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This book is based around a Teenager named Zoey who is 'marked' as a vampire. In this particular series you don't get turned into a vampire, becoming one is a genetic thing and if you are destined to be one you will be turned during your teen years. It then takes 4 years to either turn into a fully fledged Vampyre or die. Zoey is marked and starts her new life in the house of night where she will attend school designed to teach her to be a vampyre.
When she is at the school she discovers the leader of the dark daughters is misusing her powers and zoey is forced to step in when she realises she has been given much more powers than a regular fledgling and it is clear that the goddess has chosen her for a specific path.
As soon as I started reading this series I was hooked.
It is not your typical vampire book and that's probably what is so appealing about it, it doesn't have the cheesy feel that a lot of YA books have either. P.C Cast's books are not normally in the YA section and is clear in her style of writing , The house of night series seems like a toned down version of her usual style which keeps the more indepth character backgrounds and depth of story but cuts out most of the adult content.
Saying that, although this is a Young Adult book and can be found in the Children Section in many book stores I would definitely not class it as a book suitable for Children under 15/16 as it does have some stronger adult content, which makes it great for older teens and Adults ( I am 26 and I loved it and have read all the others in the series).
I am not going to repeat the plot as you can find that out yourself but I will say that it is a very good blend of paranormal subject matter and normal teenage life and school problems that gives the book a unique angle. As the series progresses the plot deepens and deepens and there is always something new being added to the mix to keep you on your toes. The books also keep you guessing throughout and you never really know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are and I absolutely love that about the series, it's full of surprises.
Waring : only read if you are willing to read all 11+ Books in the series so far
This book is also on my ciao account under username shellyjaneo
'Before I could cry or scream I whirled around and stalked to my bedroom,slamming the door behind me.
I hope they all drown.
"Zoey your mother and I need to speak with you."
Great. Clearly they didn't drown.'
In Zoey's World, Vampyres have always existed. Most of the worlds well known Actors, Actresses, and Musicians are Vampyres. They even have their own School, The House of Night, with Campuses all over the World. Teenagers are chosen, and marked, to be Vampyres. Once they've been marked, they must get to The House of Night, or they will die.
One day at School, a Vampyre tracker marks Zoey, and she has no idea how she will tell her Mum, and her judgmental Step-Father. With no one to turn to, Zoey seeks the advice of her Grandmother, the only Adult she can trust anymore.
Zoey soon realises that Vampyre School isn't as bad as she though it was, apart from the occasional kid not making it through the change from Human to Vampyre, and dying. She soon makes friends with Stevie Rae, her roommate, Erin and Shaunee, and Damien. She even catches the attention of the hottest boy in school, Erik Night.
Everybody seems friendly and accepting, apart from Aphrodite, the leader of The Dark Daughters and Sons, the elite student group in The House of Night. But Aphrodite's leadership skills leave a lot to be desired, and Zoey wants to do something about it.
I picked up this book for £1 because I liked the cover and thought the idea of a Vampire School would be fun to read about. I'm glad I bought it now, because I've found a brand new series that I love. I really enjoyed the fast paced story, the interesting and energetic characters, and the friendship between Zoey and her circle of friends. I enjoyed the concept of this book, it's an interesting take on a Vampire story, and is what I can only describe as Harry Potter with Vampires. Zoey's character is modest, caring and selfless, which are qualities that I always enjoy in a main character.
This book was written by P.C Cast, and her daughter, Kristin Cast. I thought the book was well written, apart from some aspects of the dialogue. The 'Zoey said' 'Stevie Rae said' got on my nerves at times, but I still enjoyed the story.
What's it about?
16 year old Zoe is at school, minding her own business when she spots a dead guy waiting for her by her locker. He's from the mysterious House of Night, a school for fledgling vampires to train and hopefully make it to being an actual vampire. Though not all make it through the dangerous Change.
From that moment, she is Marked and must join his school.
Quite quickly after joining The House of Night, Zoe realises she is no ordinary fledgling...she has a special connection with the Goddess, Nyx, and so with her new found responsibilities, she must take on the most popular fledgling at the school, who is seriously misusing her powers.
