Review: Awakened by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (House of Night #8)


Awakened (House of Night #8)Awakened (House of Night #8)
P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Published: Jan. 4, 2011 (St. Martin’s)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon

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.

17 Responses to “Review: Awakened by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (House of Night #8)”

  1. Heather says:

    I feel like the authors are dragging this series out because it’s popular. There just isn’t enough action or story in the books anymore. You can’t plan for 12 books when really the story should have been told in like 8 or 9.:(

    I’ll still continue to read because I would like to know what happens though.

  2. Nachtangel says:

    Hmm I think I’ll do what you said and wait till the next one is out before reading this one, I’ve got a funny relationship with the House of night books too, I want to know what happens but it annoys me too. Well at least it’ll save me some cash for now XD
    P.S Your cover is so so SO MUCH nicer then ours!

  3. I adore this series EXCEPT for the fact it is dragged out. I feel the publishers have chosen to try to profit on something that isn’t holding up to it’s name. It is sad really because I DO Love the series but I can’t even read one book and feel half way satisfied. IMO that isn’t how you want your readers to feel. You want them to want more, of course, but you don’t turn them off.

    Your review is very fitting for what has been given to us in the past. It’s a bummer I won’t be running out to get this book right when it comes out though.

  4. Danielle James says:

    I loved it but I need more. And zoey crushing on everyone drives me crazy!! One guy zoey !!! And I wish it wouldn’t be dragged out more.

  5. Naj says:

    I really enjoyed the House of Night series. Though some of your points are true. Thanks for the review.

  6. Looks like we all have that unique relationship with House of Night. The story is great, and lately I’m very invested in Stevie Rae/Rephaim, I just wish we could move things along.

  7. Brooke says:

    I agree completely with your review. I became very frustrated with HON around the third book I believe. Mostly because I can tell it is co-written (descriptive parts = PC Cast, childish parts = Kristin) and because the main character is extremely naive and trivial. I mean, seriously, I know it’s possible to fall for a lot of guys, but not that many and certainly not that fast.

    I, too, felt that the last two books should have been combined. The last book was excrutiating. I felt myself skim through the boring parts until I got halfway through and it began to pick up. I didn’t truly enjoy it until the end. But, the payoff wasn’t enough. I will not be buying anymore of the HON books until the series is most likely complete OR until there are two books out, then I’ll read them in the same time frame so as to avoid disappointment. These books better pick up soon, otherwise I think they won’t make their 12 book quota.

  8. dawn says:


  9. C says:

    I did not like this book that much. It was dragged out and rushed and overall, it was truly boring. I have to admit though that I love Stevie Rae and Rephaims love story but nothing else. Stark and Zoey are just there having sex and complaining most of the time and it urks me.Jack did NOT need to die. It was sooo unnecessary. That whole story line was ridiculous to me. The twins were mostly absent throughout the book and Damien was helpless. I felt like I don’t even know the story anymore. What happened to book that I fell in love with? And Neferet, Lets not even start. I am kind of interested to learning what happened in her human past with her father. I think she was molested by him and maybe that’s why she turned evil but who knows. The book was just wack. I am definitely returning my book and getting a refund. My suggestion to anyone who wants to read the book is to borrow it from your local library. Trust me.

  10. Kelsie Onsrud says:

    I thought that out of all the books this was the worst!
    serously! zoey comes back from having a shatterd soul and they dance around in a skykland! whoop-de-do! the casts just dragged the story out to long. if they need more time to create a better book, im shure the fans would have waited! ~kelsie onsrud~ anyone with comment reply to me at superninjanerd@yahoo.com thank you[:

  11. Aimee says:

    I have to agree with most of the comments on here. I loved the books up untill the last two. I understand why they use different points of view but when you are doing 9 different POV it becomes sloppy. I feel that this book was very sloppy and not much going on. I think that is what has been throwing me off from the series because I loved them when it was just Zoey telling the story. I almost feel like the first few books were writen mainly by one of either P.C or Kristin and then all of a sudden they decided to let the other person take over. I for one have high hopes for the next book but then again I said the same thing for this book. We will see in a few months!

  12. GurlFiend says:

    Thanx for directing me here from Twitter.

    That said, I began AWAKENED the night it was released. I bought it off B&N for my e reader (Pandigital Novel btw, the KEWLEST e reader evah. The white Pandig, not black) & I truly struggled a bit. I actually read 1 or 2 books b4 going back to finish Awakened.
    In the beginning it did drag. It was setting us up for the story I suppose. Sometimes a gr8 length of time passes in between novel releases so I forget what I last read especially since I read sooo many books/series throughout the year/months in between new releases.

