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 Keepers of Life series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 The Marked Son
Book #2 The Fallen Prince
Book #3 The Rising King
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Marked Son
By Shea Berkley, Heather Howland
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2011 Shea Berkley
All rights reserved.
I close my eyes, hoping to break free of this nightmare. Yet, when I open them, the hot breath of the southern summer is truly gone, replaced by a weakened sun and the cool breezes of the northwest. The car windows are open, and in the distance, the wooded foothills along the southern portion of the Cascade Mountains rise and fall like ripples in the earth. It's June. It should be sweat-rolling-down-my-spine hot. Instead, there's a damp chill outside. Not totally unpleasant, but not familiar. I slouch deeper into my seat and glare at Mom.
Her mouth pinches, her skin flushes, and she snubs out her cigarette in a tray overflowing with more than three days worth of ash and spent stubs. "Don't, Dylan. Just keep it to yourself."
She says I'm a petulant teenage boy. I am, but who wouldn't be in this situation? I'm disillusioned. Frustrated. Disgusted by life. I'm seventeen, on the brink of my senior year, and once again, I've been forced to leave everything familiar to me in order to appease another of her emotional breakdowns. Mom thrives on drama. She always has, and I've always played along.
Not anymore. I'm sick of playing the good son.
"All I'm saying is, we didn't have to leave."
Same answer. Always the same.
"He left," I remind her for the hundredth time.
She shakes her head, and the few dark curls that have managed to stay bound in her messy ponytail suddenly bounce free to lash wildly in the wind. "His family lives there. You know how people are. Hateful gossips."
Her jaw sets at a rigid angle. "I don't want to talk about it. Not to them, and not to you."
"So my life means nothing to y —"
"Shut it!" She blinks rapidly, still staring at the torn-up road. "I mean it. Not another word."
The tears are back. I look away, disgust searing my insides. The cool wind whips through my hair, pounding at my eardrums, drowning out her staccato gasps for breath. "I get it. Nothing's ever going to change."
She ignores me. I'm fine with that — at least, that's what I always tell myself — and soon she's lighting up again. She bought the ten-pack carton at the first gas station we saw on our way out of town. For eight months she didn't take a single drag. Not one. I'd been begging her to quit for years. Did she listen to me? No. But she listened to Jared, her latest ex-boyfriend. Anything for Jared. It's the one thing the walking dick did right, but now look at her.
Why did I think she would change? We're drifters, stumbling from small town to small town, staying a year or two until the man-pool dwindles, leaving the next. Mom changes men like some girls change their nail color. When she finally settles on one "special" guy, it's only a matter of time before he leaves, by way of the back door, with an armful of our stuff he can hock at the local pawn shop and a pocket full of what little money he finds in Mom's purse.
I've learned to lock my bedroom door.
The small evidence of our existence on this earth is behind us, rattling around in a rented trailer as it bounces in and out of deep ruts, shaking our rusty, old Plymouth Road Runner until I'm sure the rivets have come loose.
Mom curses as the car whines up another hill. She pumps the slab of steel with the ball of her foot like the hick she is, until the engine revs, re-engages, and spits us forward.
"You coulda at least slept your way into a better car," I mutter, pulling up the hood of my gray sweatshirt. Not likely. Mom's always been better at giveaways than bartering.
She doesn't hear, and it's probably for the best. A fresh round of tears would've been her answer. They're the answer for everything these days.
To the east, the hills climb into the mountain range. I stare out over the forested landscape, seeing but not seeing. My mind is on the girl in my dreams. Pale face. Dark hair. White gown. Eerie woods. Chills sweep my arms. It's just an impression, there and gone before I can capture it, but a strange, deep longing rises in my chest. I've dreamed about her every night for two weeks, and each dream is more intense than the last. Lately, I'm feeling desperate in a way I've never felt before, like I've been ripped out of the ground one too many times, and the next time will kill me.
My thoughts return to the present, and I see the road split. To the left, pavement riddled with water-filled potholes. To the right, dirt riddled with muddy potholes. We turn right.
I slap my hand on the outside of the door. "Seriously? A dirt road?" Trees quickly surround the car, and an unfamiliar thickness invades the air. Our soon-to-be-new home is fast losing its appeal.
"It's a sheep ranch, Dylan. Where do you expect it to be? In the middle of downtown Portland?"
"Not in the wilds of Oregon!"
The car shakes and rattles as we slowly make our way down the torn-up strip of dirt. Mom does all she can to avoid trouble spots.
"This is hardly —" She huffs when the car slams into an especially deep hole and mud splatters in a shower of gloppy brown. The undercarriage smacks the road hard, and she growls her frustration. "— out in the wilds," she finishes, but I can see even she's struggling to believe her own propaganda.
"Yeah, right. There's not even a damn Walmart out here, and Walmart is everywhere."
"Don't cuss," she says. "My mother hates cussing."
Good to know. Rattle off the seven unspeakable cuss words the first chance I get, and family or not, if she has any brains, her mom will send us packing.
Trees crowd the road, sucking the air out of the car. I'd forgotten how much I detest the great outdoors. I'd spent my whole life traveling toward the city, longing for a place where I belong, and now Mom slaps me back to square one.
Every so often, another dirt road forks off the main one, but try as I might, I can't see any signs of human life. The road looks like it leads to a campground. What is she thinking? She hates country life even more than I do.
"So, your mom ... What am I supposed to call her?"
Her laugh is a short, bitter sound. "How about Granny? That'll rip her up."
"Using me to dig at your mom isn't very mature."
She pushes the dancing, brown curl out of her eyes. "Oh, shut up. You know I'm kidding. Anyway, what do you care?"
"I don't." I haven't cared about anything in a long time, but still. Someone has to be an adult, and it sure won't be her.
