Review: Burned (House of Night, Book 7) by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

by First Mate Keira

Title: Burned (House of Night, Book 7)
Author: P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 384 Pages
Grade Reading Level: Grade 9+

Summary: Zoey’s soul is shattered and it looks like there’s no way to save her from becoming a wandering zombie-like spirit. But the Nerd Herd won’t take no for an answer. Between Aphrodite’s visions, Stevie Rae’s rituals, and Damien’s research skills the find a solution to do the impossible. They know (sort of) how to send a High Priestess’ Warrior to the spirit world successfully. Stark is gungho and ready to save her, but he’s got to watch out for Heath and Kalona.

Why I started this book:

I’ve been reading the books like they’re junk food. The first books were not all that good and I wasn’t expecting this one to be either but I was pleasantly surprised. Burned still exhibits all the bad qualities of the series (insanely dumb teenage speak being my number one pet peeve) but I think the plot has finally developed enough to be interesting.

Likes:

  • Stark. I love a boy who is willing to go the distance and face possible death to do the right thing. He’s the type of hero who will always be able to save the girl. He’s grown on me again as a romantic interest.
  • Heath. He does the hardest thing he’s ever been asked to do in the spirit world and I love him for it. Here’s hoping we’ll see him in the future.
  • Rephaim. I just knew if he became all good he’d be a Native American boy. Kind of like how Pinocchio becomes a real man, this Raven Mocker is discovering that there’s more to immortal existence than darkness. I like him with Stevie Rae.

Dislikes:

  • Aphrodite for the first time annoys me. As much butt as she kicks with the visions and the sass, I’m ready for her to take a bit of a chill pill and act like a normal person.
  • Stark getting a Scottish accent due to his trip to the spirit world. Say what? Lame.
  • I still don’t like the POV changing. It’s a problem I have with the Blue Blood series too. I wish they’d stick to a few characters instead of any and every character they take a liking too.
  • Kalona was not his scary self – what’s with the lurking approach in the spirit world? Grr. Good thing Stark’s presence finally made him delurk.

Buy: Burned (House of Night, Book 7)

Rating: 3 Treasure Chests

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Review: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

by Silence, guest reviewer

Title: Angel’s and Demons
Author: Dan Brown
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 572
Grade Reading Level: Ages 15+

Summary: Robert Langdon is contacted by scientific research facility CERN to discern the meaning behind the mysterious murder of one of their scientists. Upon seeing the victim, Langdon realizes he’s been branded with the ambigrammic (reads the same normally and from another view point) word Illuminati. This starts an intriguing adventure that unravels the deepest secrets of both the Catholic Church and the Illuminati.

Why I started reading this book:

Interestingly enough, despite what Hollywood would have you believe Angels & Demons came out prior to The DaVinci Code. However I read The DaVinci Code first, liked it, and was obligated to steal Angels and Demons from my sister afterward. I don’t think she’s read it, I should probably return it to her…

Likes:

  • Again Dan Brown has me questioning some of my base beliefs allowing me to explore a world of open minded thought and mystery. However it’s a book of fiction and proclaims itself as such so don’t get confused.
  • I felt very involved in the mystery, Brown has a way of making you feel almost as if you were solving the puzzles along with him despite not having his wide array of knowledge.
  • Carlo Ventresca as well as a few other people found within the church that had mindsets that I found wonderful to learn about. It took a risk and explored something that hit close to home for me.

Dislikes:

  • Carlo Ventresca, Dan Brown simply obliterated any attachment I had to him in a way that I honestly felt was painfully random and uncharacteristic.
  • There were times that I felt Brown was almost throwing information at me to show me how intelligent he was. There’s at least one time in memory that he stated something interesting only to have it become irrelevant in the same paragraph.
  • The Hassassin. As I stated this book arrived before The DaVince Code, however since I read it after the whole idea of a hit man who wasn’t the mastermind felt rehashed.
  • The fact that the whole idea of an Illuminati resurrection is based off of the idea that the ambigram brands have proven impossible to reproduce. It’s hard to suspend belief when the book itself displays the words.

Buy: Angels & Demons

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Review: Tempted (House of Night, Book 6) by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast


By First Mate Keira

Title: Tempted (House of Night, Book 6)
Author: P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 319
Grade Reading Level: Grade 9+

Summary: Let the head-hopping commence. Tempted splits into multiple points of views to follow separate storylines. Zoey is concerned about Stevie Rae hiding the “bad” red fledglings and Kalona. Stevie Rae is concerned with her fledglings and a Raven Mocker. Everybody else is concerned with one or the other of them except Darius who wants to be Aphrodite’s Warrior.

Why I started this book:

The House of Night books are seriously awful but because they are such quick reads I find myself glomming my way through them. I kind of think of them as junk food you don’t really care for but eat anyway because it’s there.

