Synopsis (from Goodreads): Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.
Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own . .
Burned was more about Stevie Rae than it was about Zoey, who was on the brink of death for the majority of the book. While Zoey is trapped in the Otherworld with Heath, the fate of the world is left up to those she left behind - namely Stevie Rae, Aphrodite, and Stark, Zoey's Warrior. Stevie Rae quickly realizes, as Zoey once had, that being a High Priestess comes with responsibility and tough decisions.
What I didn't like about the book:
Once again, the Casts give us a lot of talk, with very little action. There is a lot of dialogue about what they are going to do, theories on what might happen, and ancient mythology about Warriors, consorts, Guardians, and the struggle of Darkness and Light. This was all interesting at times, but it didn't help the story move forward as much as I wanted it to.
I don't think I'm giving away too much when I tell you that there was a consistent theme of Darkness and Light throughout the book. At one point, I was a little tired of reading the word "darkness" and not knowing whether they meant "Darkness" (with a capital D) or darkness, meaning sad, in the shadows, without light, or just plain evil. I felt a thesaurus was in order.
The language was a little grating. There are characters, like Stevie Rae, who seem to be morally opposed to swearing, using words like bullpoopie and dang it. That's fine, especially if the authors wanted to keep the language appropriate for their audience, or add to the sweetness of a character like Stevie Rae; however, other characters, like Stark, were inconsistent with their language preferences, at times switching out "bullpoopie" for the ever-effective "f" bomb. Of course, Aphrodite uses whatever language she pleases, thank you very much, and was the most consistent character in the whole book.
What I did like about the book:
Aphrodite. She is my favorite character in the House of Night series. Her character is the most fully developed, and actually grows with each installment. The other members of Zoey's gang are barely mentioned - the twins, Damien and Jack, all seem to have faded into the background. While I missed the friendly banter among the gang, and Zoey's presence, I enjoyed the fresh 3rd person perspective while watching Stevie Rae and Stark battle to get Zoey back.
While I may have complained about the excessive talk and no action in regards to the history discussed in the book, I found the legend of the old ways of the Warriors really interesting. I felt once this part of the novel was revealed, the action also picked up. I do love me a strong and brave Warrior!
I am not sure if I would have read Burned if the publicist had not sent it to me. It may have ended up in my library tote one of these days, especially since Tempted (House of Night #6) left us with such a cliff-hanger at the end. Of all the House of Night books available, I really enjoyed Marked (House of Night #1), Betrayed (House of Night #2), and Untamed (House of Night #4). The rest have left me flat. If you enjoy this genre, I suggest picking up the first four books. After that, it's up to you.
*Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by the publicist.
About the Authors:
P.C. CAST is an award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance author as well as an experienced speaker and teacher. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, Prism, Daphne du Maurier, and Affaire du Coeur, as well as others. She lives in Oklahoma.
Her daughter, KRISTIN CAST, has won awards for her poetry and journalism. She also lives in Oklahoma, where she attends college in Tulsa.
About the Book:
Burned by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)