Awakened: A House of Night Novel

Hardcover | January 4, 2011

byP C Cast

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"My love, speak to me. Tell me everything." Neferet went to Kalona, kneeling before him, stroking the soft, dark wings that unfurled loosely around the immortal.

"What would you have me say?" He didn't meet her eyes.

"Zoey lives." Neferet's voice was flat, cold, lifeless.

"She does."

"Then you owe me the subservience of your immortal soul." She started to walk away from him.

"Where are you going? What will happen next?"

"It is quite simple. I will ensure Zoey is drawn back to Oklahoma. There, on my own terms, I will complete the task you failed."

Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa's House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn't it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same - and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either.

And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?

In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl's heart?

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From the Publisher

"My love, speak to me. Tell me everything." Neferet went to Kalona, kneeling before him, stroking the soft, dark wings that unfurled loosely around the immortal. "What would you have me say?" He didn't meet her eyes. "Zoey lives." Neferet's voice was flat, cold, lifeless."She does.""Then you owe me the subservience of your immorta...

P.C. Cast is an award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance author, as well as an experienced speaker and teacher. With her daughter Kristin Cast, she is the author of the House of Night novels, including Betrayed, Burned and Hunted. Cast was born in the Midwest, and as a girl fell in love with mythology. After high school, she joine...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.51 × 5.93 × 1.16 inPublished:January 4, 2011Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312650248

