Monday, July 19, 2010

Review: Marked

Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
In this book, the first volume of the House of Night series, vampyres are all around us in the world, they are not just myths, people really know of them.  A tracker will "mark" someone who is meant to join this world, and they become a fledgling, a vampyre in training if you will.  This is what happens to Zoey one day at school.  Suddenly abhorred by her supposed friends and family (except for her grandma) she makes her way to the House of Night and her new life.  Will she survive the Change?
Why is her Mark different?
Is she a freak or destined to a special calling?
Of course, what would a book about teenage life at a school be without the "getting off on the wrong foot/creating an instant enemy" storyline?

I enjoyed the major storyline in this book, it has the potential for something I would love.  People being "marked" and going through a change while learning the ropes at the House of Night School.  However, this book takes place within a really short span of time.  It seems to me that the events that transpired, the relationships that formed and the conflict that happened should have developed longer.  Some may comment that it is a young adult book.  Well that brings me to two of my major problems with this book and my stating that this shouldn't even be classified as young adult.
There is way too much vulgar language and sexual content present to make me even think of allowing or recommending this book to the target audience (9th grade and up).  I will not allow my 14 year old to read this book.  The characters are frequently dropping the F-bomb amongst other vulgar language.  Ironically, we then read of characters saying things like "poopie" and "easy peasy."  And the repeated mention of a certain sexual act is uncalled for.
I actually was trying to give this book a chance, I did read it all the way through.  But I continued to have an uneasy feeling about the spiritual references, magic with Native American culture, pentagrams, goddess references. I would have been okay with this as being part of a fantasy world, like Harry Potter and Twilight.  While other Christians take issue with these books I feel they are works of fantasy that also had some great morals to teach and lessons to learn, with great writing I might add and just a little childish bad language occasionally.  It seems to me that the writers of the House of Night series are out to promote some sort of pagan religion/idolatry, bashing Christianity as they go, while using the vampire theme as it is popular right now.  Seems the rituals and spells referenced, etc would be better suited for a book on witchcraft.  The authors are constantly bashing/ridiculing Christianity (or the People of Faith).  No, they don't say "Christians" but references within the book point to Christianity:
A certain group saying the pentagram is evil p 140
Uncomfortable pews in church p 141
People falling asleep to boring church services

And they are glorifying idolatry
pentagrams stand for wisdom, protection and power p. 140
"I'd never heard stuff like this in church before, and I sure as h--l had never felt so energized there, either!" p148

These are some of the references I remember, but there were more.
Seems they have a bone to pick with Christianity. They state in different ways in different parts of the book, that the "people of faith" want to control everything.

All in all, as I reread my review, I realize I have changed my original rating,which was a two, to now being one star.

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