Untamed (House of Night) by P C Cast and Kirstin Cast

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Untamed (House of Night) by P C Cast and Kirstin Cast

Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: The fourth in the House of Night series is a step up from its predecessor. Fast, funny and intense, with enough romance to keep its audience happy. Extremely enjoyable.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: June 2009
Publisher: Atom
ISBN: 978-1905654567

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Sometimes, being special just isn't all that. Zoey Redbird, the most singularly gifted fledgling in Vampyre history would give up being special just to have her friends back. A week ago, she had a group of friends very dear to her and (sort of accidentally) three boyfriends. Now she has no one.

Well, she has Aphrodite, the queen bitch of the House of Night, whose ice queen persona is thawing, just slightly. And Zoey's BFF Stevie Rae is no longer eww! Zombie undead, but a whole new kind of Vampyre.

And just to complicate things, Zoey's sworn off boys for ever, but that resolve is shaken when a new student is transferred to the House of Night – the totally hot James Stark, bad boy archer extraordinaire. Zoey feels a real connection with Stark, but things for the High Priestess in training are never easy, and ex-boyfriend-now-full-vamp and also total hottie, Erik Night is also back, acting as temporary drama teacher. That's one of the classes Zoey takes. Oh, Hell.

Then Aphrodite has visions of a terrible future, the uprising of an ancient evil. Oh, and two separate visions of Zoey's death. An almost welcome distraction from all boy troubles. Almost. Aphrodite's visions don't always come true, not if steps are taken to prevent them, and step one is getting Zoey's friends to talk to her again, because if she's going to last another week, she'll need all their help…

There's a fine line between 'good' bad and just plain bad, and I do think the Casts are the masters of it. So much of this book ought to be awful, but even the continued love quadrangle complications and the ridiculous speed with which Zoey gets over murdered lover Loren (yes, he was using her, but I'm sure she'd be bereaved for more than five minutes) didn't mar my enjoyment of it. In fact, I could barely put it down.

The balance in this instalment, unlike in Chosen is tipped a little more in favour of the action, rather than the romance, and it's better for it. There are still enough hot boy happenings to keep the audience happy, but the grander sense of peril and scale makes Untamed faster paced and more intense than its predecessor.

The morals weaved through the subject matter are a really nice touch. Themes of friendship, acceptance, forgiveness and teamwork are present, but don't overburden the text, and the murders committed by religious zealots, the People of Faith, are tempered by a touching friendship development between Zoey and Sister Mary Angela of the Benedictine nuns, in a not exactly subtle, but sensitive reminder that not all religious people are blinkered, and that different religions can coexist.

Reading books like Untamed is sort of like choosing to eat in McDonald's over a five star restaurant. You know it isn't going to be of the same quality, but that doesn't mean it's not delicious. And sometimes you just fancy a quick fix. I can imagine it will be a welcome summer read for some of the (probably female) GCSE students just done digesting the reading list for their English Lit papers.

Fast, funny, and with a dash of peril and far reaching consequences, Untamed is a step up from the last book in the 'House of Night series and an extremely enjoyable read.

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

Bookbag has recently discovered another series about vampires by Rachel Caine, which fans of House of Night might enjoy.

Buy Untamed (House of Night) by P C Cast and Kirstin Cast at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Untamed (House of Night) by P C Cast and Kirstin Cast at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Untamed (House of Night) by P C Cast and Kirstin Cast at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Untamed (House of Night) by P C Cast and Kirstin Cast at Amazon.com.


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