Previously on Obsidian, school starts, Daemon’s hotness is universally confirmed, and Daemon and Dee have a triplet brother who’s missing, presumed dead.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold or block-quotes, it’s paraphrased snark.
It’s still the first day of school, and Katy’s devastated at the realization that Dee hadn’t disclosed her entire past (including school, medical, and possible criminal records) when she consented to this friendship:
And [their brother] disappeared? Died? My heart ached for them even though they obviously hadn’t told me everything.
Even though? Even though? Yes, how gracious of you to bestow your sympathy on people who are clearly so undeserving of it.
I totally called it, that Katy’d make Dawson’s disappearance about herself. Someone give me a pat on the back, I need it.
Before Katy can corner Dee with the pile of paperwork Dee’d neglected to fill out, Imparter of Important Plot Information Lesa plops her shining smile down in the desk in front of Katy and obligingly imparts important plot information. The town, she tells Katy, is “the epicenter of weirdness,” complete with regular sightings of men in black suits and aliens hanging around Seneca Rocks. (I’m disappointed to report that the aliens are described as “people-shaped things of light.” In my heart of hearts I know they’re space squids.)
“Aliens?” I bust out laughing, drawing a few stares. “I’m sorry, but seriously?”
It’s hard to type when I’m flailing my arms in exasperated outrage. Yes, Katy, aliens. You know, non-human creatures who might possibly have inhuman powers such as those you’ve witnessed left and right and center thus far. You don’t have to believe it right away, but at least start connecting some dots here.
And it looks like I’ll be flailing some more, because the book opts to once again not allow Katy time to absorb and reflect on the information she’s just been handed:
I opened my mouth to respond, but our teacher walked in.
Her biology teacher, FYI, is Matthew Garrison, the angry alien who had an angry alien standoff with Daemon at the end of chapter 6. Mr. Garrison—who, like Daemon, is a truly excellent human impersonator—spends the entirety of class holding Katy immobile with his unblinking gaze.
The scene ends:
What the hell was going on around here?
BUT DOES SHE CONTINUE THAT THOUGHT INTO THE NEXT SCENE?
NO, SHE DOESN’T.
Ah, high school lunchtime: the sticky tiled floors, the inedible slop, the crushing anxiety over one’s social status (I guess?). Lovely classmate Carissa greets Katy with a smile (I’m shocked that this book contains friendly, welcoming female characters, much less three of them), a smile that melts right into horror at the news Katy’s going to eat with Dee.
CARISSA: “KATY, NO, YOU CAN’T.”
CARISSA: “[T]he last girl to do so, like, disappeared.”
CARISSA: “She disappeared with Dee and Daemon’s missing brother.”
KATY’S RAGING SELF-ENTITLEMENT: “HOW DARE DEE NOT TELL ME ANY OF THIS. THIS REQUIRES ANOTHER FORM SHE MUST FILL OUT IMMEDIATELY.”
So Katy collects her spaghetti and makes for Dee’s table, which is draped over with godly-gorgeous aliens. Roll call! Dee Black’s twirling her hair around her finger while chatting with one of the Thompson brothers; the other Thompson boy’s sitting poised on top of the table, facing the adoring crowds rather than his tablemates; Daemon Black’s sultry smirk is in residence but partially obscured by Ash Thompson’s breasts; the rest of Ash Thompson is perched triumphantly in his lap.
And—miracle of miracles—Katy’s ensuing anger is directed with military precision at its appropriate target:
Hadn’t he tried to kiss me on the porch? I was pretty sure I hadn’t imagined that. Daemon was a douchebag to the highest order.
YES, THANK YOU, YES.
Dee welcomes Katy’s approach with joy; the other aliens not so much. Ash plays the stereotypical jealous bitch, Dee calls her out on it, Ash bitches some more, Katy asks Dee for reassurance that she can sit with them, Daemon sneers that Katy should know when she’s not welcome, Dee starts to cry, and Daemon leans forward and makes it super clear that Katy better walk the fuck away and never come back.
Katy’s become a Katy-shaped statue of mortification (while, interestingly, one of the godly Thompson brothers looks like he wants to crawl under the table and die of second-hand embarrassment for her. Which one is he? Can she romance him instead?), and the cafeteria breaks out in surround-sound whispers and sympathetic hissing.
And then the best thing of the entire fucking book thus far happens.
Katy dumps her lunch on Ash and Daemon.
Chunks of noodles and spaghetti sauce fell. Most of the red gunk hit Ash and the noodles covered Daemon’s broad shoulder. One long, stringy noodle slid over Daemon’s ear and hung there, flopping around.
Now, I don’t condone this type of retaliation in real life, but hell yes, Katy, I am so proud. You finally fucking did something.
Dee is overtaken by giggles at the sight; more surprisingly, so is Daemon:
He really laughed—a deep, stomach rumbling kind of laughter that reached his minty eyes and warmed them, causing them to sparkle like his sister’s.
A jolly Santa laugh, then? Hot.
Ash is rather less amused. Instead of a few baritone ho ho hos, what comes out of her mouth is (what I can only assume is) a sacred alien vow of vengeance:
“I will end you.”
She’s half a second from vaulting her chair and rending Katy limb from limb when Daemon throws himself bodily in her way. Good thing, too, because rather than flinching away from a brawl, Katy’s calculating of the cost vs. benefit of ripping the splint off her arm and going whole hog on Ash’s face.
Oh, and by the way, Ash’s eyes have “started to glow a bright amber from behind her irises,” but Biology Teacher and Angry Alien Matthew Garrison barrels in to simmer their shit down before Katy can memorize that detail for later consideration. Damn it.
Mr. Garrison shoos Katy off to safer territory (rather than send her to the principal’s office for a scolding, which shocks her to her core), and as she shoos she stews:
I wasn’t going to break. Not anymore.
YES. DON’T BREAK, NOT ANYMORE. KICK SOME ALIEN ASS.
I was tired of this shit with Daemon’s, well, whatever she was.
I hadn’t done a single thing for her to treat me this way.
No Katy wait.
I was done with being pushover Katy.
I mean, yes, totally be done with Ash’s bullshit—but you’ve had exactly two encounters with Ash and 142 pages of Daemon’s bullshit. Redirect your fury about six degrees to the right is all I’m saying.
As surprised and pleased as I am that the book offers three friendly female characters—Dee, Lesa, and Carissa—this whole thing with Ash is a disaster.
- Ash is your garden variety one-dimensional jealousy-inducing gorgeous slutty bitch (if we’re being stereotypical about it), and
- she became the primary villain of Katy’s life the moment she stepped into it.
Never mind Daemon’s consistent manipulation, threats, and cruelty; never mind the mysterious attacker who literally beat Katy almost to death. Ash is the one who earns the full force of Katy’s antagonism, because she’s pretty and mean and wants Daemon’s nuts. HOW DARE SHE.
Yes, book, we should totally avoid the actual plot and instead fester over the proximity of Ash’s bitchy gorgeousness to Daemon’s douchey smirkiness, I totally agree.
There go my arms a-flailing again, whoops.