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Marked: House of Night Series, Book 1 Audible – Unabridged

3.7 out of 5 stars 1,003 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

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By Tamela Mccann VINE VOICE on March 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Early on in my reading of Marked, I wasn't at all sure I would like this young adult novel. The story of Zoey Redbird, a sixteen year old girl who is unhappy at home, becoming "marked" as a fledgling vampyre, just seemed a bit forced. I wanted to feel a part of her story but her angst was overwhelming and I couldn't really see where the plot was headed. However, about midway through, the book picked up steam and by the last few chapters, I was eagerly turning the pages in order to find out how Zoey's unusual powers would manifest and where it all would lead.

Marked is an imaginative take on vampyres, weaving "old" pagan religious themes throughout and incorporating ancient history into its background. I liked the idea of a society where vampyrism is openly known and accepted, and I liked the School of Night where fledgling vampyres are taken for further training. I loved Zoey's learning to accept herself and step up as a leader at the school, and even the cursing seems realistic. What I didn't like was the obvious prejudice against traditional religion, and the "mini-sermons" we receive early on against drugs, drinking, and oral sex from Zoey's point of view. I liked Zoey's friends but felt that her acceptance into such a tight group so immediately didn't ring true, and I had to wonder at just why Erik, the hot young vampyre, was so attracted so quickly to Zoey. There are also some very lucky coincidences, such as Zoey's Native American grandmother having taught her purification rites which come in very handy. Thankfully these annoyances were overcome by the general storytelling and the excitement of the last half of the book.

Marked is the first in the series and I'll definitely be looking for the next two.
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Format: Paperback
I think these books might have been better if I were still in high school. But probably not. Sadly, once I finished the first book I had to know what happened, just for completion of the story, so I read the next two, thinking that the writing might get better. Nope. So now I'm just going to stop reading. The plot is not bad, though slightly reminiscent of Harry Potter, only with vampires. It's the main character who kills it. Zoey is an annoying mix of ditz and goody-goody. She's supposed to be this intelligent Chosen one who is special and different than everyone else, yet she is no different than the rest of the blandly babbling teenagers you see in stereotypical high school movies or books. BLAH. P.C. Cast's daughter says she went over the writing to make it sound like a teenager. Well, I don't know what teenagers she knew or what she was like as one, but at times I actually found myself cringing in annoyance at Zoey and her ditzy blather. Not to mention the fact that she says, as one other reviewer points out, that she doesn't fit in, yet she is dating the star quarterback in the beginning, and soon meets the most popular boy at vampire school, who is likewise smitten. This all might make more sense if she was believably characterized as being different and intriguing, not like other teenagers. As it is, I can't understand why anyone would pick her out of the rest of the rabble. Everyone in this book sounded like middle schoolers, not sixteen-almost-seventeen-year-olds. Also, after three of these books, you will find yourself wanting to scream after hearing her mention her love of brown pop the millionth time. Bottom line: don't bother reading these. It's too annoying.
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Format: Paperback
I wrote a review, and yet Amazon somehow ate it, so let's try again.

The novel is okay - it's well written enough. The main character has some interesting ways of describing things. But it's not as good as it could be. Specifically:

- The main character is a Mary Sue. From the beginning, she's special, special, special - she's part Cherokee, she's beautiful, everybody loves her, she's got an awesome facial tattoo that fills itself in by magic, and she doesn't have a single negative trait that would spoil the impression that she's anything but perfect. She's also got a magic cat.

- Her friends are essentially the cast of the first season Real World. There's the Black Girl, the Gay Guy, and even the Okie Girl. They have no traits, but chirp at each other amusingly in order to seem like the world's most wonderful friends.

- There's some religious bigotry in that all of the pagans are absolutely perfect, handsome, Byron-spouting Goths - more of that wish fulfillment - and all of the people who belong to the Old Religion are a bunch of hypocritical, patriarchal jerks. This is the kind of simpleminded thinking that most writers outgrow around the age of sixteen or so; not so much here.

- The antagonists are simply evil without having any other personality traits. There's some vague mutterings about how the evil girl is "set up" towards the end, but nothing that makes her more a cartoon.

You could find better pagan fiction, better vampire fiction, better high school fiction - the writing is technically good, but I would say that the series needs to get seriously deep or it'll remain a layer of wish-fulfillment frosting over an empty cake.
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