Zoey Redbird is a teenager living in a world in which vampyres coexist with humans, although they stand apart. While most successful actors and musicians are actually vampires, and they are superhumanly beautiful and strong, Zoey is not thrilled when she is suddenly singled out at school and marked with the vampyre's mark of a crescent moon on her forehead. Her friends are completely freaked out, and her mother and stepfather, members of a conservative religious group who find vampyres to be abhorrent, are even more so.
Zoey does not get along with her stepfather, and she sneaks out of the house in order to avoid being waylaid - she knows that she must get to the House of Night - a sort of boarding school for fledgling vampires - quickly, or she may not survive the transformation. But first she must go to the one person she knows will accept her for who she is, fledgling vampyre, or no - her beloved grandmother, who is Native American and lives out in the country. Near her grandmother's house, Zoey has an accident, and a near-death experience that leaves her with the unwelcome knowledge that she has been chosen by the vampypre goddess Nyx for some nebulous reason.
All Zoey knows is that she has some sort of destiny, that she has been singled out when what she really wanted was to be able to fit, unnoticed, into her new life. But sadly, when she arrives at the House of Night, she causes a huge stir. And things there are not what she imagined - just like at her old school, there are petty politics and bullies - except for the fact that when the students are fledgling vampyres, the potential for real harm increases exponentially. Luckily there are true friends to be made at her new school, as well as some potential for romance. If she can survive her first year there, that is...
This was an interesting first book in a YA series, written by a mother/daughter team, and it raised many intriguing questions that have hooked me enough to want to continue to the following book, Betrayed, at some point. I liked Zoey, but I admit I was a bit baffled by how horrified she was about being chosen to be a vampyre. I mean, come on - if all the best and most famous and beautiful people are vampyres, why would she be so upset? Why would her friends be so horrified? Jealous, I'd believe. Combined with the fact that Zoey is in such a powerless situation at home, with her overbearing stepfather and the mother who appears to have abandoned her children to side with her new husband in every matter, I would have thought she'd jump at the chance to be strong and independent, no longer intimidated by anyone. Still, the characters were interesting, as well as the premise. I am curious to see where the next book will take Zoey in her new life at the House of Night.
Books in the House of Night series:
Marked (#1 in the House of Night series) by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast (St. Martin's Griffin, 2007)
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A Bookaholic's Review: "The different spin on the vampire world was fresh, and I’m always looking for something different from the norm."
Un-Mainstream Mom Reads: " I was rooting for Zoey from the very first page, and cannot wait to read the next book in the Casts' wonderful series."