“Hunted” by P.C Cast, Kristin Cast
Synopsis (from the book jacket as I really don’t feel like writing my own. Sorry.)
At the start of this heart-pounding new instalment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?
On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Eric, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?
What I liked
I can only say I liked the previous four books definitely better. They have always had one factor that counts the most, especially during a holiday season – their readability. This one lacks it…well, let’s pass to the next part, shall we?
What I didn’t like
“Hunted” is the fifth novel in P.C & Kristin Cast’s House of Night series for Young Adults. I can only say it fills a much needed gap. Let me explain. The previous parts were rather original and much more interesting. I was even toying with the idea of comparing them with “Harry Potter” books (a similar plot device was used– a bunch of “chosen ones” go to a rather special school where they are prepared for a rather different lives etc etc) but now I think it would be a huge overstatement. I might have my issues with HP world but the books had been charming and readable to the very end. This one is, sadly, in my very humble and biased opinion, not.
Trading on the popularity of previous installments of this series and the general popularity of vampires in teen fiction (“Twilight”) the authoresses seemed to become complacent about their success and tend to rather “produce” the next parts than write them properly. Have they run out of ideas? A brain cramp? A vampiric problem of different nature? No matter what the reason is, the magic of previous parts is sorely missed here. At any point during the first half of the book I could have happily put the book down and never picked it up again; I didn’t do it just because of my stupid and rather enervating compulsion to finish a book which I have already started. Fate of the world hanging in the balance… Zoey’s “too-many-boyfriends-at-the-same-time” drama repeated at nauseam… evil on every street corner – contrary to the previous books, which featured more “daily vampire fledglings’ life” scenes, none of it actually seemed either believable or engaging. True, I am a reader much older than their intended YA audience but still I hoped that the series would get better and better. Naïve creature, aren’t I?
The timeframe for the story is just two days during which our main character is mostly unable to decide which piece of boy-candy she wants to bite first. A bit too little action, don’t you think? No crucial questions (at least crucial to me) were answered here – why some vampires had died previously? Why nobody has investigated these crimes? Why kids, who were supposed to be as dead as a doornail, are found all of a sudden undead (and very very thirsty)? The main character is also becoming less endearing and more schematic with every page. Her “incredible” powers still consist of the same bag of tricks although her tattoos multiply. To tell you the truth I liked Zoey better when she had been dumped by all of her sweethearts for two-timing them in an almost shameless way. The dialogue seems repetitive and we don’t see any development or growing up of the main characters. After all, teenagers, even vampire teenagers, tend to grow up and mature, don’t they? Especially if they face life-or-death situations? Well, they did when I was younger anyway. Reading this book I felt old and misunderstood.
The final verdict
After having enjoyed and recommended the first four books in the series, I must admit that “Hunted” seems truly disappointing by comparison. Don’t buy this book. If you have to, borrow it.