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on 23 May 2010
.C. Cast has gone way beyond the talent she has shown in previous books in her writing of the most recent installment of the House of Night series. The multiple perspectives, introduced in the 6th book worked masterfully in telling this book's unique story. The way that the storyline is told is both surprising as it is breathtaking. There was a point in this book where P.C. Cast tricked me and I absolutely loved it! When the realization hit, I was in awe of how well written the revelation was. And satisfyingly enough the reader will be just as challenged as the characters are while reading this book. As a friend once put it, "these books are like snacks." With that comparison, this book is not a snack the way the others are, and it isn't a full course meal either. Instead, it sits the reader down and shows them how to cook.

But lets go back to the first 6 books. Because without them, this book wouldn't be nearly as pointed. During the House of Night series, the reader feels a need and demand that the characters learn, make decisions, and grow. Books 1 through 6 hasn't really shown us the volume to which these characters can change. While we know that they have, we haven't ever been as intimate with the characters until this 7th book, where we are forced to look at these multi-dimensional characters and acknowledge the depth of them. Heath, Zoey, Aphrodite, Darius, Stevie-Rae, Rephaim, Stark and the big baddies (Neferet and Kalona) are the main focus and while fans of the Twins and Damien and Jack might be disappointed, the focus on the characters listed is key to this book. What's marvelous about that, though is not all characters are developed in the present, not all are even truly in the book, but each and every character mentioned takes on more meaning and becomes so much more clear than in previous books.

Now I'm a huge Stark fan and by the end of this book I don't see how anyone couldn't be, but that's not where I think this review should focus. What's more important is that I'm not a huge Zoey fan. I'm not a huge Heath fan. But by the end of this book I was. Zoey's character changes so much that the reader may expect whiplash yet the story is crafted so that her extraordinary progresses reads naturally. Heath's character is developed simply by reviewing the constants in his relations with everyone in the book. It does not serve to make any reader feel stupid, but rather does cause a reader to stop and think about how Heath really doesn't change so much as our understanding of him did.

Stark. Where to even begin. We learn his history, his future and glimpse into his mind in the present all at once while somehow carrying his load for him. His role in this book is so well written and so well played that this character really shines.

Those of you interested in Stevie-Rae and the inevitable dilemma of Rephaim will not be disappointed by how this story-line, so loosely and tightly mingled with Zoey's is developed and expressed.

And that firecracker Aphrodite? If you think she had a strong voice in all of the rest of the books, her voice is even stronger, if that can even be conceived, in this one. Another spin in the story line helps develop her character in remarkable ways as well.

Here are the most important themes of the book: The act of wishing vs. doing, disguise, the power of mistakes, the power that everyone has inside of us born out of the path we choose, and ultimately, the power not so much of free will but more of choice. Every choice in this book counts
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on 8 May 2010
Excellent read!!

This is one of the best books in the series! I absolutely adore Stevie-Rae and Rephaim's relationship as it so beautifully progresses into something that neither one of them saw coming, through adventure and 'night in shining armour' rescues their true feelings for each other are revealed:) (WONDERFUL!!). I cannot wait to see where their relationship takes them in the next book as the ending in this one gave them a decision to make.

Beside from that, zoey's soul has shattered and in the otherworld she is slowly losing herself completely unable to rest (literally) and her friends back in the real world are running out of time to save her. I love Aphrodite in this book, she really takes control and even though her tongue is still as sharp as razors (funny), we see that she really loves Zoey and inside she is hurting just as much as everyone else. Neferet is up to her elbows in evil trying to make sure that zoey cant ever return and in this book we find that Kalona really does feel something for zoey but is it really love and is it worth sacrificing himself to save her?
We are shown how dedicated Stark is to Zoey and how he would do absolutely anything for her; he is a big part in the rescue mission for zoey, but is he going to be too late?

Great book, fantastic story line loved every page! Kristin Cast you rock!!
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on 7 May 2012
So I battled my way through the books this far, then gave up. I hate leaving books/stories unfinished, so I kept going because I was curious to know what was going to happen, but it's just not worth it.

