Ever the master manipulator, Neferet has managed to bamboozle the Vampyre High Council into believing she has returned to the Light and has been reinstated as a High Priestess. Wanting revenge on Zoey Redbird, Neferet must first lure her back to Tulsa. Zoey and her Guardian Warrior, James Stark, have chosen to remain on the Isle of Skye for some rest. Everyone else has returned to Tulsa's House of Night only to find everything on the border of chaos.
Stevie Rae is the first-ever Red Vampyre High Priestess. She is still dealing with her emotions from breaking up with her boyfriend, Dallas, and her mixed feelings for Rephaim, the Raven Mocker that she shares an Imprint with. But the stress on Stevie Rae is beginning to show. So when a friend of their inner-circle dies, Stevie Rae makes the phone call which brings Zoey and Stark back to Tulsa. Though all know Neferet murdered their friend, no one has any proof and she has a solid alibi.
Rephaim, the son of Kalona, strives to keep his relationship with Stevie Rae from his father and Neferet. Torn between his respect for his father and his mixed feelings for Stevie Rae, Rephaim can neither betray his father, nor stop protecting this new friend. However, the Raven Mocker will soon be forced to choose between his immortal parent and the Red One. Until then, Rephaim will brainstorm for a way to remove Kalona's spirit from beneath Neferet's controlling thumb.
** TWO STARS! As with the previous book (Burned), little happens to move events along. As with what happened to Heath a couple of titles past, another character is culled from the series. Dallas, the rogue red fledglings, and Erik only have brief cameo parts in this installment of the series. To be honest, I cannot see any reason for Dallas, Erik, or the rogue fledglings to even have been mentioned.
The character of Zoey still comes across as weak and immature. Hiding away from her problems and leaving others in danger is simply out of Zoey's character. I no longer feel a connection to her. Instead, the character of Stevie Rae is toughing things out. Yet even Stevie Rae is avoiding her duties this time around. She blows off her close friend and Prophetess, Kramisha, often.(Sort of like: If I do not let Kramisha tell me the problem, then it does not really exist.)
Speaking of Kramisha's character, the Poet Laureate seems to be highly intelligent, so why can she not speak proper English? To me, this comes across as a racial slur - something I thought this generation had managed to filter out. Kramisha is more level-headed and has more backbone than any other character currently within the HON series. The authors really need to develop Kramisha's character more and give her more time in the spotlight.
P.C. and Kristin Cast are talented authors who have managed to create a mystical world full of strong characters for readers to cheer on and evil villains for them to hate. Even though the titles of Burned and Awakened are little more than fluff and filler, I have hope that the writing duo will bring back the high standards of entertainment readers had become accustomed to. **
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.