Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Burned by P.C. & Kristin Cast

SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers for previous books present.

Burned is the 7th book in the House of Night series.

"'Y'all need to get yourselves together. Here's a newsflas from the only High Priestess you have left at this dang school: Zoey isn't dead. And believe me, I know dead. I've been there, done that and got the fricken tee-shirt.'

Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person - vamp or fledgling - who can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kings of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn't so busy being dead. Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it's going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae might have to give up a few secrets of her own..."

It is no secret amongst my book buddies that I am not a fan of this series. I thought the first 3 books were okay, cliched and silly but okay, but then it went down hill. Book 4 wasn't very good, book 5 ridiculous and book 6 very dull as the authors backed themselves out of the various corners they were in from book 5. Why having not enjoyed the previous 3 books in this series did I bother with this one? Because I managed to get it cheap and I wanted to see if it could get worse. I have a hard job dropping any series that does downhill if I've read more than 3 books of it to date. Dumb, maybe, but it's just how I am.

So, did it get worse? Honestly, I don't think it did. But only because what was bad in this one, was what was wrong with previous books. I'll get to that in a second, but first, this book does have one good point that deserves mentioning. The authors used their alternative to actual swear words no more than twice. And then went on to use swear words many times. Too many times. I lost track of how often the 'F' word appeared, but it was far more often than was needed. Every time a person swears, it doesn't need to be written out phrases such as 'so-and-so swore loudly...' work just as well.

And I believe that's where most of this series problems occur. Everything is written out. Time and again. Nothing is skipped, even if it was done in the previous chapter. One character finds/figures something out, tells it to the room, calls the next character and repeats it to them and we see it all, word for word. And every time one of them preforms a ritual to invoke one of the elements, we see it all start to finish again. Nothing gets skipped even though we're on book 7 now and used to the process. Repetitive and annoying. I also dislike how characters are stood around a lot, in a group or alone, wondering 'now how we gonna get outta this mess' and suddenly 'poof' all the answers they need are right there. Time after time it happens, but with no real cause. I'm sorry, I get that the characters are all about following Nyx and trusting her ways, but the way it's played out over and over is dull and irritating. Do something new already, or at least, if it's not going to change, speed it up.

Like the previous book, this one is from multiple points of view. 7 in total, with Stevie Rae and Aphrodite getting the lions share. Some characters only get a chapter or two from their POV but even so, I felt there were just too many. It didn't add anything to have certain POV's, just adding more repetitiveness. Each chapter was marked with the name of who's POV it was from, but there were on at least two occasions that I caught, mistakes made. A chapter would be in one characters POV but would then, without warning or notation, switch to another character giving up their thoughts instead, before switching back to the original characters POV again.

I found this book very frustrating as it moved at a slow place with predictable twists and turns. I gave up properly reading it with about 100 pages to go and skim read it to the end. That actually made the ending almost okay for me, but I suspect only because I skipped the repetitive stuff and only read the 'new' bits. The book picks up where Tempted left off, one of Zoey's (many) guys dead and her shattered by it, her marks gone and apparently dead as well. Obviously she's not, that much was a given with her being the 'heroine' and all. What surprised me though, was the lack of Kalona in this book. He has been a major player through the past few books, but he's more or less forgotten here only appearing briefly at the start and finish, with little side mentions here and there which all basically say the same thing 'bad immortal must be stopped'. And for that matter, Neferet who's been there since the start, got even less of a mention, appearing only in a few early chapters before being forgotten about.

One final big grip from me about this book: how they got the Scottish accept across. I've got Scot's blood in me, my dad is a Scot and most of his family are still in Scotland. I love it there and I've no problem at all with the accent. But here, it drove me crazy because rather than simply stating that the speaker used a thick Scots accent, and only using 'Aye' to show it, every word was written out how it sounds for example, 'wumman' instead of 'woman'. As a reader it's irritating, but to me, it also made the Scots characters come across as a little stupid. I don't believe that was the intention, but really, was it necessary to show the accent in such an obvious way?

Overall, a bad book. Dull, predictable and repetitive with too much going on at once, without actually going anywhere. Many of the subplots (Stevie's secret meetings with Rephaim for example) don't seem to add anything to the series, but slow it down further. So not a series or book worth reading. 1/10

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