Marked (House of Night Series #1)

Marked (House of Night Series #1)

by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast

Paperback(First Edition)

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The House of Night series by bestselling authors P.C Cast and Kristin Cast is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire—that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312360269
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/2007
Series: House of Night Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 27,762
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.84(d)
Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

P.C. Cast is an award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance author, as well as an experienced speaker and teacher. With her daughter Kristin Cast, she is the author of the House of Night novels, including Awakened, Burned and Hunted. Cast was born in the Midwest, and as a girl fell in love with mythology. After high school, she joined the U.S. Air Force, then taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. Cast's novels are New York Times bestsellers and have been awarded the Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers' Best, and the Laurel Wreath. Ms. Cast lives in Oklahoma, where she is a member of the Oklahoma Writers' Hall of Fame. She splits her time between her ranch and midtown Tulsa where she has a home just down the street from the House of Night...

Kristin Cast has won awards for her poetry and journalism. She also lives in Oklahoma, where she attends college in Tulsa.

Read an Excerpt


Just when I thought my day couldn't get any worse I saw the dead guy standing next to my locker. Kayla was talking nonstop in her usual K-babble, and she didn't even notice him. At first. Actually, now that I think about it, no one else noticed him until he spoke, which is, tragically, more evidence of my freakish inability to fit in.

"No, but Zoey, I swear to God Heath didn't get that drunk after the game. You really shouldn't be so hard on him."

"Yeah," I said absently. "Sure." Then I coughed. Again. I felt like crap. I must be coming down with what Mr. Wise, my more-than-slightly-insane AP biology teacher, called the Teenage Plague.

If I died, would it get me out of my geometry test tomorrow? One could only hope.

"Zoey, please. Are you even listening? I think he only had like four—I dunno—maybe six beers, and maybe like three shots. But that's totally beside the point. He probably wouldn't even have had hardly any if your stupid parents hadn't made you go home right after the game."

We shared a long-suffering look, in total agreement about the latest injustice committed against me by my mom and the Step-Loser she'd married three really long years ago. Then, after barely half a breath break, K was back with the babbling.

"Plus, he was celebrating. I mean we beat Union!" K shook my shoulder and put her face close to mine. "Hello! Your boyfriend—"

"My almost-boyfriend," I corrected her, trying my best not to cough on her.

"Whatever. Heath is our quarterback so of course he's going to celebrate. It's been like a million years since Broken Arrow beat Union."

"Sixteen." I'm crappy at math, but K's math impairment makes me look like a genius.

"Again, whatever. The point is, he was happy. You should give the boy a break."

"The point is that he was wasted for like the fifth time this week. I'm sorry, but I don't want to go out with a guy whose main focus in life has changed from trying to play college football to trying to chug a six-pack without puking. Not to mention the fact that he's going to get fat from all that beer." I had to pause to cough. I was feeling a little dizzy and forced myself to take slow, deep breaths when the coughing fit was over. Not that K-babble noticed.

"Eww! Heath, fat! Not a visual I want."

I managed to ignore another urge to cough. "And kissing him is like sucking on alcohol-soaked feet."

K scrunched up her face. "Okay, sick. Too bad he's so hot."

I rolled my eyes, not bothering to try to hide my annoyance at her typical shallowness.

"You're so grumpy when you're sick. Anyway, you have no idea how lost-puppy-like Heath looked after you ignored him at lunch. He couldn't even . . ."

Then I saw him. The dead guy. Okay, I realized pretty quick that he wasn't technically "dead." He was undead. Or un-human. Whatever. Scientists said one thing, people said another, but the end result was the same. There was no mistaking what he was and even if I hadn't felt the power and darkness that radiated from him, there was no frickin' way I could miss his Mark, the sapphire-blue crescent moon on his forehead and the additional tattooing of entwining knot work that framed his equally blue eyes. He was a vampyre, and worse. He was a Tracker.

Well, crap! He was standing by my locker.

"Zoey, you're so not listening to me!"

Then the vampyre spoke and his ceremonial words slicked across the space between us, dangerous and seductive, like blood mixed with melted chocolate.

"Zoey Montgomery! Night has chosen thee; thy death will be thy birth. Night calls to thee; hearken to Her sweet voice. Your destiny awaits you at the House of Night!"

