8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Marked: Number 1 in series: 1/6 (House of Night) (Paperback)
I approached this book somewhat warily. It was my suspicion that it would be a rip off of the success of the highly successful Twilight Saga (which I thoroughly enjoyed). The cover led me to believe this would perhaps be a cheaper, tackier version of the series. However, when a friend bought the book for me as a birthday gift, I decided to give it a try.
Despite my own reservations, I had heard positive things about the series from friends and was fully prepared to give it a chance. I didn't warm to the character of Zoey, who I found irritating and slightly unrealistic. I also found the constant use of the word "Hell!", presumably for effect, began to grate on me after a while. Still, I persevered, determined to complete the book.
I found the writing style slightly awkward somehow. In addition to this, I thought the dialogue just didn't ring true for characters of this age (16-18). However, on the plus side, I found the characters of Zoey's friends mildly interesting and very likeable. And yet, there was still something I didn't believe. P.C and Kirsten Cast have tried it seems, with all the best intentions, to create a new fictional world which is not as I suspected a rip off of Twilight. However, to me it all seems a little contrived and perhaps incorrectly targeted. To my mind, this is a story for the 9-12 market dressed up with occasional swearing, unnecessary reference to drink/drugs and pointless sexual content none of which entirely works to make it appeal to the teen market. However, this is a market not easily fooled. Any teenager can spot a book which sadly is trying too hard to appeal to them and also can spot a protagonist not only wishing to tell a story but to channel a message, in this case about drink/drugs (Zoe sometimes sounds as if words have been put into her mouth a little).
The other characters seem only to be props on which to hold up a fairly uninteresting plot. Particularly poor Aprohdite, whom I almost feel sorry for. Being cast as the popular-blonde-cheerleader-who-in-reality-everyone-actually-hates can't be easy.
The "cliffhanger" ending is a rather obvious attempt to get the reader straight down to their local bookshop buying the next installment, however, it left me wanting to re-read the Twilight series.
Saying all this, this book wasn't entirely awful (hence the three stars). It was in parts entertaining and although I didn't rate it particularly, I didn't struggle to finish it. For a long journey it wouldn't be a bad read, however, it wouldn't be something I'd spend your money on. If you're curious, biding your time waiting for another series of the quality of Twilight/ Harry Potter, aged between 13 and 16 and have access to a library, then go for it. Otherwise, be satisfied in knowing you haven't missed much.