P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
St. Martin's Press
From the cover of the book:
Enter the dark, magical world of The House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change--and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school''s most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.
Marked is the first book in the teen-oriented House Of Night series, of which the most recent is Hunted. I'm using 'teen-oriented' somewhat loosely as this is not a book for younger teens because of the rather explicit sexual references.
The authors have created an interesting world, one where vampyres are openly known about and, it sounds like, accepted (more or less). They're not evil or dammned, but a natural phenomenon, although it's still unknown why some people Change and not others, and only certain vampyres can tell who is going to. Mixed in is a smattering of history and myth, combined with Native culture and paganism.
Marked is almost entirely set within one of the schools created for those going through the Change, the House of Night. It's set up as a boarding school, where days and nights are reversed.
As it is set in a school environment, you then have the cast of characters: Zoey and her group, the teachers, the 'cool' girls (who are actually bullies) and those trying to be cool, etc. Aside from the vampyre aspects of the story, it's a fairly typical story of the type.
I think the story was decent, it did catch my attention in a few different places and kept me turning the pages, but event for a teen book, I found it too quick a read, and I'm not fond of the high-school set stories that are so popular right now.
The books in the series are:
Edited to add: I just realized this book filled one of the requirements for the "What's In A Name" challenge.