The Mark by Jen Nadol

February 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment

An ambitious novel from debut author, Jen Nadol, The Mark combines a mystery with philosophy and Greek mythology.  Cassie Renfield sees the mark, a glow around certain people.  She wonders what it means, until one day she sees a man die after seeing the mark on him.  Thinking back on other times she has seen the mark, Cassie realizes the mark indicates death.  The day Cassie sees the mark around a person is the day they die.  Soon, Cassie is asking herself if she knows it is someone’s last day, should she tell them.

The Mark has many well thought out characters and a well paced plot.  Within a few chapters Cassie’s life gets turned upside down.  She must move away from the town where she grew up to live with an aunt she didn’t know existed.  Once in Kansas, however, Cassie is left on her own.  Settling into her new life Cassie finds a job and decides to take a summer philosophy class at the local university.  She starts dating Lucas, a loving, supportive boyfriend until he finds out about the mark and beings treating Cassie like a puzzle to be solved using philosophical arguments.  He pushes Cassie to seek out people with the mark and tell them what it means.  He feels it is her responsibility to tell them that day will be their last.  At the same time Cassie learns some truths about her family that had been hidden from her.  She learns that her family is descended from one of the Moirae or Fates.  Nadol mixes the mythology in with the information Cassie learns about her family in such a way that it does not seem out of place.  Fans of Greek mythology will love this twist on the story of the Fates.  Recommended for readers in high school and above.

Maria Ciccone, Mt. Kisco


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