Rummanah Aasi
  A number of my trusted blogger friends are huge fans of Sarah Fine's books in particular her young adult series. Since I have been meaning to read a book by this author, I thought I would try Marked, the first book in her adult series. While I enjoyed Marked for the most part, it left me unsatisfied.

Description: In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.
  Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?

Review: Marked has a really intriguing premise that uses elements of Greek mythology with a post-apocalyptic Boston setting. There are two factions who are seen to be fighting for human souls. On the one hand you have the ferrys who deliver the human souls to the afterlife. On the other hand there are the Kere who work with the Sisters of Fate and mark people to die. Both the Ferry and the Kere are rewarded by a gold coin after they perform their duties. Unfortunately due to the very weak world building, I had a very difficult time trying to figure out how everything came together. How were the Ferrys and Keres created? Why and how long have they been battling for human souls? What do they do with the rewards they received? What exactly happened to Boston that made it a city submersed in disease infested waters? There came a point in my reading where I had to stop myself from asking questions just so that I could roll with the story, but I was very disappointed as I had heard from the author's fans that her world building skills were very good.
  In addition to the weak world building, I also thought the book had a hard time deciding if it belong to the paranormal romance genre or to urban fantasy. The plot see-sawed between a murder mystery featuring Cacy's family and her romantic relationship with Eli. Neither of these plot points were well developed. The murder mystery is very much in the background, characters involved in the case are briefly mentioned and there is no suspense in finding out the perpetrators contrary to the victim's significance in the story. I was surprised to find that the murder mystery was very much in the background and then brought to light in the last three chapters. Similarly, while it was fun watching Cacy and Eli dance around their desires for each other, I didn't feel that there was any emotional connection between them besides their sizzling physical one. Their romance was insta-love which is a bit jarring since they were together for a very short period of time and towards the end of the book began a bit repetitive as they separated and came back together.
  Overall I liked the different cast of characters that Fine introduced in this series. I just wished they were a bit more complex. There were several opportunities to elaborate on Cacy and Eli's back stories, but it was summarized in a few quick sentences. If the characters were much stronger, I could have enjoyed this book much more and would be more forgiving of its flaws. I am not sure if I will continue this series, but I would try a young adult book by this author as those seem to have better reviews.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language and explicit sex scenes in the book. Recommended for adults only.

If you like this book try: Claimed (Servants of Fate #2), Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
6 Responses
  1. I think this was the weakest book in the series. The world building didn't solidify until the second book. The third was my favorite in this series. I hope you will try something else by Sarah Fine.


  2. Anne Bennett Says:

    Think I will skip it. Too many good books to waste time reading books that are just average, or knowing that going in.


  3. Weak world building is so annoying! How can you really immerse yourself in a fantasy world if te world building isn't strong enough? I understand why you had trouble with this book.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading


  4. Kindlemom Says:

    I think you'll like this series more as it goes like Heidi said. Glad you gave it a try though and if you do continue I hope you like them even more.


  5. Nick Says:

    I'm sorry you didn't love this one as much as I did, but I'm with Heidi and Ali, this series most certainly gets better. The last book is my favorite and that's when all the world building comes full circle. I hope you'll still give the series a go! :)
    Lovely review, Rumnanah!


  6. I guess I'll be passing on this series. I wasn't a fan of Sanctum either, but I loved Of Metal and Wishes so I'd recommend that, Rummanah.


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