And she isn't kidding, regardless of what she says. It's good to know I'm not the only one who causes that particular look of resentment to flash in her eyes.
As we trundle over the hard-packed mud, a scruffy, tri-colored dog with a bobbed tail and spindle-legs shoots out of the trees and runs alongside the car, all barks and growls like it's never seen a rusted box on wheels before.
"Beat it, Fido." I swat at it, but it nearly bites off my hand. "Hey!"
"The dog almost bit me!"
Mom looks at me like I'm the problem. "What are you, two? Don't touch a strange dog."
Yep. I'm the problem. I slouch back onto my seat. She would side with a mangy animal over her own flesh and blood. I guess that's what happens when you're the unwanted son of a teenage runaway.
The dog breaks away when we round a bend cluttered with trees. Mom mutters a few more cuss words. I close my eyes and sigh. That's Mom. Do as I say, not as I do.
The car veers to the left, and I crack my eyes open. The wall of trees separates to reveal a half-dozen strange, brightly-painted metal sculptures that belong in one of those modern museums only rich people go to. There's something disturbing about the way they rise up, twisting and stretching in a macabre, colorful dance.
Behind them, a huge, red barn overlooks a clapboard-sided house. When we bottom out near the top of the drive, a small woman, pail in hand, turns and watches us from her place on the front porch. I push my hood off to get a better look. "Yee-haw. There's Granny. So where's Uncle Jed, cousin Jethro, and Elly May?"
"Knock it off."
I can feel a headache coming on. "Let me get this straight. You can say whatever you want, but I've gotta behave?"
"Exactly. Nobody likes a smart ass."
"That would explain your lack of popularity."
She blows out the last of the smoke that's rotting her lungs. "For God sakes, would it kill you to be nice?"
The Road Runner rolls to a stop. Mom hops out with a big, yet wary, smile plastered across her face. I'm not at all eager to meet my maternal kin. Honestly, how great can they be? Mom left when she was barely sixteen. My life sucks and I'm still with my parental unit. What does that say about hers?
The woman drops the bucket, and when it lands on the porch's wooden planks, the expected clatter is swallowed by the surrounding forest. Her face pales. I recognize disbelief when I see it. Her hands shake as she rubs them down the sides of her worn-out jeans. Granny isn't exactly old. In fact, she's downright young-looking. A little weather-beaten, but still kind of attractive. An older version of Mom.
Mom hesitates. "Hey, Mama. Bet you didn't expect to see me."
I groan. I shouldn't be surprised that she's dragged us all the way up here without telling anyone, but I am. Mom's never been one to bother with practical matters like informing family we're coming to live with them indefinitely.
"Dylan," Mom yells, and motions me forward. "Get out of the car."
Grandma's attention shifts to where I'm still sitting in the passenger seat. Her eyes are big and pale blue, almost see-through. They're kinda creepy, actually.
"Who's that?" she asks. "Your boyfriend?"
I'm a big guy. Not, oh-my-God-look-at-that-giant-fat-boy big, but tall and muscular. I've been known to walk into a bar or two and not get carded.
"Beautiful," I mutter. Gritting my teeth, I get out of the car, one hand on the roof, the other on the door and glare at Mom. "She doesn't know who I am, does she?"
Mom's eyes widen. She looks like she's going to cry again, and burning anger starts to rise inside of me. I try to tamp it down, but I can't. It bubbles over, leaping into my eyes, my mouth, and my heart.
Without another word, I snatch an old army duffel stuffed with my things from the back seat and slam the door. I don't look back as I retrace my way toward the main road.
I ignore Mom's call.
I do, but it's got nothing to do with her. The crazy dog skids into my path. Its ears are down, and its teeth are showing. Long, mean teeth.
Mom's fingers clamp onto my shoulder, startling me. The dog leaps toward her, and I kick dirt at it and yell for it to go. Amazingly it does. I pull out of Mom's grasp, ignoring the pleading in her eyes. She latches on again. "You can't go. Please, don't do this."
Where does she get off, acting this way? "What do you care whether I'm here or not?"
"You have to stay! If you don't, it's going to get worse."
It sounds like she cares, but I'm not easily fooled. I turn away. "She doesn't know who I am. You never told her about me."
"Of course not. I haven't talked to her since I left."
I snap around and confront her. "Why are we even here?"
"There's no other place to go."
"Don't cuss." She glances back and sees Grandma inching her way toward us. "We have to be smart about this. You promised me you'd behave."
The muscle in my cheek twitches. "People make promises all the time they don't intend to keep." Just like she'd promised to quit smoking and drinking and hooking up with men. Promises run cheap in our dysfunctional family.
I will not be like her. I will make something out of my life, even if it kills me.
Panic flushes her face. "Please, Dylan."
She's desperate. I can taste it in the air. I should relent, but an unquenchable need to hurt her like she constantly hurts me threatens to hijack my control.
The crunch of gravel stops me from saying something that would push her over the edge. Grandma's within hearing range, a look of suspicion on her face. "What's going on, Addison?"
"Addy," Mom says on a sigh as she turns to face Grandma. "My name is Addy. And nothing is going on. This is my son. Dylan."
"Your son?" The news is definitely a shocker for her. "But he's ... How old is he?"
"Seventeen," I say.
Grandma appears dazed and more than confused.
"Yeah," Mom blurts out. "Do the math. Sixteen and pregnant. Daddy would've freaked — I freaked — so I left."
"What? Your father —"
Mom throws her head back and sways side-to-side like a nervous hen that's been pegged for Sunday dinner. "You know I'm right," she hollers at the sky.
Shadows flit into Grandma's eyes. "He would've been angry, yes, but that was no reason to leave like you did."
Mom's chin trembles, but she regains control. She looks toward the house and into the woods beyond, like she's searching for something. "Well, we can't change the past."
