So i read my second RIP book and was rather disappointed. Marked, by PC and Kristen Cast, is another vampire book. For some reason i thought it was going to be about werewolves but realized a few pages in i was wrong on that front. My mistake is not why i didn't like it though.

The world itself is rather interesting. Vampires have always been around and humans turn into vampires in their teens. They are Marked first, with a crescent moon on their foreheads, and then begin to Change over the next few years. Some people do not survive, at one point one of the teachers mentions 10% death rate. A group of humans, People of the Faith, are a counterpoint, a religious conservative group. There are spirits and gods/goddesses and a long history that we only get hints of.

We start with Zoey, a high school student, being visited by some creepy something who Marks her as a vampire. Her best friend Kayla freaks out, as do her mother and stepfather, a pastor for the People of the Faith. She goes to her grandmother, a Cherokee farmer, and has a vision where she sees Nyx, the goddess of the vampires. When she goes to the vampire school, the leader, Neferet, becomes Zoey's mentor. The most popular girl in school, Aphrodite, immediately hates Zoey and but invites her to a meeting of her group, the Dark Daughters. It's really like a sorority but the adults have some stake in it. Zoey, because she's got these extra gifts from Nyx, know she must become the leader of the group.

While Zoey's narrative voice is very teenager, she herself is not. Zoey is chaste, moral, beautiful, gifted, smart (but not too smart, after all, math is hard!) and exotic (part Cherokee). She rejects the hot quarterback boyfriend, Heath, because he drinks and wants to fool around, because that's what all 16 year olds do not want. And the most attractive guy at vampire school, Erik,an actor, wants to date her too! It all screams Mary Sue, far far worse than Bella in Twilight.

I mean, even the timeline is all wrong. The story opens with Zoey and her friend Kayla at school talking about how Heath got drunk the previous night. Kayla says Zoey should forgive him because he was just celebrating the football teams' win over their rival high school. OK, um, high school football is played on FRIDAY nights! so there is no way everyone would be going to class the next day! As Zoey goes to her vampire history classes, she says they've started a new unit, apparently 1 day after they started the previous one. I mean, the entire book happens in just a few days. I completely disagree with that tack. if your book takes place in an alternate reality you've got to give the reader time to start internalizing the setting before you ratchet up the drama.

Really though, it's a 3. there are so many problems with the writing that i know i wouldn't stand a second novel, even if the world is intriguing. I will see if my sister has read this series and will pass it along if she wants it but i won't be continuing the series myself. It does come off my to read shelf though!


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