Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast

Cast, P.C., & Cast, K. (2007). Marked. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press. 

ISBN-13: 978-0312360269

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Vampires, Magic

Reading level/ interest age: 14+

Plot summary:

Zoey Redbird lives on a lavender farm in Oklahoma with her grandmother. When Zoey becomes marked as a vampire, she is forced to leave her home to attend a new school. The House of Night is where young fledgling vampires go to learn about their culture. However, not everyone survives the change from fledgling to vampire. Zoey quickly makes both friends and enemies as the school head and High Priestess, Neferet singles her out as being special. The vampire goddess, Nyx, appears to favor Zoey as well. Neferet asks if Zoey would join a Dark Daughters ritual to worship the goddess on a special evening. Zoey reluctantly agrees and has to step in when the ceremony goes horribly wrong. Evil spirits try to prey on the Dark Daughters, Zoey finds her courage and steps in to close the ritual and banish the ghosts. Nyx, pleased with Zoey’s commitment to her, shows her appreciation by marking Zoey’s face with a beautiful tattoo pattern. Now, instead of fitting in, Zoey stands out even more and begins to learn that not all is as it seems at the House of Night.

Reader’s annotation:

Zoey is the youngest High Priestess to ever have been chosen by the vampire goddess Nyx. Instead of embracing being unique, Zoey just wants to fit in. But that’s a little hard to do with a tattoo across your forehead. 

Information about the author:

P.C. Cast

“P.C. Cast was born in Watseka, Illinois, and grew up being shuttled back-and-forth between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology (at about the same time). After high school she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. Since her tour in the USAF, she has been speaking and teaching professionally.

“Ms. Cast is an award winning fantasy and paranormal romance author. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers' Best, and the Laurel Wreath” (, 2014).

Kristin Cast

“Kristin Cast was born in 1986 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Along with her mother, Phyllis Christine Cast, she is responsible for writing the popular young adult book series House of Night. The House of Night series includes nine vampire-themed novels which all center on the adventures of a 16 year old girl, Zoey Redbird, who is forced to attend the House of Night boarding school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Cast's hometown.

“All of the novels in the series are marked by eerie, single word titles — Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Tempted, Burned, Awakened, and Destined. In addition to the nine full length novels of the series, Cast and her mother have also written several other House of Night novellas to supplement the series, including Dragon's Oath and Lenobia's Vow, with a third work titled Neferet's Curse set to be released in February of 2013.

“Cast attended Broken Arrow High School, where she graduated in 2005. She then attended the University of Tulsa for her college education. In addition to the new novellas she is writing with her mother for their House of Night series, Cast announced that she had also begun working on her first solo novel” (, 2014).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       How would you feel about having to leave all of your friends behind to attend a new school?
2.       Would you rather be a regular human or have the chance at becoming a vampire?

Critical evaluation:

The House of Night series closely resembles many other books containing vampires. There are some differences in that there are organized schools to teach young vampires. It also appears that vampires, though they can drink blood, can keep their cravings under control. This can cause the reader to lose some interest and respect for these fabled creatures. The main character, Zoey, is also caught up in a typical love triangle between two extremely handsome and devoted boys. Unable to choose, she strings both along and does not do anyone, including herself, any favors. All three suffer from her inability to choose and Zoey spends quite a bit of time moping over her dilemma rather than discussing her change from human to fledgling. The book contains quite a bit of inner dialogue and can ramble. Dialogue between characters is not much better and is full of slang and unnecessary exclamations. This first book in the series is difficult to get through but as the series progresses, the writing gets better and the characters develop.

Challenge issues: 

·         Negative views of Christianity

Defensive Maneuvers: 

·         Have the library’s collection development policy memorized and on hand in case a situation arises.
·         Keep positive reviews on hand to refer to or hand out when needed.
·         If the book has won any awards, mention them to the patron and briefly explain the award.
·         Listen to the patron and practice good customer service skills when communicating. Let the customer know where or if he/she can escalate his/her complaint.
·         When necessary, cite sections of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights or refer to the ALA's Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials.

Why included:

The House of Night series is still very popular with a large following. The last book comes out later this year (2014) which wraps up a long and entertaining series.

Reference: (2014). P.C. Cast. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from (2014). Kristin Cast: Bio. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from

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