The premise is interesting, and the first book was OK, but there has been no real structure to the storyline over these seven books. Unlike J.K. Rowling who, whilst writing a long series, clearly had a structure in mind, it's like the authors are just making it up as they go, randomly introducing new concepts which should at least have been alluded to before to keep the story going, and constantly changing their minds about where they want it to go. (Erik? Heath? Loren? Stark? Kalona?) They keep on changing characters', well, characters, seemingly hoping their readers aren't bright enough to question it. They get bored with one boyfriend and move to another, hastily throwing in a comment about how the perfect guy actually was horrible the whole time (which isn't believable, as we'd never seen anything to indicate it until then). This series is dragging much too long. (What are we on, book 11, 12 at this point?)

I admit though that I liked the change in Aphrodite - in fiction, the snobby 'cheerleader' type often just stays that way, as they are there solely to make the protagonist's life hard. Aphrodite is my favourite character, because although she's a bit of a b****, she knows it, unlike Zoey who seems to think flowers should bloom in the dust at her feet. Actually, that's not quite true; it seems like the *authors* want you to think they should, that she's perfect despite her faults. But no amount of telling me that Zoey is special and chosen can erase the fact that she cheats on her boyfriend and then gets all mad when *he's* angry about it. Yes, she says it's hard for her when he rubs it in because she's agonised over it for ages, constantly blaming herself, but we never really saw much agonising, and telling us that she did in the face of all the evidence just makes me think she doesn't actually know what remorse is.

Zoey whines over how hard everything is and how she can't do it, while you sit there shouting 'use the elements!' And after half a book of 'oh, what can I do?' the solution is obvious and much too easy -- she just has to follow her gut/ask Nyx/invoke the elements. At the same time, the authors introduce useful stuff and then never refer to it again (Stevie Rae climbing up walls -- v. useful, and never mentioned again).

Also, what is with the horrible parents in fiction (especially unpublished) nowadays? Quite apart from coming across as the author's attack on a religion by portraying its followers as inevitably bigoted and judgemental, it's pretty unrealistic. It's as if a teenager wrote it, wanting to vent, and 'making it ok' by portraying the parents as unreasonable sadists, so it's fine to hate them.

Add the typos the editor missed (silver/sliver), and I don't know why this was published in the first place. Apologies for being so harsh but this is the standard I have come to expect from self-published works online, not ones which actually have been published.
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on 28 December 2011
***********NO SPOILERS HERE: SAFE TO READ!********

As always I find myself totally captivated by the House of Night story! But this book seems particularly different for many results; one of which is that the story isn't told by Zoey - its mostly told by many other characters like Stark, and Stevie Rae! :)
I adore this book! This DOESN'T contain any spoilers! However I will say that the story isn't what you expect and suddenly you will find yourself staying up last into the night to read on: which is what I found myself doing until 2 in the morning :L its sooo sooo worth it!

Read it! About to start Awakening then Destined, and right about now (Christmas 2011)P.Cast is writting the next in the series HIDDEN! ;) I heart the HOUSE OF NIGHT... As always admiration to the authors, well done x I wish they would make a TV series same as 'Vampire Diaries' or 'True Blood'
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on 6 May 2010
I am a huge fan of any vampire related book so naturally I love the House of Night series. This is book seven in the series and is from a very different perspective with Zoey only narrating a very small portion of the book. This was a refreshing change as it gave insight into the other characters and took us away from the sometimes annoying mind that is Zoey Redbird. The book does have its flaws as it contiues with the immature 'I heart you' language that is used in all the others and Zoey's inability to actually choose one guy and not have three on the go (sometimes four if you include Kalona) at any one time. What I liked most about the book was the relationship between Stevie Rae and Rephaim which originated in book six. Maybe I should be more concerned with Stevie Rae's involvement with the leader of the Raven Mockers or Nephilim (the half bird half human immortal offspring from a fallen angel), but I found myself becoming obsessive and slightly (ok very) disappointed if the chapter heading wasn't Stevie Rae or Raphaim.
Overall a big improvement to book six and I cant wait for the next book to come out in January.
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on 4 May 2010
I've just finished reading this book and i must say i found it very enjoyable, much more so than I have found some of them, which in my opinion lost there way a little bit. This books starts off straight after tempted and prick up quite nicely. Here we see Aphrodite's character gain much more depth, and become a bit more likeable, yes she is still slightly annoying but she has made a nice transition from the first book to here. We also explore The relationship between Stevie Rae and Raphaiem, which is very sweet and i have always liked Stevie Rae and this book just made her more so, it's a beauty and the beast story, just the beauty is also a monster.Burned also allows stark to grow, which is nice, he progressed very fast in the previous books but here he was explored a bit more slowly.

