60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Listen, if you're looking at reviews for the 7th book in the series, you've probably read some of the previous books already so you know this: these books are like Twinkies. They're really terrible, yet are a sometimes delicious guilty pleasure. I hate myself a little more after every one I buy, yet I can't seem to stop myself either. I admit I even preordered this one. So coming into Burned, I fully expected to hate it... and was more than a little shocked to find I didn't. I even kind of liked it.
Okay sure, it's got 100% all of the flaws the other books have had... stereotypes, irritating banter, character indecision, hokey slang and dialect, and (particularly as seen in Tempted) a bit of a dragging plot.
But you know what it didn't have? A lot of Zoey! And almost none of the Twins! Halle-freaking-lujah! Instead it was filled with the characters I actually like best- Aphrodite, Stark, Rephaim, and (one I like to an extent) Stevie Rae. What can I say; the `bad' characters are the most interesting and by far the least annoying. The interaction between Stevie Rae and Rephaim is certainly the most interesting plot twist the authors have introduced, and this book is heavy on its development, with a lot of perspective from both characters. Stark also plays a predominant role, and while I thought the authors were a little weak on writing from his perspective (I think they seem to have a better sense of his character from outside of him), I still enjoyed his larger part in this book. Some readers clearly don't care for the frequent switching of narrators, but (aside from the Rephaim/Stevie Rae relationship mentioned above), I think it's the best thing the authors have done. Frankly, we can all use a little break from Zoey, and in a series we readers have had to invest so much time in, it's nice to be able to know some of the other major characters outside of just how the main narrator sees them.
What I'm about to say shouldn't really be a SPOILER, but I'll make sure to warn you anyway. So, really unshocking SPOILER ALERT: Now that Zoey's back together (come on, you really didn't think her soul would stay shattered, did you?), I suspect she'll be the main narrator in the next book again, and will spend lots of time with the `nerd herd,' so I'll probably go back to hate/loving it as much as the others... but Burned to me was a surprising breath of fresh air in a series that is dragging.
158 of 187 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.
A little background info before I begin: I loved the first four House of Night books, though I still had my issues with them. When the fifth book came out, I wasn't fond of it, but it was decent. Tempted, the sixth book, was just awful. In accordance with my two book rule (in which one bad book in a series is a fluke, but two means that I will stop reading the series), Burned was going to be the big decision-making book. After reading this awful novel, I can safely say I am done with the House of Night series for good. The Casts will not make another cent off me.
After Tempted's cliffhanger ending, Zoey's soul has shattered and she's trapped in the Otherworld with Heath. As her friends scramble to being her back before her body dies, Neferet sees a chance to permanently eliminate the threat Zoey poses. Back in Tulsa, Stevie Rae is dealing with her Imprint on Rephaim and her fledglings, both good and evil.
The only positive aspect of this book was the mythology. The one thing that made the House of Night series stand out to me in the beginning was the unique mythology unlike anything else that was being written at the time. I thought the Scottish elements and the thing with the black and white bulls were blended in well with the Wiccan and Native American mythology already present. If it weren't for that, I would have dropped this series at the first book, so at some point, the books were bound to get so bad that the mythos couldn't keep me reading. This happened during Burned.
What bothers me the worst about this series? The language. Good God, the language. This novel is categorized as young adult (with an ages 12-18 target audience). Zoey's "voice" as the narrator and the writing style that accompanies it has the maturity level of a thirteen-year-old. Meanwhile, the subject matter that has come up over the entire series is for about fifteen and up, if not sixteen. I find this gap a little puzzling.
I don't know who the Casts are copying this language from because teens that are the same age as these characters? They don't speak like that. The Cast women's attempts at writing authentic teen language are so off-the-mark that it's almost insulting. Of course, what would I know about how teens talk? I'm just a sixteen-year-old girl enrolled in a public high school! Don't get me started on Kramisha or I won't shut up.
