There’s just something about these blood sucking vampires which latches onto my curiosity… I thought the whole Vampire saga would be over once I finished reading the Twilight series. Seeing as I was quite reluctant to start on the Twilight thing, I didn’t think the whole idea of Vampires and their world would keep my interest for very long.
But then I stayed with my relatives in KL for a few days, and with little else to do… my cousins convinced me that the House of Night series (P.C. & Kristin Cast) was worth reading. I resisted at first because it seemed too high school for my taste, a vampire school for vampire fledglings with vampire issues plus the typical American high school drama? No thanks.
I was even more reluctant to start reading it after finding out that the books are still in the making with no definite end in sight. Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, and now Tempted… these one-word titles are thankfully a reflection of the novel itself. If they had been the size of the Twilight series, I’m not sure if I would have finished them by now. Welcome to the wonders of free time and the lure of a book.
The House of Night series is told in the point of view of 16 year old Zoey Redbird, but once you get over the initial chapter of “ugh, this is a typical high school drama” (think Gossip Girl love triangles and bitching), you can forgive Zoey for being…. well, the typical teenage girl that she is.
Marked is like many of the first books to a series, it introduces characters and the setting for the reader to discover. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t the most captivating introduction book I’ve read, to be honest it was curiosity and the potential for a great plot that kept me reading … I just couldn’t relate to Zoey! It really does seem like I can no longer read just any ‘young adult’ novels now…
*Mild Spoiler Warning*
In Betrayed we’re introduced to the Red Vampire Fledglings, the ones who have died and ‘lost their humanity’. It’s an interesting addition, but I thought there were just too many loose ends for them to be realistic rather than something the author decided to throw into the mix. For example, it was very convenient for humans to start dying after Zoey arrived even though the Red Vampire Fledglings have been around for a while… even more convenient that Zoey is the only one that stumbles across them.
Betrayed also introduces Neferet as the ‘bad guy’ plotting something evil and sinister. Trouble is, how can someone as old and powerful as Neferet be an equal to a fledgling like Zoey? Because she’s “special”. Yuck, what a lame excuse… almost as bad as the oh-so-powerful character of Bella from Twilight.
But it was Chosen which I thought brought it back to a more realistic level. Maybe I just have a thing for drama and bad things happening to the heroes in the novel, but I enjoyed the way Chosen brought Zoey down to Earth. It teaches us that all our choices have consequences, and the only ones responsible for these consequences are ourselves.
By the time I got to reading Untamed, it had become a habit to just skim over the first few pages of the House of Night books as well as every time they cast a circle and reintroduce characters. It reminds me of Harry Potter and how annoying it was to re-read all the introductions to characters and updates on who was good or bad etc. I know the authors do it for the benefit of new readers, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
So Untamed introduces us to a new character, James Stark. And to no surprise, he’s hot as hell and has a thing for Zoey. I really don’t understand these vampire stories… Why does it always seem like there’s an abundance of testosterone hovering around the main character?
Untamed also had me wondering about the Red Vampires and their purpose… I just thought it was awfully convenient that Neferet had James Stark transfer from the Chicago House of Night to Tulsa just before he dies and turns into a Red Vampire Fledgling, and then Neferet conveniently has Stark under her control so that she can unearth Kalona the fallen angel god and gain super powers to kill the super duper queen vampire… but I suppose I’ll have to read more to discover the answer to this question.
The constant boy-fledgling-vampire-god trouble (Heath Luck, Erik Night, Loren Blake, James Stark, Kalona…) circulating around Zoey seems interesting, but with her group of fledgling friends (who remind me of your typical high schoolers) and their continuous talk of testosterone, it just becomes plain annoying after a while.
And of course Hunted… it is definitely not a favourite of the House of Night books because of the ease which everything unraveled….
Need to defeat this mighty ‘God’ Kalona? no problem, the instructions are in the a poem.
Need to escape from the House of Night full of Raven Mockers? Just let the cats lead you to the Vampires who will get you out.
Can’t solve the riddle of a poem? Don’t worry, your gut will tell you what’s right and wrong.
I just feel that Hunted pokes too many holes in the plot. The authors really should have made it more realisitic (difficult) for a bunch of teens to overturn such powerful and evil characters. I mean, how how many times can you use the excuse “you’re special” to explain how the heroine has her escape route paved for her? How fun can it be to know that no harm could come to the hero? and more importantly, how convenient is it that the human nuns and Zoey’s Grandma were live and kicking around the Red Vampire Fledglings when it was emphasised again and again how volitile they were?… I suppose the excuse for that one is because old people just aren’t as tasty to vampires anymore.
*End Spoiler Warning*
Anyway, I’ll see where the story takes us… Hopefully it’ll answer all my questions as well as improve in style as Zoey matures (I can only handle so much teenage drama!). I thought the cover art was a bit deceiving because it looks so dark and slick, I expected a bit more than all the typical bitching and gossiping of a regular high school…