The story starts with her hanging out with her best friend at high school, when a vampire tracker marks her. Once marked, your destination is to go through “the change” which will result in you becoming a full fledged vampire, or if the change is unsuccessful, in death. The only way to go through the change successfully is to go to a special boarding school for fledgling vampires called The House of Night. Even then, some fledglings still die.
As soon as Zowie is marked, she becomes an outcast to her family and friends. Upon telling her family, her mother and very religious step-father try to stop her going to the House of Night and blame her for being marked. Zowie runs away, to seek the advice of the one person she knows will not reject her, her grandmother Redbird, her maternal grandmother of Cherokee heritage. While running away to her grandmother’s Zowie passes out and has a vision of the Goddess Nyx, the patroness of the Vampires, who tells her she has been specially blessed by her. Zowie then wakes up to find herself at The House of Night, which her grandmother has safely brought her to.
In her new life at the Vampire boarding school, Zowie is assigned a mentor, the High Priestess Neferet, and must learn to adjust to her new life as a young vampire in training. She is placed in the girls dormitory with her new roommate Stevie Rae, and begins to make new friends. Classes are all held at night, and she is introduced to subjects such as vampire sociology, literature, fencing, horseback riding etc. She loves the new classes and friends, but her new life is not without conflict. Her mentor Neferet instructs her to join The Dark Daughters, an elite student group of vampire priestesses in training, run by the popluar and seemingly perfect Aphrodite. Aphrodite and her gang of followers, are typically snobby, and turn out to hate humans, and act generally badly. Add to that, her human ex-boyfriend is becoming obsessed with her, and she is falling for Aphrodite's former boyfriend, the handsome and talented Eric.
The plot in the book moves along fairly smoothly, and keeps the reader's attention. I found it to be a pretty typical vampire teen book, but still reasonably entertaining. The characters are generally believable, and the writing was clear and descriptive. My one complaint about this book is that the main character comes across as a bit of a Mary Sue. She is pretty, smart, and the most gifted vampire to attend the House of Night in generations, plus guys keep falling for her. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to like a character who's too perfect.
Except for this one flaw, I enjoyed the book overall, enough to give the second book in the series a try. I give this book 4 out of 5 parasols.
If you read this book/series, what did you think? I'd love to know. :)
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