Burned, the seventh book in P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’s House of Night series, continues the story of Zoey Redbird, a 16-year-old vampyre High Priestess-in-training. The long-awaited story picks up immediately following the shattering of Zoey’s soul when she witnessed her long time friend/boyfriend/consort, Heath, get killed at the hands of Kalona, a fallen angel, with whom Zoey is also connected. This story is told primarily from the point of view of the secondary characters in the series – Stevie Rae, leader of the red vampyres; Stark, Zoey’s warrior; Aphrodite, Zoey’s friend and Nyx’s prophetess; and the Raven-Mocker, Rephaim, Kalona’s son.
While this segment of the series does further the plot that has developed over the previous six novels, and answers the questions left from the cliff-hanger ending of the previous book, it is rather more a detailed look at some of the other characters created by the authors than a continuation of Zoey’s tale. If the reader wanted further development of Zoey Redbird’s character, her relationships with Heath, Stark and Kalona, they will have to wait until the next installment.
Although it was a nice deviation to have these other characters take center stage, with such a startling ending to the previous book it would have been more fulfilling for the focus to be the development of the storyline of the main players. Furthermore, although the story was by no means short (384 pages), the story itself was only furthered along by a few days. At this rate, it might be several years before this series reaches its conclusion and readers get the answers they’ve been long hoping for. (The word is that there are to be nine books in the series, but if it continues to be popular, the authors don’t get tired of their characters, and the plot still has a long way to go before it reaches its natural conclusion, that number may not hold.) And, as this is a young adult novel, while read by both young and not-so-young alike, the target audience may well be into their late twenties or thirties by the time Zoey, Kalona and Neferet face off.
The Burned book trailer: