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Untamed - Kristin Cast

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Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Author: Kristin Cast / Paperback / 464 Pages / Book is published 2009-06-04 by ATOM

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      10.11.2013 14:47
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      Definitely looking forward to the next one now!

      'Nala hissed long and menacingly, staring back over my shoulder at the darkness surrounding the huge old oaks that were usually so familiar and welcoming. Not tonight. Tonight they housed monsters.'

      ---Plot---

      Just one week ago, Zoey Redbird had three boyfriends and a close group of friends. Now she has no boyfriend, and has become an outcast from her circle of friends. In fact, the only friends she has left are Stevie Rae, her undead best friend, and strangely, Aphrodite.

      As frightening events begin to take place at The House of Night, Zoey will need all the friends she can get. But will her friends listen to her, and will they forgive her before it's too late?

      ---My thoughts---

      This is the fourth book in The House of Night series, and one of the best so far for me. In this book, an outside threat directly impacts on The House of Night and really spices up the plot. I've enjoyed the previous books in this series, but for me this one was the most exciting so far.

      Seeing the plot unfold was really interesting. It's obvious from the start that some of the problems are caused by Neferet, as it's been clear in the last few books that she's not the person we originally thought she was. First impressions of Neferet are that she's kind and caring and acting as a mother figure towards Zoey, but it soon becomes clear that Neferet definitely doesn't care for Zoey. But I was unprepared for the enormity of what Neferet had planned, and as it started to unfold it was definitely a shock.

      At the end of the last book, Zoey made some bad decisions that affected her relationships with her boyfriend(s) and her friends. After being seduced by Loren Blake, a professor at the school, she lost her imprint with her human boyfriend Heath, and was caught in the act by her Vampyre boyfriend Erik. Of course, this lead to her losing all of her boyfriends, as well as her friends, when they found out she was keeping secrets from them. This is very difficult for Zoey at the start of this book, as she feels completely alone and has nobody to talk to about her terrifying experiences in the school grounds. Once again with these books, I end up feeling sorry for Zoey, as we all know what it's like to make a mistake and lose a friend.

      Overall, this book was the best in the series so far,for me. The introduction of an outside threat to the school made things more interesting and brought some new dangers to Zoey and her friends. Now they must team up with some unlikely allies if they want to survive.

      ---The Author---

      The House of Night series is co-written by P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin Cast. Other books by P.C. Cast include the Partholon series, a Fantasy series with Romance and mythology, and the Goddess Summoning series, a Paranormal Romance series with magic and mermaids. Kristin Cast attends University in Oklahoma, and has won awards for her poetry and has worked a journalist for High School newspaper.

      ---Book Info---

      ISBN for this edition - 1905654561
      ISBN13 for this edition - 9781905654567

      Paperback price from Amazon - £6.72
      Kindle price from Amazon - £5.49

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      29.08.2013 01:45
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      Great read

      This is the 4th instalment in P.C and Kiristen Cast's House of night series that tells the story of Zoey redbird a teenage girl who is 'Marked' as a vampyre (yes with a 'y'). In this particular series you don't get turned into a vampire, becoming one is a genetic thing and if you are destined to be one you will be turned during your teen years. It then takes 4 years to either turn into a fully fledged Vampyre or die. Zoey is marked and starts her new life in the house of night where she will attend school designed to teach her to be a vampyre. I won't go into the mythology as I have in other reviews,but I will add that there is much more Cherokee folklore in this book which is a nice twist.

      The book picks up with Zoey basically having fallen out with all of her friends and broken with all three yes three of her boyfriends so there is much less emphasis on love stories in this book, there is a much stronger emphasis on Zoey's development as a woman and a high priestess that she is destined to be.

      It becomes clear that Neferet is completely evil and crazy and it's up to Zoey and the gang to expose her for what she really is, but obviously it is not straight forward at all. There is a lot more action in this book and it feel like the series is really picking up and may be a lot darker than the series originally seemed to be.

      The book unfortunately did waste quite a lot of space talking about what had happened so far in the first three books and although I agree that a re-cap is usually necessary I think it was a bit overdone in this case and was not needed as this is not the sort of book you would read standalone and the recap wouldn't be enough to really know what was going on if you ha not read the others.