"No. We can't." Grandma glances at me. I can tell she wants to move closer for an inspection, but manners — and most likely shock — keep her back. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Dylan," she says.
Her gaze lances through me. I get this feeling like I should apologize, but I can't think what I've done wrong, exactly. I don't especially like the feeling. So instead, I thrust out my hand and throw her a smile laced with sarcasm. "Hey there, Granny."
There's a sudden void of sound, like the whole world stops for a millisecond, shocked by my rudeness. It whispers on the wind, "She's your grandmother. Have a little respect."
She blinks, and then her mouth cracks open into a wide smile, followed by a sharp laugh. She grabs my hand and squeezes. "You're your mother's child, all right."
I stiffen. She has no idea how deeply she's insulted me. Or maybe she does, because the sunlight suddenly splinters in her eyes, and her fingers squeeze mine.
Mom's fixated on the car, and she's as jittery as a crack addict. "Can we unpack, now?" she whines, and lights up a cigarette, sucking so hard the tip burns quickly into squiggly ash.
Grandma lets go of my hand to cup my face. There's an analytical slant to her stare — a "who's your daddy" look. I can see her mentally click through the slim White Pages of her acquaintances, searching for the culprit. A shadow of suspicion flickers before she gives my cheek a gentle pat. "You're a handsome boy, Dylan. I bet your girlfriend is still crying over you leaving."
Girls have been giggling and sighing over me since I hit the sixth grade. I won't lie. I like girls, and I like the attention they pour on me. A lot. But as soon as I get attached to one, we leave. Over the years, I've learned to adapt. To play the field. Life is less complicated that way.
I shrug and look at Mom. "I'm not strictly a one-woman guy, right, Mom?"
She blows out a thick stream of smoke before pitching the spent butt on the ground and grinding it out. "No, you're not."
Grandma's eyes twinkle. "A Romeo, huh?" When I start to pull away, her fingers intertwine with mine, and she leads me back up the dirt road toward the house. "Trust me. A time will come when one special person is all you'll want."
Mom snorts and lights another cigarette.
God, I hope not. The last thing I want is to become like Mom; chasing the one and always slinking away with the taste of burnt ash in my mouth.CHAPTER 2
In Kera's opinion, there was nothing worse than being forced into a corset and yards of expensive fabric. She looked like a fragile china doll. No one understood her desire to be free, to walk where she wished, to dress as she chose, yet, the traditional mindset of her people made change nearly impossible. You risk too much, her father always said, but he didn't stop her from scampering off to Faldon's home, where she learned about the ways of the world outside her staid, dried-up sphere.
Faldon, her tutor, taught her everything from alchemy to self- defense. He talked of places so secret, even her father would gasp at his daring. The old sage treated her as if she had a purpose far greater than being the perfect daughter of a nobleman.
It was because of Faldon that she knew the extent of the violence sweeping her land. Teag was struggling, steeped in a hidden battle for control. And the prize for the victor? A magic so powerful, few had dared to grab it in all the years it had lain in wait for its next host. Now, the warlord Navar, the boldest of those seeking that power, silently crept along the land, spouting the virtues of tradition. Of isolation. Of elitism. Dredging up the Lost King's dreams of a perfect society.
For her people, Navar's offering was as seductive as the most beautiful woman. With each stop on his campaign, the man successfully secured a false sense of well-being. Of being special. And his campaign, his every step, every signed decree, was killing those Kera loved.
Excerpted from The Marked Son by Shea Berkley, Heather Howland. Copyright © 2011 Shea Berkley. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Good Day to Die,
Seeing the Impossible,
In the Blink of an Eye,
Armed and Dangerous,
Lucky to be Alive,
Wired for Trouble,
Like a Knife Through Butter,
Blessing or Curse,
Nothing to Do,
Into the Woods,
Stepping Through Air,
The Trouble with Pux,
Awaken to Reality,
Misplace the mind,,
Falling Over the Edge,
The Truth Hurts,
Omission of Truth,
Poisoned by Greed,
Ashes in the Wind,
Escape into Trouble,
What Isn't, Is,
No Way Out,
Waiting in the Dark,
The End is Near,
Safe, but not Sound,
Morning Breaks Red,
The Price of Love,
Dying to See,
Stealing What's Mine,
About the Author,
Don't miss more exciting books from Entangled Teen!,
Thief of Lies,
Don't miss the rest of the Keepers of Life series ...,
The Fallen Prince,
The Rising King,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Marked Son is an action-packed story focused around 17 year old Dylan and the "ghost", Kera, who inhabits his dreams. Dylan struggles, coping with a mother who will not stay in the same place long and goes through men like crazy and, eventually, ends up dumped into the lap of relatives he never knew existed. Then things get crazy. What I loved about this book was how much fun it was to finally be seeing things through the eyes of a male - and not just any male, a strong, decisive male who wasn't wanting to shy away from things and was out to figure things out. I enjoyed the humor contained in the brief interactions he had with friends and I loved the passion Dylan exhibited when faced with some insurmountable odds. The Marked Son is fast-paced and filled with all sorts of fights and a nicely-paced story, however there were some things that seemed to be a bit glossed over and made for a bit of clunky going, especially as the end drew near. I had a hard time accepting that Dylan was so capable right off the bad of channeling his powers, that he and Kera developed an "all-or-nothing" relationship that fast, and I was really confused as to what exactly went on in Kera's world. So I guess mostly my issues were on the world and magic building in the book. There didn't seem to be any clear-cut explanation of the powers Dylan (and the others in Kera's world) possessed. Nor was there really an explanation of how the world worked, what people used their powers for, etc. Just that there was a big, bad guy and he was going to take over. I understood that he was bad, but I didn't really understand why. That's what made me struggle with this story. I'm sure I'll check out the next one when it's released, because it was interesting - just had issues with what I've mentioned. I did appreciate that the book was given a solid ending without a major cliffhanger as trilogy books are wont to have these days.
