Untamed (House of Night Series #4)

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Overview

Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her?  Zoey's adventures at vampyre finishing school take a ...

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Overview

Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her?  Zoey's adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened in PC and Kristin Cast's spellbinding fourth House of Night novel.

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  • House of Night Series
    House of Night Series  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Zoey Redbird is losing friends even faster than she's losing boyfriends -- she's lost three friends in the last week alone. To make matters even more complicated, her last remaining buddies are undead and unmarked. As if vampyre finishing school wasn't complicated enough! The fourth entry in the spellbinding, neck-biting House of Night series.
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
Zoey Redbird has problems. Besides being a vampire, a favorite of the goddess Nyx, and the enemy of the head priestess, all of her friends hate her. All but Aphrodite, that is, and Aphrodite is hated by everyone else anyway. But weird things are happening. Aphrodite's prophetic visions are of Zoey dying, and invisible ravens are attacking Zoey in the dark. Soon she realizes that Kalona, a long buried evil being, might be rising again. Evil seems to be all around and Zoey may be the only one who can stop it. This is the fourth book in the "House of Night" series, and in order to truly understand this book, you must have read the other ones. Character relationships are not described fully and references are often made to past events. The assumption is that readers will continue on to the next book since there is no satisfying ending. The novel is completely entrenched in the vampire genre without any elements to bring in other readers. Plus, there is a strong religious element that conservative parents may not be comfortable with. Despite this, readers of this series will certainly enjoy it and read it with relish. Others will probably pass it by. Reviewer: Heather Robertson Mason
From the Publisher
Praise for the House of Night:

Twilight meets Harry Potter… Zoey Redbird [is] basically the most relatable vampire — sorry, fledgling vampyre — I've ever read about.” MTV.com on The House of Night series

Untamed is a fast moving and adventure filled read, with engaging characters and just a touch of romantic chemistry to keep fans guessing.” Darque Reviews

"The remarkable Cast duo continues to build a world that you won’t soon forget!” –RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars) on Chosen

This highly addicting series offers a unique twist on the standard vampyre story and is sure to please a wide variety of readers. Although she is a vampyre, Zoey Redbird’s journey is one for every teen... These books will have the reader laughing hysterically and sobbing unreservedly—sometimes all at once.”VOYA (on both Marked and Betrayed)

“Some would find it hard to write the sequel to a great book like Marked, but the Cast women obviously didn't have that problem. I laughed, sighed, and definitely cried. I thought that I knew where this series was headed but the authors took me completely by surprise...Bring on Chosen!”—Night Owl Reviews

“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, on Marked

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312379834
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/23/2008
  • Series: House of Night Series , #4
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 76,206
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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.

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Read an Excerpt

UNTAMED (Chapter 1)

The caw! caw! cawing! of one stupid crow kept me up all night. (Well, more accurately, all day—'cause, you know, I'm a vampyre fledgling and we have that whole issue of day and night being turned around.) Anyway, I got zero sleep last night/day. But my crappy nonsleep is currently the easiest thing to deal with since life really sucks when your friends are pissed at you. I should know. I'm Zoey Redbird, currently the undisputed Queen of Making My Friends Pissed Land.

Persephone, the big sorrel mare who I could consider mine for as long as I lived at the House of Night, craned her head around and nuzzled my cheek. I kissed her soft muzzle and went back to brushing her sleek neck. Grooming Persephone always helped me think and made me feel better. And I definitely needed help with both of those things.

"Okay, so, I've managed to avoid the Big Confrontation for two days, but that can't continue," I told the mare. "Yes, I know they're in the cafeteria right now, eating dinner while they hang out together being all buddy-buddy and totally leaving me out."

Persephone snorted and went back to munching hay.

"Yeah, I think they're being jerks, too. Sure, I did lie to them, but it was mostly by omission. And, yeah, I kept some stuff from them. Mostly for their own good." I sighed. Well, the stuff about Stevie Rae being undead was for their own good. The stuff about me having a thing with Loren Blake—Vampyre Poet Laureate and professor at the House of Night—well, that was more for my own good. "But still." Persephone flicked an ear back to listen to me. "They're being really judgmental."

Persephone snorted again. I sighed again. Crap. I couldn't avoid them any longer.

After giving the sweet mare one last pat, I walked slowly out of her stall to the tack room and put up the array of currycombs and mane/tail brushes I'd been using on her for the past hour. I breathed deeply of the leather and horse smell, letting the soothing mixture ease my nerves. Catching my reflection in the smooth glass window of the tack room, I automatically ran my fingers through my dark hair, trying to make it look not so bedheady. I'd been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and moved to the House of Night for just over two months, but already my hair was noticeably thicker and longer. And supergood hair was only one of the many changes taking place with me. Some of them were invisible—like the fact that I had an affinity for all five of the elements. Some of them were very much visible—like the unique tattoos that framed my face in intricate, exotic swirls and then, unlike any other fledgling or adult vampyre, the sapphire design spread down my neck and shoulders, along my spine, and most recently, had moved around my waist, a little fact no one but my cat, Nala, our goddess Nyx, and I knew.

