Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: Burned House of Night #7) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Didn't love it.

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! 

The Verdict:
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. 

Book Trailer:

P.C. Cast's Blog
Publisher's Burned Page

My previous House of Night Reviews:
Marked (House of Night #1)
Tempted (House of Night #6)
Untamed (House of Night #4)

*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)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312606168
ISBN-13: 978-0312606169

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Missy said...

My husband stopped with the third book, after literally throwing it against the wall. His problem was Zoey and all of her "man issues". Being someone extremely loyal to anyone he's ever dated, he thought Zoey was a little loose in her ways - to put it nicely. I, like you, really enjoyed the first four books and I have struggled on through the rest of the books for the sake of finishing the series and/or hoping the series gets better. This one is on my TBR list, but I'm in no rush to get to it. Thank you for your honest review!

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I liked 8 the best out of the series mostly because Z wasn't in it much. In fact it was mostly Aphrodite and Stevie Ray. You know I have stuck with the series in spite of Z...

Great and Spot on Review!

Debbie T said...

Thanks for the review. I've only read the first 4 so far. And I haven't been to quick to get the next at the library. Maybe after I finish the Sookie Stackhouse series. LOL

Debbie T

Alison's Book Marks said...

Missy - I'm so glad I'm not the only one with a husband who reads vampire fiction. (The Man read Undead and Unappreciated and enjoyed it, you might want to pass it on to your hubby). I have high moral standards for my YA protagonists - almost to a fault, so I can understand your husband's issues with Zoey.

Felicia - I agree, the lack of Zoey helped the story, but I felt it was a cop-out by the writers. She has not grown much in the entire series (lots of whining, in my opinion) which has been my biggest complaint. High Priestess? Hmpf.

Debbie T - I don't think you'll be going back to House of Night after reading the Sookie series. House of Night is VERY PG...and Sookie is R-rated. I'm just saying...

Tiffanee said...

Thanks for the honest review. I have been wanting to read that series.

Debbie T said...

Actually I expected the Sookie series to be more R-rated like the Undead series. Especially after watching the tv show. Not complaining, just saying. LOL

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Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I popped into this series accidentally in book #3. I bought it off and didn't realize I was in the middle of a series. I liked the narrator of the book a lot - wonderful reading and changing of all the characters a voices, it just flowed. What I didn't like was the language and Zoey's "man issues".

Now reading your post sounds like the first two books were good. I think for me, I am out as this was just too much of a blood lust stretch for me.... I can see the appeal though to those who really like the paranormal.

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