Betrayed, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
October 13, 2008
In Betrayed, fledgling vampire Zoey Redbird should be enjoying her new abilities, relationship, and position as leader of the Dark Daughters club. But she’s plagued by a strong hunch that things are still not right at the House of Night. Following an extremely awkward recap of the events of the first book, Zoey tries to push aside her misgivings and make plans for the future of the Dark Daughters. She thinks that the former leader, Aphrodite, made the club too cliquish and frivolous.
When local teens start to go missing, suspicion falls on the House of Night. Zoey sees and hears a few things that make her wonder what dark secrets her school still holds. She questions her assumptions and finds help from unexpected sources, all while trying to sort out her tangled love life. As with Marked, you can see the plot twists coming a mile away. But one of them was surprisingly touching despite it’s predictability.
Zoey’s intolerable (and inconsistent) moralism is toned down from the previous book, though she’s still annoyingly fast to describe some fairly harmless acts as “slutty.” But Betrayed introduces another issue that makes Zoey a problematic heroine for me. She’s too perfect. There was some of this in Marked, but the awkwardness of Zoey’s introduction to her new school and Aphrodite’s attempts to undermine her helped temper that. But now Zoey is a leader among the students in addition to being a powerful, unique, wise, forgiving priestess that everyone is drawn to. Her obvious flaws read like typical bullshit answers to that “What are your weaknesses?” interview question, she’s too concerned about others to put her own troubles first and too willing to risk herself for a friend. Her only weak moments are either trivial or practically forced on her by external events.
This reads like a transition book, which is surprising considering that it’s only the second in the series. It sets up quite a few conflicts, but very little is resolved. Some aspects of the plot feel unsatisfying, as if their only real purpose is to nudge Zoey along in the right direction. Some characters seem very different from the first book, one in particular is shockingly bad at disguising their motivations. Most of Zoey’s group seem a bit flat at times. I’d like them better if they had a little more character development and a lot less stereotypes and cheesy slang.
Even though I’m irritated with aspects of these books, there’s something keeping me interested. Part of it may be how obvious I’m finding some of the plot twists. There were several hints about the future of some characters, and I want to see if I’m right about them. But part of it is that this is an interesting world and they’re fast reads that remain more entertaining than annoying.