Title: The Marked Son
Author: Shea Berkley
Release Date: August 2nd, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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…
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: Wow! I finished this book a half hour ago and my heart is still in hyper drive. The action in this book doesn’t let up for a second and I loved every minute of it! You enter this world with Dylan as he is being driven to his grandparents’ house by his mother. He assumes it is just another stop on their every changing living environment, but is shocked when his mother takes off one night without even saying goodbye. He is abandoned by the only person that has been a constant in his life and left with people that may be family, but he has never met until a couple of days ago. Dylan is not really big on family since his mother has not exactly been a loving parent, but he is willing to give his grandparents a try. He is with them a couple of days when he sees her, the girl he has dreamed about his whole life and thought did not actually exist. Her name is Kera and the pull he feels toward her overwhelms him. He has to be near her with no understanding as to why at first. He soon discovers she is from another dimension that runs parallel to ours called Taeg and they two of them share more in common than Dylan could have ever imagined.
I will admit that I have not really been in love with young adult lately. It seems to be a lot of the same story and I was starting to become cynical about it. Thank goodness I have found an author that has reaffirmed my faith in young adult literature. The Marked Son is a refreshing and magical start to a new series that caught me completely off guard and has left me yearning for more.
One of the most interesting aspects of this book was the point of view changes. Most of the story is told from Dylan’s first person point of view, but when we switch to Kera it is in the third person. I have never seen this done before in a novel. At first it did throw me off and take me a little time to adjust, but once I did I really enjoyed this style. I loved getting to see both sides of this story and the way the author chose to portray the voices was unique and intriguing. It was also essential to see Kera’s life so we could understand the politics of Taeg and how life is in this other dimension.
The secondary characters also had great presence in the story. Dylan does not make true friends easily. He has spent his life always trying to keep people at a distance, but when he moves in with his grandparents he meets two boys who he quickly forms a bond with. Leo and Jason have grown up together and are very loyal once they form friendships. They help Dylan when needed and even go into Taeg at one point to help him rescue Kera, knowing it is going to be a dangerous road. Leo and Jason’s humor were welcome at many tense moments and help lighten the mood for both the reader and Dylan.
Something I did not expect was the level of emotion this book pulled from me. Shea has written her characters so well that it is easy to become emotionally invested in their well-being. There are moments that brought tears to my eyes and had me shouting at the injustice that befell them. I was so engrossed in this world and the many characters that I have grown attached too already. While it did tug at my heartstrings to watch events unfold, it was an exhilarating ride to be on with Dylan and Kera through the highs and the lows.
Overall, this book is just fantastic. I have not read a young adult book in a long time that I have enjoyed as much as this one. Shea has given us an amazing cast of characters, some to love and some to hate, a plot that is full of twists and turns leaving you on the edge of your seat and a beautiful and innocent romance that infuses the two main characters with strength and courage that they need to survive. If you have not found this book yet, I highly recommend that you do. It is a must read and a series I cannot wait to see more of in the future.
FTC: I received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. Thank you!