Dual Review: In Which I Finish the House of Night Series!

Well, I have finally done it! I’ve managed to power through the end of the House of Night series and wow, it has been a struggle. When this series begun I really enjoyed it, but the combination of the writing going downhill and being dragged out, plus myself getting older and gaining more knowledge about writing and what makes a good story, on top of the YA genre making serious leaps and bound in the past few years, this series no longer stacks up for me. Still, after so long and committing to reading so many of the books I couldn’t abandon the series halfway and felt compelled to finish it, even though I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. So, here are my thoughts on the final novella and novel!

Overall Impression:  A somewhat enjoyable novella that provides some interesting back story into how vampires came to be.

Kalona’s Fall is the final House of Night novella and tells the stKalonas-Fall-by-P.C.-and-Kristin-Casory of Kalona, who is a fallen immortal tempted by darkness (basically an angel but he is never referred to in this way) that aids Neferet the main antagonist in the House of Night series in her quest to rule over others and gain power.
The writing in this novella is bad – but that is no surprise, because all of the writing in the House of Night novels makes me want to grab a red marker pen and scribble like a mad woman, but in Kalona’s Fall the Casts’ tendency to show rather than tell actually worked in their favour. As the novella focuses on how the Goddess Nyx, Earth, and its creatures came to be, the telling aspect actually gave the story an oddly historical/biblical feel, and at times reminded me of the story of Adam and Eve because of the matter of fact way things came into being despite it seeming incomprehensible.

I found myself pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Kalona’s Fall, because despite the one-dimensional, uninteresting and just plain cringy characters it did fill in some interesting gaps in Kalona’s history and made me feel more for his character. It really does seem that his fate was sealed to darkness when he was created to be both ‘lover’ and ‘warrior’ to the Goddess Nyx, two incredibly turbulent emotions, while his almost identical brother was fashion as ‘playmate’ and ‘friend’. Add in a bit of jealousy and a tricksy fey, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster! Getting to learn how and why the vampires in the Casts’ world were created was also a satisfying addition, even though the way they came about wasn’t particularly exciting or innovative.
Overall, Kalona’s Fall was better than I thought it would be, but that’s still not saying much with this series!

Writing Style: 1/5 // Originality: 1/5 // Entertainment: 2/5 // Character Development: 2/5  Would I recommend this book? Only fans of the House of Night series.

Overall: 2/5

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Overall Impression: A lackluster, anticlimactic ending to the series that was dragged out for far too long.

Redeemed by P.C. & Kristin CastWhere do I even begin with the final novel in this series? I was oh so disappointed with how the story ended, which I didn’t think was possible as I was already mentally preparing myself from a car crash and my expectations were already low! You’d think Redeemed would be full of action and reasonably fast paced, but it dragged more than all the other novels combined. The story begins with Zoey’s imprisonment, an excuse for her to show she still has a moral compass – albeit a wonky one, and for the authors to pad out the pages with yet another unneeded plot point.

Meanwhile half the book consisted of Neferet strutting around a hotel where she had imprisoned some humans, constantly talking to herself about how beautiful, powerful and amazing she was and how she’d take over the world. A good amount of the story was also taken up by a new character, one of the humans Neferet had imprisoned who was an opportunist, and decided to kiss up to Neferet to prevent being killed. I understand why the Casts’ did this as it gave the readers more insight into what was happening inside the hotel as Neferet’s POV was limited, but the character was so unlikable and bland (I can’t even remember her name!) that I huffed and rolled my eyes every time I got to one of her chapters. A weirdly large amount of the novel was also dedicated to cats for seemingly no reason whatsoever…

So yeah, Redeemed was a bit all over the place, and didn’t feel like the final novel in a series. The main characters were as annoying and shallow as ever, the writing was bad and the ending fell painfully flat because it didn’t feel any different to the other novels which had the same format – Neferet strutting around, the protagonists strutting around, followed by a confrontation. The only difference this time was that it really was the end. I almost half expected the Casts to jump out and say ‘just kidding! There’s another 20 books on the way!’ NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
To be honest, I think the only thing that could have saved this series was if EVERYONE DIED.