The story is well written and nice to read. The glimpse of the other world and the island is a good thing and the description of the Otherworld paints it out to be a slightly scary place ( which is intended I hope. The only downfall might be that throughout the whole book there is a sense of struggle till the end when it all seems to suddenly come easy.

I won't spoil anything(or anything more) but chances are if you enjoyed the other books you'll definitely enjoy this one
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on 6 January 2016
I've always enjoyed the series but the past few books just lost my interest slightly, to the point that it was months before I finally read this one. Now I'm really glad I did as it was superb, I loved the new lore and information that has been added into it and given the series a whole new depth. It also helped me that there was a LOT less of Erik and lot's of Stark :D

The only down side was a spoiler for True Blood series 2. Pop culture references are great but preferably when they're vague enough not to spoil something for someone who hasn't seen that particular show.
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Zoey Redbird's soul has shattered. As her friends watch over her mortal body (which is now devoid of all tattoos), Zoey's soul drifts in the Otherworld. Unless Zoey can face what has happened, pull her shattered pieces back together, and return to her body within seven days, it will be forever too late.

James Stark is Zoey's Guardian. He is the only living person who can reach her. However, the only way is for the Warrior in him to die so that the Shaman in ham can come forth. (Translation: Stark's body must remain on the edge of death so his soul may travel into the Otherworld to find and rescue Zoey.) Once there, Stark finds that Zoey is not alone. Heath Luck is with her. Worse, Neferet has Kalona's body tied up with Darkness and Kalona's spirit is also in the Otherworld. And unless Kalona kills Zoey (or simply keeps Zoey's soul from returning to her body in time), his immortal soul would become Neferet's to control and use.

Meanwhile, it has only been two days since Stevie Rae had almost been burned/killed by the rogue red fledglings at the depot. Stevie Rae has decided that it is time for her and her group of good red fledglings to take back their depot home. But unknown to her followers, Stevie Rae has saved the life of Rephaim, who is the son of Kalona. No one who sees Rephaim could ever mistake this creature as being human. He has the body of a human, black wings, the head of a raven, and the eyes of a human. Rephaim has vowed to stay with Stevie Rae until she tells him to leave. Should her fledglings learn of Stevie Rae's friendship with the Raven Mocker or that they share an Imprint, it could spell disaster.

*** THREE STARS! Though P.C. and Kristin Cast have proven in the past that they can come up with creative material and engaging characters, the ones used in this series are beginning to take a nose dive. Where Zoey's character began with inner strength and the need to fight for what she believed in, she now comes across as a wimp. The character of Stevie Rae has morphed into what Zoey's once was.

For the duration of this story, the series is at a standstill. Very little happens to move events forward. Things are beginning to drag. In an attempt to spice things up, the writing duo has inserted some mystical, yin-yang magick. However, the black bull, the white bull, and what they represent are only discussed. Nothing really interesting comes from it. "Darkness" takes hold of a secondary character, who "Changes" into a possible future problem. But all-in-all, anyone who decides to skip this installment of the series will not miss anything vital. ***

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 4 May 2010
I'm not a fan of this series, I thought the first 3 were okay, silly and clichéd, but okay. Then they went drastically downhill with book 5 being the worst and book 6 being one of the dullest books I've read as the authors worked themselves out of the hole they'd dug themselves in to. This is book 7 and it picks up right where the previous one left off. One of Zoey's (many) love interests dead and her having apparently joined him. As the main `heroine' of the series, that's clearly not the case, but it does lead to the book being almost completely narrated by other characters. The previous book was also told with multiple points of view, but this one has more (7 in total with Stevie Rae and Aphrodite taking the lions share). In my opinion, they've taken it too far. Too many different voices with not enough story to tell.

