Monday, April 4th 2011

Review: Marked, P. C. & Kristin Cast.

Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: January 31, 2009
Received From: Bought
Pages: 386
ISBN: 9781905654314

So the bad news was that I’d have to move into the House of Night, a private boarding school, known by all my friends as the vampyre finishing school, where I would spend the next four years going through  bizarre and unnameable physical changes, as well as a total and permanent life shake-up. And thats only if the whole process didn’t kill me.

But the good news was that I wouldn’t have to take the geometry test tomorrow.

When sixteen-year-old Zoey is marked by the Tracker, she knows her old life is over. Now she has to leave her friends and family to join the House of Night school, where there’s only one subject Zoey needs to study: Vampyre 101. Of course, there’s always a catch, and this one’s nice and simple: if you fail, you die…

Marked is the first novel in the House of Night series written by P.C. Cast in collaboration with her teenage daughter, Kristin Cast. I was given this book to read through recommendation of a friend of mine and I must admit that I did not read the book right away as I usually do with new books. I am a fan of the vampire genre, even before Stephenie Meyer dominated the genre with Twilight. I was a fan of Twilight, however I did feel wary of reading another Vampire novel in fear that I might grow to dislike the genre all together as since Twilight, vampires are domination the YA market.

However, when I did get round to reading Marked, I was pleasantly surprised. The book is aimed at older teenagers (16+) and offers a mixture of fantasy, mystery, horror and romance. The story follows the happenings of sixteen year old Zoey Redbird, who goes through the life changing experience from being a normal human teenager to being Marked and having to move away to the House of Night to go through the process of becoming a vampyre. However if her body rejects the change, she will die.

The book is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Zoey. The readers experience the events through her descriptions and this allows them to learn more about Zoey as a character. I grew to love Zoey as a character as the book progressed and in some parts I felt that I could relate to some of the things she has to deal with. It is interesting to see how Zoey adapts to having to start this new life, which she didn’t choose.
As a character, Zoey is quite humorous in how she narrates the story. The combination of her hope and determination to succeed in the House of Night, as well as looking for a place to belong in a world she feels she never has, engages the reader. I felt as the story developed, Zoey’s character grew stronger as we got to know more about her.

Marked offers its readers a new take on the vampyre genre and as the book progresses the vampyre mythology reveals itself. It does leave some questions open to the reader, however this can be expected of a book series such as this. Due to this, I did want to buy the next novel in the series and I did look forward to begin reading it.

Overall, this is a great start to the House of Night book series. It offered just the right amount of information to be comprehendible and entertaining, while also tempting the reader to read the following book/s! I was surprised at how much I did enjoy reading this book despite my preconceptions. The only criticism I have is that there are moments in the book where the language use of Zoey is slightly immature and in my opinion, ruins the dialogue at times. However, this is a rare occurrence and does not affect the reading and enjoyment of the book as a whole.

An enjoyable read!  

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