Chosen (House of Night Series #3)by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast, Edwina Wren (Read by)
Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies. And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends.
So begins the gripping third installment of this ‘highly addictive series' (Romantic Times), in
Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies. And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends.
So begins the gripping third installment of this ‘highly addictive series' (Romantic Times), in which Zoey’s mettle will be tested like never before. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Just when it seems things couldn’t get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely reflects the truth…
“Cast reeled me in from paragraph one. I snorted and giggled through the whole thing, and devoured it in one sitting.” — MaryJanice Davidson, New York Times best-selling author of the Undead series
Zoey Redbird is back in this third installment of the House of Night series, which begins a month after Zoey's showdown in the tunnels with Neferet and her army of dead vampyre fledglings. While Zoey's pals are still grieving over the loss of Stevie Rae, Zoey is trying to cope with the secrets she is keeping. Problems with an evil High Priestess aside, Zoey must find a way out of the forbidden love triangle in which she is entangled and discover a way to restore Stevie Rae's soul, all while working uncomfortably close with her enemy Aphrodite. When things come undone and her secrets are revealed, Zoey faces losing the friends she depends on so dearly. Add the brutal murders of teachers at the House of Night-deaths that seem to be connected to her human family-and life is far from simple. Unfortunately for Zoey, it is only the beginning of the battle she must fight to save her school, her friends, and herself. Ultimately Zoey's self-centeredness and boy-craziness overshadow the more important story lines of Stevie Rae's victimization and the brewing human-vampyre war. Instead most of the book focuses on Zoey's relationships with her human boyfriend, vampyre boyfriend, and an adult teacher at the school. Nonetheless the book offers a satisfying dose of favorite characters, spell casting, and plenty of action, and ends with a cliffhanger that will leave readers clamoring for the next book. Fans of the series will not be disappointed. Reviewer: Courtney Wika
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)
Gr 10 Up
This installment picks up exactly where Betrayed (St. Martin's, 2007) left off. Zoey Redbird, leader of the Dark Daughters and vampyre fledgling extraordinaire, has discovered some mysterious and disturbing events occurring at her vampyre finishing school. Her ex-roommate and best friend, Stevie Rae, is "undead" and only due to Zoey's love and belief that she still possesses some humanity has Stevie Rae not become a true monster. Zoey must quickly find a way to reverse what has been done to her before it is too late. To complicate matters, Zoey is forced to keep this a secret from her friends and has been betrayed by her mentor and advisor, Neferet. Zoey knows that Neferet is behind the creation of these "undead" creatures and is not at all what she seems. For help, she turns to her rival, Aphrodite, who becomes her confidante and partner in crime. Horror strikes the House of Night when two professors end up brutally murdered. Cast takes the series up a notch with this installment, and readers will be on the edge of their seats waiting for its continuation. This book is a must for any library with a vampire following-but it does contain explicit language and sexual situations.-Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Read an Excerpt
A House of Night Novel
By Cast, P. C.
St. Martin's Press
Copyright © 2009
Cast, P. C.
All right reserved.
“Yep, I have a seriously sucky birthday,” I told my cat, Nala.
(Okay, truthfully she’s not so much my cat as I’m her person. You know how it is with cats: They don’t really have owners, they have staff. A fact I mostly try to ignore.)
Anyway, I kept talking to the cat as if she hung on my every word, which is soooo not the case. “It’s been seventeen years of sucky December twenty-fourth birthdays. I’m totally used to it by now. No big deal.” I knew I was saying the words just to convince myself. Nala “mee-uf-owed” at me in her grumpy-old-lady cat voice and then settled down to lick her privates, clearly showing that she understood I was full of b.s.
“Here’s the deal,” I continued as I finished smudging a little liner on my eyes. (And I mean a little—the line-your-eyes-till-you-look-like-a-scary-raccoon is definitely not the look for me. Actually, it’s not the look for anyone.) “I’m gonna get a bunch of well-meaning presents that aren’t really birthday presents—they’re stuff that’s Christmas themed because people always try to mush my birthday with Christmas, and that seriously doesn’t work.” I met Nala’s big green eyes in the mirror. “But we’re going to smile andpretend we’re fine with the dorky birthmas gifts because people do not get that they can’t mush a birthday into Christmas. At least not successfully.”
