Zoey Redbird, Vampyre fledgling and high priestess-in-training, is back in P.C. and Kristin Cast's Untamed: A House of Night Novel.
It's barely been three days since the brutal massacre on campus of the drama teacher, Professor Nolan, and Vampyre Poet Laureate, Loren Blake (who turned out to be a total user jerk!). Nepheret cancelled winter break the students are called back to campus without winter break by Nepheret. Loren is dead, Erik hates her and the imprint bond she had with Heath was broken during her impromptu fling with Loren Blake. After all the secrets she's been keeping, Damien, Jack and the Twins are still not speaking to her, and her once enemy, Aphrodite, is now her only friend and ally.
That would be okay if a strange, ghoulish creature hadn't just attacked her in the courtyard on her way to the dining hall. No one really seems to care much until she turns to Aphrodite, who shares a vision with Zoey that requires everyone to either pull together and make nice again, or scatter like marbles. When the threat of doom takes the form of a dark angel with a host of demons paving the way, Zoey will not only need to be able to rely on the closeness of her friends, but she'll have to call on her Cherokee heritage to make things right.
The fourth installment in the House of Night Series weaves nicely into this mother/daughter tapestry of teen triumph, adversity and angst. Amidst a world turned asunder, they manage to incorporate realistic human behaviors powerful enough to make the reader laugh and cry alongside the characters. The language is natural and the characters incredibly real. My only complaint is that we now have to wait until March 2009 for Book 5!
House of Night as a series is right up there with the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. There are elements of romance entangled in the complicated everyday troubles of teen life, but to charge those troubles even more the characters must deal with their vampire nature.
House of Night also embodies the spiritual dilemmas faced by many teens in today's society, especially teens who have chosen to follow pagan and/or wiccan paths. Zoey Redbird comes from a Cherokee background, raised by a grandmother who still practices many of the old native spiritual customs. Zoey's mother is married to a man who is part of a Christian extremist group, and when she is marked by the goddess Nyx as a Vampyre fledgling, her mother and stepfather completely disown her. These actions are played upon in such a way that it's difficult to find a sympathetic view on Christianity until Untamed, with the introduction of Catholic nun who runs Street Cats.
I could easily see this series turning into an awesome TV drama. Check it out! Oh, and be sure to visit their website, they have a lot of fun things for teens--vampyre and human alike.