Marked (House of Night #1) by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Rating: 2.5 stars
Rec for: People over 17, and vampire chick-lit.
First Line: Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse I saw the dead guy standing next to my locker.
Summary: When sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird gets Marked as a fledgling vampire she must join the House of Night school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change. But Zoe is no ordinary fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the Goddess Nyx and discovers her amazing new power to conjure the elements: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. When Zoey discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look within herself to embrace her destiny - with a little help from her new vampire friends.
Thoughts: I was in a wee bit of shock for the first couple of chapters of this book. The teenagers are just such teenagers it was almost painful. Drunk, back-stabbing, swearing, fornicating teenagers.
I wanted to put it down - mostly out of shock - but what kept me going was the universe. In the acknowledgements at the start of the book, P.C. Cast thanks her editor for the words "Vampire Finishing School" - and I have to thank her too. They have created a very unique universe in an already saturated genre; kind of Harry Potter meets Anne Rice. Admittedly, I had to suffer through a variety of excruciatingly boring religious rituals before I could bring myself to appreciate the verse. Not only are the rituals long and tedious, but they also form a pretty central part of the story. Which means skipping ahead is a no-no if you want to understand what on earth is going on.
So, having said that, what did I enjoy? Well, the main character, Zoey, is a pretty likable gal who honestly wants to do what is right. Had we gone to school together, I would have really liked her - even though on paper she is a rather typical heroine. Her gang of merry men are also pretty adorable - and YAY for a gay teenager (her buddy Damien) being featured in a popular YA novel. Also, the token nemesis, Aphrodite, is extraordinarily villainous (although no where near as bad as Monica from the Morganville Series).
All in all, it was an OK book. A lot of potential in the series, so Betrayed is already in my basket!