Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast


 Series: House of Night
Author: P.C. and Kristin Cast
Page Count: 306
Published: May 1st, 2007
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  3 Stars ★★★

 Zoey is a normal teenage girl dealing with family issues, school, and her (almost) ex-boyfriend. That is, until she is Marked to become a vampyre, and moves into the House of Night, a school and home for fledgling vampyres. There, she quickly makes friends, but also makes enemies.

With her unique Mark and an invitation to join the Dark Daughters, Zoey looks to her grandmother and the goddess, Nyx, for guidance. In order to take down Aphrodite, the shallow, selfish leader of the Dark Daughters, she'll need to use her goddess-given gifts.

I recently found this book at a thrift store and decided to pick it up and give it a re-read. I read it a few years ago, and I had enjoyed it quite a bit during my first reading, but this time I saw things a bit differently.

Zoey, the main character, is surprisingly shallow and judgemental, in my opinion. You'd think that after dealing with her own issues, including her unique Mark, she might take a step back when it comes to making generalizations or assumptions about others. This wasn't really the case, and her friends at the House of Night were also shallow, judgemental, and even immature at times. These characters reminded me more of preteens than of actual teenagers.

I did like how the characters came from different backgrounds and had diverse identities. Unfortunately, I felt like sometimes stereotypes were overused concerning these characters, or that the characters shamed people who did fit the stereotypes. For example, we have Zoey kind of throwing feminine gay guys under the bus, so to speak, making sure to explain that the gay male character was cute, but certainly not in an "overly girly" way, or a "swishy girly-guy" (pg 82 in my edition). Things like this were present throughout the book, in many different contexts, and contributed to Zoey's shallow side. However while things like this were annoying, they didn't take away from the overall plot.

I really enjoyed the unique way that the authors approached the idea of vampyres. Instead of being bitten, one is Marked, and even then there is no guarantee that one would survive long enough to become a full-fledged vampyre. Adding the question of whether or not Zoey, or those close to her, would die from the Change made the book suspenseful and created an extra layer of problems for Zoey to deal with. Mixing real life problems such as relationship issues along with paranormal worries made this book all the more interesting.

I am planning to continue reading this series as I hope to see the characters mature, and to read more of this unique take on vampyres! I recommend this book to fans of YA and of vampire stories.

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