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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast


This is technically a review of seven different books, so for record-keeping, these are 102 through 108. The House of Night series is a young adult series consisting of: Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, and Burned. The eighth installation to the series is due to be coming out shortly.

YA books are like candy for me. They're short and sweet, often plot-driven and fast moving. A 300 page YA book takes no time at all to read, and the conflict often begins on the first page, instead of beginning with character descriptions - which, although often necessary, always drags for me.

In the first book, the main character Zoey becomes a vampire. In this reality, vampires are accepted in society and are 'chosen' from humans to become vampires by a goddess - no biting involved. The series follows Zoey as she enters a vampire school (the House of Night in Tulsa) and has adventures of her own. There are two main antagonists, who often work in conjunction with one another. A character that I absolutely hated at the beginning of the series became my favorite by the third book.

Things I liked about this series:

-Zoey is portrayed as beautiful and smart. This may seem like an insignificant thing, but in the majority of YA novels right now, the main female character is either average or on the downside of average, and attentions bestowed upon her are seen as gifts or like she somehow doesn't deserve them.
-Zoey is quick to make friends, and those friends are very different from one another. They kind of remind me of the kids on Glee.
-There is a homosexual relationship that isn't highlighted. It just... is. I find this refreshing, these boys are treated just like the other characters, and that's how it should be. Usually these relationships are placed in the text as part of turmoil or to make a point. This relationship isn't used in that fashion, or in any fashion, really.
-The mean girl. Seriously, she's got the best one-liners.

Things I didn't like about this series:

-Zoey cries a lot. A LOT. It's annoying.
-The centering on religion. Zoey's stepfather belongs to an ultra-conservative Christian church, and she believes that all Christians are horrible. Much of the books involve worshipping the goddess that marks humans to become vampires and worshipping the elements. I'm not incredibly religious, and some of the comments left me feeling a little funny. But, it's fiction. It's a made-up religion.
-The boy drama gets old. Without giving away too much, there's an inappropriate relationship between a student and a teacher, and it just didn't seem to add a lot to the story. It was more for shock value than real value. But maybe that's just me.

Each book gets somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, on a scale of 5.

This series is available from Amazon.com, but I got mine from my local library.

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