“Exactly how I feel about it, but we’ll be nice ’cause it’s even worse when I say something. Then I get crappy gifts and everyone’s upset and things turn all awkward.” Nala didn’t look convinced, so I focused my attention on my reflection. For a second I thought I might have gone too heavy on the eyeliner, but I looked closer and realized that what was making my eyes look so huge and dark wasn’t anything as ordinary as eyeliner. Even though it had been two months since I’d been Marked to become a vampyre, the sapphire-colored crescent-moon tattoo between my eyes and the elaborate filigree of interlocking lacework tattoos that framed my face still had the ability to surprise me. I traced one of the curving jewel-blue spiral lines with the tip of my finger. Then almost without conscious thought I pulled the already wide neck of my black sweater down so that it exposed my left shoulder. With a flick of my head I tossed back my long dark hair so that the unusual pattern of tattoos that began at the base of my neck and spread over my shoulder and down either side of my spine to the small of my back was visible. As always, the sight of my tattoos gave me an electric thrill that was part wonder and part fear.
“You’re not like anyone else,” I whispered to my reflection. Then I cleared my throat and continued in an overly perky voice. “And it’s okay not to be like anyone else.” I rolled my eyes at myself. “Whatever.” I looked up over my head, half surprised that it wasn’t visible. I mean, I could definitely feel the ginormic dark cloud that had been following me around for the past month. “Hell, I’m surprised it’s not raining in here. And wouldn’t that be just great for my hair?” I sarcastically told my reflection. Then I sighed and picked up the envelope I’d laid on my desk. the heffer family was embossed in gold above the sparkling return address. “Speaking of depressing . . . ,” I muttered.
Nala sneezed again.
“You’re right. Might as well get it over with.” I reluctantly opened the envelope and pulled out the card. “Ah, hell. It’s worse than I thought.” There was a huge wooden cross on the front of the card. Staked to the middle of the cross (with a bloody nail) was an old time scroll-like paper. Written (in blood, of course) were the words: He IS the reason for the season. Inside the card was printed (in red letters): MERRY CHRISTMAS. Below that, in my mom’s handwriting, it said: I hope you’re remembering your family during this blessed time of the year. Happy Birthday, Love, Mom and Dad.
“That’s so typical,” I told Nala. My stomach hurt. “And he is not my dad.” I ripped the card in two and threw it into the wastepaper basket, then stood staring at the torn pieces. “If my parents aren’t ignoring me, they’re insulting me. I like being ignored better.”
The knock on my door made me jump.
“Zoey, everyone wants to know where you are.” Damien’s voice carried easily through the door.
“Hang on—I’m almost ready,” I yelled, shook myself mentally, and gave my reflection one more look, deciding, with a definitely defensive edge, to leave my shoulder bare. “My Marks aren’t like anyone else’s. Might as well give the masses something to gawk at while they talk,” I muttered.
Then I sighed. I’m usually not so grumpy. But my sucky birthday, my sucky parents . . .
No. I couldn’t keep lying to myself.
“Wish Stevie Rae was here,” I whispered.
And that was it, what had me withdrawing from my friends (including boyfriends—both of them) during the past month and impersonating a large, soggy, disgusting, rain cloud. I missed my best friend and ex-roommate, who everyone had watched die a month ago, but who I knew had actually been turned into an undead creature of the night. No matter how melodramatic and bad B movie that sounded. The truth was that right now, when Stevie Rae should have been downstairs puttering around with my lame birthday details, she was actually lurking about somewhere in the old tunnels under Tulsa, conspiring with other disgusting undead creatures who were truly evil, as well as definitely bad-smelling.
“Uh, Z? You okay in there?” Damien’s voice called again, interrupting my mental blahs. I scooped up a complaining Nala, turned my back on the terrible birthmas card from my ’rentals, and hurried out the door, almost running over a worried-looking Damien.