Like who could I show?

"Well, yesterday you had not one, but three boyfriends," I told the me with the dark eyes and cynical half smile that was reflected in the glass. "But you fixed that, didn't you? Today not only do you have zero boyfriends, but no one will ever trust you again for at least, I dunno, a gazillion years or so." Well, except Aphrodite, who totally freaked and took off two days ago because she might have suddenly been turned back into a human, and Stevie Rae, who was chasing said freaked re-humaned Aphrodite because she might have caused the fledgling-to-human issue when I cast a circle and turned her from creepy undead dead kid to odd-red-tattooed-vampyre-but-herself-again kid. "Either way," I told myself aloud, "you have managed to mess up just about everyone who has touched your life. Well done, you!"

My lip had actually started to quiver and I felt the sting of tears in my eyes. No. Bawling my eyes red wouldn't do any good. I mean, seriously, if it did, then my friends and I would have kissed (well, not literally) and made up days ago. I was just going to have to face them and start trying to make things right.

The late December night was cool and a little misty. The gaslights lining the sidewalk that stretched from the stable and field house area of the school to the main building flickered with little haloes of yellow light, looking beautiful and old-worldly. Actually, the whole campus of the House of Night was gorgeous, and always made me think of something that belonged in an Arthurian legend more than in the twenty-first century. I love it here, I reminded myself. It's home. It's where I belong. I'll make it right with my friends, and everything will be okay then.

I was chewing my lip and worrying about just exactly how I was going to make it right with my friends when my mental stressing was interrupted by a weird flapping noise that filled the air around me. Something about the sound sent a chill down my spine. I looked up. There was nothing above me but darkness and sky and the winter-bare limbs of the huge oaks that lined the sidewalk. I shivered, having a walking-over-my-grave moment as the night went from soft and misty to dark and malevolent.

Hang on—dark and malevolent? Well, that's just silly! What I had heard was probably nothing more sinister than the wind rustling through the trees. Jeesh, I was losing it.

Shaking my head at myself, I kept walking but had taken only a couple of steps when it happened again. The weird flapping above me actually caused the air, which seemed ten degrees colder, to flutter wildly against my skin. I automatically flailed a hand up, imagining bats and spiders and all sorts of creepy things.

My fingers passed through nothingness, but it was frigid nothingness, and an icy pain sliced through my hand. Completely freaked out, I yelped and hugged my hand to my chest. For a moment I didn't know what to do, and my body was numb with fear. The flapping was getting louder and the cold more intense when I finally managed to move. Ducking my head, I did the only thing I could think to do. I ran for the nearest door to the school.

After slipping inside, I slammed the thick wooden door behind me and, panting for breath, turned to peer through the little arched window in the center of it. The night shifted and swam before my eyes, like black paint poured down a dark page. Still, the terrible feeling of icy fear lingered within me. What was going on? Almost without realizing what I was doing, I whispered, "Fire, come to me. I need your warmth."

Instantly the element responded, filling the air around me with the soothing heat of a hearth fire. Still staring out the little window, I pressed my palms against the rough wood of the door. "Out there," I murmured. "Send your heat out there, too." With a whoosh of warmth, the element moved from me, through the door, and poured into the night. There was a hissing sound, like steam rising from dry ice. The mist roiled, thick and soupy, giving me a sense of dizzy vertigo that made me a little nauseated, and the strange darkness began to evaporate. Then the heat completely beat away the chill, and as suddenly as it had begun, the night was once again quiet and familiar.

What had just happened?

My stinging hand drew my attention from the window. I looked down. Across the back of my hand there were red welts, as though something with claws, or talons, had scraped across my flesh. I rubbed at the angry-looking marks, which stung like a curling iron burn.

Then the feeling hit me strong, hard, overwhelming—and I knew with my Goddess-given sixth sense that I shouldn't be here by myself. The coldness that had tainted the night—the ghostly something that had chased me inside and welted my hand—filled me with a terrible foreboding and for the first time in a long time, I was truly and utterly afraid. Not for my friends. Not for my grandma or my human ex-boyfriend, or even for my estranged mom. I was afraid for myself. I didn't just want the company of my friends; I needed them.

Still rubbing my hand, I made my legs move and knew beyond any doubt that I would rather face the hurt and disappointment of my friends than whatever dark thing might be waiting for me in the concealing night.

