Review: Marked (House of Night #1) by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

Marked by PC CastMarked (House of Night Series #1)
PC Cast and Kristin Cast
St. Martin’s Griffin
Published May 1, 2007

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Zoe’s friends and family totally flip out when she’s marked as a vampire. An instant outcast, she retreats to her grandmother’s house for some much-needed advice and then turns herself over to the House of Night, a sort of boarding school for fledgling vampires. There she’ll be educated and wait to see if her body is strong enough to undergo the transformation into an adult vampire.
Even among other fledglings, Zoe is far from normal. Her vampirism seems to be developing at an advanced pace and her mentor has high hopes for what this might mean. Unfortunately, some other students see Zoe as a threat to the well-established hierarchy, and they will do whatever it takes to sabotage her.

Many things about this book disappointed me. Zoe’s attitude, for one. She started off angry and bitter at the world, smarter than everyone around her. I found it snobby and really off-putting. Her family and human friends were half-characters sort of slapped together without any deep thought to their own motivations or personalities. Why did Mom do that? Because she’s stupid and annoying. Really? I didn’t dig it.

Once she got to the House of Night, Zoe seemed a little easier to impress and her friends seemed a little more worthy. Her blossoming romantic feelings for her dream guy felt shallow. Why isn’t she concerned about his behavior with his apparent ex? She was kind of concerned for a minute but then pretty quick to dismiss it. And what virtues does Mr. Dreamboat have to offer? He’s hot. And he’s infatuated with her. Does a girl need more? (Yes!)

In fairness, this book had been on my reading list for a long time and I may have had unreasonable expectations for it. It’s definitely more the steamy-vampire-novel than the deep, introspective story of a young girl experiencing an unpredictable transformation. But alas.

Vampire-lit lovers: I recommend Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules.

Profanity or Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity and crude sexual language used with moderate frequency. Also – despite the use of explicit sexual language in earlier scenes, Zoe refers to her responsibility cleaning a stable as shoveling “horse poopy.” She also refers to breasts as “boobies.” I’m not a fan of the explicit language, but the infantile words seemed equally out of place. Very strange.

Sexual Content
Brief description of a couple engaging in oral sex and several references back to that scene.

Spiritual Content
Zoe connects with her Cherokee spiritual heritage in a spiritual encounter. Vampires also worship a goddess. Along with the fledglings, they participate in elaborate rituals and ceremonies to honor the goddess.

Several references to blood lust. In one scene, a human boy is threatened by vampires.

Drug Content
Zoe attends a ritual at which marijuana is burned like incense. Former school friends also drink and use drugs, a behavior of which Zoe disapproves.


About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.