YEAH, I SAID IT.

Writing Style: 1/5 // Originality: 1/5 // Entertainment: 1/5 // Character Development: 1/5  Would I recommend this book? Only fans of the House of Night series.

Overall: 1/5

~ * ~

Overall, I wish I could say I received some sort of closure from finishing this series, but I didn’t. I just felt a huge wave of relief. The House of Night series was an ‘of its time’ kind of thing, and it has long surpassed that so I wouldn’t recommend anyone pick it up or bother to follow it through to the end. There’s one thing I can thank the Casts for though, they’ve finally given me enough resolve to give up on series I am really not enjoying anymore, rather than reading them for the sake of it! Never, ever, EVER AGAIN!

Do you give up on series you’re no enjoying? Was there a certain book, series, or event that helped you realise it was okay to do this?

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21 thoughts on “Dual Review: In Which I Finish the House of Night Series!

  1. Do you give an author another chance after you’ve read a bad book of theirs? For instance, if a really good premise for a different “Cast” book came along, would you go for it?

    I tend to look at the author and then the book…so I’ll never read another Cormac McCarthy, no matter how interesting the premise…

    • It really depends on what I didn’t like about the book. If I had plot, pacing or character issues and the premise of the author’s new book sounded good I would definitely give it another go and have done this on certain occasions. However when it’s something key like the writing style that I didn’t like I wouldn’t give the author another go, because I know that whatever the premise of their book it’s going to be a consistent problem! The Casts’ fall into the latter category for me, unfortunately.

      That’s an interesting way of looking at it – author then book or book then author. I’d say I’m a little bit of both but I definitely follow my favourite authors and pick up all their books, so I guess that says something. 🙂

  2. This was the series I gave up on. Like you mentioned, the bad writing was one reason why I stopped. The ridiculous story lines was another, and the seemingly unending-ness (made up word) was infuriating. Through you I can now be sure I made the correct decision to stop and am appreciative that you suffered through to the end. Disappointing that this series took such a dive since it started out fairly good. I think the authors lost their way and forgot why they started to write this series.

    • Yes, the writing was really quite bad. It makes me realise how far I’ve come as a reader because when I was younger I thought the writing was good and I’ve learnt a lot since then when I didn’t even realise I was learning! Yeah, I remember when it was going to be six books, pha! And the plots to get more and more silly, grr.
      Ah, well I’m glad the negative reviews have been helpful. I don’t really enjoy writing them because I’m always looking for positives but there are so few in these books. 😦

      I completely agree, so much potential got lost along the way. Thanks for reading!

  3. Wow – you made it! I am both really, really proud of your determination and sad that I gave up haha. Ironically though, my two mantras “life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying” and “read the best books 1st, for you may not have the chance to read them all” really started to come into play in my life shortly after I decided to put down this series – I guess it really inspired us both lol. I used to read everything out of obligation and rarely picked up the books I was most excited about (which made sense at the time but was total crap in retrospect). Sometimes it is a bit hard putting something down, so I either tell myself I will go back to it once I read all of the other amazing things (a.k.a., never) or spot read until the end to see if it gets any better (it never does). Anyway, I can’t wait to see what your next great reading adventure will be! 🙂

    • I did! *Flails and collapses on floor.* Haha, thanks! Trust me, giving up was the right decision, and you can always look up a synopsis to see how it ends. 🙂

      Wow, really? That’s interesting. I have watched you go through that decision process on your blog and I have to say I found it really impressive, and I think your new system is great. Maybe it’s something I’ll aspire to because I’m always putting off the books I want to read most and saving them for a ‘rainy day’ which really, makes no sense at all!

      Yeah, I think it can be easy to fall into that trap, especially as a book blogger, I agree it will be tough, but I will try and be strong! Thanks for the advice, I may try that. 🙂

  4. Oh Book Buddy, your reviews are always so awesomely honest! I love it ;). You and I have talked about this series many times, and I, like you, have this need to finish the series. I have Redeemed on my bookshelf, but I need to find the right time to read a book that I know is going to piss me off LOL. But are you sure about your new resolve? I think you might just do it again if another series starts off well but begins to decline. I think you will want to see it through to the end because you are book stubborn like me :).

