The books have been described as a coming-of-age novel, part urban fantasy and part paranormal romance. They have been praised for their complex ensemble cast of characters, the ""late teen" variation on high school read-alouds, the focus on teen friendships said to have first influenced jean-elliott Forbes' thirteen, and the focus on the paranormal and supernatural (ghosts, preternatural creatures, etc.), with scant use of the supernatural's most easily recognized staples (aliens, magic) to attract potential teen readers. Jane Prowse, writing for the Washington Post in 2005, called House of Night a book that "produces a double payoff: It entertains, and it speaks to teenagers who don't get enough attention, whether for being gay or because of mental illness."
The books cycle through a number of transitional story arcs, involving the fledglings trying to learn life skills and becoming independent from school and the House, then dealing with their growing need for blood, and finally becoming fully adult vampyres and deciding who they are and what they want to do with their lives. They are also known for their diverse and often comical characters, including Zoey's best friend Celia, her younger brother Noah, her crush and would-be werewolf boyfriend Tully, and vampyres Dylan, Sebastien, Dior and Alexander, among others. Most of the adults, known as "Mothers" or "Mums", are at least older adolescents, and many are vampyres or non-vampyre children, but the second generation of vampyres is absent from the story, and the series focuses almost entirely on the fledglings and their relationships with each other. The protagonists, particularly the fledglings, mature over the course of the series, and many of them face mortality and choices about how they want to live their lives. d2c66b5586