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  • Book Critique: Betrayed

    2012 - 12.06


    Summary: Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night.  She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs–like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

    Setting: Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Critique: Another awesome book by the mother-daughter duo, P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast. Zoey Redbird is finally fitting in at the House of Night. In the previous book, Marked, Zoey really didn’t fit in at her human high school. Pretty much anyone can agree that being a teenager can suck sometimes, especially when your body is filled with raging hormones and drama seems to follow you everywhere you go, as is the case with Zoey. Although she does strike me at times as a Mary Sue, I ought to say that she really is the kind of character I can identify with. She drives a vintage Volkswagen Beetle, which is actually what I had wanted when my dad had one. She’s from a broken home with a non-existent biological father and a mother who seemed to have lost her identity when she married a jerk of a stepfather. With so many kids coming from single-parent families and blended families, most teenage readers can certainly identify with Zoey in this sense. Incidentally, the said stepfather that Zoey hates is one of the Elders of the People of Faith, and he believes Zoey and her kind are evil. Her family…wow…what a joke. They basically disown her in the story, but the one person to whom she is close is her grandmother, Silvia, who owns a lavender farm and brought Zoey up to respect the ways of the Cherokee. Silvia has become one of my favorite characters because she’s the kind of grandmother every kid would want, not that mine wasn’t amazing herself when she was alive. But probably the thing that makes me really like Zoey as a character is simply the fact that she’s nerdy. She likes Star Wars, and at one point in the story, she mentioned her ‘Borg Invasion’ hoodie pullover. Being a Trekkie, that earned some major brownie points for me.

    In the first book, Zoey was taken under the wing of the school’s headmaster, the High Priestess, Neferet, whom Zoey saw as the motherly figure she has wanted since her own mother had fallen victim to her marriage to John, the ‘steploser’, as Zoey calls him. In this story, Zoey’s view changes about Neferet when she finds out that Neferet is not who she appears to be. Meanwhile, Zoey seems to have formed a tentative alliance with a very unexpected person: Aphrodite, the recently deposed High Priestess in training and ‘hag bitch from hell’ who picked on Zoey for her colored in mark when she had first arrived at the House of Night a month prior. Zoey is also still struggling to find a way to break her accidental imprint with Heath, her human ex-boyfriend who can’t seem to get a clue that Zoey can no longer be his. It seems that each time she tries to tell Heath that it’s over for good between them, it fails miserably and ends with her ‘feeding’ from him (which is actually supposed to be sexually stimulating for both the vamp and the host).

    These books have a little bit of everything, overall good characters, and I especially like the wholesome Stevie Rae, who is Zoey’s best friend and roommate in the story. I also like how Damien, Zoey’s gay friend is written; he is not stereotypical! He doesn’t wave around his hands and talk like a valley girl. He’s good at fencing and academics, and he was gifted with an affinity for air. He tends to be on the same side as the boys rather than girls, and he is often to group’s voice when they are thinking the same thing. Damien sometimes endures intolerant behavior directed at him such as when a boy refused to be roommates with a ‘fag’, and as a writer, I believe it’s realistic to face characters with intolerant behavior directed toward them because it makes them grow as characters.

    Toward the end of the book, however, death strikes the House of Night as a very important fledgling dies in Zoey’s arms, and while I can’t give spoilers, I will say that it was a devastating blow to Zoey and her friends.

    Rating: I give this one another four out of five stars. Overall, I loved it!

    I am nearly finished with the fourth book, but stay tuned for a critique on Book Three in the H.O.N. series, Chosen.

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