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  • Posted October 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great New Urban Fantasy Series! Every story has its hero and he

    Great New Urban Fantasy Series!

    Every story has its hero and heroine. He’s gorgeous, witty, totally alpha and absolutely drool worthy. She’s beautiful, got all the right curves, and is smart and snarky, yet still vulnerable. They’re perfection. I mean, as readers there’s always some trait we can relate to. Except for those of us that rated Queen of the Geeks versus Prom Queen, right?

    That’s where Charlie Kale comes in. She’s the average Jane Doe. You know the one I’m talking about...the one we all relate to. The gal that’s willing to do whatever it takes to make a relationship work—in Charlie’s case that’s pursuing her second-choice career as a truck driver to pay her boyfriend’s medical bills (that’s a caring, nurturing trait), or making excuses for his wandering gaze on date night (looking is not touching), and blaming the extra weight she’s gained on not having time to take care of herself because she’s working so hard (come on, everyone tries to lose a few extra pounds now and again).

    And that’s all the up side.

    Until Charlie’s boyfriend dumps her, a drunk driver totals her rig, and a stranger puts a gun to her head and tells her, “Sorry, but you have to die.” Damn, even I gotta call that one the mother of all bad days. Thankfully, fate has other plans for Charlie. 

    She learns she’s part of a secret order called the Markers (so secret even they didn’t know she was one of them) that protects the world from dangerous and deadly paranormal creatures that prey on humanity. Of course, there’s no silver lining here.
    The Markers are powerful people with seemingly unlimited resources. The group is ancient and somewhat fanatical. It’s also an all-male club, and they seriously resent Charlie’s appearance. Her inexperience is gonna get some of them killed. If she’s part of a true prophecy (you knew there’d be one), she’ll bring some serious change.

    Charlie just wants to survive. Between the Master that volunteered to mentor her, the yummy defensive tactical trainer that’s an unpredictable jerk, and every other male Marker that wants something from her (none of it good), she doesn’t know who to trust. So she makes a choice and decides her own fate.

    I enjoyed the story line for Birthmarked. Ms. Violante created characters with depth and relatable personality traits. The paranormal world is original, told from a new angle (the big rigs were cool) and engages the reader. Information is given through action, and I never felt like I had to take notes to understand a history or driving lesson.

    Only a few things kept this book from being a five star. There were some minor editing issues, but they didn’t detract from the solid writing. I would have liked a little more information about the reason for familiars and what their roles were. It was an important part of the story and wasn’t really explained. A little more information on the Markers themselves and the older members that ran the order would have helped give a little more dimension to the group.

    But seriously, I look forward to reading the next book in the Time Markers series and finding out if a few foreshadowed events (no spoiler alerts here) come to pass…and if Charlie’s a little less Queen of the Geeks and more Badass G.I. Jane!

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