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review 2016-10-02 05:07
The House at the Edge of Night: A Novel - Catherine Banner
The House at the Edge of Night
Catherine Banner
Hardcover, 419 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Random House


0812998790 (ISBN13: 9780812998795


An enjoyable, relaxing read. I enjoyed how Catherine Banner brought the island alive as it's own character. Small town antics, small town rumors, and 4 generations of a family and its dreams. Not all the characters were as well developed as I liked, but Catherine Banner did make her female characters strong and motivated. Banner, also, used the occasional Italian word throughout the book. Overall, a good weekend or vacation read. I did get a good feel of small town/island life, which is what I think I liked the best-the feel of being there.



*****I received this Advance Reader's Copy from a Goodreads giveaway sponsored by Random House.*****

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review 2016-06-07 23:17
Kalona's Fall (House of Night #11.5) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Kalona's Fall: A House of Night Novella (House of Night Novellas) by Cast, P. C., Cast, Kristin (2014) Hardcover - Kristin Cast

I think the easiest way to sum up this short story is to re-write it in a way that makes sense (for House of Night anyway). So I’m reading Mother Earth as a troll who absolutely loathes Nyx while Nyx is that House Guest who won’t take a fucking hint (she taught Nyx everything, clearly). I can now follow the plot which now seems a lot more coherent. So:



Mother Earth: Ah Earth, so peaceful and special, just me and my children…


Nyx: Helooooooooooooo


Mother Earth:… you’re still here? All the other immortals fucked off years ago


Nyx: No, I’m going to stay here forever and ever…


ME: Oh. Yay. And I see you have tattoos now


Nyx: Aren’t they wonderful


ME:… yes… I’m sure. In no way does it look like a sugar high six year old was let loose on you with a sharpie.


Nyx: Look the book has illustrations!


ME: Thankfully that means less text.


Nyx: I love Earth and my fae just love frolicking here


ME: You mean your slaves that exist to serve you love taking holidays as far away from you as they can possibly get? Funny that…


Nyx: I’m just so lonely…


ME: I wish I was… I know, if I give you a companion you can spend more time anywhere I’m not. Sun, Moon, get down here and create some poor sap to endure Nyx!


Nyx: Oh thank you! Hey, they’ve created two?


ME: Oh, how surprising. I totally didn’t do that on purpose so they would both compete for your affections and drive you to distraction. Not At All.



Erebus: Hi Mother Earth!


ME: Oh charming wonderful boy, welcome!


Kalona: Hi Mother Earth!


ME: you can fuck right off, arsehole.


Kalona: I’m like 5 minutes old…


ME: like I give a fuck? Enjoy the head games, kiddies. Hey, do you know what would make this more fun? If I give these 10 minute year old beings super powers and make them use those powers to compete for your affections, Nyx! Because new borns competing for mummy’s love AND wifey’s love with super powers is bound to create a stable relationship



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/05/kalonas-fall-house-of-night-115-by-pc.html
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review 2016-05-16 00:08
Revealed (House of Night #11) by P.C. Cast and Kirstin Cast
Revealed: A House of Night Novel (House of Night Novels) - Kristin Cast,P.C. Cast

Neferet’s machinations continue to kill more people, only this time in a very prominent, public fashion. Faced with a possible backlash from humanity, the vampires of the House of Night need to act quickly to expose Neferet and protect their own reputation


This book also brings us a lot of Neferet’s back story



Perhaps realising how utterly inadequate Neferet’s Curse was about actually giving Neferet an actual motive to be the big bad. So this book spends a whole lot of time going through Neferet’s history to try and give us a better reason for why she is the Worst. Unsurprisingly, it petty much fails. We have three options:


Firstly, from Neferet’s curse we have the ongoing supposition that Neferet is evil because she is broken. She was one of Nyx’s super special ones hence the reason she got lots of shiny healing gifts she didn’t give a shit again (because Nyx has TERRIBLE judgement or, again, is just trolling everyone)


Secondly, her cat died. Seriously. She couldn’t deal with the loss of a pet. This is a hard, painful lesson many children learn. Neferet decides she hates Nyx and all she stands for because her cat died


Thirdly: She’s kinky. Because Neferet likes to be rough in the bedroom and punish her naughty naughty lovers she is evil and corruptible. In fact, she may even be kinky BECAUSE of her terrible past fromNeferet’s curse. It’s not even a matter of her inflicting it on lovers without their consent – one of the stories from her past is the lengths she goes to to find a man who WANTS her to punish him. But no, she’s kinky that means she’s corrupt and evil (and he’s corrupt and sick) and they’re all corrupt and broken.


