Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: Revealed by P.C. and Kristen Cast

It's no secret that I am a big fan of the House of Night series. These books were my introduction to YA and also played a role in a decision regarding world building in my own series. At the same time, the greatest challenges I face when reviewing a House of Night book are twofold: (1) Not being biased and automatically giving each book five hearts. and (2) not ruining the books for those who haven't read them, while still aiming to provide a review that is actually worth reading. With this being, to my knowledge, the second to last book? That challenge is harder than ever.

Was Revealed perfect? No. It did several things that surprised, irritated or confused me. But was it bad? Again, no. It did things that shocked, amazed and intrigued me. But I think I should quit with the introduction and start the review. Maybe it will all make more sense that way.
(Summary from GoodReads)
The spellbinding eleventh and penultimate installment in the #1 New York Times bestselling vampyre series

Drastically altered after her fall at the end of Hidden, Neferet is now more dangerous than ever—and her quest for vengeance will wreak havoc on humans, as well as Zoey and her friends. Chaos is loosed in Tulsa and the House of Night is blamed. Can Zoey stop Neferet in time to keep her anger from escalating to full-on war? Or will someone else have to step in to take the fall?

The House of Night series is an international phenomenon, reaching #1 on U.S., German, and UK bestseller lists, and remaining a fixture on The New York Times Children’s Series bestseller list for nearly 150 weeks and counting. With more than 12 million copies in print, rights sold in thirty–eight countries to date, and relatable, addictive characters, this series is unstoppable. Now, in the eleventh and penultimate installment of the series, the action is more intense and the stakes even higher as Zoey and her friends battle to protect their school and home from devastating evil—all while balancing romances, precarious friendships and the daily drama of the House of Night's halls.
I don't know whether the person who wrote the blurb for this read the book or not. If they did, they sure as hell didn't read the same book I just finished five minutes ago.

Did I enjoy my time with Revealed? Sure. There was lots of good stuff in here for fans who are deeply invested in the series. And I suppose one should be if they are reading the eleventh book of a series. But, and this is a big but, this book was what I would call an interlude. Did things happen? Yeah. But they were little things that escalated, things that might normally get woven through a book. They did not hold up strongly enough to actually warrant being the sole focus of an entire novel. 

Things I liked... *ponders*... The whole Stevie Rae / Rephaim / Dallas issue that went on, and how it was resolved. The scenes regarding Kalona / Nyx / Erebus. (Who is a total asshat, btw. Really don't like you, dude.) I liked the growth in Shaylin and Nicole's characters, but their sudden attraction to each other seemed...off? Probably because I thought Shaylin was interested in Erik and Nicole use to be with Dallas. It didn't *bother* me. It was just more like "Huh. That was tacked on." I liked Damien and Jack far better. 

Things that bored me, confused me or ticked me of: The Zoey / Heath / Stark thing. Multiple partners doesn't suddenly become appealing to me because it's M/F/M. Sorry, but no. The passively written chapters about Nefret's history, complete with her seeming delight in pain--both her own and others. Blech! The way the book ended. There was no real structure here. I get that this is a "great" way to create a big problem at the start of the final book, but... I don't know. It just didn't work for me. 

I will say this much: I'm dying to know what's up with Old Magick and whether Sgiach has any clue how much the Seer Stone is screwing with Zoey. Did she give it to Zoey with this in mind? Or was it an honest mistake? Has something screwed with it that I didn't catch? (I'll be paying more attention to that when I re-read the whole series in 2014!). It's definitely left me with food for thought. 
Here's the thing. If you are a fan of the House of Night series and love these characters as much as I do, you will probably enjoy Revealed and would likely be well rewarded by reading it. However, in my humble opinion Revealed is not structurally sound as a novel. There's way too much trying to go on, there is no central resolution to the problem posed at the beginning of the story, and it actually ends on an (annoying!) cliffhanger. 



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