Hunted (House of Night #5)
At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?
On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Erik, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?
Okay, so the House of Night series is seriously one of the most guilty pleasure-ish young adult series I’ve read. Emphasis on the guilty part.
You know when you go to the airport, and you’re waiting at your gate for your flight, and you look over at the little old lady sitting next to you? She might be reading a book, but she’s angled it so that you can’t quite see what it is. But she seems really into it, and you start to wonder what she’s reading. Then maybe something happens and she readjusts herself, and the cover of her book flashes into view, and you see a shirtless Fabio-type man with long, flowy hair holding a busty woman whose corset dress is looking rather askew. It has a title like “Seduced by a Rogue Lord” or “The Virgin’s Wicked Deed”, and you feel a blush rising to your cheeks, and you think to yourself,Why the hell would she be reading that in public?!
Well, that’s kind of how I feel about House of Night.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here–House of Night is hardly a work of ground-breaking literature. It’s pure and utter book candy, something you know is bad for you, but you just keep eating and eating because you can’t stop. And oh, how delicious the candy is.
Which brings me to Hunted, the fifth installment of the series. I’ll admit, I actually wasn’t really looking forward to this book that much, just because I felt that Untamedwas quite a bit of a letdown, both story-wise and writing-wise. After three completely squee-worthy books, the fourth just wasn’t up to par. So, then came this one. And I’m pleased to say that Cast and Cast are finally back on their game. Well, as much as one can be on their game when writing a series with a fairly ridiculous premise, and complete Mary Sue of a main character, and cookie cutter villains.
But you know what? All of that doesn’t really bother me that much. Because honestly? The books are just so entertaining to read. For the most part. Yes, Zoey is absolutely perfect. She’s been blessed with these powers that nobody else has, she’s destined for great things, she makes stupid mistakes and faces pretty much no consequences for them, and she’s definitely got the Anita Blake factor going for her–everybody wants to sleep with her. Erik wants to sleep with her, even though he spent most of book four simultaneously hating her and trying to make her miserable. Heath wants to sleep with her even though he pretty explicitly said in book four that he never wanted to be with her again. Stark wants to sleep with her, even though they’ve only known each other for like, one day. Kalona wants to sleep with her because she’s A-ya reincarnated. Hell, I bet Loren Blake still wants to sleep with her from beyond the grave. The only males who don’t want to sleep with Zoey are the gay ones.
Speaking of gay, I don’t really know why, but Cast and Cast seem to think that they have to make Damien and Jack really, really gay. I mean, so stereotypically gay that you wonder if they’re going to strap a rainbow banner on their chests and start marching through the streets. As someone who knows several gay people, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that not all of them get really emotional every time something moderately frightening occurs, are obsessed with clothes and shopping, can cook really well, and basically act like they’re the equivalent of a 12-year-old girl with menstrual cramps. I think pretty much everyone is familiar with homosexuals–we don’t need Cast and Cast to overdo it like they are.
As far the plot, it was pretty solid. Slow at first, but definitely picked itself up. It was fairly predictable, but what else can you expect from the book equivalent of marshmallow pudding?
The only gripe I have is that it wasn’t edited properly in a couple places. There were a few grammatical errors, and sometimes the authors mixed up Darius and Damien. Also, at the very end, they call Zoey’s grandmother Stevie Rae’s grandmother. But it wasn’t too distracting.
All in all, as much as I’m embarrassed to admit it, I had fun with Hunted. I wouldn’t whip it out at the airport because I’d be a bit worried about what people would think of me, but I can safely enjoy it in private.
Dare to enter the House of Night: WWW.HOUSEOFNIGHTSERIES.COM