Title: Marked (House of Night #1)
Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Paperback: 306 pages
Published: May 1st 2007 by St. Martin’s Griffin
My Rating: 0/5 Stars
Summary (From Goodreads):
After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)
As you can probably tell from the rating, I am less than impressed with this book. The writing style, the Mary Sue-ness of the main characters, the attempts at bringing in mythology – they all failed.
Trouble is, the concept is amazing. I genuinely love the idea of a vampire boarding school and the fact that they may not survive the Change is something I like. The whole ‘Cats choose you’ feels a little like ‘The wand chooses the wizard, Mr Potter’, but I’ll take it.
So my first problem: The vamps are not explained. It seems like they are just there and society hates them, but nothing is ever done about it. If it was:
a) That they were loved or
b) They were hated and thrown out of society completely, it might be more believable, but there is a really odd relationship between ‘Everyone hates us’ and ‘We’re all famous’. I really don’t understand the relationship between humans and vampires in this book and it’s annoying.
Also, why do people randomly get marked in the middle of the day? Why not be sent to the school as soon as you’re born and people figure that you’re not human? Beats me, I tell ya.
The next problem: Zoey. Blooming. Redbird. Enough said.
Actually, not enough said because oh dear lord is she annoying.
Stereotypical ‘Bad Girl’, yet we see absolutely no evidence to support this. In fact, until she informed us of this, I was under the impression that she was the good kid at school. Apparently not.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, Zoey is also STUNNINGLY good looking and being a vamp just brings out her BEAUTY. Did I mention that she has been gifted with special powers by the GODDESS NYX HERSELF?
Everyone falls over their feet to help Zoey and anyone who potentially doesn’t (Aphrodite – seriously, what a name) is automatically a bad person and shouldn’t be trusted.
I could forgive all of the above if Zoe was even the tiniest bit likeable. But no, she’s stupid, immature and all-round detestable. For example:
She wasn’t thin like the freak girls who puked and starved themselves into what they thought was Paris Hilton chic. (“That’s hott.” Yeah, okay, whatever, Paris.)
Eating disorders are NOT a laughing matter and I don’t care whether it is the authors or the character who are misinformed, that is disgraceful. These books are in school libraries and plenty of children who potentially have eating disorders could pick them up and feel ashamed of themselves for an illness that is out of their control.
Worse, they may feel that it is a ‘cool’ thing to do, which is awful. Considering the series is aimed at ‘tweens’, that is a terrible message to be giving out.
There is also something that I would consider inappropriate for the age range in the book; however others may disagree, so I’ll leave that part out.
And the slut-shaming is uncalled for and unnecessary. Apparently wearing tight clothes, having blonde hair and wearing lots of makeup make you a tramp. God forbid you want to kiss a guy in public!
You would also never catch Zoey saying ‘S**t’ either, because only losers say that. Instead she says ‘Poopie’.
Now, in my experience as a living, breathing, teenagers: all of them say ‘S**t’. No one, and I mean no one would be caught dead saying that. It’s embarrassing.
Insta-love is yet another huge problem. Sure, I can understand Zoey and Erik falling in love SLOWLY over the course of the book series, but they kiss within a week of knowing each other (which, btw, makes Zoey think that she’s a slut). Just…no.
Love triangles are overdone as it is. We do not need the Aphrodite/Erik/Zoey love triangle, nor do we need the Erik/Zoey/Heath love triangle.
Whilst we’re on the subject of love, I understand that the authors are trying to be diverse by including Damien the gay vampire, but he feels like a token and that’s not okay.
And now, the names.
The mythology references were cringeworthy. Starting with the worst:
Aphrodite – The Greek goddess of beauty and love has been demoted to a highschool bitch
Erik Night – We do not need a cliché vampire metaphor, thank you very much
Damien – Very close to Damon. As in Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. Just a thought
Thor – What.
Did any of you hate this book as much as I did?
P.s. Who the heck spells it vampyre anyway?