Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

Review: Marked by P.C. Cast

Marked by P.C. Cast
(House of Night #1)

3.5 out of 5 stars
320 pages
Published by St. Martin’s Press

I picked this book up, expecting some kind of female Harry Potter, but this time with vampires (or “vampyres” as they are called in Marked).

Well, this book was nothing like that. It was somehow a lot more mystique, otherworldly. When Zoey “Marked” by a vampyre Tracker, she has to be sent to the House of Night, otherwise she will die a horrible death. Here she learns about vampyre society while she is changing. Here no one of the fledglings know if they will survive the change, or if their body will reject it.

I quite liked the House of Night and Cast’s concept of vampires. They worship the Goddess of the Night, Nyx. This means that there are several rituals led by the leader of the school, High Priestess Neferet. The rituals were detailed, reminding me a bit of Wiccan rituals, with the summoning of the elements and the closing of a circle.

However, I did dislike the way Ms Cast tried to not so subtly convince us with her morals. She especially has a strange conception of what defines being a slut. You want to kiss a guy that is hot and nice to you? Such a slut. You’re wearing a tight short dress? Well, you must have bought that in a ho store. And if you have to take it from Ms Cast, giving a guy a blowjob is truly the most horrible thing a girl can do, ’cause you know, you’d only do that if you were forced. I really didn’t like her condescending tone. This will just give teenagers that read these books the idea that every small sexual desire for a guy is totally wrong and disgusting and slutty. Such a judgemental attitude is strange for a character that is a teenager herself, without being influenced in these ideas by anyone around her. I got the idea Ms Cast wanted to give us a message, and put these words badly disguised in her main characters mouth.

Another thing I thought was pretty weird, especially in the first half of the book, is how Ms Cast is trying way too hard to sound like a teenager. References to Paris anorexia and Pamela Anderson’s boobs stand out between completely normal conversations, standing out in a not so good way. Again, it felt like Ms Cast was criticising modern day society through Zoey.

This book is somewhere between a 3 and a 4 star rating, depending on my mood. This book was surprisingly different, not at all what I was expecting. Yet, I couldn’t stand the author’s attitude. I will read the next book in the series though, I’m curious to see where these books go.

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire–that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  

It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  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 misusing 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.

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