Feb 19, 2012

Book Review: The Marked Son by Shea Berkley

The Marked Son by Shea Berkley
(Keepers of Life, #1)
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing; 334 pages

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...

The guy on this cover is so good looking. He makes wearing a hoodie look damn good. He's the perfect Dylan, he really is. Besides the gorgeous guy on the cover and the description, you know what else made me want to buy this book? It's from Entangled Publishing. I have liked every single book I've read from them thus far, it's definitely a selling point with me. I'm a huge fan of this publishing company and their books. That being said, let's get to it...

Poor Dylan is only seventeen years old and gone through so much in his young life. His relationship with his mother is horrible and strained; it doesn't help that she abandons him with his grandparents he's never met before. You can't help but let your heart break with his, which actually surprised me. Not that my heart broke but that his did. He has this tough exterior and you don't suspect he really cares for his mom, but his actions tell you differently. So, not only does he get abandoned by the only family he knew, he also finds out why he's always felt so different from everyone else and why people seem to forget about him so easily.

We meet Kera, a girl that Dylan has been seeing in his dreams since he was a young child but things change when he see's her in his grandparents backyard. Though, she doesn't look real - she looks more like a ghost. So this begs the question . . . is she real or not?

I have to say, I think this is the best 'from a guys POV' type book that I've seen. I don't mean the whole story, per say, but I mean actually making it extremely realistic. Like we're actually inside a guy's head. I find it's very difficult for a lot of female author's to manage this. Maybe it's because we're assuming and guessing what a guy might do or say...or maybe someone is asking a guy's opinion to make it real but none of managed to seem as real as Shea Berkley has with THE MARKED SON. (While also managing not to use curse words) This really really made me enjoy this book even more than what I would've had it not been done so perfectly.

I loved all of the characters in this story, for one reason or another. Even the characters you were made to hate, I hated them alright but I also loved and respected them. I saw what they saw, and though I knew a lot of times it wasn't right, I understood. To not have a character I wanted to kill myself, well, that's pretty awesome. Nearly every book has a character that makes me cringe just reading about them. Not THE MARKED SON.

You're probably wondering if I'm saying such great things about this book, why only give it four stars? Why not a five star rating? Well, I will tell you. As much as I enjoyed the story, which I did - I also found it to be a bit slow. I wanted to know what was going to happen but I wasn't anxious to flip to the next page; I wasn't staying up until ridiculous hours, unable to put it down. (Until the last night of reading this, that is) I like a book that's able to grab my attention and not want to let it go until the last page. THE MARKED SON had my attention but it never fully grabbed it. That was my only downside to this book...

I would recommend this fans of YA paranormal/fantasy books. It's definitely right up our alley and it's a very enjoyable read. Not to mention, our main guy, Dylan, is a hottie. His two best friends and sidekicks are certainly two to swoon over, in different ways as well. Plus, it's got drama, action, adventure, fantasy, comedy - what more could one ask for? Definite give this book a shot, I'm sure you'll like it!

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