Blogtober (#23) | House of Night Reread: Tempted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

6:30 AM

Onto Tempted! Aka, the one House of Night novel that might have shattered my soul a little bit. I mean, it only sent me on a mild sad streak back in the day. No joke, I was four seconds away from writing some angry fan-mail. Fortunately, my common sense kicked in and I remember it was definitely a fictional novel.

So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break.  

Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang.  

Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions.  Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings.  

Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal.  Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her.  

Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul? 

Absolutely real talk, quoting my original thoughts about Tempted via my old review: I LOVE YOU BUT I ALSO HATE YOU, P.C. CAST AND KRISTIN CAST. Why?! WHY? Oh my god. OH. MY. GOD.

That's actually all that my original review said. So, uh, it's safe to say that I was definitely offended by the events of Tempted. Gotta love that teenage angst, you know? I feel like I was probably having literary war flashbacks to when J.K. Rowling killed Sirius Black. Let's be honest, that was scarring and younger me was SO not having it. 

Ack, I gave Tempted a two star rating back then. TWO. STAR. RATING. Let's just leave it at that. 

Huh. A higher star rating now. So this is new. Up until now, my ratings then vs. now showed a bit of a decline. I'm a bit shocked? Truth be told, I definitely appreciated Tempted a lot more this time around. And, in all honesty, it was so fun. And heartbreaking. And magical. And shocking. And boy, did it burn bright.

I think that, with my first time reading it, my rating was so low because not only did the ending crush me (and hoo boy, it still does) but it's likely that the rotating POV may have confused me a little bit because it was such a change from the rest of the series' narration. That wasn't something I was used to and it absolutely lead to me forgetting quite a lot of the events during Tempted

So, this is going to be a genuine review this time, instead of a walk through and compare/contrast of how I used to feel! Tempted had so much going on for its length, which I appreciated. It felt a little more coherent, despite the sudden shift in narration, and definitely went on a path that surprised me even now. I liked seeing the inner workings of everyone's minds and thought it really refreshed the story and added a lot of layers to it. 

Somehow, Tempted felt a lot more atmospheric and complex than the other novels. I do wish we'd seen more of specific characters. I once again thought that the lack of Erin, Shaunee, Damien and Jack was a little frustrating. They have such a big part to play in the story and I wish we'd gotten more of each of them during the last two installments. 

But, back to positives: 

Although there isn't as much world-building in Tempted when compared to its predecessors, you don't really notice, because it's busy creating more emotional depth. We are clearly working towards the bigger picture. We see the heroes having won the last round, and now we get to see them picking up the pieces and preparing for the likelihood that they will be knocked down again. Because we can sense this, there's also an uneasiness to Tempted when considering all the secrets being kept and what could happen in the future.

Again, its weakest points were where the romance was concerned for Zoey--Erik is still insufferable and whiny and I am not a fan of him anymore, so I am beyond thrilled that that relationship is done, Kalona is a creep, Heath seemed a lot more mature, Stark was just kind of there but is definitely the front-runner for Zoey's heart. 

As for the other romantic subplots: Stevie Rae technically has Dallas and now Rephaim. Which could have dire consequences, given the circumstances. The build-up to Rephaim, aka a Raven Mocker and Kalona's favourite son, and Stevie Rae's future relationship has the groundwork set. Aphrodite and Darius are a power couple, honestly, and even though Damien and Jack are in the background of it all they're still going strong. 

Ultimately, this is one of the strongest installments of the series. It sets it up for a whole new phase of danger, romance, sacrifice, friendship and, as always, good vs. evil. There is so much to Tempted that will leave readers feeling unsettled and heartbroken, but we've got a good idea of what the greater picture will be for everyone.

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