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Review: Awakened by P.C & Kristin Cast *no spoilers*

Awakened (House of Night #8)
by P.C. & Kristin Cast

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Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Older YA
Source: Purchased/Gifted
Rating: Guilty Pleasure
Related Review(s): Fledgling Handbook 101
About the Book:
(highlight to read)

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?
Told ya, more vampires!

Is it me or does it feel like this series has been dragging on forever? To the point where you almost want to stop reading it? I don't know, I feel exactly like that. And with the stakes higher and more deaths, I can't help but get a little turned off. And this eighth book didn't show me anything that reestablishes my love for this series. Which is sad, really, because I used to be sooo into it. However, unfortunately, I skimmed through a large chunk of the book as consequence from being either a) bored, b) interested in something else, or c) pissed and/or sad. Awakened is a little bit of a tear-jerker, I'll tell you that.

All my hopes, which have manifested since the last book, seem to come true... but at what cost? Loss strikes one of my favorite sets of teens again in Awakened, not pulling any punches whatsoever. It hits below the belt, and was very unwanted. But that's about all I can rant about that without giving anything away, so let me shut up...

Zoey Redbird. *sighs* You leave me conflicted, you do. In the beginning, I remember loving Zoey like crazy, but, these days, I'm not really feeling her actions or her narration for that matter. I only really get interested when James Stark is involved (Team Stark, raise your hands!). I've actually grown to love Aphrodite and Stevie Rae infinitely more, so much so that I wish they had more of the spotlight. Still, all of the things that I adored about these characters really shows itself in this installment. When any member of the team needs support the most, they don't hold back and answer unreservedly without question. I was struck with that familiar sensation of Go Team! and caught myself nearly fist-pumping.

Still, it wasn't enough to make up for the dig-in-your-toes-so-drag story line. I mean, when does it end? When can we expect these teens to hand out misery to Miss Villain instead of the other way around? Why is each book thus far about one of the following: recuperation, loss, sex, and tangled-up relationships? Why are these latest books so focused on these aspects instead of centering on the characters working to bring down Miss Villain? I don't appreciate the lack of plot direction. I don't like feeling like I'm being pulled along for the ride so I can finally finish it, half not wanting to. Like I have to go on with the series. By this point, I'm no longer in love with the books and Awakened, I think, played a huge role in that definite absence of feeling.

Instead of convincing me of its greatness, I'm stuck with an undesirable plot device to stretch out the story, and, as much as I adore these characters, I'm getting tired of these books that are full of situations in which the good guys consistently get slapped around with no real retaliation to the darker forces. I want more action, more magic, and waaay more battling! No more moral conflicts, healing, or philosophical crap to egg the story on. I want the good guys to defeat Miss Villain, get their happy endings, and move on with their lives. Awakened initially got me motivated and excited, only to end in tragic failure of luring me deeper into the series. Now more than ever I want to pull away.

I really hope that these last set of books change that. That I won't be disappointed. Things for the House of Night aren't looking up, and I need that to change soon. Otherwise, I don't think I can take anymore heart-twisting situations to keep the story going. Just finish already!

Despite their undermining qualities, Guilty Pleasure books still find ways to get you addicted and still like them... (My Rating System In-Depth)


Ashley @ Bookaholics Anonymous said...

I've read all the books up to this one. (I do have it on my shelf) I'm like do I really want to read it though with the way the series has taken a turn for what I'm not sure. I'm like you I really loved the books at the beginning of the series. I loved the characters, but the past book or two I'm not much of a Zoey fan now. I like Aphrodite a lot more. I'm all for Team Stark as well. Your review is helpful in that I might just wait awhile to read it.