Marked by: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Series: House of Night (book 1)

Challenges: TBR Challenge

Published: 2007

# of pages: 306

My quest for a vampire book besides Twilight to recommend to my teenage sister continues! The idea behind this book was a great one. However, with all of the bad language and bad attitudes in this book, I won’t be telling my sister or any other teenage girl about this one. The writing style was also annoying. The authors included parentheses throughout the narrative with their own opinions. Thankfully these opinions are good (for example, doing drugs is bad, sleeping around is bad, starving yourself is bad, etc). Apparently using the F work repeatedly is not bad though. The authors tried too hard to make this a teenage book and it came off sounding forced.

The only good things about the book is that it had a fairly unique storyline (although they borrowed some parts from the movie “Mean Girls”, including a gay guy named Damien and the whole lunchroom scene) and the protagonist does become a little more serious and grown up towards the end of the novel. Thankfully the “Mean Girls” scenes didn’t continue throughout the book. I was afraid it would be a retelling of that movie for awhile there.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book to young adults because of the bad language and sexual content and I wouldn’t recommend it to adults because of the annoying teenage attitudes among other things.

Rises The Night

Rises the Night by: Colleen Gleason

Series: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles (Book 2)

This book was pretty bad, so I wouldn’t recommend it and don’t want to waste too much time talking about it.

My main reason for disliking it was that the series went from being an original romance/adventure in the first book (The Rest Falls Away) to being a typical trashy romance. Victoria’s character was disgusting and shallow. How convenient that she is only attracted to handsome men. She has no self control and throws herself at Sebastian the first time she sees him and every other time after that. It was so predictable.

On a positive note, the vampires make it a little more interesting and I still enjoyed the character of Max. Also, Gleason does a surprising plot twist at the end, just like her first book in The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, which was an improvement because it was the only surprise in the whole book.

Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle

Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle by: Rosalind Miles

Published: 2002

# of pages: 340

This is the first book in the Tristan & Isolde trilogy by Rosalind Miles. She also wrote the Guenevere novels, which I haven’t read. Honestly, this book really wasn’t that great and I don’t recommend it. I don’t want to spend too much time on this post for those reasons but I didn’t enjoy it because it really wasn’t well-written. I know I could have done a better job and I don’t write novels for a living! The author doesn’t leave anything subtle, she says every single thing, she doesn’t let you get to know a character’s feelings, etc. because she tells you exactly what to think. Also, she makes the bad guys too bad and the good guys too good, which I personally feel isn’t the best way to write. It doesn’t really encompass human nature, it’s not realistic.

The novel takes place when the Christians were coming in as missionaries and trying to convert the “pagans” in Britain and Ireland. So I understand that they are the antagonists in that case, since the main characters follow the old ways. But some of the “facts” Miles includes are not sound. She puts one character in there who claims that Christian communion was stolen from the pagan religion of the Lady giving wine and bread to the hungry. Which I don’t think is the case, communion is an adaptation of a Jewish holiday and is a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. It doesn’t really have to do with giving food and drink to hungry people. I’m not an expert in that field, but it just seems like Miles was trying really hard to make the Christians look “bad” for personal reasons. However, if this topic sounds interesting to you, read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. It’s very similar in content and is SO much better.