P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Published 2009 319 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Dangerous secrets come between Zoey and Stevie Rae, putting their friendship – and the House of Night – at great risk. Stevie Rae, with her super red vamp powers, thought she could handle keeping stuff from BFF, but her latest secret is in a new league. Zoey’s left wondering if she can trust the person she thought would always have her back. And she needs her friend – and boyfriends – like never before.
Zoey banished malevolent immortal Kalona from Tulsa, but the battle is far from over. He now seeks power at the highest levels, and the Vampyre High Council is falling under his thrall. Without Zoey’s help, the world could still burn in the fiery hell of Aphrodite’s visions. And will Zoey’s connection with A-ya, a Cherokee maiden who tempted Kalona in ages past, help or hinder her resistance to the dangerously seductive immortal?
Two girls walk a tightrope between good and evil. And their choices will see everything they love saved – or destroyed.
Tempted is the sixth book in P.C & Kristin Cast’s House of Night fantasy series. I have to admit that although this series is aimed at older teenage readers the first four books had me seriously hooked and I would (and did) happily recommend them to teen and adult readers alike because they were so addictively readable. After struggling through Hunted, book five of the HoN, I really hoped that Tempted would put the series back onto earlier form but it just was not to be. It’s sad to say that Tempted has left me completely un-tempted to ever read any further books in this series.
Where did it all go wrong? Where to start? Plot development is severely lacking in Tempted. I feel that I have read this story before in every other HoN book that has preceded it. Even on the rare occasions when the overall fantasy plot inches forward it’s completely over-shadowed by the repetitive relationship drama going on in Zoey’s life. The HoN books have usually been narrated in first person be Zoey, as a result we are used to dealing with her I-have-so-many-boyfriends-and-I-just-can’t-choose angst. It wears real thin after a while but as readers we are used to it.
In Tempted the authors add in multiple points of view from other characters, so now readers have to deal with teenage boy angst, Stevie Rae angst and Raven Mocker angst. I could deal with all the angst but like the plot and characters of this series, it just never goes anywhere.
The language used by the characters of Tempted finally started to grate. It’s taken a while getting there, I ignored the multiple referrals to “raging case of diarrhoea” throughout previous books because this seems to be a common teenage fear but I think the unrealistic use of the word “poopie” finally drove me over the edge. Come on, we all know that teenagers swear and I’ve never heard one say “poopie”.
I suppose that my main gripe with this novel is that it just doesn’t further the HoN series in any meaningful way. To me the thing that the authors have forgotten for a couple of books now is that the most important part of writing a long fantasy series is that each book must further develop the characters and the plot, while leading towards a final conclusion. And at the same time the individual story must be actually worth reading. It must have a start and a finish and a purpose or plot of its own, rather than just being a continuation of a drawn out saga.
My love affair with HoN is over. If this review seems harsh it’s because I feel that the affair ended badly. I really can’t recommend Tempted but if as a reader you enjoyed the previous book in this series (Hunted) you probably won’t find anything too objectionable about this latest instalment. If like me you are tired of the HoN vampyres and are looking for a new object for your affections then you could seek out Melissa De La Cruz’s fantastic Blue Bloods series or Cassandra Clare’s exciting Mortal Instruments trilogy as a suitable alternative.
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