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 really enjoyed THE MARKED GIRL as it was a fast paced read that was simply a lot of fun. It felt a little like the movie Enchanted, with the crew from Caelum going through a portal to our world and completely out of place. I love the fish out of water theme as it's so much fun to see things fresh and new with people out of their element. There's a certain amount of innocence there on both sides as they stumbled along, both the Caleum people as they found out about all our technology, and Liv as she was thrust into a battle full of magic and everything she never knew existed.
One of the best things about THE MARKED GIRL had to be the characters. They were all full of depth, making it easy to be attached to all of them. A lot of times in books, I find myself getting attached to the main pair of characters and perhaps a side character or two, but not the entire cast like this one. Everyone from Liv and Savannah, to the entire Caelum crew, not just Cedric stole my heart. In fact even the "villain" of this story almost made me sympathetic to his plight as well. Almost.
I also really enjoyed how the plot slowly progressed and it became more and more obvious that there was so much more going on than just a group of magical people stumbling into our world. It was no coincidence that it was Liv they stumbled on to, and kept running into, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them unfurl the mystery. It just made for great pacing in my opinion.
As much as I loved the characters and the plot line, I wasn't so sure about the romance to be honest. It was a sort of love triangle? Maybe? To be honest it was a bit confusing. Cedric has a betrothed fiancee, Kat, but their relationship seemed to be more about duty than love. However, Kat does seem to be threatened by his attraction to Liv, so that lends more to the love triangle angle. That being said, because of this betrothal Liv being attracted/encouraging any romance between herself and Cedric just didn't quite sit right. So as a result I just couldn't get attached to the romance side of things.
All in all THE MARKED GIRL is a great start to a new series that will more than please any YA urban fantasy fan.