      The action is still going on right up to the end of the book and it ends on a cliff-hanger and you have no idea what is happening to half of the characters and whether Zoey and the gang are going to be successful, but this does it' job well as it makes you desperate to read the next book to see what happens next.

      Overall this was another great installment in the House of Night Series and it has opened up lots of potential avenues that the books could take as well as introducing new characters that might prove interesting. The book is fast passed and easy to read even though it is very well written which is hard to find. You won't want to put the book down as it drags you in and you will be dying to get your hands on book 5.

      One side note - I would not recommend this book to anyone under 13/14

      This is also on my ciao account under shellyjaneo

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      20.08.2010 11:07
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      I don't want to love it...but I do!

      This is the fourth instalment in the annoyingly addictive "House of Night" Series which picks up literally just days after the events of "Chosen" (the previous) left us. It would be impossible to review this without making references to the other books prior to this, so I'll try not to let too much slip if you are planning on reading this!

      In this book, Zoey has become an almost outcast after an evil plot hatched by the High Priestess Neferet and her lover Loren. All her friends feel betrayed by her secrets and instead of having three boyfriends (yes, that's right, three) Zoey now has none. Zoey's best friend, Stevie Rae is dead...and then...not dead (don't ask me!!) and has fled the school. Zoeys only ally comes from an unlikely source - a girl named Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the girl that Zoey and her friends used to call a "hateful hag" and other such lovely teenage words, but Aphrodite and Zoey are now united in their belief that something terrible will happen at the House of Night if left to the devices of Neferet the High Priestess. Zoey and Aphrodite must try and convince Zoey's friends to forgive her as well as convince Stevie Rae and the rest of the "undead" kids to join forces with them before a terrifying new kind of evil takes over the school...

      I didn't review the previous book, "Chosen" although I had read it mainly because I felt that I wouldn't be saying anything different to what I'd said about the previous two. However, this book takes on other elements which make it slightly more interesting - but as ever, the Casts (the mother and daughter duo authors) writing style makes me squirm as much as it ever did! I really really don't want to like this series but unfortunately it has me hooked as it has a weird way of making me both hate and like the characters all at once!

      The reasons why I dislike this book pretty much cover what is wrong with the series in general. Firstly, it reads almost like an indulgent teen's diary, and the main character Zoey is so full of contradictions I never know what to make of her! One moment she is extremely powerful, grown up and level headed and the next, she is flaky, superficial and childish. I can imagine this character is supposed to show the blend between Zoey's young age and also the power that has been gifted to her, but for me, the gap between her personalities is just too wide. For instance, In this book, Zoey starts with no love interest after having driven both her vamp boyfriend, Erik and human boyfriend Heath away (literally in Heath's case!) by cheating on them both with yet another love interest, Loren. Yet, when faced with Erik again, she cannot help but want to be with him which would be understandable if she hadn't just forged a "connection" with the new kid, Stark! To top it off, when she sees Heath she still has feelings. I realise teenage girls have raging hormones, but Zoey is just ridiculous!

      Secondly, the language used in this book really does make me squirm. Once again it is just so full of contradictions. The childish way in which Zoey writes about the events are contrasted with the more serious parts where she is trying to "save the world" and the language and events are written in a more adult way. Zoey likes to think she is prim and proper despite messing around with three guys, and then the way in which Aphrodite and others talk so frankly about sex etc just sometimes seems out of place for a book which for the most part, seems to be aimed at teenagers. Added to this, the constant use of American slang and general made up words just drives me crazy ("brown pop", "ginormic" "bullpoopy" etc etc). Added to this is some of the ways she talks about her black and gay friends - there is nothing specific but it is sometimes quite stereotypical and a bit cringe worthy!

      You would think with such a negative list of dislikes that I would have stopped reading by now, and the logical part of my brain still tells me I should. The characters are one dimensional often shallow and often typical selfish teenagers, but there is also something about the characters that I find endearing. Now we are on the fourth book in the series, some interesting relationships are developing and certainly Aphrodite's character is the one that draws me in the most - she is definitely the most complex and the most interesting of all Zoeys friends. In this book we see her thawing a little more, finding a softer side with the interaction with Zoey's Grandmother which also shows her vulnerability. I hope the next book explores this more.

