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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Review: Marked (Book 1 House of Night Series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martins, 2007
Genre: YA, sci-fi
Trade paperback, 306

From Google.books:

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do.
It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But 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 club, 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:
This book hits the ground running. By page three, Zoey is Marked and must make her way to the House of Night, her new high school. Leaving her friends and family behind, Zoey must start over. But could this be a blessing in disguise? I certainly think so. The only person that Zoey will miss terribly is her Grandmother, who is Cherokee and completely understands Zoey's situation. Her Grandmother is very proud of her and knows she will succeed and be fine.
All of my high school memories came flooding back to me while I read this book. Starting a new school, making new friends, having to deal with the popular people...all of these issues may be cliche, but they make for good reading. Especially when the narrator, Zoey, is one snarky chick. I chuckled to myself quite a few times from the things she said. Her friends though do show their age from time to time, but that is to be expected.
I know there have been a rash of vampire themes in books lately, but when it's done right, like this one, they make for interesting reading. The vampire mythology is different in this set of books. It is mystical and spiritual, incorporating the magical elements of nature. If that makes any sense :) Yes they drink blood, but I didn't really get to that part yet.
This book covers a short period of time in Zoey's life, so the storyline is continued in Book 2.
In the dedication of this book, the authors mention vampire finishing school, and that describes the House of Night perfectly. The issues separating humans and vampires are touched on lightly in the story, so I assume this is delineated further in one of the following books. I am curious as to how this universe works. This book sets up the series and allows Zoey time to get acquainted with her new life and friends before all hell breaks loose. There are 5 books so something must break out somewhere.
All in all this was a good read. It was quick, light, and fun. Zoey is an excellent lead character and not your typical, OMG, teenager. She seems to be more mature than most, and I think that's why I liked her so much. But she still gets fluttery around her favorite guy, and that's very cute!
My Rating: 90/100
Here is a website all about the House of Night series.
Challenges: Library Challenge 2009


Darlene said...

This sounds so good Jenny. I'll have to see if my library has the series. I'm a sucker for vampire novels. I'm glad you liked it.

Nise' said...

I like that...."not your typical, OMG, teenager". I will see if my library has this series.

Amy said...

I've been wanting to read this series, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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