FROM THE BOOKCOVER:Hunted is the fifth book in the very popular House of Night urban fantasy series for young adults (and adults that feel young). Untamed left us with a huge change in the status quo at the school and Zoey and her inner circle have escaped to the tunnels beneath the streets of Tulsa where Stevie Rae and the red fledglings live.
At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?
On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Eric, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?
Together they must find a solution to defeat Neferet and the immortal Kalona’s insidious plans. The challenge is that the staff and students of the House of Night are bespelled by Kalona’s magic with little likelihood of help inside. One of the red fledglings has written some poetry that Zoey and company come to realize is prophecy that if it can only be deciphered may help them liberate the school and vanquish Kalona.
There is less character development for the cast then in past stories with Zoey, Stevie Rae and Aphrodite receiving most of the attention. Aphrodite continues to be sarcastic and is the perfect foil for all of the serious goings on -
"I hate to be the one to clue you in, but Stevie Rae has more secrets than Paris Hilton has purses. On the bright side, I'm betting your lying bumpkin friend, the freaks, and your boyfriends make it past the bird boys."Zoey constantly struggles with the responsibility thrust upon her by her Goddess and we are reminded that she has only been a fledgling for several months and is still a teenager –
I felt terrible and helpless and breathless and too darn young. I wanted to flail my arms around and scream, I'm seventeen! I can't save the world—I can't even parallel park!This youth and the corresponding impulsiveness results in what would normally be a to-stupid-to-live moment early on for Zoey when she leaves the safety of the tunnels and goes outside after an argument, making her vulnerable to Kalona’ spies. So of course the inevitable happens. Zoey gets... (oops that would be a spoiler).
As an adult reader of the series Hunted left me less satisfied then previous stories in the series. It would have been nice to see some fleshing out of the other supporting characters such as the twins, Damien, Jack and Eric to give greater emotional resonance to Zoey’s inner circle. With five books completed we should know these characters better, yet they remain little changed from when we first met them. In particular, given that this crucial story arc was carried across both Untamed and Hunted, the final climax was somewhat of a letdown, too easily resolved with a surprisingly pacifist ending. Something weightier was anticipated given the big build-up.
Despite these minor reservations Hunted was a fast and enjoyable read, inventive and fun. Best read in order, the House of Night is solid YA urban fantasy fair for vampire lovers. I could not ferret out when or if there is a next book planned but there are more than enough unresolved story arcs for many more installments. We shall have to wait and see.
A final note, I believe that this is the first of the series to appear in hardcover and the production and dust jacket are gorgeous. The back of the jacket is a full spread poster of Zoey as you can see here.
AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial House of Night Website
St. Martin's Press
House of Night Series:
Read my review of the previous book Untamed.
Watch an interview with the authors.