The Romantic Cynic's Reviews > Burned

Burned by P.C. Cast
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it was ok

** spoiler alert ** Burned is one of those books that you either adore, you shrug your shoulders at, or you loathe with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. In my opinion, compared to other HoN books, Burned was a let down, but I didn't want to burn--pardon the pun--it or anything. It did have its moments like Stevie Rae and Rephaim romance and the mythology but nothing really...happened. Zoey was restored, that's about the only thing I could get from this book. By the end of it I just felt cheated almost. The last fifty pages was the only redeeming thing that reminded why I bothered to read the series in the first place. I have never been a big fan of HoN to begin with, but I did find them to be short, exciting reads for a rainy day.

It took me a while to figure out what was bothering me so much about this book and why it took me so long to finish it. The others I whipped through in two days time, but this one seemed to drag on. I finally realized what was wrong after really thinking about the book as a whole and I narrowed my problems with it down to three major things.

1. The switching of point-of-views.
This series started out with a very distinct first-person point-of-view with Zoey. Now while Zoey was by no means a ground-breaking character, I have to admit she kept things interesting and having one main focus provided the earlier books with a smooth chapter-by-chapter flow. With multiple point-of-views you can't have that smooth flow. I get why they did it, but I think that if they knew they were going to start this, use it for all of the books, not just the later ones. And narrow the narrators down to three or two, because with every character getting a turn, it's too sporadic. As soon as you get to something good with one character, you're forced to go see what another is doing only to spend the first few pages playing catch-up. Then, once things get interesting with that character, it's back we go to another and more catch-up. While Zoey was annoying and groan-worthy sometimes, you never had to play catch-up when it was just about her. Another thing is, some of the character simply to have the chops to be center stage. They're at their best as secondary characters. Stark in particular got underneath my skin. I loved him the first books and then began to wonder why I did in this book. It wasn't until the very end did I start to like him again as he gained the cockiness and loyalty he has through Zoey's eyes. He losses a bit of edge when we have him as the narrator.

2. The "Bad" Guys
I'm confused; is Kalona good or evil? I thought by the end of Tempted that we had established he was evil, but that seems to be contradicted in this book. He hypes about feeling something like guilt and regret while in the Otherworld chasing after Zoey, yet the next thing we know, he's beating Stark to a pulp. I have a feeling he's going to be redeemed somehow and yet I just kind of want him to move on and do it already. Choose Light or Darkness; quit swaying in the middle for who knows how long. Again, I think he's one of thos characters that's better as a secondary. When we're in his head, we're as confused as he is. Neferet also bothered me. I don't get how she could stand before the Vampyre High Council and not have one of them sense the Darkness that she seems to have immersed herself in. Also, I'm a little lost as to why she turned to Darkness. I get that she wants power, but I've forgotten why she wants power so bad. Her motivations seem cloudly and kind of cliched to me (when going with the whole ruling the world thing). Does she want power simply to have power? I would've liked to be in her head rather than Kalona's because she's the true evil here. Or at least, that's what I was lead to believe by the end of this back. Still wondering about Kalona...

3. The Romance--or Lack Thereof
Yes, we had Stevie Rae and Rephaim as our main couple focus this time around and, yes, I thought their story was the best thing about this book, but, in the end, nothing really changed between them. Rephaim is still denying his love for her and while Stevie Rae seems to have accepted him, it feels almost forced. Plus, with Rephaim having a beak and being birdman, I don't see how their relationship could progress past the Beauty and the Beast stage. I have a feeling he's going to turn human or something in the future books, but I would've liked him to make his choice already seeing as the whole book was leading up to that: him choosing Stevie Rae over Darkness. I felt Dallas's whole flip-flop to the evil side seemed out of character for him, though I can understand where he's coming what with Stevie Rae continuing to lie to him and all. Aphrodite and Darius were barely in the book and we only caught snipets of their relationship. And finally that brings me to Zoey and Stark. I've always liked Stark. He seemed like a good match for Zoey, not too posessive like Erik and not too (how do I put this nicely?) ignorant like Heath. And while Stark went to the ends of the Earth to bring Zoey back, we weren't rewarded with any real connection between the two of them until the very end. While I was beating my head against a wall along with the rest of the folks that were eye-rolling at Zoey's three guys issue, I did find it interesting how each of her relationships were protrayed in a different light. I'm not saying I liked it, but it was interesting to read. What I'm trying to say here, is that all of the relationships never really progressed to the next stage. (I don't mean like third or second base.) I mean I want a relationship in the book to actually grow and remain stable. With all the flip-flopping of guys in the book, we never really got that. It's the same relationship with different people dragged through the same steps. I want to see characters develop through these relationships and actually learn from one another, get to a new level of trusting each other. Not just remain in the same "I love you and you love me, let's kiss." With Heath and Erik out of the way, I'm hoping to get that in the next book with Zoey and Stark. Basically what I want is some memorable, romantic scenes that make me think, "They belong together." and would make me start rooting for them to stay together. I'm not getting that feeling from any of the couples so far.

So, in summary, the book is readable and is alright for hard-core fans, but won't do much to sway the "meh" and "OMG I hate this series!" people. Will I be reading the next book? Absolutely, just to see where this goes.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 18, 2010 – Shelved
June 18, 2010 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Darya (new)

Darya Ok with the boy thing, soooo many teenage girls are like "oh I like love this guy he's so amazing." and then like two weeks later they're like "oh I like love THIS guy." and he's not the same person. Saying you want some actual romance is all well and good, but I really don't think romance is the main concern really when it comes to the series. Zoey is only 17 years old, and maybe flip flopping all over the place with boys is her way of retaining normalcy in such a chaotic world. Obviously she'll have to make some heavy decisions on who she'll be with eventually, but maybe that will be saved for later. I'm not trying to sound overly defensive of the series or anything, but this series is such a nice change from the romantic crap in Twilight, this one seems more real when it comes to relationships, or at least the relationships I've had anyhow.

The Romantic Cynic I completely agree with you on that matter. Twilight has scarred the vampire and romance world right now. I do enjoy this series and I get that she's young and doesn't know what to do with her life yet. But since she's coming into her powers and seeming to grow-up, I also kind of want to see her grow-up in the relationship department. I want to see her make a decision and stand by that decision. It's just she's been flip-flopping over so many guys that I don't know who I'm rooting for anymore. In the beginning, it was Heath, then Eric, then I thought Stark was kind of cool, then back to Heath and I just want to see one stable couple that this series can expand on and develop. I don't think I made that clear in my review and I apologize for that. Thank you for your opinion though. It's nice to know someone reads my reviews. :-P

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