“Sorry . . . sorry . . . ,” I mumbled. He fell in step beside me, giving me quick little sideways glances.
“I’ve never known anyone before who was as not excited as you about their birthday,” Damien said.
I dropped the squirming Nala and shrugged, trying for a nonchalant smile. “I’m just practicing for when I’m old as dirt—like thirty—and I need to lie about my age.”
Damien stopped and turned to face me. “Okayyyy.” He dragged the word out. “We all know that thirty-year-old vamps still look roughly twenty and definitely hot. Actually one-hundred-and-thirty-year-old vamps still look roughly twenty and definitely hot. So the whole lying about your age issue is a nonissue. What’s really going on with you?”
While I hesitated, trying to figure out what I should or could say to Damien, he raised one neatly plucked brow and, in his best schoolteacher voice, said, “You know how sensitive my people are to emotions, so you may as well just give up and tell me the truth.”
I sighed again. “You gays are freakishly intuitive.”
“That’s us: homos—the few, the proud, the hypersensitive.”
“Isn’t homo a derogatory term?”
“Not if it’s used by a homo. By the by, you’re stalling and it’s so not working for you.” He actually put his hand on his hip and tapped his foot.
I smiled at him, but knew that the expression didn’t reach my eyes. With an intensity that surprised me, I suddenly, desperately wanted to tell Damien the truth.
“I miss Stevie Rae,” I blurted before I could stop my mouth.
He didn’t hesitate. “I know.” His eyes looked suspiciously damp.
And that was it. Like a dam had broken open inside me the words came spilling out. “She should be here! She’d be running around like a crazy woman putting up birthday decorations and probably baking a cake all by herself.”
“A really awful cake,” Damien said with a little sniffle.
“Yeah, but it’d be one of her mama’s favorite recipes.” I gave my best exaggerated Okie twang as I mimicked Stevie Rae’s countrified voice, which made me smile through my own tears, and I thought how weird it was that now that I was letting Damien see how upset I really felt—and why I felt that way—my smile actually reached my eyes.
“And the Twins and I would have been pissed because she would have insisted we all wear those pointed birthday hats with the elastic string that pinches your chin.” He shuddered in not-so-pretended horror. “God, they’re so unattractive.”
I laughed and felt a little of the tightness in my chest begin to loosen. “There’s just something about Stevie Rae that makes me feel good.” I didn’t realize that I’d used the present tense until Damien’s teary smile faltered.
“Yeah, she was great,” he said, with an extra emphasis on the was while he looked at me like he was worried about my sanity.
If only he knew the whole truth. If only I could tell him.
But I couldn’t. If I did it would get either Stevie Rae or me, or both of us, killed. For good this time.
So instead I grabbed my obviously worried friend’s arm and started pulling him toward the stairs that would lead us down to the public rooms of the girls’ dorm and my waiting friends (and their dorky presents).
“Let’s go. I’m feeling the need to open presents,” I lied enthusiastically.
“Ohmygod! I can not wait for you to open mine!” Damien gushed. “I shopped for it forevah!”
I smiled and nodded appropriately as Damien went on and on about his Quest for the Perfect Present. Usually he isn’t so overtly gay. Not that the fabulous Damien Maslin isn’t actually gay. He totally is. But he’s also a tall, brown-haired, big-eyed cutie who looks like he’d be excellent boyfriend material (which he is—if you’re a boy). He’s not a fluttery-acting gay kid, but get the boy talking about shopping and he definitely shows some girlish tendencies. Not that I don’t like that about him. I think he looks cute when he gushes about the importance of buying really good shoes, and right then his babbling was soothing. It was helping me to get ready to face the bad presents that (sadly) waited for me.
Too bad it couldn’t help me face what was really bothering me.
