House of Night Other World #1: Loved – P.C & Kristin Cast

Loved (House of Night Other World #1, House of Night#13) 

Authors: P.C & Kristin Cast

Length: 291 pages

It’s Zoey’s eighteenth birthmas and the Nerd Herd has been scattered across the country busily adulting for almost a year when Stark calls them back to Tulsa to surprise Z. But all is not well in T-town. Strange, dark signs are appearing—could it be possible Neferet is stirring? Not willing to chance disaster striking again, Zoey calls on her newly reunited friends to circle with her and add a layer of protection over Neferet’s grotto jail. Easy-peasy, right?

Wrong. Nothing at the House of Night is ever as it seems.
With rabid red vampyres closing in, Zoey and the Nerd Herd must come together again and battle evil. But a year is a long time. Have these old friends grown too far apart?
When the world fractures and allies become enemies, will darkness devour friendships or will light save those she’s loved?”

5 stars 
 ★ ★ ★ ★


*

The House of Night books by P.C. & Kristin Cast are one of my all-time favorite YA books in the world. And for the 10th anniversary of the release of the first book of House of Night: Marked, the two of them decided to release a new series called The House of Night: Otherworld which will consist of two books, the first one being Loved and the second one being a book that’s gonna come out next year called Lost. I’m unsure whether those are the only two books in the new series, but I think so far they are the only planned books although I know that P.C. has some other books she would like to write. 

If you have never read the House of Night series before you can jump right into Loved. There is a nice little summary in the front few pages which sum up the entire twelve books. It is also considered a separate series on its own, however it is a continuation of the events that took place at the end of the last book Redeemed. If you are interested in maybe picking up the House of Night books, then I would absolutely recommend you do so, read the novellas because you. will. be. majorly. spoiled. However if you are kinda iffy about it and you don’t wanna read twelve whole books (totally understandable!) then you can definitely do so. (Here is the Goodreads link if you wanna read the synopsis first to get a feel whether you might be interested in starting with the main series first). 

I loved Loved (hah). It was an absolute wonderful continuation. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made my heart break. 

SPOILERS FROM HERE ONWARDS

The first thing I wanna talk about is this whole Otherworld. Clearly the Otherworld is some sort of other dimension/parallel universe that has the same people, the same kind of events, etc. But everything is twisted cause Neferet is back bitches. Ok she’s not exactly back, but you do basically know that she’s taken control of the House of Night in the Otherworld. 

Zoey and her friends basically cast a circle to stop the evil that Zoey was warned about by Kalona (or yaknow, not Kalona). And then shit absolutely goes down. Her circle fails, she cuts herself and then accidentally opens a portal which makes a load of vampyre-zombies come out.

I found it absolutely fascinating to see Jack (or Other Jack) back in the series. I was so crushed and heartbroken when he died in the House of Night. I was horrified for Damien, since Jack meant everything to him. It was very strange – but also very comforting – to see Jack and Damien back together. I never thought that Damien would move on from Jack. I mean, I knew he had Adam, but I always felt a bit iffy about that to be honest. I always thought it was weird how fast he moved on and how he didn’t really think about Jack that much anymore. It was nice to see that recognition of Jack’s absence and to see Damien’s strong feelings for Jack. 

I am obviously very happy that they are back together again… However I do think it’s a bit strange to have Damien taking Jack back so soon without even giving the fact that it’s not really Jack-Jack a second thought. Even though it is pretty much Jack since he’s made up of the same “essence” as the original Jack was (if that makes sense), he just hasn’t gone through the same experiences that Jack had to become who he was at that point. But maybe that’s just me. Either way I won’t dwell on it too much – those two kissing were very adorable 😉 

I appreciate that P.C. & Kristin also touched up on Damien’s depression. I always saw Damien as someone who was very sensitive, who felt the world around him a little stronger than everyone else did. And especially considering all that he had gone through – his parents ostracising him for being gay, Jack dying, battling Neferet etc. It was nice to see the consequences that all that had on him, as well as Damien battling through it and come out on the other end stronger. I appreciate it when stories aren’t always happy-dappy and everyone’s always happy, because that’s just not what real life is like and it was great to see that extra touch of realism in Damien’s life.

