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Monday, July 10, 2017

#CJSReads REVIEW: Loved by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast @pccastauthor @kcastauthor #blackstonepublishing

by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Blackstone Publishing

A YA novel full of vampires and zombie apocalypse! 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It's Zoey's eighteenth birthmas and the Nerd Herd has been scattered across the country busily adulting for almost a year when Stark calls them back to Tulsa to surprise Z. But all is not well in T-town. Strange, dark signs are appearing--could it be possible Neferet is stirring? Not willing to chance disaster striking again, Zoey calls on her newly reunited friends to circle with her and add a layer of protection over Neferet's grotto jail. Easy-peasy, right?Wrong. Nothing at the House of Night is ever as it seems.With rabid red vampyres closing in, Zoey and the Nerd Herd must come together again and battle evil. But a year is a long time. Have these old friends grown too far apart? When the world fractures and allies become enemies, will darkness devour friendships or will light save those she's loved?   

My Review:

It's been a year since the Nerd Herd beat Neferet and they've dispersed to live their separate lives.  Zoey, having a dream about Neferet potentially emerging again, wants to bring everyone together. Her man, Stark, has already planned for this as everything is falling around her birthmas.  Her now surprise becomes a reunion to try and stop her dream from coming true.

Their own personal tragedies have caused them to not only face the zombie apocalypse they accidentally unleashed in their world, but their own inner turmoils as well.  

I had no idea this was actually a continuation of a prior series, so thank goodness for the intro recapping and introducing the characters - even though it was slightly daunting as a lot is thrown at you at once.  However, it didn't seem muddled or confusing once you started reading.  This is definitely YA with teen speak drizzled throughout.  I loved the references to Joss Whedon and Caleb Roehrig's Last Seen Leaving book.  **applause** Overall, we see a unit, a family, work together to right the wrongs and help each other through life struggles.  It's a fast and easy read.  Love YA books about vampires and zombies?  Take a look into Loved!  


Jessica's Thoughts:

Not going to lie, when I read the intro and some of the descriptions I was incredibly confused. The thought, "isn't this book one in a series??" popped into my head a couple of times. However, as I continued I found that I wasn't lost at all. LOVED by PC Cast and Kristin Cast is book one of A House of Night Other World series. This book had a great pace and was a quick and fluid read. 

This book takes place a year after the House of Night series ended - Zoey and her fellow Nerd Herd have defeated Neferet. The close friends have now gone their separate ways. However, when Zoey is visited in a dream by Kalona, everything is about to change. Kalona brings warning that Neferet could be stirring again, and the potential key to stopping her is hiding in her notebook. Zoey calls together the Nerd Herd once again, but have these once close friends been apart for too long? 

Everyone of the Nerd Herd is facing their own personal struggles - Stevie Rae is homesick, Damien is beginning to battle the resurgence of depression, and Aphrodite is cracking under the immense pressure from her mother. The characters must battle their inner demons, but in the meantime, zombie vampires are unleashed upon their world. 

To be honest, if this book didn't have that intro/recap in the beginning, I wouldn't have like this book as much. It did cause some confusion at first, but it definitely got me completely up-to-date and a little familiar with the characters. I really enjoyed their writing. It's always interesting when books are co-written because you always wonder if their styles will mesh together seamlessly - I definitely couldn't see any disconnects between chapters! 

Despite this being a book with preexisting characters from another series, I still feel like I got to know them well enough. I really enjoyed Aphrodite's character. This is definitely a fantasy and paranormal YA novel. So if you aren't a fan of YA, then this probably won't be for you. It was a pleasant surprise for me! If you like vampires and zombies, then it'd highly recommend this one to you.

I give this one 4/5 stars! Without that introduction it would have probably gone towards 3.5 stars.

Sam's Thoughts:

Sometimes book and reader don't mesh.  Thankfully Sam gives in to Jessica and I's need for YA every once in a while and gives it a go.  Unfortunately this wasn't suited to her tastes.

Big thank you to Blackstone Publishing for these copies in return for our honest opinions.

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