Sunday, December 4, 2011

Destined (House of Night, #9) by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast, Book Review

Breathing hard, Aurox stood there over the bodies of his vanquished enemies. He turned to Neferet.

"Very good," she said in her emotionless voice. "Let us leave this place before the authorities descend."

Aurox followed her. He walked heavily, his hooves gouging furrows in the dirty alley.

Weak. He felt weak. And more. There was something else.

"What is it?" She snapped at him when he hesitated before entering the car again.

"I do not know. I feel--"

She laughed. "You don't feel at all. You're obviously over thinking this."

"Yes, Priestess." Aurox got in the car and let the world speed past him.I do not think. I do not feel. I am a weapon.

Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow. But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more -- or possibly less -- than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him . . . Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

Title: Destined

Author: P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Pages: 325

Release Date: October 25, 2011

Source: Publisher

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4/5

*I received this title from the publisher in exchange for a 100% honest book review.

Best. House. Of. Night. Book. EVER! I'm a major House of Night fan--I always stay on top of things and get so hyped up about these books that I read them the day I get them and rave about them to all my family, friends, and online community. I love the history, mythology, religion, and magick involved in the House of Night. Vampyres practice a Wiccan/Pagan-inspired religion with Celtcic Shamanism themes who worship a Goddess named Nyx who is the personification of night and in return for their faith, Nyx grants her sons and daughters the power of magick. I can totally relate to the vampyre religion in the House of Night universe because I am a Wiccan myself, and I enjoy reading about a cast of characters who share a similar belief system.

The plot-Destined opens where Awakened (House of Night, #8) left off. Jack and Zoey's mother are dead, victims of Neferet and the Darkness which she so eagerly controls. Destined covers the concept of good vs. evil, light vs. dark, and other important themes while still maintaining the theme of acceptance and tolerance. I loved how Zoey really stands up to face the world right after the death of a good friend and her very own mother and takes on the role of High Priestess in an attempt to stop Neferet from wreaking havoc on Tulsa and the rest of the world.

The setting-Like every other book in the House of Night series, Destined takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Zoey and the gang, as well as the Red Fledglings escape from the confines of the depot tunnels and reclaim their right to attend school and temple services at the House of Night with all of the other Blue Fledglings. Of course, Neferet does everything in her power to cause hell on earth and make Zoey fall and falter. However, Thanatos--Death, personfied--arrives from the Vampyre High Council in Italy to evaluate Neferet's performance as a professor, mentor, and High Priestess. Thanatos and Zoey team up and throughout the course of the book attempt to prove that Neferet is evil and will stop at nothing to become Divine and rule over the world.

The characters-The only real issue I had with this book was the characters. I've never had a problem with the characters, but in Destined, I did. I felt as if the Nerd Herd (Zoey, Stevie Rae, Damien, Shaunee, and Erin) all changed in numerous ways--some were for the better and some were for the worst. I felt that Zoey got a tad bit more immature than in the previous books, and so did Stevie Rae and Erin. I saw a major maturity level rise within Damien and Shaunee. Damien has just lost his lover, Jack, and Shaunee confronts the issues of her estranged father and distances herself from all of her friends in an outcry for help. Aphrodite is my favorite character, along with Zoey and Damien, because she has always been so mature in the books, but in Destined, I felt as if she were way more immature than she ever was and would've appreciated more character development in this book.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because of the plot, theme, setting, and major cliffhanger. The only thing keeping me from giving this book 5 stars was very poor character development.

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