This is not the first time that I have read Marked. It came as part of a boxed set of several supernatural books a few years ago and I decided to revisit the collection to see if any of the series were worth continuing. Answer: not really.
The concept of a world where vampires are common knowledge and attend special boarding schools sounds pretty intriguing on the surface. Even though the vampire sub-genre has pretty much been done to death I’m surprised how few people have written a contemporary world where society knows about the supernatural. The beginning of the story certainly held my attention and the writing was relaxed and simple to read through which, combined with the short chapters made for a fairly quick read.
Having read so many great YA books now it is becoming more and more difficult to impress me; a shiny new idea and nothing else simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Good quality writing is ever more important to me and, alas, Marked was sadly lacking in that department. Even if you overlook the repetition, cheesy speeches and awful asides the writers shoehorned into the story you’re still left with mildly offensive descriptions of black and gay characters and chunks of dialogue very clearly written by adults trying and failing (miserably) to sound like teenagers. Also, I have never encountered what people call a ‘Mary Sue’ before. That is, until I read Marked. The main character Zoey is so ‘special’ it’s pathetic. She’s the ‘chosen one’ with a filled in Mark, super awesome powers and the best mentor who almost ever mentors anyone… cliché much?
Time has not improved my rating for this book. The plot is already getting confusing and its only book one of, like, twelve, which is freaking ridiculous. 1.5/5 and that’s only because I’m feeling generous enough to overlook a few things that I didn’t find too bothersome. I haven’t even read it yet but if you want vampires, boarding schools and elemental powers then let’s be honest, Vampire Academy probably does it better.