Thursday, March 31, 2011


"I knew that I'd had no choice even before Aphrodite tried to scratch my eyes out. I hadn't had any choice since Nyx had placed her Mark on me. As Stevie Rae and I walked together in the gaslight-illuminated richness of the night, the Goddess's words repeated over and over through my mind: You are old beyond your years, Zoeybird. Believe in yourself and you will find a way. But remember, darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good."

Title: Marked

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

ISBN: 978-0-312-36026-9

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Copyright: 2007

Plot Summary: Zoey Redbird was a typical high school girl who loved spending time with her ever-babbling friend Kayla and her almost-boyfriend Heath. While Kayla discusses Heath's drunken behavior after a celebratory party, Zoey focuses on her own illness and the vampyre who was standing by her locker. As the vampyre notices their appearance, it announces that the Night has chosen Zoey as hers and that she is due to join the House of the Night, upon which Zoey passes out. She awakens, realizing that the vampyre was a Tracker, sent to awaken fledgling vampyres and invite them to the vampyre finishing school, the House of the Night. Zoey tries to comprehend how her life will change but while leaving school, she bumps into Heath who also cannot grasp her change, and his friends, who pull him away from her while calling her a freak. Upon returning home, her step-father, a religious priest, and mother lock her in her room and call for a prayer session to cure her. Instead, Zoey leaves for her Grandmother's and has a vision of the vampyre goddess Nyx, saying she is unique and chosen.

Critical Evaluation: The world of Marked is individual and unique from the rest of the vampire genre, in that vampyres co-exist among humans and not in silence or secrecy. In Marked, vampyres are extremely gifted individuals who make up most of the celebrities of the human world, such as actors or models. That vampyres do not make other vampyres through the act of biting, and instead are specific humans that happen to turn, is another interesting twist that the Casts add to their story, negating much of the typical vampire mythology and sexual allure (between humans and vampires). Zoey Redbird as a narrator is easy for readers to relate to and her often wild ruminations and commentaries on the story's actions will elicit laughter and sympathetic feelings. Zoey as a character is a strong willed young woman who is a good role model, while still showing her uncertainties regarding her own physical and mental changes during her fledgling time. The dialog within Marked is witty and realistic, with each character having distinct voices without resorting to the use of forced accents or jargon.

Reader's Annotation: Ever since Zoey Redbird was Marked by a vampyre tracker, her quiet high school life changed as she was shipped to the House of Night, a school for fledgling vampyres to mature into adults. Soon, Zoey realizes the perils of the House are much more than attempting to fit in as the new girl, while struggling with her own changing body and thirst for blood.

Information About the Authors: P.C. Cast is Midwest born and raised and joined the United States Air Force after high school. After completing her tour, P.C. taught High School for fifteen years before becoming a full-time and best selling writer.
Her daughter, Kristin Cast, is a current college student who is a NY Times and USA Today best selling author. Read more about the authors and follow their work at the Cast's website.

Genre: Supernatural; Vampires; Romance

Curriculum Ties N/A

Booktalking Ideas:
  • Zoey Redbird is a typical high schooler, wondering how to deal with a relationship and with a step-father and mother who are foreign and constricting to her. Then, a vampyre Tracker Marks her with a crescent on her forehead: the sign of a fledgling vampyre, turning her entire life upside down. Zoey is no longer human and not yet a vampyre and moves to the House of Night to mature. But while Zoey was a typical teen, she is not a typical fledgling, with a matured crescent Mark that draws all eyes to her, special affinities to the Spirits, and an increasing lust for blood that nauseates her...
Reading Level: 15+

Challenge Issues:
  • While there is some level of sexual tension and mention of sexual acts, the series is quite chaste and there is only kissing involved. Zoey as narrator looks down on the openly sexual behavior of Aphrodite, her rival, as crude and desperate.
Why This Book?: NY Times Bestseller

Reference Page:
Cast, P.C., & Cast, K. (2007). Marked. New York, St. Martin's Press.

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