ISBN - 13:9780312650247

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best This book kept me on the edge of my seat. Zoe and Sharks love keeps me going and wanting more. I want to know what happens nexted.
Date published: 2015-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Book That Will Awaken You The book Awakened by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast is a romantic action filled book. Awakened is full of awesome events that will make you wanting more. You’ll want to know what’s going to happen next and what will happen with Zoey, the main character, and her love life. The book is one of the house of night series. The series is about a teenager, Zoey Redbird, who gets marked and is made move to The House of Night to live among other marked teens and vampires. Throughout this wonderful series you come across many problems who have to be faced by Zoey and her small group of friends. It’s a great fantasy book. I believe the book Awakened is very much a page-turner. I think that because there is lots of exciting events throughout this book and throughout the whole series. One event from this book is Zoey’s soul becomes shattered and she’s sent over to another world. Her guardian Stark, takes Zoey to an Isle called Skye; where Zoey gets awakened and brought back to this world. Zoey learns many cool things and secrets on Skye. You’ll be dying to find out what she learns, so it is definitely a page-turner in my opinion. I think this story is very easy to concentrate on because they stick to the story line well. It’s a really good story and you easily get hooked and to concentrate on. The book was entertaining from cover to cover. The authors did a really good job on details in the events that took place. Over all, Awakened was a great book and those people who love romance with tons of action should read this book. I’d give this book 5 stars.
Date published: 2014-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awakened Absolutely outstanding. This .series is so well written. I feel like I know all the characters. It draws you in and doesn't let you go until the end. . . . And even then you are craving the next book. I hope Destined is just as good!
Date published: 2014-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Keep writing please, can't put it down
Date published: 2013-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I will quote a song I hope many know "how wonderful life is now that you're in the world" best description of the series.
Date published: 2013-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great series! It keeps you up at night!
Date published: 2013-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Loving all the House of Night series. Looking very much forward to book 9.. Have heard rumors there is to be a movie made of the series.... Hears hoping.
Date published: 2012-10-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Getting bored with the series (CONTAINS SPOILERS!) Is this series over yet? The 8th book in the House of Night series, Awakened is the second-to-last book before the finale (at least, that’s what I thought—correct me if I’m wrong)! Can I get a woo-hoo? While I loved this series in the beginning, it has started to drag and all the pop culture references are getting to me. I don’t recall there being so many in the beginning books, but now it’s just getting ridiculous. To me, adding so much petty dialogue revolving around these references is ridiculous. It adds nothing to the plot and makes the writing seem lazy—like the Casts had a word limit to reach and thought they’d throw in a few silly conversations that add nothing to the plot. Aside from what I’ve said about previous installments to this series, Awakened actually had a few good things going on. First, I love—LOVE—the Stevie Rae and Rephaim romance that’s going on. Zoey and Stark are old news (though Stark is way better than Heath, in my opinion—why the heck did they decide to bring Heath back??), Stevie Rae and Rephaim are the new ‘IT’ couple for the series. I love that Rephaim was finally turned into a real boy, though I did love the mysteriousness of him being a half-man/half-bird. Sexy. Second, I love Aphrodite. She’s a great character and is probably the most well-written character in the series. There should be more of her in the next book, in my opinion. And now the bad things: First, I can’t believe that Kalona can get into Stark’s body—how weird is that? Just because of this happening, I’m betting that—by the end of the series—Zoey is going to be back with Heath and Stark will be dead. There’s no way if Kalona’s in charge of Stark’s body that Stark won’t end up dying in the end. Second, where was Zoey this whole book? She chose to stay on the Island of Skye and completely ignored the responsibilities she should have been bold enough to take. And after mourning Heath, she immediately gets infatuated with trying to get it on with Stark. Lastly, out of all the characters to die in a book, why choose Jack? If it’s anything like Heath’s death, he’ll just be brought back anyway, but seriously. There are some other really annoying characters that could have been killed off instead. The first House of Night book, Marked, was released 4 years ago. Maybe I’ve just grown up a lot in the past 4 years, but I’m wondering why I was so intrigued with this series in the first place. The writing can be sloppy in places—and sometimes just plain silly—and the characters seem to act younger than their age. In 4 years, I’ve read so many better books and yet, after 4 years of reading these books, I feel like I should tough it out to the bitter end. Come on P.C. and Kristin—pick up your socks and write something great, something unexpected and amazing for the finale! Your readers deserve it.
Date published: 2012-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book! (Not to mention, the whole series). This book is the latest in the HON series, and it didn't dissapoint. We are really getting into the center of what is goig on with Zoey and her freinds. This series is absolutely great, and is relateable to about every high school student.
Date published: 2011-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well done. This book was actually very entertaining. Now this one is thebest book. It would have been nice if this was the last one, but I have a feeling there will be at least 5 more books in this series. With the way they write...I wouldn't be surprised if they write 10 more books.. with the same vilains! HA! Content was good. I am over the repetitiveness. Whatever. I have to wait for the next book to come out now. That's all.
Date published: 2011-07-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Are we done yet? It wasn't bad but surprise surprise after all that we still havent gotten close to defeating Neferet. A bunch of main characters die and everything gets put back into a weird balance much like the second book in the series where Neferet runs the show and we can't do anything about it. I'll finish the series, but if there's a bunch more books to come I'll be angry. There should be 1 book left and it should wrap it up. FINISH UP ALL READY
Date published: 2011-06-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay. I absolutely loved the plot, however I felt the writing could have used some work. Not only were we still using words like "bullpoopie" which I thought was overused after the first book, but we are still talking like we're 8 year olds. I loved the series, but I think the books are made just for money now.
Date published: 2011-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good read. Make sure you start at the begining of this series. It is a unique concept for vampires and a very good read. They are classified as teen books but seem to mature with each edition. I am certainly not a teen anymore but have enjoy this set of books thoroughly! I HIGHly recommend them.