Still talking about his Shopping Quest, Damien led me though the main room of the dorm. I waved at the various clumps of girls clustered around the pods of flat-screen TVs as we headed to the little side room that served as a computer lab and library. Damien opened the door and my friends broke into a totally off-key chorus of “Happy Birthday to You.” I heard Nala hiss and from the edge of my vision watched her back from the doorway and trot away down the hall. Coward, I thought, even though I wished I could escape with her.
Song over (thankfully), my gang swarmed me.
“Happy-happy!” said the Twins together. Okay—they’re not genetically twins. Erin Bates is a very white girl from Tulsa and Shaunee Cole is a lovely caramel-colored girl of Jamaican-American descent who grew up in Connecticut, but the two are so freakishly alike that skin tone and region make absolutely no difference. They’re soul twins, which is way closer than mere biology.
“Happy birthday, Z,” said a deep, sexy voice I knew very, very well. I stepped out of the twin sandwich and walked into the arms of my boyfriend, Erik. Well, technically, Erik is one of my two boyfriends, but the other is Heath, a human teenager I dated before I was Marked and I’m not supposed to be dating him now, but I kinda sorta accidentally sucked his blood and now we’re Imprinted and so he’s my boyfriend by default. Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, it makes Erik mad. Yes, I expect him to dump me any day because of it.
“Thanks,” I murmured looking up at him and getting trapped all over again in his incredible eyes. Erik is tall and hot, with Superman dark hair and incredibly blue eyes. I relaxed in his arms, a treat I hadn’t allowed myself much of during the past month, and temporarily basked in his yummy smell and the sense of security I felt when I was close to him. He met my gaze and, just like in the movies, for a second everyone else went away and it was just us. When I didn’t move out of his arms his smile was slow and a little surprised, which made my heart hurt. I’d been putting the kid through way too much—and he didn’t even really understand why. Impulsively, I tiptoed and kissed him, much to the general merriment of my friends.
“Hey, Erik, why don’t you spread some of that birthday sugar around?” Shaunee wagged her eyebrows at my grinning boyfriend.
“Yeah, sweet thang,” Erin said, and in typical twin fashion mirrored Shaunee’s eye waggle. “How about a little b-day kiss over here.”
I rolled my eyes at the twins. “Uh, it’s not his birthday. You only get to kiss the birthday boy or girl.”
“Damn,” Shaunee said. “I lurve ya, Z, but I don’t want to kiss ya.”
“Just please with the same-sex kissing,” Erin said, then she grinned at Damien (who was gazing adoringly at Erik). “I’ll leave that to Damien.”
“Huh?” Damien said, clearly paying more attention to Erik’s cuteness than the Twins.
“Again, we say—” Shaunee started.
“Wrong team!” and Erin finished.
Erik laughed good-naturedly, gave Damien a very guy-like punch on the arm, and said, “Hey, if I ever decide to change teams, you’ll be the first to know.” (Yet another reason why I adore him. He’s mega-cool and popular, but he accepts people how they are and never gets an I’m-all-that attitude.)
“Uh, I hope I’ll be the first to know if you change teams,” I said.
Erik laughed and hugged me, whispering, “Not something you ever need to worry about,” in my ear.
While I was seriously considering sneaking another Erik kiss, a mini-whirlwind in the form of Damien’s boyfriend, Jack Twist, burst into the room.
“Yea! She hasn’t opened her presents yet. Happy birthday, Zoey!” Jack threw his arms around us (yes, Damien and me) and gave us a big hug.
“I told you that you needed to hurry up,” Damien said, as we untangled.
“I know, but I had to make sure it was wrapped just right,” Jack said. With a flourish that only a gay boy can pull off, he reached into the man purse looped over his arm and lifted out a box wrapped in red foil with a green sparkly bow on it that was so big it practically swallowed the package. “I made the bow myself.”
“Jack’s really good at crafts,” Erik said. “He’s just not good at cleaning up the crafts.”
“Sorry,” Jack said sweetly. “I promise I’ll clean up right after the party.”
