The House of Night series by PC Cast holds a special place in my heart. It is the reason I developed a guilty pleasure for paranormal romance, and I read it before I read Twilight, which makes it extra special.
This entire series is about vampires (spelled Vampyres in the series) and some bad guys, and cats. The combination rocks.
There’s a perfectly okay overload of unrealistic cheese, and totally realistic feels, and while a lot of people regret loving House of Night as young teens, my love for the series has only grown stronger over time.
Which is why, leading up to the release of the brand new House of Night revival book, I am re-reading and reviewing every single book in the series. Plus maybe the novellas.
This series of reviews will span over the next 2 months, and because I tend to binge PC Cast books faster than I binge a season of Gilmore girls on Netflix, theyre totally going to be scheduled posts. Honestly. I’ll probably finish the entire series by the second week of May.
So, now that we’ve established that, let’s kick off this series, starting with Marked, which if you’re wondering, took me a day to finish.
As always, I’ll do a spoiler free overview, then give you a warning in bold, and move on to spoiler thoughts.
Series: House of Night
Authors: PC Cast & Kristin Cast
Published: May, 2007 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Marked is the first book in the series which contains 12 full length (approximately 300 pages) novels, and several novellas & companion guides.
We follow protagonist and main character Zoey Redbird (who I affectionately named my Guinea pig after – bonus picture at the end), a sassy girl with Cherokee heritage, and her equally sassy friends.
Zoey is a normal teenager (as normal as being a teenager can be) just trying to get through her upcoming geometry test, when she’s Marked by a vamprye tracker and has to go to the House of Night, a boarding school for young vampyres. Other than just having become a vamp, she’s also different from most fledglings, and is apparently destined for something greater according to her goddess Nyx.
With drama, sassy characters, adorable cats, and sexy love interests, if you like cheese and paranormal romance, you’ll love the House of Night. It’s a bit sweaty, but hey, nothing I don’t say on the daily.
SPOILER SECTION. Proceed with caution!!
Okay. So in Marked, we are just being introduced to the world of the House of Night for the first time. We are, essentially, vampire freshman. We are 3rd formers, and the bottom of the food chain. The only difference between us and the real vamps, is that we probably won’t die from rejecting the Change.
That’s the first thing to talk about. In HoN, all vampyres are born as humans. Then sometime in their early-mid teens, they get Marked by a vampyre tracker, and they begin the Change, which is a 3-4 year transition from vamprye fledgling, to adult vampyre. The tracker marks you with the outline of Nyx’s (the vampire goddess) symbol, a crescent moon in the center of the forehead. It stays an outline until you complete the change. Once you don’t die, and you become a full vamp, the outline is filled in, and it expands into a design that frames your eyes.
But Zoey MEETS NYX in the spirit realm, and Nyx fills in her crescent on her first day of fledglinghood. So, as a brand new baby vamp, Zoey already almost looks like an adult vamp. The only thing is that her mark hasn’t expanded to frame her eyes.
You think that’s enough to put Zoey ahead of the game? Think twice. Not only has Zoey met the goddess (something she doesn’t tell anyone) and have a filled in Mark, she also experiences bloodlust. Which is not normal for fledglings. Normally fledglings still think blood is gross until their 5th or 6th form years, aka junior and senior year. But Zoey thinks blood is delicious and accidentally drinks her ex almost boyfriends blood. Which is bad.
When Zoey drinks her dopey ex’s blood, he becomes imprinted, which basically means irrationally infatuated and attached telepathically through the blood.
So she’s dealing with that, and she’s also trying to deal with a bully named Aprodite. Aphrodite is a bitchy, blonde, vampire fledgling whom Zoey and her gang call a hag from hell. She’s a high priestess in training, and head of the vampire equivalent of a sorority on campus, the dark daughters.
Zoey is a bit biased against Aphrodite even before she meets her, because she accidentally witnesses Aphrodite trying to go down on hot guy Erik Night, and Erik turns her away. Then when Zoey’s roommate and friends tell her about Aphrodite’s true nature at lunch (maybe it was dinner?), she pretty much makes up her mind.
Zoey feels morally compelled to stop Aphrodite from doing the awful things she does in the disguise of Nyx’s priestess. So she goes undercover and catches Aphrodite in action. We finish the story with Zoey becoming the new leader of the Dark daughters, and being gifted by Nyx with a new tattoo to show Zoey that she did the right thing.
Another thing that happens in this books, which is super creepy but becomes part of the main story line later in the series, is the fact that there are fledglings who died in the book, and Zoey swears she saw them AFTER they died, but with red eyes, and more evil. Then, Aphrodite, who gets visions of the future, acts all weird and cryptic, and says “It’s only the beginning. It’s going to get much worse”.
So what’s going on with that? I already know the answer, because I’ve read this entire series more than twice. But I’ll let you ponder. If you’ve got a theory, let me know down below!
Overall, I give this book 4.75/5 stars. I enjoy the story, I adore the characters, and the only thing that turns me off from giving it 5 stars is the incident at the beginning where Zoey witnesses that little scene with hot guy Erik and hag from Hell Aphrodite.
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