My thoughts on Marked
Interesting take on the whole vampire thing. I read this very shortly after reading Twilight (naturally..) just before vampires had been done to death - for want of a better word!
I liked the school environment, it worked just like it worked for Harry Potter - there isn't really a better way to show a group of young people interacting every day and the struggles and strifes of growning up (even if you are set to be a vampire, the normal problems still arise!)
It was a bit saucy in places and from quite early on, so be aware if you're under 16 - parent's probably wouldn't be too keen on that sort of material being portrayed as so acceptable in a teen world.
As you'd expect from a Dark Fantasy YA series, there are numerous 'forbidden romance' themes throughout the book and actually, the series. Lots of suspence and twists and turns. Emotional at points too. I've had a giggle and held my breath so I can't complain that it's a bad book...
Whilst the writing itself is good and the plots are interesting and involving... the use of language and the interaction between the characters sometimes makes me cringe.
It seems like each of the main characters are complete sterotypes.
Sometimes it's very american teenager "omg, like, seriously"
The characters use of "oh I really *heart* that shirt/handbag/boy" makes me want to set fire to the book every time I read it. And yet, I carry on... I've read 7 out of a series of 10 so far, so that's got to count for something!
Is the rest of the series worth reading?
You sort of have to! It's addictive, you know it's a bit trashy but you keep coming back for more.
They do get better, the writing get's tighter and the plots get a little more complex so it becomes more of a satisfying read.
The author has obviously researched into the Wiccan/Pagan religion (if she is not one herself?) and come up with some beautiful descriptions for magic and the rituals used at the school, so that's really nice and adds much needed depth to the books.
Would I recommend Marked?
Yep :) I'd probably have given it 3 and a half stars if I could.
I first read this book to kill time in hospital and was really surprised to find it was deliciously entertaining, the plot centres around sixteen year old Zoey Montgomery/ Heffer/ Redbird (Montgomery is her dads name, Heffer is her stepdads name and Redbird is the name she chose when she was marked) who just wants to fit in at school because home is hopeless (her stepdads a controling overly religious guy, her moms weak willed and does whatever he says, her sister is to quote Zoey "a barbie clone" and her brother is a "troll") Any hope of Zoey fitting in at her old school is gone when she is Marked by a vampyre tracker (which means she has become a fledgling and in the next four years will either become a vampyre or die) and must move into a boarding school known as the House of Night where she discovers she has special powers (known as affinities.) The book starts off being kinda typical teen girl stuff but gets really hard to put down after a while and once you read deeper into the series you really start to care about the characters. Its well written in the aspect that it lays down a good foundation for the next two books (after that a lot of the stuff in this one just gets shoved into the background) and subtly makes you feel the characters emotions in a way that makes you feel theyre real people insted of paper and ink. I would recommend this book to anyone as it helps you understand yourself more than anything, you look at the problems they face and in the back of your mind youre thinking what you would do to solve them. And to any guys thats thinking of reading this, once you get past the first few chapters its not such a girl book anymore.
I was asked to read this book by my colleges library for the task of choosing which audience it is for. I was hesitant at first being a big fan of twilight and all books mystical and fantasy I was skeptical thinking that it would just be like the rest, girl falls in love with boy etc. However I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book.
The book follows the story of zoey redbird who lives with her stepdad who she doesnt like and her mother who is controlled by him, like any other teen with her own problems, she has a geometry test the next day and is struggling with the decision to keep her boyfriend after she fears he has cheated and due to his drinking habits but while attending what seemed a regular day at school she gets marked by the tracker which basically means she must attend the house of night school to learn vampyre as she is slowly becoming one and hopefully become successful in surviving the school.. if you fail you die an occurence which zoey herself has to endure seeing while in the school. However she is different than those in her year, her mark seems to be filled in with no real explanation why apart from it being a gift from the goddess nyx she must try and fit but quickly makes enemy's with the popular girl as she struggles to adjust to her surrounding something strange is occuring and it is up to zoey to work and sort this out.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading if you want something more mature than your usual teen books as it isn't suitable for younger readers due to its few sexual references within, I would recommend to those who enjoyed twilight and vampire diaries. After reading I discovered there is a whole series which I am looking at buying as we continue to look at zoey's journey through the school. It is definite addition to my vampire collection.