Date published: 2011-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I need another! PC and Kristin Cast did another fantastic job with this book. I got the first 4 as an accidental christmas present about a year ago, and after reading the first one I was hooked! I love the twists which come around every corner, I love that they aren't always what you expect and love even more that this series isn't like any of the others I've been reading. Keep them coming ladies I'm excited for the next one to come out in November!
Date published: 2011-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This One Really Got To Me I just finished the 8th book in the House of Night series: Awakened. I began reading this series two years ago. TWO YEARS AGO. And it's still going on. Plus, there will be another one called Destined. I heard there was going to be 12 books in total. Don't worry guys, hang in there! We're almost done! When I first started Awakened I wasn't expecting much. But to my surprise, it was a great read! (And this is coming from someone who's gotten sick of the series a long time ago.) Anyway, Awakened is mainly about Zoey and Stark in the Otherworld but then someone passes away. And it was one of my favourite characters, I was going to cry when I was reading that part. In my opinion, I didn't think anything major happened in the beginning. Until Zoey and Stark actually return to Earth. And then they deal with Neferet and Kalona, and how they're with Darkness and all that. My favourite parts of the book was when Stevie Rae and Rephaim actually got to be together. I just love the romance they have between each other. To me, I see Rephaim as that bad boy now that he's normal again. (Okay I know I kind of spoiled it there, but I mean there was a super hot guy on the cover. And who else could that be?) All in all, the book was good. It wasn't as good as Betrayed or Untamed, which were my two favourite, but it was good. I still dislike Zoey, because of everything she has done in the past. I just wish we got to see more of the Twins and Damien. I like the humor and energy they bring to the story. I still like the way the story shaped out from Zoey as a regular student to a High Priestess. But sometimes, I wish that Zoey was still that student. And I also wish she was with Erik. Seriously, he used to be the most attractive Vampyre out there. Until the authors just decided to change him into some stupid freak. Like, really? He never used to be 'controlling' or 'arrogant.' I will be reading Destined because I do want to see more of the story, especially how it is going to end.
Date published: 2011-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not another HON! Okay, let's start at the beginning. Back when Zoey still had her virginity, back when there was no Red Fledglings and back when the plot was actually going somewhere. In the beginning, I really enjoyed the writing because I'd never experienced it before. Now, I've had too much of it and frankly, I'm getting quite sick of it. I mean, "Bullpoopie?". Anyways, the story was great and really fresh and I absolutely loved the series. However, it all went downhill after Chosen. The story line was still there, but it felt like there was no purpose to it, other than to help fulfill the 12 book contract that the Casts are signed up for. I'll admit that this one was definately better than the last one, but that's about as much as I'll give it credit for. It's definately not one of the Casts best book in the series. The plot was intreging but I failed to see the point of the book. I realize that they're trying to stop Neferet and Kalona, but usually their is a goal that needs to be reached by the end of a book. I failed to see what that was. All in all, it was a good installment to the series, but is still lacking a much needed goal that needs to be reached to once and for all defeat Kalona and Neferet.
Date published: 2011-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awakened This book was a pretty good. Its one of the better ones, better then the last thats for sure. It starts off slow and boring, but it ends really well. I cant until the next one. :)
Date published: 2011-03-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Getting Old.... So, This is the 8th book in the House of Night Series. And Guess what? There's another one coming out! -_- I love this series but after the 6th one, Tempted, it kind of grew old on me. And the fact that it isn't even focusing on Zoey anymore kind of pisses me off since all of the books up to Hunted focused on her. Not that I don't care about Stevie Rae and Rephaim, but Stevie Rae isn't the main Character. Also, I found that everything is a little bit too happy. I mean, I know that Someone (I'm not going to say who) dies, but besides that, everything else seems to be happy even though Neferet is jeopardizing their lives and the House of night of Tusla. All in all, I think that P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast should focus on the end of the series rather than long ass descriptions and who should end with who.
Date published: 2011-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book The first few pages of the book were really boring i was tired of reading Neferet's part of the story. later on the book started to pick up the pace which was really enjoyable. towards the middle was a real game changer though cause you would never it coming. (don't want to spoil the book) I like reading more of Steavie though. Cant wat for the next one
Date published: 2011-02-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth continuing. "Awakened is the eighth book in The House of Night series. Awakened takes place after Zoey Redbird and her Guardian James Stark return from the Otherworld. Saddened, and scarred by the loss of her consort, Zoey chooses to remain on the Isle of Skye with Stark … indefinitely. Kalona, having failed to kill Zoey in the Otherworld now has his immortal soul bound to serve Neferet. Publically, Neferet banishes Kalona from her side, but of course, away from prying eyes he is still hers to use and command. Once Kalona returns to Tulsa it is that much harder for his favourite son, Rephiam. He cannot hurt Stevie Rae, but he also cannot deny his father his allegiance. Which side will Rephiam choose? Meanwhile, Stevie Rae must face the Darkness that looms in Tulsa, and somehow manage her imprint with Rephiam. What will it take for Zoey to come home? Is Zoey strong enough to face what awaits her? Will Zoey finally beat Darkness? Opening a new House of Night novel is like visiting an old friend. As soon as I started reading Awakened I remembered why I first loved these books. However, that feeling did not last very long. Throughout the novel I wanted to strangle Zoey Redbird. I found her actions frustrating. She was coping as best she could, but it just felt as if she was hiding. The plot goes nowhere when the main character isn’t functioning properly. It took another tragedy to get Zoey off her butt and back home. I finally saw some of the old Zoey towards the end. When Z’s friends are in danger and in need she can still be counted on to be right there protecting them. However, she’s not the same Zoey, and after the very last evil act in the book she will never be the same. I do not look forward to more mourning in the next installment. I used to find that the relationship between Stevie Rae and Rephiam dragged, but this time around, it was probably my favourite plot line. I haven’t cried this much while reading a book in a long while. Awakened made me ball. There’s death in this book. I will not tell you which characters do not make it, but I will say that it’ll affect the rest of the series. There was one death that really got to me. I cried whenever it was mentioned. It was so unfair, and so undeserved. Of course, the perpetrator got away with it, and that really pushed my buttons. I’m just going to come out with it: I want Neferet to get what she deserves. I want the Vampire High Council to see her for what she is. I want her to be banned from every House of Night. I want her to be shunned. I want Zoey to send every element after her. I want Stark to pick her for a target. I want her gone already! Yes, the Neferet plot was made a heck of lot more interesting at the end, but how long can the characters continue to be blind to her darkness? (Insert scream of frustration here). Seriously now, the ending was worth struggling through The Book That Never Ends. Yes, that was what I dubbed Awakened while reading it. There was a lot of action in the fourth quarter of the book. I couldn’t quite believe what happened. I definitely didn’t enjoy this House of Night novel as much as I had enjoyed others, but I still liked the book overall. The last couple of books were lacking the initial action I’ve been used to. I hope the Destined plot picks up a little quicker than Awakened did. Personally, I will stick with Zoey Redbird until the end." Quoted myself from readandriot.blogspot.com
