Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Marked Betrayed Chosen Marked
by P. C. And Kristen Cast

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Katie Boyle

These teenaged vampyr novels push all the right buttons. The heroine, Zoey, is savvy, opinionated, misunderstood, and Native American (well, in ancestry anyway). She is forced to leave her home and friends because she has changed into a vampyr fledgling—something she can’t help, and they (all humans except her grandmother) revile her for it. Once at the vampyr boarding school (yes, I know) called the House of Night, she turns out to be amazingly powerful and skilled. She faces opposition, and the events of Marked proceed to their logical conclusion.

The second book, Betrayed, is largely a placeholder, and I wouldn’t advise reading it on its own. More opposition, more proceeding events. The picture of what Zoey faces becomes clearer, and it’s obvious it’s big.

The third book seems at first like it might be the culmination of a trilogy, with some major conflict coming to a head. Towards the end, though, it becomes clear that this truly a series, not a trilogy or series of trilogies. There is character development and generally a satisfying feeling of forward movement, and a feeling that greater conflict awaits.

In spite of these positive things, I found the heroine annoying, shallow and short-sighted—in other words, just like most teenagers. The first book dwells lovingly on things like her class schedule, the changes Zoey goes through in becoming a vampyr, and the nicknames her friends give each other. The plot is only a small part of the book, and being a plot-oriented reader I was impatient with this. The second book is plagued by a similar lightness of plot, with rather too much detailed repetition of what the first book told us. The third book, however, has less repetition and more plot, and feels rather more substantial than the other two.

Overall, I think the story is supremely suited to the books’ target market of teenage girls. Though books like this could easily become shallow, facile stories that glorify teenage angst and hostility, these have enough depth that they miss doing that (albeit sometimes narrowly).

There is a UK website about these books, which includes info about the books, the characters, and future publications, as well as a store and a place where you can "enrol". [] The site lists two future publications in the series, so it seems that those who want more will get it. It is very definitely targeted at the younger generation. (I feel like an old fogey saying that! On the other hand, I’m so far out of the target demographic I can barely see it from here.) I think teenage readers would be the group most likely to enjoy the books.

SFFANZ is a non-profit organisation and registered charity
designed to bring together fans of the fantastic in New Zealand

Contact us by email at: