Friday, May 21st, 2010 01:31 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Zoey needs a break after some serious excitement. Sadly, the House of Night school for vampyres doesn't feature breaks on its curriculum - even for a High Priestess in training and her gang. Plus juggling three guys is no stress reliever, especially when one is a sexy Warrior so into protecting Zoey that he's sensing her emotions. Wider stresses lurk too, and the dark force in Tulsa's tunnels is spreading. Could Stevie Rae be responsible for more than a group of misfit fledglings? And Aphrodite's visions warn Zoey to stay away from the immortal Kalona and his dark allure - but they also show that only Zoey can stop him. She's not exactly keen to meet up, but if Zoey doesn't go to Kalona he'll exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. She just has to find the courage to do what's necessary, or everything that's important to her will be destroyed.

Thoughts: My mid-book impressions of this book stayed pretty much accurate throughout the last half, too. Sometimes characters had great moments of sounding like their old and realistic selves, but other times they seemed to be just cardboard cutouts of themselves. Like they were actually reduced to stereotypes and stopped being actual characters at all. Aphrodite got much more shallow and vacuous overnight, Stevie Rae became more countrified, Erin and Shaunee became stereotyped teenage girls who giggle at silly things... All things they did before, yes, but now it seems that's about all their is to them, and it was a big disappointment.

The changing point of view continued to be annoying, although it served a greater purpose later on than in the beginning. Most of the book still took place from Zoey's perspective, still in the same first-person voice I got comfortably used to in the earlier books,. but then chapters from Aphrodite's, Rephaim's,, Stevie Rae's, and even Heath's perspectives, switched to third-person, would interrupt the flow. They would give important information and detail important events, but they still didn't fit as well into the story.

It took me far longer to finish this book than I wanted it to, because I was so very bored through most of it. Maybe I've just been reading the others so much that I burned myself out of them, or maybe this one really was a deal-breaker, but either way, I'm going to have a nice long break from the series before I tackle the next book. I'm afraid I can't recommend this one to anyone but die-hard fans of the series, and yes, I'm aware that saying that about the sixth book of a series is pretty pointless. If you made it this far, you may as well keep going.

But I can't say you'll enjoy it. Imporant things happens, but the majority of the book felt like filler, dull and unappetizing. The ending, I admit, is quite exciting and interesting, but when you have to go through an entire book to find about 10 pages of seriously heavy and intense action, the awesomeness of the ending is so heavily tempered with disappointment that even that doesn't inspire me to pick up the next one in a hurry.

Definitely taking a break from the series.

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