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Tempted by P.C. and Kristen Cast

1/04/2011. Contributed by Pauline Morgan

Buy Tempted (A House Of Night series book 6) in the USA - or Buy Tempted (A House Of Night series book 6) in the UK

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Tempted (A House Of Night series book 6) by P.C. and Kristen Cast. pub: Atom/Little Brown. 319 page small hardback. Price: GBP 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-90654-80-2.

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We all make choices. Some are almost automatic, like what to have for breakfast or what to wear. Some are more important such as buying that particular brand of shoes or the other one. We make life-changing choices about careers, partners and houses. Few of us are asked to choose between good and evil. Most of us, if we were asked, would say that we chose good. Some might ask for a definition because occasionally it is not seen that something is evil until afterwards. Concentration camps must have seemed like a good idea in the beginning. Whatever the intentions now they are regarded as evil.

The characters in ‘Tempted’ are faced with choices. At this stage in the plot, they are potentially life-changing. This is a world where vampyres are an accepted part of society, even though not everyone likes them. To keep vampyre fledglings from harm, they are gathered into boarding schools, the Houses of the Night. Fledglings become marked by the goddess Nyx with a blue crescent on their foreheads during puberty. Not everyone makes the change easily. Zoey Redbird and her friends have had to make more important choices than the average teen-ager. They have not always made the best ones.

At the end of the previous volume, ‘Hunted’, they have managed to overcome a number of huge obstacles but are aware that they still face more problems. Stevie Rae is Zoey’s best friend. In an earlier volume, she appeared to die but then came back to life as a creature that had more in common with the traditional image of vampires than her fledgling friends. Zoey had faith in her and with the help of her friends, Stevie Rae was able to choose to accept her humanity. Although she will never be exactly as she was before she ‘died’, she has chosen to suppress the instincts that made her want to kill. As ‘Tempted’ opens, Stevie Rae is offered another choice. The group has driven away Kalona, an immortal who had been trapped under the earth for centuries but had been freed by Neferet, the vampyre High Priestess in volume 4, ‘Untamed’. The Raven Mockers are Kalona’s half-human children and most of them fled with him. A few were killed. While checking the area around the Abbey where they have taken shelter, Stevie Rae finds a badly injured Raven Mocker. She knows he is a deadly enemy and that should call the others to kill him since she has vowed not to. Instead, she sees humanity in his eyes, makes an important choice and hides him. At the same time, she decides to tell Zoey about the red fledglings (those undead dead vampyres like she used to be) that did not regain their humanity when she did and who still lurk in the tunnels beneath Tulsa.

As the novel progresses, it becomes more important for the characters to make the right choices. Not all of them do.

There are other issues that impinge. Zoey has boyfriend trouble again – too many of them - and she has to juggle her emotions along with everything else that sucks in her life.

‘Tempted’ has a slightly different format from the previous five novels. It demonstrates the problem of a complex plot carried forward by a first person narrator. To overcome this, some chapters are told from the point of view of other characters as they contain vital scenes in which Zoey is not involved.

This is still a good, fast-paced novel drawing the reader into the action though the series has now reached a point where volumes do not always reach a neat conclusion and it is better to begin at the beginning of the series that start here.

Pauline Morgan

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