The ninth book in the House of Night series opens with Zoey Redbird, the “Nerd Herd” and the rest of the red fledglings returning to school at the House of Night. Though the High Council decreed that Neferet allow their return, tensions on the Tulsa campus run high.
Neferet continues to wage her war of darkness with the help of both the evil White Bull and Aurox, a vessel created to obey her every command. Rephaim, Stevie Rae’s Consort and ex–Raven Mocker, struggles to make peace with his decision to choose the Goddess Nyx and a human form over his father Kalona. And Zoey, while she tries to lead her circle in the fight against evil, must again come to terms with loss when her mother is found murdered. As it is told from no fewer than 11 points of view, it is sometimes difficult to envision how all the story threads will ultimately tie together, particularly in the first half of the novel. However, overarching themes about identity and loss help bind the story together and will likely appeal to teen readers. As the plot lines converge later in the novel, the action becomes both intense and thoroughly entertaining.
Though readers must be willing to overlook some seriously cringeworthy dialogue, this outing will not disappoint House of Night fans. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)