      As for the story itself, once it got going, I was as hooked as ever. I find the first couple of chapters hard going with each of these books and this was no different, especially if there has been a gap between reading them because it is like having to get used to the horrible childish way in which Zoey speaks all over again as well as the awful way in which the previous storylines are recapped. After that though, its plain sailing and I can almost blot out all the horrible slang etc! There are several new characters that are introduced into this story to mix things up a little, including a new transfer from another vamp school who has an interesting gift, and a warrior guard who serves as Aphrodite's new love interest.

      Also this book introduces some new elements that make it a fascinating read. With Zoeys Native American background they uncover a legend that is threatening to return and there are some creepy things that happen which make the vampire storyline look tame. Having said that, I am starting to wonder if Zoey and her friends are more like witches rather than Vampires, they are so unlike Vampires in the traditional sense that I think the authors have forgotten their purpose in the school! The one thing I can say about this book is that due to all the action that happens in this book, there is less time for Zoey to have any romantic encounters - in my eyes a blessing!

      I am torn with this book, as much as I dislike some of the elements, I cannot help but want to read the next book immediately which is quite frustrating! This book ended on a bit of a cliff hanger and it looks as if this could now go into a very interesting direction if its done correctly, so as much as it pains me, I will read the next one!

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        24.07.2010 01:32
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        Another great book in the series

        Untamed is the fourth book in the House of Night series by mother and daughter duo, PC and Kristin Cast. It is published by Atom Books and is 464 pages long.

        What has happened so far
        Sixteen year old Zoey Redbird recently got marked by a Tracker, meaning that she had to move to the House of Night in order to maybe become a vampyre. If she doesn't die first. Zoey is unlike any of the other fledglings though. She has been extremely blessed by the Goddess Nyx who gave her powers that she never expected. Zoey can has an affinity for all five elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit. She has also overthrown Aphrodite as the leader of the Dark Daughters, taking the lead for herself.

        Beginning a new life has been hard but at least Zoey has her faithful friends, Stevie Rae, Shaunee, Erin and Damien to help her out. Not to mention human boyfriend Heath, who she imprinted with and talented fledgling boyfriend Erik. Football players from Zoey's old school went missing and were murdered so she had to save Heath before he was killed as well. After best friend Stevie Rae died and came back as something else, Zoey wasn't coping very well and managed to annoy everyone she cares about.

        Untamed
        Extremely special vampyre fledgling, Zoey Redbird isn't have the best time lately. She has quickly found out that being special and gifted doesn't equal happiness and an easy life. After keeping important secrets from her friends, Zoey finds herself quite alone, not even having one boy on the go. The only people that are still talking to her are un-dead Stevie Rae and bitchy and newly unmarked Aphrodite.

        Neferet has declared a war on humans after several of the teachers at the House of Night were murdered. Zoey knows that Neferet is wrong and planning something even more sinister but no body trusts her enough to listen. An ancient evil being is about to be resurrected and with Zoey alone, it doesn't seem as though things will work themselves out this time.

        What I thought
        Untamed has a completely different feel to it compared to the previous books in this series. While Zoey's problems seemed quite important in the other books, they don't even come close to what is going on this time. I really enjoyed the fact that this plot had a lot more depth to it and that it will continue into future books. It is extremely fast paced and concentrates much more on action and build up of tension rather than romance which I was so thankful for.

        As much as I like Zoey, there is only so much of having too many boyfriends that I can handle. The fact that she had lost almost everyone close to her in the previous book meant that she had a lot of time on her hands to figure out what and who was really important to her. For this reason, I saw a different side to Zoey and one that I actually preferred. She was a lot more serious but it wasn't in the depressing way that I had expected it to be. A lot more is revealed about Zoey's personal life and I felt like this gave me the opportunity to reconnect with her and remember the reasons why I liked her in the first place.

        Even though Zoey is having problems in the romance department, that doesn't mean that everyone is. Damien and Jack are as happy as they ever have been and I love how cute they are together. It was so nice for Damien to find someone in a school where the gay guys are not always so open and ok about it. Aphrodite also gets a slice of the happiness in Untamed and it was about time. She really has changed over the course of this series and I feel as though she doesn't deserve all of the negativity that she receives. After having her mark taken away, a whole new side of her is revealed and her love interest has quite a lot to do with that. Of course, the bitch is still inside her and it is nice to see that she hasn't lost that as it is what makes her so funny.

