The Marked Girl
Release date: June 7th 2016
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…
I was quite surprised at how much I found myself getting lost in this book. The premise seemed interested but I’ve always been more drawn to fantasy novels set in an unfamiliar world as opposed to LA. It likely helped that Cedric and his two friends were from a different world, Caelum, and we got to briefly see it before they were transported to modern LA.
It was told in the dual POVs of Cedric, a prince in Caelum who came to LA with his two best friends through a portal and who was trying to find a way back to his world to save his family and his kingdom from the person who betrayed them. The other POV was Liv, a foster girl interested in film making and who acted much tougher than she was. They met when Liv and her friends were filming for her project and when Cedric and his friends just happened to emerge from the portal at the same place they were filming. After that, they seemed to keep getting drawn to the same place and it made sense to team up to get what they wanted. Cedric wanted a way home and needed help getting around LA. Liv wanted answers to why see could see the wraiths chasing Cedric and his friends when no one else in her world could.
The supporting cast was absolutely great. Sarcastic Merek was my favourite. He and Cedric butted heads quite often and it would have been easy to let him stay as the jerk type character but there was so much more to him. Kat, Cedric’s fiance by arrangement of their parents, was more of a cliche character. The perfect girl, the royal not threatened by the silly commoner because the boy was promised to her(but secretly was threatened). There were glimpses of more depth to her as well so I look forward to that in the next book. Shannon, Liv’s best friend, was a great match for her and could either be the voice of reason Liv needed to hear or could be by her side in all the craziness.
The main plot was mostly focused on introducing the characters, the world of Caelum, and the characters trying to figure out a way to re-open the portal so Cedric, Kat, and Merek could go home. They would likely be in for a war when they made it home but first, they had to find a way to get there. The plot did drag a little in the middle since there could be only so many instances of find a clue, get attacked by wraiths, escape, repeat before it would have gotten repetitive. I enjoyed that there were surprises through the book and all the humour that characters like Merek and Shannon brought.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.