The Further Adventures of Damian and Jack, Gay Sharks
Oh, Jack and Damien are a couple. Which means they’re gay teenagers. Hello. It happens. More often than you’d expect. Wait, scratch that. It happens more often than parents expect.Christ, Cast re-uses this ~defiant~ introduction so often it’ll probably be on Jack and Damian’s tombstones.
Turning her back on them, Aphrodite faced me. “So, like I was saying before I was rudely interrupted times ten: pain-in-the-ass Venus, this is Zoey, the super fledgling I’m sure you’ve heard so much about, and Darius, the Son of Erebus warrior who you will not be sneaking around with, and Jack. He won’t be sneaking around with you, either, but mostly because he’s gay as a French pastry. His other half is Damien, the guy who is staring at me like a fucking science project.”Gay as a French pastry, you guys. How does that work, exactly? I mean, when did we even start gendering baguettes?
“Scusa?” Jack said.
“Italian, dork,” Aphrodite said. “Broaden your gay horizons.”
“Okay, I hate to interrupt all this gay-boy romance stuff, but I wrote me some more poems when I woke up and thought you better see them,” Kramisha said.
“That’s so cool and romantic!” Jack sighed. “I mean, the whole 1920s flapper thing and juke joints and gangsters.”WHAT WAS THAT SENTENCE EVEN SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
Damien smiled indulgently at Jack. “Actually, Prohibition lasted in Tulsa until 1957.”
“Well, never mind. That’s not so romantic. That’s more like gay Bible Belt stuff.” He giggled. “Gay! Hee hees.”
“Shannoncompton? Hey, didn’t you read the spotlight piece in The Vagina Monologues last year at the school performance?” Damien asked.
Her pretty face brightened. “Yeah, that was me.”
“I remember because I just love The Vagina Monologues. They’re so empowering,” Damien said.
“Yeah, Damien and I are gay. That means that we are guaranteed to be good cooks,” Jack said.I mean, making Jack the one who says it doesn’t make it any less homophobic, Cast.
Damien, Jack, and Erik ran into the room, followed closely by Duchess. Jack took one look at me, screamed like a girl, and fainted.Jesus Christ.
With a long-suffering sigh he put his knee in her hands and tried (unsuccessfully) to stifle a very gay squeal as she boosted him up on Persephone’s broad back.A GAY SQUEAL. Did his squeal emerge and instantly begin hitting on other squeals of the same gender? On the gay baguette? WHY ARE WE GENDERING INANIMATE OBJECTS AND SOUNDS??
I nodded. “They’re his children—what happened after he raped the women of my grandma’s people more than a thousand years ago. When Kalona broke out of the ground their bodies were returned to them.”So Haley made this excellent point in her comment on the Untamed review:
“What’s even worse about the Kalona thing is that the way she tells it makes it sound, and where they trap Kalona, makes it clear that this took place in Oklahoma, when the Cherokee are actually from Florida. So all this ancient bullshit had to have taken place after the Trail of Tears, making it roughly two hundred years old. Ancient and magical that is not.”
So the internet says that Cherokee tribes had land all over Kentucky, West Virgina, Georgia, Alabama, and other places in that general region, but it’s 100% for certain that the whole Oklahoma thing didn’t happen until after the Trail of Tears. So yeah, that whole goddamn story wasn’t just bullshit, but historically inaccurate bullshit in a surprisingly basic way. It hadn’t even occurred to me that Cast might not have done basic fucking research on the tribe that she was exploiting for the mysticism, but there you go, right?
I found the scissors in the top drawer of the butcher block island and, before I could guilt or gross myself out of it, snipped open the bag and upended it.I mean, no, it’s not, this-this is a vampire book, this was 100% expected.
I know, I know. My slurping down blood like it was from a collapsible juice box sounds completely nasty, but it was delicious.
We know that our High Priestess and maybe even what’s left of the House of Night have, well, for lack of a better description, gone over to the Dark Side.”I– you don’t have to say that it’s a Star Wars reference, we’ll understand without you explicitly pointing it out. Who does that?
Into the silent pause that followed my words Erik said, “A Star Wars analogy always works.”