Date published: 2011-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic I was so excited to read this book :) After purchasing it, I couldn't put it down. Intense read. If you are a fan of the 'House of Night' novels, this is definitely one to pick up.
Date published: 2011-02-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from There's a tiny glimmer of hope for HoN Yet another ridiculously slow start for team Cast, but the story (finally) picks up around the last 1/3 of the book. Yes, this book still carries all of the same annoying quirks that has plagued the series thus far (if I never hear the word "bullpoopie" again, it will still be too soon). The characters are still responding very unrealistically and even uncharacteristically to certain events (sorry no spoilers here). Yet surprisingly, there is still hope for House of Night!! After 2 or was it 3 horrible books, I was ready to completely give up on the series but the last few chapters of Awakened were surprisingly good. FINALLY something I was not expecting happened and the story is FINALLY progressing. I would have to say that new "destiny's" are what I am most looking forward to playing out. In particular, I am hoping Erik's new role will return him to his former self (death to the new immature Erik would be good for all I say) and the return of another certain character looks quite promising in terms of plot twists. All in all, I have hope for the series again. If you have been disappointed with the last few installments, you may want to give Awakened a chance. It's not great but it leaves a lot to be expected of Destined coming in November.
Date published: 2011-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from stupid if your into stevie and rephaim then this is the book for you. im not even half way thru it and im already bored with it...
Date published: 2011-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good I just finish the book I found it OK.I agree it was nice to hear more about Stevie .
Date published: 2011-01-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wasn't That Bad So this was better then that last book for sure,I was kinda ready to give up on it.This book is more about Stevie Rae and Rephaim then the other's which was nice for once .I will say that I wish this had of been the last book.I don't see the need to keep making this story drag on and on.It's like NEFERET'S Never Going to DIE .Also making a book with ony 290 pages kinda seems like a way just to make some money more then write a good book.Well that's what I think anyways.This book was okay, worth reading but should have been the last.
Date published: 2011-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Might just awaken you halfway through.. Awakened is the 8th book in the House of Night series. I have to say this one was better than the last one, which bored me to death. So, I’m relieved I actually got my money’s worth this time around. Awakened starts with Zoey and Stark dealing with their serious case of jetlag/hangover after coming back from the Otherworld. Zoey’s soul is back in one piece and almost fully functioning again, except that she still feels detached from everything back home, in Tulsa and is still dealing with the loss of her long time friend, Heath. For the time being Zoey decides to stay put on the island of Skye instead of returning to her nutty world of friends back in Tulsa. Usually Zoey has the spotlight of hot mess drama down, but she’s gotta share it with many others in this instalment. Stark is still healing and battling with his own issues that now deal with after effects of the throwdown with Kalona in the Otherworld. Speaking of Kalona, Neferet has her evil lovin’ puppet strings working in overtime over, his immortality, the vampyre High Council and the House of Night in Tulsa. Only Zoey and her circle of friends still see her for the dark being she is. With Neferet being so power hungry, she dabbles in the wonderful world of insanity. Back in Tulsa, Stevie Rae is trying to juggle being High Priestess of the HON and her imprint with the former evil Raven mocker, Rephaim. Rephaim becomes even more torn having to cope with the return of his immortal father and the wicked witch of the west and has to decide where his loyalty lies stronger, with Light or Dark. That’s where the common moral lays for almost every character running around in Zoey’s overdramatic life. Some choose new paths that are unexpected and others veer the natural path they have already chosen. For the first half of the book, it feels like we’ve all been there before and just plain drags on. Thankfully, things get turned around which surprised me since this was just going to be one of my inbetween style books. There are some good twists and turns, and the warmth and humor between the fun-loving, dysfunctional friends returns into the formerly boring and strained friendships they had in previous books. The ending was a good cherry topping, and left me actually curious to the read the 9th book. I’m not sure how many books are left, but I hope they wrap it up soon so they can go out with a bang. And that bang better be Neferet. The concept of the series is good, but I think the execution of the dragged on bits will be lost on many readers. Hopefully, anyone reading this series will keep giving it the benefit of the doubt.
Date published: 2011-01-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Getting old Yeah so i've read all these books and im getting seriously sick of them they need to wrap them up. I'm sorry to say. I'm not saying this book didn't have some good moments because it did. I'm just getting sick of Neferet and Kalona and the repetitiveness of it all.
Date published: 2011-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really liked it I did really like this book, I think it was a great book to lead up to the next one or the rest to come. I am very much looking forward to the rest of the series and can't wait till November.
Date published: 2011-01-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from meh So I waited and waited for this book to come out and I am completely disappointed considering this one an epic fail pretty sure im done with these authors nothing really happens in the book they just keep dragging the neferet and kalona are so bad blah blah freaking blah how about some action WRAP THINGS UP jeez its getting rediculous time to end this series and start something new and fresh!!!
Date published: 2011-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It's going to be a long wait Awakened by P.C and Kristin Cast is a great book and also number eight in the House Of Night series, I have to say that even though these books have there flaws it's still a very addicting series or at least it is for me I always find myself excited to get my hands on the new book and I read it very fast. I thought this book was great and everything that happened was insane as well there is going to be some big battles for the next book, I will say I still hate Nefret (sure I spelled wrong) but she brings good drama but when this series ends that b*#@h better be taken down. I was sad when a couple of things happened in this book and I'm sure if you have read it you know what I mean, anyway enough with my rambling I loved the book and I can't wail till the next is released. :0)
Date published: 2011-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from kool love these books happy that the 8th vol is coming out soon and cant be happyer when i can read it lol
Date published: 2010-09-30

