The House of Night Series: Book review
by tvnz.co.nz's Kate Saunders
I love vampires.
Throughout my life, Ann Rice's Interview with the Vampire series, Buffy the Vampire, Trueblood, and Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series have all inspired rabid fandom.
So having such a vested interest in the genre, I was a little unsure about House of Night. Firstly, it had two authors, and secondly, the publicity kept comparing it to Gossip Girls. Yes, you read that right, Gossip Girls (plural). If they couldn't get the name of the show right, why would I believe the marketing?
But it turns out I didn't need to worry. Despite the two authors, the writing has one voice and is strong - this is no repeat of Francine Pascal and Kate William. Written from a distinctly teenage perspective, there are enough pop-culture references and real-life dilemmas to make it relevant for today's teens.
While Twilight is an epic romance, full of abstinence and tortured longing, the House of Night series is all about high school - the cliques, the betrayals, and multiple hot boys. Dare I say it, it is a little Gossip Girl -esque (singular). There is also the requisite 'Big Bad', but I won't say anymore for fear of giving things away.
Set in an alternative America where vampyres are known to exist, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird gets Marked as a fledgling vamp. In order to survive the Change, she must leave her friends and family to join the House of Night school, where she will train to become an adult vampyre.
But it turns out Zoey is no ordinary fledgling. She has been chosen by the Goddess Nyx to be her eyes and ears on earth, and soon discovers her affinity for the five elements - air, water, fire, earth and spirit - which enables her to manifest them in times of need.
When Zoey discovers that the head girl is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must embrace her destiny and begin to understand her true place in the world - with a little help from her new vampyre friends.
The three books in this series so far are: Marked, Betrayed, and Chosen. All three are stories in their own right, but are also linked together by Zoey's journey towards her destiny (whatever that may be).
I read all three back-to-back over a week and thoroughly enjoyed them, even going so far as to forgo a Friday night out in my effort to find out what happens. What is impressive about this series is how amazingly engaging they are. I haven't had that happen since... well, since Twilight.
So happy reading, and I'll see you at the bookstore for the release of 'Untamed'.