A blow-by-blow reaction to Shadow Marked:
Pages 0-200 = OMG Why does real life keep getting in the way of me reading this book? I am soo in love. *sprinkles erotic faerie dust*
Pages 200-220 = Wait a minute... Pages 220-END = What the hell is going on? When did everyone become too stupid to live? And what's with all the friggin' goo???
Shadow Marked was seriously disappointing. The first 2/3rds were just so great and the ending so terribly bad that I couldn't give this the 5 stars I'd been planning.
And truly, I loved the beginning. It was explicitly erotic with a touch of terrifying. The sex was just insanely hot - I was reading it on the tube and turned very, very red a few times. But I couldn't just leave it at home to avoid embarrassment - I was hooked.
For 200 pages, Evans was a GOD. Despite my reservations, she made me enjoy reading from a blind girl's POV (which should be confusing) and forced me to fall in lust with a domineering half-Asian, punk-rock Mafioso (which is just confusing). It was 200-pages of wonderful reading.
And then everyone goets covered in goo.
The epic final battle was just really confusing. And sticky. It took serious mental concentration to work out what the hell was going on. When I did, I couldn't help but think it was all quite contrived. And sticky. But what tipped the balance for me was the heroine Sam - more specifically, her reaction to a certain revelation. I just fundamentally disagreed with her and then stopped caring whether she got her HAE.
Not to mention everyone started getting covered in GOO. Which was a serious turn off, if I've ever read one.
The amazing start kept me from giving this 1.5 stars. When I think back on those first 200 pages of great reading, I can't regret reading Shadow Marked. But I still wish someone could come and ripped it out of my hands before I had finished it!
Bottom line? Shadow Marked is a cross between a steamy paranormal romance and a low-budget horror film. Despite a great start, it was very disappointing.