Published: May 2010
(#7 in the House of Night series)
Recommended for: House of Night and vamp fans
(from Goodreads): Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.
Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her bff back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own ...
Hmm, I remember saying that I'd sworn off vampire books for a while. Yet here I am, reviewing the House of Night and seriously considering taking Parajunkee's Vampire Challenge. Ah, hell. :) Anyway, Burned is the seventh book in the House of Night series, so most authors would be wrapping it up by now. Not so the Casts. I've actually heard that they're speculating that there might be fifteen House of Night books before it's all said and done. That said, I really do enjoy reading the series and clearly they're still going strong in the popularity department.
Burned started out with all the characters basically reacting to the events of the last book, by which I mean Zoey's soul shattering. (I'll say no more than the summary does, I have a strict no-spoilers policy.) The first 100 pages everybody is sort of running around accusing each other of things and informing each other of things we already know. I wasn't ready to give up on the book, exactly, but I was definitely a little exasperated.
Then, shortly after the 100 page mark, the book takes off. This is the first book of the series which isn't told entirely from Zoey's point of view and it's a good thing, since Zoey isn't actually involved in a lot of the action. This book, I think, belongs to Stevie Rae, and not just because she's on the cover. I love the way her relationships with her boyfriend Dallas and the fallen Raven Mocker, Rephaim, evolve and the way she realizes her power as a High Priestess. Aphrodite isn't quite her usual witchy self, but luckily she hasn't reformed beyond the point of being one of the best characters. I did miss the 'Nerd Herd' (READ: Shaunee, Erin, Jack, and especially Damien) hanging out with Zoey and their random conversations, but I can see how it would be hard to fit them in given the constant revelations and climax scenes surrounding Stevie Rae and Stark, who is guarding Zoey's body now minus her spirit. Stark is my favorite of Zoey's guys by far (though I like Kalona, does Kalona count?), and he definitely has to make a lot of sacrifices for her in this latest book. The scenes I disliked most were the ones with Zoey and Heath in Nyx's realm, simply because I really can't stand Heath. (Sorry)
All in all though, I really enjoyed reading this one and liked the way everything turned out. My only real qualm is that I miss the House of Night. You know, the vampire school the series is named for? I just missed the setting of that really cool nocturnal school, and I especially missed Nala and the Nerd Herd's cats.
Characters: 4/5Overall: 4/5