Marked (House of Night 1)
- PC and Kristin Cast
Publisher: UK – Atom
When sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird gets Marked as a fledgling vampire she must join the House of Night school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change. But Zoe is no ordinary fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the Goddess Nyx and discovers her amazing new power to conjure the elements: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. When Zoey discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look within herself to embrace her destiny - with a little help from her new vampire friends.
The House of Night phenomenon has largely passed me by up until now. What finally got me to pick up a book wasn’t all the hype surrounding the novels but PC Cast’s Parthelon series which I read earlier this year and adored. So what did I think of Marked, the first of the ongoing House of Night series? It was okay. It definitely feels like it’s aimed at younger readers and I think if I read this when I was a teen I would have loved it. However, I’m not. As such, I found some of the characters behaviour a little juvenile and well, teen. This isn’t a bad thing – after all they are sixteen. Between mother and daughter, PC and Kristin Cast have teen vernacular and speaking patterns down. But it’s been a while since I’ve had to worry about the bitchy clique in school and as such I found it hard to emphasise with the characters. It reminds me of the boarding school books I used to read - Trebizon and St Clares.
As ever PC Casts writing flows easily and I can easily picture the school, the marks on the 'vampryes' and Zoey’s life. Although on a couple of occasions I did feel a little preached at regarding teens taking drugs and drinking, behaviour to gays and underage sex – Zoey seems a little too goody-two-shoes regarding these issues. There seems to be plenty of story left to mine in furture books – Aphrodite’s visions, Nyx’s instructions, the ‘ghosts’ of the dead students and this intrigues me enough that I might pick up book two, Betrayed, some time, but I’m not rushing out for it today.
Recommended for fans of Vampire Diaries books and Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire. 6.5 out of 10