He lifted one long, white finger and pointed at me. As my forehead exploded in pain Kayla opened her mouth and screamed.

When the bright splotches finally cleared from my eyes I looked up to see K's colorless face staring down at me.

As usual, I said the first ridiculous thing that came to mind. "K, your eyes are popping out of your head like a fish."

"He Marked you. Oh, Zoey! You have the outline of that thing on your forehead!" Then she pressed a shaking hand against her white lips, unsuccessfully trying to hold back a sob.

I sat up and coughed. I had a killer headache, and I rubbed at the spot right between my eyebrows. It stung as if a wasp had bit me and radiated pain down around my eyes, all the way across my cheekbones. I felt like I might puke.

"Zoey!" K was really crying now and had to speak between wet little hiccups. "Oh. My. God. That guy was a Tracker—a vampyre Tracker!"

"K." I blinked hard, trying to clear the pain from my head. "Stop crying. You know I hate it when you cry." I reached out to attempt a comforting pat on her shoulders.

And she automatically cringed, and moved away from me.

I couldn't believe it. She actually cringed, like she was afraid of me. She must have seen the hurt in my eyes because she instantly started a string of breathless K-babble.

"Oh, God, Zoey! What are you going to do? You can't go to that place. You can't be one of those things. This can't be happening! Who am I supposed to go to all of our football games with?"

I noticed that all during her tirade she didn't once move any closer to me. I clamped down on the sick, hurt feeling inside that threatened to make me burst into tears. My eyes dried instantly. I was good at hiding tears. I should be; I'd had three years to get good at it.

"It's okay. I'll figure this out. It's probably some . . . some bizarre mistake," I lied.

I wasn't really talking; I was just making words come out of my mouth. Still grimacing at the pain in my head, I stood up. Looking around I felt a small measure of relief that K and I were the only ones in the math hall, and then I had to choke back what I knew was hysterical laughter. Had I not been totally psycho about the geometry test from hell scheduled for tomorrow, and had run back to my locker to get my book so I could attempt to obsessively (and pointlessly) study tonight, the Tracker would have found me standing outside in front of the school with the majority of the 1,300 kids who went to Broken Arrow's South Intermediate High School waiting for what my stupid Barbie-clone sister liked to smugly call "the big yellow limos." I have a car, but standing around with the less fortunate who have to ride the buses is a time-honored tradition, not to mention an excellent way to check out who's hitting on who. As it was, there was only one other kid in the math hall—a tall thin dork with messed-up teeth, which I could, unfortunately, see too much of because he was standing there with his mouth flapping open staring at me like I'd just given birth to a litter of flying pigs.

I coughed again, this time a really wet, disgusting cough. The dork made a squeaky little sound and scuttled down the hall to Mrs. Day's room clutching a flat board to his bony chest. Guess the chess club had changed its meeting time to Mondays after school.

Do vampyres play chess? Were there vampyre dorks? How about Barbie-like vampyre cheerleaders? Did any vampyres play in the band? Were there vampyre Emos with their guy-wearing-girl's-pants weirdness and those awful bangs that cover half their faces? Or were they all those freaky Goth kids who didn't like to bathe much? Was I going to turn into a Goth kid? Or worse, an Emo? I didn't particularly like wearing black, at least not exclusively, and I wasn't feeling a sudden and unfortunate aversion to soap and water, nor did I have an obsessive desire to change my hairstyle and wear too much eyeliner.

All this whirled through my mind while I felt another little hysterical bubble of laughter try to escape from my throat, and was almost thankful when it came out as a cough instead.

"Zoey? Are you okay?" Kayla's voice sounded too high, like someone was pinching her, and she'd taken another step away from me.

I sighed and felt my first sliver of anger. It wasn't like I'd asked for this. K and I had been best friends since third grade, and now she was looking at me like I had turned into a monster.

"Kayla, it's just me. The same me I was two seconds ago and two hours ago and two days ago." I made a frustrated gesture toward my throbbing head. "This doesn't change who I am!"

K's eyes teared up again, but, thankfully, her cell phone started singing Madonna's "Material Girl." Automatically, she glanced at the caller ID. I could tell by her rabbit-in-the-headlights expression that it was her boyfriend, Jared.