        As I have said in previous reviews of books in this series, Zoey is of Cherokee (Native American) descent and we get to find out more about the history of these people in Untamed. Not only do we learn more about that but also more about vampyre mythology and the way that the two were blended was really interesting and these parts were some of my favourites.

        The House of Night sees many changes in Untamed but not all of them for the better. With Neferet wanting a war to start, evil is all around and in places that aren't expected. Many of the students have no idea about what is happening and go about their daily business. There is a certain eeriness surrounding the plot because you never really know what is lurking in the shadows of the school until very far into the book. I loved the not knowing and being able to imagine what was there for myself.

        Overall, Untamed is a fabulous addition to the House of Night series and one that kept my attention throughout. I don't see this series weakening any time soon, especially with the plot developments that happened in this book. Things are about to get really rough for Zoey and the gang but are they all going to be able to cope or even survive? I damn well hope so.

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          14.05.2010 11:40
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          Zoey and her friends have to stand together to fight an old evil.

          - - PLOT - -

          'I saw the end of everything. I saw all of it happening because you were dead Zoey. Your death made it happen'

          When Zoey hears that line from her friend Aphrodite, she knows that something needs to be done. The reason for Aphrodite's visions is so that she can stop the bad things from happening, but how are the two of them going to stop Zoey's predicted death? Who is it that kills her? And why?

          But there is no way that was going to be the only issue for Zoey and her friends this term, oh no that would be far too simple for a life like Zoey's.
          She also has to work out how to get her best friends back in her life after they found out that she omitted the truth from them, albeit in their own interests. As well as working out why she is attracted to mysterious new student James Stark.

          All the while Zoey is working hard to figure out these few tiny problems, she also scarily discovers that something lingering in the dark around the house of night school, wants to hurt her and badly. But what is it? Where are the croaking ravens coming from? Why do they seem to want to hurt Zoey?

          With all of the new drama Zoey needs all of her friends around her, including her newly weirdly changed best friend Stevie Rae and her cave dwelling fledglings. They will need to stand together when the origin of the darkness Zoey fears comes to light, or dark as the case maybe.

          - - OPINION - -

          I really enjoyed the storyline of Untamed, as someone who has always found Cherokee legends interesting I loved the fact that their stories were an integral part of this book.

          This novel had me hooked from the first few pages, it's a lot darker than the previous books in the series which I liked, although I have to admit at one point I wasn't too keen on turning off the lights in my room.

          I did find the idea of another love interest for Zoey a little annoying, I mean not to be rude but how many men does one teenage girl really need? Apparently more than they did in my teenage years!

          One of the new characters introduced during Unmarked in high priestess Shekinah, who I found very intriguing, especially as she is the only one who had some sort of control over Neferet, and who seemed like she might have been the help that Zoey and her friends had been waiting for.

          ISBN - 9781905654567
          This book can be found on amazon for £3.50

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            24.10.2009 16:28
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            Read the series in order but this is a weak link for me

            I started reading the House of Night series recently on the recommendation of a fellow Dooyoo user. Now I'm hooked, and it's all her fault...

            Untamed is the fourth novel in the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristen Cast, following the story of Zoey Redbird as she is marked to become a vampyre and enters the House of Night school where she will learn all about the world of vampyres. Zoey is different, as she is a High Priestess in training, having been chosen by the goddess Nyx and given special marks and an affinity for the five elements.

            I'm going to do my best in this review not to give away too many plot details of the first three novels, but I apologise if I do.

            Throughout the series, the narrative style has grated on me slightly, although I have got more used to it. Zoey is perhaps a typical American teenager in her use of language and her thoughts (not being an American teenager I can only guess she is typical). I find the language and style really irritating, as she often speaks and thinks in slang, and uses made up words, as teenagers are prone to do - one example is "ginormic". She also never talks about drinking Coke, but refers to it as "brown pop" - I've never heard that outside these novels, and it annoys me a little although I don't quite know why.

