Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MARKED (HOUSE OF NIGHT SERIES #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

September 9th, 2009 - St. Martin's Press
Synopsis: Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed.

One minute, sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird is a normal teenager dealing with everyday high school stress: her cute boyfriend Heath, the school’s star quarterback who suddenly seems more interested in partying than playing ball; her nosy frenemy Kayla, who’s way too concerned with how things are going with Heath; her uber-tough geometry test tomorrow. The next, she’s Marked as a fledgling vampyre, forcing her to leave her ordinary life behind and join the House of Night, a boarding school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. That is, if she makes it through the Change—and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint with Heath, who just doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer. To add to her stress, 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 group, 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.

One thing I liked about this book was that vampires have always existed in Zoey's world. This was really cool, because it's exactly like ours', except for the whole vampire thing (or "vampyre thing". Whatever.)

Anyway, that sad, that was really the only thing I liked about this book. I mean, it was interesting at times, but I just couldn't get over how annoying Zoey is!!!!!!!!!!!!!


First of all, she's so mean to so many people in the book. She throws slanderous remarks towards religious people, celebrities, goths, emos, and many others. I was also annoyed by how ultra-teenager-y she was. She would go off on tirades about peoples' looks, as well as react numbly to things that most people would go, "HOLYCRAPWHATJUSTHAPPENED!?!?!?!" She was just... ugh.

She would also be faced with an action that was very easy to figure out what it meant, and she would just say, "Huh. Whatever. I'm going to go fix my hair, and ignore this amazingly simple occurrence that means huge things to the plot of my life." Things would happen at the vampire school, the House of Night-things that were magical and unique and that never happened to anyone else-and she blew them off as ordinary everyday things.

After closing the book and stopping to think about her actions, I realized that many people would react the way she did if in her shoes. But at the same time, isn't that just bad writing? I mean, isn't the author (or in this case, author*s) supposed to combine realistic reactions, with reactions that advance the story? The characters in stories should make only make realistic choices when they advance the story, and make unrealistic ones when they advance the story. I believe this is how it should go because the reader won't care whether the moves are realistic or unrealistic because the story is moving along at such a good pace.

While there were many cool and interesting scenes, side-characters, and sub-stories, none of them were integral into the main plot arc, which made a story that could have been summed up in 100 pages, stretch past the end of this 300 page book. This book does not get my stamp of approval.

See ya on Friday,
Aaron :)


John Michael Cummings said...

Dear Aaron,

I'm an author with a new collection of YA short stories, Ugly To Start With (West Virginia University Press).

Will you please consider reviewing it?

I've been writing and publishing for twenty years--more than one hundred stories and two novels--and Ugly To Start With is my best work.

My first novel, The Night I Freed John Brown (Penguin), won The Paterson Prize for Fiction and was recommended by USA Today.

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

If you write me back at, I’ll send you a PDF of my collection for your consideration.

At this point, my small publisher is out of available review copies, so I hope and politely ask that you consider the PDF.

I would be very grateful.

Thank you so much.

John Michael Cummings

Sherry Soule said...

Fantastic Review. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and opinions about this novel.

Actually, I really enjoyed this series, and I like the vampire myths woven into the plot.

Check out my books!

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