"Go on," I said in a flat, tired voice. "Ride home with him."

Her look of relief was like a slap in my face.

"Call me later?" she threw over her shoulder as she beat a hasty retreat out the side door.

I watched her rush across the east lawn to the parking lot. I could see that she had her cell phone smashed to her ear and was talking in animated little bursts to Jared. I'm sure she was already telling him I was turning into a monster.

The problem, of course, was that turning into a monster was the brighter of my two choices. Choice Number 1: I turn into a vampyre, which equals a monster in just about any human's mind. Choice Number 2: My body rejects the Change and I die. Forever.

So the good news is that I wouldn't have to take the geometry test tomorrow.

The bad news was that I'd have to move into the House of Night, a private boarding school in Tulsa's Midtown, known by all my friends as the Vampyre Finishing School, where I would spend the next four years going through bizarre and unnameable physical changes, as well as a total and permanent life shake-up. And that's only if the whole process didn't kill me.

Great. I didn't want to do either. I just wanted to attempt to be normal, despite the burden of my mega-conservative parents, my troll-like younger brother, and my oh-so-perfect older sister. I wanted to pass geometry. I wanted to keep my grades up so that I could get accepted into the veterinary college at OSU and get out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. But most of all, I wanted to fit in—at least at school. Home had become hopeless, so all I was left with were my friends and my life away from my family.

Now that was being taken away from me, too.

I rubbed my forehead and then messed with my hair until it semi-covered my eyes, and, with any luck, the mark that had appeared above them. Keeping my head ducked down, like I was fascinated with the goo that had somehow formed in my purse, I hurried toward the door that led to the student parking lot.

But I stopped short of going outside. Through the side-by-side windows in the institutional-looking doors I could see Heath. Girls flocked around him, posing and flipping their hair, while guys revved ridiculously big pickup trucks and tried (but mostly failed) to look cool. Doesn't it figure that I would choose that to be attracted to? No, to be fair to myself I should remember that Heath used to be incredibly sweet, and even now he had his moments. Mostly when he bothered to be sober.

High-pitched girl giggles flitted to me from the parking lot. Great. Kathy Richter, the biggest ho in school, was pretending to smack Heath. Even from where I was standing it was obvious she thought hitting him was some kind of mating ritual. As usual, clueless Heath was just standing there grinning. Well, hell, my day just wasn't going to get any better. And there sat my robin's egg-blue 1966 VW Bug right in the middle of them. No. I couldn't go out there. I couldn't walk into the middle of all of them with this thing on my forehead. I'd never be able to be part of them again. I already knew too well what they'd do. I remembered the last kid a Tracker had Chosen at SIHS.

It happened at the beginning of the school year last year. The Tracker had come before school started and had targeted the kid as he was walking to his first hour. I didn't see the Tracker, but I did see the kid afterward, for just a second, after he dropped his books and ran out of the building, his new Mark glowing on his pale forehead and tears washing down his too white cheeks. I never forgot how crowded the halls had been that morning, and how everyone had backed away from him like he had the plague as he rushed to escape out the front doors of the school. I had been one of those kids who had backed out of his way and stared, even though I'd felt really sorry for him. I just hadn't wanted to be labeled as that-one-girl-who's-friends-with-those-freaks. Sort of ironic now, isn't it?

Instead of going to my car I headed for the nearest restroom, which was, thankfully, empty. There were three stalls—yes, I double-checked each for feet. On one wall were two sinks, over which hung two medium-sized mirrors. Across from the sinks the opposite wall was covered with a huge mirror that had a ledge below it for holding brushes and makeup and whatnot. I put my purse and my geometry book on the ledge, took a deep breath, and in one motion lifted my head and brushed back my hair.

It was like staring into the face of a familiar stranger. You know, that person you see in a crowd and swear you know, but you really don't? Now she was me—the familiar stranger.

She had my eyes. They were the same hazel color that could never decide whether it wanted to be green or brown, but my eyes had never been that big and round. Or had they? She had my hair—long and straight and almost as dark as my grandma's had been before hers had begun to turn silver. The stranger had my high cheekbones, long, strong nose, and wide mouth—more features from my grandma and her Cherokee ancestors. But my face had never been that pale. I'd always been olive-ish, much darker skinned than anyone else in my family. But maybe it wasn't that my skin was suddenly so white . . . maybe it just looked pale in comparison to the dark blue outline of the crescent moon that was perfectly positioned in the middle of my forehead. Or maybe it was the horrid fluorescent lighting. I hoped it was the lighting.

