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Awakened

    Review: Awakened

    Awakened is the 8th book in the House of Night series by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast. It was released in hardcover, eBook and audio formats on January 4, 2011 in the U.S. The hardcover edition, published by St. Martin’s Griffin is 304 pages.

    It is available in stores or online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers.

    Description from the author’s website:

    Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over her immortal consort Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either…

    And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?

    In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?

    Zoey Redbird has returned from the Otherworld after Kalona’s failed attempt to keep her shattered spirit from being made whole. Even though she has returned, she is not yet ready to face the responsibilities that come with being a High Priestess or to re-enter the battle against Darkness.

    As Zoey chooses to remain behind on the Isle of Skye with her warrior Stark, Neferet returns to the House of Night to regain control of the school and the vampyres and fledglings in attendance.

    Due to his inability to fulfill his oath to Neferet, Kalona is forced to do her bidding, which does not sit well with an Immortal. But Neferet’s continued acceptance of Darkness has given her immortality and a power over him that he cannot refuse.

    As Neferet seeks to eliminate the threat of Zoey’s affiliation with Nyx and her status as a young High Priestess, her reliance on Darkness grows.

    Now the time has come for Darkness to exact its payment, and who will Neferet choose to unleash Darkness upon? Who will be the next person to fall that Zoey cares about? And will their loss be too much for her fragile spirit to handle so soon after Heath’s death?

    ***

    Awakened is the exciting continuation of the story of Zoey Redbird and her battle against the powers of Darkness. There is no break in the timeline between the previous story in the series, Burned, and this installment.

    Zoey, who has only recently returned from the Otherworld where her soul was shattered after the loss of her childhood friend and soul mate, Heath, is forced to return to Tulsa to the House of Night after the death of someone else she cares about.

    It is their death that is the catalyst that sets into motion events which will force Zoey to step up as the leader she should be, Stevie Rae to choose sides and possibly reveal secrets she’s been keeping from her friends and Kalona to decide if he is willing to sacrifice something in order to get back in Nyx’s good graces.

    Awakened alternates between the different perspectives of the characters, allowing the reader to see what is happening at all times. The authors begin to set the stage for the events that only start to unfold in the second half of this book and will surely come to a head in the next book and beyond.

    Each piece to the story is laid out in such detail, but the action, aside from the heartrending event early on, doesn’t really pick up until the final third of the book, as all the different characters and elements come together.

    It was good to have Zoey back in this installment, however there was still so much going on with the other characters that her part was not as prevalent as was hoped. And, while the other main characters were strong and decisive, Zoey’s character seems to have regressed.

    Perhaps this was intentional, due to the tragedy Zoey has faced, but where she was once strong, she came off as timid and unsure. And where previously she had a commanding presence, at times she came across as flippant and juvenile. However, toward the conclusion she began to regain some of her former strength and surety that were her most valuable characteristics throughout the series.

    In Awakened there are several surprises, both happy and sad, and the introduction of a new character that we will get to meet in the next book.

    The conclusion of this book will leave fans of this series anxiously awaiting what is to come in the next book, Destined, which will be released in November 2011.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=4]

    On a personal note:

    I am a huge fan of this series. Zoey is so different from any of the other characters I’ve met in books of this genre. Her journey throughout the series has been a real roller coaster. All the different elements, from the Red Vampyres to the Immortal Kalona, combine to make this series really unique.

    I love the fact that the authors are not afraid to kill off one of their main characters. As much as I sometimes want everything to be completely happy, it’s nice to read a story without a fairytale ending.

    This entire series is smartly written. Even though the storyline has already spanned eight books, aside from the previous book, they don’t feel at all like filler books just to drag the series on. And after reading Awakened, I am definitely interested in finding out what happens next, even though the beginning started off a bit slowly.

    The next book in the series Destined will be released in November 2011.

    To read an excerpt from the author’s website, click here.

    Book trailer for Awakened:

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week

    There are so many great YA releases coming out this week I thought I would highlight a few of them here in a special “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post as a last minute reminder for anyone who might not have pre-ordered them.

    First up is Awakened, the eighth book in the House of Night series by P. C. and Kristin Cast. It releases in the U.S. on JANUARY 4, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. If purchased from Apple’s iBooks or Amazon it will download after midnight on January 3rd. (If you’re in the Pacific time zone it will download from Apple after 9 p.m. local time.)

    I cannot wait for this one. I liked Burned but missed seeing things from Zoey’s perspective. I plan on reading and reviewing it some time this week!

