Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Marked: A House of Night Novel (House of Night Novels)

Pages (Hardcover): 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition
Released: September 29, 2009

Quick Thoughts: I admit it, I like novels with supernatural creatures. There is something about them that just makes me want to gobble them up and find more to devour. There is a problem with this though, if you read a lot of urban fantasy novels they all start to sound the same. Due to this, I always look out for novels where the author changes up their supernatural creature and makes it uniquely theirs. Regardless of whether it works out well or not, I like that the author made an effort and tried something new. Luckily for Marked, it seems like the Cast girls have done just that!

Review: Welcome to a world where due to hormonal changes during the teenage years, teens turn into vampyre. They don't become vampyres right away though, they become fledglings and are shipped to a special school where they will learn about their upcoming Change. Now, just because you are told that you're a fledgling, doesn't mean that you'll become a vampyre. The bodies of some simply reject the change and they die, so when you are Marked and told that you will become a vampyre, it's a scary thing.

That is what happens to the main character of Marked, Zoey Redbird. One day she's at school with a bad cold, the next minute she's Marked. If isn't enough pressure on her, she's given powers from Nyx and forewarned about an upcoming test that will happen. It sucks for her, but it's fantastic for this reader. And so she is sent to the House of Night, a school for fledglings, and  is taken under the wing of Neferet, the High Priestess of House of Night.

Over the next few days, Zoey meets friends, fights with Queen Bee, Aphrodite, deal with her almost ex-boyfriend, and very human, Heath, and the feelings she has for cutie fledgling Erik. As her power grows and with Nyx's guidance, Zoey, with the help of her friends, Nyx, and cute boy Erik, will have to bring Aphrodite down and save someone special to her. But is this the reason why Nyx gave her the powers? And why is it that she sees the ghosts of students who have died?

I tried to like Zoey, I really did, I really really did. But it was simply too hard. She isn't developed properly and so I never felt like she was real. She is also super perfect, the cute boy in school instantly takes an interest in her, she also has her almost ex-boyfriend trying to get back with her, she gets so many powers and everything happens in a matter of 3 days. I don't generally mind Mary Sue like characters, but Zoey was a little too much for me.

If Zoey, who was the narrator and the one we see the most, isn't developed, then it isn't that much of a surprise that no one else is either. That isn't too bad, it's only the first novel and they can still be fleshed out, but it would be nice if everyone wasn't such a cliche. Her step-father is a religious nut. Her mother is a submissive do nothing. Her grandmother is all understanding. Her friend Damien, is the gay boy whose parents reject him. Aphrodite, is the mean girl and ho. Zoey's human friend, Kayla, is the friend who wants her boyfriend and is a ho. And there are two girls, one black the other who is white and blond, who are so alike that everyone calls them Twins. This is fine, it's cute, until they constantly end their sentences with twin this and twin that. It happens almost every other sentence.

Final Thoughts: The book has a lot of great ideas and I like that people become vampyres due to hormones and changes in the body, it's unique and very interesting to read. However, it wasn't executed properly and Zoey becoming the most powerful fledgling, and everything that she wants in the matter of a few days is ridiculous. It happens too quickly and the climax was a let down due to this. It would have been nicer if it took the span of a year, like Harry Potter, so that the characters, motivation, and plot flows better.

I was disappointed, but I'll probably read the next book because the matter about the ghosts doesn't get solved and I want to find out what happens with them.

Grade: 5 out of 10

Marked is the first book in the A House of Night series and is available at bookstores and Amazon as well.

If you'd like to read the short version of this review, visit 5 Line Reviews

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