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Hidden: House of Night    by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast order for
by P. C. Cast
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Hidden follows Destined as the tenth in the popular YA House of Night series by the mother and daughter writing team, P. C. and Kristin cast. Though a paranormal series, the books' main themes are the powers of free will and of love.

Series heroine Zoey Redbird started as a vampyre fledgling (in a world where vampires are generally benign) studying at the House of Night (a school for young vamps) in Tulsa. Zoey is beloved of the Goddess Nyx and has an affinity for all five elements. Over time she has grown to lead and depend on a Circle of talented fellow students. Development of nerd herd relationships - and their engaging, ongoing banter - creates the series appeal, as much as the good vs. evil battle they continually fight.

Their main enemy has been High Priestess Neferet. In Destined, she was outed as having allied with Darkness, and Thanatos was sent to investigate by the Vampyre High Council. Now, as Hidden opens, Thanatos is the new High Priestess and Neferet continues to attempt to use Aurox (whom she created, and controls by blood sacrifice) to eliminate the good guys. But why do he and Zoey feel such a pull towards each other? Zoey (now paired with Guardian Warrior Stark) suspects that Heath has come back to her as Aurox, but is reluctant to share this with her inner circle.

Zoey's BFF Stevie Rae is now with Rephaim, a son of Kalona (who has won Nyx's forgiveness after a long time on the dark side). Lenobia's romance with a human progresses, along with revelation of her back story. The nerd herd learn how useful Shaylin's sight can be. And Zoe's Cherokee grandmother, Sylvia Redbird, aids Aurox and offers him hope of redemption. Which is just as well as the villainess of the piece is about to unleash Aurox against someone close to Zoe. Will she and her team be able to save either of them? Read for yourself to find out.

It's hard to track the dizzying relationship shifts - not to mention characters' moves across the line dividing good and evil - in this series. But it continues to offer solid entertainment - and with action in spades this time round. Series fans will revel in Hidden and be looking for more when they close the last page.

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