zondag 23 oktober 2011

Elisabeth Naughton – Marked

The first book in the Eternal Guardians series, published May 2010.


Theron - dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life – silky, shoulder length hair, chest imposingly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.
She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.
As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I’ve had this book on my shelves for some time now, and I have won the second book in the series recently, so it was time to start reading. But I am a bit disappointed. It started ok, so I was getting in the mood for a good read, and then it detoriated. The book became confusing, with too little explanation for my liking.

I’ve been struggling with writing this review for a couple of hours now, and it just is not going to come. So, here are my loose thoughts:

There is a lot of mythology interwoven in this world, as Theron is a descendant of Heracles (Hercules), like all the other Argonauts, Guardians of their world. They guard the gateway between their world, and the human world. They are fascinated with earth, and earth culture and fashion, but travel between the worlds is not encouraged. Still, there are a lot of half-bloods living on earth, being hunted and killed by daemons.
Our heroine, Casey / Acacia, is one of them. Only her father is the King of Argolea, and the Princess Isadora is her half sister. Both Casey and Isadora are slowly dying. Isadora from loosing the part that makes her Argolean, and Casey is slowly loosing the part that makes her human. If the two woman meet each other, the strongest of them will survive and be fully Argolean, and the other one will die. Isadora will have to survive, as the King is very ill, and she will be the future queen, with Theron as her husband. She really doesn’t want to marry Theron, but both will do their duty to their people.
That is, until Theron meets Acacia, and finds out she is his Soulmate. Hera, wife of Zeus, has cursed the Argonauts with only one Soulmate in their long lives, and at that a soul mate who will be the complete opposite to what they want or need in their lives. Theron will have to sacrifice Acacia, to safe Isadora. So now he has to choose between saving his people, or his soul mate.

And then there is Casey. She never felt belonging to some place or someone, feeling different. She has inherited her grandmother’s bookshop, and is also working part time as a waitress in a strip club, to pay for her grandmother’s medical bills. She has found a friend in Dana, who is very different, but they fit together. And then there is the scary biker Nick, who saved Casey from getting raped a few months ago. Since then, he has been keeping a close eye on her. Even though he is stalkerish, she does trust him.
And then, a huge handsome stranger walks into the club, and Casey is lost in dreams. The college guys she should be serving get mad at her, and Theron saves her from a nasty fall. But then he leaves the club with a pretty blonde in his arms. But later, when Casey is driving home, she sees a pack of animals attacking something or someone, and she tries to choo them away. A stupid move, as they are so much bigger than her, daemons attacking Theron. Who had just enough time and power to send Isadora, the blond he left with, safely home, and cannot fight off so many beasts. But they disappear when they seem to recognize Casey, and Theron influences Casey to take her home with her, and not to the hospital. He is covered in bitewounds and scratches, and he orders her to use lavender, for its healing properties. She even has to sow a nasty wound in his thigh shut. Theron heals fast, and they are extremely attracted to her. But just as they are about to have sex, Theron sees the birthmark on her backside, and has to leave at once. Leaving her confused, and with her mind wiped of their encounter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep and she remembers more and more over the next days.
Casey is not my kind of heroine at all. At some parts, she is strong, which I like, but she also lets Theron dictate and manhandle her way too much. At other parts she is sick and weak, she certainly is not consistent. And she is very good/pure, especially in the end with her sister and Hades and all, but well, a little too much.

So when Theron comes back for her, she is not really willing to go with him, but as a bunch of daemons attack, she doesn’t have much of a choice. Luckily, Nick is there also, and he takes the both of them to a supposed safe place, where Casey meets her people, the Misos. Halfblood children of humans and Argoleans, with a long life span, but almost none of the powers the Argoleans have. And she feels at home for the first time in her life. Still, everything Theron tells her, is so unreal, so hard to believe. Her father is a king and he wants to see her? For the first time in her 27 years? Yeah, right. What does he want from her now?

And then there is an evil woman also, Atalanta, the leader of the daemons, who wants to kill all the Argoleans for scorning her. She made a pact with Hades, of which Casey and Isadora are the solution. Hades and his beloved Persephone also make appearances in this novel, and they are also not so nice and kind.

I really found this book confusing. The story is a good one, but the telling itself is not so good. A tidbit here, a bite there. It just jumps from one person and one scene to the next, Theron tells only tiny little bits to Casey, and although he says he cannot lie, he does lie by omission quite a lot. By not telling her the truth about herself and why he was sent for her. Secondly, I really did not buy into their lovestory. O sure, there is attraction, but no real bases for the love. Especially not from Arcadia/Casey’s point of view. Being betrayed like that, by a man who is engaged to her halfsister! The real lovescene doesn’t happen till the book is almost finished, a few others are interrupted for one reason or another. It just didn’t feel good to me. The story didn’t flow. O there is a lot of action, and fighting daemons. Even the ending was kind of strange.

I will read the next book one day, as I have won that one. But not right now. I think this story has to sink in for a bit. I do like Elisabeth Naughton’s writing style, I just am confused with this book.
I did not really like Casey nor Theron, nor any of the other main and secondary characters. Even though I am intrigued by Nick his story, I don’t really like him. Why did he never tell Casey something, when he knew she is one of them?
So why did I finish the book? I just wanted to know how it ended, and kept hoping it would get better.

6 stars

4 opmerkingen:

  1. Hm... I have this one on my tbr, but I think I'll edge it down. Doesn't sound like the book I was hoping for.

    At least you finished it! :) I do that too more often than not. I also keep hoping a book will get better. LOL

  2. I've had this one on my kindle to read for awhile now..and it sounds like it could've been a good read. After your review though, I think I'll wait a bit longer to read it. Thanks for cheering me on during the Read A Thon.!

  3. Oh dear. I'd probably find this one confusing as well, but at least I could stare at the cover when the story got too complex for my little brain to follow. LOL

  4. I'll be skipping this one. I can't stand it when characters aren't consistent.