I really loved that Erik was this big, tall, hot, studly guy who reads all sorts of books and watches old Star Wars movies. My grin got wider. “Sooooo, you’re liking it?”It’s- it’s Star Wars. He’s not talking Tom Baker Doctor Who, or even original recipe Star Trek. It’s a culturally ubiquitous Hollywood blockbuster dude, Erik being handsome and also liking Star Wars doesn’t make him like some quirky rare find, yo.
Astonishingly Bad Writing
Jack gasped and fell back against Damien, who put an arm around him. Duchess, the yellow Lab who had become completely attached to Jack since her original owner, a fledgling kid named James Stark, had died and then un-died and shot an arrow through Stevie Rae as part of an evil plot to let loose Kalona, a nasty fallen angel (yes, looking back on it I see that it’s complex and even kinda confusing, but that seems to be typical for evil plots), whined and leaned against his leg.It’s always a good sign when a book feels the need to defensively excuse its shitty convoluted plot decisions, right?
I remembered the dark angel’s voice and the way pain and pleasure had somehow melded into one when he touched me and called me his love. I jerked my mind from those kinds of thoughts. Pain couldn’t equal pleasure.Oh, honey. A billion-dollar industry says otherwise.
I’d decided that House of Night fledglings needed to get more active in the community. I mean, the House of Night had been in Tulsa for upward of five years, but it was like we were a little island of our own. Everyone with any sense knows isolation and ignorance equal prejudice—hello, I read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” the beginning of my sophomore year.AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
Oh my god, yes, thank you Zoey, that was great.
I looked up from my hands to his friendly brown eyes, searching them for any trace of a change in the way he saw me. I looked for signs of hero worship or nervousness or, even worse, fear. And what I had seen was just Damien—my friend—and the warmth of his smile.EVERYONE, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND APPRECIATE ZOEY’S SPECIALNESS.
“I felt it happening before, when we first got down here. I—I guess I just forgot,” I said.
“That’s our Z,” Jack said. “Only she could forget something that’s practically a miracle.”
“More than practically,” Shaunee said.
“But it’s a Zoey miracle. They happen pretty much all the time,” Erin said matter-of-factly.
“I can’t keep a tattoo and she’s covered in them,” Aphrodite said. “Figures.” But her smile took the bite from her words.
“They are the Mark of our Goddess’s favor, showing that you are, indeed, traveling the path she would choose for you. You are our High Priestess,” Darius spoke solemnly. “The one Nyx has Chosen.”
They’re doing all of this while Stevie Rae has that arrow in her chest, by the way.
I cleared my throat. “Well, I’m Zoey Redbird.” I tried to sound polite and normal in a situation that didn’t feel either.AND LO, IT IS THROUGH ZOEY THAT ALL VAMPIRE KIND SHALL BE REDEEMED. IN ZOEY’S NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.
“I’ve told y’all about Zoey. She has an affinity for all five elements, and it’s through her powers that I was able to Change and we were all given our humanity back,” Stevie Rae said.
We all ate silently while I thought, but not about the vocab word “ubiquitous” (seriously, I could have thought about that forever and not figured out what it meant).
“Spirit, I ask you to cloak us . . . hide us . . . let us blend with the night. Water, fill the air around us, bathe us and conceal us. Fire, I need you just a little—just enough to heat the ice so that it changes to mist forms. But not only around us,” I added quickly. “Go all over the school grounds. Make everything soupy and misty and magical.”Soupy and misty and magical.
“You’ll have to explain after you’re fixed up and not en brochette anymore.”
“En—Huh?” Shaunee said.
“Bro—What?” Erin said.
“It’s French for something being skewered, usually food, cretins. ‘The world going insane and evil letting slip the birds of war’ ”—he raised his brows at the Twins as he deliberately misquoted Shakespeare, obviously expecting them to recognize it, which they just as obviously didn’t—“does not excuse sloppy vocabulary.”
“She’s probably hanging upside down from the ceiling in her usual batperch,” Erin said. She glanced over her shoulder at Darius and added, “Speaking of Aphrodikey, she’s gonna give birth to a big ol’ litter of kittens when she sees that you’ve messed up your pretty face.”