I stared at the exotic-looking tattoo. Mixed with my strong Cherokee features it seemed to brand me with a mark of wildness . . . as if I belonged to ancient times when the world was bigger . . . more barbaric.

From this day on my life would never be the same. And for a moment—just an instant—I forgot about the horror of not belonging and felt a shocking burst of pleasure, while deep inside of me the blood of my grandmother's people rejoiced.

Copyright © 2007 by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast. All rights reserved.

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Marked (House of Night Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5549 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great, but Hypnotic by Marie E. wins this if it were a non series. Marked a great book also, love steve ray and the entire plot. I love craze movies that have some spicy occult in them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of these books so far (except the one not out yet obviously). These books are the first books that I have read in a very long time that had me on the edge of my seat. I was captivated from the very beginning. I love the characters and the way they seem to catch your attention. I love the way that in all these books you don't know who you want to root for.They all have the ability to make you love them then hate them then fall in love with them again. I absolutly love these books. I would recommend these to anyone who wants a great read!! I hope there will be many many more!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me because of how much I enjoyed the Twilight series. I was excited to begin the series, but was quickly regretting it. I had a hard time getting into this book, as it was clearly written for a younger audience. I realize that Twilight was as well, but I wasn't reminded of it while reading as I was with this book. However, about 2/3 through the book, the plot picked up and the maturity level didn't bother me as much b/c I was engrossed in the story. I couldn't wait to begin Betrayed, and read it in one day. Now I'm on to Chosen...hope they continue as they are.
EmmD More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this series to anyone. I bought the first one on my own and the second, third, and fourth books were presents. I finished all of them within a day, and I could not put them down! I'm eargerly awaiting the rest of the series. This is a must read!!
Imprinted More than 1 year ago
The book is a series killer! It made me want to read the whole series! It's relatable, fun, hilarious, and cute! There's friends, and enemies. Drama, love, comedy, and more all in one over 300 page book! Enjoy it, because I know you love vampires!
BookWormBaileys More than 1 year ago
I was a big fan of the Twilight series even though it is considered a teen book and I am 24. So I saw this House of Night series recommended by many who read the Twilight series as well. Although it is another teen series I thought I would give it a try anyways. I mean I read Twilight and I loved it. This book, althought I thought it would be hard to do, was very original in a seperate way from the other vampire series I read and loved. In a sense I like this one a whole lot better because it really gets you involved and intreged. It is beyond creative and just .. wonderful. I am a big reader and I love, love, love this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book I think I was just so eager to read it like everyone else because Its a series and curiosity kills. I love Fallen Angel too puts you in that craze.. would prefer it over this book , just my opinion. This is a good read too.
icequeen0808 More than 1 year ago
I'm in the middle of reading this book and so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed the thrill and adverture of the storyline. At first, though, I have to admit that the book jumped in really quockly for my tase but it has now slowed down to a nice pace that makes the book more enjoyable. The only real problem I have with this book is that at every turn the writer bashes the "People of Faith" who we all know refers to Christians in the real world. I have no problem with others having their opinions about other people but I rather not have those opinions slammed into my face repeatedly, escpically when reading a book. Either way, this book is overall enjoyable and a great read for anyone who was into the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Maximum Ride series (like I am :D)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Due to the amount of people who say this book is amazing, I expected it to be a lot better. The writing is like a terrible fan fiction. If it were a fan would be labeled as a "Mary Sue"....where the author is basically living out their fantasy through the story. This is a bad thing because the main character tends to be very unrealistic....and well...every character in this book seemed over the top. This book also had a lot of sexual content and strong language. It would've been fine if the author kept it reasonable, but this just made the book seem stereotypical high school. Anyway that is just my opinion and how I found the book to be. If you're interested in Marked, I recommend reading a couple chapters of it before you buy it.
holderbaugh More than 1 year ago
I started reading this series and was immediately hooked. P.C. Cast makes you get lost in the books with her excellent descriptions and witty story line. Kristin Cast helps to modernize these books, so that that most teens can relate to what is going on in the lives of the characters. I am currently reading the latest book Hunted in the series and cannot wait to see what is going to happen.