I hovered for a second just outside the open doors to the busy "dining hall" (a.k.a. school cafeteria) watching the other kids talk easily and happily together, and I was almost overwhelmed with the sudden wish that I could be just another fledging—that I didn't have any extraordinary abilities or the responsibilities that went along with those abilities. For a second I wanted to be normal so bad that it was hard for me to breathe.

Then I felt the soft brush of wind against my skin that seemed warmed by the heat of an invisible flame. I caught a whiff of the ocean, even though there is definitely no ocean near Tulsa, Oklahoma. I heard birdsong and smelled new-cut grass. And my spirit quivered with silent joy within me as it acknowledged my powerful Goddess-given gifts of an affinity for each of the five elements: air, fire, water, earth, and spirit.

I wasn't normal. I wasn't like anyone else, fledgling or vampyre, and it was wrong of me to wish otherwise. And part of my not-normal-ness was telling me that I had to go in there and try to make peace with my friends. I straightened my spine and looked around the room with eyes that were clear of self-pity, and easily found my special group sitting at our booth.

I drew a deep breath and then made my way quickly across the cafeteria, giving a little nod or small smile to the kids who said hi to me. I noticed that everyone seemed to be reacting to me with their usual mix of respect and awe, which meant that my friends hadn't been talking crap about me to the masses. It also meant that Neferet hadn't launched an all-out, open attack against me. Yet.

I grabbed a quick salad and a brown pop. Then, holding on to my tray with such abnormal tightness that it was turning my fingers white, I marched straight to our booth and took my usual seat beside Damien.

When I sat down, no one looked at me, but their easy chatter instantly died, which is something I totally hate. I mean, what's more awful than walking up to a group of your supposed-to-be friends and having them all shut up so that you knew for sure they were all talking about you? Ugh.

"Hi," I said instead of running away or bursting into tears like I wanted to.

No one said anything.

"So, what's up?" I directed the question at Damien, knowing that my gay friend was naturally the weakest link in the don't-talk-to-Zoey chain.

Sadly, it was the Twins who answered me and not gay, and therefore more sensitive and polite, Damien.

"Not shit, right, Twin?" said Shaunee.

"That's right, Twin, not shit. 'Cause we can't be trusted to know shit," Erin said. "Twin, did you know we're totally untrustworthy?"

"Not until recently I didn't, Twin. You?" Shaunee said.

"Didn't know till recently either," Erin finished.

Okay, the Twins aren't really twins. Shaunee Cole is a caramel-colored Jamaican-American who grew up on the East Coast. Erin Bates is a gorgeous blonde who was born in Tulsa. The two met after being Marked and moving to the House of Night on the same day. They clicked instantly—it's like genetics and geography never existed. They literally finish each other's sentences. And at that moment they were glaring at me with twin looks of angry suspicion.

God, they made me tired.

They also made me mad. Yes, I'd kept secrets from them. Yes, I'd lied to them. But I'd had to. Well, mostly I'd had to. And their twin holier-than-thou crap was getting on my last nerve.

"Thank you for that lovely commentary. And now I'll try asking someone who doesn't have to answer in a stereo version of hateful Gossip Girl Blair." I turned my attention away from them and looked directly at Damien, even though I could hear the Twins sucking air and getting ready to say something I was hoping they would one day regret. "So, I guess what I really wanted to ask when I said 'what's up' is if you've noticed any scary, ghost-like, flappy weirdness outside lately. Have you?"

Damien's a tall, really cute guy with excellent bone structure whose brown eyes were usually warm and expressive but were, at this moment, wary and more than a little cold. "A flappy ghost thing?" he said. "Sorry, I have no clue what you're talking about."

My heart squeezed at the strangerlike tone of his voice, but I told myself that at least he'd answered my question. "On the way here from the stables, something kinda attacked me. I couldn't really see anything, but it was cold and it put a big welt on my hand." I lifted my hand to show him—and there was no welt there anymore.

Great.

Shaunee and Erin snorted together. Damien just looked really, really sad. I was opening my mouth to explain that there had been a welt there just a few minutes ago, when Jack rushed up.

"Oh, hi! I'm so sorry I'm late but when I put on my shirt I found a ginormic stain right on the front of it. Can you believe that?" Jack said as he hurried up with his tray of food and sat at his place beside Damien.

"A stain? It's not on that lovely blue long-sleeved Armani I got you for Christmas, is it?" Damien said, scooting over to make room for his boyfriend.

"Ohmigod, no! I'd never spill anything on that one. I just love it and—" His words came to a staggering halt when his eyes flitted from Damien to me. He gulped. "Oh, uh. Hi, Zoey."

"Hi, Jack," I said, smiling at him. Jack and Damien are together. Hello. They're gay. My friends and I, along with anyone who's not narrow-minded and utterly judgmental, are cool with that.

