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Betrayed: A House of Night Novel    by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast order for
by P. C. Cast
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Betrayed, the second House of Night novel, is even hotter and more engrossing than Marked. P. C. and Kristin Cast sure know how to write a steamy but mysterious teen paranormal romance.

Things are looking up for Zoey Redbird. She is the youngest ever leader of the Dark Daughters, an elite society of vampire fledglings. She has mysterious marks from the Goddess Nyx that no other fledgling - or even full vampire - has. She has a strong connection with all five elements, and she is dating one of the hottest guys in school. However, as the winter weather begins moving into Tulsa, so do dark days for Zoey and her friends.

Football players who were friends with her ex, Heath, start showing up dead near the House of Night. Also, Zoey is seeing ghosts again, mainly of Elliot who died over a month ago. On top of all this, Zoey is starting to have bad feelings about her mentor and High Priestess, Neferet. Her love life is also in chaos as she fully imprints with Heath and starts flirting with a hot teacher while her boyfriend is out of town for a Shakespearean monologue competition. When something happens to her best friend, Zoey learns that she needs to trust the one person whom she had been told not to trust.

Like many of the teen romances out there today, the House of Night series is filled with scandals, but - unlike many other clique lit novels - it is also filled with compelling suspense. The mother and daughter team of P. C. and Kristin Cast know what type of story will keep older young adults reading through a combination of mystery, horror, and romance. The mystery is intriguing, the horror is thrilling, and the romance is sizzling. These elements collide to create a solid and fast-paced series.

Aside from knowing their genre and audience, the Casts have also crafted the perfect protagonist for a teen novel. Zoey is strong, but she does not have all the answers and is not afraid to lean on her friends. However, like many teens, she thinks she can handle most things on her own, especially things she thinks adults would not understand. Zoey is totally likeable for all her strengths and faults. Betrayed takes readers deeper into the House of Night, and is a little darker than Marked. This slightly dark aspect is exactly what the series needs to keep readers drooling for more.

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