I recently read a blog about cliffhangers and series that discussed the true cliffhanger, where everything ends at the height of action, and the soft cliffhanger, where events at the end of the novel are resolved, only to leave one event, one final act lingering for the start of the next novel.
The House of Night series is one such series that consistently leaves the reader with a soft cliffhanger.
At first, I rather liked the approach; it kept me coming back for the next novel. However, after the first few books, the cliffhanger, soft or not, just started to get annoying. In a series where only a few days to a week pass during each novel, it just feels like too much is happening at once. And by book nine, it made me feel like I had been sucked into an afternoon soap opera, and only after ten years, did I manage to escape the addictive haze.
Regardless, the vampire finishing school and its students lends a certain appeal to fantasy lovers, especially since P.C. and Kristen Cast incorporate everything from Cherokee legend to ancient, pagan beliefs in these books. I’ve had a great deal of fun looking up the Cherokee legends to compare and see how much creative license the authors have taken to make those stories work for them. This connection to the real world adds a depth to the novels that wouldn’t exist if Zoey didn’t have cultural roots. In fact, the characters personalities stand out distinctively from each other, in dialogue and action.
Despite the strength of the novels, after nine books (and soon to be ten), I’m over the soap opera and really just want the grand finale. Bring on the happy ending already, before I just give up reading all together.