I don't like it much when the point-of-view in a novel jumps around like a kangaroo on speed, but that's what happens here. I didn't like it in Tempted when they started changing points-of-view, but it gets so much worse here. Just as something began to happen with one group, it would switch to the other and follow them for a while. I know that they changed from Zoey's point-of-view (which I was thankful to see less of in this book) in order to cover Stevie Rae's plot lines and such, but I wish they hadn't done that in the middle of the series. The constant bouncing between groups with rare input from Zoey was not too fun for me.
I hated Zoey from the start, but I didn't let my hatred of her stop me from enjoying the world-building and great supporting characters. What I liked least was how she strung along three guys at once for most of the series, which was fixed with some character rape (excuse my vulgar phrasing) and death. I was happy about that. Then Zoey told Heath that she couldn't live without him and wanted to stay with him forever in this book. So her loved ones back in the living world were collectively worth less than this one boy? Ugh! I hate to see girls in books saying that they can't live without this guy or would die without him. Yes, you will live without him and no, you will not die without him. When will they get it? Men are not like food! They are not required for living! It almost seems like fictional girls can't survive on their own anymore.
In addition, the villains were hardly frightening to me because they were hardly there. I'm quite surprised the all-powerful Neferet hasn't found a way to kill Zoey yet without implicating herself and once the Casts decide whether Kalona is good or evil, shout it from the rooftops and write it on the skyline for me. He flips back and forth more than the points-of-view. I used to take issue with how convenient it was for Stark to be the one person in the entire world who could save Zoey due to his lineage, but I'm a little more okay with that now. That's still a huge case of extreme coincidence...
There are also time continuity errors I didn't pick up until much later. According to my research, Marked was published in May 2007, so let's assume that the book began in fall of that year. (It's only logical, right?) In Betrayed, Zoey has been at the House of Night for a month and Christmas happens in Chosen. At best, a month or two has passed during the last four books alone (Untamed likely took place over a few weeks, Hunted happened over an estimated three days, Tempted and Burned probably covered about a week each). No matter what, it is impossible for more than a year to have passed within the House of Night series, though three years have passed out here. But what's this? In Burned, they make references to Glee, which didn't start airing until May 2009! And inside the books, it's still 2008! I call plot hole! Call me out on it if I made a mistake in that math or if more time has passed than I'm aware of, but I'm absolutely sure it's impossible for enough time to have elapsed inside the books to be able to make Glee references and have them be timely pop culture. This is why authors should be cautious and careful when using pop culture in their novels.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. Maybe I could have passed off Tempted as a fluke, but it's obvious now that the authors have lost what got me interested in the first place. The Casts have lost me and countless others who can't take it anymore as fans. There are more fans every day to replace us, so it's not like they're truly suffering any losses.
52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was eagerly anticipating this book, but it is clear after reading it that the authors are merely dragging this story out for profit instead of the work itself. While the other six previous novels were paced well, this book drags. The idiotic and stereotypical language in this book is extremely annoying. The many different points of view border on the absurd. I can see introducing a couple of new povs, but everyone almost has a pov in this story and it leapfrogs between them.
You knew from early on in the book how Zoey's dilemma was going to be resolved so tension in the rest of the book suffers. I like the scenes between Rephaim and Stevie Rae, but overall just found the book lacking.
Hopefully the next book will be better.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2010
First off let me now say my point first and foremost; this book is HORRIBLE!
Okay now that is out of the way I can speak about why.
The story lacked major interest. I have read all of the previous novels and actually starting getting annoyed by tempted. Is this series supposed to be an indication of the modern day teenage life? This is disrespectful. I am sick of their idea of Aphrodite being a foul-mouthed brat. Their language is out of place entirely and more than slightly annoying. I am nothing if not a realist and while I do understand kids and young adults are inclined to use foul language in this day and age, I am not a fan of the swear words popping around every sentence maybe three to four times each.
I did enjoy the different point of views for Stevie Rae and Rephiam. I did not enjoy the Stark chapters with all his whining, temper flaring and insults, nor did I enjoy, as you may already know, the foul mouthed Aphrodites opinions and statements throughout the book. Neferet's childish demenor and aspirations [I am going to rule the world and be Queen!] have gotten me more than alittle upset. Why not just deal with her already or have someone, anyone, attack her! At least there would be alittle surprise in the series if that happened. This is a stalemate.