Marked is the first book in the House of Night (HoN) series by mother and daughter, PC and Kristin Cast.
Sixteen year old Zoey just wants to have a normal high school experience, maybe minus the always drunk almost ex boyfriend. Zoey thought that Heath was the worst of her worries when she turned up to school sick that day but then she gets Marked by a Tracker. In Tulsa, if you get Marked, it means you're a vampyre.
The realisation of becoming a vampyre not only means Zoey's whole life is about the change but she also has to leave her friends at school to live at the House of Night, a school for vampyres. The one rule to this school is shocking though... either pass at becoming a vampyre or you die!
What I thought
The HoN series has a completely original take on a species that is so popular in fiction these days. These vampyres are in a league of their own. They will draw you in and make you want to be one! As soon as some of the vampyres were described, I knew that this was going to be an interesting book. Not only are vampyres extremely beautiful, with long hair (mostly) but they also have strange markings like tattoos, making them distinctly different from humans. The markings are an extremely important part of being a vampyre but to humans, it is just something that makes them more like freaks. Being marked is only one of the differences that vampyres have in this series. There are no fangs, so no being bitten to be turned, garlic is only used as a yummy food and they still keep some very human characteristics.
The HoN was another aspect that was completely new to me. The HoN is pretty much a boarding school for vampyres in training, where they must take lessons like Fencing, Vampyre Sociology and Equestrian Studies, all things which help to make the change into a fully fledged vampyre. Some of the lessons did seem quite strange to me like Drama but then it was explained that vampyres have a tendency to be very artistic.
The story is written in the first person from Zoey's point of view, making it easy to connect with her quickly. I began to feel sorry for Zoey quite early on in the book because of how she describes her life (before being marked). Being in a family where her mother ignores her, her step dad hates and having siblings that she doesn't get along with made me want something much better for Zoey. I was glad to see that there was one family member that was there for her no matter what though. What makes Zoey a character that I could relate to is the way in which she and the story is written. Zoey, along with the other teenagers in the book are very realistic, both in the way that they act and speak. After being torn from the life that she was accustomed to, I was glad to see Zoey make friends easily and these characters added a lot of humour to the story.
There is a fair amount of bad language, references to sex and drugs throughout the book so this is a series that isn't suitable for young teens (There is a warning on the back of the book). There was never a point where I felt like this was overdone though and these references only made me like the characters more. Some especially, were just like a few people that I knew when I was a teenager. These books are written by a mother and daughter duo and it works extremely well. There are places where it is clear that Kristin (the daughter) had a good amount of input due to the language used. This was something that helped to make the teenagers as realistic as possible. The writing is very seamless throughout and the only way to tell who wrote which parts are to pay more attention to the teenagers.
As Marked is the first book in the HoN series, there is a lot of explanations and descriptions of what is happening but this was something that I really enjoyed. I loved learning about the history of this race of vampyres and the mythical background, including everything to do with the High Priestesses and Vampyre Gods. What makes this series stand out from others is the fact that vampyres have been mixed with magic. It was a little bit like The Craft but with vampyres for me, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The timescale for this book is only a couple of weeks and there is a lot packed in but not too much. The way that the story was written made each event realistic and not rushed in any way. It really did feel like I was living Zoey's life for her first few weeks at the HoN. Following Zoey's journey to finding who she is and her place at the HoN, there are enough twists and turns to keep the story exciting which left me wanting to find out more about what was really going on.
Marked is a fantastic first book in the series which gives small hints at bigger things to come. I cant wait to learn more about all of the characters and to follow Zoey as she trains to become a vampyre.
Keeping to my new year's resolution (though were already through most of the year) to read more, I've been searching round many bookstores. Having loved the Twilight Saga as many have I've picked up a few fantasy books/novels to keep me entertained.
