Kellie's Reviews > A Marked Past

A Marked Past by Leslie Deaton
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Apr 02, 12

Read in April, 2012

A Marked Past by Leslie Deaton is the first book in the Mercer Legacy series. Lyla Mercer seems to have it all, she’s popular, she’s on the cheerleader team and to top it all off, she has a great relationship with her parents, especially her dad. Everything is perfect in her life, well, until one fateful day in the breath of winter when her life changes forever. Lyla’s father, her best friend in the world is tragically killed in a freak accident. Despite her despair, Lyla knows that she must be strong for her mother, even if her mother now inexplicably wants to leave their life behind in Chicago and move to Salem, a place which Lyla’s father once called home. Lyla is upset about leaving behind the memories which she shared with her father in her hometown; exploring the streets, going to the baseball game and the talks which they shared with each other in the comfort of their home, now that would all be left behind, just as her father had left. It would soon be just a distant memory. Despite the heartache of saying goodbye to Chicago, Lyla and her mother relocate to Salem. Being the new girl is obviously difficult, how about adding her family’s history to the mix? A family, whose roots and Salem go deep. In Salem, Lyla is faced with family secrets, family secrets which could have something to do with her father’s untimely death and put the life of her uncle, and cousins (whom she has just met) in jeopardy, as well as herself. The Mercer’s are all marked and there is no escaping destiny.

A Marked Past had promise, but I was unable to connect with the book in the way that I had hoped. The book starts off rather slowly, and quite honestly doesn’t really pick up until well past half way through. The story at times was repetitive. I kept wondering how many times Lyla could possibly run upstairs to her room and kick off her shoes with Hana (her cousin) following right behind. Also, the story of her family’s history was retold again and again. Cutting the repetitive history out could have quickened the pace of the story. I did however connect with Lyla’s character. I sympathized with her pain and welcomed her growing relationship with her cousin’s and uncle. Also, I did enjoy the addition of her cousins (Sage and Hana) and the way in which layers were added to them. I also believe that the progression of Lyla’s and Hana’s powers was well handled. It was a slow build and I found myself guessing what they would discover next.
Lyla’s love life however, fell short. Lyla was too quick to declare her love for Caleb and to say that she would virtually risk her life to protect him. I did not understand where these emotions came from, especially since she had not interacted with him often nor had many scenes with him. Given this matter, the character of Caleb was not connectable and their relationship seemed disjointed.

Deaton’s intro into the Mercer Legacy series may not necessarily be the perfect story, but what is? A Marked Past shows promise and Deaton can build upon the characters and the development of the story in the coming books. I will consider giving the rest of the series a try, and I Iook forward to discovering the path which Lyla and her cousins take.
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