Many authors try to get their book published. Not all make it. Rebecca P. McCray’s debut novel, The Journey of the Marked, will. The good writing, the setting, and intriguing story line make McCray’s book worth the read. I found this as a critic for LitPick, a site for new authors and teen readers. After I read the summary, I downloaded it and finished in a day. It’s new so you have to buy the eBook from Amazon for $3.99. I prefer hard copy books, but this was easy enough to read and let’s face it, a quarter of book sales are digital.
Readers don’t like changing points of view and McCray rotates narrators each chapter between the five marked and their parents. This lets the reader understand the characters in depth and get inside their head. As I was reading I’d find I was longing to hear what was happening to them. I feel like I know these characters and would want to know them in real life.
McCray writes formally and sometimes makes me laugh.
“They were probably traveling clothes common to Humans, though she lacked sufficient knowledge of the species to be certain.” Chapter 1
It takes a couple chapters to get used to, but it’s entertaining. It reinforces how different their world is from ours today.
McCray’s setting makes this book, like how the setting in Harry Potter and The Hobbit makes the story come alive. She creates her own planet (Zolei) with twenty different species. She tells the story of the five marked, their parents, and what happens to them. Eros, a human, is the leader and a strong fighter; Kenrya, a tenacious Arlian; Tip the Liput, an expert mechanic and tinker; Prizene the first female Krystic ever to be marked; and Azetan, a warrior who can breathe under water.
Throughout their journey to a safe haven, they meet people who help them and people who want to kill them. They make friends, help creatures, and save lives. I liked how McCray had placed old men in the forest, whose purpose was to help the marked reach their destination. She shows us there are people who will help those in need, regardless of the risk. It also shows how even after you finish the most exciting endeavor, there is always another adventure.
I wonder what will happen to Eros and the group; will they still be hunted? Will they ever be safe?