Tuesday, May 31st 2011

Review: Hunted, P. C. & Kristin Cast.

Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: June 4, 2009
Received From: Bought
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781905654574

Blurb:
The door closed with a sickening thud of finality, shutting my friends out and leaving me alone with my enemy, a fallen angel, and the monstrous bird creature his ancient lust had created. Then I did something I’d only done twice before in my entire life, I fainted.

It’s all happening, though Zoey Redbird wishes it wasn’t. She has her friends back, which is great. But a dark angel has taken over the House of Night, supported by High Priestess Neferet. Not so great. This leaves Zoey hiding out with the (Supposedly friendly) red fledgings in Tulsa’s prohibition era tunnels. The not greatness continues.

Naturally, Zoey also has boy issues to stress her out, with a chance to make up with super-hot-ex Eric. But thoughts of the archer that died, semi-permanently, in her arms keep distracting her. Then he shows up as Neferet’s newest minion. Well, hell. Zoey and friends will need a plan to put things right, and soon, if she can just keep her head and heart intact.

Hunted is the fifth book in the best-selling House of Night series written by the Mother and Daughter combination, P.C. and Kristin Cast. The books in this series follow an on-going plot so don’t start from here. I recommend reading the books in series order, beginning with the first book Marked.

After reading the previous novel, Untamed, and finding it a great read, I was looking forward to reading Hunted; excited in fact. However, after completing the book I was left with feelings of disappointment. I just don’t feel that this book lived up to the expectations I have grown to have with the House of Night series. Where with previous novels I’ve struggled to put them down and even read the majority of them within one sitting. Yet with Hunted I could have happily stopped reading and would have been in no hurry to continue. Hunted didn’t capture me into the magic of the House of Night which in the past has been nothing less that exciting and engaging.

Hunted picks up from where the events in Untamed left off. Protagonist Zoey Redbird recounts how she and her friends escaped the House of Night and have come to hide out in Tulsa’s prohibition era tunnels. A brief recap is expected in order to refresh the readers minds of the previous events. It allows the plot to bled together and follow on in a coherent manner. The word brief is key here and this wasn’t the case in Hunted. Throughout the entire story, almost all of the characters repeated everything that has happened to each other. I grew tiresome of reading the same explanation over and over in different words. I believe a BRIEF explanation from the protagonist would have sufficed and would have saved from focus being taken away from the plot.

The time frame is, as has come to be expected with the House of Night books, short; Hunted takes place over two days. As a result the plots have been fast-paced and action packed in the previous books. In Hunted however, not much was happening in the first part of the book. As well as the constant retelling of the previous events, the book is pretty much all about Zoey being unable to decide which boy she wants to be with. Zoey, who I have liked reading about up until this point, obsesses over which of the many boys who want her she wants. After awhile this becomes boring to read. As a sideline to the main plot this would be fine but it becomes, in parts, the main plot. I didn’t like this and it made me begin to dislike Zoey as a protagonist. Rather than focusing on the real problems such as the danger her and her friends are in, her romantic relationships take forefront. I like the protagonists in books to have their priorities straight. I’d much have preferred the Cast’s to have included more development of the intriguing mythology they’ve included in the novels so far.

The plot does pick up towards the end of the book but for me it was too little, too late. It didn’t save the book and in comparison to the prequel novels, Hunted was a let down. It won’t deter me from continuing to read this series as I know that the Casts can produce much better work than this, however I am hoping that the next book in the series, Tempted, redeems itself for this instalment.


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