P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Published 2010 323 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the book jacket)
Y’all need to get yourselves together. Here’s a newsflash from the only High Priestess you have left at this dang school: Zoey isn’t dead. And believe me, I know dead. I’ve been there, done that and got the fricken tee-shirt.
Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – who can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.
Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae might have to give up a few secrets of her own…
Burned is the seventh book in the House of Night series. It continues the story from where Tempted left off. As the plot thickens and the many layers of the world created by the authors surfaces, they launch a new story-telling method, one that helps bring forth the various aspects of the story. Up till this book the story was told mainly from Zoey’s point of view. In Tempted the authors reluctantly started telling the story from Stevie Rae’s point of view in addition to Zoey. With Burned the one or two dimensioned story-telling is abandoned. In its stead we are pleased to have the story told from many different characters. This multi-dimensional story-telling not only makes the plot more interesting than otherwise, it also serves best the purpose of laying down all important facts that help develop it.
All those too skeptical about the final outcome of this narrative method, rest assured it pays off beautifully. Taking into consideration that telling a story from different points of view can be both confusing and tiresome, the authors follow a strict patterned narrative. They have broken down all sequences of events, they have put them in a linear order, they have chosen the best fitted characters to narrate each event and they give all sides of the same event. Without confusing or perplexing the readers they allow them important knowledge and thus enable them to comprehend the fascinating world they have created.
Furthermore, this narrative method serves best for character development. Telling a story from a person’s point of view always highlights that person’s perspective, personality and modus operandi. It also helps readers familiarize with the characters, empathize, antipathize and sympathize. Especially for a plot that lays its significance on the choices each person makes, it is fundamental for the readers to have the ability to see inside the various characters’ minds.
Moreover, with Burned we have reached the core of the story, i.e. we are left without doubt about what needs to be done and what the characters must face in order to survive. Yet guessing what shall happen next is not easy. The well-structured plot hints this way or the other, but as always the writers know how to keep up with the suspense, how to surprise and delight the readers. They always leave a window of opportunity open and like life itself they remind us within each chapter that we don’t know what will happen until it does.
In addition, this is a very emotional book. For many characters it is not a simple matter of choice. For them it is a rite of passage, a journey of initiation. They need to go through this stage, in order to reach the maturity level necessary for the battles to come. And it is to the authors’ merit that they write each character true to their personality, infusing reality to this work of fiction. Reading about them one does feel that they are characters out of a book, but that they truly exist.
All in all this is one of the best books of the series, both for its strong narrative and for its cathartic quality. Fans will be thrilled.
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