In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.
Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?
Kindle Edition, 332 pages
Published January 1st 2015 by 47North
Four and a half stars: A mythological/dystopian story with complex characters and a terrific romance.
Eli is eager to be settled in Boston. It has been a difficult few years for Eli and his sister Galena. They are thrilled to be leaving violent Philadelphia to start a new life. Eli arrives at his new job as a paramedic. Everyone is watching a press conference on tv. One of the city's most famous and powerful leaders, Patrick Ferry is retiring. Eli's eyes are immediately drawn to his youngest daughter, Cacy. She is gorgeous, but he quickly learns that she is the sister of his boss, Declan. Then Eli learns he is partnered with Cacy. So much for an easy first day. Eli quickly learns that there is more to Cacy than meets the eye, and before he knows it, he is drawn into a deadly life and death game. Will Eli survive?
What I Liked:
- It is no secret that I am a big fan of Sarah Fine. So I was more than eager to get my hands on her first adult novel. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Fine delivers an action packed, thrilling dystopian novel with new ideas on old mythological ideas. I loved it.
- I loved the new spins on the mythological Fates and the Charon, the one who ferries the souls to the Underworld. In Fine's vision, there are the Ker who heed the wishes of the fates and mark souls for death. Once the soul dies, one of the Ferry family ushers the soul to their final fate, either Heaven or Hell. It is so much more complex than that. I thoroughly enjoyed this new spin on the well known Greek mythology and I loved Fine's refashioning.
- As always, Ms. Fine manages to write terrific, complex and likable characters. I love how layered her characters are. They are flawed and wonderful at the same time. Eli especially starts out as a swoon worthy hero, but as the story progresses, the reader learns that he has a dark side that lashes out when those he loves are threatened. Even the leader of the hated Ker, Jason Moros, has shades of good and bad. I was drawn to both Trevor and Jason, the Ker, as I was fascinated by their dark sides, yet they had moments of goodness. I am always impressed by the depth of Ms. Fine's characters, and this book was no exception.
- The story was action packed and full of danger. I especially enjoyed the surprising twists and shocking revelations at the end. I didn't see that one coming!
- The romance is a slow burner. It starts out as an immediate attraction, but the two take their time to establish a working relationship that moves into a friendship before it blooms into something more. Granted, it is a bit fast moving, but I never had an issue with it. I found it to be sizzling hot and believable. I am excited to see how it will progress from here.
- The ending draws to a satisfying close after some thrilling events. I was pleased that most of the big story lines were settled, while new story threads were introduced for the next book. No horrid cliffhangers.
And The Not So Much:
- I was disappointed in the world building. I know how outstanding Ms. Fine's world building can be, but this time it missed the mark. This book is set in the future after some type of apocalyptic event has changed the world as we know it. Philadelphia is a lawless city. Boston is fairing better thanks to the Ferry family, but it still wasn't fleshed out. I wanted to know what happened to society. Why was everything flooded? What was the deal with the pirates? I hope in the next book the world is better explained.
- Ms. Fine not only writes complex characters but she is also terrific and exploring relationships. While there are many complicated relationships in this one, I was upset that there wasn't further explanations on why there was such a rift between Cacy and her older sister. Why was there so much animosity and distrust between the two?
- Even though I was mostly satisfied with the ending, I was left wanting to know more about the traitor's motives and what his fate was.
Marked was a terrific apocalyptic/ dystopian romance. This book takes well known mythological characters and ideas and completely refashions them. I loved Ms. Fine's creative new ideas. Her characters and relationships as always are complex and multilayered. I was most pleased with her first adult book and I cannot wait for the next book in this series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.