***Spoiler Alert*** I do talk about the series as a whole continuous story, so you may learn things that you wouldn't know from the first book***
The House of Night Series by PC and Kristin Cast
Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned
Here's What I Think: I normally wouldn't review a series as a whole, but I think this particular series really doesn't stand alone, book by book. I also want to point out that Young Adult really means ages 18-25, and not "teen" in terms of who the book is targeted for. This is a series about Teenagers who have been marked to become Vampyres. In this particular version of the world, teens are marked (their blood knows when to do it) at about age 16 and they are then relocated to their local House of Night boarding school, where they will learn all there is to know about being a vampyre in modern times, where the general populace does know they exist, but still is not totally accepting. They will either survive the change - sometime in the following four years - or they will die, all depending on if their body can take it. This series specifically follows a new fledgling (a marked but unturned vampyre), Zoey, who proves to be much more than normal and has serious connection and abilities that no known fledgling and most adult vamps have ever had. She quickly becomes very close to a group of other fledglings, who were obviously all brought to her to help with her mission. She comes just in time to try to save the world from a Vampyre High Priestess, Neferet, who has put into action a plan to take over the world and enslave all humans, by resurrecting a fallen Angel, Kalona, from his earthen grave to utilize his powers. Through all of this another species of vamps are created and must choose between good and evil. The series starts off rather juvenile, but grows in breadth and depth along with Zoey who realizes that she is meant to do great things and must trust in herself and her connection to the Goddess to make it all happen. Love triangles, subterfuge, suspense, comedy, intense soul searching, drama and passion are all laced together to make a rather engaging story, once you get to book 3. You will have to remind yourself that this is Young Adult series from time to time, so although there is a considerable amount of language, mostly from one of my favorite character Aphrodite, it really is rather tame. I think these are a great read, if you enjoy the paranormal genre. From book 3 on, they all end in total cliffhangers, so if you are anything like me, you will want to have the next book on hand once you get to the last 50 pages in one book. And I certainly am waiting on pins and needles waiting for the newest installment Awakened, scheduled to release January 4th, 2011!