Zoey obviously gets reunited with her brother, Kevin. It was so weird to see him flirting with Aphrodite and her flirting back!!! At first I thought she wasn’t being serious and was sorta just playing along but when she kissed him back, I sorta just lost all my shit. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that in their matriarchal vampyre society, the women aren’t bound by the same laws as our world. But, as a very monogamous and romantic reader myself, I had always sorta rooted for Aphrodite only staying with Darius for the rest of her life. 

Speaking of Aphrodite: the most touching thing that happened in the book was obviously her encounter with Nyx and her new gifts. Who saw that coming? Cause I certainly didn’t! OMG. I am so glad that this whole thing has been resolved. It has always been confused about what exactly Aphrodite was. She was obviously not fledgling or vampyre, but she was also not human, since she was  Nyx’s Prophetess. This whole thing to me seems like Aphrodite is finally getting the identity that she has always wanted or needed in her life.

It was so cool to have Nyx gift her with an adult Mark (which is BOTH red and blue? Awesome! Although personally purple would have been the perfect color). But I was so frigging upset when I heard the “consequences” of these gifts. I internally screamed at this revelation. I don’t even know what to really think about it. First of all, I’m super thrilled that Nyx gave Aphrodite this gift to use. But on the other hand, I am very taken aback that Nyx would sort of want her to lose her Mark again. 

I’m very much thinking through who exactly Aphrodite will grant any kind of humanity to. The zombie-vampyres who were in this book were obviously gifted their humanity back by Nyx (no Aphrodite-magic needed there), so who else is there who needs her help? I don’t know, maybe Neferet? (I don’t know, is it weird to kinda hope for that???)
Also, I don’t want her to die and I definitely don’t want her being a human again. I mean, what about Darius? Does this mean that she’ll die and leave him completely alone while he lives out his life into his 900th year or whatever? (*sob*). Not only that, but who is this guy whom Aphrodite will supposedly have kids with??? Because Darius obviously can’t have children due to his Change into a vampyre. 

Independently of all that thought-vomit I did think about what living life like as a human might be like for a girl like Aphrodite. She had a very bad childhood and she fled from her human life by being a fledgling. She also really really didn’t want to have any children (because of her parent’s influence), and she was happy about her vampyrism stopping her being able to conceive, which is really sad. 
So while I see her losing her Mark and being human again as a loss in a sense, I think that maybe this side of the coin is also a gift from Nyx. It might finally let Aphrodite embrace her human-self and embrace wanting a family without the burden of her past. But either way: I really frigging hope that Nyx grants her some eternal vampyrism or something later on. (Pretty please let there be some sort of loophole?) 

It was also incredibly beautiful to see Aphrodite first being totally broken down, in the gutter with her life, and then have her ascend to a place where she steps up, accepts her position and gift from Nyx and lets go of all of the darkness in her heart. I never thought her drinking and medicating habits were healthy and seeing that being resolved (from the end of Redeemed where she’s obviously still doing all of that) was really nice. 

The thing that I the most excited for, however is Zoey’s reunion with Heath. If I’m being honest with myself, I have always kinda rooted more for Heath than for Stark. (Don’t get me wrong, Stark is a great guy but he’s just not Heath). I’m interested to see how that all goes. 

I found it incredibly weird how Kevin was basically the Otherworld’s Zoey. If I’m being honest, that was just a tiny bit too much for me (but again, maybe that’s just me). 

Another nicest thing in this book was seeing Zoey’s recognition of Neferet/Emily’s abuse and what she had gone through. She has a super tragic and sad backstory and while I’m unsure whether I’m completely sure about it, I do think that maybe (just maybe) there is something redeemable in Neferet’s spirit to save. I definitely hope that there is some kind of redemption available for her. 

I definitely can’t wait for the second book! Let me know what your thoughts were 🙂 






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