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YMMV / The House of Night

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  • Anvilicious:
    • Slightly mitigated by the fact that the books largely are in her point of view, and some of them later prove to be ironic or character developing as Zoey matures, but it still constitutes bad writing when the narrative is suddenly derailed for a few paragraphs to talk about how blowjobs are only something done by skanks and means the girl is being used. (This is made even worse by the fact that the blowjob is non-consensual.)
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    • Pot usage gets it really bad as well. In Betrayed, there's one point where the conversation about a missing teenage boy is put on hold to talk about how un-cool he is for experimenting with pot.
    • Aphrodite is constantly put down for being a "slut", despite only being involved with two guys in the whole series, the second with whom the relationship is incredibly serious. Compare that to how many boys the main character is stringing along at any given moment...
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In Chosen, Zoey has two guys run down with a truck just because they posed a threat to Heath. It is never mentioned again.
  • Designated Villain: Kayla makes a whopping two appearances and is promptly branded a man-stealing jealous bitch by Zoey as a result. Kayla's crime, really, is hooking up with Heath after Zoey tells her several times, in no uncertain terms, that she's broken up with him. In Betrayed, Zoey acts like Kayla was being horribly spiteful and irrational in going to the police after witnessing Zoey drinking Heath's blood, and then having Zoey threaten to do the same to her. To really hammer this point in, Zoey's friends (who never even met Kayla before) begin referring to her as "skank-bitch Kayla" after learning that she went to the police.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Stevie Rae, Rephaim and Kramisha are quite popular with the Fandom.
  • Escapist Character: The series is filled with these. The vampyre race is persecuted by humans, despite being superior to them both physically and aesthetically (and having superpowers). Because vampyres are more creative and passionate than any human, they are responsible for nearly all intellectual and artistic advancements, ever. They're all incredibly wealthy, and so socially progressive that their society is ruled entirely by women. Most importantly, upon reaching puberty, a human may be chosen by Nyx and taken away to become one of these glamorous creatures of the night. (To be fair, though, this same process may kill them.)
  • Idiot Plot:
    • In Betrayed, Zoey sees red-eyed zombie-like vampires who she knew died as fledglings, hears about multiple students from her old school disappearing/turning up dead and drained of blood in the vicinity of the school (all of said students being people she knew who smoked pot, and whose names she gave to Neferet in the previous book), Neferet repeatedly tells Zoey that humans are worthless and she should cut them out of her life entirely, and Zoey catches Neferet kissing one of the red-eyed vampires. It's not until the last few chapters that Zoey learns that the red-eyed vampires are kidnapping and draining the blood of the humans and that they're under the command of Neferet.
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    • Chosen would have ended a lot more quickly if Zoey would have thought to try a simple healing ritual on Stevie Rae. This solution is given as being so obvious that it went unnoticed, but still.
    • Pretty much all of Hunted. For starters, the End of the World as We Know It has just begun, Raven Mockers are potentially everywhere and anywhere waiting for them to venture above ground, the weather outside is blizzard conditions, so what does Zoey do? She goes outside with Heath to say goodbye. It just so happens that a Raven Mocker is outside (waiting for her specifically) and it then goes to attack Heath. Now Zoey could have done many things here. She could have summoned her elements to immediately and attacked the Raven Mocker, or dragged Heath to her and headed back to the Depot, or headed towards Heath's car and used it for cover while she thought of something to do or screamed for help (what with Erik being relatively close by). What she does do is push Heath out of the way and takes the hit for Heath instead and almost ends up nearly dying because of it. Um What? The idiocy is further compounded due to the fact that Zoey has already fought off Raven Mockers before by using her elements.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • While Aphrodite is a gigantic bitch, you have to feel bad for her from having abusive parents. It's also unfair how she's called a slut or hoe, even though she's only has been in two relationships. (And actually serious about the second one!) Not to mention her seizure-like visions, which don't seem to be very pleasant for her (if only because she constantly is forced to watch scenes of death and destruction) and cause her parents to bully her even more into using them to gain leverage and power. She also becomes more pitiable when it becomes more apparent that she is having visions of something very horrific on the way and seems aware to some degree that Neferet is involved and can't be trusted. Oh, and Neferet covers her own ass by ruining Aphrodite's reputation even more than it already is, spreading the word that her visions are fake and telling Aphrodite that she has lost Nyx's favor (more or less the equivalent of a teacher telling a student "You did something so bad that God hates you now).