Extra Content

Read from the Book

AWAKENED (Chapter 1)NeferetA disquieting sense of irritation awakened Neferet. Before she had truly departed that amorphous place between dreams and reality, she reached out with her long, elegant fingers and felt for Kalona. The arm she touched was muscular. His skin was smooth and strong and pleasing beneath her fingertips. All it took was that small, feather-like caress. He stirred and turned eagerly to her.“My Goddess?” His voice was husky with sleep and the beginnings of renewed desire.He annoyed her.They all annoyed her because they were not him.“Leave me … Kronos.” She had to pause, and search her memory to remember his ridiculous, overly ambitious name.“Goddess, have I done something to displease you?”Neferet glanced up at him. The young Son of Erebus Warrior was reclining on the bed beside her, his handsome face open, his expression willing, his aquamarine eyes just as striking in the dimness of her candlelit bedroom as they had been earlier that day when she’d watched him training in the castle courtyard. He’d stirred her desires then, and with one inviting look from her, he’d willingly come to her and futilely, though enthusiastically, attempted to prove that he was god in more than namesake alone.The problem was that Neferet had been bedded by an immortal, thus she knew all too intimately just how much of an imposter this Kronos truly was.“Breathe,” Neferet said, meeting his blue eyes with a bored glance.“Breathe, Goddess?” His brow, decorated by a tattoo pattern that was supposed to represent ball and mace weaponry, but to Neferet appeared more like frilly Fourth of July fireworks, furrowed in confusion.“You asked what you’d done to displease me and I told you: you’re breathing. And in much too close a proximity to me. That displeases me. It’s time you depart my bed.” Neferet sighed and flicked her fingers at him in dismissal. “Go. Now.”She almost laughed aloud at his undisguised look of hurt and shock.Had the youth really believed he could replace her divine Consort? The impertinence of the thought fueled her anger.In the corners of Neferet’s bedchamber, shadows within shadows quivered in anticipation. Though she didn’t acknowledge them, she felt their stirrings. It pleased her.“Kronos, you were distracting, and for a brief time you gave me a measure of pleasure.” Neferet touched him again, this time not so gently, and her fingernails left twin raised welts down his thick forearm. The young warrior didn’t flinch or pull away. Instead he trembled beneath her touch and his breathing deepened. Neferet smiled. She’d known this one needed pain to feel desire the instant his eyes had met hers.“I would give you more pleasure, if you allowed it,” he said.Neferet smiled. Her tongue flicked out slowly, licking her lips as she watched him watch her. “Perhaps in the future. Perhaps. For now what I require of you is to leave me and, of course, to continue to worship me.”“Would that I could show you how much I long to worship you again.” The last word was spoken as a verbal caress, and—mistakenly—Kronos reached for her.As if it was his right to touch her.As if her wishes were subservient to his needs and desires.One small echo from Neferet’s distant past—a time she thought she’d buried with her humanity—seeped from the entombed memories. She felt her father’s touch and even smelled the reek of his rancid, alcohol-soaked breath as her childhood invaded the present.Neferet’s response was instantaneous. As easily as breathing, she lifted her hand from the warrior’s arm and held it, palm outward, at the closest of the shadows lurking at the edges of her chamber.Darkness responded to her touch even more quickly than had Kronos. She felt its deadly chill and reveled in the sensation, especially as it banished the rising memories. With a nonchalant motion, she scattered the Darkness at Kronos, saying, “If it is pain you so desire, then taste my cold fire.”The Darkness Neferet hurled at Kronos penetrated his young, smooth skin eagerly, slicing ribbons of scarlet through the forearm she had so recently caressed.He moaned, though this time more in fear than passion.“Now do as I command. Leave me. And remember, young warrior, a goddess chooses when and where and how she is touched. Do not overstep yourself again.”Gripping his bleeding arm, Kronos bowed low to Neferet. “Yes, my Goddess.”“Which goddess? Be specific, Warrior! I have no desire to be called by ambiguous titles.”His response was instantaneous. “Nyx Incarnate. That is your title, my Goddess.”Her narrowed look softened. Neferet’s face relaxed into its mask of beauty and warmth. “Very good, Kronos. Very good. See how easy it is to please me?”Caught in her emerald gaze, Kronos nodded once, then fisting his right hand over his heart he said, “Yes, my Goddess, my Nyx,” and backed reverently from her chamber.Neferet smiled again. It was unimportant that she was not actually Nyx Incarnate. The truth was Neferet wasn’t interested in being cast in the role of an incarnate goddess. “That implies I am lesser than a goddess,” she spoke to the shadows gathered around her. What was important was power—and if the title Nyx Incarnate aided her in the acquisition of power, especially with the Sons of Erebus Warriors, then that was the title by which she would be called. “But I aspire to more—much more than standing in the shadow of a goddess.”Soon she would be ready to take