Title: Marked (House of Night #1)
Author: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Publication Date: May, 2007
Paperback: 306 pages
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal Romance
Description: 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: As a fan of vampyre and paranormal romance, it seemed that everytime I was in a bookstore or in Wal-Mart, this series would stand out on the shelf and draw me near with curiosity. I cannot pinpoint what was so compelling about the series or this book in particular, but everytime I saw it and I had to pick it up and hold the book, running my hand down the cover and then turning it over to read the back, even though I read it every other time I encountered this book. Even now, writing this review, I find myself moved to pick the book up again and run my hands across the cover.
As stories go, there are others that held my attention so profoundly I found it hard to do anything else while reading. The House of Night series didn’t draw me in the way I was anticipating, but I found myself immediately curious about the characters so when I thought this story was just OK, I was surprised at how much I was enjoying it after all. Immediately upon starting the book, my attention was grabbed when Zoey is marked by a Tracker. A Tracker is a vampyre (can’t get over the spelling) who marks select humans to become vampyres. In this series, once a human is marked, a mark literally appears on their forehead, probably so all the humans around them can freak out and go ballistic, like Zoey’s mother and step-father (whom she refers to as the Step-Loser) do. The marked individual is now a fledgling and they have to go to the House of Night, which is nothing more than a private school to learn the vampyre culture and prepare for their change. Unfortunately, not all fledglings are successful in becoming vampyres. If their bodies reject the change, they appear to die a very sudden and painful death. I’m hoping there will be more about that in future books as it is a little confusing still for me.
I found the characters to be interesting starting with Zoey and her grandmother to the Goddess Nyx and Zoey’s mentor, Neferet, a High Priestess. Zoey quickly makes friends with four other students that I liked too and there’s a romance blooming between her and Erik Night, another student. And even in vampyre stories involving young adults, there has to be a clique of mean girls and this one delivers.
Overall, this is not a bad beginning to another young adult vampyre series. There are currently eight published installments and two more looming on the horizon. I cannot honestly say I will stay with the series, but for the moment I am intrigued and have ordered the second book.
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