It's getting complicated, this House of Night series, so pay attention...
The anticipation for Awakened has been building for months and finally, we get our hands on a copy! Zoey is back from the Otherworld, although not quite fully herself and certainly in no rush to get back to the hailstorm brewing in Tulsa. Stark is now her Guardian (there’s a difference, apparently, between being Guardian and Oath Warrior); and they finally get it on… cue some cheek-flushing moments along with a good dousing of sickly-sweet pillow talk.
Back in Tulsa, Stevie Rae has got a major issue to contend with. Not only has Neferet returned with the High Council’s blessing, but she still hasn’t faced down her growing feelings for the monstrous Raven Mocker: Rephaim. Neferet is more determined than ever to rid the world of Zoey and so embarks on another cat and mouse game with the fledgling High Priestess. It’s obvious that Zoey will win the day (she has to, the alternative is too gruesome to contemplate); but outing Neferet’s nefarious nature is going to take some work. Awakened sees some more savage killing off of characters, more love-ins, the usual tests of friendship that seem to plague Zoey et al and a whole new sub-domain of nastiness from whom we now refer to as “that awful woman” (aka Neferet).
The Casts have accomplished more than they could have dreamed. The House of Night series is a phenomenal success; one that eclipses the Twi-whatever in terms of depth, credibility and an alternate universe where Vampyres are part of the scenery of everyday life. Awakened does suffer from a rather limp beginning; in which very little happens but much is discussed – a curious by product of being overly engaged with their characters… but that won’t deter the most ardent of Zoey fans and the final twist will leave you screaming at the empty pages as this instalment draws to an mind-boggling conclusion. We all know by now that the Casts’ writing style is like slipping on a pair of comfortable, if somewhat grubby, pair of slippers; or you with your mates out after several (ok, a lot) of drinks – it’s unassuming, unpretentious and as real and gritty as a hangover – and for that reason, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It probably won’t win awards for its linguistic finesse either, but if you’re after a bit of escapism after a long, hard day you could do a lot, lot worse.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012