What time is it?
Totally unscheduled ARC review time!
Hello! It’s currently 11:51pm and I have just finished House of Night Other World: Loved. I can’t go to sleep without writing this review, so here I am! With all of the hype I’ve been giving this series, I feel the need to post this NOW, instead of waiting and posting it on Friday where I have an empty post spot waiting to be filled.
So. Let’s do this!!
Series: House of Night Other World
Book Number: 1
Authors: PC & Kristin Cast
Published: July 11th, 2017 by Blackstone Audio
Where to Buy: Preorder on Amazon
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
HoN Loved is the first book in a new spinoff series to the original House of Night series, which turned 10 years old this year. It is a 10th anniversary present to the fans, and it is absolutely wonderful.
Because this book hasn’t released yet (it comes out on July 11th) this review is going to contain no spoilers. I’ll talk about the basic plot and how I feel about the book as a whole, but you’ll have to wait til release day for my gushy spoiler review.
So HoN Loved takes place almost a year after the events in Redeemd. Zoey is the High Priestess of the North American Vampyre Council, and also High Priestess of the Tulsa House of Night. Her Circle has scattered across the US to fulfill the plans of the new high council, and to help bridge the gap that has formed over centuries, between humans and vampires. And as far as everyone knows, things are going smoothly and all of her friends are happy.
It’s Zoey’s 18th birthday, so Stark and Aphrodite have planned a reunion for Zoey as a surprise, and all of her friends have returned. Of course, all hell breaks loose because what’s a reunion without a little (lots of) drama?
Honestly for the first 50 or so pages I was kinda on the fence about whether I liked it or not. But once the story got going and the plot picked up, I was all in. I love how the characters are closer to my age now, and they’re more mature and easier to relate to. I mean, obviously with YA I’m going to think some characters are immature because I’m 20 and they’re like 16. But this was cool because the characters span from 16-61. There’s such a wide variety. But for the most part, they’re all grown up and wise.
Mental illness makes appearances in Loved and for the first time I think the subjects were approached in ways that can shed light on depression, PTSD, and substance abuse. I think it’s really good that we’re finally digging deeper in to characters minds and seeing them heal from these seemingly invisible wounds that have been hurting them for so long.
There were a lot of mentions of our modern world (as in 2017) so it might be a little confusing that the last book in the original series technically took place in 2008 (remember, the entire first series only took place over the span of a few months) and now it’s taking place in 2017 which is kind of a plot hole, but it’s not so bad that it doesn’t make sense and flow well. There were references to things like Uber and I laughed because it just shows how old the series is. Marked is 10 years old so Uber would have sounded like a fantasy in that book, but in Loved, without the mention of modern things, the book wouldn’t be semi-relatable or easy to imagine as taking place in a modern, human world.
The only complaints I have are these. There’s a character who plays a semi-big role in how the events take place, who uses a word about 75% through the book that makes me cringe. It might be the fact that I’m a bit of a prude, but I really don’t think the word was necessary, and there was definitely a better way to phrase the offending sentence. The other is that I didn’t get as many Zoey x Stark moments as I wanted. Which is not a legitimate complaint.
Overall, I’m really really happy with this. I went into it pretty blindly, only knowing what the back cover said, and having a vague answer from PC about what characters the series will follow. I also went in with semi-low expectations and a hope to be happy with it because the last time I read a spinoff was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and we all know how I felt about that.
I give Loved a 4/5. For a first book in a new series, it was really good. It had a little bit of everything I wanted to see, and it moved quick enough to be entertaining, but not so fast that it was overwhelming and hard to follow. The dialogue is hugely improved from the original series, the characters are more relatable, and I’m really excited to see what happens next.
Thanks for reading!