Jan 14, 2010

1st pick, "Marked" by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast

I didn't know which book to begin with, so I chose the one that I'm reading right now: "Marked" by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast, #1 of the "House of Night" series. I've only gone through 3/4 of the book, but I've had enough to make up my own point of view.

Plot (written by me):

This book is about a 16 years old girl named Zoey Redbird. Zoey is quite normal, she has a mom & a stepdad (whom she calls step-loser), a brother & a cheerleading sister, a so-called-hot-boyfriend & a best girlfriend. She also has her grandmom who understands her the most.

Except that the world Zoey lives in is not anything near normal. There are vampyres, and they live freely before our naked eyes. They're somewhat like us but more talented & more beautiful (btw, Shania Twain is a vampyre). They all go to special schools: the Houses of Night. 1 more thing, they're chosen from human youngs. Almost anyone chosen to be a vampyre gets isolated & feared by even their family.

Zoey, too. When she is marked to be a vampyre, she was sent to the House of Night. There, everything happens. A mom-like mentor who is also a powerful High Priestess. A beautiful bully who thinks she's all that. A superhot guy (who happens to be the bully's ex-boyfriend). New friends, too. Then after the 1st day of school, Zoey discovers she & the evil bully both have special powers. And the bully's up to something bad. Does that mean Zoey must take the job to find out what's happening & to defeat the evil ? Will Zoey get the guy's heart ? And will she, the girl who gets nearly-abandoned by her own mom, finally find the place where she belongs ?

Oh, and any "student" in the House of Night, if not able to endure the Change & become an adult vampyre, dies. Not turned back to human, but dies. Will Zoey manage to keep her life ?

My review:

First, I must say this book is good. It's very different from other vampire series like Twilight or Vampire Diaries and such (no offense, I like Twilight too). The Casts' drawings of this very much alike, at the same time very different world really got me. There're like schools & uniforms & dramas & geeks & everything, so it's fun to read & somehow can be related to. The story is paced reasonably, easy to follow & quite a page-turner (I've just began to read it yesterday. Couldn't sleep so I stayed up the whole night for it lol). The writing is good. At first it seems a little awkward & overdone (just a little), probably because this is result of a mom-daughter duet :)) But from the part Zoey got to the House of Night, it really gets better. The descriptions of the settings are beautifully done, so I got the whole image of the school & the character quite clearly in my head. The storyline is good, haven't come to any big twist but it still keeps me going.

Anyway, I can't help feeling a déjà vu for this one. I mean, Zoey's got a Mark on her forehead, which every vampyre has, but her Mark is very, very different from the other students. So when she first got to school, everyone stared at her forehead. The High Priestess (which is practically like the principle) seems fond of her. The bully invited her to an exclusive group because she's special, but of course she hates the bully & prefers her not-popular friends. And then she has her super powers that No-High-Priestess-Has-Ever-Had-Before, so that makes her like meant for some super important mission, to defeat the bad & lead the good. Do you see any Harry Potter here ? Only a little more exaggerated, especially the No-High-Priestess-Has-Ever-Had-Before part.

Well, apart from that, I find this one very entertaining & good on the whole. The Casts have included some nice descriptions of the Rituals (because the vampyres all worship a goddess, Nyx). I like the whole school thing & the idea that study time is from 8 P.M to 3 A.M. So everything in the House of Night actually hides in the dark :)) And I can tell you that there's a love triangle here. Between a human boy who has been your boyfriend for years & loves you unconditionally & even gives you his blood willingly, although he's quite dumb & drunk & drugged, AND a super hot vampyre who you barely know anything about & who actually had some blow-jobs from the hot bully girl (I know, this stinks). Who will you choose in the end ?

There's an audiobook version of it, too. You can buy it, audio cds or on itunes. If you don't have time to sit down to read this, I recommend you choose the audiobook, you can listen to it in your car or while doing the housework..... It's not as terrible as some other audiobooks can get :)) Actually, the narrator's voice is really nice.

Overall, I like this one. I'm gonna finish it soon & I will surely get to the next ones in the series. My ratings are:
Plot: 7 (haven't developed much in storyline)
Character: 9 (well I like all the character, including the bully lol)
Writing: 8 (not good at the beginning, but gladly gets better)
Cover: 10 (really really love the cover :)) )
Audiobook: 8 (I like the voice of the narrator, but her take on Stevie Rae (Zoey's roomate) somehow sounds like an old lady)

So overall this is a 8.4 :)) It's good, and if you haven't, you should give it a chance. It has nice romance & fantasy elements.

Anyway, it's just my idea of this book. You can check out more reviews & buy it here or here. There are videos too. It's always nice to know more about a book before you buy it.

So that is my first review. Hope it helped you somehow & hope I can continue to blog more :D

First post...

Hello to everyone & anyone reading this blog :D

After a long time of considering, I have decided to create my own blog. Because my primary interests are books and music, it will be dedicated to reviewing books I've read and sharing music I like. Surely, practicing my English skills ('cause it is not my first language). And making new friends, too. According to my long-ago-blogging-experiences, this will be fun. I'm a university student, so I might not have time to blog everyday & everynight (lol), though.

Hope you guys won't find it too boring to read my blog :D