But I did really enjoy the different view point for Zoey. Possibly because they were few and far between and actually gave off a feeling of being confused and lost, if alittle selfish.
I agree with others who have said this series is being dragged out for profit. How much more can you introduce before you get back to the point? This is so unnecessary! They kept releasing this garbage and expect us all to gobble it up. And whether or not we'd like to admit it, we are! I am tired of this series and will NOT be reading the concluding books if there are anymore. I stopped halfway through and don't even know if this book ended or not and nor do I sincerely give a damn.
I would've gave this book no stars if it was possible. Message to the Cast authors; please never make another series. I fear for the children that might pick it up and read it or the young or older adults who think your books are worth the time.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The best redeeming feature to this book, which I eagerly awaited, is that I am officially BURNED off the series. With the scattering, random point-of views, poor writing, excessive cultural references (apparently to make readers feel part of the book, since empathy toward characters is nil) and the obvious lead-off to the next book I found myself increasingly frustrated that the book went nowhere. Zoey who? I LOVED the first couple of books in the series but found the last few distracted at best- random mythological references (vampires performing wiccan rituals? Priestess, queens and goddesses made at will?), "rules" changing at will as they serve the plotline, apparent domination of the world's cultural history made by Vampyres (although apparently it did not help their longevity? but every prominent historical name in the series was a famous vampyre, whatevah) and the fact that increasingly omnipotent Z can't use her powers to solve any real issues? What? I was looking forward to reading about her losing her powers and dealing with being "normal" but instead the only interesting plotline was Stevie Rae, a side character. Ick. I am just amazed that it is generating more than one or two stars at best. Very disappointing, but at least I am OVER waiting for the Casts' next production! Too many other good books out there- Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, etc... I'll wait for THOSE sequels and hope for the best.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2010
I was disappointed in this book. Most of it, I'm going to say a full 7/8ths of this book, was told from other people's perspectives. So little of this book was told from Zoey's POV--or even from people who were immediately around her--that it kind of felt like I was reading an entirely different story. A different story that happened to involve some of the people I'd met in other books.
I'm used to this story being somewhat fast-paced. This book wasn't. I mean, a lot of things were happening but they were repetitive. Characters coming to the same conclusions in different places and different times and then calling each other up to discuss what each of them had already found out. The characters kept repeating themselves and they kept repeating each other. (See how I did that? It's a good example.)
The last 1/10th of the book was good. I felt like the story was finally beginning--we were finally getting to the meat of this story!-- but no. It wasn't beginning, it was ending, and by the end of the novel there was almost no progression to Zoey's storyline. What progression there was shouldn't have taken up more than a quarter of that novel.
I hope the next book focuses more on the storyline I actually want to hear about. I mean, Stevie Rae and Rephaim are getting interesting, but I didn't sign on for their stories, I signed on for Zoey's. The first 5 books were written entirely in her POV, book 6 was mostly in her POV and this one has almost nothing from her POV. I feel a little jipped, to be honest.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I do not even know where to begin with all of the things that I HATE about this book. So I will just put it all down.
1. The book starts off from Kalona's pov like he is a good guy doing bad things-- come on guys, make up your mind on whether or not he is evil. And then you do not even hear about what he is doing until the end of the book almost. And Neferet, the baddie, is also missing from this book for much of the plot.
2. The characters in this book talk like 12 year olds who just learned how to use curse words. Everything is repetitive and explained over and over like the readers are at the 7th grade reading level. There were 7 different pov and all seven of those pov come to the same conclusions for their situation and then told each other about those same developments and then they all talked about those developments AGAIN with eachother. And then they each thought about what they had talked about. Most well put together novels sum up situations like this without boring the reader to death. They seemed to have used this annoying lack of technique to add pages to this installment since they lacked original ideas. They also used a lot of slang that they think is used in real dialogue and really this slang just makes a person embarrassed for who ever talks like thusly i.e. "skillz" was actually in a dialogue bit. Really.