One of the books I started to read last week was 'Marked' by P.C. and Kristin Cast. It's the first edition to the series 'House of Night'. This book was written by both mother and daughter with assistance from John Maslin who helped with research. Reading this book I thought is was nice to have a mother, daughter trio kind of old meets a slash of modern, and it definitely paid off.
Though being really into the fantasy of vampires and having read the vampire encyclopedia, it doesn't stick to any rules that I know of. Which isn't a bad thing, as it shows they have used their imaginations and not followed a standard trend.
I had never heard of this book before, but after reading the taster (or blurb) at the back of the book in Waterstones I was quite quiet excited to give this a try. Plus it was in the buy one get one free section so no complaints from me!
Marked House of Night - Part One
'This spellbinding new book series follows fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird as she enters the mysterious House of Night school, gains astonishing powers and searches for eternal love.'
It starts out as sixteen year old Zoey has become marked by a Tracker, and once marked you have your entrance into the House of Night which is a private boarding school for a vampyre. Or as Zoey puts it 'a vampyre finishing school to study vampyre 101.'
Zoey's character is kind of an outsider to her family. After her Mom remarried she didn't get along with her stepdad or 'step-loser' as she calls him but you get to see why and Zoey's mom seems to jump on his command not really thinking of her daughter.
Zoey is worried about starting her new school as that will be her new home, but soon settles down and enjoys it there; much better than what was her real home. Of course it wouldn't be much of a story without some drama and poor Zoey is overwhelmed with the fact she is different from the other vampyres in training, as her powers are much greater. This makes a certain group rather jealous, and they soon try to put Zoey in her place..... But do they?
This book for me seemed to jump in rather fast to get the reader hooked, finding out about the House of Night four pages in, and no real mystery in my eyes. Then I found it going rather slow paced, dragging in the middle but then in the last few chapters I was hooked once more and couldn't put the book down. The storyline had its share of suspense and general curiosity. I was certainly engaged. The other thing was the ending, I came to it and said "oh" in an anticlimactic sense, but I'm still intrigued to read the rest of the series!
Zoey Redbirds character is well planned out, and gets to quiet involved wanting to know more on what going to happen next, will she manage to sort this one out etc. I really enjoy how Zoey friends were formed and their back stories, not how it was with Bella in Twilight and her groupies.
I'm hoping that the next book will give me some of the unanswered questioned I found that occurred in this book, however not wanting to give away the exciting parts all I can say is give it a read!
The writing skills in this book are quite basic, as being told from the first person perspective, limits the boundaries of which the story can go. Also, only language which can be conveyed from a teenage girl can be told, again limiting the book to a basic storytelling technique. But as this is aimed at the teen / young fantasy market, that's a plus. Though with that in mind, there are some scenes in the book containing sexual nature and the odd dose of bad language so if you're buying this for a youngish reader, be slightly weary.
The current Twilight-inspired vampire craze has obviously influenced the availability of this book. While I would definitely recommend this book for fans of that particular genre, it could also appeal to a fantasy fan in general and isn't restricted to a particular fanbase. It isn't particularly long and the typeface is large and readable. Very easy on the eyes.
Cost and Availability:
I purchased this book from Waterstones, but it can also be found on many online sites and other book stores. Looking round I have found it is cheaper to purchase online with prices from £2.99 bargain!
This book was written by mother and daughter, the mom P.C Cast grew in within Oklahoma and Illinois and it was during her high school years where they found a love for mythology. Reading more I also found out that after her high school years she joined the United States Air Force and started to be a public speaker and writer. Her novels/books have been awarded the prestigious Oklahoma Book Award.
Kirstin Cast (daughter) studied hard with school focusing on writing and today along with her mother is now a bestselling author. Right now Kirstin still attending college in Oklahoma where one day she would love to have her own dog rescue (I would love one too!)
The series in order:
Marked - 1st Book
Betrayed - 2nd Book
Chosen - 3rd Book
Untamed - 4th Book
Hunted - 5th Book
Tempted - 6th Book
Burned - 7th Book
Awakened - 8th Book
The Fledgling Handbook
Web address - http://www.pccast.net/
Official site: www.houseofnightseries.com
I bought this book in the airport before my last holiday, as I had heard some of my friends say they really enjoyed it. I knew it was about vampires, but I didnt know much else.
