Bonus chapter! You guys, the beginning of this book is so boring. I’m going to have to work extra hard to make this post interesting to read, so please appreciate any lame jokes I make.
Carrie and SW go up to his apartment, where Ziggy is blaring Marilyn Manson because angst. SW starts heating up some blood to drink.
“You’re not going to drink that, are you?” Med school warnings of blood-borne pathogens flashed through my mind.
I appreciate that Carrie hasn’t already forgotten her education, but seriously? You’re going to criticize a vampire for drinking blood? SW mansplains vampirism to her and makes being a vampire in this world sound completely unappealing, which is quite an accomplishment in my opinion.
- Eat normal food
- Die in normal ways
- Drink blood I guess, but it seems like it’s not essential..?
- Live forever
- Go out in sunlight
- Get any worse
Way to take away literally everything cool about vampires and make them pretty much human, except for the whole face-changing thing.
Carrie gets upset when she thinks SW and Zigmeister69 are a couple, and Nathan laughs about it and explains that Zig is just his sexy, barely-legal, live-in blood donor so nothing fishy is going on here!
Then they start talking about how Carrie was turned, and apparently it’s been on the news a lot because SW has been reading up on everything that happened. I have no idea why or how, so don’t ask. SW accuses her of becoming one on purpose–he clearly doesn’t understand that no one wants to be this kind of vampire, and I’m using the term “vampire” loosely–and Carrie tells us she’s been miserable for the past month. Because it was skipped over, we have to just take her word.
I certainly wasn’t living out the posh existence of a Count Dracula or a Lestat de Lioncourt. I was in a living hell, certainly not by choice.
We’ve seen none of this “living hell.” And I haven’t read Dracula in a while, but I would never describe his life as “posh.” Maybe I’ve been using that word wrong.
Carrie and Nathan start arguing and he brings up her dead parents, because apparently every man she ever meets feels the need to bring up this recent tragedy. Carrie is understandably perplexed by this topic switch and through some very dry telling, explains that they died in a car accident on their way to visit her at college. I would be sad for her if this was framed in an emotional way, but it’s a straightforward info dump and then suddenly Carrie is screaming!
What I wanted was to scream until my throat was raw. I wanted to stamp my feet and throw things. I wanted to be empty of these feelings of despair and frustration.
Turns out what she wants doesn’t matter, because she breaks down crying and SW comforts her. Awww. Just kidding, she uses this time to continue ogling him and describing how hard his pecs are and how good he smells.
SW says he knows she didn’t become a vampire on purpose (then why the hell bring it up?!) because he was also turned by John Doe! Doesn’t that make them siblings by vampire law? Carrie, stop checking out your brother and keep it in your pants.
Nathan helped me to my feet. I took advantage of the moment, resting against him as long as I could without seeming weird.
It was weird from the very beginning, Carrie. Please stop.
They finally get around to talking about the turning and Carrie continues to be kind of an idiot. SW says that to become a vamp, John Doe had to drink her blood, she had to drink his, and then she had to die. Their conversation makes it sound like the dying part isn’t a symptom, but rather has to happen outside the process in order for vampirism to take root. Meaning that if John Doe hadn’t torn her throat open, if they’d just had a civil exchange of blood (as one does), Carrie wouldn’t have become a vampire until she died of old age.
Anyway, Carrie insists that there was no exchange of blood and SW is forced to mansplain it to her. Really, her ignorance is giving him waaaay too many chances to talk down to her. I categorically refuse to believe she knows nothing about vampires.
Apropos of nothing, SW tells Carrie to come sit on the couch with him and then hands her a book titled The Sanguinarius.
He proceeds to take a massive info-dump all over Carrie about the history of vampire, and it’s as exciting as reading a textbook can be. There was a group of vampires 200 years ago dedicated to keeping humans safe from their brethren, and now they’re known as the Voluntary Vampire Extinction Movement. They have 3 rules:
- No vampire can feed from an unwilling human
- No vampire can create new vampires
- No vampire can kill a human
Again, Armintrout is going out of her way to make these vampires as boring as possible. Seriously, what is the upside? The ability to give long-winded explanations and have rock-hard abs?
They talk about who funds this organization, and Carrie makes a dumb joke because none of this is important to her. She doesn’t react to any of it, even though SW just told her he’s a vampire who kills other vampires. (If I were her, I’d beg him to end me just so I didn’t have to listen to him talk anymore.)
We finally start discussing the only interesting character thus far: John Doe. His real name is Cyrus, and he got all of his injuries from SW who was sent to assassinate him by the Merry Band of Tools. And because he’s a sick weirdo, SW goes into vivid step-by-step detail of the fight:
“I started with a stake to the heart, and when that didn’t work, I thought I’d chop him into little pieces and bury him in consecrated earth, but he got in some good hits. I’m lucky to be sitting here right now. Someone must have seen us fighting, because the police showed up. The rest–”
“Is history,” I whispered.
I’m going to say whispering is a reaction, because it’s the only thing indicative of what’s going through our narrator’s head. She does kind of react when SW says he’s been killing all of Cyrus’s fledglings, thus putting her in immediate danger.
“You kill them? Why?” [Carrie said]
“Because they’re vampires.”
“So are you!”
“Yes, but I’m a good vampire,” he explained patiently. “Good vampires get to live, bad vampires get a one-way ticket to wherever it is we go when we die.”
Insert more info-dump here about the ties of a fledgling to their sire, which can influence them even after their sire dies. Somehow Carrie doesn’t make a valid point here about how Cyrus is SW’s sire, so he should be dead along with the rest of Cyrus’s blood children. There, I just summed up about 5 straight pages of SW monologuing/putting me in a coma.
They continue to halfheartedly argue/eye-fuck each other, and finally reach an agreement. Carrie has to either become a member of the Merry Band of Tools or die, and SW gives her time to read the book and come to a decision. SW says if she decides to go against him/his organization, he’ll kill her with his bare hands. Somehow, this is all very sexual and therefore nonsensical.
Carrie compares the Merry Band to Nazis, and this still leads to sexual tension/SW invading her personal space and Carrie loving every second of it…
I officially hate them both. It wasn’t up in the air before, but I need to spell it out right now because of how gross this is. Am I supposed to like Carrie for standing up to SW? Am I supposed to find his reaction hot? I’m closer to rage-quitting.
Then Armintrout personally attacks me:
Holy hormones, Batman.
NO. NO YOU DON’T. YOU DO NOT GET TO MAKE A JOKE I’VE ALREADY MADE ON THIS BLOG.
At this point, I went into a blackout rage and couldn’t finish the chapter. None of us missed much, I’m sure.
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