There is something absolutely wonderful about a short story from the House of Night series – it doesn’t have enough room or enough people to be nearly as awful as the main series. Yes, this book hereby gets the prize for being the first House of Night book that I DON’T think will inspire an invading alien species to wipe us out because the universe needs to be spared our bullshit.
This makes the book good in comparison to the series – but not good.
As I say with every short story as part of a series, I look for a point. What does this story add to the larger story of the books? Why should readers read this book as part of a greater whole? Because the best short stories both add to the larger series, without being essential (so a reader can skip them without being lost in the main plot but still add interesting new elements to the main story).
And I can’t say I see a big point on this book. We get an insight into Dragon and Anastasia… but firstly both of these characters are dead. It’s not like they’re characters who are going to have continued affect on the book series. Secondly, they’re not exactly influential characters. I honesty would find it bemusing if any fan of the series (of course I find “fans” of this series bemusing in general) could genuinely say they were intrigued by these characters. I mean, beyond “she loved Dragon and she died” what pertinent information did we have about Anastasia? What was so intriguing or important about her that anyone really needed to read her story?
The same applies to Dragon – was there any reason to care about this character? Like Anastasia, he was a cardboard cut-out of a character – the guy who can use a sword. That was his pretty much only definition of him.