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Untamed: A House of Night Novel    by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast order for
by P. C. Cast
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Zoey Redbird is down in the dumps as this fourth (following Marked, Betrayed and Chosen) House of Night episode opens - she's been keeping secrets (only some of them for good reasons) from her friends, none of whom are talking to her, has dropped overnight from having three to zero boyfriends (and one of them died), and is attacked by something dark and malevolent on school grounds.

Zoey attends a Tulsa school for Fledglings - young members of a society of (relatively) benign vampyres - and has gathered around her a nerd herd of particularly talented fellow students - Twins (in character if not genetically) Erin and Shaunee, and gay Damien and his partner Jack. Zoey herself has become the youngest ever leader of the Dark Daughters society, has an affinity for all five elements, and is now high-vampyre-priestess-in-training and beloved of the Goddess Nyx.

As Untamed opens, Zoey learns that her old enemy and new friend Aphrodite has become human again (though she still has visions of the future including a new and chilling one about Zoey and the end of the world as we know it) and that her BFF Stevie Ray is not only back from the undead but has become a new type of vampyre with a scarlet Mark, mind control abilities, and a bunch of spooky followers. As Zoey tries to figure all of this out, avoid dying, and save the world, her bad feelings about her ex-mentor, High Priestess Neferet, grow. To complicate matters further, one of Zoey's exes, Erik, takes over as her drama teacher.

A hot new student dies, the High Priestess of all Vamps shows up at the House of Night, Zoey befriends a nun (finding out they have more in common than she would have expected), her Cherokee grandmother tells her about demons, and Neferet awakens something very old and very dangerous. This episode ends on a gory cliffhanger that will leave House of Night fans voraciously awaiting the next one. I recommend the series to you, for its relationships and teen lingo as much as for the evolving storyline.

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