Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: The Marked Son by Shea Berkley

The Marked Son
Author: Shea Berkley
Publication: Entangled Publishing, LLC (August 2, 2011)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This was an interesting and entertaining start to a series. It is told in the first person from two viewpoints. The first is Dylan who is seventeen and cynical. He has been raised by a careless and indifferent mother. They have drifted from place to place for all his life. He says it is because his mother has depleted the man-pool and needs to find a new one. She is on the constant search for love. Then one trip takes them to her parents' sheep farm where she abandons Dylan. His grandparents didn't know of his existence but welcome him. Dylan doesn't put any faith in their welcome. He is too used to losing everyone he might care about and is not willing to trust that this will be different.

But there is one constant in Dylan's life. Ever since he was young he has been dreaming about a girl.

The second viewpoint is Kera's. She is a privileged girl in a world that has magic, a lost king, and an evil man named Navar who wants to be the new king. She is also a half-breed who has had this concealed by her father. Navar is killing all the half-breeds but he wants to marry her. She has been dreaming of Dylan too and recognizes that he has a lot of power and might be the one to defeat Navar's evil plans. Kera's world and the people in it have a lot of resemblance to the traditional version of faerie. The pure bloods can't lie. They take binding oaths that they cannot break. They have a variety of magics.

It takes a third of the book before they meet and, at first, Dylan doesn't believe that she or her world are real. But he gradually comes to believe her and is determined to rescue her from her fate. He and a few friends go to her world and begin the battle with Navar. The battle is long, difficult, and there are many losses.

I think that readers who like fantasy will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
Everything looks and feels normal. At least, as normal as a guy in the forest meeting a girl wearing an old-fashioned nightgown while his buddy lies  passed out nearby can feel normal. I'm sure situations like this have happened to tons of people...on drugs.
I received the eARC from Entangled Publishing via NetGalley. You can get your copy here.

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