Several months have passed since I read the first book in the House of Night series. I did enjoy it and therefore bought three of the four other books that are currently out, but only now am I getting around to reading them. As you will have guessed from this post, I have finished the second in the series and have rapidly picked up the fourth book, eager to devour it.
One would think that I, Sabrina, a girl thoroughly sick of the whole vampire craze would not be reading more on vampires. That’s why I am reading about vampyres!
In all honesty, the thing that has drawn me to these books is the interesting slant that has been placed on the whole vampyre saga. It is not unique to read about southern vampires (see Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series), nor is it unique to read about vampires with special powers (even Stephenie Meyer’s atrocious Twilight series had that!). What I do enjoy is the mixture of Cherokee religion with some Greek and other mythology mixed in. These books are well plotted, and certainly written to reflect teenagers in a more realistic light.
Much as there are aspects that are enjoyable, this series is not without it’s shortcomings. I haven’t been around teenagers enough recently to know how accurate the Cast’s vernacular is, but it sounds fairly accurate to me. Sometimes it gets a little distracting, I will admit though. But then these are teenagers and their methods of communication can be distracting. Also rather annoying in this particular story was the climactic chapters when Zoey is off rescuing Heath. They are facing imminent death from the undead and they’re talking about stupid things? That really doesn’t seem realistic to me (because vampyres are, of course!)
I feel like a broken record here, but one of the things that I like least about this story, and the Twilight saga, and many other romance stories, is the idea of the triangle: two men (or women) interested in one woman (or man) and the subsequent battle that ensues over who the hero/heroine loves most. In this story Zoey is torn between her current boyfriend Erik, Heath and Loren Blake, the poet laureate. Come on! It is an eye-roller, to be sure, but I will admit that I can see why this might be the case. Zoey, having been granted an affinity for the elements and being much advanced in her Change from human to vampyre, has powers to rival that of her upperclassmen (at least). The Mark that all vampyres possess is not fully coloured in for years, yet Zoey’s is. These gifts, and strange aspects to her would naturally intrigue anyone.
The three potential boyfriends represent, I think, more than just the standard romance novel bilge though. The Twilight stories hint at sensuality but they don’t go anywhere near sexuality at all (except for one tiny mention in Breaking Dawn – after Bella and Edward are safely married). Zoey Redbird, however, is not just experiencing an awakening of her spiritual powers, but also of her own sexuality. Heath is the link to her past (and perhaps her childhood) that she may not be ready to let go of quite yet. Erik is representative of her present. He is the ‘age appropriate’ non-taboo relationship – the one that Zoey is struggling hardest to be faithful to. And then there’s Loren – another type of forbidden relationship: student/teacher. He, of course, represents her future. When she is with him he has the ability to make her feel like a confident woman, not an awkward teenager. Its interesting. Personally I hope Zoey comes to her senses and ditches Loren and Heath – they’re both a little weird.
I truly enjoy the gift that has been bestowed upon Zoey – the affinity for the five elements. My thickheadedness didn’t allow me to grasp what that meant until the end of this story though, when Zoey was able to call all four of them to help her rescue Heath, the blockhead!