Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday involves me picking a book or book series I’ve previously read to talk about, today I’m going to discuss The House of Night series by PC & Kristin Cast.

The House of Night series follows vampire Fledgling, Zoey Redbird, through her time at The House of Night, a school located in Oklahoma dedicated to educating young vampires. The series consists of 12 books & 4 novellas, as well as 5 graphic novels, a school textbook & a book explaining the mythology explored within the series. Over the course of the series Zoey goes from being a confused teenager to a powerful vampire who has more power & responsibility than she bargained for.

House of Night

Please excuse the awful quality, this is a very old photograph.

The House of Night series was the first series, other than Harry Potter, that I really got into; due to the large number of books, I grew through my teen years reading many of the books but it wasn’t until I spent a month in hospital that I read the entire series (apart from the last book which hadn’t released yet). I adored the unpredictability of the books & appreciated the length of the series as it got me through my recovery period.

Reviewing these books as a collection now, is strange for me, as I now recognise a lot of faults within the series & the writing, but I still can’t help but love the books as they helped me through some very difficult times. Nonetheless, this series definitely has its fair share of problems; some of the language used to describe WOC in the book is certainly inappropriate & at times the language used by & to describe the gay characters left me feeling uncomfortable. As a young teenager things like this didn’t occur to me & I just read the series & enjoyed it, but for the past few years I have reread the series (or attempted to) every September as a thank you gesture to the authors for helping be move through hard times, & I am now able to recognise a lot of issues with the characters. I’m also aware that for the first few books, the writing level isn’t of a top quality, but I can say with great confidence that the maturity & professionality of the writing does grow & improve throughout the series.

I’ve read a lot of positive & negative reviews about this series over the years & I can understand both sides of the coin. Some people feel like PC & Kristin should have stopped the series a lot sooner than they did, but I don’t agree because I liked that they did everything they could with it & being able to spend so much time within this world was once a huge comfort to me. I’ve also seen people comment on some of the harmful & inappropriate language used, & I have already admitted that I acknowledge that with every read of the series, & I do not in any way approve of the harmful content. And of course there will always be readers who just didn’t like the plot, but for me it was massively original & I am still yet to read a series that is anything quite like The House of Night books.

This series is problematic, & I very rarely recommend it to other people now (and if I do I warn them that it has its issues) but it also holds a very large part of my heart & I will always be grateful to PC & Kristin for helping me cope with one of the hardest periods of my life.

LovedThe 10th anniversary of the first book is coming up & with that a new book is being released, something which I am both very excited about, & also very nervous of. Due to financial reasons I haven’t been able to preorder the book, which I’m devastated about, but as soon as my library have it in stock I will definitely read it. I’ve read some of Kristin’s more recent work & her writing has definitely improved so I’m really hoping that Loved will help highlight how wonderful this series is, instead of highlighting the harmful aspects. On GoodReads this book has been listed as the first book in a new series called the House of Night Otherworld series & part of me worries that PC & Kristin really will stretch the characters beyond repair if they end up writing a whole other series.

This series was once my favourite, but it’s since been replaced with The Micah Grey books by the glorious Laura Lam, which is actually a very different type of series. Since The House of Night books first entered my life I have aged by 10 years & I’ve become a more avid reader (Harry Potter & HoN were the only books I ever really read before being hospitalised for a month) so I know now that it isn’t nearly as wonderful as I once judged it to be, but it’s still a very important series to me & I doubt that will ever change. These books have worked toward shaping me as a person & some of the characters have a very strong seat within my heart.

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