Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Destined by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Title: Destined
Series: House of Night #9
Author(s): P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Genre: Young Adult Supernatural
Elements: Vampyres, Deities, Immortals
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-13: 9780312650254
Release:October 25, 2011
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): Can love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness?


Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

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 at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.



(Because there are so many characters to summarize I'm going to try to keep the summaries as short as possible.)

Zoey Redbird and her Circle (in elemental order):

Damien has the affinity for Air. He's usually breezy and upbeat, but Jack's death has brought him down.

Shaunee has the affinity for Fire. She's a very warm and passionate person, but she's feeling a little lost after realizing that she wants to be 'Shaunee' and not 'Twin' anymore.

Erin has the affinity for Water. Erin is usually a calm and refreshing person, but after a fight with Shaunee she wonders if she's really just frozen and cold.

Stevie Rae has the affinity for Earth. She has a strong, nurturing nature. Being the first Red Vampyre and High Priestess has put a lot of pressure on her, and recent events are leaving her shaken.

Zoey has an affinity for all five of the elements, but is most closely linked to Spirit. She is the leader and heart of the group. She can see past a person's outer facade and see them for who they really are. Zoey has been richly blessed by Nyx with great power and responsibility---whether she wants that responsibility or not---for such a young fledgling. This makes her a very special---and sometimes envied and hated---fledgling High Priestess.

Those on the Side of Light and Truth:

Stark is Zoey's Guardian Warrior and boyfriend. He's recently been plagued by bad dreams which have kept him from getting any proper sleep. Zoey helps as much as she can by using Spirit to calm his dreams. 

Darius is Aphrodite's Warrior and boyfriend. He's ever vigilant in his duty as protector. Though deadly in his skill with knives, he's gentle and caring with Aphrodite.

Rephaim was recently forgiven by Nyx and gifted with the form of a human boy, though during the day he takes the form of a raven as punishment for his past crimes. He is Stevie Rae's Consort and acts as her protector.

Lenobia is the House of Night's Horse Mistress. She has battled with Darkness in the past and can see how deep in Darkness Neferet is. She provides wise council for Zoey and her circle.

Thanatos is a member of the Vampyre High Council, the governing power of the Vampyre people. She has come to the Tulsa House of Night to be the High Council's eyes and ears. She has an affinity for Death and is a seeker of Truth.

Aphrodite is a Prophetess of Nyx. Her visions have been pivotal in the success of Zoey and her circle. Though the visions are painful and draining, they have prevented many disasters and deaths in the group. Having visions that only portend death and destruction is both physically and emotionally draining, and they have been getting worse, which worries Zoey and Darius.

Kramisha is a Poet Laureate. Her prophetic poems, though most of the time are confusing, have helped Zoey and everyone prepare for their battles with Darkness. Sometimes they are messages for individual people.

Those on the Side of Darkness and Deceit:

Neferet was once the respected High Priestess of the Tulsa House of Night, though certain of those around her suspected something wasn't quite right. Though Zoey and her group know Neferet's true colors, Neferet has still been able to deceive everyone else.

The White Bull is the physical form of Darkness. He enjoys death, destruction, and chaos.

Aurox is the vessel Darkness created for Neferet with the sacrifice of Zoey's mother, Linda, who Neferet murdered. Because the sacrifice was imperfect, Nyx was able to interfere by asking Heath if he'd rather be reborn or help Zoey by having is soul put into the vessel. With the imperfect sacrifice and Heath's soul in Aurox, he's beginning to think and feel, which he was never meant to do. Though he was made by Darkness to serve Darkness, he is leaning toward Light, if not a middle ground.

Those in the Middle:

Dragon is the Sword Master of the Tulsa House of Night. With the loss of his mate, Anastasia, Dragon has decided to be on the side of neither Nyx or Darkness, only himself. Having lost himself with the death of Anastasia, he claims he only has the dragon to be, and a dragon shows no mercy.

Erik Night is Zoey's ex-boyfriend and the Tulsa House of Night's new Tracker. He Marks his first assignment, Shaylin, in red instead of blue. She was blind, but after being Marked, can see and has the gift of True Sight. This definitely frazzles him. He hasn't made it clear where he stands in the fight between Light and Darkness, but remains in the middle.


During the ritual on Grandma Redbird's lavender farm, each of the circle members bring an object that represents a truth about them that no one else knows. Each of these truths are things that people go through everyday. 

