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The Marked Son (Keepers of Life)

The Marked Son - Shea Berkley See the full review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/08/blog-tour-marked-son-by-shea-berkley.htmlThe story opens up as Dylan and his mother make a road trip to his grandmother’s house, who does not even know of Dylan’s existence. It seems as though mom hasn’t spoken to her parents since his birth. We soon learn that Dylan’s mother is not of strong-will when she abandons him. Dylan is used to his mother’s issues, however. She falls in love at the drop of a hat and when the relationship falls apart, she picks up her life and her son and moves them elsewhere. Yet, this is the first time she’s left him behind. To say Dylan’s life has been tough is an understatement.Dylan gets to know his grandparents, who are my favorite people in the story. While in their care, a reoccurring dream is slowly becoming reality. He’s been dreaming about the same girl his entire life, and while the two never speak to one another, their draw is undeniable. Dylan can’t believe his eyes as he peers out into the forest overlooking his grandparent’s property and catches a glimpse of her! Needless to say, the hunt is on as he searches through the leafy wonderland in search of this elusive lady. And that, my friends, is when the story gets to gettin!I enjoyed the author’s take on fae lore. While she never actually refers to anything in her book as fae – her creations are called firsts - she does mention the sidhe, and there is an aversion to cold iron. The magical beasties are pretty cool. The author created some naughty creatures! Millispits, which remind me of TrackerJackers from The Hunger Games, are deadly oversized bugs that hunt in packs. Creepy!"Millispits. Tiny, winged amphibian-type creatures with sharp, serrated fingers, no mouths, and large, glowing eyes. Imperfectly created from magic to do two things: kill anything that moves with their serrated fingers and long, venom-filled tail, then die."And the pux are a bunch of mischievous, dangerous Tinkerbell-sized creatures. They sneakily sprinkle their dust over you head and send you off to count sheep so they can do all kinds of not-so-fun things to you! And lastly, the villain in this book is foul, and I would gladly strangle him for Dylan. :)The characters throughout the book are very likeable. I loved the grandparents, as well as Dylan’s meathead friend, Jason. Kera, the elusive lady, is very admirable. And Dylan, who doesn’t think things through before acting from his heart, is a very realistic teenager who you can’t help but want to hug. I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the 2nd half. However, the 2nd half is definitely the one that is full of danger and action. I am not sure I enjoyed how the book ended, but I definitely look forward to finding out more about Dylan’s past and future.Shea Berkley visited Smash Attack Reads! to talk about Fantasy: http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/08/guest-blog-author-shea-berkley.html