3. I have disliked Zoey more and more since the 3rd book and, be that as it may, I would still rather have her pov rather than Simpleton Stevie Ray's. This book is mostly stupid, Stevie Ray's pov from Tulsa. She talks to spiritual bulls and worries about crap that has nothing to do with Zoey's part of the series at all. If she bothered you in Tempted, she will make you want to claw your eyes out in Burned. WHO CARES ABOUT STEVIE RAY ANYMORE? Zoey is not even sure that she likes her anymore. *Spoiler* She randomly "does it" with Dallas and then Rephraim shows up and all hell breaks loose... not well written at all.
4. I really felt like they were just throwing in elements from other paranormals that P.C. is in to. They really stepped away from the groundwork from the previous books. They apparently could not resist throwing in a character that has a scottish accent (and a little plot-line that ties in with it) just so they could use that highland brogue. It was very corny.
While there where many elements to this book that I disliked greatly, I disliked *spoiler* seeing Heath say goodbye the most. He was my personal favorite and I was very upset that they killed him off. *Spoiler* He says he will find Zoey again when his soul is reborn, but I am not going to keep reading to see this happen. The only good thing that came from Heath dying was Zoey may not be such a hooker anymore... I will just keep an eye on reviews from now on to see if anything happens that I feel I need to read personally.
This book should really have been a spin-off series. I wanted to read about Zoey, and the rest of the nerd herd (who are barely in this book). I wanted to see more happen with Aphrodite and Darius.
I love P.C.'s books, but her and Kristin working together= my soul crying.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2010
I'm giving this book two stars only because I was able to struggle through it without tossing it aside, and because in the beginning of the series I enjoyed the story. For such a short book, it took forever to get through. I realize these are young adult books, but at times (most of the time actually) they speak like much younger children. Couple that with the constant poetic prophecy and the rampant cursing and it's a chore to wade through. These characters sound like they are eight years old and have been given the right to rampantly toss out f-bombs with no one batting an eyelash. Most of the story was so boring that I found myself skimming large chunks while thinking to myself "blah blah blah blah", and having to go back and reread them.
I was disappointed to see that Heath, a character that was killed in the last book took up so much of this one. Zoey is an incredibly weak character through all but the last ten pages of the book, completely ruining her character for me. And don't even get me started on Stevie Rae's new roll. I can honestly say this will be the last House of Night book I read.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2010
Burned was a disappointing fizzle. I have been a faithful endorser of the House of Night series from the beginning. The characters were well developed and the plot ever thickening. However, as the series continues, everything about it has become muddled. From the characters identities to the story line, the Cast Women take too long to say nothing. And the dialogue is just ridiculous! I am from Little Rock, AR. and I don't know nor, have I met, a single person, black or white, between the age of 15-20 that speaks that way. At points it was just painful to read. Tempted left much to be desired but, Burned made me want to set the book a blaze in the back yard. I have said my good-byes to Zoey Redbird and the House of Night. P.C. and Kristin Cast have lost their way and a fan.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was given the book series during Christmas as a gift and got addicted fasted that I finished it all in maybe two weeks. I have been waiting and keeping up with ALL updates on Burned and when I bought it my jaw just dropped the language was still there but the story was horrible! It was very lacking and it kept jumping back and forth and I was expecting that to some extent since there were expectations of other characters views but, it was really bad! Just when I thought it was getting into something deep and meaningful it moved on and left little to be desired. Where the last book left off with such tension and desire for more this book clipped the story fast and what occured between each character. Yes there was more of Stevie Rae but not enough to hold the book together back with the back and forth. Even when there was action or something going on it was so poorly presented and builded up, I did not even come close to enjoying it the same way I did with the other books. The other books where packed with action, tension, romance, and left the reader wanting more. I am sad to say I was bored and by the last few chapters and only finished it because I bought it in the first place. I felt like I was reading more informational views than an actual story, it really disappointed and I really liked the series, so it is hard to write a bad review for it. Hopefully the next book will not follow the same path...because I have re read the other books just because I believe they are that great but this one is being put away and staying there :(.