Feeling the weight of a loved one's death; loneliness and wanting to rise above the fear of being alone; feeling empty and frozen to everything; fear of the unknown; and feeling like your going to break and fearing you'll never be the same again.

The overall theme of the book, as well as the series as a whole, is the battle between good and evil. We see this in many stories so it's nothing new. Zoey says that she feels as though she'll shatter all over again from the pressure of her role as the leader of her group. What I think she needs to do is when the pressure is too much, step back and let her friends help her. She's not alone in this battle.


The plot of Destined is written in the alternating POV's of Zoey, Aurox, Kalona, Rephaim, Erik, Stevie Rae, Lenobia, Stark, Shaunee , Neferet, and Dragon.

This gives readers more insight into the characters and their parts in the story. We see a lot of character development, especially with Kalona and Shaunee. We see a more human side to Kalona and a more independent side to Shaunee.

It was great seeing more of Dragons after having rad Dragon's Oath. The conclusion to Dragon's story is bittersweet, but I think the sweet outweighs the bitter.

Lenobia's point of view in Destined is a great introduction to her novella, Lenobia's Vow.

In regards to the fight between Shaunee and Erin, it would have been nice to see Erin's side and what was going through her head. But we only see one side of the Twin split in Shaunee's POV.



(For the setting I'm only going to mention Grandma Redbird's lavender farm.)

The lavender farm is the setting for the reveal ritual Thanatos casts invoking Death to reveal the truth of Zoey's mother's murder. This is not the only thing that happens at the farm while the ritual is happening, though.

Through the ritual the truth of Linda's murder is revealed, as well as the truth of Neferet's true allegiances. Dragons shows up and protects Rephaim from Aurox's attacks, but is ultimately killed. But in protecting Rephaim, Dragon is able to show mercy and ultimately Anastasia and Nyx. Zoey looks through her seer stone after prompting from Nyx and sees that Aurox has Heath's soul, and protects him using Earth from Stark and Darius' attack. Kalona arrives after receiving a call from Stevie Rae to help Rephaim. Kalona shows his love for his son and asks Nyx not to take him. After Rephaim is healed, Thanatos declares herself the Tulsa House of Night's new High Priestess and Kalona gives her his Warrior's Oath, which she accepts. And as they are leaving to return to the House of Night, Nyx leaves them with a warning.

As you can see, a lot happens in this short amount of time. So much is learned and so much is felt; it's like emotional overload.

My Final Thoughts:

I love all the revelations and character development that happens in Destined. With Neferet finally outed, it's going to be interesting to see what happens next. I'm really curious about what's going to happen between Zoey and Aurox now that she knows the truth about him, or at least part of the truth. I have a feeling things are really going to heat up with all that's been revealed in this book. I can't wait to read Book 10.


Chapter 13, Page 137

"Wow, you would not believe all the colors. Eek, and there's the Dead Fish Eye Lady, so gross!"

Chapter 22, Page 237

"I have seen Darkness. I have seen its carnage, its waste, its wages. I recognize its threads and shadows all too well. Perhaps it is because I have watched it for so long that I can also see that which is its opposite---that which causes the strength of Darkness to weaken, to falter. You, Zoey Redbird. There is something about you that cannot be touched by Darkness; therefore, it is your fate to stand in the Light and lead the battle against evil."

Chapter 26, Page 289

"Darkness does not always equate to evil. Light does not always bring good."

Chapter 27, Page 291

"Yes, I feel! I do feel, even though Priestess says I do not. I feel her sadness. I feel her fear. I feel her loneliness. Why? Why does Zoey Redbird make me feel?"

Chapter 29, Page 324

"The Tulsa House of Night has a new High Priestess, and she is Death."

About these Authors:

P.C. Cast was born in the Midwest, and grew up being shuttled back-and-forth between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology (at about the same time). After high school she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. After her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time.  Ms. Cast is a New York Times Best-Selling author and a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame.  Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath. P.C. Cast is an experienced teacher and talented speaker. If your organization is interested in information about her workshops or presentations, please contact her personal assistant, Camden Clark, at If the request is specific to her young adult series, you may contact her St. Martin’s publicist, Rachel Ekstrom, at Ms. Cast lives in Oklahoma with her fabulous daughter, her spoiled cat, and her adorable Scotties!

Kristin Cast is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who teams with her mother to write the House of Night YA series. She has stand alone stories in several anthologies, as well as editorial credits. Currently Kristin attends college in Oklahoma where she is focusing on attaining her dream of opening a no kill dog rescue shelter in midtown Tulsa.

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