Rating (out of 5): 2 stars
I have a strange relationship with the House of Night series. I like the plot, but I get very frustrated with the way it’s told. My problem is not enough happens in a single book. Many of the novels should be combined; the stories in books 6 and 7 should be a single novel. And that’s what irked me about Awakened.
The first half of the book we check in with the characters, and see the state of things. Stark and Zoey are recovering on the island at Skye, and Neferet has been forgiven by the Vampyre High Council. So, drama is brewing. Unfortunately, this means not a thing happens plot-wise until you’ve read more than 160 pages. Once things begin moving, it’s interesting, but I’m not much for “breather books.” And that’s what Awakened feels like, something to fill the space before more hell rains down up on our friends from Tulsa’s House of Night.
The writing in the eighth House of Night book matches P.C. Cast’s other work. Descriptive, but not overly so. (And readers who are bothered by Zoey’s refusal to use swear words will be happy her alternative curses are sparing.)
It was nice to reconnect with some of the characters. I’m most intrigued by Stevie Rae and Rephaim’s storyline and loved reading the inner turmoil when reading from the Raven Mocker’s point-of-view. There is limited time spent with most of the other characters — the twins, Aphrodite, Darius, Damien, etc. are mostly encountered peripherally. We do get way more Neferet, though.
Awakened is a book for setting up plot points. Lots of groundwork is laid that will change the course of things in the series. All of which was exciting and, one time, shocking. My problem was I didn’t get the payoff. Lots of allusions to things to come, but there are no resolutions — even minor ones.
Am I giving up on the series? No. I want to find out what happens as a result of events of Awakened. I just wish the Casts had elected to put a full story arc in a single title. My recommendation (as it’s been before) is to read Awakened right before the ninth book Destined comes out in Dec. 2011. This way you’ll get answers and not have to grumble about reading 250 pages of set-up.