Destined (House of Night #9)
But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia’s handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there’s the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more – or possibly less – than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there’s something strangely familiar about him…
Will Neferet’s true nature be revealed before she succeeds in silencing them all? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect him – and everyone – from his own fate? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.
Unlike the its predecessors, Destined is quite tame in terms of both drama and action scenes; when I think about it, not much actually happens. Zoey still hasn't learned to control her mouth, so Neferet is able to both discredit and humiliate her when she questions that Aurox is a gift from Nyx, the re-enrollment of the evil red fledglings does nothing but cause a few nasty words to be thrown around, and the employment of humans unsettles people temporarily, but is a minor blip in everyday activities. It actually seems like Destined is mostly a set-up for the events which will take place in future books as much is left unfinished: Lenobia's obvious connection with Travis (I'm thinking he is a reincarnation of the human she fell in love with which swore her off of humans for the rest of her existence), Shaunne and Erin's un-twinning, Shaunee's comment about watching Zoey and keeping her mind open and alert, Kalona's ability to enter Stark's conscious and Zoey's belief that Heath is a part of Aurox.
I won't get in to how annoying Zoey's refusal to use real curse words is (bullpoop, really?), or how overdone Stevie Ray's Oklahoman accent comes across, or how often a label (I think they're shooting for an Apple endorsement - iPhone, iPad and Mac are all mentioned) or pop culture reference is dropped (at last count, I had 21 including True Blood and Game of Thrones) because it's the same issues that came up in previous House of Night novels. What I am going to comment on is Zoey's overuse of the phrase "ah, hell" which I'm almost positive was used to end almost every chapter, the creation of some really irritating words like "ginormic" and "gihugic", the incessant bickering which had me wanting to pull out my own teeth (because it would have been less painful) and the fact that there were ELEVEN different PoVs! All things which made me want to bash my head into a wall. Repeatedly.
Per House of Night formula, the entire book is creating conditions whereby Zoey and her "nerd herd" + Aphrodite must band together to perform a circle and invoke the elements. Much of the book is preparation for this invocation, and its only during the last 50 pages or so that the action really begins. And then of course there's a shocking twist and we're left with a cliffhanger segue way for the next instalment. Oh joy.
This book (series) does not deserve three stars. But there's a part of me that knows behind all the tackiness and bad writing, there's a really good, really entertaining story; there are moments of pure brilliance which remind me of the House of Night's potential . And unfortunately, I am drawn like a moth to the flame - I will keep reading this series. Shamefully. In a dark corner, where no one can see me.