everyone thinks.”

Seriously, why does everyone in this book keep forgetting about that? Every House of Night post I’ve written for the three weeks running now has included something like, “Character X is told about Y, which everyone else has known for at least two books, and I totally thought they already did too?”

“You said you cared about me, but you’ve called me a slut. You’ve embarrassed me in front of my friends. You’ve embarrassed me in front of a class of kids. And you did all of that because you had only part of the story, Erik! So, yeah, you’re not totally spotless in this whole thing either!”

the office it's happening

Zoey calls Erik out on being a slut-shaming asshole! Erik tells Zoey that she was an asshole too, and without the slut shaming part! Apparently this is the one reasonable conversation that has ever taken place in House of Night!

“You hurt me,” he said softly, all the anger and jerkness going out of his voice.
“I know and I’m sorry. But I guess we didn’t have much together in the first place if we can’t learn to forgive each other for this mess.”

 

spit take

What is happening? Why are these characters behaving like mature people suddenly? WHAT IS GOING ON?

The other shoe begins to drop, as the Casts struggle to write a sentence.

I tried to read his eyes, but they just reflected back at me my own confusion.

…and then rekindle hope that maybe these crazy kids will get back together, no more than a page after they just realized they were terrible for each other.

“So you hate me now?” he said.
“No. I don’t hate you. I miss you.”
We stared at each other, neither of us knowing where to go from there.
“I miss you, too,” he finally said.
My heart made a little skip-beat.

And then Zoey has to take a call from her grandma.

“Oh, sorry. It’s my grandma,” I told Erik.

That last one isn’t 100% Zoey’s fault, but I can’t imagine very many post-nasty breakup conversations have included “Sorry, I have to take this call from my grandma” and gone very well.

“Your grandma’s here?” Erik asked.
“Yeah.” I was still smiling. “She’s come to stay for a little while. […] Uh, want to walk with me to the parking lot? Grandma said she was going to pack a little something, which means she probably brought one ginormic bag or ten little ones, and she could definitely use a grown vamp to carry them for her, what with me being just a little fledgling.”

Yeah. It was too much to hope that Zoey wouldn’t immediately start shamelessly, childishly flirting with Erik the second they were back on speaking terms, wasn’t it?

Erik declines and gets one of the Sons of Erebus to help Zoey. Grandma points out the school is surrounded by ravens, which seems ominous, but is nowhere near as ominous as Zoey wanting Erik back again.

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