At least on some level we have Erebus –


- Wait, we need to talk about Erebus. Why is Erebus the god of sunlight? He shines in sunlight, he shines all right and sunny. Erebus is the Greek… not even god, more avatar/chthonic entity of pure darkness. Do the authors just pick names at complete random for funsies? Don’t they even try to do some research. Seriously all it would take is wikia. Google. It’s not hard.


- anyway we have Erebus accusing Kalona of being responsible for corrupting Neferet. But the reason why she’s susceptible to that corruption in the first place is because of her evil naughty sexuality in the first place. And, really, all this attempt to place some responsibility on Kalona comes off far more as a path for Kalona’s redemption with Nyx (his uber redemption) than any real attempt to explore Neferet.



So Neferet is evil because she was raped, which may or may not have contributed to her being kinky and either way her evil evil sexiness (because this book series hates sexual women) left her open to corruption by an evil rapist guy who is now on team goodguy and being redeembed because redeemed men is totally allowed


In fact, let’s have a look at redemption and how the whole team is treating Nicole, the big bad red fledgling who hasn’t actually done a whole lot of evil (and whose acts pale in comparison to Kalona. And Stark. And Aurox. And Rephaim. Ye gods so many redeemed evil men) has to crawl over broken glass to have the good guys tolerate her presence. Everyone is ridiculously suspicious of her considering how quickly they embraced


Redemption in general is broken in this book – but in part that is down to a new broken storyline to help centre Zoey a little more (because the book really needs that, right?)


So, lets follow the broken nonsense of this storyline: after the death of the human mayor on campus (Neferet’s doing) there’s a whole load of hostility against vampires and the vampire High council decides the utter best thing to do is absolutely fuck all. Because if these powerful, skilled and influential vampires actually get involved as would be sensible, Zoey would be a lot less central to the plot. There’s no logic behind the decision beyond ensuring no-one else possibly eclipses Zoey – except possibly Thanatos


So let’s sabotage her as well! Thanatos began this book with me cheering for her. Thanatos happily told the useless high council where to get off. Continues to tell Zoey and her friends to stop squabbling like 10 year olds and even put Zoey in her place about lecturing Thanatos about a goddess she has worshipped for centuries as a High Priestess. This is excellent…


Except the book went on to basically say that Thanatos has no right to tell Zoey off because Zoey, the teenager, does indeed know the Irritable Bowel Goddess better than the centuries old Thanatos. And, in case there was any doubt, Thanatos has several teenagers executed. Teenagers. And I’m not even going to look at their crimes because it would be bullshit to do so when we have that damn list of redeemed rapists and murderers wandering around campus playing good guy. Their crimes are irrelevant next to standing next to Kalona.



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/05/revealed-house-of-night-11-by-pc-cast.html
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review 2016-04-21 00:30
Neferet's Curse (House of Night #10.5) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Neferet's Curse: A House of Night Novella (House of Night Novellas) by Cast, P. C., Cast, Kristin (2013) Hardcover - Kristin Cast

It’s time for another short story in the House of Night series to give terrible back story no-one asked for and manage to make already terrible things worse


Now, on the plus side this book does have a very haunting depiction of abuse and sexual assault and rape within the family, especially back in such an utterly patriarchal era where women are constantly abused and demeaned as hysterical and nonsensical and not to be trusted to look after themselves. Emily, who will become Neferet, is utterly helpless and with very few avenues to actually escape.


That includes being ruthless and hurting people she considers friends because she just has so few avenues that she has to take any to actually free herself and protect herself.


