Violante, Maria: BirthMarked (The Markers I) (2013)

Birth Marked
Cover artist: James Caldwell

So, I was sent a review copy of BirthMarked by Maria Violante and have now finished it. She wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but I did.

The main character is very different from De La Roca in Violante’s De La Roca Chronicles. They are almost like night and day. But both fit very well into the world Violante has created for them.

In BirthMarked we meet Charlie Kale as our protagonist. Poor Charlie. Abandoned by her father and left with an increasingly bitter and alcoholic mother to raise her. Charlie’s mother dies leaving Charlie alone in the world. Then her boyfriend dumps her. Thankfully she has her career as a truck-driver to comfort her. Except does she? You know things are just going to get worse, don’t you.

Violante brings Charlie lower and lower into the dumps. The already less than confident woman discovers it is possible to get to an even lower point. Violante is kind of mean to Charlie, poor kid. I think I must be identifying with Charlie or something.

Charlie’s truck gets over-turned because of a “drunk driver” and that accident ends up leaving Charlie with a choice between getting killed then and there or taking a chance with a gory death later. What you need to know right now is that these are the “good guys” Charlie gets the choice from. The Markers or as the rest of us know them: truck-drivers saving the world from monsters from another dimension.

What is there not to like about a set-up like that? Charlie is helpless, hopeless and strong at the same time. She is a blubbering idiot who tries her best to fit in with the cultish group of men she has ended up with. But this girl has a backbone. It just needs a bit of prodding at times by Diesel and various other characters that turn up.

Diesel the dog is cool. He is probably some kind of familiar whose powers have not yet been revealed. Already it seems he might have a bit of empathic abilities and a whole lot of gumption. Jeff Bruckner is a likeable character, Shawn an extremely conflicted one, Josh devious and Joseph a bit odd. All of the men are a bit odd considering the cultish quality of The Markers but Joseph might be a bit odder than the others.

I am prophesying a sort of love-triangle in future installments to this new series. I also prophesy tons of action and a really cool dog helping Charlie figure out her place in life. If the rest of the series ends up as fun (and silly at times) as this one then Maria Violante has a good series going for her.

  • Genre: Urban Fantasy with Romantic Elements 
  • Tags: Monsters, gunmen, and secret societies should know not to mess with a female trucker who is pushing thirty! 
  • Series: The Markers 
  • Length: 69091 words 
  • Release Date: 10-3-13 
  • ISBN: 978-1-962916-008-5 

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