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on 7 May 2011
Marked was a great read with a fun character, Kara, who used to live a rather mundane life that consisted of painting and eating ice-cream all the time before she's hit by a bus and dies. Waking up she finds herself in an elevator, light engulfing her as she's taken to Orientation. Pretty soon it becomes clear: prior to her birth, Kara was marked and now she's dead and alone in Heaven, waiting for her apprenticeship to begin. David is supposed to teach her how to be a guardian angel, which is the responsible position of leading souls safely to where they're supposed to go. Now that Kara would rather leave to someone she feels is more suited for the task, like David.

David does his job well, and soon Kara realised she likes him more than she should, which is a major distraction because something's wrong. You see, Kara is supposed to save mortals from demons who feed on their souls. But instead, of saving the ones she's supposed to save, Kara keeps drawing demons to her, risking both her and the mortals' souls.
It seems the angels were not the only ones who marked Kara. David and Kara are running out of time in their endeavours to find out what's going on before Kara is lost forever.

Marked is original, well-written and surprisingly easy to follow and to get into, which I didn't expect given the strong need for world building due to the ethereal setting and fantasy elements. I liked the voice (Kara picking a sword because it sparkles and is pretty was so funny). It's also a fast-paced story, and it's certainly very refreshing to see something that hasn't been done before. The story kept me guessing until the very end. I couldn't put it down. The romance elements were laden with chemistry. I hope there's going to be a sequel soon. I recommend this one to all YA and fantasy readers.
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on 5 May 2011
This is possibly the hardest review I've had to write. Not because the book was bad, in fact I was rather impressed by it. No, the reason that it's been hard to review is that it's closest book I've come to on this blog that could be classed as "chick-lit". It's unfamiliar territory for me.

But don't let this stop you from reading it! The majority of my blog's readers are male, but I would still say that they should consider this book. Especially if they are looking for a light, easy read.

But it doesn't matter how hard I found it to write the review, what matter is the book itself. I really did enjoy it, and the thing that stood out most was the afterlife. Apart from the fact that it was staffed by various primates, it was such an imaginative place that was really uplifting to read about. (And kind of made me jealous that I wasn't there...). It's interesting to think of heaven as a kind of office (albeit an odd office) where angels administer the world's affairs. I really enjoyed the scenes set in this Angel-Office, called Horizon, although it was interesting to note that while it was referred to by the names of various paradises - Heaven was not one of them.

With all books there a few things that I think could have been done differently, and I would say that I thought the beginning is a little too fast. The main character dies straight away, which is fine - the book is about her death, not her life - but then gets to work as a GA almost immediately. I felt that she should have had training before going out on a mission.

But Overall I found the book to be an enjoyable read, an easy read - it wasn't hard to follow, and a unique read. The plot, which I haven't spoken about much here, for fear of revealing too much, was interesting, and well-written. In an recent interview to promote my blog I stated that the best books are the ones that I'm disappointed to finish reading, and this one of those. The price of the eBook on amazon is currently £0.70/$1.14 (UK/US), and to be frank, I think that it's worth more than that. Actually, despite finding eBooks difficult to read, and despite having a paperback version, I payed the 70 pence for the kindle thing because I think the book is more than worth that. I find that I'm quite likely to read it again, and that I look forwards to the sequel.
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on 8 December 2013
Potential counts for nothing unless it is realised

The author has created a very interesting after-life known as Horizon with Guardian Angels tasked with saving the souls of humans who die. There are some clever ideas and this is a nice little story but oh, it could have been so very much more.

Perhaps the author is aiming at the YA market and thinks that such an audience cannot deal with descriptive passages? Clearly the popularity of Philip Pullman and JKR would prove that is not the case.

The story in Marked races along on the back of short lines of dialogue. There are countless opportunities for description, elaboration ..... but it's not there. It is almost as if Richardson was so desperate to get a great concept onto paper that she threw all her ideas out in a hurry before she lost them. This book could easily have been twice the length and would have been much more enjoyable for it.

I see from the author's biography that she has a background in the movie industry - perhaps that explains the way this was written, it's a bit like a stripped down script, all dialogue and very little else. I realise that I will be in the minority here, the book has many 5* reviews but if you're looking for a satisfying read you can get immersed in, this is not it.
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on 21 March 2012
I was given a Kindle as a Christmas present but was a bit reserved as I love books - as in paper books! Now however, I am finding more and more authors who should be on the Waterstones bookself. I bought this book because it was free, it sounded interesting and I wanted to try my kindle out without spending what I could already spend on a paperback or hardback, and in some outrageous cases more!

