Chosen, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
November 3, 2008
In Chosen, Zoey Redbird spends a lot of time hiding things. Zoey’s mentor, Neferet, can’t know how many of her secrets that Zoey has discovered. Zoey’s inner circle can’t learn that their friend who rejected the change has become an undead minion of evil fighting to keep her sense of self. Zoey has to sneak out to see her imprinted human boyfriend and sneak around to explore an inappropriate flirtation with a teacher. The person that Zoey most needs to keep in the dark is her very understanding vampire boyfriend, Erik. As you can imagine, this is not exactly the best way to nurture a relationship.
When a vampire is murdered, the House of Night jumps into action to protect its members from the humans outside their walls. But Zoey knows that not all of the threats are from outsiders, and the one person she can rely on for help is her former rival.
This series is finally picking up, mostly because Zoey is finally starting to face some repercussions for her actions. The earlier novels didn’t seem to challenge Zoey much, either in terms of power or her personal life. She could be surprisingly judgemental about those around her, even while she was engaging in morally questionable acts, and most people seemed to just get over her behavior because she’s a special little flower. She spends a lot of time in Chosen lying to the people that she supposedly cares the most about, and I really hope that the next book doesn’t start with a big “all your bad choices and bullshit are forgiven because you’re so cool” scene.
Aphrodite plays a bigger, more developed role in this one. She’s my favorite character now, and it’s not only because she says things to Zoey’s face that I’ve been thinking since starting the series. She’s become a lot more than the generic, mean girl antagonist that she was at the start. Stevie Rae’s story is interesting, and I also liked that the most boring of the ongoing plots seems to have been resolved.
While Chosen showed progress, there is still definite room for improvement. The murders were treated as a secondary consideration to Zoey’s love life, which made them seem like hollow plot points rather than important events that we’re supposed to care about. There’s still too much awkward slang. Why bother trying so hard to make the teens sound like that? It comes across as kind of fake, and will just end up making the book really dated after a few years.
And enough with the gay stereotypes, both among the homosexual characters and their friends. The main group keeps throwing around things that are borderline slurs, and acting like it’s okay for them to talk like that because they have gay friends. It’s not okay. Especially because the two gay characters are such a big deal that Zoey feels the need to keep pointing out how it’s not a big deal that they’re gay and everyone is fine with it and her boyfriend is a really cool guy for not ostracizing his gay roommate. This is one of those times when I wish I had easily-accessible smilies on this blog, but there isn’t a 🙄 in the world that’s big enough.