Usually, I write long review on how much I enjoy a book or how I didnt enjoy a book - but with this. . .I dont really know what to say. On one hand, P.C. Cast made her main character (see - the characters name didnt even stick with me. . .was it Zoey?) an elementalist - which I adore. Not to mention that her spin on vampires is unique and rather cool.
Perhaps it was just P.C. Casts style that made reading Marked so. . .unremarkable. I can remember key points in the plot - but no names. Nothing, actually, besides the fact that theres a school, some rituals to appease spirits, the main characters priestess abilities (by that I mean her elemental powers), a gay kid that I liked (again - no name. . .), and a trashy girl-villain.
All in all, I cant recommend this book to much of anyone. I might reread it again, to see if anything really sticks. . . But until then, I can only give this book a dull two stars.
In 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres not only exist but are also tolerated by humans. Those whom the creatures "mark" as special enter the House of Night school where they will either become vampyres themselves, or, if their body rejects the change, die. To Zoey, being marked is truly a blessing, though she's scared at first. She has never fit into the human world and has always felt she is destined for something else. Her grandmother, a descendant of the Cherokee tribe, has always supported her emotionally, and it is she who takes the girl to her new school. But even there the teen stands apart from the others. Her mark from the Goddess Nyx is a special one, showing that her powers are very strong for one so young. At the House of Night, Zoey finds true friendship, loyalty, and romance as well as mistrust and deception. She realizes that all is not right in the vampyre world and that the problems she thought she left behind exist there as well. (Yeah, I admit - Amazon helped me a bit with this summary.)
While I do admit to the premise being interesting, despite the basic Harry Potter spin (Kid despises family, whisked away to magical school), this book is by far the worst vampyre (or, as the authors prefer, vampyre) novel I have ever, in my entire life, had the misfortune of reading. I would describe it as one of the more unfortunate instalments of Gossip Girl, except all the dialogue is unrealistic and all the characters are vampyres. But wait! They don't drink blood to create new vampyres. Instead, they appear at random places and moments of time and create these 'fledglings' by saying a corny incantation which makes a blank crescent moon appears on some kids forehead. Yeah. That's what happens.
Let's look at the horrible inner and outer dialogue:
Overuse of the whole "out-of-quotation" exclamation mark ("Quote", imagine how silly that would be!) - I don't know why, but it bugs me. A lot.
Use of the words 'yummy' and 'hateful'. Again, these are teenagers, like, 17 year olds. I have not said 'yummy' since I was seven, and I don't know anyone who uses 'hateful' in everyday conversation.
Painfully corny, down to the facial expressions.
It's a mother-daughter writing team. Need I say more?
It could basically pass as a long children's book, if it weren't for the clumsy addition of stereotypical gay placement.
In addition, the character development is like a bad piece of fan fiction. The main protagonist's shaky narrative is only stood-off by the misplaced addition of extremely detailed description of her Cherokee facial features and annoyingly cheesy vampyric rituals. She seems to be unable to describe the world around her unless she's staring into a mirror or discussing all the guys she could screw, which might just be the ultimate example of ego brushing, if I've ever seen one.
Another thing you might notice is that people are mentioned that you'd think would be important, such as Zoey's biological brother and sister. They are referred to once in the first novel as a junior and senior, one's a cheerleader who gets around and one's a meat-headed jock, and that's the end of it. Not even on the oh-so irksome 'Parent Day' are they mentioned. You'd think something like this would be explored upon, but maybe the two authors just sort of hoped their readers would forget about it.
And, if none of this were enough, apparently every celebrity you love (or hate) are---wait for it---VAMPYRES as well. Very publicly so. Every genius in history, every country singer, every socialite. All. Vampyres. Again, the writing duo seems to think that misplaced, awkward pop-culture references will make up for their lack of personal and social skills.
Overall, it could have been written by a sensually depraved, teen drama obsessed sixteen year old. It might have been something far more enjoyable, but alas, in "Marked", P.C. and Kristen disappoint (for three more novels, might I add). It's a nice idea, but not nice enough to actually waste time on.
Zoey is marked as a vampire and sent to the House of Night (sort of a Hogwarts for vampires). She shows signs of extraordinary talents and makes friends with other vampires-in-training. In the meantime, she begins a feud with another student in the House of Night, agrees to a date with a sexy/secretly geeky vampire, and tries to avoid her human ex-boyfriend.
This was a quick read combining vampire legends with goddess worship. There is a clear anti-Christian undertone, and the frequent pop culture references already seem dated even though the book is only two years old. While Zoey is very moral and seems to make good choices, other characters engage in sex, drinking, and smoking pot. A lot of Twilight fans are interested in other vampire stories. However, this is missing the romantic innocence that made Twilight so thrilling; sometimes less description is more rewarding.
I was excited to read this book because I am very familiar with the setting and it is always fun to read about your home town. I am very disappointed in the content though. Throughout the book the authors frequently mention teen drug use and premarital sex. The main character seems to be shocked that these things are going on and wants to reassure the readerconstantlythat she doesnt do these things and neither should you. The references are totally irrelevant to the plot and after awhile you feel like the authors should have just peppered the text with the phrases, Dont do drugs!, Wait to have sex! instead of making us read these irrelevant passages. The authors seem to get lazy on character development by comparing each character to a different celebrity and leaving descriptions at that. The language also seems to be dumbed down. The main character refers to her, cute little black ballet flats several times. This book tryst very hard, too hard, to be a teen novel. It comes across as the authors felt that teens couldnt handle grown-up words, so they make the language as simple as possible. The only redeeming quality the book has is the concept, think Hogwarts for vampires; the plot line is what got me through to the end.