Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast

I've always been a fan of P.C. Cast's Goddess books, so I thought I would try her and her daughter's YA series, The House of Night. As with many of the YA series available right now, the main character is a vampire, and Marked is her struggle from becoming a vampire to starting to find herself.

In Marked, vampyres (spelled with a y, and not an i) are made by being marked with an outline of a crescent moon. Full vampyres, if they survive "the Change", end up with a fully colored moon, as well as intricate and unique tattoos around the face and eyes. Vampyres are a part of normal society; it's almost a given that you will know one. Many of the famous actors and actresses are vampyres (any of them with talent and a copious dash of good looks), and this is taken as fact by the normal populace. Being marked comes with a price, however. The main character, Zooey, must leave her normal life and family behind to move in to the House of Night where she will train to become a vampyre, or she will die.

Many people equate this series to Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, full of teen angst. While the angst does exist, the spiritual quest of the main character is what sets it apart for me and gives it a more adult feel. Nyx, the Greek Goddess of the Night, is the patron goddess of the vampyres, and she speaks specifically to Zooey, urging her to be her eyes and ears. This is definitely a hard task for a teenage girl who is surrounded by catty classmates, too cute boys, and a blossoming bloodlust. The school is well thought out with it's nighttime classes, which includes fencing and equestrian lessons instead of the typical gym class, and health food in order to keep the young fledgling vampyres in tip-top shape. Each of them has a mentor to guide them through the process, and a roommate in which to confide.

A quick, fun ride, with a steamier, stormier edge than many of the YA books on the market, Marked is definitely worth a read. And if you like it, move on to Betrayed, it's sequel.

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