Q. Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it?
Marked (House of Night book #1)
by P.C. and Kristen Cast
I saw this book on a shelf at No Frills (our local grocery store) last spring (2010) and decided that the back blurb looked interesting. I'd been reading a bit of YA already -- Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods... You get the idea. But something about this book drew me in. Maybe it was the fact that it was paperback and "marked" 30% off.
Bottom line is that I bought it and I devoured it. There are lots of things that I liked. Zoey starting at a new school and making new friends. Needing to find out where she fit in her new life. Having to deal with the way her various family members reacted to her becoming a vampire.
Marked began my love of the House of Night series, but it is also the book that cemented my love of YA and which made YA the primary type of books that I now read. Here are my top five reasons for loving the House of Night books as a whole. Look for my review of Destined when it releases near the end of October, because I know I'll be reading it. (I'm counting down the days.)
1. Tightly knit timeline and pacing:
There are a lot of people who complain that a House of Night book can span three days. That Zoey has only been a vampire for a few months over the course of the series. But this is something I love and is something, in my opinion, that makes the series and the characters and the events going on feel more real. We really get to feel that we are living with Zoey and her friends, like we are taking this journey with them. And to me, taking a journey is a good reason for reading a book.
2. Multiple points of view:
I know that it is strange that the Casts decided to switch how they were writing the books in the sixth installment. It might have been an easier transition for readers if they had done this much sooner. But as someone who came to YA from a paranormal romance background, third person writing with more then one point of view is the norm and it did not bother me. Zoey is *not* my favorite character in House of Night, so getting to be inside the heads of characters other then her is a welcome change.
3. The magic system:
I have grown up with games and books using the elements to control magic, so it's something that generally does not require a lot of explanation for me to "get it". What makes Cast's books fascinating, though, is that the magic system is actually a bit of a fantasized version of modern paganism, complete with circles, calling elements, lighting candles and seeking help from nature. I haven't seen anyone else mix this with vampire lore and it was one of the original things that hooked me on these books. (I studied Wicca for several years in my teens.)
4. Neferet and Nyx
What I love about Neferet is that she does not *start* out as the villain and that her actions as a villain progress over time. We actually get to see her grow in her own twisted way. Part of me wants to see her be redeemed and become the person she was when we met her. Part of me says "Screw that! She's going down!"
As for Nyx, the vampires' Goddess, I find it interesting how she leaves things up to the people who follow her rather then intervening time and again. I'm pretty sure that she could squash Neferet and Kalona with a giant fly swatter of doom if she wanted to, but she refuses to let their actions affect or sway her own integrity. She gives advice and takes action when she feels she must, but she seems determined that the vampires should have free will.
5. Stevie Rae and Rephaim:
While Zoey is running around juggling lord knows how many guys, Stevie Rae has fallen for Rephaim, who is a Raven Mocker and her sworn enemy. Watching the two of them become closer and have to fight to be together has actually become my favorite part of the entire series. They are the characters I buy these books for and the reason that I keep reading. I must know what will happen to them. They fascinate me.
So, what series did you pick? What are your thoughts on the House of Night books? (Relax. I know a lot of people *hate* them. :p )
Last: I need your help. I am picking my books to review for October. If there are YA Books about Witches, Faeries, Werewolves, Shifters, Vampires or Zombies that you would like to see reviewed, please leave me suggestions. :D I am going shopping on Saturday for this and I would love to grab *some* books that people want reviews for. Thanks!