320 pages, Paperback
St. Martin’s Press
I’ve been reading more Young Adult lately and really enjoying it. Marked is the first in The House of Night series and has been out for awhile. It is quite a popular series, my local bookstore tells me it is the second best selling series after Twilight in their store. However, of the YA that I have read, Marked seems to be written to a more juvenile audience.
Zoey Redbird gets marked to become a vampyre (that is the cool way to spell it). After one is marked, you get a crescent moon on your forehead and you must go live at a special school, the School of Night, or you will die. Once you get there, it is not guaranteed you will live. For reasons unknown some teens get the bloody cough and drop dead before turning into a vampire – you never know when it is going to happen. There were several characters I was fervently wishing would get the bloody cough throughout this book – I wasn’t so lucky.
Zoey leaves her family (without many tears) to go start an entire new life totally on her own. Her first ten minutes at the school she accidentally sees hot sexy Erick Night about to receive oral sex from the queen bitch Aphrodite (you get to pick a new name when you enter school) but Erik pushes her away at the last minute when he sees Zoey. Now..I don’t know if this scene should have been in a YA book. There wasn’t much detail, Erik’s pants didn’t even get unzipped (damn!) and I really don’t even know what the point of the scene was except to tell us Erik and “Aphrohorny” are a couple but starting to break up. The part that really bothered me is that after this scene the author spent an entire paragraph preaching the wrongness of sex. She did this throughout the book when pot is being smoked, or beer is being drunk. Either put the more controversial scenes in there or don’t. I, nor teens need to be preached to.
Besides Erik, Zoey meets a group of friends that she bonds with instantly. There is Erin and Shaunee who have some freaky twin bond, although they are not related. There is Damien, the gay student, who unfortunately has to be friends with these people. He is the one guy I would hang out if I went to this school:) Well – Erik too..but we would be doing more than hanging out.
Then there is the roommate, Kenny Chesney obsessed, Stevie Rae. Oh Stevie Rae, why couldn’t you have picked a new name..and a new personality. Stevie Rae is the best friend who is always there to help, perky, always in your face. She wouldn’t last one day with a vampire in any other book.
Zoey stands out at school because her Mark is fully formed, something not usually seen in fledglings. No one seems to know the reason for this. Zoey also realizes after attending a ritual, that her powers far exceed any of her classmates.
Aphrodite is on track to become high priestess but Zoey realizes she is only out to please herself and would not make a very good unselfish high priestess. Zoey takes it upon herself to embrace her full powers and take the place of high priestess that is rightfully hers and take that bitch Aphrohorny down. I was hoping for a big fight at the end, but it was a big let down.
I know there are well, smart written YA books out there, I have read many of them. YA holds a special appeal to teens and adults alike because they can confront issues that teens face and be cleverly written to their adult audience. This book was neither. I have talked to some people that say book two is much better and I have seen lots of buzz and excitement over Tempted, the next in the series, so maybe there is something to this series. I don’t think I will stick around to find out.
I will leave you with a quote that sums up the book, Zoey to Stevie Rae:
“ohmygod! Stevie Rae! You scared the poo out of me!”
Bloody cough, where are you!!
Rating: 2 Stars
This series includes:
Marked – May 1, 2007
Betrayed – October 2, 2007
Chosen – March 4, 2008
Untamed – September 23, 2008
Hunted – March 10, 2009
Tempted – October 27, 2009
Visit The House of Night Website.