Erik and Jack are roommates, further proving Erik’s coolness. He’s a fifth former (in normal language that’s a junior) and he’s also easily the most popular guy at school. Jack is a third former (a freshman), a new kid, cute but kinda dorky, and definitely gay. Erik could have made a big deal about being stuck with a queer and could have gotten out of rooming with him, and made Jack’s life hell at the House of Night. Instead he totally took him under his wing and treats him like a little brother, a treatment he extends to Damien, who has been officially going out with Jack for two point five weeks as of today. (We all know because Damien is ridiculously romantic and he celebrates the half-week anniversaries as well as the weekly ones. Yes, it makes the rest of us gag. In a nice way.)
“Hello! Speaking of presents!” Shaunee said.
“Yeah, bring that overbowed box over here to the present table and let Zoey get to opening,” Erin said.
I heard Jack whisper to Damien, “Overbowed?” and caught Damien’s help look, as he assured Jack, “No, it’s perfect!”
“I’ll carry it over to the table and open it first.” I snatched the package from him, hurried to the table, and started to carefully extract the ginormous green sparkly bow from the red foil saying, “I think I’m going to save this bow because it’s so cool.” Damien gave me a thank-you wink. I heard Erik and Shaunee snickering and managed to kick one of them, which shut both of them up. Putting the bow aside I unwrapped and opened the little box and pulled out . . .
“A snow globe,” I said, trying to sound happy. “With a snowman inside it.” Okay, a snowman snow globe is not a birthday present. It’s a Christmas decoration. A cheesy Christmas decoration at that.
“Yeah! Yeah! And listen to what it plays!” Jack said, practically hopping up and down in excitement as he took the globe from me and wound a knob in its base so that “Frosty the Snowman” started tinkling out around us in painfully cheap and off-key notes.
“Thank you, Jack. It’s really pretty,” I lied.
“Glad you like it,” Jack said. “It’s kinda a theme for your birthday.” Then he shot his eyes over to Erik and Damien. The three of them grinned at each other like bad little boys.
I planted a smile on my face. “Oh, well, good. Then I’d better open the next present.”
“Mine’s next!” Damien handed me a long, soft box.
Smile wedged in place, I started to open the box, though I couldn’t help wishing I could turn into a cat and hiss and run from the room. Copyright © 2008 by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. All rights reserved.
Excerpted from Chosen by Cast, P. C. Copyright © 2009 by Cast, P. C.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
#1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author P.C. CAST is an award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance writer, as well as an experienced speaker and teacher. Her novels have been awarded YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and have received the prestigious Oklahoma Book Award, as well as the PRISM, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers Best, Holt Medallion, Beacon, Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice, and Affaire de Coeur awards. She lives in Oklahoma with lots of dogs, cats, horses, and a burro. KRISTIN CAST is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who teams with her mother to write the House of Night series. She has stories in several anthologies, as well as editorial credits. Currently Kristin is working on her first stand-alone novel, a dark, mysterious fairy tale.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Okay, so after books 1 & 2 I had to read the third (and actually now just finished the 5th and newest in the series.) I really didn't expect to like the House of Night series as much as I liked the Twilight series. Although I'd still have to say I like Twilight better, the HON series has deffinently caught my attention and drawn me in (when I didn't want to like it innitally.) If you like Twilight you'll like this series - similar and yet totally different, you've just got to read it! I'd say you don't have to start with books one and two (because the author "recaps" at the beginning of each book,) but I'd recommend doing so. The only problem is I feel like the heroine (Zoey,) has way too much guy drama - she likes/is involved with about three guys at any given time in the series. It also seems like she always attracts the "hotest" most desireable guys around her - amazing!
After finishing this book, i concluded with: 'Erik Night is too good for Zoey Redbird'. Like the other reviewers, the authors did repeat an awful lot of the previous two books. The story was very uneventful, my conclusion was that it filled 300 pages was because most of the information were things that were already mentioned in not one, but two of the previous books. Also, I am in absolute no favor whatsoever toward Zoey. The entire book she claims that she hates 'sluts'(which is one of the reasons why she supposedly didn't like herself), but in the end, she is one herself. This is most likely the worst vampire book I've ever read.