I began reading it on the plane, and soon enough learnt that Zoey was a teenage girl, like myself who had a rather ordinary life, in her hometown of Broken Arrow. The only thing she was worried about was her geometry test the next day and whether or not her boyfriend (or nearly ex-boyfriend as she called him) had cheated on her with her best friend the night before. This was until she was marked by a vampire, right after school by her locker.
She knew she then had to leave her home, and her family, her mother and step-father, whom she hated with a passion, as she mentions more than once how he has changed her mother. She had to go to the House of Night, a special boarding school for marked 'fledglings'.
This book tells the story of her life as she enters the school, and how her old life is a little hard to shake off.
I really enjoyed this book as it connects with teens and helps you to understand how hard it is for Zoey and how she is feeling all the way through.
I would definately recommend this book to anyone who is interested in books about the teenage lifes and love stories and/or mythical vampires. I thought this book was very addictive as I didnt put it down for a week!, and I this is the reason I purchased the second book which I am reading right now.
Following the phenomenon of the vampires, Marked is the story of a boarding school of vampires who are training to reach their full vampire potential. This is a vampire Harry Potter meets Gossip Girl!
Zoey Redbird is marked as a vampire and taken to a boarding school to train as a vampire. Zoey seems to be a special kind of Vampire, receiving a mark on her forehead, unlike any other Vampires mark, she is the chosen one. Along the way she discovers evil, and along with her friends tries to expose and defeat the evil.
I'm still undecided about this book, though I did buy the next few books in the series, so I guess it is a little bit addictive, although I stopped buying them after about the sixth book, it just went downhill in my opinion. I think the first book is ok, the similarities with Harry Potter are startling. But here we have a female heroine, so perhaps something girls would like, the guys...not so much. I'd definitely class this under chicklit.
One of the things I wasn't too keen on was the fact that there are so many different guys that Zoey likes and who like her, and unlike a lot of teen romances, you don't know who is right for her, or who she is likely to end up with. The relationships never develop to the extent where you can say 'he's the one' or where you're even excited about that particular coupling. So in that respect it reminded me of Gossip Girl (the book series), where again you just never know who's going to end up with whom. I think for some people they find it more exciting in this way, because it's not predictable. But it didn't work for me.
There is some appeal in the question of what's going to happen next, what's going to happen to Zoey? But by the sixth book my thirst for the knowledge of the rest of her life, died down. There is a bit of excitement in this book, as Zoey starts to attend Vampire classes, and things like that which are interesting to read about. You kind of think isn't all a vampire needs to know is how to drink blood?! But this book explores more than that. All their classes are at night time and they sleep during the day...that grabbed my attention! If you enjoy typical high school scenarios with a bit of vampire stuff thrown in., you might enjoy this first book.
There are seven books out so far, with more to come; I think last time heard, there are going to be about 14 or 15 books in the series.
For 15 years and older, there are some explicit scenes, though more so in the books that follow than the first one. It's a light read and very easy to understand. Not something I would enter into my list of favourite books, not something I'd necessarily read again unless I really had nothing else to read. I know a lot of people who have written reviews on amazon seem to have enjoyed it. I have to say it's not terrible, but it's not my kind of book.
- - PLOT - -
Zoey was spending her day in typical sixteen year old student fashion, gossiping to her best friend Kayla about her boy troubles between classes and worrying privately about her up coming geometry test when the worst happens. . . She gets marked.
Once marked by the tracker, Zoey has to leave her regular high school life to join the elusive House of night, known to most as the Vampyre finishing school. With her worries about the geometry test pushed clear out her mind, Zoey needs to find a way of dealing with what is easily going to be the hardest time of her life. Not only is she going to have to leave her old life to become a vampyre, but how is she going to tell that to her distant mother and the step loser. (Zoey's name for her step father)
When Zoey finally arrives at the very exclusive House of night school, she is terrified that she is never going to fit in with a school full of beautiful people who already seem to know everything there is to know about becoming a vampyre where Zoey is completely clueless. But she soon realises that just like her old life, there are good and bad people at House of night too, and with the guidance of her mentor the high priestess Neferet, Zoey begins to navigate her way around her new life.