"I didn't expect to see you," Jack babbled. "I thought you were still . . . uh . . . well . . ." He trailed off, looking uncomfortable and blushing a pretty pink.

"You thought I was still hiding in my room?" I supplied for him.

He nodded.

"No." I said firmly, "I'm done doing that."

"Well, la-te-da," Erin began, but before Shaunee could do her usual chime-in act, a blatantly sexy laugh coming from the door behind us made everyone turn and gawk.

Aphrodite twitched into the room, laughing while she batted her eyes at Darius, one of the youngest and hottest of the Sons of Erebus Warriors who protected the House of Night, and did an excellent hair flip. The girl always had been good at multitasking, but I was totally shocked at how nonchalant and utterly cool and collected she looked. Only two days ago she'd been almost dead and then utterly freaked because the sapphire-colored outline of a crescent moon—which appeared on all fledglings' foreheads, Marking them as having begun the Change that would either end in becoming a vampyre or in becoming dead—had disappeared from her face.

Which meant she had somehow turned back into a human.

UNTAMED. Copyright 2008 by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

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First Chapter

Chapter 1
The caw! caw! cawing! of one stupid crow kept me up all night. (Well, more accurately, all day -- 'cause, you know, I'm a vampyre fledgling and we have that whole issue of day and night being turned around.) Anyway, I got zero sleep last night/day. But my crappy nonsleep is currently the easiest thing to deal with since life really sucks when your friends are pissed at you. I should know. I'm Zoey Redbird, currently the undisputed Queen of Making My Friends Pissed Land.

Persephone, the big sorrel mare who I could consider mine for as long as I lived at the House of Night, craned her head around and nuzzled my cheek. I kissed her soft muzzle and went back to brushing her sleek neck. Grooming Persephone always helped me think and made me feel better. And I definitely needed help with both of those things.

"Okay, so, I've managed to avoid the Big Confrontation for two days, but that can't continue," I told the mare. "Yes, I know they're in the cafeteria right now, eating dinner while they hang out together being all buddy-buddy and totally leaving me out."

Persephone snorted and went back to munching hay.

"Yeah, I think they're being jerks, too. Sure, I did lie to them, but it was mostly by omission. And, yeah, I kept some stuff from them. Mostly for their own good." I sighed. Well, the stuff about Stevie Rae being undead was for their own good. The stuff about me having a thing with Loren Blake-Vampyre Poet Laureate and professor at the House of Night-well, that was more for my own good. "But still." Persephone flicked an ear back to listen to me. "They're being really judgmental."

Persephone snorted again. I sighed again. Crap. I couldn't avoid them any longer.

After giving the sweet mare one last pat, I walked slowly out of her stall to the tack room and put up the array of currycombs and mane/tail brushes I'd been using on her for the past hour. I breathed deeply of the leather and horse smell, letting the soothing mixture ease my nerves. Catching my reflection in the smooth glass window of the tack room, I automatically ran my fingers through my dark hair, trying to make it look not so bedheady. I'd been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and moved to the House of Night for just over two months, but already my hair was noticeably thicker and longer. And supergood hair was only one of the many changes taking place with me. Some of them were invisible-like the fact that I had an affinity for all five of the elements. Some of them were very much visible-like the unique tattoos that framed my face in intricate, exotic swirls and then, unlike any other fledgling or adult vampyre, the sapphire design spread down my neck and shoulders, along my spine, and most recently, had moved around my waist, a little fact no one but my cat, Nala, our goddess Nyx, and I knew.

Like who could I show?

"Well, yesterday you had not one, but three boyfriends," I told the me with the dark eyes and cynical half smile that was reflected in the glass. "But you fixed that, didn't you?

Today not only do you have zero boyfriends, but no one will ever trust you again for at least, I dunno, a gazillion years or so." Well, except Aphrodite, who totally freaked and took off two days ago because she might have suddenly been turned back into a human, and Stevie Rae, who was chasing said freaked re-humaned Aphrodite because she might have caused the fledgling-to-human issue when I cast a circle and turned her from creepy undead dead kid to odd-red-tattooed-vampyre-but-herself-again kid. "Either way," I told myself aloud, "you have managed to mess up just about everyone who has touched your life. Well done, you!"

My lip had actually started to quiver and I felt the sting of tears in my eyes. No. Bawling my eyes red wouldn't do any good. I mean, seriously, if it did, then my friends and I would have kissed (well, not literally) and made up days ago. I was just going to have to face them and start trying to make things right.

The late December night was cool and a little misty. The gaslights lining the sidewalk that stretched from the stable and field house area of the school to the main building flickered with little haloes of yellow light, looking beautiful and old-worldly. Actually, the whole campus of the House of Night was gorgeous, and always made me think of something that belonged in an Arthurian legend more than in the twenty-first century.

