Many books in my book queue are waiting to be read, and a common theme among is that they’re all part of a series, trilogy or saga. Each Sunday, I’ll share a book from a series. You can read along with me, or add the books to your own reading list. This week, I’ll be reviewing “Betrayed,” the second book in the House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.
After a month as a student at the House of Night, Zoey Redbird is finally fitting in. She becomes the leader of the Dark Sons and Daughters, the exclusive club of elite students on the House of Night campus.
Zoey meets Loren Blake, the vampyre poet laureate at the House of Night. She finds herself unnaturally attracted to him, and she believes he’s attracted to her, too. The only problem is, she’s dating Erik (an upperclassman) and she’s still imprinted to Heath, her high-school boyfriend.
The really awful love triangle (quadrilateral?) I guess is supposed to make me want to root for one guy over the other while projecting my own traits onto Zoey’s bland personality. I thought it was kind of predatory for a fully grown man to go after a teenager. It was also weird for Zoey to seemingly start a whole new life, but still cling to her high-school boyfriend. So I was mostly rooting for Erik. Team Erik!
Anyway, in “Betrayed,” human teenagers begin disappearing around town and Zoey thinks it might have something to do with the red-eyed demon students that she encountered in the first book.
Unfortunately, my suspicions were correct and Neferet did have something to do with the demons and disappearing students, but I still don’t know what or why.
Something depressing also happens with Stevie Rae, Zoey’s best friend, but I won’t ruin it for you.
Zoey’s voice seems to have matured in the second book a little. It’s not full of adult-author-trying-to-speak-teenager colloquialisms as the first book was. At times, Zoey speaks like an adult, but the book ultimately ends up being a hodge-podge of gossipy babble and a few serious events peppered with weird-girl goofiness.
Another stabby part about the book was pervasive stereotyping. For example, Zoey has a friend, Damien, who happens to be gay. In nearly every scene, readers will find the other characters hurling stereotypes at him, calling him a “queen” or a “queer,” assuming he likes watching “Will and Grace” and alluding to his femininity or attraction to other boys at school. Somehow this is supposed to be “friendly” and not hurtful in the least (maybe I just can’t take a joke.) Damien is really given no other purpose other than to be the “diverse token gay kid.” Zoey points out others’ race in her narrative, stereotypes Stevie Rae as a “hick” and is very self-conscious about her own sexuality. I don’t know what to make of this as an adult reading adolescent literature. I can only hope adolescents don’t really behave like this in real life.
I’m excited to read the third book because I want to know what Zoey is going to do about her friends, her three boyfriends and the evil that permeates the House of Night. As silly as the characters can be, I want to know what happens! Come back next week for a review of “Chosen,” the third book in the House of Night series.