I started Marked last year when I was waiting for my husband in the library. I wandered around the bookshelves looking for something to occupy me for an hour and I found Marked.
Its really beautifully written and I quickly became absorbed in the story, forgetting I was in a noisy library (I know, where are all the shhh-ing librarians?) surrounded by people, until my phone vibrated in my pocket telling me that my hubby was on his way. I was a good chunk of the way through this book, but for whatever reason I decided to put it back on the shelf. I soon came to regret this decision, the story lingered in my mind and every time I went back to the library I tried to borrow it, but each time someone else had it, so I gave up…until recently!
I needed to get my library card renewed and I found the book in the library, well a kind librarian did, I couldn’t find the right section, but hazzah, I finally got to finish the story over a year since I started it!
So Marked is written by PC and Kristen Cast, who are a mum and daughter team. Before the story there are acknowledgements where PC thanks Kristen for her insight into being a teenager. This is obviously super sweet and I wondered after I read it, if this is the reason I got sucked in so easily – because it was realistically written by someone of that age, who knows.
Anyway Marked is a new take on the vampirism mythology. In the story becoming a vamp isn’t chosen, its been proven by scientists that its random, something in your genes. Vampire trackers travel the world sensing teenagers who have the “illness” and when the time is right they will mark them with a crescent moon on their forehead. The Marked then have to get to their closest House of the Night, which is basically a “finishing school” for vamps, but also a safe place.
The children who are marked change a little bit immediately, they become paler and dislike the sun and if they don’t get to the House of the Night quickly they could die. That being said, it turns out that not everyone is suited to being a vampire, so despite being within the safety of the House, you may still die if your body isn’t strong enough for the change into full bloodsucker.
The Marked kids are called fledglings and spend the next few years of their life in the House, studying vampire history, fencing and horse riding, among other things, taking part in rituals and making friends. Of course they go to school at night and sleep during the day.
Other elements to this world include a main religion, which sounds more like a cult and seem to believe that if you get marked it’s because you’ve sinned, not that you’ve got a special gene. These people think that they are the good in the world and the fledglings and vamps are the bad.
The vampires are also quite religious and worship a goddess call Nyx, the Greek goddess or personification of night. The House is pretty matriarchal, but there are guy fledglings as well who take all the same study subjects, but that are trained as protectors rather than leaders.
A few of our characters have a deep emotional connection with the deity Nyx, some even believing she marked them to help them escape horrible situations. Oh, and vampirism in this world isn’t a deep dark secret – a lot of famous people are vampires; singers, actors etc, and everyone knows! I thought that was a pretty cool twist.
So in this story we follow Zoey as she becomes marked and goes to live in the House of the Night. Zoey leaves behind a family, including an incredible sounding spiritual grandma, and a few friends. We follow her journey of a new life and acceptance, which is made especially hard because her mark isn’t the same as everyone else’s, its slightly further developed for a brand new fledgling, which makes fitting in a bit more difficult and it looks like Nyx has a special plan for our leading lady.
I love the description around the school and the rituals are especially detail rich which I adore. I will definitely be reading the entire series, it should be awesome!
Have you read this book? What did you think?
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