Of course, that desperation is kind of undermined by the fact that Emily is not exactly a nice person anyway. I don’t entirely disagree with this, the idea that she would have been a saint before becoming Neferet would be ridiculous. At the same time she is a woman of her time – and is unlikely to care over much about the poor she would consider beneath her beyond a kind of demeaning pity (of course, she doesn’t even manage that). To the surprise of no-one, this book fails to draw the line between depicting bigotry and challenging bigotry, like so many other books



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/04/neferets-curse-house-of-night-105-by-pc.html
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review 2016-04-03 23:51
Hidden (House of Night #10) by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast
Oculta / Hidden (House of the Night) (Spanish Edition) - P. C. Cast,Kristin Cast

Neferet continues to be evil – and has decided the next step in her evilness is to kidnap and sacrifice Sylvia Redbird, Zoey’s grandmother. Naturally Zoey and the gang run to the rescue, even though the Vampire High Council is providing no support for their efforts. They also need to be careful with their public persona as Neferet is starting to launch a public relations battle with the human authorities.


It does give Aurox a chance to make a choice about who he wants to be and which side he is on.




We need to take a moment to look at the overall story arc of these books – because I’m on book 10 now and it’s not quite holding together.


The overall meta is that Neferet is a big bad evil who must be stopped. And if you preserve your thinking to that very shallow depth (understandable since deep thinking and the House of Night Series go together like Canadians and tropical weather) then that kind of holds together. Neferet does evil things, Zoey and co then respond to stop her. But what does Neferet actually want? And, no “evil” is not a motive. So we have Neferet rather belatedly acquiring a motive: she wants “control” rather than just power (which I’m taking to mean no accountability. Which I’ll let pass… except all of Neferet’s power now seems to come from her having to repeatedly bleed and beg for help from her Evil Cow. How does she have more power than she had before?). And to get this power she’s going to make humans and vampires fight each other and then she can swoop into the ashes and be confident she’ll take over


Ok, let’s suppose for a moment that this plan has a chance of working when she’s pretty much setting herself up as a number one target in the giant war she’s planning on starting. Let’s let that go for now and instead ask:




Look if you want a global conflict, it’s not going to start in Tulsa (no insult to Tulsa, the same applies to my home city or most cities on the planet). In fact, her attempts to manipulate humanity have netted her some shaky control over the mayor of Tulsa. I paused a moment to see if she meant the Governor of Oklahoma. Or a senator. State senator? No, the Mayor of Tulsa. That’s the extent of her power. It’s not even the state capital or the biggest city in Oklahoma! It’s the 47th biggest city in the US. It doesn’t have a significant vampire presence – the most important vampire in this city was Neferet herself.



Even in Tulsa, Neferet ignores the one target that could actually make a difference in this conflict – Thanatos, High Council Member. Thanatos may as well not be there as far as Neferet is concerned – why ignore one of the most influential of the vampires’ leaders? But then, the feeling is mutual! Because facing indisputable proof of Neferet’s evil murderous ways the High Council of Vampires decides the appropriate response is to Not Talk To Her Anymore, so there. I suspect they may also have given her a nasty look. That’s it. Meanwhile Thanatos continually pokes Zoey and co to grow up and be ready to face the big bad evil Neferet and how can you be such nattering children?!


Really, Thanatos? How about you not rely on teenagers to save your entire civilisation? How about you actually DO SOMETHING?


Because this whole broken story comes down to one thing: centring Zoey. So Neferet, rather than actually do anything to further her wicked plans, instead decides to target Zoey again and again and again. She’s killed Zoey’s mother (and if she’d just chosen ANY OTHER HUMAN, she wouldn’t have been discovered by Thanatos) and the entire plot line of this book revolves around Neferet kidnapping Zoey’s grandmother to get a sacrifice to KILL ZOEY, despite KNOWING that Sylvia Redbird is an impossible sacrifice because she isn’t a person, she’s just a collection of Native American mystical stereotypes, a couple of handfuls of feathers and a good cry over environmental destruction from a full trope collection. Neferet has literally paused her entire plan to attack Zoey again. She repeatedly sabotages herself because she must attack those meddling kids!



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/03/hidden-house-of-night-10-by-pc-cast-and.html
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