            The story of the series is why I have continued reading, despite grating my teeth over the language from time to time. I found myself hooked on Zoey's journey into the vampyre world, and the constant changes coming over her. However, the reason I've chosen to review Untamed having only previously reviewed Marked, the first novel, is because I have problems with the story of this novel.

            This may sound a strange thing to say about a book which deals with the world of vampyres, in itself a fantasy story, but I found that the story of Untamed became too farcical. I'm fine with vampires and all the various incarnations of them in fiction - I'm a huge Twilight fan, and I've recently started watching True Blood - but Untamed goes beyond the world of the vampyre and starts bringing in older myths and legends, those of the Cherokee people to whom Zoey and her grandmother belong. Quite why this seems farcical in what is already a fantasy series I'm not sure, but the old legends read just as that - old legends. They are then brought into the present and into 20th Century Tulsa, and something for me just doesn't fit.

            Additionally, Zoey has boyfriend issues. Following the events of Chosen (novel three in the series), everything's gone a bit wrong in the man department. Personally, I rather think she deserves it as she was managing to string along three men at the same time, and although not entirely her fault (being Imprinted with one and used by another didn't help matters), she could have done a bit more to straighten the situation out. Honestly, I can't think of any teenage girl I've ever known managing to have three boyfriends at once. Or a woman of any age. And not only that, but Zoey was getting away with it - how that could happen is beyond me. It doesn't leave the reader with a good impression of the three male characters involved, as they all sat back and shared their girl.

            The whole series is full of swearing and explicit references to sex, and Untamed is no different. I find it hard to reconcile this with the obvious teenage style of the novel. Thinking about Twilight, it is very chaste but with a more grown up style of language. The House of Night series is more explicit but with a much more childish style. It doesn't quite fit. All the novels in the series have a note on the back saying "not suitable for younger readers", and I'd be inclined to warn parents about the content. I know I was reading worse by the time I was 15, and maybe younger, but now I'm older I seem to think kids shouldn't be reading about sex and swearing!

            Despite these issues I have with Untamed, I've continued on to novel five (Hunted) because for some reason I just find myself unable to stop reading the series. So far Untamed is my least favourite, but I still couldn't stop turning the pages, especially during the nail-biting conclusion to the story. The House of Night series should definitely be read from the start in order, as the story is fast paced and the summary Zoey tends to give at the start of each novel isn't always thorough, so I would only recommend Untamed if you have read the first three novels.

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              22.09.2009 13:25
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              This is the fourth book in the House of Night series written by mother and daughter duo P.C and Kristin Cast . Due to the way the books follow on from each other, there will be a few spoilers here , so if you haven't yet red any of the previous books, but intend to, you may want to skip over this review .

              Zoey, the leader of the Dark Daughters, is feeling pretty alone right now - her friends are mad at her for keeping the fact that her dead best friend had become un-dead a secret . She no longer has any of her three boyfriend - her imprint with her human ex Heath was broken when she gave over her virginity to Loren Blake (whom she later discovered only slept with her because Neferet, the decidedly dark high priestess of the house of night ordered it.). Sadly, whilst she was losing her virginity, Eric, who'd just become a full adult vamp happened to walk in . Funnily enough, he wasn't too impressed .

              So, Zoeys feeling lonely and a bit stressed as the book starts ,especially as right at the end of the last one, Professor Blake was murdered (as was another professor) and now Neferet wants to start a war against the humans. Zoey knows that somehow it's down to her to stop this - but with Aphrodite, the only person who is currently on speaking terms with her, having become human again, it doesn't look like she's going to have much help - which is especially worrying as Aphrodite has had a vision that the war all starts because Zoey dies, and that Zoey dies because her friends have deserted her.

              Add to this the fact that her now ex-boyfriend Eric is now one of her teachers, that Zoey is being attacked by invisible darkness, that she's still an object of curiosity because of her advanced fledgeling status, and that Stevie Rae, although human again, is still running around the towns prohibition tunnels with a bunch of bloodthirsty undead fledgelings, and all in all, its a lot for her to handle .

              This book is, so far, the best in the series in my opinion - You're thrown straight into the action, and it keeps up a fast pace throughout the whole book. There's a lot less self pity and teen angst too, and it feels altogether more grown up than the last few books in the series - Zoey even swears properly .