The Marked Son opens with a GREAT beginning. I was hooked immediately and found myself laughing so hard at some of the things that came out of Dylan's mouth. He was very entertaining and very mature for his age. The story is told from two points of views and that is Dylan and Kera. The relationship between Dylan and Kera at first was just okay for me. I liked the connection they had and the way they were with each other, but at first I wasn't big on them together. It was almost to fake for me. As I kept on reading though I did end up in love with the both of them.My issue with The Marked son was that I felt Dylan's character did not stay consistent. I really like his character, but I wish he stayed the same through out the book. He was up and down a bit. You would have to read the book to understand what I mean. Another issue was that some where in the middle I found myself losing interest in the story, but obviously it wasn't to the point that I did not finish reading it. It did pick back up and it was just non-stop from there.Overall, the world that Berkley created was very believable and other than the issues listed above it was a good story. I give it 3.5 stars and would be interested in reading the next in the series. It had a great ending.
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.
Shea Berkley is an amazing writer. From the beginning, she engages us with the mystery of the girl in white, the girl who never speaks and whose face Dylan has trouble remembering outside his dreams. Dylan is a rare male narrator, and I enjoyed reading from his perspective. His thoughts are straightforward and often sarcastic. Deep inside, however, he has a caring nature and passionate resolve, and he has strong support from his good friends Leo and Jason. He¿s a modern high-school hero.While Dylan is the hero of this story, the story is told from the alternating perspectives of Dylan and Kera, the girl of his dreams. If you only knew Kera from Dylan¿s dreams, you would think of her as a mysterious beauty. In reality, Kera is a headstrong, brazen girl. One thing hasn¿t changed from the dreams, she does care for Dylan, and the feeling is mutual. There is nothing Dylan wouldn¿t do to protect the girl of his dreams and her home world: the world of Teag, a fantastical world filled with diverse supernatural beings. Boys and girls alike will love this book: not only because of the alternating perspectives, but also for the adventure and amazing storytelling. While Dylan is the true hero of the story, Kera is a strong heroine who doesn¿t let Dylan overshadow her role in the story. She plays her part with fiery spirit despite the ordeals she must endure. There is romance in this story, but it¿s nothing of the chick-flick sort. Dylan and Kera have known each other through their shared dreams since they were children, and their love is true and pure.The Marked Son is filled with a wild cast of characters, gorgeous settings, and magical storytelling. I laughed, cried, cringed, and literally lost myself in the world that Berkley has created. If you are looking for an action-packed paranormal/fantasy read, I highly recommend this novel.
Overall Rating 3.5Story Rating 3.75Character Rating 3.25Vacation Review: This is one of those book that I wasn't sure what to expect. I am not a huge fan of YA but this one was a pretty good read. The angst, which I normally expect from the girl, was from the main character Dylan. He is probably my least favorite character in the story. In fact, it is Leo (someone who becomes his friend) that I felt was a more compelling male character. I understood Dylan had a crappy life. In fact, I was worried this was going to be another crappy parents, no adults are worthy book. It is not the case! YEAH! In fact, Grandma and Grandpa are two of my favorite characters in the whole story. Without giving anything away I can't explain my exact "Go Grandma" moment but trust me you will be cheering. I also really loved how strong and matter-a-fact that Kera was in the story. There is no cliffhanger but I am excited to see what happens in the future!
The Marked SonBy: Shea BerkleyISBN: 9781937044015Published August 2, 2011 by Entangled PublishingAvailable Format: Paperback, ebookMy Rating: ¿¿¿¿¿All his life, Dylan Kennedy has been an outcast, forgettable. With no father and a fraction of a mother, he¿s learned to live life the only way he knows how, expecting nothing but disappointment. When his mom suddenly dumps him on his grandparents and runs, it¿s just more of the same for poor Dylan. But, on his grandparents¿ sheep farm, something starts to change. Dylan sees a ghost that he has dreamed of his whole life, a young woman in white roaming the nearby forest. Pretty soon, Dylan learns there is much more to his troubled past than he even knew, and he is thrust into a war in a world he never even knew existed. I really, really loved this book. I love how the author switches between Kera and Dylan¿s POV, though I was a little distracted that Dylan spoke in present tense while Kera¿s part was past. But, this story was fantastic! Berkley did an awesome job weaving little details in and bringing the lives and worlds of both these young people to life. The characters were so well rounded and the scenery was so rich; I felt I was right there in the middle of it all. It transported me like a really great book should!This was also a fairly unique plot¿no vampires and werewolves. There were lots of magical and mysterious creatures, and each and every one had their own distinct characteristics. I love how the author uses the pure vs. half-blood as the major conflict and how completely despicable Navar is throughout the story. My favorite character is a tie between Jason and Bodog¿both strong with big hearts underneath. I was very pleased with the way Dylan matured during the story as he learned more and more about himself. He grew to accept who he was, and that is a big lesson for the target audience. There is the slight love triangle, and it was completely unrealistic how quickly the two main characters fall in love. BUT, it really makes sense in this story because they have ¿known¿ each other their whole lives and they were really destined to be together. I am also impressed that Kera is a pretty strong heroine even though Dylan is really the focus of this book. She is forced into things she does not want, but she does fight for herself and works very hard to get Dylan to be a part of her world. Sometimes accepting the hand you are dealt is harder than trying to fight back, and I respected Kera for how well she handled the challenges she faced. I¿ll say it again¿I loved this book! I cannot wait for this story to continue¿
