Friday, December 4, 2009

Marked - P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Title: Marked (Book 1 of The House of Night series)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin, 2009 (Paperback)
Length: 306 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: December 2, 2009
Finished: December 3, 2009

From the back cover:
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.

Yes, yes, more vampires. Before I lose all academic credibility, let me explain why I picked up yet another vampire book. There are certain books I always see my students reading: one of the Twilight books, City of Bones, The Hunger Games (which pleases me to no end), and recently I've been seeing this particular series, The House of Night. Apparently everyone and their mother has read these books and I'm very late in jumping on the bandwagon, so I wanted to see if the start of the series lived up to it's hype.

First off, the vampyre (yes, spelt that way) universe created in this book is really well done. The authors even have a spiritual component to the whole thing, which I thought was nice since you never really see religion or spirituality involved in most vampire stories (from the vampire point of view). The characters are very believable and realistic: the fledgling characters at least sound exactly like teenagers you would hear while walking down a hallway in your average high school. The story is quite addictive, making it a very quick read. This is no ground-breaking piece of literature by no means, but it's a fun little romp with a creative plot (c'mon, vampire finishing school? how cool is that?)

One thing that irked me is the lack of numbering: please all authors, when you write a series where the titles aren't that distinctive, for the love of all things holy, number your books! This annoys the heck out of me; I tried to read this book twice previously but couldn't till now because I had picked up the wrong book from the library.

Fun story, a little heavy on the sexual references (including an oral sex scene), so definitely not for kids younger than high school age.

Thoughts on the cover:
It's black with a chick's face in the corner, pretty basic.

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