  • Narm:
    • Near the beginning of Chosen, shortly after Zoey gets a present from her boyfriend, Heath, saying she doesn't like gifts that combine her birthday and Christmas, comes this from the stereotypical gay guy of the group:
    "I like snow globes," Jack said softly, looking like he was about to cry. "The snowy part makes me happy."
    • A lot of the dialogue in Dragon's Oath rhymes unnecessarily. So you get sentences like this:
    "You have cut my heart with your sword,
    "Bryan Dragon Lankford!"
  • Paranoia Fuel: If you were a fledgling, you would never know that your body is rejecting the Change, until you start coughing up blood. Then, in about 10 minutes, you would be dead and then there's nothing that anybody can do.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Marked had Zoey get a hot boyfriend and try to fend off her ex-boyfriend, but it was still mostly about Zoey becoming familiar with the vampyre world. Betrayed put more focus on Zoey finding herself having three boyfriends at once, but the vampyre plot still had more attention and importance. Chosen is when this trope fully emerges, with Zoey's juggling of her three boyfriends taking up as much space as the much more interesting plot with Aphrodite and Stevie Rae, if not more. It tapers off for a bit after Zoey finds herself boyfriend-less at the end of Chosen, but is back with a vengeance in Hunted, with Zoey even getting a new suitor to fill the place of the one she lost. It's probably telling that the most highly rated book of this series on Amazon is Untamed, the one where Zoey's love problems don't take up a large part of the plot.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Side character Aphrodite, a snarky yet sympathetic Lonely Rich Kid who begins as an Alpha Bitch but genuinely matures over the story's course, overcoming parental neglect (and the stress of her precognitive abilities) to become a good person and Zoey's Token Evil Teammate.
    • Stevie Rae, a compassionate Wide-Eyed Idealist who is killed early into the story, resurrected through dark magic, and becomes the disillusioned leader of the red fledgings. The glimpses we get of her descent of insanity (and eventual climb out of it) are quite interesting.
    • Speaking of Stevie Rae, a whole novel could be written about the red fledgings (outcast from everything they've ever known, seemingly abandoned by God, yet staying sane and retaining their personalities...).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot - The following subplots have not been/were not really resolved:
    • Zoey and her Christian Fundamentalist mother (her mother was killed by Neferet as of the most recent book).
    • The High Council and the election of a new Vampyre High Priestess
    • The Twins and their respective boyfriends. One stood up against the Raven Mockers, the other didn't.
    • The Rogue Red Fledglings and the secret orders they're receiving from Neferet.
    • The potential war between Humans and Vampyre, which if declared will be The End of the World as We Know It. As the story stands there is still considerable tensions between the two parties due to the recent murders of two professors (see Van Helsing Hate Crimes), which still haven't been solved in-universe.
    • Neferet's motivations for doing the things she's been doing. Broken Bird turned Well-Intentioned Extremist or was it just For the Evulz?
  • Unfortunate Implications: The series has been accused of being misogynistic in its portrayal of women other than the main character, Zoey. Zoey (also the narrator) constantly refers to other women as sluts and judges them based on their appearance. In one instance, the plot almost derails to talk about how all oral sex is demeaning to women and all women who give them are evil sluts.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • There's the briefly-shown Kayla. She was Zoey's friend when Zoey was human, and supposedly "betrays" her by dating Zoey's boyfriend, Heath, unfairly sending the police to investigate Zoey in the wake of several murders, and forming a "Bitch Posse" with a group of not-nice female classmates. Thing is, Kayla began dating Heath after Zoey repeatedly said how she had dumped him, her going to the police was logical since Zoey openly threatened to drink Kayla's blood (and Kayla saw her drinking Heath's blood), and the alleged "Mean Girls" she befriended are never introduced, so there's nothing to go off of, save Zoey's word that they're "hateful sluts".