“Whatever,” [Heath] said. “Remember how you said if you’d been Rose you would really never have let him go? Okay, well, let’s do a little reenactment. I’m the gay-looking DiCaprio and you’re Rose. You have to keep your eyes open and on my face, or you’ll have let me go and I’ll turn into a huge gay Popsicle.”LGBT POSITIVE, INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSE NOVEL, YOU GUYS! NoH8!
“I mean, come on! Are you special needs, special services or what? Weren’t you almost killed here once before?”WHERE ARE OUR ALLY COOKIES?
“Yeah, and if you need comfort from her shallow hatefulness, you can try a little café mocha over here,” Shaunee said, waggling her brows at him.STOOOOOOOOOOP.
“Or a vanilla smoothie over here,” Erin flirted.
“But we’re little bits of vanilla and chocolate. We’d tempt even the nicest bloodsucking monster,” Erin said.THEY KEEP DOING IT.
Darius took her hands in his, stilling her anxious movements, and said calmly, “I am well, my beauty. It is but a scratch.”
Man, you start to think Darius is the only tolerable character, and then he goes and talks like that, and you remember that he’s being written by the same master of the craft as everyone else.
I looked up from my totally boring worksheets to where she was sitting at her desk, bloblike, staring stone-faced at her computer screen. Her charisma in class today would definitely fall on the South Intermediate High School crap teacher scale at about the level of Mrs. Fosster, who consistently got the prize for the Worst English Teacher Ever, and had been called Queen of Worksheets or Umpa Lumpa, depending on whether she was wearing her M&M blue muumuu or not.Uh, okay, that’s kind of a weird dig, but– OH YEAH, FUCK, PC CAST IS A TEACHER, ISN’T SHE.
I came in, found a desk near the back of the class, and proceeded to hunker down in my seat, trying to impersonate one of those sloth-like kids who slept their lives away, waking up only to move from class to class, leaving a slug trail of yawns and bright pink spots on their foreheads.OH WOW. We do not have very high opinions of our students, do we?
I was frowning at a group of guys who would normally have been getting at least a couple of reprimands from Dragon, along with reminders to pay attention and not act like idiots (at the House of Night professors can call kids idiots when they act like idiots because the idiot children can’t run home to their mommies and cry about it; hence there is a lot less idiot behavior at the House of Night than at most public schools), when Dragon stepped between me and my line of vision.SHE’S IN UR SCHOOLS, LADIES AND GENTLEMENT, TEACHIN UR KIDS. Wow. Tell us how you really feel, Cast.
THE TATTOOSOh god you guys, I cannot get over how fucking stupid these tattoos are.
Tattoos spread across my palms, the same beautiful intricate pattern of latticework swirls that decorated my face and neck and stretched down either side of my spine and around my waist.So, wait, it’s like:
But why not:
THIS HAS ALWAYS BOTHERED ME, NGL.
He stopped and touched my arm, gently turning me so that I faced him. I looked up into his brilliant blue eyes, which were framed by his adult vampyre Mark, an intricate pattern that gave the impression of a mask, making his totally gorgeous Clark Kent-Superman look go all Zorro-like and insanely hot.Oh my god, you guys wanna see what this looks like? Canon, from the official House of Night YouTube channel (a thing that you desperately need in your life): AW YEAH, CHECK OUT THAT SEXY SEXY TOTALLY COOL 90’s bicep tattoo on his face, unf, doesn’t it just make you so horny?
Also, this is Zoey:
Also pictured here:
His crescent had been filled in and expanded. Two arrows faced the crescent. They were decorated with intricate symbols that seemed to glow with their new scarlet color against the white of his skin.Just a reminder that Nyx put goddamn arrows on Stark’s face.
Stevie Rae got her humanity back, along with some gorgeous adult vampyre tattoos that look like vines and flowers framing her face.And flowers on Stevie Rae.
Her silver-white hair and slate-gray eyes are the most striking things about her, well, except for the incredible tattoos of rearing horses that Marked her as a vampyre.And HORSES on Lenobia. Jesus Christ, god help the person who’s just like, really into dicks, you know?