I had to combine these because my memory is about as big as a pea and I am pretty sure there’s so much nothing happening that whatever I say is plenty… So let’s get right down to it, shall we?
Let me tell you, so far this series is a hot mess. It keeps me on a spiral of ‘do I like this?’, ‘do I genuinely like this or do I like to dislike it?’, ‘do I like to look right at their flaws because it’s so ridiculous????’ WHICH IS IT? So after much consideration. Let me tell you folks…. it’s all of the above.
Let’s start with the fact that I do like the plot of the story. I think that for a series that has been around since the good old Twilight days when we all wanted a vampire lifestyle it’s an interesting take on our blood-sucking infatuation. I remember starting this series way back in the day when the vampire story crave was hot. I remember very faintly, what the story consisted of: a vampire school in a world much like our own except vampires were real and pretty well acclimated with humanity. That’s cool, right? They had cool tattoos and powers to go along with them, all unique to themselves. I remembered vaguely that the MC was a girl who narrated the story in a way that made me think of my own interior monologue…a ramble and random assortment of back and forth.
However, this ramble-like narration is getting on my last nerve. That’s what I find interesting about it. And keep in mind: I do think the plot is fine. Got it? Good because I doubt anyone will think I have anything positive from here on out.
Okay, so the first book of this series was exactly what you’d expect, you dive into the story. You find that the main character Zoey Redbird is thrown into the world of the House of Night because she gets Marked as a fledgling vampire. We are being told everything from Zoey’s perspective and we very quickly get to the part where Zoey thinks that her best friend Kayla is self-absorbed and talks too much about who-cares-what. Zoey legit tends to tune out Kayla but whatever. Zoey’s been having a terrible cough for a bit and when she gets Marked she realizes she could technically die if she doesn’t go to the House of Night which is a boarding school for future vamps.
Marked is okay in the sense that it does what it needs to as far as introducing the main characters. Zoey is weird. Not in a funny way, just weird. She refuses to cuss which is fine but it’s pretty cringy when she does ‘cuss’ because she uses words like “bullpoopy” that’s a nitpick but whatever. Her new friends at the House of Night include: Stevie Rae who is a total country girl, twang and all, Damien who is the brains of the group and also very gay as we are very, very constantly reminded, and the Twins: Shawnee and Erin, whom are not actually related, one is black and one is white. Again, we are CONSTANTLY reminded of their similar but different ways. There is also, the ‘Superman-look-a-like’, Erik Night, again, we get told of his Superman attributes…a.lot.
~~Writing & Storytelling~~
This brings me straight to the poor writing quality. I think that the writing is why I barely remembered this story. The writing in this series irks me. It hurts, a lot at times. I’ve always been into grammar and good storytelling. With this series, it is very easy to get sidetracked out of the story because of the poor writing quality.
We get full on recaps, and worse at times it is a completely verbatim recap of things. For example: “Erin is an extremely white girl from Tulsa, and Shaunee being of Jamaican descent and a lovely mocha color from Connecticut’. We literally read this same statement SO. MANY. TIMES. Not even throughout the books but at times in the same book. It’s annoying. The recaps wouldn’t bother me so much if it was us being reminded of some obscure detail from book one being brought up in book four or five. But….IT WAS LIKE BOOK TWO AND YOU TOLD ME ALL OF BOOK ONE SHUT THE HECK UP I READ THE BOOK I DON’T NEED THE FULL RECOUNT MOVE ON TO THE NEW STUFF.
Sorry if that seems angry but… COME ON. We get everything retold. I have started to just ignore the recap paragraphs entirely because they never give anything new. Never.
We are also just plain told so many things as opposed to being shown, I think it’s part of why I have so many issues. You remember the main idea of what happens, but the smaller details? Not so much.
~~Aphrodite the ho~~
Zoey and her friends are constantly talking about how Aphrodite, the popular / mean girl is a huge slut / bitch/ blablabla. Butttttt here’s the thing Aphrodite has only been shown as far as we can tell, to be interested in Erik. He is the only one that Aphrodite was even remotely interested in when we meet her. And hey, he’s hot and so is she and they have some kind of history. Whatever. But Zoey is the new kid and she immediately jumps on that bandwagon of ‘Aphrodite is such a ho’. I would understand it better if she was like wow Aphrodite you’re such a rude b*** or something. Because she really is just mean. Then it’s just SO hypocritical because Zoey ends up with about four different guys. She has her Ex-boyfriend Heath who is still deeply in love with her, she accidentally imprints him and then he’s even more into being with her, and she drags him around like a puppy. She gets Erik who is Superman’s new look-a-like (which we are CONSTANTLY TOLD ABOUT), and is the kindest person around apparently. Then she gets Loren Blake who is a teacher that seduces her, and she’s just soooooo into it that she lets herself be swayed. Finally, she’s into the new kid: Stark, whom after like one interaction she feels a deep connection with and is again, totally obsessed. But with Stark dying and undying she just still has the gall to be jealous of any girl who even so much as LOOKS at Erik. Like, he’s hot we get it. We also get that he caught you sleeping with a teacher, while he dealt with your bullshit of openly having two boyfriends, him being one. Here’s the kicker… ALL of this hot mess of a situation and many lovers happens within two months. The sex with Loren, and breaking her imprint with Heath and Erik calling her a slut for it? Then her fawning over Stark? that entire last bunch was within a week. So yeah, it’s more like girl stop calling people names if you’re doing exactly what you’re condemning someone else for. That’s called hypocrisy.
By book two I was rooting for Erik and Heath to ditch Zoey and become each other’s wingmen and tell her to f*ck off forever. THAT would have made me happy.
There was ZERO chemistry with Zoey and all of these guys. Maybe she does end up with Kalona in this book because she seems to only be interested in guys who are attractive and I genuinely don’t see her having real feelings for any of them. The closest was Heath but that could be linked to the fact that she knew him her whole life. But she didn’t make it seem like she cared about anyone. None of the “sexy” / “romantic” scenes seemed…well….real. It was very physical and self-serving for Zoey. The guys would pour themselves into her and she was just like “mmm hey hot stuff” like okay???? I saw no chemistry. There was nothing in these situations that suggested anything deep and emotional and even the “sexy” scenes weren’t doing it. Zoey clearly felt it, but as a reader I just found those scenes pretty awkward to get through.
~~The Problem / Villain(s)~~
The actual issues are actually not bad. Really, they aren’t bad at all, it’s more of everything else. I mean, personally, the Neferet seeming to be a good guy and actually being self-serving and evil? I’m down for that. The red fledgelings being an issue? Cool. The way that Neferet has been weaving and manipulating every little issue that Zoey faces from the murders of the football players to the red fledgelings, and the rising of a new big bad guy? All interesting, the execution needs work. So I will do my very best to try and update you guys on whether or not I think it gets any better.