You know that guilty feeling you have when you eat a really good piece of dark chocolate and you feel like you shouldn’t have. One of my friends once said, “Remove the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary. Only do what you want to or what you have to.” Well, OK, I guess I want to read this young adult series because I wolfed down the second one and have reserved the next two in the House of Night Novel series. There seem to be six in all, in order, Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted and the sixth which was supposed to be out October 27, 2009, just in time for Halloween.
This is the only series I know of that is written by a mother and daughter team. P.C. Cast is known for science fiction and paranormal romances. Her daughter Kristin was a student at University of Tulsa in Communications when the series started.
In Book One, Marked, Zoey Redbird is a high school student who suddenly develops a crescent moon tatoo on her forehead. This is the sign that she is going to undergo a transformation into another species, a Vampyre. We learn that most of the myths we have heard about Vampyres are false, made up by humans who were jealous or afraid of their powers. We learn that just about every famous actor (Sir Lawrence Olivier) or poet (Blake, Byron) were Vampyres.
Zoey was having a pretty crummy family life after her mother remarried the “steploser,” her fundamentalist stepdad. She isn’t too sad to relocate to the Vampyre prep school, the House of Night. Her only sadness is being farther from her grandmother and her high school friends. She has an ex-boyfriend Heath (makes me think of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights) who keeps coming around trying to see her.
Before she enters the school she has a vision were she communes with the goddess Nyx, a preview of the extraordinary powers she will develop, even for a Vampyre (or Vamp for short). She goes through the usual pain of entering a new school. The “mean girls” are headed up by Aphrodite and they are the members of the exclusive club, “The Sons and Daughters of the Dark.” She starts to make friends, with Damien, a gay guy, two girls who act like twins, Erin and Shaunee, even though Erin is blond and Shaunee has skin like a latte and her roommate Stevie Rae, with her strong Okie accent. She also starts to fall for Erik Night, Aphrodite’s ex.
Zoey’s mentor is the high priestess and head mistress of the school, Neferet. It is soon obvious that Zoey is not the typical fledgling. She is going through the Change to full vampyre much faster than the norm. You will have to read Marked to learn more. My now 14 year old son said these books were a fad to read in Middle School so I will suggest an initial reading age of 12. There is some sort of sexualized stuff and, of course, blood, so you are forewarned. However it is not any more sexual than the Twilight series.
Cast, P.C. & Kristin Cast. Marked. 2006. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. ISBN 9780312360269. 300+ pages.