I was hooked by the first chapter! I won't give details about the book because others already have and the description I feel is enough to hook new readers, but I will say it was easy reading, had an interesting storyline and had likeable characters. I am studying a degree is English language and literature and so read what many class great books! Well if they are that great why do I get so board when I read them? This is not boring, it is well passed and I can see it appealing to a large audience. Thoroughly enjoyed this and shall be reading the other installments!
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on 1 April 2013
I couldn't put this book down and from page one I knew this would be a book I would finish within a day. I hated putting my kindle down for more than a few minutes to make a drink.

The action starts immediately. Kara, our protagonist, is racing towards her dream of becoming an artist...but she is late for the presentation. Running across a road she is splattered by a bus...and when she wakes in Horizon (Heaven-like place) we learn she was chosen to become a Guardian Angel. Her petty officer David soon becomes her friend and the not-quite-there romance between them is fun to read. At one point I did think the whole insta-love was going to happen and was pleasantly surprised when it didn't. Their relationship gradually builds....and then is thrown in to complications by a Demon Mark that appears on Kara's ankle, labeling her a traitor to angels, she must fight to prove her innocence and regain David's trust.

I enjoyed the pace of the story, how it all unravels piece at a time, and the extra surprises thrown in for fun. I wont say it was the most complicated plotline and some of it was predicable but with the fantastic standard of writing, the character voices clinging to your brain and begging to be read and the amazing descriptions and imagination you can easily forgive the straight forward plot.

I enjoyed Kara as a character. She was brave and not as whiny as the average teenage 'voice' in YA books and had a sense of independence that I really respected. Recently there have been a spate of books and writers that have created very weak female protagonists who cling to the male love interests and lose themselves. I am glad Kara is capable of looking after herself in times of battle. David was fun, flirty, with the typical young lad ego and it was fun listening to his jokes and care free attitude.

I enjoyed Marked and will soon be buying and reading the rest of the series. I hope they are all as good as this one.(
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on 24 August 2012
This book is a great read and is suitable for all ages . It had a really good plot and kept you hooked all the time. I would recommend this book to people who like fantasy however, I am not a great fan of fantasy and I still really enjoyed the book surely deserves a better price ; one of my favourite reads of the summer!!!!!!!

By Orla,12
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on 7 April 2012
I wont give any spoiers as i dont want to ruin the story.
This book is a great book and is full of twists and turns to keep your attention.
The main character is really likable and easy to relate to!

Overall buy this book, give it a read. I really liked it and at the price you cant go wrong!
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on 12 March 2013
Great story and concept, which is well written but I think the Author stretched the story over too many, short books. I'm reading on a mobile phone and the books average 250 pages and on a small screen, that's not many words at all, some pages just two paragraphs to give you an idea. The first book is free but I enjoyed it enough to purchase the next and I have just downloaded book 4 so the series will end up at quite a few pounds spent so not as good value as some I have read. Still, its good enough for me to swallow that and drain my bank account to find out where it ends. The book length is the reason this didn't get a fifth star from me, otherwise it would have had a top score.
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on 8 April 2013
I'm struggling to understand how this book got so many brilliant reviews. I hate to slam someone's hard work but I just don't see how this could have won an award!?

The plot does have potential but unfortunately it hasn't been fully developed enough. The main characters are a bit wish-wash and I didn't warm to them at all. Again, they had potential but were nothing of interest and didn't have anything new or exciting about them.

The story is quite juvenile - might be better for much younger readers, I.e early teens??

Hate to say it but the best thing about this book was the price... free.
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on 2 April 2012
This book was absolutely fantastic! The storyline was very original, and I love how the author mixed romance with action and adventure.

I was really able to relate with Kara, and I loved the arguments between her and the monkeys! Also, I sympathised with her. I won't spoil the plot for you, but when everything seems to go wrong for her in Horizon (The afterlife, or heaven) she really gains the reader's sympathy...

The plot is full of twists and turns too, which means that you cannot put the book down! The storyline is very fast-paced and gripping, and I loved the major twist about half way through the story. It certainly made the whole story turn upside down!

Overall, this is a fantastic book. If you're not sure whether you're going to like it, I advise that you should buy it. After all, you can always delete it if you don't like it. And anyway, I didn't think I'd like it, but boy was I wrong! The story is very unique and the characters are great!

Go on, give it a go!
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