- - OPINION - -
I will be honest and say that the reason I tried Marked is due to it being on a two pound offer in W H Smith when you bought another product, and not because it had jumped off the shelf at me. I just think that there are far too many vampire novels out there, attempting to latch onto the current craze for Twilight. Oh Stephenie Meyer, what have you done!
I was more than pleasantly surprised by the cast mother and daughter team's first novel. I have read one or two books previously that have been written by two authors, namely a husband and wife pairing, and found that they don't work very well for me as I seem to find that in places they appear to be written in two slightly different styles and when put together the pieces don't quite fit, but in the case of the Cast pairing, this mother and daughter team are a finely tuned writing machine.
I found the story engaging from the very beginning and I loved the fact that the characters were your typical teenagers, and not your typical sullen emo-esque vampire kids.
The idea for the House of Night is definitely different, and the descriptions of the building, the classes and the characters almost made me feel as if I was joining Zoey in Vampyre 101. The character of Zoey was very well written and I think the input from Krisitin shows through well in the teen characters, as the way they speak and interact with one another is very much how a normal average teenager would, and not in the slightly older and disjointed way they are portrayed in some teen novels.
For anyone who enjoyed the Twilight series, but enjoys their vampire novels with a little less Angst and minus the tragic love story, then I would recommend the House of Night series. After being Marked I for one and hooked and off to my local bookshop to buy the rest of the series.
ISBN - 9780708866252
Can be bought new on amazon for £3.99 or used from £0.95p
In my opinion, this book really does have it all. It's funny, original, exciting, fast paced and easy to relate to.
Sixteen year old Zoey is pretty normal, she has a sweet boyfriend, a nightmare step-dad (or step-loser as she calls him!) and unfortunately a massive geometry test coming up. But then her whole world gets shaken up when she is marked and begins the process of turning into a vampyre. Just as she begins to settle into the House of Night, (her new vampyre school/home.) a fellow fledgling named Aphrodite shows up. Aphrodite is high preistess in training and will do anything to make Zoey's life a living hell. (Get it? Vampyres... living hell... well I thought it was kind of funny.)
I think that because one of the authors of this book is very young, it greatly improves the content of the book. The language used by the characters is very informal and chatty, this makes the overall story more believable which I think is impressive considering it's about vampyres!
I also like the way that this story very easy for young people to relate to. The characters who have just moved to the House of Night act and feel just likee someone who has moved from a primary to a secondary school.
The way this book has been set out makes it gripping for the reader. Twists in the story are spread out so that the plot doesn't become overwhelming and yet it doesn't become boring or repetitive.
My only reason for not giving this book five stars is the slightly dissapointing ending. Without revealing important details all I can say is that there wasn't a cliffhanger or anything that made me desperately want to read the next book, Betrayal. However, as I enjoyed this book so much I did read on in the series.
In my opinion this book is a great read and hard to put down (most of the time!) I would definetely recommend it as it is so original and different compared to others in it's genre.
Thanks for reading I hope it was helpful!.x.
As I am a fan of all things mythical and magical, I do get really excited when a new book comes out.
This was in the teenage section but if you've read my previous reviews on the Twilight saga you'll know how sometimes these sorts of books are suitable for all ages.
At the moment it is hard to find a vampire story that isn't a complete rip-off of Twilight, as there's so many Authors, film makers that are jumping on the band wagon.
So I always try to find books that are different from each other.
I found this at my local Asda, on sale for 4 pounds.
The plot: Zoey Redbird is a regular 16 year old girl and she goes to a regular school.
One day Zoey is marked by a tracker, (a vamprye who seeks out fledglings that are going to change into vampyres)
She must leave her old life behind and start a new one at the House of night, a finishing school for fledglings.
Zoey is different to other fledglings though, as everyone else that is marked has an outline of a moon cresent on their foreheads, where as Zoey's mark is completely filled in.