I love it here,

I reminded myself. It's home. It's where I belong. I'll make it right with my friends, and everything will be okay then.

I was chewing my lip and worrying about just exactly how I was going to make it right with my friends when my mental stressing was interrupted by a weird flapping noise that filled the air around me. Something about the sound sent a chill down my spine. I looked up. There was nothing above me but darkness and sky and the winter-bare limbs of the huge oaks that lined the sidewalk. I shivered, having a walking-over-my-grave moment as the night went from soft and misty to dark and malevolent.

Hang on -- dark and malevolent? Well, that's just silly! What I had heard was probably nothing more sinister than the wind rustling through the trees. Jeesh, I was losing it.

Shaking my head at myself, I kept walking but had taken only a couple of steps when it happened again. The weird flapping above me actually caused the air, which seemed ten degrees colder, to flutter wildly against my skin. I automatically flailed a hand up, imagining bats and spiders and all sorts of creepy things.

My fingers passed through nothingness, but it was frigid nothingness, and an icy pain sliced through my hand. Completely freaked out, I yelped and hugged my hand to my chest. For a moment I didn't know what to do, and my body was numb with fear. The flapping was getting louder and the cold more intense when I finally managed to move. Ducking my head, I did the only thing I could think to do. I ran for the nearest door to the school.

After slipping inside, I slammed the thick wooden door behind me and, panting for breath, turned to peer through the little arched window in the center of it. The night shifted and swam before my eyes, like black paint poured down a dark page. Still, the terrible feeling of icy fear lingered within me. What was going on? Almost without realizing what I was doing, I whispered, "Fire, come to me. I need your warmth."

Instantly the element responded, filling the air around me with the soothing heat of a hearth fire. Still staring out the little window, I pressed my palms against the rough wood of the door. "Out there," I murmured. "Send your heat out there, too." With a whoosh of warmth, the element moved from me, through the door, and poured into the night. There was a hissing sound, like steam rising from dry ice. The mist roiled, thick and soupy, giving me a sense of dizzy vertigo that made me a little nauseated, and the strange darkness began to evaporate. Then the heat completely beat away the chill, and as suddenly as it had begun, the night was once again quiet and familiar.

What had just happened?

My stinging hand drew my attention from the window. I looked down. Across the back of my hand there were red welts, as though something with claws, or talons, had scraped across my flesh. I rubbed at the angry-looking marks, which stung like a curling iron burn.

Then the feeling hit me strong, hard, overwhelming-and I knew with my Goddess-given sixth sense that I shouldn't be here by myself. The coldness that had tainted the night-the ghostly something that had chased me inside and welted my hand-filled me with a terrible foreboding and for the first time in a long time, I was truly and utterly afraid. Not for my friends. Not for my grandma or my human ex-boyfriend, or even for my estranged mom. I was afraid for myself. I didn't just want the company of my friends; I needed them.

Still rubbing my hand, I made my legs move and knew beyond any doubt that I would rather face the hurt and disappointment of my friends than whatever dark thing might be waiting for me in the concealing night.

I hovered for a second just outside the open doors to the busy "dining hall" (a.k.a. school cafeteria) watching the other kids talk easily and happily together, and I was almost overwhelmed with the sudden wish that I could be just another fledging-that I didn't have any extraordinary abilities or the responsibilities that went along with those abilities. For a second I wanted to be normal so bad that it was hard for me to breathe.

Then I felt the soft brush of wind against my skin that seemed warmed by the heat of an invisible flame. I caught a whiff of the ocean, even though there is definitely no ocean near Tulsa, Oklahoma. I heard birdsong and smelled new-cut grass. And my spirit quivered with silent joy within me as it acknowledged my powerful Goddess-given gifts of an affinity for each of the five elements: air, fire, water, earth, and spirit.

I wasn't normal. I wasn't like anyone else, fledgling or vampyre, and it was wrong of me to wish otherwise. And part of my not-normal-ness was telling me that I had to go in there and try to make peace with my friends. I straightened my spine and looked around the room with eyes that were clear of self-pity, and easily found my special group sitting at our booth.

I drew a deep breath and then made my way quickly across the cafeteria, giving a little nod or small smile to the kids who said hi to me. I noticed that everyone seemed to be reacting to me with their usual mix of respect and awe, which meant that my friends hadn't been talking crap about me to the masses. It also meant that Neferet hadn't launched an all-out, open attack against me. Yet.

I grabbed a quick salad and a brown pop. Then, holding on to my tray with such abnormal tightness that it was turning my fingers white, I marched straight to our booth and took my usual seat beside Damien.