The Marked SonBy Shea BerkleyRelease Date: August 2nd, 2011Number of Pages 289Book: netgalleySeventeen-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:Cover: I absolutely like this cover.WATS NOT THE LIKE A BOUTH IT? A couple of YA Fiction covers are hideous , or the cover is the best thing about that book, meaning it sucked. Not this one the cover added to the book, you could see Dylan ,that the way I imagined him. The cover draws you in because it is a picture of a guy with piercing violet blue eyes staring into your soul. When I first saw the cover I was happy that it was on netgalley and I requested it. I got approved. So here I goBook:Ok it took a longer time reading it than expected. Normally it takes two ¿four days to read a book. Been busy with school stuff.the very beginning really interested me in reading the whole book. When he is dumped by his deadbeat mom, at his grandparents after an absence of 17 years, the story really begins. This is after the prologue . At the ranch or farm things start to happen !! He sees his ¿ ghost ¿¿,Kera who appeared in dreams his whole life. Some less vivid than others. And he discovers she is from a other dimension, Taeg. A place still in the middle ages, looks like earth but different I got to say the creapy creatures are cool, really cool. I encountered more than three species in the book . The poisonous Milispit(slimy half lizard creatures with broken looking wings) and the vindictive Pux( small fairy beings that have razor like parts of their body)I liked Dylan from the very start, he is brave, he caring, just all round nice guy with a troubled past, the person he knew the longest in his life dumped him, his mom. Later on you find out why she is like she is. But I had no caring feelings for her, more mad and pissedKera , I did not like her that very much in the beginning. Boy I was wrong love her now, she has spunk, she comes up for what she believes in, helpful. They meet in the 2/3 of the story . Her chapters are in 3th person narrative , and Dylan¿s chapters were in 1st person. I had to adjust at first that the reason I did not like Kera at first. I was happy their romance was not insta-love. Actually they met before and became friends in their dreams, a bit creepy but cool. And it was not vomiting like I did when I read the romance development, ps hate twilight I puked mentally The secondary characters really added to the story, grandma and pa, Jason and Theo who became friends of Dylan . The dialog between them was very funnyI never thought I could get emotionally attached. I yelled, that can¿t happened to them. My favorite quote on the last page 286, received a netgalley arcI sigh and my dream fades,replaced by the light of love shining from kera's eyes. my dream girl is real I don't have to be alone anymore
I love when dreams come true. A character riddled by images, dreams, a girl who he can't get out of his head. And then, she's real. Alive. This plot line grabbed me from the beginning cause of the great dreams and life he lead.The main character Dylan, did not grow up easy. He has been lied to, move a lot, and his mom is not a good mother. It is sort of disturbing but also good, that Dylan can handle himself at such a young age with great maturity. He is not like the other teens his age and knows that. He struggles with who he is. The author Ms. Berkley did a wonderful job of giving a good description of Dylan's back round. I like how an author can provide as vivid back round with out losing touch with the main story line. She didn't give too much away or too little. The back round info was just enough to know and feel the character.The story line of the book is good. Ms. Berkley presented to reader with mysterious dreams leading on into a world of fantasy. The point of view switches with smooth and transitional. If you know me, you know how picky I am with pov switches. Ms. Berkley writing is very good when it comes to describing the world of Fey in her head. The reader gets a good picture of the different world as well as the characters feelings.I pretty much liked everything about this book. Questions that popped up in my head about "The First" were answered as well as more about the new world I step into. The creatures, rules, and prejudices made for a great story. If you like fantasy, different worlds, half-breeds, read this book. I know that you will enjoy this book as much as I have!
Dylan hasn¿t had an easy life. His mother falls in love too easily. Whenever she is finished with the guy of the day, she picks up and moves the two of them to a new town to start over. Because of this, he¿s bitter and not very trusting of her. The last straw comes when she takes him to Oregon and leaves him with her parents ¿ grandparents he has never met. Not long after his mother leaves, Dylan sees a girl in white standing in the woods. A girl that looks vaguely familiar. Is he seeing ghosts, or is he completely losing it? When Dylan follows the girl deep into the forest one night, he soon finds himself in another dimension. Kera, the girl, is the same girl Dylan has seen in his dreams since he was a boy. Something has brought him to her. They are obviously meant to be together.The world Kera lives in is not a happy place. Kera is set to be married off to an evil man, and it is up to Dylan to save her. The problem is, Dylan is human and doesn¿t belong in her world. He could lose Kera, or even worse, his life. Shea Berkley is a wonderful writer. For her first novel she delivers an engaging story that balances the action and the romance very well. I wasn¿t sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but I quickly fell into this novel and enjoyed the time spent reading it. The characters are all well-rounded and I felt the narrative was pretty well-balanced despite the fact that it shifts between points of view. There is plenty of action for the male readers, enough romance for the girls and lots of magic and mystery to keep the pages turning. This is the first in a series and I am looking forward to the next entry.(Review based on an Advanced Readers Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley)
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.
The Marked Son is an action-packed story focused around 17 year old Dylan and the ¿ghost¿, Kera, who inhabits his dreams. Dylan struggles, coping with a mother who will not stay in the same place long and goes through men like crazy and, eventually, ends up dumped into the lap of relatives he never knew existed.Then things get crazy.What I loved about this book was how much fun it was to finally be seeing things through the eyes of a male ¿ and not just any male, a strong, decisive male who wasn¿t wanting to shy away from things and was out to figure things out. I enjoyed the humor contained in the brief interactions he had with friends and I loved the passion Dylan exhibited when faced with some insurmountable odds.The Marked Son is fast-paced and filled with all sorts of fights and a nicely-paced story, however there were some things that seemed to be a bit glossed over and made for a bit of clunky going, especially as the end drew near. I had a hard time accepting that Dylan was so capable right off the bad of channeling his powers, that he and Kera developed an ¿all-or-nothing¿ relationship that fast, and I was really confused as to what exactly went on in Kera¿s world. So I guess mostly my issues were on the world and magic building in the book.There didn¿t seem to be any clear-cut explanation of the powers Dylan (and the others in Kera¿s world) possessed. Nor was there really an explanation of how the world worked, what people used their powers for, etc. Just that there was a big, bad guy and he was going to take over. I understood that he was bad, but I didn¿t really understand why. That¿s what made me struggle with this story.I¿m sure I¿ll check out the next one when it¿s released, because it was interesting ¿ just had issues with what I¿ve mentioned. I did appreciate that the book was given a solid ending without a major cliffhanger as trilogy books are wont to have these days.