Everyone wants to know why Zoey is so special and wonders if she has a special affinity with the goddess Nyx.
Zoey makes a group of new friends and also meets Aphrodite, leader of the 'Dark daughters' or as their otherwise known as 'the hags from hell!'.
Zoey has to cope with her new life, her nearly ex-boyfriend, Aphrodite's gang and also figure out why Nyx has chosen her to do her bidding.
I thought this book was a refreshing change, it was so thoughtful and touching in some parts.
The two Authors are P.C. and Kristin Cast who are mother and daughter, it is definatly a perfect match as although the content sometimes deals with some dark stuff, it also has the language that would be used by a tennage girl.
The way the teenage slang was used throughout this book had me giggling the whole way through as I realised that thats how I used to talk when I was a terrible teen.
This is a lovely read, although dark in some places.
The characters are good and you'll love them, especially Aphrodite who you'll soon love to hate.
Yet again I have been sucked (get it?!) into reading a vampire book. The "House of Night" series by mother and daughter author duo P.C and Kristin Cast was not a series of books I had heard about, but when someone from RISI (readitswapit for those of you who do not use this website, and I sincerely recommend you join) requested a book that I'd had sitting on my bookshelf gathering dust for years, I scrutinised their booklist, and this one was the only one that sounded vaguely interesting.
I know that doesn't sound like a promising start, but that is mainly because I'd vowed to myself that I wouldn't get myself involved with any more vampire stories. I like to believe I'm the kind of reader that is open to all sorts of genres and I pride myself on regularly mixing up the types of books I read...but lately, the book market is so completely saturated with these such books, I've found myself with more of these on my bookshelf than any other type of genre. My last two explorations into this genre left me more than a little disappointed and so there is my reasoning to being a bit "iffy" to put it lightly, into starting this series.
The main character is a teenage girl called Zoey Redbird who is one day marked by the "Tracker"; effectively ending her normal life as she knows it. Zoey must leave behind her school, friends and family and join the House of Night school where she will be studying the only thing that will be vital to her continued existence: Vampyre 101. Of course there is a catch, if you fail, you die...
As I have already mentioned, this books is a combined effort by mother and daughter P.C and Kirstin Cast. Any book that I have read in the past where it has been written by two authors, in my opinion, has felt a little disjointed, and I felt that this may end up even worse - how would two authors from two different generations make their writing blend together?
Luckily, this wasn't a problem, and rather than a hindrance, I felt that their age gap probably helped the writing. Like most books in this genre, this series is written for an audience younger than me. The main character is only sixteen and with the school setting, this book will be easily identifiable to teenage girls, albeit ones who like American high school dramas! The younger Cast author (Kristen) clearly has a better understanding of what it's like to be a modern American teenager, and her mother (P.C) even thanks her daughter in the books acknowledgements: "I also want to thank my fabulous daughter Kristin, for making sure we sounded like teenagers. I couldn't have done it without you." I felt that with clearly a lot of help from Kristin Cast, they created a group of believable teenagers (minus the very unreal setting of a vampire school!) that were likeable, and fun to read about.
Story and Characters..
So on to the story itself. I have already explained that the characters are extremely likeable and enjoyable to read about. What this book puts me in mind of is the books I used to read when I was 13 or 14 years old, when I literally couldn't put a book down. From Point Horror books to Sweet Valley High through to Mallory Towers, all those books of my early teens had my gripped with their interesting characters and gripping storylines. This book really does put me in mind of that, and I really didn't mind being transported back to that time again!
I would probably say that some of the subjects that they touch upon are probably a little more adult that is appropriate for teenagers of that age, but certainly I felt that this series would have most teenagers hooked! The reason for it is this, built around strong and likeable characters is a mysterious vampire school which holds so many secrets that you cannot help but be compelled to read about. Quite literally each chapter reveals something new about Zoey's surroundings and the story just flows so beautifully along, there doesn't seem to be one dull page at all. Added to this, I felt as a reader really involved and able to associate with Zoey as she joins the school because the reader experiences everything fresh just as Zoey does; learns about new powers when Zoey does, and makes friends the same time Zoey does.
