Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Review - Awakened by P.C + Kristin Cast

Published: January 4, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 290
ISBN: 978-0-312-65024-7
Series: House of Night (#8)
Source: Bought

*SPOILER ALERT - Summary may contain spoilers to those who have not read this whole series yet - though my review does NOT contain spoilers*

Summary: “My love, speak to me.  Tell me everything.”  Neferet went to Kalona, kneeling before him, stroking the soft, dark wings that unfurled loosely around the immortal.
“What would you have me say?”  He didn’t meet her eyes. 
 “Zoey lives.” Neferet’s voice was flat, cold, lifeless.
“She does.”
“Then you owe me the subservience of your immortal soul.”  She started to walk away from him.
“Where are you going?  What will happen next?”
 “It is quite simple.  I will ensure Zoey is drawn back to Oklahoma.  There, on my own terms, I will complete the task you failed.”
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 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?
In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?

My Review: I was eagerly awaiting this 8th book in The House of Night series and I was not disappointed. I've been a fan of this series since "Marked". I think the story is creative and written in an interesting way, the characters are fun and real. There are some things about the novels that I admit, aren't ideal, but overall they are great reads!
The thing that bothers me the most would be the back and forth of the "maturity" of the writing. What I mean is this: for parts of the book we're almost in a PG rating - words like "bullpoopie" and scenes with just kissing, which is fine for the fact that these books are YA and geared for 13+. But then we'll go into a rated 18A or R with swear words ( a lot at some points) and very heavy sexual scenes. Honestly, for me neither really bother me. I don't mind either 'ratings' (I'm saying 'ratings' rather lightly, because they are my ratings, and have nothing to do with the authors or publishers or anyone else), but it makes it difficult to recommend the series to anyone. I think that if P.C and Kristin toned it down a little, maybe making it not so racy as a whole, it would be less controversial. That's my biggest issue with Awakened (and the whole HoN series) but with that aside, Awakened is a fun, exciting and on the edge of your seat read.
Zoey Redbird is continuing her quest as a vampyre to help her friends and she hasn't changed since her journey started in Marked. She is still the fun loving girl who will do anything for her friends. What I like most about Zoey, who isn't the brightest crayon in the box, is that she's a normal teenage girl. She asks her friends for help and guidance and sure, she sometimes misses the obvious and makes mistakes, but she learns from them.
Stevie-Rae and her "okie-twang" is back along with Aprhodite and her attitude. But the character I was looking forward to seeing was that gorgeous, bad boy Stark (yum!). And he's back and better than ever!
Overall, just be careful if you're gifting this book, or are sensitive. Make sure the reader can handle the cussing and sexual scenes and references. If you are okay with that, then you wont be disappointed with Awakened or the whole HoN series.
Though it seems that HoN could have been wrapped up a few books ago, that's alright because the Casts' are a great pair and they can write great books, and I'm looking forward to reading Destined when it comes out at the end of the year.

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