As faithful followers of this blog, you all know my love of both YA and Vampires. So it will come as no surprise that the next book I review is Hunted: A House of Night Novel (Book 5) by PC Cast and Kristin Cast (336 pgs, St. Martin's Press, 2009). Not only is it a selection for the YA Challenge 2009, but also for the Once Upon a Time III Challenge.
WARNING: There may be spoilers if you haven't read Book 4!
The dream began with the sound of wings. In retrospect, I realize I should have known that was a bad sign, what with the Raven Mockers begin set loose and all, but in my dream it was just background noise, kinda like a fan or the TV turned on to the QVC.
Immediately taking off where Untamed left us hanging, Zoey and her circle have fled to the tunnels to escape the demon Kalona, that Neferet has released to be her consort. Putting her faith in Stevie Rae and the new red fledglings, Zoey and the gang needed to regroup and decide what they were going to do. The Raven Mockers have started on a quest to massacre the humans; Neferet has turned away from Nyx and joined the Dark Side, increasing her powers along the way; Kalona has a strange hold on all the other residents of the House of Night. Trying to come up with a plan, they realize that one of the red fledglings' poetry seems to hold clues as to how they can stop Kalona.
But when Zoey's human ex-boyfriend, Heath shows up to try to help, he brings trouble to the tunnels. And Zoey is almost killed in the process. Weak and seriously injured, the only chance for her survival is to return to the House of Night to heal, among the adult vampyres. Leaving Heath and Erik to stay with Stevie Rae and the red fledglings, the rest of the gang heads right back into the fire of the House of Night.
Hunted, in it's entirety takes place in only 2 days. The action is fast-paced and immediate. But if I'm going to be honest, I was disappointed with this book. As readable as it is, it is not nearly as good (or well-written) as the previous book, Untamed. Why was I disappointed? Zoey never seems to learn her lesson. As a High Priestess in training, she should be more focused on the tasks at hand. But she keeps falling back into the same trap with the men in her life. She can't break with ANY of them, and now she has even added a new one to her entourage!!
More unanswered questions leave us hanging at the end: Most importantly....what is really up with the red fledglings?? Can they truly be trusted?? Which, of course, is a nice way of getting us prepared for the NEXT book. I really need to quit reading series books that have no endings because now I have no closure!
But my main disappointment with this book is the editing!! I've read a lot of ARC's that are considered uncorrected proofs. And that's fine. But for me to go out and BUY a new NOVEL to find blatant errors really bothers me. There are at least three major typos (including a name switch : Damian's name in place of Darius) that really irked me. It made the whole book seem like it was rushed to the shelf. There seems to be an inconsistency between the books in the series - an up and down in quality to them. Note to anyone at St. Martin's Press: If you need a new copy editor, I AM available!
All of that said, I still enjoyed the book. I still need to finish the series because I MUST know how it all ends! If you have read the rest of the series, you should definitely read this one. Just don't expect a lot of answers and don't expect to be 'wowed' like before! 3.75/5