Awakened by P.C. and Kristin Cast was released on January 4th and is the eighth installment in the House of Night series. This book is a bit of a departure from the other, earlier books in the HON series (prior to Burned) because we see things from a constantly changing view point. Burned was hard for me to read because changing the viewpoint between Stevie Rae in Tulsa and Stark on the Isle of Skye (and in the Otherworld) led to confusion, for me. I found that Burned read easier after I skipped to the last few chapters, read to the end and went back to the point where I had left off and read to the end again. Oddly enough, Awakened was NOT confusing, disjointed or hard to follow and there were MORE points of view used than in Burned. I don't know why that is. Maybe it is just me! You can find the synopsis/blurb on Goodreads.
I love the cover for this one, even if Rephraim was not one of my favorite characters until this book. The covers for the HON books are always beautiful. As for the actual story, I loved this book because we FINALLY got to really see Stark and Zoe together and you get the feeling that it always should have been this way. I loved seeing Stark all Scottish Warrior/Guardian in this book. He has really come so far as a character. I am so Team Stark it isn't funny. He deserves his happiness with Zoe. I have read reviews where they complain that there are too many sexual references for a YA book and that it reads like a romance novel. I disagree. The "sex scenes," if you want to call them that, were WAY less vivid than what you would see in a romance novel, a PG-13 movie or most of the movies on the Lifetime channel. I thought they were all tastefully done and that the subject matter was handled appropriately. I've also read a number of reviews claiming that the books were portraying gays in stereotypical light. Again, I disagree. Damien and Jack are themselves. It's who they are. Just because they are into decorating, purple, fashion and Glee does not mean that every gay person in this world would be. I also appreciated that Zoe gave Damien full rights as Jack's Consort. She treated them with all due respect and gave Damien rights that he probably would not be granted in our world today if the situation were real. I give kudos to the Casts for their treatment of the characters in the HON world.
Overall, I really loved this book and recommend this series highly, my only complaint is that Neferet has been pretty much winning for so long that I kinda just want to see her defeated already. It feels like Zoe and company just can not get a break and it is getting discouraging to read but I will see this series to the end. And... I hate to admit it but this book made me cry- more than once. Give the series a try if you haven't yet!
You can find out more about the House of Night Series on the HON Website!
Awakened earns 4 Fairies for Stark and general gripping story telling.