Celina Bayberry is your run-of-the-mill teenager – angsty, stubborn, insecure, and awkward. She’s uncomfortable in her own skin, works part-time at the wildlife reserve near her home, and meets Aaron, an attractive and strange guy who seems to turn up around every corner. Overnight, things start happening to her that she can’t explain. She quickly learns that there’s something bigger going on.
“The air still carried that aroma of earth, wood, blood. Mostly blood now…” (Sentence from Preface.)
Overall, I found this Young Adult book to be a fun read. It is fast-paced and age-appropriate. Something that really pulled me in was the amazing cover design! Kudos to Steven Novak!
The Final Countdown
Characterization – 3/5 Stars
Celina (Lina, for short) is decently written, though I found her character lacked substance. Her stubborn, man-bashing ways became repetitive, though I did like her growth from the beginning of the novel to the end. I would have liked to see her a little more developed, though I anticipate that when a sequel does come out, there will be more elaboration on her.
I found Aaron, Lina’s coworker in the shelter, to be amusing, confident, imperfect, and loyal. He adds a nice opposition to Lina, giving a bit of variety to her surface personality.
The “bad guys” are really well created. They have the right bit of ooze and ick, balanced with a hint of slickness.
I also love Celina’s cats – Chubby, Harry, Snowella and Albert.
Dialogue – 3/5 Stars
The dialogue in Markings is realistic, but it doesn’t really stand out. It helps drive the story and move the reader from Point A to Point B and beyond, but I’d have liked a bit more substance. While the story wasn’t heavy on impressive dialogue, I did enjoy the banter between Aaron and Lina, as well as the creepy quality of the “bad guys.”
Plot – 4/5 Stars
I’m a sucker for anything paranormal that relates to vampires, shifters or witches. In this case, there’s the shifter element. I think that Roozenboom built this story off a great idea and there’s quite a bit of intrigue around the unknown. If I could choose any animal to shift into, I’d probably find myself turning into a cat of some sort.
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Description is definitely Roozenboom’s strong suit. Set in Oregon’s Wildcat Country, there were high expectations for imagery and they were lived up to. Between the images of animals at the shelter, clothing choices of the characters (who doesn’t love a little sparkle?) and other descriptions that help drive the plot along – Markings paints a really great picture of the world Celina Bayberry is living in. It definitely helps that the cover is so striking!
Ending 2.5/5 Stars
I wanted more from the ending. There was a great build-up to the final scene, but I felt there could have been more. It felt abrupt and rushed. Despite this, I can’t wait until the next book in this series comes out. This is a story I latched onto and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Total: 16.5/25 Stars
Why read this book?
If you like YA paranormal romance, this is your book. Between the great imagery and the fun plot, this is a quick read. There’s a character in this story for everyone, so give it a chance!
**Fun Fact: I’ve also read S.B. Roozenboom’s other two novels and I enjoyed those, as well! Take a look. 🙂
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?