Book Review: “Destined” The Ninth Installment of the House of Night Series

By: Taylor Whittemore

Destined, the latest House of Night book by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, was released on October 25, 2011. It was published by St. Martin’s Press in New York, and was written for entertainment purposes.

Destined’s main focus is about a group of fledglings and vampires. A fledgling is a human in the process in become a vampire, complete with certain vampire abilities. They are undergoing the Change to turn into a vampire. The fledglings either complete the change or they die. The specific group of fledglings that the book is focused on is called the Nerd Herd by a character named Aphrodite due to their geeky tendencies. This includes Zoey, Damien, Erin, and Shaunee.

The setting is in modern day Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is mostly in the House of Night school and the tunnels under an old depot building; both home to fledglings and vampires.

Destiny resumes where the previous book in the series, Awakened, left off. It is the next installment to their adventures, and their quest to defeat the evil High Priestess, Neferet. Neferet is a positive character in the beginning of the series, often described as a mom-like figure to Zoey, the main protagonist. Throughout the later books, the reader learns just how evil Neferet is, and how strong her interactions with the Darkness are. The reader also learns that she is trying to start a violent war between vampires and humans.

Destined is the ninth book in the House of Night series. The first book is Marked, followed by Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned, and Awakened. They are all quite close in length, and Destined has 352 pages in a printed copy.

The authors focus on a teenage audience, but also included some mature themes. Cursing is quite frequent; however, it makes the vocabulary much more descriptive.

Because this is a later book in the series, there is little description of the surroundings due to the fact that they were all described in previous books. There is also very little description on the people, though the authors will put in a description occasionally to remind the reader what the characters look like.

The plot of Destined is very unpredictable. The authors have plot twists frequently, with surprising events happening once every few chapters. Because this is part of the series, the reader cannot predict whether the end of the book will be the end of the series or will be continued on in later books.

The authors interject comic relief into their writing, although Destined also has darker themes than some of the other books in the series, causing them to reduce the normal amount of comic relief in the book.

The characters in Destined are well developed, especially because there have been nine previous books to sharpen the characters’ personality and appearance in the reader’s mind. For instance, Zoey Redbird has been through trials and many tragic events throughout the previous books, but the reader is still developing her character in Destined. The new characters are described very well, and put a distinct picture in the reader’s mind. Characters have flaws, but they also have redeeming qualities to give the majority of them a likeable personality.

The dialogue, like the characters, is well developed, and each character has a very different tone. The book is written in first person, but rotates through different character’s point of view.

Destined was a well written book which will most likely appeal to teenage girls who like vampires, action, romance, drama, comedy, and adventure.

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