Anna's Reviews > Awakened

Awakened by P.C. Cast
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Warning: There is a lot of negativity in this review. Please don't get all "If you don't have anything nice to say DON'T SAY IT AT ALL!"

Please. The point of reviewing is to share one's personal thoughts of the book. The point is to share the opinions even when they differ from others. Because they're opinions. It really doesn't take any longer to rant than it does to rave, and either way it's to express strong thoughts and feelings. I want to express myself. Besides, I'm typing all this on my nook during free time at school so I'm not exactly missing anything.

Now, first order of business - LOOK AT THAT COVER! I DEMAND THEE TO LOOK AT IT! I swear the covers are the best part of the series and this is my favorite. It's gorgeous and it's my bird boy; who remains to be pretty much the only character I really like. The Destined cover sucks though. Just saying.

Now I move onto my very long explanation of my feelings on this series since Marked. I'd really rather not do eight separate reviews so I figure I'll combine them all here.

First of all, to summarize my feelings of HoN:

I didn't like Marked. I really didn't. At the time I suffered from an OCD of finishing any series I'd started and that's pretty much the only reason why I moved onto Betrayed. Also... I was not aware it would be 12 freaking novels. I continued beyond the sequel because it did get a little better with each book. I even found myself starting to enjoy the series to some sick extent. The Cast can't hardly write decent characters but they do have an interesting mythology to their world. In the beginning I was very intrigued by the idea of Wiccan-like vampires, as well as the other crap they kept adding.

Sadly, the series has dragged the plot through the mud and back. Zoey and the gang rarely solve anything while villains and problems just keep coming. It's hard to believe they haven't been sleeping for the past eight books for all the progress they've made! Along with that, the mythology that once interested me has been piled and piled onto and is now a mess. I all but smashed my head against the wall when they decided to add fae into the mix at Awakened (or perhaps Burned since sprites were mentioned). What's the point? Eight books and you've decided to add a completely different species out of the blue for no particular reason at all? I think the Cast team bit off more than they could chew with a 12 book contract and are just trying to stretch it as thin as possible to fill the requirement.

It's all probably connected - which is why it's been able to hold me thus far - but now I'm just tired of it all. It's the story that never ends and can no longer make up for the horrible characterization and teen drama.

And yes, the characters are awful and only get worse. I think I might have just gotten used to it; perhaps in the same way one might get used to a foul odor if they deal with it long enough. Must have not been as accustomed as I thought because it did get to me.

My main problem is the protagonist: Zoey Redbird. I've actually hated her from the beginning. She's the beautiful Chosen One of the Goddess Nyx- meaning Nyx basically just decided to make her the most powerful fledgling/vampire in history by gifting her with all 5 elements. Most vampires only get one gift (if they're lucky) but Zoey gets five right off the bat for no particular reason except she's just that super uber special. After becoming chosen, Zoey transfers to her new school. It's there she immediately gains a group of friends. It's there she brings down the seemingly untouchable Queen Bee. It's there she quickly becomes the leader of the school's most prestigious club. It's there she takes on the esteemed role of High Priestess in training. It's there she begins a relationship with literally the hottest guy in school, while her ex continues to pine for her as if she herself is a goddess.

This is all just the first book.

The first 306-paged book.

By this point I know I've been exposed to the worst case of Mary Sue since Twilight. In fact, now that I think of it, both these chicks are vapid lovers of prissy vamps and have last names relating to birds. How precious.

Zoey really just gets worse from there. I pitied her at some points but that was largely due to my own deep hatred of Nefret and Heath. Truth is: Zoey is immature, hypocritical, shallow, and stupid. She judges and complains about anyone different from herself. I was particularly offended by her sneering of goths, or rather, "losers" as she calls them. I've never considered myself goth but I've always loved black, spikes, and skulls so people typically assumed I am, or used to. I was criticized by other kids in both middle and high school for being "the creepy goth girl." Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with that in recent years but I haven't forgotten about it. It made me sympathetic towards kids who really are goth, to say the least.

The protagonist is supposed to be someone you can relate to, not your bullies.

And isn't at least one goth going to pick up a vampire book? Not to be stereotypical but... seriously!?

