Last time, there was a lot of wandering plot and foot dragging and finally, they decide to take Chloe out in their attempt to find the boys and Tori latches onto this chance to get out herself and insists on coming. I really like Tori.
Tori’s mom notices Chloe’s brought Liz’s sweater for Liz-summoning purposes, so she takes that. Tori fails to be helpful, but that would have been addressed by Chloe telling her what was really going on.
Then they head off looking for her other fake meeting spot, where the mom rants to Chloe about how much Tori sucks and how Chloe fucked everything up. Liz attacks her, so evil mom attacks Chloe to get Liz to stop, and then Tori attacks her for saying she sucks, then evil mom attacks Tori, then Chloe smashes her over the head with a pipe, but somehow she’s fine, just knocked out. I guess witches have different skulls than humans. They run, and then they’re attacked, and then her aunt saves them? Apparently she’s suddenly changed her mind. I guess it’s sincere because then Tori’s mom kills her, despite the fact that there’s no reason to have changed her mind last second like this.
Then they hide in a factory for a while. It’s active, so the adults are driven off by the power of a guard telling them no, giving Chloe some time to check out the letter her aunt wrote explaining necromancy. It pops up in their family from time to time, and her mom’s twin was one and dies from it, so she was scared of having a kid like that. Then there’s a really convoluted explanation about why it had to be her biological kid that’s stupid and nonsensical. So her aunt was in contract with the crazy mad scientists who said they could make the necromancy not crazymaking.
So they were all concerned when she “suddenly” started seeing ghosts. I guess we’re just going to be pretending the opening bit where she could see them as a little kid never even happened? That seems to contradict everything.
The group had promised that no matter what happened, I wouldn’t be killed. A necromancer wasn’t dangerous, they told her, so there was no reason to terminate me.
Now I know I defended the concept of killing these kids, but that was, you know, the concept as done by a halfway competent author. In general, if people are saying they won’t kill your kid in particular because they’re pretty sure she’s not trouble, they are bad people and you are a bad person for doing anything but reporting them immediately.
Also apparently the necklace repels ghosts, sortamaybe. No explanation where it came from or anything.
Then Liz returns to report that the damn woman isn’t even dead yet. For a story about necromancy and ghosts there sure is a lack of death. All we’ve got so far is Liz and she’s all over the place so she barely counts.
Tori then decides to leave and go find her dad, who she says she’s actually really close to and he’ll believe her. It doesn’t occur to Chloe to go with her because they really could use some adult backup at this point, and also probably because it’d be more interesting than her wandering around.
Liz doesn’t care, because no one cares about Tori. Instead she points out that the whole lying and yelling at them thing didn’t make any sense. Chloe is unable to patch the plothole, only shifting it to a different plothole by claiming it was a token effort. No, actually they threw a stupid lot of resources into what was obviously not going to work.
Chloe discusses the idea of Liz moving on to the other side. No one cares right now, Chloe.
Then Tori reappears because her dad told her mom on her. I know adults have to be useless idiots, but it’s still really annoying that no one ever talks to anyone about stuff. And you’ll note they still haven’t considered going to the police about this, despite having a really good case.
She goes to sleep and wakes up to hear something whispering and being spooky. She tells it to stop and when it won’t she tries yanking it into existence and accidentally raises a ton of undead bats, because I guess there are lots of dead bats around. It’s not clear if these are bat ghosts or if she stuffed regular ghosts into bats because those were the nearest corpses.
Then Liz and she chat. Apparently her mom had her under questionable circumstances that she thinks were rape, because abortions don’t exist, when she was really young. Then later she had a head injury and got weird. But she used to talk about evil medical experiments that were probably about all this.
They find a note from the boys saying they’ll be back at a certain time, and Chloe goes OH NO BUT THEY’LL BE WALKING INTO A TRAP because it’s not like the evil mad scientist patrols are totally obvious or anything.
Anyway, she finds Derek, they get Tori, Simon really is diabetic but has been fine carrying around unrefrigerated insulin this whole time.
Then it’s really fucking boring for a while and more shitting on Tori. Also, apparently the successes of the project came out weaker, which doesn’t seem surprising when they said that it’s supposed to start at puberty and then get stronger during puberty, so why wouldn’t delaying onset also weaken the powers?
They find out Chloe’s dad is offering a huge reward for her and is horribly broken up, and he’s not in contact with the group because he offered the reward after they captured her. So naturally everyone thinks it’s a bad idea, because.
You know, this really bugs me. I mean, okay, even going with the worst case scenario he thinks she’s crazy, parents wouldn’t hand their kid over immediately. Just on the basis that she’s scared out of her mind, the place is obviously not doing her any good. And any halfway decent parent would want to at least get answers about some of the things she’s saying. If Liz isn’t dead how hard can it be to show her to poor Chloe and calm her down? Also, why is her aunt suddenly missing right when Chloe’s saying her aunt was kidnapped by the group? This is before we get into the fact that Simon and Tori can both do obvious magic on command.
