Kalona’s Fall by P.C. and Kristin Cast

July 24, 2014 Reviews 4 ★½

Kalona’s Fall by P.C. and Kristin CastKalona's Fall (House of Night Novellas #4) by Kristin Cast, P. C. Cast
Published: July 29th 2014 by HachetteAU
Format: Paperback, 150 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Publisher
GoodreadsThe Book Depository BooktopiaBookworld
1.5 Stars

He was laughing with her as he spread his wings and lifted her from the ground, twirling her around. Nyx gasped and clutched his neck. Kalona tightened his arms around her. 'Trust me, Goddess. I would never let you fall.'

From the Sun and from the Moon, two winged brothers are born: golden Erebus, playmate and friend, and mysterious Kalona, Warrior and lover, companions of the Goddess Nyx.

From the first, Nyx loves them both deeply, but differently. With Erebus, she can talk and laugh and dance, and take joy in the games he plays among the humans of the Earth. With Kalona, the fire in her body burns bright, and she can rest in the solace of his strength and protection. But for Kalona, Nyx's nights are not enough. Every second he is not with her he is filled with doubt and longing, and every time he fails to please her, he cannot forgive himself. Ruled by anger and jealousy of his brother, and consumed by his love for his Goddess, Kalona seeks the power to prove his worth, and to claim once and for all that Nyx eternally belongs to him.

And at the edges of the Earth, a Darkness is stirring, waiting for its chance, for the doorway in through a heart that it knows will welcome it...

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the House of Night series. I’ve never been inclined to pick it up, but I was sent this novella for review, and I thought it would be the perfect way for me to see if this world and its characters are something I’d be interested reading about. I want to make this clear: I went into this novella wanting to love it.

P.C Cast and Kristin Cast have been writing full length novels since 2007 (I did a Goodreads search), so there is really no excuse for how poorly written this novella is. The dialogue is artificial, the storytelling confused, and the novella comes across as laboured.

I gather that Kalona’s some kind of dream hunk in the main series? Maybe he’s a potential love interest for someone? Anyway, from the moment he is conceived, Kalona is irrationally jealous and possessive of Nyx. There was nothing in this character that made me like him – he had no reason to be jealous, especially since Nyx had only ever been with him. Erebus, however, was always sweet and understanding, and although I get that Nyx wasn’t sexually attracted to him, I still thought she would be much happier with him than with Kalona. Not that Nyx was much more likeable than her chosen lover: vain, naïve to the point of stupidity and blind to the feelings of others, she probably made a better match for Kalona than Erebus.

But it wasn’t the characters that had me screaming in frustration when I was reading this – it was the poor story-telling. The authors were going for a grand, mythic kind of storytelling similar to Greek epics. They were unable to deliver, in my opinion, and the result is a story that includes awkward dialogue and needless repetition of certain phrases (there were only so many times I could read ‘Warrior and lover, playmate and friend‘ or variations of it). Lengthy descriptions of every form that the goddess Nyx could take were tiring and the relationship between Nyx and Mother earth can generously be described as irksome.

The real story of why Kalona was kicked out of the Otherworld is interesting, but completely and utterly predictable. I liked the idea of the three tests and how they brought out different aspects of the brother’s personalities. The world-building was lush and the descriptions of the Otherworld and a much younger Earth were wonderful.

My favourite part about the book (indeed, the only reason I kept reading it after the first few chapters) are the illustrations. They are absolutely gorgeous! This paperback edition has 11 black and white illustrations placed at the beginning of each chapter, showing a scene from that chapter. They are wonderful, and I think that it’s worth getting the novella in print just for the illustrations.

Having started the novella with the intent of scoping out the main series, I have to say I am disappointed in the quality of the writing and will not be pursuing the House of Night novels. However, fans of the series, who probably like this writing style, will enjoy the chance of getting to know all about Kalona’s creation and his time in the Otherworld.

4 Responses to “Kalona’s Fall by P.C. and Kristin Cast”

  1. Bethwyn

    I had a similar experience, actually. I really wanted to like it, but I just found everything a little underwhelming and frustrating. To be honest, I found the character of Kalona to be a little irritating and hardly redeemable, so I stopped caring what was happening with him – and, given he was the main character… Blah. The illustrations were indeed gorgeous though!
    Bethwyn recently posted…Book Review: Kalona’s Fall by P.C. and Kristen Cast

    • Shaheen

      Hi! Thanks for hopping by 🙂 I felt so sad I didn’t like it, but I’m glad to hear that others had similar problems with it.

  2. Kriselda Gray

    I started the main series, but only got about 3 or 4 books in before giving up. (The books are kind of short.) What kept me reading that far was how beautifully they treated the spiritual aspects of the story. The vampires worship Nyx in rituals drawn straight from Wicca, and there’s a truly beautiful and (for me, anyway) moving scene where the vampire-Wiccans, a group of Catholic nuns who venerate the Virgin Mary, and a Native American medicine woman work together in trying to defeat Kalona.

    Other than that, though, the books just weren’t very good. The way you describe their writing style in the novella is pretty much how they always write.

    Also, for a series aimed at teens, the amount of both normal, physical sex and vampiric blood-drinking sex* is just insane. At one point – very early in the first book – as Zoe (the heroine) is walking to the main office of her new school – the first time she’s ever been there – pretty much the first thing she sees is a girl on her knees and begging a boy to let her give him a blow job, and it just goes downhill from there. These are kids that are supposed to be around 15 or 16′ IIRC.

    I was just really disappointed with how truly bad these book were. There are some interesting nuggets that could have lead to some interesting stories and an intriguing universe, but the Casts just don’t seem to be up to the task.
    —–

    * the books describe blood-drinking as feeling almost exactly like sex because Nyx wanted to be sure that humans – in particular – benefitted from sharing their blood with a vampire.

    • Shaheen

      Ugh. I’m sad that the main series isn’t better, but it’s not a surprise considering how many books they’ve written before this novella.

      You know, about the blood-drinking sex – I love the TV show of The Vampire Diaries, but when I read the books I was really creeped out by the erotic nature of the blood exchanges because of how the books were billed as YA. It’s not that I don’t like sex in YA (actually, I’m pretty outspoken about how we need more of it), but something about the WAY the blood exchanges were sexual disturbed me. I don’t think I would have handled this series better in that regard either.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m loving going through and reading your comments 😀

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