Marked is the first book to P.C. Cast’s and Kristin Cast’s House of Night series. I was still in the U.S. Navy when I read this book the first time. It was right after I read the Twilight series. I never reviewed it, though, and thought it was time to re-read this series, mostly since I never finished the series. (My bad.)
First, let me say this book was published in 2007, so much of the stuff mentioned in this book is outdated now when it comes to teenage pop culture, language, tone, etc. Its audience targets teenagers and not adults, but the Young Adult genre has always been a favorite of mine, no matter what year it was written. (I’m not going to give away my age because some people will call me old or ancient. I do have a teenage daughter, so that should give away somewhat of my age. She’s the one calling me old or ancient.)
My Thoughts: I’m not going to go into the storyline because the synopsis goes over it pretty well. I will say this book is different from other vampire stories. The protagonist Zoey Redbird is a typical teenage girl trying to find her way in the world until fate gives her another route for her life. She’s marked to become a Vampire. Zoey is one character you have to grow to love because she comes off as whiny at first. As the mother of a teenage daughter, I can understand Zoey a little better now. Teenage daughters are not easy to live with, and I have to remind myself I was a teenager at one time too. Zoey doesn’t have a loving family, except for her Grandmother, so she needs something else to help her grow. I’m glad she was Marked and sent away from her mom, step-dad, and siblings.
I love the fact that this book/series has a diversity of characters. You have the sweet, caring country girl, Stevie Rae. The smart and adorable gay guy, Damien. (He loves using big words to the Twins, which they give him a hard time about.) The Twins, Shaunee and Erin, from different states and backgrounds, look nothing alike but act alike. Then there’s Erik Night, who is dreamy and dramatic because he’s a theatre kid. Each one brings something different to the story and helps Zoey through the dramas of House of Night.
There’s the villain(s) in the story that also play a role. One in particular who will drive anyone crazy because she thinks she can get away with everything.
I picked up this book back in 2009 and still love to read it due to the book/series being written by a mother/daughter duo. P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast are a fantastic duo that I can’t get enough of, which is why I’m going back to reading this series from the beginning.
Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the House of Night Series.
Cliffhanger: There’s no mention of a cliffhanger, but there are unsolved things that come up in this book that need to be addressed.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. If you are a fan of the YA Fantasy genre and loved the Twilight series, I would recommend this book/series. If you are looking for more grown-up books, this book/series may not be for you. This is a series I would recommend to my teenage daughter (if she enjoyed reading, but she doesn’t right now.) My youngest daughter may end up reading this series when she’s old enough. She is more of a reader and loves reading fantasy stories.