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Sunday, April 1, 2012

"The Marked" by Inara Scott ~ Missed It's Mark For Adult CrossOver

A rather slow-paced book well targeted for a younger reader~preteen to early teens.

Published by:  Hyperion/Disney Book Group
Pages:  320
Ebook format @Barnes&Noble

2nd Book in "Talents" series

First book in the series!

Cover Story !
Well, darling cover art, isn't it, for "The Talents?" I think the girl model is perfect for the storyline it's portraying, and she's slinking into the creepiest of private school gates! What does happen behind those private school walls? Love it. A bit too much sky on both the book covers, however gorgeous those skies may be. And once Dancia has gotten a semester behind her, she's a little less worried it appears on the cover of "The Marked," the only problem is she's looking very strange holding up one stone pillar. Uh, oh!  Rated: C overall

Summary of "The Talent" and preview of the series:Publishers Weekly

Debut author Scott launches the Delcroix Academy series with this light paranormal romance. Dancia has always kept a low profile, avoiding anything that might bring attention to her secret: whenever she witnesses injustice, a protective instinct kicks in and she’s able to take out the threat (knocking out a gunman or blowing out the tires on a car pursuing a boy). Now Dancia is being recruited to the freshmen class of Delcroix Academy, an exclusive boarding school for geniuses. A mediocre student, Dancia can’t understand why they want her, but Cam, a junior helping with her recruitment, persuades her to attend, and Dancia starts a new life and begins to come out of her shell. Dancia’s crush on Cam grows, as does her relationship with brooding Jack, who suspects there is a conspiracy at Delcroix. Dancia eventually discovers the truth about Delcroix, but the unresolved “telekinetic girl caught between good soldier and edgy rebel” love triangle (which, along with the academy setting, may feel familiar to X-Men fans) and Dancia’s determination to use her power for good pave the way for later books. Ages 12-up

My Review of "The Marked"~2nd in the series:
Well, here we are at last. I wanted to start my review off on a good footing by giving you a background on this little ebook.  For the most part, the books in a YA genre I've been choosing are ones I'm looking toward having a "crossover" affect. That is; will we find them interesting and exciting, or literary or whatever the criteria may be...for adult reading, as well as for YA reading?  I'm sorry to say that in this case, I think the book is well-placed in the YA genre in a pre-teen to early teen category.  And, even then, I'm not rating it a 5 star for them...

Inara Scott writes for a juvenile reader, no doubt about that. But that's no excuse for having an underdeveloped storyline. Her characters are cute and cuddly, but not very interesting in a larger sense. They are paperdoll cutouts pretty much. I think preteeners and ups are going to be short-changed in this one.

There's an attempt here to be a sort of "round up" book of Harry Potter, Divergent, and Hunger Games for the much younger crowd...or something, but nothing really holds water. A bit of mythology, a drop of magic, a sprinkle of the absurd. Tiresome at this point.

The pace of the book is horribly slow, tedious, actually.  It lacks spark and drive to push it through...something seems to be weighing it down. I think the author wanted to say something but thought she had to muck through some things to get there.  It was painful for an adult to read at times. I wondered if young girls would get through it because there was "boy talk" to fill some gaps.

Interesting are the different Talents the students at Delacroix Academy have. However, in this volume, we are so busy trying to toss aside the rocks and ruins of things that have washed up against us, trying to find a thread of the story midst teenie heart-throbs and jr. high pranksters/jokesters, that it's exhausting to figure out why and how Dancia will ever learn to curb and control hers! Was that a convoluted sentence?  See what I mean by weighty and confusing??

The adjunct plot (or at least I think it's adjunct..see how confused I am?) is finding out whether Dancia's friend, Jack, is a renegade "talent" who's gone over to the darker side, or whether he's a renegade who's gone over to the side of good! All pretty confusing because the plot is so twisted and unclear. And, frankly, because all the rest is such a mess~I'm ready to leave with Jack any old time!! 

Scott's writing didn't work for me, but I thought her original idea of children with qualities of courage, integrity, and sacrifice for others, working for good in world leadership was a fine one.  Where she lost me was in the delivery of the very interesting Talents: Earth, Life and Somantic; how they worked, and how the talent training was balanced with the underlying plot of whether Delacroix Academy was a sink or swim hole. A cleaner outline might have helped...or a better edit.

In the long-run, I have to confess this is one of the very, very few books I didn't finish. Couldn't. I did read 200+pages of it, so I gave it my all in hopes of finding renewed hope.  Alas, not for me...

2 stars


PS:  This really pains me, too, because I love Disney!!! :[


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