    • In Chosen, Erik's reaction to finding out that Zoey slept with Blake is over-the-top, with him repeatedly calling her a slut and a two-timer, while she cries about how he's so different and hurting her so much. Later, Aprodite accuses him of hating on Zoey just to boost his own ego, which is treated as her rightfully calling him out. The thing is, after Zoey spends the past book and all of Chosen sneaking around with two other men, Erik being angry with her comes across as pretty justified. Not to mention that everything he tells her (that Blake didn't actually love her, that he was obviously using her, that he'd dump her the instant he was tired of her, and that Zoey was kinda stupid not to notice) turned out to be true.
    • Becca, a House of Night Student, in later books is supposed to be horrible, going so far as to try to hit Zoey after Zoey calls her a bitch for mocking Zoe for being dumped by Erik. Zoey and co mock her for thinking Stark is hot and not realizing Kalona is evil. But Becca is a victim of mind control and sexual assault by Stark, who would have done worse had Zoey not show up. (While she doesn't remember it, a) that doesn't make it better, and b) Zoey saw it, and as High Priestess should be a lot more concerned about it, rather than babying Stark and telling him how he's still good inside.) Becca's being persecuted by the nominal protagonist for...not immediately snapping out of Kalona's evil magic and finding a boy Zoey likes attractive. The boy who tried to rape her, let's not forget. She's a victim of terrible things that she's currently unable to feel the horror of, meaning that when she finally is able to feel it it'll be ten times worse...but the book makes her out to be the problem.
    • Elliot. We're supposed to hate him, he's a pudgy redhead with acne, as opposed to all of the "hot" vampyre guys whom Zoey lusts after? Oh, and he sleeps in class, which probably has nothing to do with blood loss from the Dark Daughters constantly feeding on him. For these unspeakable crimes, Zoey calls him "that horrid Elliot creature" and even the teachers get to publicly call him out for not being "special."
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Zoey and her friends. The group as a whole are supposed to be outcasts known as "the nerd herd", but it's hard to see them as that when all of them are given extra-special powers directly from the vampire goddess. All of them have a tendency to be pretty rude to each other (most often it being the Twins constantly making gay jokes at the expense of Damien and Jack), which is meant as friendly ribbing but doesn't really come across as such. Zoey herself is extremely judgmental, dubbing many female characters (including ones we never even see in the series) as "sluts" and "hos", constantly making disparaging comments about the behaviors or appearances of people in various groups (this includes, but is not limited to, goths, emos, chess club members, cheerleaders, people who use too much eyeliner, people who smoke marijuana, women who give blowjobs, people with bright red hair, girls who take dance class, and homeless people). She's incredibly shallow, constantly focusing on outward appearance first and foremost. She constantly complains about suffering stress from the various hardships she has to deal with, but she herself does virtually nothing to solve the problems herself. Instead, she waits until the end of the book, when Nyx magically tells her what to do and gives her the powers to do it. We're also supposed to pity her terrible home life, except that ridiculous stepfather aside, her complaints about her siblings are that her sister is having lots of sex, and her little brother plays violent video games.note  When we see her meeting her mother on her birthday, she constantly reacts in a condescending manner, and makes no effort at all to reach her mother halfway on any attempts made to bond with her. She often responds to even minor disagreements by calling up her magic to show off how powerful she is, which is supposed to make her seem badass and a strong leader but actually seem like temper tantrums.
    • Stark's journey of redemption after turning into a Red Fledgling, working for Neferet, and trying to rape a girl is clearly meant to be powerful and sad. However, he never really confronts what he did after swearing himself to Zoey (who decides he's "different" now, which, given the compressed time span of the books, takes somewhere around a week), and the way the authors demonize Becca, the girl he attacked and actually have him threaten this person, and have it supposed to be romantic because he's Zoey's love interest...let's just say it's not working.
    • Stevie Rae also gets this, as she only pays lip service to keeping the Red Fledglings from killing people, even though as a High Priestess with a strong Earth affinity she absolutely has the power to enforce real consequences. This is compounded by the fact that, like Zoey, she'll call Earth when people are mean to her, but hasn't used her powers to actually keep the Red Fledglings in line.


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