Thursday, June 4, 2009

Review: Marked (House of Night Book 1)

Marked coverTitle: Marked
Authors: P. C. and Kristin Cast
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fiction
Pub Date: May 2007, St. Martin's Press
Trade Paperback, 306 pages


Enter the dark, magical world of The House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change--and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend. To add to her stress, 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 group, 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.

My Thoughts

Well, originally I was planning to wait awhile to read this book, since I read all three Vampire Academy books recently and wanted to take a break from the species. However, when I realized I left my current read at the office, I wanted to see if I could fit in a book in one sitting this evening and Marked was the best choice from my large stack of unread books.

I really wanted to like this book, but something about it just didn't work for me. I think it was the fact that it was so clearly written for (somewhat immature) teenagers, and to be honest, I don't think I ever really was one of those. Sure, I had my moments, but Zoey and her friends got on my nerves frequently and I think it was simply because I couldn't relate to them. Zoey's use of childish terms (poopie and boobie, for example) just didn't feel right to me, and I also found myself rolling my eyes frequently when she was talking. While I am long past my teenage years, even when I was a teen I was mature for my age so that made it more difficult for me to really enjoy this book. But I can see why many teenagers would love it.

What did work for me was the vampire/vampyre (there we go again with different spellings for the same word! Remember my remarks about faerie/fairy/feary a few reviews back...) lore and and a rather original storyline. I always enjoy learning different aspects of paranormal and mythical folklore, and this book didn't disappoint. I do also think that the Casts did a good job with the characters in respect to what they were trying to achieve. Obviously I just wasn't the reader they were trying to reach since I seemed to miss out on the teen angst and drama during that phase of my life. I will say that as the book was reaching the end I did find myself more drawn into the excitement of the story, but I don't think it will be enough to make me go out and get the next book in the series.

My rating: 3 stars

Other reviews of Marked:

Look At That Book ~ Readings of a Teenage Tree
Unmainstream Mom Reads ~ Bart's Bookshelf ~ Love To Read
For the Love of Books ~ Read, Read, Read
Bookshelves of Doom ~ The Written World

If you have reviewed this book but don't see your site listed above, please leave a comment with the link to your review and I'll add it to the list!


  1. I just wanted to say that I felt the same way and I actually abandoned the book half way through. I thought it ended up being a Harry Potter for Vampires and I really hated that they called the organization "People of Faith." I took that at more than face value and took it as a metaphor for Christians are stupid. Just my personal view on it...

  2. I might be weird, but I really like these books. The writing is pretty bad, although it really does remind me a lot of teens. But the darn story is just so addictive! I just finished #5.

    Now my son is 12, and he loves these!

  3. I Heart Monster ~ I, too, was annoyed with the whole People of Faith thing, though I opted to leave that out of the review.

    Stephanie ~ You're not weird, trust me, I can understand why some people love these books. But yes, I agree, the writing is pretty bad.

  4. I totally get where you're going with the writing. However, I found it such a breeze to read through that I quickly read the rest. And the story itself I really like. Sorry it didn't work for you.

    I'm really excited to start the Vampire Academy series.

  5. I'm not a fan of any angst, teen or otherwise. I probably wouldn't have connected well with the book either. Great review!

  6. I often have difficulty when the book is geared to a younger age than I'm used to reading. I'll probably let this go, even though I like vamps.

  7. Oh no! I have the whole set. I wonder whether I will like them now. I will have a go and see. Thanks for the review Melissa.

  8. Mishel ~ It definitely was an easy read, just what I was looking for last night.

    Keri ~ Yeah, I guess angst is the right word, but perhaps obnoxious would be more to the point, too :-)

    Beth F ~ I guess we all have to grow up sometime, sadly :-)

    Scrap Girl ~ Definitely at least give them a try. There is some potential there, and if you're able to overlook the writing, you might find you really enjoy these books.

  9. Hi! I came across your site via blog village. Really nice site and great reviews. I'll put a link on my site.


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