PsycoticBohemian More than 1 year ago
Being a 14 year old girl, I really enjoy female teen fiction, but this is ridiculous. I picked up this book thinking that Zoey would be a smart articulate girl, but I was disappointed to find that she was just another shallow character that authors write about to attract shallow teenage girls. If I had a nickel for every time the author discussed me with these ill developed characters, then I'd have enough money to buy the rights to the book and get a smart, articulate author to re-write it. I couldn't even get halfway through it! It was a library book so I took a sticky note and wrote "I lost five IQ points from reading this book" and put it on the cover page. Definitely a waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series, also love too crazy to live too beautiful to die another great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked reading this, I also go the 2nd one. Too Crazy To Live Too Beautiful To die, isn't a series, but its an amazing book too,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all of the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games books and loved them. This book was no disappointment, either. It grabbed me from the beginning, and kept me interested the entire time, from page 1 to the last. I loved this book, it was simply amazing!
books-r-my-heaven More than 1 year ago
When I first got a good look at this book in the Barnes and Nobles store I thought wow this book must be a Twilight copy because the whole Twilight movie section was right next to it. So I picked up the book and brought it home (don't worry I paid for it) and started reading.The first chapter was so awful that I put the book down for some months. Then I came back to the book and I read on and discovered that this is a fantastic book. I then realized that Twilight was no match for this series. The two authors make the book so breathtaking and make it so realistic in a way that anyone could become a vampyre. I couldn't stop after this book I read on and on with my mom even and the both of us got hooked onto this series, its really amazing! If anything just try reading the first couple of chapters and then you will see why Twilight just got beat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I forced myself to get through this book. I was looking for a quick, new book to read, so I didn't really expect it to be anything profound, but I thought it would be at least entertaining. I was definitely wrong. Within the first pages she's already a "vampyre", there was no depth at all to this book. The characters were very shallow, making teens seem stupid, using the word "poopie". I felt as though the authors were trying too hard to be "hip" and "with the times". Was the daughter telling her mother "Oh this is how teens talk these days! Put that!". Very poorly written and cliche.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't normally write reviews until I've finished reading a novel, but I cannot bring myself to get past the fifth chapter of Marked. Everything about this story feels so cliché and forced. I'm not one to stop reading a book just because the beginning is a little slow, but this is the one exception. Not only are the characters completely unrealistic, they're all very bland. As a huge fan of the Twilight series, and now of True Blood/Southern Vampire Mysteries, I really thought I would enjoy yet another take on vampires in modern society, but what I found was not only disappointing, it was just pathetic. The entire beginning of this story reminds of something I would have written in a high school creative writing course. Normally I would tell people to just read a story and see for themselves if they like it, but I want to spare you all the pain of suffering through this horrendous novel. Don't buy it, if you're still curious to read it, do yourself a favor and pick it up at the library for free.
TitiLilo More than 1 year ago
I was looking for something to read while I waited for my new Sookie Stackhouse series book to arrive and found this series. I thought it might be too young for me but to my surprise I really liked it. I love Zoey, her friends and the fact that it's a vampire series but not exactly like any other I've read (Note: I have not read the twilight series or seen the movie). I think it's a great series although I would not recommend for anyone under 16 because it has more sexual content than I expected. Just finished buying the rest of the series. I fell in love with the characters and can't wait to start reading #2.
Emily94 More than 1 year ago
