Title: The Marked Girl
Author: Lindsey Klingele
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Marked Girl, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
The Marked Girl is a series debut, and unlike any fantasy I've ever read. It was thrilling, exciting, and totally original, a work all its own. It had familiar elements: magic, evil villains, portals to different worlds. But the way Klingele works them to her advantage is totally original and exciting. It kind of reminded me of Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, but without the magical art elements. Frankly, I really enjoyed it. Normally with fantasy, it gets kind of tiring, seeing magical worlds, because if they're not overdone, they don't do justice to the genre. But The Marked Girl is something totally different, a fantasy of a different kind.
The Marked Girl begins with two people, Liv and Cedric. Liv is just a normal girl living in LA with her foster mother, and Cedric is a prince from the magical world called Caelum. Their lives collide, quite literally, when Cedric is forced to from his home and to Earth, with a huge burden on his shoulders: He must find ancient scrolls that open the portal back home. Thrust into an uneasy alliance, Liv and Cedric are on a race against time to return home before evil creatures called wraths take over the world.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced, original, and exciting. I literally read this book in two days--it's so breakneck that Klingele grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. I really liked the idea of different people falling through a portal to get to our world, from a place that is mysterious and magical and exciting. But what really sold this novel for me were the characters. There truly wasn't one that I didn't like, but my favorites were Liv and Cedric--they felt the most real to me.
At times, though, I felt like the family and love drama took a little bit away from the story--it felt like sometimes that was a huge focus on the story, and it was a bit of a distraction from the whole epic quest trope. Nonetheless, The Marked Girl was a fun and enjoyable fantasy novel, and I look forward to the next book in the series. The bottom line: A fun, fantasy-filled series debut, Klingele creates a series debut that is magical and exciting--a promising book for the summer of 2016! Next on deck: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh!