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Stranger Than Fiction


Destined - Kristin Cast, P.C. Cast Moving along the typical with any House of Night novel, Destined has three or four plot arcs that accompany it's very stretched thin overall plot. One is the continuing saga of Raphaim and Aurox being the new kids at school. This however, is one of the more minor plots. Destined focuses more on a fight between the twins and a new girl, Shaylin, who's the newest arrival with Kalona being redeemed on the side.

The book starts off with a rather disheartening scene where Zoey see's Nyx accepting Linda into her good graces and heaven, causing Zoey to wake up in a cold sweat realizing her mother is now dead. While she isn't given details other than Nyx accepting Linda, all Zoey knows is that she can't allow this to affect Stark in any way. Zoey sends him a heaping dose of spirit so he won't wake up while she sits panicked in the corner about the loss of her mother because at this point, Stark has obviously been under more stress. Only he hasn't and he clearly thinks Zoey is in the wrong and any problems she may have right now can be solved with sex.

After that disappointment of a prologue, the kids return to school and Zoey blindsides Neferet by initiating a Skype call with the leader of the High Council and and makes a list of demands; a newly humanized Rephiam to be included in the school roster and the tunnels be included as a House of Night that acts as it's own under Stevie Rae. Duantia accepts Rephiam, acknowledges Stevie Rae as a priestess, but doesn't fully give permission for the tunnels being part of the school. Soon after, there's a bit of commotion involving Aurox and Erik is introduced as the Tulsa House of Night Tracker. His tracker sense starts going off and he finds a blind girl named Shaylin who he promptly marks as a red fledgling. By doing this, Shaylin regains her sight and Nyx gives her a very rare goddess gift, True Sight, an ability that allows Shaylin to see auras. With Erik playing a more dominant roll in the books again, We're treated to listening to him gripe about how all he wanted was to be a ballin' hawt actor in LA and this is cramping his style. Erik decides to make her Stevie Rae's responsibility and thus, solidifies himself as an important character because he feels partly responsible for doing this to Shaylin. Honestly, Shaylin isn't a horrible character by any means, perhaps her powers make her Sueish, but I'm never particularly fond of characters who get introduced this late in the game, especially when they are a shoe in for End Game content. Her aura sensing abilities shadowed by Aphrodite's visions or Zoey's 'feelings' as Shaylin's True Sight just regurgitates whatever we already knew about the character she's seeing. Neferet's aura looks like dead fish eyes, so it means she's up to no good. We know, at this point many of us have sat through 9 books now and know about this through the other girls powers.

Aside from small talk and character introductions, the next truly big thing to happen is Kalona showing up to announce he's defected from Neferet and calls a truce, but this is cut short when Thanatos arrives. Thanatos offers to perform a reveal ritual at the place of Linda's death on the firth day of mourning. Thanatos is definitely one of the better adult characters in this book. She guides the teens when it's necessary and allows them to have room to grow. It's refreshing based off of what else we're given in regards to adults here who are mostly absent, creating teens who act out a lot.

Not a lot happens between now and the ritual, but there are a couple things that get rolling to set up future plots. While discussing things back in the tunnels, Rephiam finds unexpected support from Shaunee, who shares with him how she doesn't connect with her father as well and this leads to cracks in the twins relationship. Erin just doesn't understand why Shaunne would feel so strongly about 'father issues'. Prophecies abound soon after as the teens gear up for the ritual and it's not long before Neferet finds out about it and sends Aurox. During the ritual, we see just how much the fight with Shaunne is affecting Erin. The teens have to choose something that represents how they're feeling at the moment. Erin reaches into a cooler she brought with her and pulls out a handful of ice cubes, claiming that's she's been feeling frozen, cold and cut off from everyone else, clear signs that there's trouble in paradise.

This is largely overlooked when they witness Linda's death and the final battle takes place, leaving Dragon dead, but having him reunite with Anastsia in rather lovely scene. After witnessing Neferet's transgressions, Thanatos decides to become the new High Priestess of the Tulsa House of Night and Much to everybody's surprise, Kalona pledges himself as Thanatos's Warrior.

It's sad to admit that the Casts have upped their game in this one. When they aren't attempting to punch out two 300 page books in a year, it feels like they actually put effort into this one. It's a shame that the characters are becoming more fleshed into themselves now, when this sort of development should have come books ago. Zoey has finally hit her stride in powers, gaining nothing new here and her tattoo's have stopped appearing. Stevie Rae is becoming more well rounded and Aphrodite was always my favorite. Damien and the Twins are finally getting SOME development but because it's so late in the game, I just can't be helped but to not really care about what happens to them. Around the time of this books release, there was an interview where PC Cast goes off about how Glee didn't give her a shout out as they have ties to show and her daughter has to put her line. This brought this books rating down as I have a low tolerance for author drama.