Friday, May 01, 2009

House of Night

I've been indulging in guilty pleasure reading again, this time with a teen vamp series. The House of Night books tell the story of Zoey, an average high school student until she's "marked" as a fledgling vampire and sent off to a vamp finishing school. The story lines have been interesting but there's a few things that annoy me:
  • I solve the mystery before the end of the book. That means I'm reading along wondering when the imaginary characters are going to catch up with what I already know. I hope this is simply immature plot development and that the writers, a mother/daughter duo, will become more skilled as time goes by. I'm only on the third book in the series so I'm hopeful this is the case. I had the same opinion of my favorite pleasure-read author, Laurell K. Hamilton, who has grown light years as a writer from her earliest books.
  • I loathe the use of the term "brown pop" for a dark colored soda. The authors, P. C. & Kristin Cast don't hesitate to use brand names such as Doritos or Starbucks but they can't seem to make themselves write "Coke", "Pepsi" or "Barq's". Seriously ladies, cut it the hell out. It sounds stupid. I googled, to make sure I wasn't hating on some regional colloquialism but no, "brown pop" isn't one.
  • U-we-tsi-a-ge-ya. The Cherokee word for daughter. After the first time you explain that "u-we-tsi-a-ge-ya" is the Cherokee word for daughter, there isn't a need to keep explaining. Each time Zoey's grandmother visits or is on the phone you use the term AND the explanation at least twice. Trust me, we've got it by now. Define it once per book and be done with it. I realize you're writing for teens but even they have a memory.

To be fair, here's a few things I love:

  • The mark. What a nifty idea! When a teen who carries the vamp gene enters into the period of time where he develops into a vamp (or dies, read the books, you'll understand), he is marked by a crescent shaped tattoo. When a fledgling finishes vampire puberty and enters adulthood, that tattoo is filled in and more decoration is added, such as Celtic symbols or other intricate designs. This is so much more exciting than just being an extraordinarily beautiful vampire.
  • Teens being teens. The authors don't sugarcoat teenagers. They portray them as they are: nice, bitchy, thoughtful, catty, scatterbrained, horny, shopaholics and more.
  • Diversity. There's gay fledglings. Can you imagine coming out to your parents as a gay vampire?

Don't take my word for Gospel, go out and pick up a copy of the first book, Marked, and read it. Let me know what you think. If nothing else, it's better than watching mediocre television.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Okay, first of all, "brown pop" is used in a lot of conversations I've been in. Second, the writers do not explain what u-we-tsi-a-ge-ya means every time they use it. Get a clue. Third, don't call the writers immature or whatever, they aren't. I happen to know that everyone I've asked who have read the books, agree that they are one of the very best. I, for one, think that as well.