Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Me on The Marked Girl

Title: The Marked Girl
Author: Lindsey Klingele
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)… When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they'll discover that she's more connected to his world than they ever could've imagined… and that finding home is no easy task.

The Marked Girl is a light fantasy-filled adventure around Los Angeles, a search for things long hidden and a race to stay ahead of multiple enemies.

Liv is hard-working, determined, and more than a little lonely. After moving from foster home to foster home as she grew up, she's looking forward to days of not having to rely on anyone to take care of her. Of being a film director, of making movies with her friends. It's chance that she runs into Cedric and his friends the night they appear in L.A., and it's chance she runs into him again, only to be caught up in the danger that surrounds him and the plan to get him home. But, when certain hidden things from Liv's past come to light, was it chance after all?

Cedric is noble, rather driven and focused on one thing. Returning to Caelum in order to rescue his family. It's all he knows, being a Guardian, being a prince and one day a king. Training with swords, living in a castle. Being cautious and wary of the wraths that plague the land. Ending up on Earth, in L.A., is something he never expected. At least he isn't alone, at least he has Kat and Marek with him for support, but this world isn't like his. There's a very steep learning curve. And then there's the knowledge that something else might've come through the portal.

Apart from A Book of Spirits and Thieves, it's been a while for me in terms of portal fantasy. There is something about it that appeals to me, fantasy characters who suddenly appear in modern day settings who are utterly confused by all the sights and sounds and smells of a big city. Of old magic weaving its way into the modern world of TV, cars, cell phones, and the Internet.

This is one of those on the fence books for me. There were parts I liked, parts I thought were interesting. The fantasy elements and the portal magic. There were also parts I thought were overdone and clich├ęd. It felt like contemporary chick lit YA mixed with portal fantasy elements, at times light and easy-going and others tense and dangerous. There's some of Liv angsting over her future, over Cedric, and there's a fair amount of running from evil creatures and searching out long lost stories. If you're looking for light fantasy, or maybe something for a younger YA audience of 13 or 14, then I'd suggest you give this a read.

(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)

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