Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Destined Review

Title: Destined
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: Oct. 25, 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Vampires, Goddesses, Romance, Evil, Magic, Death, & Shape Shifting
Pages: 325
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)
     “Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is.  Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, though Nyx’s gift of human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow.
     But there are new forces at work at the House of Night.  An influx of humans, including Lenobia’s handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability.  And then there’s the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more- or possibly less- than human.  Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon.  But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling.  And there’s something strangely familiar about him….
     Will Neferet’s true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect them all?  Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.”

     After finishing Destined I had to put my emotions in check; it was so utterly bewitching that I laughed, I cried, and I had moments of pure frustration so intense that I wanted to throw the book against the wall!  But all the while I feel that is what constitutes a good book, a novel that can extract those strong emotions that make you feel so passionate about the tale they are telling.
     As many readers claim and I am one of them, this series is definitely a guilty pleasure.  It holds too much teenage drama for my liking but for some reason unknown to me I still can’t put it down.  If I had to guess it has something to do with the plot line.  I know it’s very drawn out but it certainly has me hooked.  Every time I start a new House of Night novel I just can’t stop, I want to keep reading until it is finished and then I am stuck pining over the next one until the following year, just like I am now.  Luckily, Lenobia’s Vow comes out at the end of January, so hopefully that will hold me over until the tenth book hits the shelves… but I doubt it.
     I discovered the characters in this book took step backwards in their maturity compared to the rest of the series but I felt that might have had a lot to do with the losses that they were working to overcome.  Because let’s face it the Nerd Herd has lost a lot in the series already- Jack, Heath, Zoey’s Mom; and to top it off we almost lost Stark, Zoey, and Stevie Rae.  Neferet has really worked her evil bidding and without a doubt they have taken the brunt end of it.  But overall this story takes some pretty unexpected twists and I was shocked with the outcome.  Again I was left unhinged with another cliffhanger… the Cast Family really knows how to leave their audience distraught with need for the tenth book.
     I gave this novel an A-; as it was a riveting, gut-wrenching, and coercing read!  I found that I have a love-hate relationship with these books, as I’m quite positive many readers do.  But I will keep reading because I don’t come this far in a series to not see it through to the end….Will there be a new sparks of love? Maybe.  Will an old love spark a new interest? Quite possibly.  Will I be annoyed with Zoey’s confusion between boys?  Most definitely.  But will there be an undefined Evil that Zoey is compelled to dispel? Always!  And will I always pick up the next installment?  For sure!

My Rating: 19/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing Style: 5

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