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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Destined by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Destined by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (325 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

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 Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a 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 in silencing them all? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect him – and everyone – from his own fate? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

Destined reignited my passion for this series the moment I read the first chapter. I have been following this series for a few years now and have read every story to date. Unfortunately, the last few stories have left me feeling a little passionless when it comes to this group of kids I had come to care for. This story however, captured the reasons why I had fallen in love with the series to begin with. It showed me that this mom and daughter author duo still has the capacity to weave the magic that can enchant an audience.

If a reader has not been following the series, they'll most likely be lost if they jump right in with Destined. The stories follow the same group of young adults who are fighting the ultimate battle between good and evil. That means that Zoey has found her way through a barrage of tough decisions and loss. It is worth reading each story and even though I have read them all, after reading Destined, I am ready to go back to the first book, Marked,and start the experience all over again.

One writing technique that these authors use that really keeps readers interested is changing the point of view character. I can experience the same scene through another's eyes and catch various changes, or even get to understand the characters differently. It gave me a more enriched experience and kept me entertained. It also helped flesh out the antagonistic conflict because I then understood that characters who are thought to be on evil’s side instead fall into the category that “Darkness does not always equate to evil. Light does not always bring good” as the prophetic Kramisha had declared in this story.

While this is a young adult's novel, this is not a story I would recommend for young teens or tweens. There is profanity throughout this story as well as intimate situations. The characters in the book are older teens and some have already went though the change as they went from fledglings to adult vampires. They act accordingly.

Destined is a book that older individuals as well as young adults can enjoy. They really try the whole series. A tale as captivating as this one is deserves five stars as well as a place in my must read again pile.

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