Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over her immortal consort Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either…
And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?
Surprisingly, my tolerance level for Idiot Zoey and her gaggle of annoying followers didn’t reach its peak in this latest reread. Perhaps it’s because this is the book where my memory of specifics is beginning to wear really thin and it’s almost like I’m reading it for the first time.
However less annoying this book proved to be than the last couple, it still had its moments that left me wanting to pull my hair out. Picking up just a couple of moments (in the case of Kalona) and days (in the case of Zoey and everyone else) after Zoey was able to pull herself together and escape the Otherworld, Zoey finds herself wishing to remain in Skye. Though this is brought up as a temporary thing, it’s clear to the reader as well as Zoey’s friends that Zoey’s mind has decided to possibly make this a more permanent arrangement. This is annoying, because since she was marked, Zoey has known that it is her destiny to fight a battle against darkness. So in trying to hide, she just proves how unprepared and immature she truly is. Then again, she’s still a teenager and I suppose I could be being a bit harsh. But damn it, she’s supposed to be the heroine and there’s nothing heroic about hiding away on a mystic island.
I also found myself skimming the pages whenever it was Rephaim’s point of view. For some reason this character’s story just seems like worthless filler. Sure, he proves himself worthy enough to be forgiven by Nyx and is a human boy during the night (meanwhile a raven during the day), but his dependency on his father and Stevie Rae is tedious to read. At times, it’s almost as if he’s just a trained puppy struggling between the control of its two masters.
Anyways, enough of the low points (because let’s face it, there’s not enough time in the world to discuss all of them). There are some pretty well thought out moments/plots developing throughout this book. In fact, one of them is the direct effect of the other.
As Neferet becomes more enthralled in her love for darkness, there are clear signs that her sanity is quickly unraveling at both ends. She’s more than in love with it, she’s completely addicted to the Light Bull’s (i.e. Darkness with a capital D) power. Even finding that Kalona failed to kill Zoey doesn’t get her down for long. Instead she devises yet another, off the wall scheme and convinces the Vampire Council to allow her to return to the House of Night. In doing so, she sets into motion a series of events not only for the all out war against humans that she wants so desperately, but also to begin her next plot in her war against Zoey and her scooby gang.
In what I consider probably one of the most overdramatic and yet, highly effective death scenes the Casts have been able to write, Neferet uses darkness to kill poor, innocent Jack.
“When the clock began chiming, Jack knew what was going to happen. He knew he couldn’t stop it – knew his fate couldn’t be changed. Instead of pointless struggle, last minute regrets, useless tears, he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and then – joyously – joined Rachel and Kurt in the chorus:
I’d sooner buy
Kiss my goodbye
I’m defying gravity
I think I’ll try
And you won’t bring me down!
Jack’s sweet tenor was ringing through the branches of the shattered oak when Neferet’s lingering, waiting magic hurled him off the top of the ladder. He fell gruesomely, horribly, onto the waiting claymore, but as the blade pierced his neck, before pain and death and Darkness could touch him, his spirit exploded from his body.”
Nevertheless, the rest of the plot is about saying goodbye to Jack, mini-battles against Neferet’s forces and the end offers the return (somewhat) of a lost soul who Zoey loves very much in the wake of her mother’s murder. To say the plot is getting a bit strange and twisted, is an understatement. But, if it weren’t for the craziness that is Neferet (and trust me, the worst the books get, the more I want her to win), I wouldn’t even be trying to do these rereads before reading the final book.