              There's a lot of inclusion of Cherokee folklore, and we get to see a lot more of Zoeys gran, who is a fantastic character. We also get to meet quite a few new characters in this book, from Nyx gifted archery champion James Stark , to a very cool nun who is perfectly accepting of vampires and even believes that Nyx is just another incarnation of the Virgin Mary .

              Characters we already know develop a lot more too - we get to see a whole different side to Stevie Rae than the dippy country girl who is all sweetness and light, and we also get to see a very vulnerable side to Aphrodite who, from being one of the characters I despised in the first book is actually becoming someone I quite like .

              There are still a lot of pop culture references here - one in particular referenced a book, Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr . It feels a little bit like a product plug - I wonder if the book is by the same publishers . However, it's worked, as I've now added that book to my 'to read' list.

              It doesn't feel quite as teenage though- I think as the plots get darker the reading gets more adult, both in the scenes depicted (some are quite violent and scary) and in the way the characters interact with each other . I think part of this is to do with Zoeys love life in this book being less complicated, but either way this book is a much smoother read than any of the others in the series so far .

              The ending of the book I really like - I'm not going to ruin it for you, but it does leave you tensed and dying to get hold of the next book so you can leap right back into the action .

              Overall, I love this book The best in the series so far, and the full five stars from me .

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                19.09.2009 17:56
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                See review.

                Another review and another house of night book as the subject, this being the fourth in a series of six books, at present anyway!

                The book in question is - "Untamed by P.C and Kristen Cast".

                Be warned this review will contain spoilers for the previous books, this unfortunately is unavoidable, sorry!

                The story starts with Zoey Redbird (the main character, fledgling vampire and high priestess in training) completely friendless and boyfriend-less to boot, just the way Neferet (now high priestess of the house of night, a school for vampires and newly discovered "baddie" of the book) wanted it, she feels that Zoey's friends are where her power lies, so without them she will be easier to get rid of!

                Along with this, which in fairness is hard enough for a fledgling vampire to deal with, she has discovered her dead/un-dead best friend Stevie Rae trying to eat a homeless person one night down an alleyway, determined to help her regain her humanity and her "livingness", instead of existing as a blood lusting zombie, she ropes in arch enemy and for some reason her only "friend at present Aphrodite.

                Between the two of them they have to help Stevie Rae and all the other "zombie" kids that are living in the prohibition tunnels beneath the town of Tulsa (the girls hometown), try to get all the gang (Damian, Shaunee, Erin, Erik and Jack) to forgive her and come back to the circle and finally try and keep Neferet off her back........easy, yeah right, if only that was alls he had to do!

                Things take a real dangerous turn for the worst when an ancient darkness starts to be released, the only way that Zoey can defend her friends and stop her foreseen murder (Aphrodite is a powerful psychic and has envisioned her untimely death!), is to regroup....but can she do so in time?

                This is another fantastic book that not only revolves around vampires and their folk laws but also due to the nature of the so-called "darkness" that is coming to drag humans to hell and back, a great amount of traditional Cherokee folk law is also included, this makes the book very interesting, but also incredibly detailed so you do have to really concentrate on this one. Luckily this book is very absorbing to read and I found I read this in two days, which is a real achievement as the book is one of the biggest of the series.

                Another thing to mention is the fact that you get used to the fact that a happy ending in never what you should be expecting, this is a book that is surrounding a race that can so easily kill humans and on the flip side are hated intensely by humans, so there is an incredible amount of death within these stories, this book has the highest body count of the series so far, though I will not go into how the people/vampires die as it is a pivotal moment in the book.

                This is an exiting, if somewhat graphic book that in my opinion is not a suitable read for children, though many do assume that this series of books have been written in the same vein as previous vampire books (ie Twilight), this is not the case. These books contain a high amount of graphic bloodlust which in turn equates to a high amount of sexual content, great for me to read, but not the young 'uns!

                These book are available from most book shops, though this were purchased from Waterstones, as they were on a "buy 3 for the price of two" offer at the time, and as my sister brought them she also has a Waterstones card!

                For more information visit - www.houseofnightseries.co.uk

                Thanks for reading x

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