Nancy's Reviews > Awakened

Awakened by P.C. Cast
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Dec 26, 10

Read in December, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Oh. Dread. I'll start out with the positives -




Okay, I can only think of one. Such a great concept for a series of books. Bottom line - Zoey is a regular teenager girl who is going to high school when she is "Marked." This means that she will eventually turn into a vampyre. She's shunned by all and eventually reports to "The House of Night," a school for others who are beginning the change but not before she drives to see her grandmother, a Native American (Zoey is part) and experiences a spiritual experience with the goddess, Nyx, goddess of the moon. Zoey is destined to be a great leader.

Zoey arrives at the school which is very big into practicing Wicca. The high priestess, Neferet is stunningly beautiful but seems to be evil. Yada, yada, she really is evil, Zoey steps up, Zoey and her friends develop powers and affinities for the elements, have weird experiences, etc. See? Fantastic content for young adult audience. Then it goes downhill.

This book starts with Neferet having sex with some random warrior. He's not the one she wants so she kicks him out. But at least he's beautiful. She goes to the dungeon where she is keeping Kalona, an immortal, who used to be the Guardian of the goddess Nyx and who just failed to kill Zoey. Now he's a slave (including sex) to Neferet. Next scene: Zoey is on the island of Skye, recuperating from Book 7 with her guardian, Stark. They have sex in a grove and Zoey decides to stay on Skye forever. By the way, Stark is beautiful.

Interruption: Mothers, Are you feeling how appropriate this book is for young adults? But, wait. There's more.

Neferet has a debt to pay "darkness," the evil tendrils she commands to harm, maim or kill those she commands. She chooses to kill very sweet, very purple, very gay Jack, Damien's lover. And, oh, the stereotype is all over this one. Jack and Damien are completely about rainbows, puppy dogs, interior design, and painting their love for all the world to see. Did I mention these characters are sixteen?

Neferet makes her appearance at the council and - Surprise! All the adults are just too darn stupid to realize Neferet is evil. Because, as a rule, grown-ups just don't get it and really are not people to trust.

Meanwhile, our stereotypical southern, Stevie Rae is talkin' all southern for us and lamenting about her love, the Raven Mocker Rephaim. Rephaim is a great big bird, beak and all. But she loves him. It's important to point out how Rephaim was conceived. Kalona, his father, raped his mother and she died in childbirth. Special.

Continuing with socially unacceptable sexual practices, Kalona, Rephaim's father, discovers that he has a connection to Stark, Zoey's sex toy. He can travel into Stark's mind. Interesting twist to the story except HE ONLY CHOOSES TO DO SO WHILE STARK IS HAVING SEX WITH ZOEY! EWWW! She's 17 years old! Now we're talking statutory rape/rape (Zoey did not give Kalona permission to enjoy sex with her via Stark's mind).

Much to my better judgment, I did finish this book which gave me one more sexual anomaly. Neferet "gives herself completely" to the white bull. That's right, folks, beastiality.

Let's go over that list one more time:

1. Casual sex (even though they really LOVE each other)
2. Homosexuality and stereotyping of gay boys.
3. Rape
4. Statutory rape
5. Beastiality.

Almost insignificant is the book jacket that, if I had seen the inside of it, would have been a good indicator. Turn it inside out and you get a full poster of a teenage boy, well defined muscles, low slung jeans looking morose.

With four more books in the series to be written, I implore the authors to PLEASE develop a social conscience and 1) write better characters 2) stop insulting the reader with such garbage and stereotypes and 3) take writing workshops. I know P.C. Cast has earned prestigious awards but the characters lack depth, the story is not well developed, description of surroundings and action scenes lackluster or are absent, and the dialogue loses the genuineness by including the Scottish accent, Southern accent, and African American accent. Give the reader some credit in allowing us to create the accents in our heads. We know how to do that or sometimes we choose to concentrate more on content rather than worry about how something is said. 4) Stop grossing out the reader.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading) Hi David,
I'm not sure if your comment was meant for me or Nancy but in terms of inappropriateness for teens, I was referring to the language and adult situations. I have no problems at all with Jack and Damien---they are my two favorite characters in the series as a matter of fact. What I do have a problem with is the authors sexing these books up in an attempt to make them better instead of just working on the plot and the writing style.


Nancy David,

There are so many reasons I find this book offensive. I will not get into a morality or political match over the gay thing but I do find your defensive stance off-putting. I did not mean that the homosexual characters are reasons for parents to be wary of the book but I believe there would be parents who might. Calling this attitude is not homophobic, by any means, however. It's called parenting.

I won't gloss this one over. The characters are far too sexualized to be placed in a teen book. How much more interesting could a story be if an author concentrates on story development rather than who is doing who or by trivializing the sexual relationship?


David @Kelli,

I was just responding to Nancy's review. Sorry about the confusion.

@Nancy,

Teenagers are overly sexual these days. It's a truth that parents don't like to acknowledge but it's there.

Parents who ward other people away from books due to 'homosexual characters' is not a good idea because homosexuality is everywhere and people should just accept it. It's going to be in books like this, the media, and more. The faster people get used to it, the better society could be.

If anything, homosexuality shouldn't even affect parents who read this because there are so many other things to pick out. I just believe that maybe you should've left that out because it doesn't really bother people as much as others think it does.


David Another thing I like to add is that many schools in Texas and throughout the midwest are currently banning the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare due to one character being in the closet about his orientation and another character that is bisexual. It's absurd because the two characters are minor characters.

Parents, schools, and media centers constantly disappoint me whenever they find books with homosexuality offensive. Why would anyone be offended by it? What does it take for certain people to be socially accepted?


Alyssa Thomas I like your review Nancy. I agree with you about practically everything. But, I think David was okay in asking you if you meant homosexuality was bad. He even stated he didn't mean to offend you so I don't think he was coming off as overly defensive at all.

Anyways, I'm totally sick of this series, but I will continue to read it just to see how it ends. (Hopefully brutally and quickly for them all). I'm 19 and enjoy a little bit of sex in books if it's necessary and makes sense, but this is too much for me.


RainbowPotato I don't see the problems you have with the sex in young adult books most of them have it nowadays and at least it doesn't describe it in full detail like most adult romance books. And if you're a prude you don't have to read the sex scene just skip it and get over it. I know I skip them sometimes. And i don't see what's so 'offensive' about gays either people like who they like no matter what gender. And yes they stereotype gay people in the book but but everyone does a little stereotyping of their own. And technically Kalona isn't raping Zoey if Stark is the one doing her. But i do agree with the beastiality thing cause that's just eww.


message 7: by Alexandra :D (new)

Alexandra :D Oh!!! Bless your heart! Here is a person who knows a good book when she reads one!
I gave up on this series after finishing Burned. I literally flung the book across the room after I finished it.
I hate the plot, and all i seem to read about it sex, sex, sex it's wayyyy to much. It gets incredibly annoying, and yes this book is very stereotypical.
Thank you so much for writing this review. I was looking forward to finding out what would have happened with Rephiam and Stevie Rae, but you make me see it's not worth while.
Have an awesome day :)


Samantha Souza Amazing! Absolutely fabulous. It really is too bad that you can't win a best sellers (or something along that line) for writing a great review!!!!


RoxyinWunderlust haha this review made my day (:


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