Cliffhanger!!!!And I'm totally on the edge, waiting to fall into the next book... there has to be a next book.I really want to blab off and tell you guys every thing about this story, that's how good it is. And the ending... oh my goodness!!!!Very creative story, and awesome characters.Shea, I admire you.
When I requested ¿The Marked Son¿ from NetGalley, I requested it because I thought it sounded interesting¿but I was not expecting it to be as good as it is.¿The Marked Son¿ takes you on a journey from the very first page until the very end. You never know what to expect and I think that¿s truly the magic in this story, there¿s always a surprise ¿ you¿re always on the edge of your seat wondering.Berkley manages to include just the right amount of romance and suspense, something that most writers seem to struggle with. There¿s a fine balance between the two. As the reader, you will feel for Dylan. The scene in which he goes into shock after reading the letter from his mother? The emotion in that scene alone is fantastic.I wish I could truly explain just how much I enjoyed this book, but I¿m unable to really put it into words. All I can say is that you need to pick up a copy on August 2nd. Male or female, this is a read everyone can enjoy.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the arc of The Marked Son by Shea Berkley, which is about a young man, Dylan, who lives with his single mom. He has never known who his father is or any other family members. His mom breaks up with her latest boyfriend and they move into her parents' home. Dylan finally gets to meet his grandparents! While this is going on, Kera passes through the shimmering wall from her land into the human world and sees Dylan. The two of them have shared dreams and visions for as long as they can both remember. Something is harming the sheep on Dylan's grandparents' sheep ranch and Dylan's family and the ranch workers are trying to solve the mystery, but it just keeps getting more and more strange. The suspense, mystery and the character dynamics make this book hard to put down. The writing flows perfectly and the alternating points of view between Dylan and Kera bring insight into the other realm. At a point in the story, I was wondering how everything could possible work out, but the author's amazing imagination and creativity persevered!
This book kept me engrossed the entire ride; can't wait for book # 2. Thanks so much Shea Berkley for a fun read!!!
I want to thank Entangled Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. I will be participating in the blog tour for the second book and have also read that one, so I needed this one first! Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review. Blurb from Goodreads: 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... So, when I first read the blurb for this book (many moons ago), I was very intrigued. But I kind of forgot about it. Then the email from Entangled came asking if I wanted to be part of the blog tour for the second book. Well, this one jumped right back out at me, I mean look at that cover, and I wanted it ASAP. And I'm so glad I dove right in, because I could not put this one down! Let's start with Dylan. When the book first started, I was a little skeptical. It didn't really grab my attention right away. But I knew the premise and really wanted to see what it was about. And then I got past the first two chapters and POW I was sucked right in. Dylan is totally awesome. He's snarky and funny. He's good looking and makes me want to just reach through the page and grab him! I loved how Berkley described him throughout the book. He comes off as a bit insecure at first, but then you start to understand that he has spent his life moving around and not being able to really connect with anyone. He's only connected with the girl in his dreams, and she's a dream after all, right? And he completely determined and passionate about everything he does, despite his unusual upbringing. Kera, well, she is just awesome. I loved her and everything about her. She's smart and curious and knows exactly what she wants. And she's not afraid to go after it. I love how she tries her hardest to protect Dylan. Everything she does is to preserve him, even if it means she gets hurt in the process. And Dylan's friends, OMGosh, they are the perfect compliment to Dylan. Considering he has never had any friends, these guys kind of latch on to him and never question who he is or what he needs to do. As a matter of fact, they accept him for what he is, without worrying about all the "strangeness" that goes on while they are with him. There were so many great characters in this book, I can't name them all or tell you about each one of them. You have to pick up this book and get to know them for yourself! The plot line of this book is great. At first, you really don't know that it's going to be a fantasy, and then BOOM, you are sucked into a world you didn't even know existed. And you are sucked into the magic and creatures who are totally beyond anything you would ever know or understand. And it's fast past and has you turning every single page wondering what will happen next. This is the third fae series that I have read and I have to say that it is by far my favorite so far. One of my favorite things about this book is Shea's use of humor. Just when you think it will only be action and drama, the characters get snarky with each other. I just loved it. It broke the seriousness of the book in such a great way. Just when I thought my heart would jump from my chest, I started laughing. I just loved it. Shea's writing flows well and really helps describe the world so well. I love the characters and the different creatures that are introduced and explained. Shea creates a realistic world. Shea pulls you through her book without stopping. I did have two small issues with this book. The first was how readily Dylan's friends and family accept the fae world and it's creatures/inhabitants. They didn't even question it but just said it was cool and moved on. I found this to be a bit unrealistic. I almost felt there needed to be some kind of conflict between Dylan and his new friends to make it seem like they questioned the motives just a bit. My second is that Kera's portions of the book are told in third person. I kind of found this odd since Dylan's was first person. I would have liked to see things from her perspective instead of outside her perspective. All in all this was a really enjoyable book. Actually, I was not expecting to like it quite as much as I did. But I did and I was totally anxious to move on to the second book and see what happens to the characters. One thing I'm glad for, Berkley didn't leave us with a complete cliffhanger at the end!
