Here below is my review of the newest House of Night book, Hunted by P.C. Cast. This book's taking a bit of heat at Amazon, and perhaps rightly so. My biggest issue were the typos and the "effect/affect" fiasco on page 169 (okay, sue me, I'm a grammarian). This is the review I just published on the big A; I didn't hate it by any means but hope that the next one resolves a few things (and gets a better editor).
The fifth book in the House of Night series picks up almost precisely where the fourth one left off; Zoey and her friends have escaped from the power mad Neferet and her newly re-risen god Kalona and are currently hiding in some tunnels with Stevie Rae and the red fledglings. Zoey needs to figure out how to fight Kalona's hold on the fledglings still at the House of Night, but how can she do that trapped underground? And what about Erik, her former boyfriend, who is suddenly expressing interest again...and her unease with the odd red fledglings who don't seem to be telling everything about themselves? Lots of questions to be asked and answered, and Zoey's uncertain of her part in all of this.
This entry in the series takes place over just a few days, and while it begins at a slower pace, it does pick up steam fairly quickly. There is a lot of rehashing what's gone before as Zoey tries to determine what her course of action should be. I liked that Zoey actually faced mortal danger this time out because I believe it gives her more perspective in her fight against evil. I also like that the Benedictine nuns were a part of the solution, thus making this series seem less about Nyx vs. other religions and more about working together.
It would be very easy to nit-pick this novel to death, but there are a few things that deserve to be mentioned. Zoey's endless love triangles must end. Find a guy, stick with him, quit stringing everyone else along, end of story. Imprinting with Heath again was probably necessary to keep him in the story, but I have to wonder why Erik is suddenly so possessive when he's only been noble and loving before. I like Stark but I don't see a relationship with him as necessary or even wanted at this point. I also found the whole stables/horses plan a bit over the top, and I have a problem with the fact that Kalona sees Zoey as a potential mate. Why can't he just be evil and let it go at that? Finally, the typos and editing errors about drove me insane! Was there such a rush to get this book out that typos were allowed to go through unchecked? And for goodness' sake, it's "effect", not "affect" on page 169!
However, all that said, I still enjoyed this novel quite a bit. I know it's escapist fun, and Zoey represents what most young girls would like to be: smart, alluring, powerful, and loved. I love the character development of Aphrodite; she's worth the price of the book alone. With all good series, there will come a point when there needs to be a book that provides some catch-up time and then some high drama, and Hunted provides that. It may not be the best in the series, but it is still worth the read. I am hopeful that the next in the series finds Zoey recognizing her need for maturity and less of the pull between her hormones and her heart.