    Back to HON #8, As we get into the story of the non swearing Zoey & the nerd herd (poopie, really Zoey? U have lotsa sex but cant say sh!t?) Zoey has yet again “fallin in LOVE”( seriously she has had MORE action in these few books than 10 girls at the Bunny Ranch in Vegas in a week!) I think that PC & R Cast did a major service with their AWESOME dedication at the start of AWAKENED BUT tossed it down the crapper by making Zoey promiscuous. Sorry, thats just THIS gurls opinion.

    Sorry,back to story-
    We get a brief background on the recent past, catch up with the present situation, Jack dies tragically at Neferets hands. Zoe comes back to the HON & is set up by Nef in front of the school at Jacks memorial to “forgive her” or look like a “petty child”.
    Meanwhile Kalona & Rephaim are plotting to break free of Neferets “hold”, Nef wants to make Stevie Rae turn BACk to the darkside, Kalona is disgusted by Nef (finally) & Rephaim is watching out for his beloved Stevie R from up in the sky while witnessing the spectaclke Nef is making of poor Jacks funeral service below. Nef figures out Stevie & Reph got something goin on and decided to strike while the irons hot & commands Dragon to kill the raven mocker to get revenge ofr his lost mate. Nef tossing darkness at Dragon in his time of weakness warped him. Even after NYX made her appareance Dragon STILL was of mind to kill Rephaim and exact revenge.

    BUT what p’d me off is how NYX KNEW Neferet is of Darkness now (if Stevie R & Rephaim & Kalona & Stark can see the darkness’s tentacles slithering about Neferet you KNOW NYX can!) & did not SAY A DARNED THING to the crowd about the TRUTH! Instead gave her sonme cryptic message about earning forgiveness! HUH? REALLY? Why not out the TSI Gilli or however its spelled & let them ALL see Neferet for what she TRULY has become & get the HON back in order again. I still dont get how NYX could leave HON in Neferets dark, evil hands!! She is subjecting all of those innocent ppl & fledglings to evil! Look how she made the red vampyres!! Is NYX on drugs?!

    Kalona releasing Rephaim from his service was tear invoking. Kalona showed he has a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny sliver of humanity in him yet. Stevie Rae FULLY accepting & loving a Raven Mocker as he looks (bird head and human body with wings!) was beautifuuul. NYX giving him back his human body sundown to sunup was beautiful too. That was a creative “punishment” BUT giving it to him sunup to sundown & making him a RM again at night woulda been more creative.

    I gained mucho respect for Kalona when he was NOT waiting for nef. So, she goes off w. the White Bull of Darkness to get her scarifice for her “vessle” THAT was twisted in itself cuz it strongly strongly implied she did the “deed” with the bull! Beastiality? Huh.

    Then we reintroduce Heath in NYX’s Garden/Heaven/After World. That was a cool twist, I LIKE how he is coming back. I do NOT like HOW it came to be however. BUT Neferets impatience & greed made it so NYX was able to intervene.

    A new HON in the tunnels? I think others will join them, I also think they will get back into the Tulsa HON & oust Neffy but that wont happen till books 9-12..lolz..

    Overall it was choppy, kinda tossed me around plot wise. I liked seeing more of the normally known as background characters in this book. The Stevie Rae/Rephain relationship KICKS SERIOUS BOOTIE & I cant wait to see more of it. How will Zoe react when she comes face to face with Neferets new “vessle”? Jeeze, tell me she does not hop in the sack with him too! I also hope the elder vamps hop on board with the nerd herd & Zoe, whats the deal with the “outlaw” Red Vamps? They were seen 1x in this book.

    We can only wait until book 9 comes out..

  13. Moo says:

    I felt like this book was written by a whole different author! There was none of the comedic release as shown the earlier books, not only that but the plot line was dragged out till the VERY end. It felt like Z & Stark were flouncing around having sex the whole book! There were so many parts in this book when I just wanted to scream, “Oh. My. Goddess. Zoey Redbird, you are soooooo stupid!” I honestly think that the authors were trying to make it seem as if Z had gotten some major brain damage after her soul-shattering experience.

