Monday, December 28, 2009

Betrayed by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Betrayed (House of Night, Book 2)
The first book in the House of Night series by P C. Cast and Kristin Cast is titled Marked. I started this series because my sister recommended it to me, describing it as a cross between the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series, which we both loved.  Betrayed is the second book in the series, and I read it in about 3 days, carrying it around with me, like my oldest daughter's security blanket, to steal a minute whenever I could to read a paragraph or a page.
Since I didn't do a book review on the first book, I think a little background information might be useful here. The plotline of the House of Night series is about a 16-year-old girl, Zoey Redbird, who is marked to turn into a vampyre within the course of the next four years or die from this Change. When a person is Marked, they began attending- and living at -  the nearest House of Night finishing school, which as you could have guessed, has classes at night. In the world of Zoey Redbird, vampyres are a natural part of the world, and famous people both past and present are named as vampyres throughout the series, a much-used name being William Shakespeare. Taking place in Tulsa, Oklahoma Zoey learns over the course of a month that she isn't just a normal fledgling, the term given to would-be vampyres, but an especially-powerful one, experiencing much that only full vampyres experience and even some things that no vampyre in existence has ever experienced.
In Betrayed, Zoey learns about the power of Imprinting - not unlike the Imprinting in the Twilight series - through her Imprint with her human boyfriend, Heath. This Imprint turns out to be very useful as she discovers what is killing humans in a fashion similar to the bites of a vampyre. Zoey's introduction into the life of a vampyre is learned through trial and error mostly, and she exercises her abilities instinctively as she is driven by the guidance of the vampyre race's female deity, Nyx.
This series has some obvious "cool" factors that make it very appropriate for the Young Adult genre, such as the facial and body tattoos that result from the Change, as well as attending school in the dead of night and sleeping all through the day. Vampyres are well-known for their beauty and artistic abilities, and fame and fortune seem to be a natural part of the life of a vampyre. Magic is also prevalent in the series, through the abilities of being able to control the elements of air, fire, water, earth, as well as the vague element spirit, and receiving visions. The male vampyres are often gifted with physical abilities such as strength and speed that come from their male deity Erebus.
What I specifically appreciate about the second book is how the other fledglings that Zoey befriends are given abilities as rewards for helping her. Zoey is not the only one that is all-powerful, and she actually needs her friends and their abilities to accomplish the tasks that Nyx gives to her. The romantic aspects of the book are pretty appealing too, what with the Vampyre Poet Laureate making very bold advances towards Zoey, only confusing her already conflicted dating life of one Imprinted human boyfriend and one fledgling boyfriend. The reader gets the sense that the events transpiring are building up to something on a grander scale, and that Zoey Redbird plays a key part in acting on Nyx's behalf, but the reader knows no more than Zoey herself does.
I picked up the third book in the series, Chosen, immediately after finishing Betrayed, so that review should be following soon.


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