her next step, and Neferet knew some of the Sons of Erebus would be manipulated into standing beside her. Oh, not enough of them to actually sway a battle with their physical force, but enough of them to fragment the Warriors’ morale by setting brother against brother. Men, she thought disdainfully, so easily fooled by the masks of beauty and title, and so easily used to my advantage.The thought pleased her but wasn’t distracting enough to keep Neferet from restlessly leaving her bed. She wrapped a sheer silk robe around herself and moved from her chamber out into the hallway. Before she’d given conscious thought to her actions she was heading to the stairwell that would take her to the bowels of the castle.Shadows within shadows drifted after Neferet, dark magnets drawn by her increasing agitation. She knew they moved with her. She knew they were dangerous and that they fed on her unease, her anger, her restless mind. But, oddly, she found a measure of comfort in their presence.She paused only once in her downward descent. Why am I going to him again? Why am I allowing him to invade my thoughts tonight? Neferet shook her head as if to dislodge the silent words and spoke into the narrow, empty stairwell, addressing the Darkness that hovered attentively around her. “I go because it is what I wish to do. Kalona is my Consort. He was wounded serving me. It is only natural that I think of him.”With a self-satisfied smile Neferet continued down the winding stairwell, easily repressing the truth: that Kalona had been wounded because she had entrapped him, and the service he performed for her was a forced one.She reached the dungeon, carved centuries ago from the rocky earth that made up the Isle of Capri at the bottommost level of the castle, and moved silently down the torch-lit hallway. The Son of Erebus Warrior standing watch outside the barred room couldn’t hide his jolt of surprise. Neferet’s smile widened. His shocked look, tinged with fear, told her that she was getting better and better at appearing to materialize from nothing but shadows and night. That lightened her mood, but not enough to add the softness of a smile to temper the cruel edge of command in her voice.“Leave. I wish to be alone with my Consort.”The Son of Erebus hesitated only a moment, but that slight pause was enough for Neferet to make a mental note about being sure in the next few days that this particular Warrior would be called back to Venice. Perhaps because of an emergency regarding someone close to him …“Priestess, I leave you to your privacy. But know that I am within the sound of your voice and will respond to your call should you need me.” Without meeting her eyes, the Warrior fisted his hand over his heart and bowed—though too slightly to suit her.Neferet watched him retreat down the narrow hallway.“Yes,” she whispered to the shadows. “I can feel that something quite unfortunate is going to happen to his mate.”Smoothing the sheer silk of her wrap, she turned to the closed wooden door. Neferet drew a deep breath of the damp dungeon air. She swept the thick fall of her auburn hair back from her face, baring her beauty as if girding herself for battle.Neferet waved her hand at the door and it opened for her. She stepped into the room.Kalona lay directly on the earthen floor. She’d wanted to make a bed for him, but discretion had dictated her actions. It really wasn’t that she was keeping him imprisoned. She was simply being wise. He had to complete his mission for her—that was what was best for him. If his body regained too much of its immortal strength, it would be a distraction for Kalona, an unfortunate distraction. Especially as he’d sworn to act as her sword in the Otherworld and to rid them of the inconvenience Zoey Redbird had created for them in this time, this reality.Neferet approached his body. Her Consort lay flat on his back, naked, with only his onyx wings as a veil-like covering. She sank gracefully to her knees and then reclined, facing him, on the thick fur pelt she’d ordered placed beside him for her convenience.Neferet sighed. She touched the side of Kalona’s face.His flesh was cool, as it always was, but lifeless. He showed no reaction whatsoever to her presence.“What is taking so long, my love? Could you not have disposed of one annoying child more quickly?”Neferet caressed him again; this time her hand slid from his face down the curve of his neck, over his chest, to rest on the indentations that defined the corded muscles of his abdomen and waist.“Remember your oath and fulfill it so that I might open my arms and my bed to you again. By blood and Darkness you have sworn to prevent Zoey Redbird from returning to her body, thus destroying her so that I might rule this magickal modern world.” Neferet caressed the fallen immortal’s slim waist again, smiling secretly to herself. “Oh, and of course you shall be by my side while I rule.”Invisible to the Sons of Erebus fools who were supposed to be the High Council’s spies, the black, spider-like threads that held Kalona trapped against the earth shivered and shifted, brushing their frigid tentacles against Neferet’s hand. Distracted momentarily by their alluring chill, Neferet opened her palm to Darkness and allowed it to twine around her wrist, cutting ever so slightly into her flesh—not enough to cause her pain that was unbearable—only enough to temporarily sate its unending lust for blood.Remember your sworn oath …The words sloughed around her like the winter wind through denuded branches.Neferet frowned. She need not be reminded. Of course she was aware of her oath. In exchange for Darkness doing her bidding—entrapping Kalona’s body and forcing his soul to the Otherworld—she had agreed to sacrifice the life of an innocent Darkness had been unable to taint.The oath remains. The bargain holds, even should Kalona fail, Tsi Sgili …Again the words whispered around her.