Sunday, January 13, 2008

#2 Marked: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

The House of Night is the perfect Vampyre Finishing School for fledgling vampyres like Zoey Redbird. Unlike most vampire novels however, Cast's vampyres are not created in the usual manner such as being bitten by another. Instead, a fledgling is Marked simply by biological changes going on in their body. The Change occurs over the course of 4 years, during which time the vampyre attends school at the House of Night, learning everything they need to know to prepare for their new life. Unfortunately, many of the weaker students do not make it through the Change, their body succumbing to the changes going on within them. Therefore many students, particularly the younger ones, live in fear of never making it to adulthood.

After Zoey was Marked, her parents freaked, and she ran away to the home of her Cherokee Grandma, where she had an intense epiphany: a vision of the Vampyre Goddess Nyx speaking to her and telling her she had a special purpose. When she awoke from that, the Mark on her forehead—the dark blue outline of a crescent moon—was completely filled in, as it is usually only on adult vampyres.

The integration of Goddess worship into the vampyre culture was very unique, and forces you to see Cast's vampyres in a completely different light, one that is a lot gentler than you come across in many paranormal novels. Though they do drink blood, they do so in a completely non-violent way and without harming their donors. The portrayal of rituals, circle casting, calling the elements, all the way down to the herbs used to cleanse, purify, or draw spirits to you, were all extremely accurate. This is the first book I've read by this author, but I would suspect that she's a Pagan or follows some other form of Goddess worship herself as she didn't try to sensationalize any of it but dealt with it very accurately and beautifully.

Taking everything as a whole, I really, really liked this book a lot. So much so that I was very happy to have the sequel already waiting here on my shelf, which I started on immediately.

House of Night series

BookCrossing journal page for this book

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