Check out our episode here! (Featuring Marked, Betrayed and Chosen) Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Zoey Montgomery is your typical 16 year old from a small town in Oklahoma. She’s at school one day when she is Marked with the outline of a crescent moon on her forehead by a vampyre Tracker, meaning that she must move to the vampyre boarding school, called the House of Night, where she will become a vampyre or she will die. Wait, did I say she was typical? That’s a lie. Zoey is anything but typical, but we’ll get to that later. She is met after being Marked by her on again off again boyfriend, Heath, and some of his football bros who call her a freak. Heath thinks she’s still hot because adult vampyres are also hot, and still wants to be her boyfriend or whatever. Ugh. Heath. Zoey goes home to tell her mom, who she hopes will understand, but she doesn’t. She’s not the same mom that she used to be before marrying John Heffer, a religious fanatic and leader of a church group that, well, doesn’t like vampyres. They start up the prayer tree as Zoey packs up some things and runs away to her grandma’s house. Sylvia Redbird is pretty much the coolest grandma anyone could have. She’s a Cherokee wise woman who owns a lavender farm. And she knew Zoey was on her way. She left a note on her front door saying she’s out in the fields, so Zoey goes off to find her…
And promptly passes out. Okay, so she was surrounded by Cherokee spirits and fell and knocked herself out. When she comes to, she’s not in our world anymore, so she is obviously dead, right? No, but she is greeted by Nyx, the Vampyre Goddess, who Marks Zoey as her eyes and ears at the House of Night because she’s special, and a descendent of wise women and elders, and knowledgeable about the modern world. Good and evil are getting out of balance, so Nyx is using Zoey to step in and make things better. Before kissing her on her forehead, Nyx warns Zoey that Darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good. That seems important. Remember that, everyone.
When Zoey wakes up, she’s at the House of Night in Tulsa with her grandma and the headmistress of the school, High Priestess Neferet. She learns that her Mark is filled in, which is not normal for a fledgling vampyre, but gets an odd sensation not to tell Neferet about the vision with Nyx. Zoey changes her name, because you can do that when you start school at the House of Night, and you’re also emancipated from your parents, too, so now she’s Zoey Redbird, like her grandma. Neferet drops Zoey off at her dorm and Aphrodite, another fledgling who every reader immediately dislikes (BUT THEY ARE WRONG FOR IT), takes her to her room, where she is introduced her roommate and future best friend, Stevie Ray (who is the tiniest little bumpkin).
Stevie Ray teaches Zoey all about the school and her dorm and all that, and also introduces her to the rest of what will become the affectionately-titled Nerd Herd, Damien, who is gay and super smart, and Erin and Shaunee, who are so alike they’re like twins, even though one is white and one is black. All these things are mentioned repeatedly throughout the series, but we’re only going to do it this one time. She learns that Aphrodite, who she definitely didn’t get along with when we met her earlier, is the leader of the Dark Daughters and Sons, the super-popular kids at school. She gets prophetic visions and is in training to become the next High Priestess of the Tulsa House of Night. Aphrodite invites Zoey to join the Dark Daughters Mean Girl style, and then, also Mean Girl style, Zoey agrees so she can tell the Nerd Herd all about it. The Dark Daughters have a Full Moon ritual coming up after the school’s ritual and Zoey’s going to go.
Before the school’s ritual, a student dies, which is terrible, but purposefully forgotten about. Neferet prefers it that way. Neferet has a sort of sermon at the ritual and calls the elements to a circle and Zoey feels tingly when they are called. No one else seems to though. Then later, at the Dark Daughters ritual, Zoey really feels all the elements, like they’re calling to her. Seems something special is happening here. Then she drinks blood for the first time and likes it way more than she’s supposed to. She goes outside to puke and finds a cat who claims her as her own. Zoey is met by Heath and her former best friend Kayla. Zoey accidentally ends up drinking Heath’s blood and they create an imprint, which makes them both pretty crazy for each other, but Heath more so than Zoey. Also, the cutest boy in school, who is Aphrodite’s ex, who she was giving a Beej to at the beginning of the book which we totally left out, happened to see everything that just happened. Zoey has a crush on him and he has a crush on her, too. He’s totally fine (in more ways than one) with Zoey’s blood lust and all that. He’s a decent guy. His name is Erik Night.
Zoey calls up Grandma Redbird and tells her about feeling the elements and worrying that Aphrodite is terrible and Grandma suggests that Zoey try doing her own ritual and so she gets the Nerd Herd together and they cast a circle. Zoey uses her Cherokee heritage in the circle which makes everything more special because obviously it does, and it turns out that not only can Zoey control all five elements, air, fire, water, earth and spirit, but each of her friends also have an affinity for an element. Damien air, Shaunee fire, Erin water, Stevie Ray earth. With this knowledge, Zoey is determined to take Aphrodite down. Another student dies and Zoey swears she sees his corpse roaming the grounds. She also sees the girl who died earlier. But that can’t be. She also sees Aphrodite having a vision that seems awful but Neferet says it’s too unclear and to pretty much ignore it. Yeah, that’s … not good.
At the end of book one, The Dark Daughters have a Samhain ritual and it goes horribly wrong. Aphrodite doesn’t do things properly when offering blood to spirits that have passed on and she ends up summoning terrible evil spirits instead of peaceful ones she was going for. Then Heath shows up because he’s super obsessed with Zoey now due to their imprint, and the evil spirits attack him. The nerd herd shows up and Zoey uses her affinity for all five elements to cast a circle and get rid of the evil spirits. Neferet takes the Dark Daughters and Sons away from Aphrodite and gives that honor to Zoey and also names her the new High Priestess in training, knocking Aphrodite down a few pegs. Aphrodite says later that they’re all puppets and things are only just beginning and they’re going to get worse. Boy is she right!