Zoey certainly has the makings of a bully, such as stressing her positive qualities in light of others negative qualities. Like how she's not like "those freak anorexic girls" or those girls "with the raccoon eyes." Alright, Zoey. We understand you're not like those silly girls with the horrible mental illness that kills millions of teenagers every year. And thank you for reminding us what FREAKS they are! And, like, no way! It's so interesting how thin you apply your eyeliner. The fact you're specifically not like the "raccoon girls" makes me like you more as a person.

To make a point of how both judgmental and hypocritical she is: The slut bashing. She talks trash about girls she finds slutty and loves to chortle about what a "skanky ho" Aphrodite is. Girls like that are bellow Zoey, who would never do anything that's considered slutty. Oh no! She might be getting into sexually charged bloodsucking with her ex while flirting with her teacher but that doesn't make her disloyal to her current boyfriend!

In all seriousness... this girl is ridiculous when it comes to men. I remember her saying something along the lines of: "It doesn't feel like I'm a slut, it feels like I'm attracted to multiple guys."

No, honey. Just no.

There's nothing wrong with being attracted to multiple people at once. It happens. However, it is wrong to act on that attraction while in a relationship. Zoey basically accepted the idea of having "three boyfriends" like it was an accident. Her "official" boyfriend was Erik, who had no idea she was involved with Heath and Loren. You guys remember Loren, right? The teacher who Erik caught shaking up with Zoey? She cheated on him, plain and simple and yet... amazingly, they make ERIK the bad guy for being angry. Yes, he said some harsh things to Zoey but for crap's sake he walked in on her and Loren in a naked embrace! It's bad enough to know you've been cheated on but it's got to be so much worse to actually see it. If the situation had been reversed, Zoey and her friends would no doubt be spitting fire about what a jerk Erik was for sleeping with some "ho-bag." But the situation isn't reversed. Instead her friends comfort her from the big bad (now ex) boyfriend.

I'm not even getting started on Kalona and Stark. There just aren't enough characters allowed on goodreads reviews for me to go on and on about how Zoey is a classic TSTL protagonist that attracts unrealistically gorgeous men just by breathing... or that she develops an attachment to one of them despite knowing he's a thousand or so year old serial rapist and murderer. In a sense, I understand the circumstances made it difficult for her not to have an attachment. Even so, she allowed herself to be unnecessarily vulnerable and trusting towards someone she knew was the enemy. It took him killing Heath in front of her to finally accept he truly was evil.

A lot of people dismiss her messing around with different guys because it's acceptable for a High Priestess to have a warrior, a human consul, and a vampire lover. This could be a legitimate part of their culture but it also sounds like an excuse. Keep in mind she didn't even find out about this until AFTER the Heath/Erik/Loren fiasco so it's not as if she was just embracing customs. It really could have always been part of the plan, but at the point of revelation it's as if the authors were just yelling: "SEE! IT'S OKAY, SHE'S NOT A SLUT!!!"

Actually it still doesn't seem right. Does it count when your consul and warrior are also basically your lovers? And should it really be justified if it hurts the guys involved? It's true they accepted her inability to commit because they wanted her happy, but they were obviously unhappy with it considering they were committed to her alone. I get not everyone is into monogamy, but this is just selfish no matter what.

Her screwing around also got in the way of the plot too much. The world is falling into chaos but Zoey likes to spend most of her thinking time mooning over how troublesome it is to juggle boyfriends.

Oh man, I could go on but really shouldn't.

The supporting characters helped but as the series progressed they became less important. Or rather, maybe they just seem less important because I'm so tired of them. They really became more like like Zoey's litter of loyal puppies and comedy props than actual people. The Twins were kind of funny at first but then just got repetitive. Damien is alright and actually seems to have a brain cell but that's about it. Jack was sweet but he was little more than technologically-skilled arm candy. Aphrodite is a rival turned ally and actually had some depth. I started liking Aphrodite and her blunt ways, especially because she was the only one who really bothered to knock sense into Zoey. HOWEVER, her sour attitude also became repetitive and now she just seems obnoxious. Every time she talks I imagine her screeching in my ear.

