Book Review: Loved by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast

Hey all, it’s Sarah!

I have loved House of Night (HoN) since I first started reading it several years ago. The romance mixed with blood sucking vampires and realistic (ish) characters had me hooked. Every time I read these books I crave Count Chocula (which you can only get around Halloween), dark pop, and breath a sigh of relaxation. I have a strong desire to visit Utica Square and go on a Cast inspired field trip.  However, like with my favorite TV shows, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Grey’s Anatomy, the books become more about missing the characters than actually enjoying the trajectory of the plot.

It is a year after the Nerd Herd has saved the world from Neferet. Everyone has gone their separate ways, until Zoey is visited in a dream by Kalona. He warns that Neferet is stirring again and that she and her friends must stop it. Kalona leads Zoey to Neferet’s journal, where they will find the ammunition to stop her. As the friends come back together to develop a plan, they learn that not everything has been going hunky-dory. Stevie Rae misses home, Damien’s depression has begun to make a resurgence, and Aphrodite is cracking under the baggage her mother forced upon her. As all of the characters are battling their inner demons a horde of zombie vampires is unleashed upon their world. They will all need to face their challenges in order to be a true help with this new problem.

I missed all of this! The real/funny/awesome dialogue is back. The characters in all of their wonderous glory are back. I missed this world and got sucked back in. However, this felt like a side-quest or a musical episode in a favorite long-running TV show. It didn’t feel as developed as the first few HoN novels. This did feel like a love letter to the fans the Casts gave readers nearly everything they could have wanted, but I keep circling back to too much of a good thing. Many of the plot points felt convenient and too easy. I miss seeing Zoey grow. While all of the other characters are growing around her, it feels like Zoey is regressing or not moving forward. Perhaps this is part of the new series that the Casts are creating. It is frustrating that Zoey seems to be dealing with the same issues book after book, while sanctimoniously judging her friends. I love this series I want this series, but I don’t know if I can read anymore. I feel like I am breaking up with a book, but I don’t think I can continue any longer. However, let’s be honest, I am going to keep reading these books as long as they keep publishing them. They may jump the shark, but I am going to be there reading them.

Honestly this should only get two unicorns. but I just don’t have it in me to rate this book that low.

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