Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampires have always existed.
Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampire and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change - and not all of those who are Marked do.
It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no ordinary fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampire Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny - with a little help from her new vampire friends.
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©2007 Kristin & P.C. Cast; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing
This is a well written book, however I question the placement of YOUNG adult. Strong Characters, and real life situations make for rewarding literature. The concepts principles and the narrator are a total win-win.
My only complaint would be that young adult and kids are so closely linked on the website. The introduction to the book even pronounces "This is Audible Kids". The subject matter is mostly adult, and older teens. High sexual content does make me worry that younger children might get an inappropriate dose of Oral Sex, Casual Sex, Sex as a way to keep a boyfriend, Alcohol abuse, Alcohol abuse at school and marijuana use. Of course that is only the first six chapters.
All that having been said, it is a good book, which was well read. I hope that Audible gets the rest of the series (Currently they only have book 1 and book 4, 2 and 3 to be released in late 2008). I would however need to know the teen, and their mental maturity level to recommend this book.
I would also suggest that Audible section 'young adult' and 'kids' sections in a way that makes this book less likely to fall into the hands of the young and mentally immature. Perhaps also amending the "Audible Kids" to pronounce "Audible Teens". As a responsible parent I try to check the literature my children listen to and read. Appropriately sectioning, and correct product placement does go a long way to assisting parents.
This audiobook could have been better. The narration was just awful. The narrator attempts to perform accents but can't pull it off. If you can't do it then don't. It's that simple. It's really distracting. The novel itself is one of those that is borderline (the writing really isn't that great but it's tolerable) but the narration makes the book unbearable. It's a good thing I got this on sale!!
In the broad strokes, this series is a lot like the Harry Potter series. It has:
1 A band of friends including the smartie pants, the reluctant chosen one, and comedic sidekicks
2. A truely nasty bad guy
3 Big themes about fate v. free will, the struggle of good and evil, and the recognition that no one is entirely all of one or the other.
Once you get past that, it is clear that J. K. Rowling deserves to be richer than the Queen and that P.C. and Kristen Cast deserve to be selling lattes at Starbucks. What Harry Potter has that this series lacks is:
1 good writing
2 characters you care about
3 Death scenes with meaning that make the reader cry
4 An overarching storyline leading somewhere while providing for complete stories in each book
5 A compelling story that is fresh in each book.
The thing is, I rather like YA fantasy. It's fun and exciting and a good escape, but the fact that it is YA doesn't make it O.K. to talk down to the reader, and the fact that it's fantasy doesn't make it O.K. to have ridiculous, convuluded, recycled, inane plotlines. I always try to say something positive though, so I'm saying this- this reader is acceptably good (not so much the later books), and that is the nicest thing I can say. Way to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Sorry, but the narrator is soo irritating in this book I couldn't get past the first half hour. I wanted to turn it off in the first five minutes but to get my moneys worth I left it on. Unfortunately I didn't preview the audio before purchasing. Not only is the main characters voice annoying it gets worse with the other characters. Not even my 14 year old sister could stand to listen to it.
This series is very good. I try to read what my kids read to see if it is apropriate and I actually ended up enjoying it but I would only recomend for 14 and up.
Edwina Wren is a terrible narrator, she cannot pronounce some common words, and she gives Shaunee a character from Connecticut a Southern accent, which makes absolutely no sense and is very distracting.
The House of Night series is tagged as YA, and they are (lots of teenage angst) - but I enjoyed them all very much, and I am (ahem) mid-30's.
The plot is quite interesting, and I looked forward to each sequel as I listened to all of the books in the series, and can't wait for the next one in the fall. :)
I was really disappointed in this book. It seems like the authors were just wanting to ride off the fame of the Twilight series. And it's a pathetic attempt, at that. It makes sense that it was written by a 16-year old girl but I'm appalled that she wrote it with her mother. The book borderlines on wiccan rituals and I guess if you are into that sort of thing, it's no big deal. But that along with the sexual content of the book in a few places, it just is not appropriate for the audience the book is geared towards.
Oh- and the reader of this book was horrid. I think that it probably made me dislike it even more. When the reader used an imitation southern accent, she sounded like she was impersonating an old lady and not a southern teenager. It was a blaring distraction.
As the previous posts have stated, this book isn't for kids. It does deal with some grown up topics: drugs, sexy, and drinking. I think that it's fine for late teens and 20 somethings.
The book seemed to start off really slow for me. I almost felt like skipping through the book to get to better parts. I'm happy I stuck with it though. After I got through the first third of the book, I really liked it. So...give it a chance...stick to it, I promise that it's a great series.
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