Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Marta Szemik-Two Halves and Marked: A Two Halves Novella

Two Halves by Marta Szemik
Marked: A Two Halves Novella by Marta Szemik

Marta Szemik’s Two Halves centers around Sarah, the adult child a vampire father she has never met and a human mother who died soon after giving birth to her when the hungry baby vampire bit her mother and she bled to death. Raised by her aunt, she has fought the vampire side of her physiology with serums made from orchids. She blames her father for the fact that she had the vampire’s traits that made her kill her mother. 

She is friends with Xander and Mira, a brother and sister that have been in her life in their little town since she was small. They have grown up together and she and Mira share secrets and stories like most friends do. Xander sometimes looks at Sarah with eyes of a young male regarding a good looking young female. 

William is Sarah’s balance. His mother is human, his father a vampire. William was raised as a vampire by his parents and taught the skills he would need as he grew. He also grew to know he would eventually meet up with Sarah and they would have a very specific destiny, one that would place both of them in great danger and on a collision course with some of the most powerful beings of the underworld.

Sarah dreamed of William, nightmares and erotic dreams both. One of the nightmares awakens her senses and starts to show her a future of fear, demons with glowing orange eyes, burning buildings, and other things. And then she meets the man of her dreams, William, who tells her they have to run, that the demons are after her. And as much as she is drawn to him, they cannot come together because each time they try; they are electrocuted by a strange force within their bodies. So they have to try to work together while wanting to be more than friends. 

Two Halves was a very good tale of vampires, shape shifters, witches, warlocks, demons and conspiracies planned and conducted. William and Sarah are very loveable and the plight of their love and not being able to be together is very well done. Her descriptions of places was so clear, I could see it in my mind without a problem. The story flows well from Sarah to the shape shifters and back again, between the underworld and the forces lined against them. The characters are well imagined and well defined; I was actually caring what happened to them. 

Two Halves is marketed as a Young Adult book and I can see that teens and young adults would like the book. But it’s not restricted to just the youth, anyone who likes a good fantasy story with a lot of imagination.

Marked: A Two Halves Novella

I picked up this novella after I read Two Halves because I wanted to see what more was being told about the characters. This one is about Xander, the shape shifter who is the friend of Sarah. The story is really a prequel to Two Halves, telling the story of Xander and Xela, the witch. Unlike witches, who are given their destiny at birth with the mark of either the sphere of underworld or the water mark of the good keepers of the main beings (humans, vampires, and warlocks), shape shifters are marked when they make their decision on their path. 

Xander is anxious to make his decision, he is very tempted to follow Xela into the underworld because he has come to love her. But his twin, Mira, is in love with Eric, a man who has a watermark and who knows they have to make their own decision. Xander wants to make his twin happy but he also wants to be with Xela, who promises him her love, her body, and to help rule, all he has to do to gain the sphere like hers is kill. 

I wish I had read this one first because it would have made Two Halves a bit clearer. Yes, the novel will stand along without the novella but the story of Xander, Mira, Eric, and the others in Marked actually set the events of the novel up and explain some of the story in a way that make things a lot clearer. I would love to see Marked added to Two Halves in subsequent printings of the novel because it is so much a part of it.

Review written for GoodReads Read 2 Review

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