“Kalona will not fail!” Neferet shouted, utterly incensed that even Darkness would dare chastise her. “And should he, I have bound his spirit as mine to command as long as he is immortal, so even in failure there is victory for me. But he will not fail.” She repeated the words, slowly and distinctly, regaining control over her increasingly volatile temper.Darkness licked her palm. The pain, slight though it was, pleased her, and she gazed at the tendrils affectionately, as if they were simply overeager kittens vying for her attention.“Darlings, be patient. His quest is not complete. My Kalona is still but a shell. I can only assume Zoey languishes in the Otherworld—not fully living and, unfortunately, not yet dead.”The threads that held her wrist quivered, and for an instant Neferet thought she heard the mocking ring of laughter rumbling in the distance.But she had no time to consider the implications of such a sound—whether it was real or just an element of the expanding world of Darkness and power that consumed more and more of what she once knew as reality—because at that instant Kalona’s entrapped body jerked spasmodically and he drew a deep, gasping breath.Her gaze went instantly to his face, so she witnessed the horror of his eyes opening, even though they were nothing but empty, bloody sockets.“Kalona! My love!” Neferet was on her knees, bending over him, her hands fluttering around his face.The Darkness that had been caressing her wrists throbbed with a sudden jolt of power, causing her to flinch before they shot from her body and joined a myriad of sticky tendrils that, web-like, hovered and pulsed against the stone ceiling of the dungeon.Before Neferet could form a command to call a tendril to her—to order an explanation for such bizarre behavior—a blinding flash of light, so bright and shining that she had to shield her eyes from it, exploded from the ceiling.The web of Darkness caught it, slicing through the light with inhumane sharpness and entrapping it.Kalona opened his mouth with a soundless scream.“What is it? I demand to know what is happening!” Neferet cried.Your Consort has returned, Tsi Sgili.Neferet stared as the globe of imprisoned light was wrenched from the air and, with a terrible hissing, Darkness plunged Kalona’s soul through the sockets of his eyes and back into his body.The winged immortal writhed in pain. His hands lifted to cover his face, and he drew panting, ragged breaths.“Kalona! My Consort!” As she would have done when she was a young healer, Neferet moved automatically. She pressed her palms over Kalona’s hands, quickly and efficiently centered herself, and said, “Soothe him … remove his pain … make his agony like the red sun setting into the horizon—gone after a momentary slash through the waiting night sky.”The shudders that wracked Kalona’s body began to lessen almost instantly. The winged immortal drew a deep breath. Though his hands trembled, he clasped Neferet’s tightly, removing them from his face. Then, opened his eyes. They were the deep amber color of whisky, clear and coherent. He was completely himself again.“You’ve returned to me!” For a moment Neferet was so filled with relief that he was awake and aware that she almost wept. “Your mission is complete.” Neferet brushed away the tentacles that clung stubbornly to Kalona’s body, frowning at them because they seemed so reluctant to withdraw their hold on her lover.“Take me from the earth.” His voice was gravelly with disuse, but his words were lucid. “To the sky. I need to see the sky.”“Yes, of course, my love.” Neferet waved at the door and it reopened. “Warrior! My Consort awakens. Help him to the castle rooftop!”The Son of Erebus who had annoyed her so recently obeyed her command without question, though Neferet noted he looked shocked at Kalona’s sudden reanimation.Wait until you know the whole of it. Neferet speared him a superior smirk. Very soon you and the other Warriors will take orders only from me—or you will perish. The thought pleased her as she followed the two men out of the bowels of the ancient fortress of Capri, up and up until finally they emerged from the long length of stone steps onto the rooftop.It was past midnight. The moon hung toward the horizon, yellow and heavy though not yet full.“Help him to the bench and then leave us,” Neferet ordered, gesturing to the ornately carved marble bench that rested near the edge of the castle’s rooftop, affording a truly magnificent view of the glistening Mediterranean. But Neferet had no interest in the beauty that surrounded her. She waved away the Warrior, dismissing him from her mind even though she knew he would be notifying the High Council that her Consort’s soul had returned to his body.That didn’t matter now. That could be dealt with later.Only two things mattered now: Kalona had returned to her, and Zoey Redbird was dead.AWAKENED. Copyright 2010 by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

