Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Burned: House of Night Book 7

Burned - Kristin Cast, P.C. Cast Also appears on my blog, The YA Kitten!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! 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.