Dylan has a shaky up bringing. The only thing that's consist is his dreams with a mysterious girl in it. His relationship with his mom is strained. She always had them moving after a break-up. But after one break-up she dumps him at her parents house...they haven't seen her in a while let alone are aware she has a kid. Strange things started happening and he sees his mystery girl. Not only is she real, she has more in common with him than they realize even though they are separated by different realms. They embark on this journey, of course there was obstacles that keep getting in their way. This book has what I look for in a book. It has romance, fighting, death, creepy creatures, and all around awesomeness. And the last few chapters, wow! That was different but amazing. I really enjoyed reading it.
Seventeen year old Dylan Kennedy has always felt like there was something different about him, though he couldn't quite put his finger on it. He's always been kind of a loner and has never had many friends. Dylan's mom has never been there for him, having gotten pregnant at 16 years old, and has moved from man to man and place to place ever since. She has never shown Dylan love or nurtured him at all, and he has grown up coming to expect that, always feeling abandoned, rejected, unloved, and many times having to be the adult instead of his mom. The only thing that has had meaning, is the dreams that he has had forever, dreams about a girl, dreams that have a pull on him and seem more real sometimes that reality itself does. When his mother finally returns home to Oregon and then takes off again, leaving Dylan there with his grandparents, whom he has never met and up until now didn't even know he existed, things become clearer and more confusing all at the same time. Not only does Dylan think he sees the girl he has dreamed about all these years in the woods, really strange things begin to happen to him, and strange things also begin to happen on the farm and surrounding farms. The pull to this girl is so strong he cannot stay away from her. With the help of his two new friends Jason and Leo, Dylan is determined to find this girl and find out the truth about what is going on. What he finds is more than he bargained for, and he finally begins to understand why he has never felt like he belongs.....another whole world is opened up to him, one filled with magic, danger, an evil lord, mystical creatures, and Kera, the girl he loves. The only problem is that in this world, and now in this world, Dylan finds himself marked for death because of who and what he is. Not only has Dylan become a target, but his grandparents and others he has come to care about do to. As the wall between the two realms tears open and the danger becomes more intense, Dylan must decide upon a course of action. Can he defeat the evil that threatens him, the girl he loves, and so many others like him, and if he accepts the challenge, what will be the cost and who will survive the battle? I really enjoyed The Marked Son. I love fantasy, especially when romance is involved. I really loved Dylan. He is super hot, has the bad boy vibe going on, he's quiet, but under the surface lies a whole lot of passion and anger, and when that gets stirred up, especially with the abilities he finds that he has, things get really intense. There is nothing that he won't do for Kera, the girl he loves, and he is pretty badass when he does what he does. I liked Kera also. She is from Teag, the other realm, a realm that kind of steps back in time to another era. Kera is very outspoken and headstrong, something unusual for women in her time. When she sees Dylan, she can't believe she has found the boy from her dreams. She is determined to save him and her persecuted friends, even if it means she has to make a huge personal sacrifice in the process. Then there is Lord Navar, the evil dude you love to hate. Jason and Leo, Dylan's friends, are also fun, as are the characters from Teag. Dylan's grandparents are really great to. The story is fast-paced, filled with fantasy, adventure, and of course, romance. Shea Berkley has done a wonderful job creating a magical fantasy world with mystical beings, danger, and plenty of excitement. If you love fantasy and paranormal romance, with the added plus of the story being told from mainly a male point of view, then you should definitely check out The Marked Son.
When it came to The Marked Son, the first novel in the Keepers of Life series, by author Shea Berkley, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I went into the novel with my eyes shut, but lately on Goodreads and on the net I have been finding a lot of reviews that have raised hype for the story. I was excited to begin reading and from the quick pace the prologue at the start of the novel I was prepared for about two things: Romance and a mind-blowing fantasy world. The story revolves around both Dylan Kennedy and the mysterious Kera. The two characters’ fates intertwine when it’s revealed that Dylan and Kera have been having dreams about each other since they were children. Dylan has grown up in our world, Kera has grown up in an alternate dimension where things are basically World of Warcraft. But in that alternate world, Kera’s people are ruled by a tyrant lord who uses his strong magic and his wicked ways to cure his lust for power. So when Dylan’s deadbeat mother drops him off in the middle of nowhere with grandparents he didn’t know he had, the last thing he expected was to see Kera in a spectral form in the woods. Quickly, Dylan learns that his mother might have been right when she said that there was something different about Dylan; Something so different that he might not be fully human and something so different that he might belong in Kera’s world after all. Plus he and Kera are falling in love, but hey, who didn’t secretly see that coming? The first thing I think that got to my emotions with the Marked Son is the relationship between Dylan and his mother. Dylan seems to act (and think) like a teenage boy, but his mother seems to regret his existence and blames him for having the same DNA as whoever his father is. With the brief few chapters we get to see her in, she doesn’t seem to care all that much for Dylan and while he constantly states in the novel that she doesn’t matter much to him, I liked to think that secretly he wished she cared for him and that just broke my heart. Relationships aside, I’ve gotta admit that at the start of the novel, I was looking forward to getting to see more of Dylan’s perspective on Kera. Considering how the novel switches between Dylan’s POV and Kera’s POV (point of view), I was excited to see just what Dylan would think of Kera’s world especially since Kera’s world is (like I said before) World of Warcraft. That’s just freaking awesome. When Dylan does finally encounter Kera’s world and comes to terms with the fact that he is only half human, the story is nothing but fast paced with killer action scenes straight out of Underworld. I’ve gotta admit though that my favorite character within the whole novel was Kera, she held a total aura of badassery. In her world, women aren’t supposed to be soldiers, but Kera still fights like one even when she’s supposed to marry the tyrant Lord and still holds feelings for Dylan. The romance between Dylan and Kera was pretty cute, I think, because Dylan constantly comes off as this total love ‘em and leave ‘em type character, but becomes instantly hung up on Kera. Which, you know, makes him go a bit insane whenever she’s in danger, I found that awesome. All in all, a pretty fun read. I’d recommend The Marked Son to fans of fantasy, readers who want a supernatural story with action, and those of us who just want some good old exciting romance.