OMG this book is so effing good i was jumping up and down and screaming like a crazy person with all the stuff that was going on best book in the series so far read it in one day cant wait to read the next one
I LOVE THIS BOOK AND ALL THE SERIES I JUST COULDNT PUT MY BOOK DOWN ITS AMASING AND INTERESTING AND I CRIED ON SOME PARTS LOVE IT KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK THANK YOU FOR WRITTING AND KEEPING US YOUR FANS HAPPY MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
When I started reading the House of Night Series, I was not sure if I would like the series or not. I have read 3 books now, and I have to say that I am definately hooked. This series is about a young lady who is trying to deal with becoming a High Priestess, juggling her friends and boyfriends for that matter. Zoey's life is so complicated and she has to deal with a lot. I can definately see Young and old people can get into the series because it relates to the average person of today; Of course not everything (most young people are not marked to becoming vampires or priestess). You want to fit in, you want to have friends, and you want to make something of yourself. This book was really well written. I found it very hard to put the book down. I do have to say one thing....I really like Zoey's grandma! When her mom and steploser have given up on Zoey and her lifestyle, her grandma is there backing her up. Zoey's grandma gives her all the encouragement and knowledge to accomplish anything she sets her mind to do. That is what family is suppose to do. Zoey goes through a difficult time in this book.....She has/had 3 boyfriends (which one will she choose), her friends are really cool (until they find out most of what is going on), Stevie Ray is changing and needs Zoey's help, Zoey is going up against something big. Doesn't that sound inviting? Read this book, you will not be disappointed. Honestly!
I have to say this series is awesome! I read all 5 books in a week! I just couldnt put it down! I cant wait till november to read the 6 book!!!
Some series just can't keep my attention past the first or second book, but this series is great and just keeps getting better! A must read for YA fiction lovers.
There are vampires dying, a crazy high priestess on a rampage, but all you think about is the 3 love interest of Zoey. Heath, the human ex-boyfriend is my favorite, but he isn't zoey's. Eric turns out to be a total jerk, but he is provoked. Loren Blake is the new love interest, but don't get use to him. The series is getting so exciting. I literally read Chosen in a day and a half. Once you start you can't stop. P.S. Stevie Rae is back!!
This book is amazing. Out of the entire series they are finally facing the biggest problem so far and figuring it out along the way is the best part, as they slowly put together the clues of Neferet they find out who they really are and who their friends and foes are too. With Zoey still upset over Loren's death everyone hopes she can find comfort.
All of the books in this series are wonderful! I can say now that after reading the latest one out that I can't wait for more. This is an edgy and fun book with good character development and a good story line. I recommend reading the first 2 books before this one though just to get a little back story, even though things are explained for those who might not have read those.
Well this book was definitly at the top of my favorite list( also the last two books) i like zoey and definitly think erik is the best choice out of loren, heath, and erik. KEEP WRITING!!!!!!
Really good book everyone should read!
This is the third book in The House of Night Series and it is fantastic. The series is great the more of the books you read in this series the better they are you will love the characters. I highly recommend the whole series.
I read this book in thirteen days even though I was pretty busy. Anyways I am going to do a different way of doing this review and I hope that you guys like it. The things I like about this book were that it was the second book and we got to see more on Zoey finding out who the bad guy is. We also get to see with what happens when Zoey’s family, aka her mom and step-loser, goes to the House of Night and we get to meet Stevie Rae’s mom and dad who are so cool. This book has a whole lot of good things but also bad things. Like another good thing is that of maybe Damien getting a boyfriend and maybe one of the twins. The things that I didn’t like about this book are how Zoey kept on thinking about how Aphrodite is a hoe and other things. Though also I think that the word “slut” isn’t used correct in any of the ways that Zoey says in the book. Since the word “slut” means a woman or girl that sleeps with more than one man and Zoey hasn’t at all. This book is a really good book though and I am giving it a four point five stars. To read my other blog posts/reviews please go to my site: baronessbooktrove
Love these books Nobody listen to the haters. They just want you to agree with their opinions.
okay one, i want to see f the other one is better