Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Marked Son by Shea Berkley

Published: August 2011
Publisher: Entangled
Pages: 334
Copy: courtesy of Netgalley and Publisher
Summary: Goodreads

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 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...

The Marked Son was an intriguing and enjoyable fantasy story that unfortunately suffered due to my inability to read it for any longer than 10 minutes at a time.  It is a fast-paced adventure romantic fantasy that lost steam for me, because I had to keep picking it up and putting it down.  Don't get me wrong, I still thoroughly enjoyed it, but I kept wishing for more time. (That's what happens when you have house guests for 2 weeks)

Kera and Dylan were nicely rounded characters that were easy to read.  I particularly enjoyed the scene where Dylan finds out that he has 'powers'  (Sorry, I hope that's not too much of a spoiler).  His reaction was so typical of a teenager that I was laughing out loud because I could just see my boys reacting the same way. There's lots of angsty romance for those who enjoy it, with the focus coming from Dylan and not Kera, which was a nice change.  And for those of us who are fans of the underdogs, you'll  love Jason, Leo and Pop.  Their commitment to Dylan was swift and complete and managed to successfully convey 3 totally different characters arriving at the same, albeit reluctant, conclusion. Navar was an excellent villain - tall, dark, handsome, arrogant and thoroughly ruthless - what fun!  Oh and I have to add, it's also quite sad.  I was rather surprised with the outcome of certain events - not what I was expecting at all and I liked that.  It's nice when things don't always go the way you expect them to.

There's romance, mystery, adventure and magic all wrapped up in an exciting, contemporary fantasy package that should appeal to many.  I loved it, and I think I'll perhaps try it again, this time without the stop and go, so that I can fully appreciate the action.  I look forward to the next one so that I can find out what happens to Dylan and Kera - the ending didn't quite qualify as a cliff-hanger, but there's definitely more to come Yeh!

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