Book Review: Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cat

Title: Marked

Author: Kristin Cast, P.C. Cast

Series: House of Night, #1

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Imprint of Macmillan)

Date Published: September 29th, 2009

Edition: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed (From Friend)

Rating: 3 stars

 

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire–that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny–with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Sarah’s Review of Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

So this is a series I’ve been wanting to read for awhile. Although it seems to have quite an array of opinions ranging from terrible to fantastic, I still wanted to give it a shot. I will be the first to admit that my initial reason for wanting to read them is because of the covers. I think this series has fantastic covers and I was hoping that the contents would match their awesomeness. I was also kind of expecting it to be at least similar to Vampire Academy, which I love. It wasn’t really similar in any way at all though (except for it being about a vampire/vampyre school) and after reading it I feel like I’m dissing Vampire Academy by even comparing the two. They are on two totally different levels and Vampire Academy is superior in every way. Sorry House of Night fans!

In this book, the main character Zoey is Marked for “the Change”. What this means is that she must go to the House of Night or she will get sick and die. For some reason (not really explained), being at the House of Night school halts this sickness and enables the fledgling (vampyre pledge) to start the Change officially. So after Zoey is Marked she goes to the House of Night and immediately she is different from the other fledglings. Her Mark is filled in, which is unheard of for a fledgling. Fledgling’s start off with their Mark outlined, until they become a full fledged vampyre. Aside from this very scary and big difference, she is also noticing some other major things that are different about her. Soon Zoey discovers that her differences are special and that they were given to her for a reason so she must find out what the Goddess Nyx had in mind for her and her abilities.

First off, the premise for this book is really cool. The way the world is setup is very much different from most vampire books I’ve read. In this world, as I’ve said above, humans are chosen to be Marked. They are chosen supposedly by the Goddess Nyx, although that’s not really clearly explained as of yet. But, what’s really different is that once they are Marked they have to come to the House of Night to potentially become a vampyre. Everyone doesn’t make it though. There are those whose body resists the Change and they…die. So it’s not all fun and games. But, it’s an interesting concept.

The primary thing I didn’t like about this book was the way it was written, as well as Zoey and the other characters’ maturity level. Although it’s young adult, it borders on ridiculous. I’ve read young adult books before from the perspective of a 16 year old girl, and it was not annoying. This was. She was constantly going off on rants that were wrapped in parenthesis (like this for instance). I mean, this was all the time and it got to be very annoying. This is what I mean about the way it was written too. The way it was written made Zoey seem even less mature. I’m hoping this is a case where Zoey matures throughout the series (as with Rose from Vampire Academy — although I’ve always liked Rose. Am I doing the parenthesis thing? Oops.) and that she will become more likable in future books. One can hope.

I also didn’t like the constant bashing of the “People of Faith” who are so clearly supposed to represent Christians. I found this very insulting. At times the House of Night also seemed more like a cult than a community as well. I also thought Zoey was very harsh towards her human friends. She is quick to ditch her best friend of forever and she has a strange hatred towards Heath — who really seemed like a pretty good guy.

I just didn’t really understand the extreme dislike she had towards him.

One thing that I didn’t really like or dislike, but found pretty shocking was the level of swearing and sexual situations/conversations that was going on in this book. Considering it’s young adult, I found that pretty crazy. I won’t get into the details, but it’s not really that much if you read a lot of adult romance novels. But it’s more than you’d expect from a young adult novel. Let’s just say that the word blow job, and maybe even a situation involving said blow job is present in this novel.

What I did like: Erik. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a hot guy. He was one hot tamale and I really hope we get to see much more of him in future books.

I also liked her new friends, except it was annoying when one of them kept saying “Please…” in front of everything (as in like “Bitch, please!”).

Overall the book was alright. I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt, being that it’s a setup for a series. It didn’t have much action and the action it did have was very much “meh”. But, I also get that they’re setting up a new world and all, which can take up a lot of pages. Hopefully the next books will have much more action, maturity, better writing, and romance. We shall see…

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