Saturday, December 4, 2010

House of Night

I have a new guilty reading pleasure.  After inhaling the Twilight books in a week and a half a few years ago, I learned of the House of Night series.  Since I didn't like the vampire genre pre-Twilight, I didn't plan on reading anything else about vampires even though I was told it was, like Twilight, more about the relationships.

I've been watching the show Vampire Diaries since it debuted last year and tried a couple of the books it was based on.  Can I just say that the show is infinitely better than those books?  Seriously.  My hat is off to whomever decided they could create a series off such flimsy writing.  By changing some of the details, Vampire Diaries is a captivating show.  It all got me thinking about the House of Night books again.  I wanted to know whether they were good like Twilight or painful to read like Vampire Diaries.

I decided to get the first one from the library and just try it out.  Of course, now I'm absolutely hooked.  In Marked, we watch Zoey Redbird transform from normal teenager to fledgling Vampyre who must now live at the House of Night, a boarding school for vampyres.  Vampyres are totally different in this series, starting with their name.  Humans know about them, first of all.  Second of all, the transformation occurs because of a genetic mutation during the teenage years but not everyone becomes a vampyre.  A fledgling's body can reject the Change, which usually occurs 4 years after becoming a fledgling.  Certain vampyres have affinities and talents.  Most of our most famous actors and singers?  They're vampyres.  All of these differences make up for compelling characters.  Zoey still faces boyfriend drama but she also must save the world as she adjusts to being a fledgling with unusual abilities.

Within the first couple of books I had a fairly good idea of where the plot was headed for the bulk of the series but it's fast-paced and there have been unexpected twists.  It's definitely still holding my attention.  I just started book 7 Burned.  And such luck!  Book 8 Awakened will release in January.  Perfect timing!

There are interesting spiritual parallels.  You know those Gospel According to...[insert pop culture phenomenon] books?  I'm surprised a Christian publisher hasn't jumped on this one.  While the House of Night is filled with vampyre and goddess mythology, there are overtones of Christianity.  When talking about listening to goddess Nyx, Zoey could just as easily be talking about going to God for direction. The books do not come off as pro-religion thanks to the People of Faith, which appear to be more cult-like and patriarchal/fundamental.  However, some Catholic nuns get a nice shout out in a couple of the books so I would say our authors (a mother/daughter duo) are not completely against faith.

All that said, if you don't like books about the supernatural, you won't like these.  I must note that I hate the horror genre.  I've never read Stephen King or Anne Rice and don't plan on doing so anytime soon.  I can't even watch ads for horror movies on TV.  That's why I'm surprised that I'm drawn to books like Twilight and the House of Night!  The trick is that the emphasis is on the characters and the relationships they form, not the horror or fantasy aspects of the novels.

I might like these better than Twilight.  I'm just saying...

Have any of you read this series yet?  If you haven't, do you think you might give it a try?

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2 comments:

  1. i requested marked from the library after seeing it on your list. i really really liked it, but i'm also feeling like God doesn't want me to read it right now. it was with great reluctance that i didn't put the rest of the books on hold at the library.

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  2. Oh Grace, I'm sorry if I led you in a bad direction. I can understand and I'm glad you're choosing to obey God. I will try to do better with my recommendations! At the end of this year, I'll be highlighting my favorite reads.

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