When I sat down, no one looked at me, but their easy chatter instantly died, which is something I totally hate. I mean, what's more awful than walking up to a group of your supposed-to-be friends and having them all shut up so that you knew for sure they were all talking about you? Ugh.

"Hi," I said instead of running away or bursting into tears like I wanted to.

No one said anything.

"So, what's up?" I directed the question at Damien, knowing that my gay friend was naturally the weakest link in the don't-talk-to-Zoey chain.

Sadly, it was the Twins who answered me and not gay, and therefore more sensitive and polite, Damien.

"Not shit, right, Twin?" said Shaunee.

"That's right, Twin, not shit. 'Cause we can't be trusted to know shit," Erin said. "Twin, did you know we're totally untrustworthy?"

"Not until recently I didn't, Twin. You?" Shaunee said.

"Didn't know till recently either," Erin finished.

Okay, the Twins aren't really twins. Shaunee Cole is a caramel-colored Jamaican-American who grew up on the East Coast. Erin Bates is a gorgeous blonde who was born in Tulsa. The two met after being Marked and moving to the House of Night on the same day. They clicked instantly -- it's like genetics and geography never existed. They literally finish each other's sentences. And at that moment they were glaring at me with twin looks of angry suspicion.

God, they made me tired.

They also made me mad. Yes, I'd kept secrets from them. Yes, I'd lied to them. But I'd had to. Well, mostly I'd had to. And their twin holier-than-thou crap was getting on my last nerve.

"Thank you for that lovely commentary. And now I'll try asking someone who doesn't have to answer in a stereo version of hateful Gossip Girl Blair." I turned my attention away from them and looked directly at Damien, even though I could hear the Twins sucking air and getting ready to say something I was hoping they would one day regret. "So, I guess what I really wanted to ask when I said 'what's up' is if you've noticed any scary, ghostlike, flappy weirdness outside lately. Have you?"

Damien's a tall, really cute guy with excellent bone structure whose brown eyes were usually warm and expressive but were, at this moment, wary and more than a little cold. "A flappy ghost thing?" he said. "Sorry, I have no clue what you're talking about."

My heart squeezed at the strangerlike tone of his voice, but I told myself that at least he'd answered my question. "On the way here from the stables, something kinda attacked me. I couldn't really see anything, but it was cold and it put a big welt on my hand." I lifted my hand to show him -- and there was no welt there anymore.

Great.

Shaunee and Erin snorted together. Damien just looked really, really sad. I was opening my mouth to explain that there had been a welt there just a few minutes ago, when Jack rushed up.

"Oh, hi! I'm so sorry I'm late but when I put on my shirt I found a ginormic stain right on the front of it. Can you believe that?" Jack said as he hurried up with his tray of food and sat at his place beside Damien.

"A stain? It's not on that lovely blue long-sleeved Armani I got you for Christmas, is it?" Damien said, scooting over to make room for his boyfriend.

"Ohmigod, no! I'd never spill anything on that one. I just love it and-" His words came to a staggering halt when his eyes flitted from Damien to me. He gulped. "Oh, uh. Hi, Zoey."

"Hi, Jack," I said, smiling at him. Jack and Damien are together. Hello. They're gay. My friends and I, along with anyone who's not narrow-minded and utterly judgmental, are cool with that.

"I didn't expect to see you," Jack babbled. "I thought you were still . . . uh . . . well . . ." He trailed off, looking uncomfortable and blushing a pretty pink.

"You thought I was still hiding in my room?" I supplied for him.

He nodded.

"No." I said firmly, "I'm done doing that."

"Well, la-te-da," Erin began, but before Shaunee could do her usual chime-in act, a blatantly sexy laugh coming from the door behind us made everyone turn and gawk.

Aphrodite twitched into the room, laughing while she batted her eyes at Darius, one of the youngest and hottest of the Sons of Erebus Warriors who protected the House of Night, and did an excellent hair flip. The girl always had been good at multitasking, but I was totally shocked at how nonchalant and utterly cool and collected she looked. Only two days ago she'd been almost dead and then utterly freaked because the sapphire-colored outline of a crescent moon -- which appeared on all fledglings' foreheads, Marking them as having begun the Change that would either end in becoming a vampyre or in becoming dead -- had disappeared from her face.

Which meant she had somehow turned back into a human.