Review originally posted in Librarian Mouse Dylan doesn't have an easy life... In fact, his life could be categorized as a roller-coaster of emotions, disappointments and distrust. The main reason for this is because his mom is the kind of woman that falls very easily and quickly in love only to pack their things up and leave town when she breaks up with the guy of the town. She doesn't think about Dylan at all and it has been this way for the last 17 years. That's why when she leaves him in the middle of nowhere with grandparents that didn't know he even existed he is not that surprised. Hurt yes, but not surprised. The only good thing in his life? Since Dylan was a kid he always dreamt with the same girl. In fact they had seen each other grow up and had developed a friendship, and even if he knew deep inside that those dreams were not real they were also one of the things he treasured the most. But everything changes when, behind his grandparent's house, he sees her. There, standing and practically inviting him into the woods. And after thinking about it he decides to go and help her, because he knows she is in trouble. And thanks to that decision he finally understands why he always felt like he never belonged: he is only half human and his other half comes from a different dimension. And this land, Teag, lacks a king and a ruthless man named Navar won't stop until he controls everyone and everything. That's why Kera has called fon Dylan, because he has a destiny to fulfill and a new life to discover with her. Personal opinion: From the very beginning I didn't know what to expect with this book. To be honest I'm not very fond of situations where a mom is not very "mother material". But to give him credit, neither is Dylan, so we are in the same page here. And after reading a little bit we get to understand why Dylan's mom leaves him there. Gladly for me things developed in a very cool, interesting and intriguing way. First we have Dylan who, thanks to the way he was raised, doesn't usually trust in other people and doesn't want to open up his heart to anybody. And to see this guy development throughout the book was amazing. It was like seeing a normal day reaching a glorious sunset, if you know what I mean. Dylan soon discovers powers hidden within him and creatures and people that, alongside Kera, become not only friends but also family to him. And then we have Kera, the girl of his dreams with whom he falls in love. And the feeling is mutual because they are meant to be together. Their love felt always natural, like the way the water follows the riverbed. Besides, want to know something else? This girl is protective and she may not have Dylan's abilities but she does know how to take care of someone else. As for the plot all I can say is that Shea Berkley has a natural style of writing and I like it. From the way she captures Dylan's thoughts to the great world building she does... everything was great. Even Navar had a deepness that was enjoyable and was the perfect enemy for Dylan. And the ending? It doesn't have a cliffhanger for which I'm grateful. The book finished in a nice way letting the right amount of questions with no answer to keep me waiting for the second installment. Trust me here, I'm already waiting!
This book was just okay for me. I did love the concept of the book in that is was so different than anything I've read before. I just never felt completely pulled in and it was never difficult for me to put it down. But kudos to the author for a refreshing alternate fantasy world.
Kept me tuning the pages dying to know what happened next, and now I can't wait for the next book in the series. Well written. I highly recommend this book...and I don't usually give such glowing reviews.
I love this book! The story line is great!! I can't wait to read the next book!!!
Our Review [by a LITERAL ADDICTION Associate Guest Reviewer]: I wasn't sure what to expect from this book since I didn't read the blurb, but I absolutely loved it! It had pretty much everything including action, romance, drama and friendship. Dylan is 17 and hasn't had the easiest life so far his mother moves him around the country constantly after falling in and out of love with less than savory men and shows no love to her son and he can't make friends since he is moving about so much. Dylan has been having dreams about a girl since he was a young boy and never seems to fit in anywhere. When his mother abandons him with grandparents who he has just met you feel really sorry for him and you really begin to hate his mother. He sees the girl from his dreams in the woods outside his grandparent's home and then everything starts to go wrong. This is not your typical young adult book in the way that it can get really quite dark sometimes and even I was quite shocked at some parts and had to read parts again to see if that had really happened! I loved watching Dylan form relationships with other people as it was a very new experience for him and it was great to see people accept him for who he was and letting his bitterness go. Kera has grown up in a different world altogether and it is a harsh and cruel one and she has her own secrets to hide. The other characters in this story were great and I can't wait to read more from this wonderful author and hear more from Dylan and Kera!
The Marked Son is a story that instantly takes ahold of the reader because the main character, Dylan, is just so enigmatic and alluring. His 17 years have been rough – with a mom that’s constantly chasing the next fling – and he’s as jaded as they come, but there’s just something about him that will pull readers in. Maybe it’s his unconcealed anger towards his mom or his ease in giving up, but I wanted things to work out for him from the beginning. Shea Berkley captures teen angst perfectly, then flips it upside down, throws in some serious abandonment issues, and adds a healthy dose of fantasy to the mix. The tidbits about Dylan’s past and minute details hint at what’s really happening, as do the chapters from an alternate, female POV, but the big reveal is something else. The mix of contemporary with fantasy is done flawlessly and seemingly effortlessly. The story progresses from a simple, angsty teen story, to so much more. Dylan’s dreams and the foreshadowing escalate the tension and suspense, until the readers get that BANG moment along with Dylan. And once it happens, things go from uncomplicated to insane. And I loved it. The Marked Son is a captivating contemporary that turns into a surprising and unique fantasy. Dylan will find his way into the hearts of readers, as will his grandparents, the mysterious girl Kera, and the new friends Dylan makes along the way. If you’re a fan of contemporary and fantasy, and love a mix of the two, The Marked Son is the perfect book for you.