Sunday, January 11, 2009

P.C. & Kristen Cast - Marked (Book Review)

Note: Dannie has answered our Smugglivus post in which we offered to take another reviewer, and she is now acting as our apprentice of some sort. :) Judging by her taste in books, she'll contribute urban fantasy and horror reviews mostly, and will jump in whenever the original team is too busy with other things.

"Marked" (Amazon: US, UK)
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Griffin (May 1, 2007)
In 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres not only exist but are also tolerated by humans. Those whom the creatures "mark" as special enter the House of Night school where they will either become vampyres themselves, or, if their body rejects the change, die. To Zoey, being marked is truly a blessing, though she's scared at first. She has never fit into the human world and has always felt she is destined for something else. Her grandmother, a descendant of the Cherokee tribe, has always supported her emotionally, and it is she who takes the girl to her new school. But even there the teen stands apart from the others. Her mark from the Goddess Nyx is a special one, showing that her powers are very strong for one so young. At the House of Night, Zoey finds true friendship, loyalty, and romance as well as mistrust and deception. She realizes that all is not right in the vampyre world and that the problems she thought she left behind exist there as well. (Yeah, I admit - Amazon helped me a bit with this summary.)


While I do admit to the premise being interesting, despite the basic Harry Potter spin (Kid despises family, whisked away to magical school), this book is by far the worst vampyre (or, as the authors prefer, vampyre) novel I have ever, in my entire life, had the misfortune of reading. I would describe it as one of the more unfortunate instalments of Gossip Girl, except all the dialogue is unrealistic and all the characters are vampyres. But wait! They don't drink blood to create new vampyres. Instead, they appear at random places and moments of time and create these 'fledglings' by saying a corny incantation which makes a blank crescent moon appears on some kids forehead. Yeah, these are the joys of a vampyre's life.

Let's look at the horrible inner and outer dialogue:
  1. Overuse of the whole "out-of-quotation" exclamation mark ("Quote", imagine how silly that would be!) - I don't know why, but it bugs me. A lot.
  2. Use of the words 'yummy' and 'hateful'. Again, these are teenagers, like, 17 year olds. I have not said 'yummy' since I was seven, and I don't know anyone who uses 'hateful' in everyday conversation.
  3. Painfully corny, down to the facial expressions.
  4. It's a mother-daughter writing team. Need I say more?
  5. It could basically pass as a long children's book, if it weren't for the clumsy addition of stereotypical gay placement and unrealistic whoring around.
In addition, the character development is like a bad piece of fan fiction. The main protagonist's shaky narrative is only stood-off by the misplaced addition of extremely detailed description of her Cherokee facial features and annoyingly cheesy vampyric rituals. She seems to be unable to describe the world around her unless she's staring into a mirror or discussing all the guys she could screw, which might just be the ultimate example of ego brushing, if I've ever seen one.

Another thing you might notice is that people are mentioned that you'd think would be important, such as Zoey's biological brother and sister. They are referred to once in the first novel as a junior and senior, one's a slut and one's a meat-headed jock, and that's the end of it. Not even on the oh-so irksome 'Parent Day' are they mentioned. You'd think something like this would be explored upon, but maybe the two authors just sort of hoped their readers would forget about it.

And, if none of this were enough, apparently every celebrity you love (or hate) are---wait for it---VAMPYRES as well. Very publicly so. Every genius in history, every country singer, every socialite. All. Vampyres. Again, the writing duo seems to think that misplaced, awkward pop-culture references will make up for their lack of personal and social skills.

Overall, it could have been written by a sexually depraved, teen drama obsessed sixteen year old. It might have been something far more enjoyable, but alas, in "Marked", P.C. and Kristen disappoint (and in the following three novels as well, might I add). It's a nice idea, but not nice enough to actually waste time on.

- Danielle -


thebooksmugglers said...

How cool, you got another reviewer!

Dannie said...

AHH! I wrote that! WOOT!

ThRiNiDiR said...

Welcome Danielle, it's good to have you here.


Hagelrat said...

yowser. Won't be bothering with that then. Excellent review.

Thea said...

Congrats to all of you guys, and welcome to Dannie!

Wonderful, snarky review :) I've always seen these books in the YA section and have kinda wanted to pick them up...but having been burned by Twilight (lol, you know what's up Trin), I never really had much incentive to buy the series. It looks kind of corny. And, lo and behold, it is! Thanks for the heads up on this one--I'll make sure to stay away.

Dannie said...

Oh, God, I thought craft was the cheesiest :)

Serious, beware. Cheese is fattening. :P

Anonymous said...

I could not possibly agree more. I tried reading it.. well forced myself to get a good 100 pages or so into the book and when absolutely nothing climactic happened I threw it aside. What's up with the way she just passes out whenever anything important happens? And as a 17 year old... I'm offended.

Anonymous said...

This book isnt suppose to be realistic at ALL, its a fiction! that means not real! so therefore its not going to be realistic. obviously u have no imagination whatsoever, & some people from different states & different backgrounds talk in a different kind of "teen lingo" then what ur just use to. i have said yummy many times & i am 18. this book is good & i cant wait til it becomes a movie or a show bcuz i guarantee it will. so quit hating & get an imagination.

Anonymous said...

I forced myself to read Marked, and I agree with the review. It was a crappy stereotypical piece of work. I'm 17 years old, and I don't know anyone my age that is like that, being a whore in a novel is one thing, but to make her the main character? I prefer a main character who is more relateable. Yeah, it's fiction and the aspect of the book certainly is interesting, but its overdone and the writing style is completely juvenile.


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