Heath... oh Heath. No one is this stupid. No one. He was a fracking damsel in distress with a dick. He has his place in the plot later in the books, but he really just came off as this unnecessary love interest that obsessively followed Zoey. When not doing that, all he did was moronically stumble into danger and Zoey would nearly kill herself protecting him. Heath's head was so far up his ass he could tongue his intestines. When I picture him, he's a studly blond with an crap-eating smile and eyes that stare as if the lights are on but no one's home. He'd just pop out of nowhere to smother Zoey with his "It's you and me babe!" drivel. It was disgusting and it was greedy. He loved her so much but all he really did was complicate her life by constantly pursuing her and making it difficult for her to move on. It was all about him every time he tried to shove himself into her existence, even after the first five or so times she said they were over. It's why I actually managed to be proud of him when he finally let her go in Burned. It was a little over due but it's nice that he finally decided to do something for her own good.

I like Stevie Rae. Sue me. I didn't care for her much at first but the rebirth gave her an interesting perspective on life. Though honestly, I don't think I would've liked her nearly as much if it wasn't for Zoey. Being inside Stevie Rae's head was like popping a pain killer after such a long time in Zoey's head. I felt brain cells dying whenever I read that girl's raw thoughts and spoken words. I'm not even kidding. There were times while reading Zoey's POV where my brain felt as if it were suffocating! You know the aching yet empty feeling of a tooth cavity? That's what my head felt like whenever she said something particularly stupid. Scared the crap out of me!

Many hated the switch from first person to third person narrative but I loved it. I prefer third person because I believe it opens the story more when you're able to see it through the eyes of others. It's especially exhilarating when you have a protagonist like Zoey to take a break from.

I loved Stevie Rae's relationship with Rephaim. Loved it. I remember I was actually getting sick of House of Night by Tempted and it was the introduction of their relationship that kept my interest. I wanted to find what would become of them and I wanted to find out more about Rephaim. He eventually became my favorite character because I loved his design, as well as his lack of atrocious excuses for "teen talk" the Cast infected the others with. Ugh.

Their relationship was also refreshing because it was different. Being inside Zoey's head was all: HOT GUY HOT GUY SMOKING HOT GUY LUST UBER SEXY EPIC LURV HOTTIE HOT GUY EPIC LURV WITH NEW SMEXY GUY SEX DROOL HOT GUY NEW LURV WITH DIFFERENT GUY HOT GUY HOT GUY. Seriously, there might have been some feelings in there but it was majorly just all flawless men and heated physical passion. With Rephaim and Stevie Rae it was emotional. Obviously it didn't start with looks but instead bonding from mutual trust and respect. It's very Beauty and the Beast but hey, I like it. Especially after the sausage-fest of fecking perfect men.

So yeah, I read on and I adored Burned. It's my favorite in the series because Zoey was absent for most of it and I got to see the development of Stevie Rae's new romance. It's the only book I gave five stars and I read it like fanfiction... Sad.

Now, I'm going to take a little aside to do some defending. I've done enough tearing down, so I'm going to take a break to build up.

Stevie Rae didn't become a new Zoey. She may have been nursing Rephaim while dating Dallas but her intentions were completely unromantic. She didn't accept her growing feelings for Rephaim until after it was over between her and Dallas. It was hard for her to realize she even had feelings. And there was that other guy people keep bringing up... whose name I cannot recall. I don't even count him because all they had was a quick interest in each other back when she was Blue. I don't think they were even official, but either way it was over with after she died. They don't see each other again until several books later and then it's just this very brief moment of "Oh hey, it's nice to see you! I'm so glad we're not dead!" So Stevie Rae has had more than one love interest but she can actually move from one to the other, unlike Zoey, who just juggles them all at once. I also felt Zoey's relations mostly consisted of: "You're hot. I'm hot. I feel so drawn to you somehow..." It came slower with Rephaim and Stevie Rae but that's what made it seem like something was actually there. They made each other better people.

Rephaim also gets a bad reputation because his daddy is the thousand year old serial murder/rapist Zoey had a thing for, and he's done some killing himself. Maybe raping, I don't know. What makes it different for me is that Kalona chose to become the way he was; Rephaim was raised into it. Once he started realizing what light was compared to darkness and what it really meant to love and be loved, once he realized he could possibly change he actually wanted to. And he did. That was part of what made his story with Stevie Rae so great to me. Kalona was a story of falling from grace; Rephaim was a story of redemption.