Editorial Reviews

"The mega-selling Cast team continues to reveal its pulse-pounding saga through the viewpoints of multiple characters, giving fresh insight into their hearts and motivations...Tragedy, sacrifice and choice are all themes that make this story gripping." -Romantic Times"The saga of the House of Night series continues to smolder in Burned...Overall this is a fast and furious read, but a rewarding one." -VOYA on BURNED, House of Night Book 7"Burned [is] a strong, moving, powerful addition to this series....The last fifty pages just wrung me out, crying and happy all at the same time. I don't know where in the world the next book will be going but I wouldn't miss it!" -Night Owl Reviews on BURNED, House of Night Book 7"Cast and Cast pull out all the stops and take this story to shattering new heights with devastating consequences!" -Romantic Times (4 ½ stars) on TEMPTED, House of Night Book 6"P. C. And Kristin Cast have made an absolutely amazing [YA] series. The visuals offered by this fantastic duo are entertaining and imaginative, with nonstop action... This is easily a [YA] series that can entertain adults with action, hot Vampyres, true friendship, budding romance, a loving Goddess, and a twist of the unexpected." -HowlingGoodBooks.com (5 stars) on TEMPTED, House of Night Book 6"Move over, Stephenie Meyer." -People on HUNTED, House of Night Book 5"Zoey Redbird's first-person adventures take on added danger and importance in the latest House of Night release. Forced by circumstance to grow up quickly, Zoey's emotional and spiritual evolution is fascinating. The Cast duo breathes life and vibrancy into the characters and makes each one an integral part of the saga. Awesome and unforgettable as always!" -Romantic Times (4.5 stars) on HUNTED, House of Night Book 5"The Cast duo has done it again! These ladies appear to be an unstoppable force within the world of YA literature... Teenage readers will be drawn to Zoey's everyday, angst-riddled life. Not only does she need to save the world, Zoey needs to solve some major vampyre/human boy drama. These stories are surreal, yet shockingly accurate when it comes to teenagers and their lives." -TeensReadToo.com (5 stars) on HUNTED, House of Night Book 5"The most masterful part of the writing lies in how the authors take on serious issues sex, peer pressure, bullying, parental alienation, religion, and substance abuse and weave them into the text. It is a refreshing perspective that doesn't feel like preaching." -Tulsa World on HUNTED, House of Night Book 5"This is a series that should not be missed!" -EnchantingReviews.com on UNTAMED, House of Night Book 4"Untamed is a fast moving and adventure filled read, with engaging characters and just a touch of romantic chemistry to keep fans guessing. This is a well-written young adult series that should easily appeal to both teens and adults." -Darque Reviews on UNTAMED, House of Night Book 4"The mother and daughter writing team have created a believable world with characters that you can't let go of. The story is addictive and the cliffhanger ending in this installment has me wishing the months till March will fly by! The fifth book Haunted will surely be another great book in this amazing series." -ParaNormalRomance.org on UNTAMED, House of Night Book 4"Teenage issues can seem like life or death, but in this haunting series, House of Night, that's really the case. Through Zoey's eyes readers are led into a world that's getting more complicated by the minute, where friends and enemies can switch positions in a heartbeat. The remarkable Cast duo continues to build a world that you won't soon forget!" -Romantic Times (4.5 stars) on CHOSEN, House of Night Book 3"Chosen, The House of Night series book 3, is like the cream in an Oreo cookie holding the two ends together. This story is gearing up for the final showdown between Zoey and Nepheret and mother and daughter team, P.C. and Kristen Cast are setting the stage perfectly for this....Again, P.C. Cast is an auto-buy author for me and this series is also on that auto-buy list." -Paranormal Romance Reviews on CHOSEN, House of Night Book 3"The Cast and Cast team is back and stirring up deep trouble in their beguiling supernatural world....The issues faced by these teens are not child's play, and the stakes are life and death. This is extremely craveable reading!" -Romantic Times (4.5 stars) on BETRAYED, House of Night Book 2"Some would find it hard to write the sequel to a great book like Marked, but the Cast women obviously didn't have that problem. I laughed, sighed, and definitely cried. I thought that I knew where this series was headed but the authors took me completely by surprise. Congrats to P.C. and Kristin Cast, on a fantastic job. Bring on Chosen!" -Night Owl Romance Reviews on BETRAYED, House of Night Book 2"P.C. and Kristin Cast make a fantastic writing team. This enchanting tale is filled with non-stop action, strong relationships, and sweet blossoming romance. Whether you're a teen or an adult who loves a great paranormal read, this is a series not to be missed." -Darque Reviews on BETRAYED, House of Night Book 2"This highly addicting series offers a unique twist on the standard vampyre story and is sure to please a wide variety of readers. Although she is a vampyre, Zoey Redbird's journey is one for every teen... These books will have the reader laughing hysterically and sobbing unreservedly-sometimes all at once." -VOYA (on both Marked and Betrayed)"Zoey Redbird... is basically the most relatable vampire - sorry, fledgling vampyre - I've ever read about." -MTV.com on MARKED, House of Night Book 1"The Casts have put a very interesting new spin on vampire lore. The action is fast paced and absorbing, interspersing light moments among the intensity. When you reach the climax of the tale, you'll be on the edge of your seat. Though this is labeled a young adult novel, I strongly suspect adults of any age will enjoy it." -Huntress.com on MARKED, House of Night Book 1"The Casts, mother and daughter, have written a delightful book that's aimed at teens but will be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The trials of growing up are presented in the new and original context of a vampire society, and they're woven into a thoroughly entertaining story. Zoey is a dynamic and spunky heroine who has an amusing and realistic voice. She's surrounded by secondary characters who are just as engaging. The dialogue is sharp and the references to real people and pop culture add to the story. This promises to be a highly addictive series." -Romantic Times (4.5 stars) on MARKED, House of Night Book 1"Marked is one of the best coming of age stories to come out of Oklahoma since S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders. It teaches about the beauty of being a social outcast, friendship, and finding your own inner spirituality." -The Beltane Papers on MARKED, House of Night Book 1"From the moment I stuck my face in this book it hooked me! Totally awesome new take on vampires! Marked is hot and dark and funny. It rocks!" -Gena Showalter, author of MTV's Oh My Goth on MARKED, House of Night Book 1"Cast reeled me in from paragraph one. I snorted and giggled through the whole thing, and devoured it in one sitting." -MaryJanice Davidson, New York Times bestselling author of the Undead series on MARKED, House of Night Book 1