Publisher - Atom Books Publication Date - 19th February 2013 Paperback - 160 pages Genre - YA Urban Fantasy
Source - Received from publisher for review
Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok
Reviewed by - Chrissie
Book Info - That was the first time I saw it, what I have come to think of as the burning look. It was as if his eyes stared so violently into mine that I feared they would cause me to combust.
I found I could not speak. I only shivered and nodded.
Neferet, the darkly seductive High Priestess at the House of Night, wasn't always a powerful vampyre, but she has always been beautiful. Raised in turn-of-the-century Chicago, her beauty makes her the prey of unwanted attention and abuse, leaving her with scars that will never heal - and a Darkness that will eventually need to find its way out.
So when she is Marked and gains strength, both physical and magickal, she turns her anger into power and looks for a way to regain what was stolen from her.
From victim to High Priestess, beautiful young woman to powerful seductress, Neferet's journey begins...
My Thoughts - I have to admit that I went into this book expecting something completely different to what I got, and as a result I ended up not liking it perhaps as much as I could have done. From the book description I was expecting a story of a girl overcoming a painful past to become a better person. I was expecting a story that at the end was uplifting and gave a positive message to the reader. But this was not the case at all. In fact, I didn't really like the ending at all. It was dark and left a very bitter taste in my mouth for quite a long time after finishing it and this is the main reason that i have given this book such a low rating.
However, the rest of the book wasn't all that bad. I liked Emily (this is Neferet's name when she was a human girl so it is mainly this name that is used throughout the book) quite a lot. She can be very self-absorbed which I found quite irritating at times, but then considering the situation that she is in I think it's understandable, and perhaps even forgivable. At the start of the book, Emily is only fifteen years old and she witnesses the death of her mother during childbirth. After such a traumatic experience, and at such a young age, she is then expected to take over her mother's duties around the house and as a volunteer. Yet she takes on the role and tries her best with all of her new responsibilities, even though it means that she now has no time to spend with her friends and doing the things that she previously enjoyed. Add to this the fact that her father has been drinking a lot since his wife's death and that he is starting to look at Emily in a way that a father shouldn't be looking at his daughter, and you really have to admire the strength that Emily must possess just to be able to get through each day.
I was expecting more of the book to be after Emily is Marked to become a vampyre, perhaps explaining her journey to becoming a High Priestess, but only the first week after she is Marked is included in the story. I know that because this is a novella that the authors are limited as to how much they can include, but I really would have liked to read more about what happened to her after she becomes a vampyre.
Although there are ten books in the House of Night series and Neferet's Curse is the third House of Night Novella, this book actually works really well as a stand-alone. I have only read the first House of Night book, and it was a few years ago so I can't really remember much of it, but I had no trouble following the story. Although that is probably due to the fact that so much of the story is about Emily's life before she is changed so not much knowledge is needed about the paranormal world that is created by the authors.
Summary - Although I liked the main character, this is a very dark story and I found the ending to be disappointing. This is a quick read and I think it would be great for fans of the series, and Neferet in particular. But I'm not sure that it's inspired me to go out and read the rest of the series.
Other books in the series:
1. Dragon's Oath
2. Lenobia's Vow
3. Neferet's Curse