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MARKED (HOUSE OF NIGHT, BOOK #1) BY P.C. CAST & KRISTIN CAST: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, December 30, 2011

P.C Cast
Kristin Cast
Marked
House of Night, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

This is the first installment of the House of Night series about a boarding school for kids that are in the process of changing into vampyres (yes that’s how they spell it).

Zoey is a 16 year old girl that lives with her mom, preppy cheerleader sister, and her step-father, or as Zoey calls him, step-loser (can’t you feel the love?).  Her best friend is egotistical Kayla and Zoey’s boyfriend, Heath, has started drinking lately, causing her to rethink their relationship.

One day Zoey and Kayla are walking down the hall at school talking when Zoey sees a vampyre tracker at her locker.  He points at her and marks her as a vampyre.  Kayla instantly starts treating her differently.  Although Heath says, the mark changes nothing between them.

Her parents don’t take the news so well and start planning an intervention of sorts, as if there is anything they could do to stop her body from changing.  Zoey sneaks out and goes to the one place she always feels safe and loved– her grandma’s house.

When she gets there, she finds a note on the door that her grandma isn’t in the house, but out collecting wildflowers.  So, Zoey heads out to find her.  On her way she falls and hits her head on something, but sees a vision she thinks is from the Cherokee ancestors her grandma talks to.  The vampyre goddess, Nyx, talks to her and tells her that she will be her eyes and ears.

When Zoey awakens her grandma is looking over her and she is in a strange room.  Her grandmother saw her mark and brought her to the House of Night, a boarding school for vampyre fledglings.  Zoey’s mark has changed; it’s now filled in, making it look like the mark of an adult vampyre.

The vampyre High Preistess Neferet is her mentor and shows her the school and shows her where she’ll be living now.  She sees a handsome boy, she later learns is Erik, and a bitchy girl that lives in her dorm, Aphrodite, who happens to be Erik’s ex who hasn’t come to grips with that reality yet.  She also meets her roommate, Stevie Rae and her friends, Damien, Shaunee, and Erin, all of whom Zoey adores.

Aphrodite makes it clear from the beginning that she’s in charge and that nothing will be pleasant while she’s around.  Aphrodite is also the leader of the Dark Daughters, a private club at the school.  Zoey doesn’t want to go, but her mentor knows about the invitation so she has to go or risk disappointing her.  And as you can expect, Aphrodite has some tricks up her sleeve, having Zoey drink out of her goblet of wine that has had blood mixed in with it.  The other fledglings have gotten sick the first time they drank blood and Aphrodite wanted the same result from Zoey.  Instead, Zoey really liked the taste until she found out what it was!

Zoey later realizes that Aphrodite only invited her so that she would reject the group so that Aphrodite would look like the nice one in all of this.  Zoey decides that there must be a way to get Aphrodite out of her leadership role and decides to join the Dark Daughters.

With her friends and Erik by her side, Zoey sets out on an adventure to change how things are run at the school, at least where the Dark Daughters are concerned.  But Heath shows up at the worst possible time and finds himself in a life or death situation that threatens Erik’s life as well.  Aphrodite will do nothing to help them, so it’s up to Zoey to save the day.

I honestly was expecting a lot more from this book.  I’ve heard good things about it, but was disappointed..it just seemed like it was meant for a much younger audience.  The plot seemed very obvious and there were no big twists or surprises.  Not to mention the spelling of “vampyres” drove me insane!

Zoey had a bad homelife now that her step-loser was there, but the way her life changed when she was marked was a little too perfect for my tastes.  She had the unusual mark that everybody was interested in, her roommate and friends took her into their little group right away, the high priestess that never takes on kids is her mentor, the hot guy in school likes her, and she discovers she has unusual powers.  It’s just a little too peaches and cream if you ask me and really unrealistic…as if anything in this genre is realistic, but I think you get my point.

I’ve heard to keep reading this series that it gets better, but I honestly don’t know if I will.  I won’t be rushing out to read the next one …but maybe down the line if I have nothing better to do I might pick it up.  But no promises.

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