Thursday 23 April 2009

MARKED by P.C & Kristin Cast

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 first book in P.C. & Kristin Cast's House of Night series is a refreshing addition to both the YA and vampire genre.

Zoey starts out as an average teenager with a self-involved best friend and a loser boyfriend with an annoying habit of getting drunk. She doesn't seem to fit in, not even with her family. The day she's Marked at school, her friends' and family's true colours shine through and she realises that she has to leave. So, she goes to the only person she feels she can trust - her grandmother.

Except, she hadn't counted on catching the attention of a goddess, and wakes up in the House of Night.

I loved the concept of this story. Not just that kids who were going through the Change - fledgings - had to move into the House of Night and leave their human lives behind, but the way the vampire myth has been altered into something exciting and unique. I also loved the use of the goddess Nyx, how cats interact and fit into the story, and the detailed world building.

Zoey is a great narrator. Her voice was honest and simple, even though she's constantly physically changing as much as her new life.

In the House of Night she finally starts to feel like she fits in. She meets a bunch of what turn out to be real friends, an alluring, mysterious hottie who everyone wants but seems to be interested in her, and has to come to terms with just how different the powers she's been blessed with are to others her age.

This intriguing book kept me interested from start to finish. I'm fascinated by the seeds that have been sown and will no doubt continue into the other books. I'm really looking forward to finding out more about Zoey, the other very interesting fledgings, and the dark mystery that starts in Marked.

There are a lot of great things about this book, and once you've read this one, you'll be as anxious as I am to get the next installments...

Marked, May 2009, ISBN 1905654316, Orbit Paperback

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