Neferet’s true nature has been revealed to the Vampyre High Council, so Zoey and the gang might finally get some help in defending themselves and their beloved school against a gathering evil that grows stronger every day. And they’ll need it, because Neferet’s not going down without a fight. Chaos reigns at the House of Night.
There comes a pivotal point in the progression of a series when as a reader you think, “Is the author starting to beat a dead horse?” The House of Night novels are my all-time favorite in YA urban fantasy. With that said, I am saddened to report that the Cast ladies are beginning to stretch this reader’s dedication to the series. Hidden, released October 16, 2012, finds our cast of vampyres and immortals, priestesses and protectors, prophetesses and mortals, left in the wake of destruction caused, yet again, by House of Night Ex-High Priestess, Neferet.
Zoey’s mother is dead, as is the House of Night’s Sword Master, Dragon Lankford. In his stead, we find Kalona has pledged allegiance to Thanatos (acting House of Night High Priestess), after he saves his beloved son Rephaim for certain death. Where Destined opened the door for this series to find closure with itself in the pages of Hidden, P.C. and Kristin Cast are finding way to draw the series on (i.e. adding side stories; fledglings with new powers, young lust, etc).
I believe that part of this is spurred by the production of their novellas, Dragon’s Oath and Lebonia’s Vow. (Hint to the reader, pick up Lenobia’s vow before you read this book, it will make more sense); and ladies and gentlemen, that is the rub. I say this, because I feel (and this is merely my opinion) that this series is beginning to be dragged on by the marketing of additional titles, as seemingly a reader will need to be familiar with the novellas to understand certain plot lines surfacing. In my opinion, that pisses me right the hell off. It is a fine line in the world of novel writing, and, one that needs to be taken into consideration by authors venturing into the novella-in-addition-to-series creative process. Sometimes in the grand scheme, too much writing is just that….too much. For this reason, I found Hidden to be an almost mundane read, where towards the end I was skimming, not out of anticipation, but more to put myself out of my own misery.
Of course I will carry on and read the next book, simply because at this point, I need to know what happens in the end. I am only hoping that Hidden is a creative hiccup in the House of Night Novels, with a close to the series coming before the horse is official beaten, broken, and set hard into rigor mortis. Alas, it appears that we have yet another novella to keep us busy (Neferet’s Curse, to be released on February 19, 2013) while waiting for novel #10 in the series (and yes, I feel compelled to read it, not really because of want but out of need).
Despondently (insert teardrop here), I report Hidden is only rating 1.5 stars on 5 star Pure Textuality scale from this reader.