Mark Away Your Angst
Teenager Zoey hates her family and her school, and isn't thrilled with her almost-ex-boyfriend and her flaky best friend, either. Then a vampyre Tracker shows up and Marks her, summoning her to the House of Night. She runs away from home, has a trippy vision of the vampyre goddess Nyx telling her she's special, and finally makes it to the House of Night, with her cool grandma's help. So here we get the sense that Zoey's life already ain't perfect, and then it gets more complicated when she becomes a potential vampyre, thus setting the scene for some action.
Drama-Bomb at the House of Night
Zoey makes new friends, but also makes enemies, specifically Aphrodite, leader of the Dark Daughters and High Priestess in training. Aphrodite's trying to get her man back, though he—the school hottie, Erik Night—seems interested in Zoey. Oh, and Zoey's ex shows up to try to get her back, and she maybe kind of sort of accidentally works some vampyre mojo on him. While unexpectedly lusting after his blood. Whoops.
Is it just us, or did Zoey's life get even more complicated? Because that's totally what tends to happen in the rising action part of the plot, just saying.
Is That a Ghost in Your Pants or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
Aphrodite leads the cool kids on an outing and summons some ghosts to honor them for Samhain, but they break out of her ritual circle and start trying to eat Heath, who has stumbled upon the gathering looking for Zoey. Zoey's buds help her create a new circle in order to banish the ghosts, though, so nobody gets eaten after all. Phew. Between the excitement—hey ther, hangry ghosts—and the suspense—will Aphrodite continue to bully/endanger everyone?—we're thinking this part makes for a pretty clear climax.
If You're a High Priestess and You Know it, Clap Your Hands
Nefret, the local High Priestess and Zoey's mentor, shows up, and strips Aphrodite of her leadership role, instead bestowing it on Zoey. Heath's wounds get bandaged and his memories erased. Erik stands by Zoey and appears to have ditched Aphrodite for once and for all. This is our breather after the climax, where we see the excitement dying down and the characters starting to move toward some kind of resolution. In other words, it's a breather between the climax and the resolution.
Some things still don't add up: Aphrodite's visions about the fledglings who mysteriously died, Zoey's instinctual distrust of Nefret, the special tasks and talents Nyx gave Zoey. But even if Zoey doesn't know what's coming next, she knows she has friends she can count on. And by golly, that's enough—at least for now. So here we see all the loose threads of the plot getting wrapped up nice and neatly, well, except for the ones that presumably lead us into the next book's plot. So it goes with a series, though.