    • Thanks, Cindy. 🙂 I don’t usually enjoying writing low star reviews but I think they are really important, so I try to be as honest as possible.
      We have indeed. I wish you the best of luck with Redeemed and hope you find more closure with it than I did. 🙂

      Hmmm, perhaps you know me too well, Cindy, LOL. I am going to try really hard to stick to this resolve but how well I’ll do is doubtful. I think I will still continue with many series that have their natural ups and downs, but it’s the ones like HoN that I get no enjoyment from whatsoever that I’m going to try and stop reading. There are too many amazing books in the world!

  5. I read the first three HoN novels and wasn’t very impressed but I adore her Goddes by Mistake series, the first of which is sheer genius! I would definitely recommend giving that one a try and chalk this series up to a lesser work by a wonderful author 😀

  6. Oh dear goodness! I finished this series at the beginning of this year, and I adored it! I think I remember crying at the end. I didn’t think these books were bad. The series was definitely dragged out and the last book was terribly slow-paced thanks to the Neferet scenes. The writing was nothing great but I thrived mostly in the characters and the story! I call this my guilty pleasure series because I completely blocked out all criticism and possible downfalls for this book and adored it instead! I probably continued reading mostly for Stark. I adored and still adore Stark 😍

    • Ohh wow, really? You know, you are the first person I’ve ever heard say that, LOL. But I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed them and don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad for it! We all like different things and I’m just so glad someone managed to get some enjoyment out of this series where I couldn’t. That’s what books are for, right? 🙂
      We all need at least one guilty pleasure in our lives. I did use to like the characters in this series, but by the end I only liked Aphrodite! I remember having the hots for Stark when he first turned up, hahaa!

  7. I started this series when I was a preteen and kept collecting the books as they were released (only if they were on sale though). I’m not sure when I’m going to finish this series but I really want to for the sake of just saying I’ve completed it. Congratulations on finishing, Becky! 😉

  8. Ahh you’re so like me. If I make a commitment to a book or a series, I have to finish even if I’m no longer enjoying it. Bizarre isn’t it?!

    I shall avoid this series with a lengthy barge pole, but I secretly love it when you dislike a book because I like to read your disgruntled remarks. It amuses me greatly 😉

  9. I’ve been dreading reading this book for months! In the beginning it was torture, it made me sneer every other sentence. It was a habit of Zoey to be consumed by boy trouble and complain about everything. However, I started to think about how much I did love them from the beginning and focused on what I liked about them, and in the end it made it at least bearable. Sometimes I even found the characters so stupid and unchanged with the same problem it made me laugh. Typical Aphrodite and her bitchy attitude, even when everything is over, she will remain one giant bitch.
    After everything, Zoey will still remain insecure and clumsy, making others feel secure around her. In the end, Neferet was still self-absorbed af, vain but also acting like a child. She wants the world but she doesn’t want it alone and she NEEDS love to survive, something she has by her gruesome manner made an impossibility.

    I liked your review, and I agree. No more freaking House of Night. However, I did like the scenes with Kalona and him finding peace after all this time. I don’t like the description of Nyx in the end, she is supposed to be the wise and loving mother, but here she was acting as a naive child. I expected more of this powerful Godess.

    Thank you, Becky.

    x Sara

    • I felt exactly the same way! It took so much effort to gather the will to read it. Not really what you want from a book, lol. I found the whole thing pretty torturous to be honest, and I was sad that I didn’t even get a sense of closure from finishing it. Zoey is indeed a frustrating character due to her boy obsessed ways. Oddly, I think Aphrodite was the only character I mildly liked by the end, and that was mostly because she called the other characters out on their own ridiculousness (although I don’t think I was supposed to agree, haha).
      It does make me feel sad when I think back to how I used to like this series.

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the review. 🙂 I do think Nyx was oddly portrayed at the end, I agree! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

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