Likes:

  • I like two of the three main boys: Stark and Heath. Stark is Zoey’s Warrior and a red vampyre like Stevie Rae. Heath is Zoey’s Imprinted human and only blood donor. Both boys even get along somewhat well with each other, recognizing why the other’s in Zoey’s life and even if they don’t like it are willing to make it work.
  • Rephaim. He’s interesting. I do hope the results from the Imprint switch will mean that Kalona’s firstborn, the Raven Mocker Rephaim, will become a whole man and/or regain his humanity. Otherwise, what’s the point?
  • The A-ya storyline. It’s all about free will vs predestination. Zoey’s weakness for hunky guys is going to get her into serious trouble with Kalona.
  • Kalona crying over Zoey’s dive off the cliff in dream world and his story as Nyx’s once upon a time Warrior. I’m not 100% convinced it wasn’t entirely faked (the crying, not the Warrior part) for the purpose of manipulating her in a manner similar to Loren Blake but I wouldn’t mind seeing him also go through a transformation back to goodness.

Dislikes:

  • It didn’t make much sense for a series devoted until this book entirely to Zoey’s POV to suddenly have several: Stevie Rae, Rephaim, etc. There had to be another way to bring in Stevie Rae’s actions with Rephaim and the red fledglings other then the head hopping. In fact the writing duo had already done so by making Aphrodite Stevie Rae’s Imprinted human.
  • On that note, why is it so easy to break an Imprint? This makes no sense to me because by the very definition of the word, imprinting can’t be undone. There should be cases for multiple imprints at once, not multiple one at a time deals.
  • The High Priestess Council in Italy and the meeting there between Neferet, Kalona, and Zoey was anticlimactic. Is the Council stupid? Seriously, these women are supposed to be the most connected to Nyx and they’re considering the bull about Kalona as Erebus and Neferet as Nyx to be true? Arg!
  • MAJOR SPOILER: WHAT HAPPENS TO HEATH! NO! NO! NO! He’s one of the major reasons I kept reading this book series. Why oh why did he have to die? I’m giving the authors one chance to bring him back. If he’s not still in the series in a romantic ghost like way or whatever in Burned, I’m quitting the books.

Buy: Tempted (House of Night)

Rating: 1.5 Treasure Chests

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Review: Hunted (House of Night, Book 5) by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

By First Mate Keira

Title: Hunted (House of Night, Book 5)
Author: P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 323
Grade Reading Level: Grade 9+

Summary: As we know from the last book, just minutes after revealing Stevie Rae and the rest of the red fledglings to those at the House of Night, Neferet orders her newest undead fledgling, James Stark, to shoot at the earth’s heart. As the blood begins spilling, a new threat emerges… Kalona, a fallen angel, whose story is legend in Zoey’s Grandmother’s Cherokee tribe. The key to stopping him lies in the myth and in a past life. In the meantime they must survive the turnover in power because death is not an option.

Why I started this book:

Because it continues the series… as I’ve been tearing through the books pretty quickly.

Likes:

  • Heath! He finds Zoey through a hail storm and flexes his football muscles and boy-next-door charm. He and Zoey get re-bonded (Hip! Hip! Hurray!). I don’t quite know why I find his jealousy cute and Erik’s so irritating but that’s how I feel. It’s probably because I am more and more Team Heath.
  • Stark! He makes the right decision and becomes the second fully formed red vampyre. I bet there’s more to this High Priestess’ Warrior business. Let’s hope he gets along better with Heath and Erik did.
  • Aphrodite’s relationship with the Warrior of Erebus, Darius. They’re so cute. I like how he’s totally okay with her being high maintenance and being a human.

Dislikes:

  • I do not like Erik. I think he must be working for Neferet. Nothing is mentioned specifically to suggest that, but nevertheless that’s what I think is going on. I hope this little reunion between Zoey and Erik falls apart faster than the first time the two got together. Erik’s an ex who should stay an ex. He’s far too possessive and judgmental. He doesn’t offer any strength or support to the heroine and is more like a leech.
  • Too much time in the tunnels and not enough time spent at the school actually dealing with what’s going on.
  • I still don’t like a majority of the characters. Honestly the Twins should be trapped in a burlap sack and set on fire and then drowned they are that annoying. Damien has more potential but he’s so hot/cold you never know which way the wind blows with him. I still don’t see why it was important to give Zoey’s friends special powers because she can conjure up all the points of the circle.

