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Marked - Kristin Cast
Member Name: Larachristina
Marked - Kristin Cast
Advantages: Very satisfying. If I were a vampire in the making, this would be jolly good fun.
Disadvantages: Writing is mostly awful, characters are weak, plot is overdone.
I was browsing through my local Borders, in the kiddie section (hush. I might be 25 but I still like reading teen fiction. Its nothing to be ashamed of) when I happened upon *Marked*. It was sitting in the recommended section, next to *Twilight*, with a little note posted underneath, advising potential readers that if they had enjoyed Twilight, they would also enjoy this book.
Ever eager to find a new series to get my teeth into (and the pun is intentional, this is a Vampire book after all), I bought *Marked* and began to read when I got home that night.
Who what and when?
*Marked* is the first book in the *House Of Night* series, written by P.C Cast, and Kristen Cast, a Mother daughter writing team.
Currently, there are 5 books in the *House Of Night* series, including Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed and Hunted.
Zoey is a normal teenage girl, having problems with her boyfriend, and struggling with her life at home, when she is Marked to be a Vampire. This of course means leaving her life as she knew it, and moving into the *House of Night*, a school for other fledgling vampires like herself. Unlike the others of her age though, Zoey seems to be a little more advanced, something which causes her to gain enemies as quickly as she gains friends.
What I thought.
The beginning of this book is utterly dreadful. Really. Complete and utter dross. After the first couple of chapters I nearly put it down and wrote it off as an utter *Twilight* wannabe failure.
Fortunately, I persevered, and I'm actually rather glad that I did.
I will say this now, however much I ended up enjoying this book, the writing is mainly horrendous. The *teen-speak* is contrived and cliched, and sometimes the writing is so disjointed that its difficult to follow. This could be down to the dual mother daughter authorship, I don't know.
The characters are also contrived shallow stereotypes. There is nothing original, unique or new about the plot, and nothing is explored in much depth.
The plot is in most places ludicrous. You really have to completely suspend disbelief to actually enjoy this book, although it seems to try very hard to be based in reality.
OK. So, all of that out of the way.
I did enjoy this book, mostly because it was like a guilty pleasure. It really feeds into human desires, and what we all want from ourselves. We all want to be pretty and popular and talented, and to attract the prettiest boy/girl in school. We all want special powers, and we all want to get super fantastic revenge on mean people.
Well, at least, I know I do.
Marked isn't a book that will make you think deeply, or a book that will open up intellectual conversation. Its more of a book where there are lots of things happening that sound rather fun.
As far as vampire teen lit goes, there are far more worthwhile books out there. *The Night World* series by L J Smith for example, or the *Twilight* series. This book however was incredibly enjoyable, in a dirty little secret kind of way. I feel rather ashamed to have enjoyed it, but enjoy it I did.
It sounds like I'm completely ripping it apart...and I suppose I am, but if you can get past the terrible writing, shallow as a puddle characters, and silly cliche plot that has been done, in some form or another before, then this is actually very satisfying.
Think of *Twilight* mixed with *Harry Potter* mixed with *Mallory Towers* (I'm showing my age there).
I fully intend to go out and buy the next book, although to be honest, these books are meant for people far far younger than I.
Be warned though.This book is marketed towards teens or young adults. It is however chock full of more adult references, including an entirely unnnecessary scene about blow jobs. Please don't buy it for anyone too young (perhaps anyone under 15-16?), because if you do, I'm sure you will be warding off very uncomfortable questions for the next few days.
Where to buy.
You can buy *Marked* in paperback here, for £2.99.
(Link is split. Just paste it back together).
To visit the website.
Summary: Very enjoyable, but in fatty food kind of way. You know its bad for you, but you like it anyway.