By P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Book 3 in the House of Night Series
St. Martin’s Griffin / 175 Fifth Avenue / New York, NY 10010
First Printing: 2008
Concept: “Bloodlust and dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledging vampire Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies. And, oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends. So begins the gripping third installment of this “highly addictive series” (Romantic Time BOOKreviews), in which Zoey’s mettle will be tested like never before. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night where trust has become a rare commodity. Speaking of rare, Zoey finds herself in the very rare position of having three boyfriends, a situation with the potential to spell social disaster. Then vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. But as Zoey and her friends find out, things are not always what they seem….
Review: My fellow reviewers have been starting out their reviews of this book complaining about how long it took for the author to get into the story. They said that most of the book was a rerun of the first two books. I don’t want to copy their exact words but, in the words of this twit teenager Zoey, oh mah gawd! It’s like SO bad! ::eyeroll:: It really IS that bad. So we start out with Zoey feeling all sorry for herself because her birthday and Christmas fall at the same time and everyone gives her the dreaded combination gift. As an aside, she’s feeling badly because her best friend Stevie Rae is well, undead. You’d have to follow along with this series to know that there is the okay dead, the undead dead which is really dead, but another kind of dead, and then there are humans which are really undead because they are alive but not the same. You see where I’m going with this? Anyway, back to the synopsis – so Zoey finds herself running into Stevie Rae who she decides she wants to cure from being undead and ends up enlisting the help of Aphrodite, a former enemy who, in my opinion, is the most fascinating character of the series. She also has to deal with her human boyfriend Heath, her vampyre boyfriend Eric and an adult teacher at the academy. While Zoey and Aphrodite are working on finding a way to help out Stevie Rae, they end up discovering a tortured body of a teacher and an investigation is launched by the school. So who is the killer? Will Zoey and Aphrodite figure out how to help Stevie Rae? Will Zoey pick a boyfriend? Only ONE of those questions gets answered in this story.
What I liked: This is the 3rd book in the House of Night series. In keeping with what I am enjoying about these books, I have to say that it’s the story that keeps me coming back. It’s a good story, with some fun characters. This is a young adult novel so with that comes some youthful dialogue which can drive me personally up a wall, but it’s not written for me, it’s written for young adults. You have to give this book credit where credit is due.
What I disliked: *** SPOILER ALERT *** If my teen were to be acting and behaving like Zoey, I would be having some serious heart to hearts with her. Her grandmother seems to just let Zoey be Zoey without any sort of guidance which of course Zoey loves. That’s a minor problem. Now, I have to tell you, I am not a prude. In fact, I may swing a little too far in the opposite direction of prude. So when I tell you that I became uncomfortable with some issues in this book, you’ll know that they are really questionable. There’s a character that is gay. This character doesn’t just happen to be homosexual as heterosexuals just happen to be hetero. No. this poor guy is characterized as flamboyantly gay but, not because of what he does, but by the way Zoey treats him. As I said, it made me uncomfortable. The author makes Christianity out to be the bad guy in this (and some of the others) and that too makes me uncomfortable. I think the whole paranormal genre can be looked at as "fun" without having to make some sort of political statement against religion which is what I feel like the author is making. Zoey also starts to have an affair with an adult teacher. She even sleeps with him. Gives up her virginity to the man. He turns out to be evil (which could be a lesson to youth out there I suppose). While she is doing this though, she is also *going* with a human boyfriend AND a fellow classmate. Where are the morals here? On top of that, and probably the thing that got me the most, in a moment of anger, Zoey is responsible for “blowing” away some disrespectful voyeurs that bust her and Heath (another stereotype character that made me feel uncomfortable). The problem is that she “blows” them into a truck and we never find out what happens to them. They could have been killed for all we know. Our dear Zoey never cared enough to find out! It’s awful I tell you!!! Awful! It’s also awful that because I do enjoy the story and because I will forever wonder if Zoey will ever grow up and because I am curious about the characters I do enjoy, I’ll continue to read the next books in the series. I really do hope they get better.
My rating: 3 stars. 3 WEAK stars.