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.
by P.C. & KRISTEN CAST
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Painfully corny, down to the facial expressions.
- It's a mother-daughter writing team. Need I say more?
- 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.
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 -