Everything that happens is explained, you don't miss a thing. Like when character A discovers something, they tell characters B C and D before calling E and telling them, but instead of a line `character A called E and filled them in' you get the whole story a second time, just a little reworded. Or not, as the case sometimes is. Also, every time an element is invoked for use, we see the whole ritual again, opening/closing, the whole deal. This is book 7, we really don't need every little step still. Too much explanation, not enough moving on with the plot. I found this book frustrating for its slowness and predictability. I gave up about 100 pages from the end and skimmed the rest of it.

There was a couple of things that surprised me about it though, but not in a good way. Neferet and Kalona, who have been the big bads for several books, appear briefly at the start and finish, but are barely mentioned otherwise. The authors previous lack of swear words is corrected here, with only a couple uses of their previous `alternatives' and excessive (and unnecessary) use of the F word. Towards the end there are several new Scottish characters who are introduced. I have no problem with that, I'm half Scot myself, but the authors make them all sound like idiots by spelling out what they say, how it would sound with the accent rather than just saying the words. I don't believe they mean offence, but I found it irritating and very unnecessary.

Stevie Rae's sub plots are given a lot of page time in this book. And Aphrodite and Stark are given a fair bit of space to grow as well. And it could have been worse, but I just don't like any of them, so I found all the additional `twists' tiresome. Like previous books, there is not a lot of action, more talk and the constant `oh my gosh what are we going to do?' followed by `Oh! I know!' as each character suddenly figures out the answer to all their problems.

Basically this book is more of the same. If you liked the previous books, you'll probably love this. If, like me, you like there to be more depth to characters, plots and generally a more `grown up' feel to your young adult reading, you're not gonna enjoy this. Very dull book, and bad series in general.
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on 30 March 2012
The House of Night novels are some what of an inspiration to me in that the plot development and 3D characters really breathe life in to what would otherwise be "just-another-teenage-vampire-book."

The House of Night books have an original take on the vampire genre which is so much more interesting than these annoying Tragic vampire romances that are crawling all over book shelves nowadays, ever since the likes of Twilight cursed the reading world!

P.C Cast is exceptionaly talented and her Main Protagonist(s) are head strong, independant women with varying aspects in personality that she explores so well. Of course these books wouldn't have been nearly as successful without Kristen Cast who's really put the word 'Teen' in to 'Teenage reading.'

Their one down fall? Zoey Redbird! She's amazing, she's fantastic, she can do anything! And all the other 'good-guy-characters' spend their time kissing the ground she walks on, because she's oh-so-amazing.

I could live without her complaining about her love triangle as well and whilst there are many aspects to Zoey Redbird's character that are brilliant and make her a good main character there are just some bits to her that really grate on me. ¬_¬

However, the way the authors show us different character views makes them really come to life. Stevie Rae for example. She's gone from a cute little, shy girl in the first book to a real bad ass High Priestess with a brilliant affinity for Earth. Thats what I like to see!
And Neferet? Gone from the 'Mummy loves you' character in the first novel to a real nasty character.

What I like to see is when other characters are just as good as the Main Protagonist and at long last we're starting to see just how powerful Neferet is and the readers can really appreciate Aphrodite and Stevie Rae and the depth of their characters.

Although Zoey Redbird isn't without her flaws as a protagonist and I always have issues understanding American Slang -_-"

I still LOVE these books! The plot development keeps you continuosly turning the pages and every character has their loveable characteristics, like sweet Damien or wicked Aphrodite!

I would definitely reccomend these books to anyone who likes fantasy and original takes on popular genres!!! >.<
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