Friday, 3 September 2010

Betrayed (House of Night #2) - PC and Kristin Cast

Betrayed is the second book in the House of Night (HoN) series by mother and daughter duo, PC and Kristin Cast.

What has happened so far
Sixteen year old Zoey Redbird recently got marked by a Tracker, meaning that she had to move to the House of Night in order to maybe become a vampyre. Everyone who is marked (fledglings) don't always become full vampyres though, some of them die before they can make the change.

Zoey is unlike any of the other fledglings though. She has been extremely blessed by the Goddess Nyx who gave her powers that she never expected. Zoey can has an affinity for all five elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit. She has also overthrown Aphrodite as the leader of the Dark Daughters, taking the lead for herself.

Beginning a new life is hard but at least Zoey has her faithful friends, Stevie Rae, Shaunee, Erin and Damien to help her out. Not to mention human boyfriend Heath and talented fledgling boyfriend Erik.

Zoey is finally beginning to feel like she belongs at the House of Night. She has amazing friends, enjoys her lessons and has a hot boyfriend. Well two boyfriends but only one is a vampyre fledgling. Life couldn't be better right?

Wrong! Human teenage boys are going missing then being murdered and Zoey used to go to school with them, which doesn't look very good for her. There are some strange things going on at the House of Night but Zoey can't quite figure out what is behind it all. While she is clear that someone at the House of Night is responsible for the disappearances, it's going to take a miracle to figure out which student or teacher it is. As leader of the Dark Daughters, it's Zoey's job to figure out what is going on before anyone else goes missing.

If only life could be as simple as figuring out what to do with having two boyfriends...

What I thought
What I love about this series in general is that the timescale is very realistic. Many books go over a space of months and months but the HoN series is different. The first book, Marked, covered Zoey's first two months of being at the school and Betrayed picks up right where Marked left off. Because of this, nothing about each book feels rushed at any point or like anything important has been missed out.

In this instalment, more is revealed about vampyre history but it doesn't take over the real story. Different things are hinted at or explained throughout the story which I thought was a lot better than say, having a full chapter explaining what happened in the past and why. The history and mythology is blended very well with what is really going on and a nice addition in my eyes. As these vampyres are also witches in a sense, learning about their ways, casting circles and the power of controlling the elements was something that interested me a lot. Although vamps in other books have slight differences to others, these are clearly unlike any others you may have read about.

In a series like this, it is usually important to have read the earlier books but not with this one. Although I found it a little annoying at times, Zoey does explain what has been going on previously which will make it possible to pick up the series at any time. It doesn't happen the whole way through the book but little reminders helped me to keep up with everything that had been happening.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery aspect in this book. While I had an idea of what was really going on, I was never 100% sure and not being able to guess everything is something that I need in a book. If I can guess the ending straight away then I don't really see the point in carrying on reading it. There are plenty of twists and turns in Betrayed, which make me realise that I really didn't have a clue what was going on at all. When I thought I finally knew, something else happened to change my mind. Although that may make the book sound confusing, it isn't. It is very easy to follow but with enough to keep you guessing.

I know it might seem like a strange reaction to Zoey having two boyfriends but I actually felt quite sorry for her. Imprinting with Heath by drinking his blood in Marked makes it impossible for her to feel something for him and then there is Erik, who she really likes. Both boys have a strong connection with Zoey and I understand that it must have been really hard for her to try to decide between the two. She is quite silly when it comes to her thoughts about her relationships though but also very realistic for a teenager at the same time. With everything that has happened to Zoey recently, it makes sense that sorting the boys out would be the last of her worries. At least she has her priorities in order.

Zoey's development comes quite far in Betrayed, once she realises that Nyx has a lot more in store for her than she originally thought. Her personality shines though in this book, making Zoey a character that is very easy to like, even when she is being an idiot. I think that if I were in her situation, I wouldn't be strong at all. I would probably hide in my room and cry like a baby.

Surprisingly, Aphrodite was one of my favourite characters in Betrayed. Here, we get to learn a lot more about her past and the way that she was brought up, revealing what makes her act the way she does. She's still quite a bitch and full of herself but I'm really beginning to love her. As the saying goes, 'Don't judge a book by it's cover' and that is definitely true for Aphrodite. I think that there will be much more to come from her in later books in the series and I cant wait to find out what she is really like or if her personality changes at all.

Best friends, Stevie Rae, Shaunee, Erin and Damien provided the witty and quick banter that I was expecting from them. I really like the way that Zoey's little group interact with each other. Each of their personalities clearly stand out from each other and the mix is very interesting. Sometimes, it seems like none of them should really get on so well but having certain things in common is what binds them together. Their comedic conversations are one of the things that I totally love about this series and a reason why it stands out from others that are similar. PC and Kristin Cast are extremely good at making the story light-hearted where it needs to be to take away from the doom and gloom of current events.

While I really enjoyed Marked, Betrayed was so much better in a lot of ways. The story was more exciting and action packed, I got to learn a hell of a lot more about the characters and it kept me hooked all of the way through. If you wasn't sure about Marked, give this second book a go, I think you'll enjoy it a lot more.


SusanKMann said...

I think this was once of my favourites of this series. I have read them all up until the latest one. The one before put me off. I won't spoil it for you :D

Lacey Weatherford said...

I've read the first one but no further. Maybe I will have to give it a go again!:)

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