If anything, Hunted serves the same purpose as many of the other books in HoN before it, Filler. Nothing but filler. The teens are underground now with the Red Fledglings and we spend many chapters getting to know the new characters. They have a sweet set up under an abandoned building complete with furnishings and running water. Screw adults, we have mind control. Stevie Rae is now on the mend, the two groups mingle, Eric and Zoey hook up again. That, folks, is the first half of Hunted. Long and talky passages of teen speak and Zoey being incredibly indecisive.
Things pick up when Heath shows up and Zoey gets hurt after the two step outside to talk in private when Heath and Eric fist pound their chests in anger. Down in the Bat Cave, the group decides that Zoey MUST get back to school in order to heal, even after she drinks from Heath and becomes imprinted with him AGAIN. So they throw her into the hummer along with Damien, The Twins, Daruis and Aphrodite.
At school, things have taken on a totally different attitude. Rape seems to be widely accepted if the guy is hot, all the girls have a crush on Kalona and Stark makes his reapperance. As per usual, the action scenes go relatively quickly and the final few chapters take little time to climax as Stark becomes 'Good', the teens escape school and Zoey gains more favor from their goddess.
So very little happens in this book. Very few revelations, things that were easily called a few books back and more drama then was necessary. I wish I could deeper into the plot, but.... this was it, so I'll just go right into discussion.
You know what? THe first nine pages were pretty awesome. It was actually a beautiful read and the characters didn't act nearly as annoying as they usually do. Aside from Zoey dreaming brown pop on the trees, there wasn't much idle teen talk with some minor filler. I know that P.C. Cast writes for an older audience and I believe she put more effort into these 10 pages then she did in the last 4 books.
Page 10 "Oh, Jack and Damien are a couple. Which means they're gay teenagers. Hello. It happens. More often than you'd expect. Wait, scratch that. It happens more often than parents think."
Ah, there we go, right back to business.
Alright, Casts, I'll say this now, I KNOW these two are gay. 5 books in, I know that both Jack and Damien like penis to the point where they prefer it over vagina.
Why must I be reminded, again, that these two are gay.... not to mention in a way that seems to be a 'Got a problem with that?' attitude? I dislike the fact that both Jack and Damien are constantly using themselves as gay stereotypes; Gays are good cooks, gays are into fashion, gays are more sensitive to girl’s needs; gays can be your BFF and not want to touch your boobies. They spend more time on telling us that they're in love rather than letting them have these moments where they let their actions speak for themselves.
Every time these two are introduced into a new book, it's like that. "Oh hey, our fav gay couple, anyone who hates can line up left and be beaten up."
On top of that, it feels like almost every black character that's been introduced so far is a stereotype, talking in slang and wearing their pants baggy and low. Shaunee is the only one who doesn't seem to follow this stereotype, but she seems to share a singular voice with Erin. Half the time I can't remember or figure out who is who with these two. When they speak, they just refer to each other as 'Twin', which is fine and all. I get it when their friends call them 'The Twins', but it would make for a easier read if they had their own way to distinguish the themselves when talking.
Another piece of literary genius: "But instead of the tattoo being dark blue, it had turned red. As in the color of fresh blood." I would have never known the color red if fresh blood wasn't mentioned.
12 pages in, more special tattoos for Zoey. That was something I appreciated about the 4th book. Zoey had slowed in her Vampyre Puberty and finally seemed to be evening out. No new tattoos, no new boyfriends, no friends. Nope, Chuck Testa. That burning in her hands last book? The telltale signs that she's being propelled forward with her growth. She notices them only NOW, but since they're finally mentioned here, I'll add those tattoos to this books Tattoo Check.
It seems as if that ALL the female characters use 'boobies'. It just seems totally unnecessary particularly when they used 'Breast' in previous books to describe the location of the school insignia on clothing; on top of that they use the word breast when Zoey gets physical with one of her love interests. Also, Zoey notes that the arrow is sticking through Stevie-Rae's CHEST, which I feel, would be just as acceptable of a word choice. The second Stevie-Rae mentions the word 'Boobie', Zoey goes back to describing the area as 'Boobies'. Something I feel rips me from the story.