    Where were Jack, Damien, and the twins the whole story anyway? The way the authors just skipped over them was really frustrating. They did NOT have to kill Jack off like that. I hate to say it but the series is really lacking piratically ALL of the comedic characters, especially compared to the earliest books. Killing off all the comedic release is not helping the plot line for the story at all….

    I loved all the points from Rephaim & Kalona’s point of view, but I could really go with less of Nefret, she’s just plain crazy. With all of the snek peeks and hints of what is going to happen in the next book, I don’t think I even have to read it…

    {Kalona starts to take over Stark’s mind more and more, making a deep void between Z & Stark. perhaps or maybe not, throwing Zo into the arms of our now officially a air-head, Erik (or to Nefret’s new Vessel). Zoey and them have a run-in with Nefret’s new vessel, Zoey is drawn to him (because of Heaths soul inside of him) they do or do not end up ether making-out, proclaiming love for each other, or having sex. (to be honest, I really don’t see where the end of Awakened leaves Kalona to still be a major part of the story) So ether Kalona joins sides with Z and the nerd herd or he just won’t be a big part of the story anymore.}

    Honestly, this is a whole different series than it originally was; it really started to go down hill (personally) when Kalona was first banished from HON. Not only that but they are dragging the books out till the very end, then finishing up the story line as fast as possible, and the worst part was, more questions were asked in this book than answered, building up a strain to read the next book. I honestly think that the series will lose quite a few readers by the time the newest book comes out, the plot just isn’t he same anymore…

  14. christina says:

    i really love these books.i havent read number 8 yet awakened but now after reading all the comments i dont know if i want too at all.how many more books before the series is finished anyway?at least the twilight saga they did it in four books.book 7 though i kinda got bored through some of it but i wanted to finish it just to see how it ended.was not thrilled about the ending.STOP DRAGGING THE SERIES IN THE GROUND JUST FINISH THE BOOK IN LIKE ONE MORE BOOK.SERIOUSLY

  15. Melissa says:

    i haven’t read awakened yet, but i also agree the other comments and your review that the series is being dragged out… sometimes i get bored of the books and have to a break from them. theres definetly not enough action or story in the books and they’re too short. they can also be written a little better, i dont like the whole zoey not cursing thing (her saying like bull-poopy) it seems childish to me and she does seem naive. i want to finish the series but from what it looks like by these comments its gonna be hard to read and may not be as enjoyable as the first few books.

  16. jixi says:

    I hate awakened.period.jack was the funny sweet guy who we could relate to.now he’s dead …WHAT THE fuck

  17. Emily says:

    All of you say you’re fans of HON. But then you throw that it’s being dragged out. Think of it this way. Harry Potter, book 5. That was the longest, most dragged out book of the series. There always has to be a book that develops more then explains.

    Zoey; Yes I agree on the whole “Damn she kinda IS a hoe” but that’s how I felt back in book 3 and 4 when she was juggling Heath, Erik, Loren, Kalona AND Stark. That was too far. But now she’s with just Stark. Yes her “foul” language is annoying, and it’s ironic that she’s more then intimate, yet not willing to say shit, but that’s her character. It always has been. She keeps what she does in the bedroom personal though. And when she says poop and heck she’s in the presence of her friends. I just think that’s how she was raised

    Jack’s Death; Y’all say it was unnecessary and unneeded. That he was too nice of a guy to die. Well that was the point. We’re supposed to hate Neferet with ALL our heart! How can we not unless she kills an important character? The soul had to be pure and good. At least we know Jack is in the Otherworld.

    “Dragged Out”; That’s all I’m reading in these reviews. You all think it’s dragged out, yet you keep reading? I myself have a nice long row of HON books in my bookshelf, and I love reading them whenever I can. If you’re going to complain that it’s too “lengthy” and it’s been “dragged out” then stop reading. Then you won’t have anything to complain about.

    Destined; I just finished reading the 9th book “Destined” and let me tell you. All the details and what you call “unneeded” was VERY needed. The book set the line for the 9th book. So much happens in the 8th book that gets cut off that gets explained in the 9th one.

    SO all in all. My message is to say those of you who are HON fans, stick with it. It’ll get better. The books are amazing, and if you haven’t read Awakened and now you don’t want to because of the negative comments, don’t listen to them, and read the book. Because you won’t regret it. It’s a book that you will get very emotional in. You’ll want to kill the bad people in it, and love the ones that help.

    “Darkness does not always equate to evil, just as night does not always bring good…” -Nyx


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