The Marked Son by Shea Berkley
Published: August 1st 2011 by Entangled Publishing
I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars
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.