Buy: Hunted (A House of Night Novel)

Rating: 2 Treasure Chests

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Review: Untamed (House of Night, Book 4) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

By First Mate Keira

Title: Untamed (House of Night, Book 4)
Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 338
Grade Reading Level: Grade 9+

Summary: All of Zoey’s friends are still royally torqued with her from Chosen. They have thrust her from their snug little group and she’s been hiding from them… and from Heath. The only person who seems to understand is Aphrodite, the currently unmarked but still has visions girl. Zoey blames everything on herself, and she should take part of the blame for being Miss Secretive, but her friends are not lily white. When Zoey goes to apologize a new boy is introduced to the series, the one James Stark (but just Stark if you please). Neferet is still war hungry and with Zoey on the outs, chances are nobody will listen to her when she says war is wrong.

Why I read this book:

I read the first three books in the series in under three days and while I am not hugely impressed by the series I am interested enough to finish all the available books which are easily obtained from my library.

Likes:

  • James Stark. He’s alive and then dead (hopefully undead) so fast your head spins. One minute he’s there and there’s a little fun flirtation between him and Zoey and the next he’s dying in her arms like Stevie Rae did.
  • Aphrodite again. She’s definitely not losing her vision mojo and shares two visions with Zoey about Zoey’s possible future deaths. The two work together to fix it. I really like how their friendship is developing. They’re not enemies anymore and I don’t see them as frenemies. I actually think Aphrodite should be Zoey’s best friend, not Stevie Rae who is even more secretive than Zoey!
  • Grandma Redbird! She’s so loving. I really like her calling Zoey daughter in Cherokee.
  • The Raven Mockers. They’re pretty awesome minions. Scary sounding too.

Dislikes:

  • Erik once again being a horse’s behind. He’s clearly steamed from what happened in the last book where Zoey is seduced into losing her virginity and creating a bond with Loren Blake. I did like the hot ad-lib drama scene between the two though. That was yum, but hardly enough yum to make me like him.
  • I’m not really sure what to think about the Benedictine nun, Sister Mary Angela, who thinks Nyx is really the Virigin Mary so for now this is in the dislike pile. I feel like this was done to give Christian/organized religion readers a bone but it’s not one I particularly feel like chewing.
  • Not enough Heath!

Buy: Untamed (House of Night)

Rating: 2 Treasure Chests

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Review: Chosen (House of Night, Book 3) by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast


By First Mate Keira

Title: Chosen (House of Night, Book 3)
Author: P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 307
Grade Reading Level: Grade 9+

Summary: Read in order, because the books follow on the heels of each other.

Zoey must keep the secret of her undead ex-roommate from her still living fledgling vampyre friends. On top of that she knows Neferet, the High Priestess of the House of Night, is behind all the undead vampires. She’s also acting very weird and Zoey’s not sure she can trust her mentor anymore. More and more she relies on Aphrodite, the mean girl with visions, much to the disgruntlement of her friends.

When the duo stumble upon a professor brutally murdered, the stakes are upped. The evidence points toward the biggest local organized Christian denomination in town. Neferet wants to go to war and Zoey knows that’s not what Nyx wants. But how do they stop it?

Why I started this book:

I got Chosen when I got Marked and Betrayed out from the library. I’m not a big fan of the series, but it’s easy to read and I didn’t have much else to do so I decided to continue.

Likes:

·        Heath insists his love for Zoey is not an aftereffect of the bond and I believe him. It’s proven when she breaks it. I don’t know how she couldn’t believe him when they’ve been friends and together since elementary school.

·        Zoey’s tattoos. They keep growing. The descriptions of them remind me of the artwork that I do, which is kind of cool.

·        Go Grandma for sticking up to the terrible parental units!

Dislikes:

  • Loren Blake seducing Zoey. Alarm bells are ringing and still the girl decides to throw away her virginity, something she clearly didn’t want to just give away on a lark, after a few pieces of poetry and sweet talk. I don’t get it and it’s disturbing. They also form an Imprint between each other, breaking off the Imprint with Heath. Erik walks in on them and gets very mean. Then Zoey finds out Erik was right and Loren did use her… he’s actually with Neferet and she wanted him to get involved with Zoey to learn her secrets. Yikes! Just bad form all the way around. I’m glad he was murdered honestly.
  • All of Zoey’s so-called friends. Bleck. Why on earth do they need to be high powered like Zoey is beyond me as she can cast all the elements anyway. I don’t get why they got so pissed at her for not sharing she doesn’t like birthmas presents (birthday presents that are Christmas themed). It would be rude, but they all agree she’s at fault there. Whatever.
  • The continued anti-Christian theme. The pagan followers insist on everybody treating them with respect and yet they offer little to others who don’t agree with them.
  • The cursing still bugs me. I skip over it, which means I skip a lot of dialogue sometimes. Luckily I don’t really miss anything.

Buy: Chosen (House of Night, Book 3)

Rating: 1.5 Treasure Chests

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