Copyright © 2008 P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2745 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2769 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Untamed

    This is the fourth book in the House of Night series and was by far the best book of the series. It is the only book in the series so far that I have felt comfortable saying I really liked it and enjoyed the story.
    With the murders of the teachers in the third book things are beginning to come to a head in this book. Zoey is out of boyfriends, so to speak, so of course she is absolutely enchanted by the new kid in school, Stark. With Stevie Rae somewhat her normal self, she takes a back seat in this story but still plays a few big parts as a new type of vampire. The mythos developed in this story around the evil Neferet was engaging and very interesting. Neferet is here in all her evil glory; and man is she evil.
    Zoey without boyfriends is awesome because Zoey is actually focused on the actual plot and this makes for a way more interesting book than the last one was. So, for everyone who hung on with the series despite the barely okay third book, you are rewarded in this book.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A book to kill time... but not very interesting

    As both a romance and supernatural book... it falls flat compared to others. I've read some really good romance/supernatural books but this one.. it seems like a unrealistic book. Although its told in Zoey's point of view of things the other characters dont seem to have any real personality. I enjoy reading about Aphrodite because she is the only character with some real spark to her. I dilike how Zoey's freinds basically are her servants. I was happy that her freinds actually showed a realistic reaction to Zoey leaving them out of the loop but its like besides them following her every whim, the twins always just make sexual comments and fight with Aphrodite, Jack and Damien are gay although Jack is far to shy and Damien's uses big words. It just seems like the book is following some unknown plot that can basically be discribed as "Nefert= bad and plotting"+ "something awful/epic is going to happen" Theses books, if editted correctly and having pointless parts cut and characters dropped spoiler alert for characters *cough cough STARK/LOREN/JACK (since his only real use is during ceremonies)* it could be a 5 star one or two volume book rather then a drawn out +5 volume book.
    In short Zoey is a over-glamorized Mary Sue with a ludicrous love life, leading an unrealistic life, with overly obediant/ and frequently not included in whats going on in the story, freinds.

    I would recommend not reading this book if you are a true vampire lover. If you want original books I suggest Anne Rice books, Kim Harrison, Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampire Series, Charlaine Harris or if your just looking for a book you'll never want to put down I suggest Lucas by Kevin.

    9 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    I am14

    I am 14 this series is ok for me rite?????

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Best books since the hunger games!

    This book is sexy, mysterious, and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last word. Highly recommend!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    awesome can't wait for the next!!

    really great book.. first 3 are the best this one is a good start to the fifth book! definetly read this series if you liked twilght. it's a very good book!! cant wait to see her new tatoos!!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun and Dark

    I purchased this book.

    Do not read this book without having book five ready to dive into immediately after.

    By this point the series is literary crack, unputadownable (to use a phrase I hate, but it fits). Zoey Redbird is a chosen of the night goddess Nyx, which means she has powers and will someday become a vampyre. Her friends are all gifted as well, beyond just being marked to become vampyres.

    Zoey's circle is still recovering from last book's plot of I'm-lying-to-you-to-protect-you, but after a vision from Aphrodite it's clear that Zoey needs to start leaning on them again, even if evil High Priestess Neferet's mind reading powers might risk them all in the process.

    Newly thrown into the mix are Stark, a vampire Bullseye, who can hit his target every time, even if he doesn't know what his target is, and Zoey's Grandmother, pulled into an active role when she finally puts a name and face to the big mysterious evil they are facing. But Stark dies in Zoey's arms, much like Stevie Rae died in the second book only to be reborn as a red-marked fledgeling. Sure that the same is true of Stark, Zoe hatches a plan to intervene and steal Stark from Neferet's influence.

    But something is watching her from the shadows, something that's angry and growing power and Zoe must find a way to stop it and stop Neferet while protecting her friends and family as well.

    I am absolutely as hooked on this series as I was on Buffy. It's smart, snarky, dark and absolutely engaging. I made the mistake of not having book five sitting ready when I hit the end and it's a shame, since the Casts have hit a stride born of past world building and past set up launching the characters into fast, readable whirlwind adventures. The House of Night series is poised to become my favorite YA world out there. In short, I humbly await more.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2010

    Can't say enough good things

    The series is great. After 4 books, I'm still just as enthralled as ever. It easily sucks you in and holds on to you for the entire book and leaves you wanting more!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    O.M.G. You have got to read this book!

    What can I say about this book....It is totally amazing! I actually finished this book in 1 day, I could not put the book down. I was so intrigued and totally held captive by all the events that have happened, I can't even explain it. Zoey and her friends are truely gifted people. Even though they were going through rough times (because Zoey didn't tell them about everything that has been happening; ande they no longer trusted Zoey), they must come together to battle the dark forces. In order to make this thing work, Zoey must tell her friends everything and be willing to put it all on the line. This has to be the best book in the series so far! There is so much to take in, and so much emtions that you go through; you will be smiling, crying, cheering on people, etc.....This book is totally AWESOME! This is a MUST read! I am absolutely hooked on this series. I will be starting the next book right away. I can not wait!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    UNTAMED-GREAT

