Book Review: The House of Night Series (Books 1-6) by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

House of Night is a thrilling, New York Times bestselling book series that follows 16-year-old Zoey Redbird as she is “Marked” by a vampyre tracker and begins to undergo the “Change” into an actual vampyre. She has to leave her family in Broken Arrow, OK, and move into the House of Night, a boarding school for other fledgling vampyres like her.

It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. Although Zoey has awesome new powers, it’s hard to fit in when everyone knows you’re “special.” As Zoey tries to make new friends and maybe find a hot boyfriend (or two), she comes up against all kinds of evil, from the perfect-looking, super-popular girl with not-so-faultless plans, to the mysterious deaths happening at the House of Night and all over Tulsa. Things at the House of Night are not always what they seem. Can Zoey find the courage deep within herself to find the truth and embrace her destiny?
The first six books in this series include Marked, Chosen, Betrayed, Untamed, Hunted, and Tempted.  They are quick reads, written simply for a YA audience.  They are good but not great books.  I guess I'm trying to say that they are somewhat forgettable.  Now, that's not to say I won't read more of them (we've heard chatter online that there will be 12 books in all) but I'm not eschewing food, sleep, or better books to read these books. 
We have the familiar themes associated with so many YA books:  a new boarding school for "different" kids, the cute older guy, the requisite mean girls, the teacher who appears to be caring on the surface, and the estrangement from the parents.  Oh, and let's not forget the protagonist with special powers/abilities. 
These books are written in teenage vernacular; example:  "you know I heart me some..." and that got a little old to me after a while.  Another caveat is that there is a lot of PG-13 and even borderline rated R material in here.  These are not appropriate for a younger audience.
I enjoy the world the Casts have set up for their vampires, excuse me, vampyres.  The circle ceremonies and worship of the Goddess Nyx evoked a feeling of witchcraft and even some devil-worship to me. I didn't like the way that made me feel.  Tempted has a big cliffhanger ending, which kept us on edge for the release of Burned.
Burned, book 7 in the series, was released this week.  I think the fact that I'm reading book 8 of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series first says enough, don't you?
Just One Gripe:
Well, I've got several, but the most prominent is the spelling of VAMPYRES.  Just go with the rest of the paranormal flow and spell it vampire like everyone else!
The Best Thing About This Series:
The parallel storylines of the ensemble cast of characters.

Appropriate for a younger audience:
No, these books shouldn't be in the YA category, in my opinion.
Characters:  4/5
Plot:  3/5
Setting/Imagery:  3/5
Originality:   3/5
Ending:  3/5
Total Score:  16/25


YA Vampire Series Done Better:

1 comment:

  1. I love the House of Night series came to it by accident. I love the circle ceremonies and agree that this stuff is too mature for anyone under 16. I tend to rate it as high as Twilight but it is a very different kind of series after all there are 3 characters in that and a lovely cast who actually get their own storylines.

    I don't have lots of other vampire books to compare it with other than Twilight I have just finished Morganville Vampires Book 1 which I found pretty good.

    I came here because Alyson Noel linked your review on Twitter it seems a good site.


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