"Marked" is not much of a book. The writing was not good at all; the authors barely described anything or used detailed imagery(which is usually nessicary for a book). The plot was okay. It seemed a bit too childish, a vampire school! How foolish. All of the odd, stupid ideas were just so puerile. Although I myself am a teenager and found absolutly nothing attractive about the book, I could understand why others enjoyed it (especially girls). Obviously it's because of the so called hot guys, kissing, and other inappropiate things that the average tennage girl seeks in a book. From the very first sentence, I knew this was an amature book. After the first page I felt like giving up, it was just too boring for me. It seemed as though the whole book was rushed, and the begining was just a lode of rushed, unexplained, non-understandable nonsense. Although many of my friends love the series, I definatly do not plan on reading the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book swears A LOT and is highly inapropriate for ALL ages. I would highly discouage reading it. I stopped on page 63.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The review I am putting is from a 14 year old so it won't be as descriptive as everyone else's.......THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!!!! It's got your action adventure, romance, and a hint Of funny! This is the ideal book to read (well maybe more so for teenage girls and up) I got hooked on this book the moment I hit pg1 and started read this is an awesome book. I HIGHLY recommend this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well, this book starts off with a lot of promise, but it just goes nowhere. the main character (zoey) is annoying and this book sounds like an adult desperately trying to sound like a teen. the ending is flat and boring. no real excitement, i must say. just a whole lot of lighting candles and talking. oooh, watch out! the action doesn't grow until book 3, and by that time, i was just about ready to strangle zoey.she just frustrates me, and she turns into a major slut. pardon my language. oh! and the language! can we get a book with no F-bombs in it nowadays??? obviously not, as basically there's an F-bomb every couple of pages. how effing lovely. take my advice,there are MUCH better books to buy.
attempting_elegance More than 1 year ago
This book had gotten such reviews, and I wanted to try out another vampire series, so I purchased it. I seriously regret doing so. Not only was the writing terrible, but the story itself was just silly in my opinion. I feel that the characters in the story are unlike real teenagers, except maybe very simpleminded ones. I would not recommend this to any of my friends, and when I see it in stores, I make sure to tell those that I'm with that it was an insanely disappointing and awful book. I suppose this is good for when you're bored, but honestly, you can find a better book. I haven't read a book this terrible in a long time. I also thought it was going to improve as I read more, but it really did not. If you're expecting another "Twilight", look somewhere else and spend your money on something worthwhile.
LookingCalifornia More than 1 year ago
The storyline of a vampire school and a very powerful yet clueless vampire fledgling in the style of Harry Potter is interesting, but the writing was weak. The authors' overuse of pop culture references and trendy catch phrases of today not only date the book but also rob it of its intended fantasy-like quality. Talking about Tom Cruise and Gossip Girl in every chapter makes the story too common and conventional, rather than creating that element of fantasy and mystery where the reader can be transported into another world. I also thought the book was a little preachy. The main character of Zoey mentions over and over how much she detests people of Faith and people who smoke, drink, wear dark eyemake, have sex, etc., all the while repeating how important it is to be accepting of alternative lifestyles, like homosexuality. I understand that the authors are trying to relate to teens, but as an adult, I found it quite hypocritical. The character development is pretty good with the exception of the male characters, who I found weak. The strongest character, Aphrodite, is written well and seems to have the best development and I feel that without her, this book and all the other books in this series would have been a complete bore. I actually found the story's issue of bloodlust intermingled with sexual lust very entertaining and thought it was an important ingredient for a story about vampires. Not all vampire stories mix the two, so I thought that was brilliant.
MissaStar More than 1 year ago
Marked is an awkward jumble of Harry Potter and Twilight themes rolled in to one book - with a horrible end result. The Casts' informal tone and awkward use of inappropriate words and phrases (such as cock, poopy, boobies, to name a few) make the cast of characters seem immature and irrelevant. The writing and choice vocabulary words hinder the story, which would have otherwise been interesting, making it somewhat ridiculous. Set in Oklahoma (like the Casts themselves), Marked is set at a vampyre finishing school. However, take away the vampyres, insert the poorly written dialogue and raunchy words, and insert the judgmental, shallow, and holier-than-thou "heroin" Zoey and you've got your typical high school story complete with cliques, best friends, and hot guys. The authors' constant references to being or sounding "Okie" or country and everything else relating to Oklahoma is dizzying and lacks imagination. It is clear that they set the story in Oklahoma because that is all they know - which is unfortunate. If the high school characters in Marked are any resemblance to the actual student population in Oklahoma, this book does nothing but paint a poor picture of the youth and education in Oklahoma. Based on the writing in this novel, I am appalled that P.C. Cast was (or is) an Oklahoma educator. What a poor standard of creative writing she has created. I hope her foul language and unimaginative style doesn't pass to her students. Skip Marked and opt for the hipper vampire series like Twilight, which actually is sexy, smart, and romantic as opposed to being raunchy and sloppy like this book.