Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Marked Son by Shea Berkley: Review
Posted by Tiffany at 10:30 AM

Title: The Marked Son
Author: Shea Berkley (site)
Published: August 2nd, 2011 by Entangled Publishing LLC
Pages: 334
Rating: 3/5
Source: NetGalley
Synopsis: 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…(Goodreads)

Review: If you've read this far, congratulations for ignoring the stupid cover. I passed this one by on NetGalley several times before I decided to read the synopsis. I had decided, based on the cover, that this was about some gang member (marked=tattoos) who is on the run, maybe someone who turned informant? Whoever picked this cover really dropped the ball. If you take a look at the synopsis above, you will realize how off-the-mark it is. There is also no point during the novel where the main character is mentioned as having his hood up. I just don't understand it. Why didn't they do a cover featuring a ghostly girl in the forest? That would have given the (potential) reader a much better idea of what to expect. Enough with the ranting, on to the actual review!
I loved the first chapter. Dylan is such an awesome character. His mom is a complete mess and he's had to take care of her for years. She packs up and leaves town every time she and her current boyfriend break up. As a result, he's a bit of a loner, hardened and mature for his age. I liked this character immediately and would have preferred a book entirely from his point of view. Kera was a different matter entirely. At first I thought that she was a bit flat, later I began to outright dislike her. I can't even put my finger on what it was about her that annoyed me. Maybe it's just that Dylan felt so real right from the start, whereas she felt vague and flat. One made the other look even worse by comparison? The story itself was well done. The plot twists weren't all obvious and the amount of things left unsaid makes a sequel an attractive option. The one aspect that I really wanted more info on (his dad, whose identity is pretty obvious from the start, and their inevitable reunion) wasn't really addressed in this book, but the epilogue set that up to be the focus of the second book. I can't wait! Kera marred this book for me, but the rest was good enough for me to still enjoy it. I'm hoping that she grows up a bit (and gains some depth) in the rest of the series.