Sunday, November 11, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Hidden (House of Night #10) By PC & Kristin Cast

Hidden is the tenth instalment of the House of Night series by PC and Kristin Cast. It was published on the 16th October 2012 by Atom in the UK. The hardcover edition of Hidden is 320 pages long.

PLOT

I'd known it before we saw the fire trucks and the smoke. I'd known all hell had broken loose at the House of Night the moment it had been proven beyond all doubt that Neferet was on the side of Darkness. Only now I had a terrible feeling that outing Neferet would serve more to free her than to force her to pay the consequences for her lies and betrayals.

At last, Zoey has what she wanted: the truth is out. Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side - but she's far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world.

With the seeds of distrust sown and Darkness breeding chaos at the House of Night, everyone must band together - but that's proving to be more difficult than ever before. The twins are barely speaking and the House of Night's former enemy, Kalona, has now become their warrior, pushing their trust to the limits.

To top it all off, Zoey is pretty darn sure she might be losing her mind - she saw something when she looked at Neferet's minion, Aurox, through the Seer Stone that she can hardly explain to herself, let alone her friends. Zoey knows that following her instincts might be just what they need to defeat evil... but if she's wrong, it could cause the destruction of those closest to her.

With the tension at a breaking point and friendships on the line, can the nerd herd come together to stop the spread of Darkness before it's too late?

NOTES ON SPOILERS

It would be near impossible to discuss Hidden without spoiling some of the details from the previous books. I would highly recommend if you are interested in reading House of Night that you should start at the beginning, the books follow on immediately after one another and could not be more connected.

HON Controversy

I don’t feel like I can write a review of a House of Night novel without talking a little about the controversy surrounding the title. The controversy is about the maturity level of the content, while HON is about Vampires in High school with magic powers there are a lot of mature themes including things like sexual themes and swearing. When I read book blogger reviews of HON they highlight this content as if there isn’t a clear warning on the back of the books about the mature content.

I feel that book stores both physical and online are partly to blame as they tend to incorrectly place any books not overtly romantic straight into the children/teens section. While House of Night could be described as a YA or Young Adult novel it really isn’t for kids despite it being set in a school.

WHAT I THOUGHT

House of Night novels are regular as clockwork around October each year and I am always eagerly awaiting each new addition to the series. Zoey Redbird and her gang are fully engaged in the fight against darkness but things are becoming too much for Zoey. This book is about Zoey as well as several other of the major protagonists taking steps to decide their own destinies. 

While this is obviously a series about magic and vampires it is also about people choosing between easy and the hard choice. A lot of times when I read YA books I question whether the characters are inspirational, whether or not they could be thought of as role models.

The characters in HON are relatable, now too flawed and not too perfect though I have to say Jack was pretty brilliant. They are some of the most believable characters I have come across in literature and they have a permanent place in my heart (yes I know that is so cheesy especially coming from an adult guy).

Religion and the way it is portrayed has always intrigued me in HON and the religion of the Nyx is a fairly well defined one and it throws up an interesting relationship dynamic, it makes possible a triangular romantic relationship, whereas 90% of YA books make use of the love triangle this book goes in another direction entirely suggesting a new relationship structure and I find that interesting.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT

First if you are a fan of House of Night this is a great addition to the story, if you left the series because of the change in the storyline a few books back I would urge you to come back as the essential qualities of House of Night never left even if the story has changed somewhat since the beginning.

If you are new to the House of Night series I can tell you that it is not just another Vampire book it is a richly detailed alternate world and a story about friendship first. House of Night is definitely worth adding to your read pile.

If you want to get in touch with me, maybe to argue the merits of House of Night or YA in general you can find me on Twitter on @shaftsword, I’ll be happy to reply.  




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