If there's anything I don't regret about reading this series, it would be the relationship between this Raven Mocker and Red Vampyre. Bird Boy and Okie. They were a very lovely and interesting development.

But even their relationship alone can't hold me anymore. I loved the outcome even though I found him to be a bit whipped in this book. I was very touched by Kalona's decision but really none of this can make up for the declining plot and crappy characters.

Diving deeper into that: What is with this language??? The Cast team try so hard to sound like teenagers and they fail so hard it embarrasses me to even be a teenager. Supposedly P.C Cast was a high school English teacher and that's where she got her material from. I have never, in my life, heard anyone speak with such idiocy. There's a lot of valley girl slang and fabricated words and I haven't heard either since late elementary to early middle school. Though I will admit, I have a friend who's a few years older than I and he does recognize some of the lingo... from the 90's. The phrases and words used in this book have no business in 2007 and beyond. I also heard that P.C writes and Kristin goes in and "teen-ifys" it. Well Kristin...



Just stop it!

Who says "hee-hee's"? WHO??? And another thing about Zoey... what's with a 17 year old girl using the word "poopie"??? I hate that word. I cannot stand that word. From toddler to tween, my younger sister used that word as a substitute for almost every adjective available. My mom, my dad, and myself all tried to train her out of it because we're just so sick of hearing it. There's just no one who would actually make that word a part of their daily vocabulary. I get that this is supposed to be some kind of endearing character quirk of hers... it's not.

There were a lot of problems with the writing. I'm not going to bother getting into them all. I will say there were a lot of inconsistencies. The only one that immediately comes to mind happens to be in this book. It's when Stevie Rae drove Zoey's car.... the car that was stolen at the end of the last book. There was no explanation of how it got back. No hint it had ever been gone. It was just... there. Also had problems with all the pop culture references! These can be fun IN MINIMUM but this series is so stuffed full of Glee and Trueblood you'd think they were being paid to advertise. Heck, there's a scene in Destined dedicated to a not-so-subtle advertisement of the Sookie Stackhouse series. One that could only logically be completed with a cheesy grin and thumbs up at the camera.

And just... ugh... There's nothing for me anymore. I couldn't even get 40 pages into Destined before I closed the book, put my head in my hands, and wondered why I was wasting my life. I could barely even gather the energy to read that far and it's safe to say I will never pick it up again. I've even lost the fire to continue with this review/rant. I don't blame anyone for liking this series because I was oddly addicted to it for some time as well. But seriously: I'm tired of the plot, I hate the main character, I'm sick of her twisted love life, and I'm saddened by her fellow twits friends. There is nothing for me. I quit.
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Comments (showing 1-5)

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Laura Wow this is exactly how I feel. You just put my thoughts into words.....and I have the same problem as you. I don't know why I keep buying those books when I don't even like annoys the shit out of me actually.

message 4: by Anna (last edited Mar 11, 2012 07:49PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anna Thank you, it's just one of those weird series you want to get out of but can't. I can't think of anything but bogus excuses for how I've made it this far and one of them is because I made it this far I might as well stick around until the end... doesn't look like that'll be happening.

Bianca Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, and AMEN. The graphics were exceptionally hilarious and much appreciated, especially the last one! You said everything I felt and more!!!

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I have a feeling after I read this one my review, or at least thoughts, because honestly I don't think I'm going to give a FUCK about writing a review, is going to sound very much like yours. I am ONLY reading Awakened to finally see how Stevie Rae and Rephelim (sp?) end up. Every.fucking.this.else makes me want to throw the book at the wall. In fact, I did reading Burned and I made my husband jump. That was probably the best laugh I had reading Burned. I like you have OCD with books, once I start a series I must finish. I don't think it applies here.

Sophia Oh my gosh, my mom and I were just talking about this. And we said the exact same things you said!!!! And why makes the whole series worse is that all of this happen in a 2 month timeline! Like, how the freak does all of that happen?!

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