The imprinting between Stevie-Rae and Aphrodite was a nice touch. The scene where it happened was almost hot. Damien treating it like a science experiment? Not so much. I don't know, it just seems like Jack and Damien can get away making fun of other people's kinks and sexual preferences, when everyone else is supposed to feel sympathetic and supportive towards there’s. In these books it feels like if you're a lesbian, you're doing it to be 'hot', if you're gay everyone around either accept it or be threatened by every girl in the school. On top of this, we're constantly reminded that Stevie-Rae and Aphrodite are NOT lesbians and NOT in love. We've had 5 books of character development, we ALREADY know this. It was merely a repercussion of the bloodletting.
It feels like that everyone who's not involved directly with the circle has more brains than the actual circle members. Aphrodite always points out the obvious, Darius is always filling the nerd heard in and even Heath lends the idea of 'Hey, maybe use the elements to protect your brain meats.'
And since when did I start to prefer Heath to Erik? Erik always seemed like he had a good head on his shoulders, especially when it came to dealing with Zoey and her bullshit. I keep thinking that he forgave her way to quickly and in retrospect, he did. It's only been about a week since they broke up, so realistically, I feel neither one had a chance to get over the pain from what initially drove them apart. I can also see why Erik would feel jealous towards Heath, after all, Zoey did say that she wanted to be with Erik. Though I wish that when Zoey felt that 'I don’t' like how this feels' vibe, that she'd go with it.
On the matters with Stark, I can't tell you enough how much I loved Aphrodite throwing the truth out there. Stark had a few hang ups about his goddess given gift and was doing nothing more than venting to Zoey. Instead, you get the nerd heard telling her that there was something more to the situation and causing an uproar amongst the other two love interests. Honestly, that's all it really felt like to me, until Aphrodite tells everyone at the end that Zoey does 'love' stark.
Darius has to explain to Zoey that it's perfectly acceptable for a High Priestess to have more than one man in her life. I can honestly get behind this as being a neat idea, but given the nature of this monster, it feels like it's been tacked on. "Oh, having boy troubles? You can actually keep them all." It feels like it's being written off as 'Okay' to appease Zoey's qualms about being a 'slutty ho', when it clearly shows that despite the guys trying to be fine with the situation that they're all clearly hurt by it. It also feels like P.C. and Kristen have an arsenal of rolls for each guy to fill as Zoey collects them. A Mate, a Human Consort, a Warrior... All she needs is the Court Jester and she's set. I can't tell you how much I love the idea of a polyamourus circle, but not everyone here is okay with this and it quickly turns something I'd love to read about into something I dread.
Once again, I believe that rape is handled very lightly in these novels. It's thrown around all too often as a plot device or as a way to give character development in the worst way possible. It describes that the drinking of blood is a relatively sexual thing, it's akin to rape when Stark does it to that girl in the school yard. However, it's played off as 'Oh, he's so hawt, it makes it okay.'
The Twins, my god, the twins. They spend so much time kicking Aphrodite down who just lets it roll off her shoulders like it ain't no thang. Shaunee and Erin do their usual slutty ho finger pointing, saying that Aphrodite is with Darius for nothing more than his looks. That the scar on his cheek will reveal her true nature. You want to know what's awesome? How Aphrodite takes him into her room, offers to play nurse in the most sexual way possible and vows to get revenge. Fuckin' Eh.
Boyfriend Count: 4
Stark: Gets back together while the two are underground.
Heath: Imprints while Zoey recovers with his blood.
Stark: After the two make vows and he becomes her warrior.
Kalona: Not really, but he does like having her around.
Tattoo Count: 6 New: 1
Crescent outline: Appears at school.
Filled in Crescent: Receives later that day at Grandmas
Facial: Appears during Halloween ritual.
Shoulders: Appears during Halloween ritual.
Back: After saving Heath from the underground.
Waist: Acquires after saving Stevie Rae.
More Shoulders: Over her scars after banishing Kalona
This review came rather late and I haven't started the next book. This seems to be the trend I'm following.