    I have enjoyed reading "The House of Night" series. I received the four books for Christmas and finished them in no time. The books are about a human-turned fledgling vampyre named Zoey Redbird who goes to a school called The House of Night where those like herself go to learn what they need to know before they become full-fledged vampyres, if they get that far. Some make it, some don't.
    Zoey makes a lot of friends (and enemies), and I'm especially fond of her best friend Stevie Rae who has such a wonderful personality. As for her other friends, Damien and the Twins, well, they are, to me, quite boring.If anything were to happen to them I don't think I'd really care much. (I nearly died inside when I thought Stevie Rae was gone.) That says a lot.
    As for the main character herself, she is not my favorite. Usually I like the main characters but Zoey tends to get into a lot of situations concerning boys and it's a bit annoying (I believe it was the third book that involved a lot of that). She started off with her human boyfriend Heath. Then got herself a vampyre-fledgling boyfriend, Eric. Then there's the vampyre Poet teacher Loren. And WHAT was with that Stark business? She didn't even KNOW the guy. I'm just thankful the books involve more than Zoey's boyfriend business, otherwise I wouldn't like these books very much.
    There's always something new happening. The story never gets boring, which is excellent--- except when it involves Zoey's boyfriend woes.
    Overall, I love this series and I can't wait for the next book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Keeps on getting better

    this i thought was the best one out of the prevouis one i'm really looking forward to see what happens in the next one really orginal there type of vampyres are in the story is differnt from anything that i have ever read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    loved it and can't wait for the next one

    I loved this book. It was just as fun to read as the last three and it was well worth the wait...I love the character of Zoey and group of misfit friends. This is a very creative series and I like the mystical aspect to the story. I can not wait for March

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Shelbs

    Okay ... these books are like the best!!! I'm now on tempted and im only 11!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2010

    Great BOOK!! Great Series!!!

    Okay. I have to say that this series are so good, that I can't wait to get all of the other books. Very good book, I love this series. I love all of the characters. The story is great. Thanks to the Cast Family. No one will regret on reading these books. But I will sugest start from the very first one. Its a great story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An Awesome Book!!!

    I read the whole series but this was by far the best book in it. The character Zoey gets into situations you won't believe! It keeps you on edge and keeps you wanting to read more. And somehow I felt like I can relate to her. She tries to keep her personal life going, but has bigger problems going on in the world. Definetly a series you should read and start anticipating the 4th book!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Can't Put Down

    The House of Night series is definitely the most intriguing series I've read right next to the Twilight series. This is perhaps the greatest installment of the whole series, with thrilling adventures. The dialogue is very realistic, unlike the plot. It's amazing how it is so well planned out and refreshes your memory of the previous books. A majority of books I have read have not done this, leaving me clueless in who was who. The building up for each of the main characters were vividly described, leaving me breathless and having "book - lust" for the next book. It took me a surprising three days to read, which is very fast at my pace. Like I've stated previously, it's very interesting and leaves its readers craving even more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    WONDERFUL SERIES

    This series is great for anyone who enjoys a little fantasy romance. It is the Twilight Series with an EDGE!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This book series is great!

    Once again Zoey Redbird leads us into the exciting and dangerous world of vampyres. She faces the betrayal of her closest friends and mentor. She must prepare her self to face the perils that are to come.

    Zoey Redbird isn't doing very well in her social relationships. She's gone from having three boyfriends to none. Her friends are mad at her and her mentor Nefret has shown her true colors. Not to mention the fact that the only person she has to talk to is the snobbiest girl at school. She has to find a way to make up with her friends before it's to late or worse.

    This book is an exciting thriller that I would recommend to any young adult reader. Once you pick this book up you want to put it down. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and possibly hidden in your room until you finish it. I have absolutely fallen in love with this series. I have grown an attachment to the characters and the school.

    I would definitely recommend reading this book. This book is chilling, romantic, depressing, exciting, and it will leave you wanting more. Zoey is different and she shares a lot of the imperfections that we all do. During the story she's still learning who she really is and that's what gives the real connection between her and the readers.

    I would recommend this book to young adults. This book is really geared for teenagers so I'm not sure that older readers could really get into it. Although this book is great it is definitely has its flaws and so I would rate it with four and a half stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It grows on you

    At first i wasn't into this series at all. I'm not sure why i even kept reading it. I wasn't into the mixture of Vampire blood lust and Witchy magic, but by the time you get to the third book you are hooked. I cant wait for the next one to come out! Great characters except for the twins, cant stand them. Easy to read, fully entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Series

    Untamed, the fourth installment of the House of Night series was magnificent! It was a real page turner, as were all the books in the series. I was really impressed at how well the story is coming together and I can't wait on the 5th (Hunted) to come out in March. Read these if you haven't already. They are amazing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I ¿ this series of books!!!

    HOLY CRAP this book is totally awesome!!!!!!! i loved it!!!<BR/>i cant wait till the next book comes out!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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