Posted in Arc, Mythologoy, NetGalley, Supernatural, Young Adult

The Marked Son Review

themarkedsonThe Marked Son by Shea Berkley

Published: August 1st 2011 by Entangled Publishing

I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what. When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power. Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…

This book had a good premise. It started off interesting, slowed down a lot, and finally picked back up near the end. The plot was decent, I just wished it developed more quickly. Maybe if I liked the characters more I could have gotten into the book more. It took me a lot longer to get through this book than normal.

Characters: Dylan was abandoned by his mother at his grandparent’s house in the beginning of the book. I felt very sympathetic towards him in the beginning. As his story unfolds I begin to think of him as a whiny character who thinks everyone is out to get him and who has a lot of temper tantrums. Reminded me a lot of Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not only is his angry at everyone and throws fits (like at Faldon’s house), he is also obsessive over Kera. From the beginning we are told that they dream of each other ever since they are little, but other than that connection we don’t know why he suddenly loves her. “Faldon was right—my obsession is out of control. I only see Kera. Only want Kera. If I don’t free her from her realm, destroying anyone and anything that gets in my way, I’ll go crazy. I don’t even recognize myself.” At least he finally realizes near the end that he is obsessive and needs to control his anger.

Kera on the other hand started off as a very strong character. She is trained in self defense and in how to use her powers effectively. But, as soon as she sees Dylan, it’s like she has no backbone whatsoever. “At my sudden withdrawal, her eyes well with tears, and though she tries her best to stop them, they slip down her cheeks. Wow. That looks real. I watch a single teardrop fall to the ground and splatter onto a dead leaf.” Really? Tears?? A boy steps away from you, and you resort to waterworks? At this point I really started to dislike Kera. She redeems herself when she smuggles supplies to the half-breeds who are in hiding from Navar. But then she has a conversation with her friend and ruins everything. “’You’re wrong. Wherever we go, he’ll make it safe. He’s amazing. It feels like he has unlimited power. I don’t know where he gets it, but I’ve seen it, and I just know he’ll do anything for me. For us.’ ‘And that sounds normal?’” Now that she is in love with Dylan, the only choice they have is apparently to run away together. At least at the big battle scene, she realizes she can’t leave because all of her friends are dying. There was a lot of back and forth with this character, in thinking that she is a strong individual to a girl just letting her guy do everything. Other than the fact that she is pretty, we don’t really get to see what other traits Dylan sees in her for him to love her completely.

Setting: I liked that there was the human world and then the world of Teag. Although, I wish it was explained why Teag was set a few hundred years ago whereas the human world was modern times. It just seems as if people who have magic abilities would be more advance than the humans. It is never said that the people of Teag are faries/fae, but they have a lot of similarities.

Plot: The pacing could be better. I did really enjoy the ending, although I do not know if I want to continue this series. At least Dylan saw what the major flaw in the firsts were when everyone else was condemning him for being a half-blood (very Harry Potter-esque). All the nobility follows Navar, only because they think he is the most powerful and it’s his way or the highway. And his way is to destroy all the half-bloods and assume the throne the Lost King left.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book, but if asked I would say give it a chance. Who knows maybe you’ll enjoy it more than me.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mythologoy, Supernatural, Young Adult

Teardrop Review

I believe I should have trusted my instinct and stayed away from this book. I read most of the Fallen series, but I couldn’t really tell you what happened. I have a feeling that this series is going to fall into that category.

Teardrop has a beautiful cover and from the synopsis I thought it would be a pretty decent book. Bus alas that was not to be, it was just mediocre. I was drawn in by the synopsis about a girl who is told to never cry who finds out about an ancient story about a girl who cried an entire continent into the ocean. Sounds promising right? Well I waited almost the entire book to see how both things are connected. Seriously, almost 75% of the book went by before events started to escalate.

When Eureka (what kind of name is that? Nice try on the nickname too, Reka?) is told to never cry ever again, she listens to her mother and holds everything back. No questions, no wondering why, she just does it. I don’t know how someone could train herself not to cry, I can’t even watch The Notebook without sobbing at the end. After Eureka’s mother dies, does she cry then? Nope. Eureka is a very whiny judgemental character. She is always quick to condescend on other female characters in the book and is just not a good friend in general. The only person she says good things about is her mother, and that is until she finds out about all the secrets Diana kept from her.

All the other female characters in the book are not portrayed in a good way as well.

Cat the supposedly best friend is viewed as the token African American friend who thinks about sex way too much. “‘You think everything is about sex.’” (p. 167)

Rhoda is referred to as the “stepmonster” and I can see that. All the dialogue between Eureka and Rhoda are harsh and very unloving. We don’t know why Rhoda doesn’t like her stepdaughter and why she treats her this way. I get that we have a Cinderella theme going on with the evil stepmother, but Kate could at least give us some background as to why there is such animosity. “It looks like you were just bumming around with Brooks. You know it’s a school night. What happened with the therapist? I hope you didn’t do anything to embarrass me.” (p. 102) The only redeeming quality for Rhoda is at the end. (I won’t spoil what happens but at least something happened)

Maya Cayce is the girl that used to be friends with Eureka, but for some reason hates her now. So what does Eureka do? Hate her right on back and always calls her a slut.

Okay, so enough about the characters, because I could go on all day. Let’s talk about the love story part of the book. I mean is she for real?? Obviously, we have our love triangle and instant-love situation going on. Typical. First Eureka meets Ander after he rear ends her car at a stop sign. Her response is to yell at him, and then get into a car with him. “He was the hottest guy she’d ever yelled at. He might have been the hottest boy she’d ever seen.” (p. 34). At least she thought how could she be mad at him one moment and then smiling at him the next? Throughout most of the novel we see Ander popping up a few times until near the end where he finally stays. And what do we find out? He has been watching Eureka since the day she was born! This is stalking gone bad. And how does Eureka handle this? Oh, she just kisses him for a very long time because while he was professing his undying love to her, this was the only response she could give. “‘Every moment of your life, I have fallen more deeply in love with you.’” (p. 394) Eureka responds by trying “to transmit the words she couldn’t find with a kiss” (p. 394) So that is our instant lover portion. Now on to our love triangle. Brooks apparently has been in love with Eureka since they were kids. I did like them together, because it wasn’t a cliche and they actually knew each other. At least that was natural. Eureka and Ander? Not so much. She goes from butterflies, to feeling weirded out, to viewing Ander as a stalker, to falling in love with him. Talk about a roller coaster.

A little aside. If Eureka and Brooks are such good friends, then why didn’t she notice him changing? I mean everyone else saw it, why not her?

The pacing of this book  could have been a lot better. Probably 5% of the book was spent on the plot and figuring out who Eureka was and why she is important. The first 75% of the book with a bit of the 5% are spent just on Eureka’s daily life and her feeling miserable about everything. Then finally we get the full story of who Eureka is, why she is important, and what Atlantis has to do with her. Then the big battle scene happens and then the book ends. I would have really enjoyed the book if it was just the last 25% of the book with maybe about 10-15% of the build up.

I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.