I have very few negatives to say about this book, but there are a few things that did ruin it slightly. I mentioned that there are some adult themes in this book, but what I haven't said is that when these things crop up, the Casts seem to dismiss them as slutty, and in turn, this turns the main character Zoey, into a bit of a princess who likes to sit on the moral high ground. For example, Zoey seems to think that if a girl wears too much make up, kisses a boy outside of her dorm or her skirt rides up slightly, she is a slut or those people are sluts. As well as being totally ridiculous, this also ruins a perfectly good character. Zoey is a sixteen year old girl living in modern society, but yet at times its like she is a character with the mind set of someone a lot older (Cast Seniors idea of what teenagers should be like perhaps.) These scenes scream of the authors trying to set a good example, but unfortunately it comes off as unrealistic and a bit too preachy.
Overall, I found this book a really good guilty pleasure, and i say guilty pleasure because if I am totally honest, the writing is very basic appealing to the mass market of teenage vampire story lovers. Nearly every review I have read on this by the general public has slated everything about it, from how it tries to be "hip", to its constant and unsuccessful pop culture references, all the way through to how it has many "anti Christian" statements but also has a distinctly moral and Christian attitude! Simply put for me - I just couldn't get enough. I took this book for what is was, pure escapism and fantasy. If you are going to slate this book due to its low brow content, then its just not worth reading.
I pretty much devoured any time I had a spare minute, I really did find it magical and I was totally involved with the story and characters throughout. Immediately after reading this, I added the rest of the books to my wish list and will have no qualms about hunting them out in the "Teen Romance" section of Waterstones! Whilst I'm mentioning the word romance, I would like to clarify one thing that is a bit of a blessing; there is no big tragic love story in this book and so if you are expecting and wanting a Bella/Edward new saga, then you will be disappointed. However, if like me, that sort of thing was all a bit too much and you are after a bit more a vampire/magical book, then this may just be the one for you.
I started reading this book after I finished the Twilight series and liked it so much that i had to go out and buy the next one. However when I first picked up this book I was not very impressed with the opening chapter and I also found it a read for the younger audiences, never the less I kept reading it and soon found that it became very addictive. In the first chapter Zoey (the main character), becomes marked by a vampire, however I don't think this is very obvious as it is told in a confusing way. When we first meet the 'Tracker' as he is called he is within the school in full view of everyone, and at this stage I was unaware of the fact that humans knew about vampires and that they lived along side them. Also I was confused about why a supposably fully grown vampire was in a school without anyone freaking out. Zoey is marked shortly into the first chapter but what I found strange was the fact that nobody went after the vampire when Zoey was marked and even after reading fourth book in this series I am still unsure as to why Zoey suddenly got marked for no reason during school in a busy corridor. On the other hand I found in a very enjoyable read and would fully recommend it to anyone that enjoys fictional reads and I think is more suitable as a teen read, traffic story line.
Ive read all the twilight series and loved them and i saw the house of night series advertised in a magazine so i thought i would read the 1st one. Marked is a teenage fantasy thriller about vampyres (actuall spelling). The authors, P.C Cast and Kirsten Cast have taken the orginal vampire storys and added an amazing twist. This is differnet, fast paced and has bits of romance thrown in. It is the perfect teenage book but i think adults will love it too.
The house of night series:
and the 7th Burned will be out May 6th in the Uk.
The Plot of Marked:
Zoey Redbird is a normal teenage girl who is sort of dating Heath the guy on the football team. But her world is turned up side when she is marked by a tracker. She now has a clear cresent moon on her forhead marking her as a fledging vampyre. She now has to go to The House of Night where she will be learning vampyre 101.
It follows her adventure unfolding; her meeting new friends; dating new people and finding out her world is no longer safe for her human exboyfriend.
Zoey finds it difficult when all the responsiblity lies on her. She needs to change the look of the school and bring down the cow of a high priestess in training to do it.
I love the entire series, I couldnt put then down. So i hope you will like them too.
Hope ive helped,