Oh yeah also they’ve been hanging out near some homeless person’s corpse, and Chloe raises it by accident while she’s sleeping. Then she returns it, but not before screaming and alerting people. Then the ghost shows up to yell at them, believing she did it for fun. Ghosts are spectacularly useless in this. All they ever want to do is bitch about not wanting to do anything.
More stupid boring stuff where they argue and whine. It may be realistic, but there are other more interesting things that would also be realistic.
Simon reveals that their dad’s disappearance was actually totally different than they described it last book. See, they were supposed to take off as soon as Derek got into the fight, but he let Simon stay one more day for a baseball game so he only told Derek they were leaving and when they got home things were packed but he was gone.
So they decide that instead they should go find their dad’s friend. Also, apparently werewolves are territorial, because werewolves always get a stupid grabbag of animal traits.
They get on a bus, and then Derek starts getting ready to turn into a wolf again, so they sneak off while Simon’s asleep. There’s a long shippy transformation sequence where he almost but doesn’t manage to turn into a wolf. Then he falls asleep, and Chloe sees a scene of a girl crawling around being kicked by a guy who then slits her throat. It goes on repeat and she realizes it’s another creepy ghost loop. She has still made no attempt to actually interact with ghost loops, but she decides that no actual ghosts are being harmed and it’s just the visual recording of something horrible that happened, because she says so.
Turns out they’re a few dollars short of bus fare, so they have to catch a bus from somewhere else. They hitch a ride in the back of a guy’s truck, and the guy tries to talk them out of running away from home and won’t let go of Chloe, so they tie him up and take off. Then Derek does more sharing about how animals hate him. It does not at all match how animals work. Also, apparently wolves go craziest and when he went a zoo this one time a wolf smashed its face bloody trying to murder him through the bars and didn’t stop even when he left because it knew he was a wolf and I was a lone wolf invading a pack’s turf. He was the alpha. It was his duty to protect his pack which is totally how wolves work.
They go to eat and a woman sits down to talk to her while Derek gets food. They have a nice chat and she’s really obviously a ghost. They should just invite ghost lady to come along with them, she’s what I’d expect from a ghost – really lonely and wanting to talk to someone who can hear her. She’d probably be happy to help them.
But no, they just wander off, leaving the first friendly, experienced, competent ghost we’ve met in the entire damn series. They don’t even have Liz at this point, she left a while back for no reason.
Then they run into werewolves, who are apparently just superpowered psychos. They manage to escape. Derek says that you can be turned into a werewolf by bite. Why isn’t everyone a werewolf, then? You get superpowers and there doesn’t appear to be much drawback. There’s no sign at all the territorial psychoness is part of the superpower package and not a cultural nutjob thing.
Or maybe it is, since he says the other werewolf kids were all crazy werewolf superstitious. Another way they’re somehow like animals, because imprinting sure isn’t a thing.
(Also supposedly the main pack chopped someone up with chainsaws, which is total bullshit. Chainsaws do not work on flesh. You’d have to have at least half a dozen on hand to keep swapping in as the one you’re using gets jammed.)
So they finally get there and the guy’s vanished that morning, one bite into his toast. Simon and Tori are hiding out nearby.
They get his camping gear and set out, and then the evil mad scientist hit squad shows up. It ends up with Chloe dropping out of a tree onto someone, who miraculously is knocked out without other injury by this, and also the knockout is not in itself dangerous. I was thinking maybe she’d accidentally broken the woman’s neck and just didn’t realize it, but then the other people see the woman and immediately start going on about her being unconscious.
Then she sees her aunt calling to her. Probably a ghost, Derek tells her maybe it’s an illusion instead. Sure would help if we had any idea how those work, because Derek says he didn’t see it.
Anyway they escape and find Simon and Derek’s dad’s friend. The battle is chaotic and also boring, so I’m not too clear on the details. Basically the trained soldiers suddenly get incompetent and everyone escapes. Also, Tori skinned her palm and no one gives a fuck, because it’s not like you needs hands to do anything!
Apparently the dad’s friend is part of an entire group dedicated to fighting the group after them, and they just haven’t done anything yet because they didn’t believe anyone would hurt the kids. So I guess none of them have a necromancer because so far ghost reconnaissance is unstoppable. The most you can do is make it so ghosts can’t easily manifest in a particular location to the tiny fraction of people who are even capable of seeing them. Also something about also fighting cabals and shit. So they drive toward the safe house run by these guys and then
HAHAHA SUCKERS YOU’LL HAVE TO READ THE NEXT BOOK!
God this series is terrible. The only impressive thing about it is how many words she can wring from so little plot, and since she can’t do it enjoyably, it’s hardly anything to brag about.
Oh, also Chloe’s necklace has turned from red to blue. That’s all it does this book, slowly change color. It’s fitting for the story as a whole, at least.
That zombie army? NOTHING. NOTHING HAS COME OF IT.