    Shadowspell, the second book in the Faeriewalker series by Jenna Black will also be released on JANUARY 4, 2011 in the U.S. It will be available as a paperback and an eBook. To purchase from Amazon click here.

    To read chapter one online click here.

    To download (or read online) chapters one and two in pdf format from the author’s website click here.

    Another one that I have been dying to read. I just re-read Glimmerglass and loved Remedial Magic and so am completely ready for this book. I plan on reading and reviewing this book this week too!

    Hexbound is the second book in the Dark Elite series by Chloe Neill. It, too, will be released on JANUARY 4, 2011 in the U.S. as a paperback and eBook. All electronic books are available for download just after midnight local time from Amazon.

    Click here to read a chapter from the author’s website.

    Yet another one I’ve had pre-ordered forever. It’s always so unfair that you can pre-order the print versions long before the eBooks, but at least this one is in my queue. I hope to read this one next weekend so the review should be up some time next week. I would love to read it sooner, but there is only so much free time in a week!

    Night School (A Blood Coven Vampire Novel) by Mari Mancusi is the fifth book in the series. It will be released on JANUARY 4, 2011 as a paperback and an eBook. It can be ordered from Amazon and other booksellers.

    To read an excerpt click here.

    I’ve read all the books in this series and enjoy them so much. They are fun and easy reads. I originally liked Rayne better than Sunny but now I like them both equally. I hope to get to this book next week also and will post my review then.

    XVI is the first book in a new series by debut author Julia Karr. It will be released on JANUARY 6, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is sold at Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble and from other booksellers.

    Chapter one can be read online at the author’s website. When you get to the site just click “XVI CHAPTER ONE” on the menu and start reading.

    I just loved the cover and dark premise of this book and have had this in my pre-order queue for awhile. I plan on reading this book this week and reviewing it either this weekend or on Monday of next week. I’m glad it comes out a couple days later than the other bunch so I don’t have as much of a backlog!

    Unearthly is the first book in a new series by debut author Cynthia Hand. It is also being released on JANUARY 4, 2011. Currently Amazon only has the hardcover version for sale as does Barnes & Noble. It is already on shelves at B&N in some stores so you might be able to grab it prior to Tuesday’s release.

    I’ve already read and reviewed this book, but have listed it here as it’s an amazing book, which I will definitely read again. I received an ARC from NetGalley, but as soon as this is available as an eBook I plan on adding the final version to my permanent collection.

    The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #2: Bloodlust is the second of Stefan’s Diaries inspired by The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith and based on the TV series on the CW. It will be released on JANUARY 4, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. To buy from Amazon, click here.

    Click here for a sample of chapter 1.

    Note to readers: The Stefan’s Diaries books tie into the TV show. The facts about Stefan and the other characters match the information on the television show and not the books by L.J. Smith. (For example: The TV show has the Salvatore brothers born in a much later century and different country than the books.) So, if you have read the books but not watched the show, you will probably not want to read the Stefan’s Diaries books.

    I do plan on reading this book, but haven’t yet gotten into the first book. When I pre-ordered that one I hadn’t realized it was a TV show tie-in so I was a tad confused when I started to read. I plan on reading both books and reviewing but it probably won’t be until later this month or next month.

    ***

    I KNOW THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER WONDERFUL BOOKS RELEASING THIS WEEK. Please do not consider a book’s absence from this list to mean that I do not want to read those books. The above are just the books I have on pre-order and one amazing book I’ve already read early and reviewed (but plan on buying the final version when it’s available for the Kindle).

    Typically, if a book hasn’t been made available as an eBook I haven’t yet purchased it. That doesn’t mean I won’t. BUT IF YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER BOOKS that I haven’t mentioned that you think I should have, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! If I have forgotten to buy something that I should be reading I think I’ll be heartbroken if I miss it!

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    Book Watch: Awakened (House of Night Book 8) by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

    Awakened, the next installment in the House of Night series will be available on January 4, 2011 in hardcover, audio and electronic formats. All versions are available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And judging by the cover art for this book – the best yet – it looks to be just as captivating as (if not more) its predecessors.

    With Zoey back from the Otherworld, will she finally be able to defeat Kalona and Neferet? Hopefully Awakened will provide readers with the answer. This looks to be a great book to cure those post-holiday blues.

    To read an excerpt from chapter 3 visit Barnes & Noble and click the “Read an excerpt” link under the book cover image. It can also be found under the “Features” tab.

    Description from the author’s website:

    Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either…

    And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?

    In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?

    If you would like to read my review, click here.

    Book trailer for Awakened:

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