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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
The Marked Ones: Ghost Within #1 by Nickey T. Hawke is the story of two people on opposite sides, yet both of them face a task that tests them beyond their limits. The novel follows Kiera and Gideon, both of them competent and skilled people, yet they are tasked with something that is making them second guess everything that they ever did or will do. It is a dark time to be labeled as the Marked Ones. These are refugees who are considered a threat to the City because, when they die, they are destined to return as undead and become a huge issue for the City and its people. This is why the Swordmasters are given the task of capturing the Marked Ones. The only place safe for them is New Haven, but reaching this district is a challenge.
Our story begins when a team is sent to rescue Marked Ones and take them safely to New Haven. Kiera is a counselor in the team and it is her duty to bring all of the Marked Ones to safety. However, it is not easy, especially when there are people who are just waiting for her to fail. On the other side, there is Gideon, a squad leader for the Swordmasters, who is tasked to bring in as many Marked Ones as possible, regardless of the fact that they are innocent. He knows this is his job, but his conscience is telling him something else. What should he do? Should he do what he is ordered to, or should he risk it all and help the Marked Ones reach the safety of New Haven?
Intense and fast paced, The Marked Ones is one of a kind gem that you rarely come across. This is an EPIC fantasy (emphasis on EPIC because it is so awesome) that will have you hooked from the get go. I loved Kiera, but more than that, I loved Gideon. Together, these two showed perfect parallels and made me want to root for both of them. Their struggle was painful and they both knew it; however, they were determined to do what they had to and this made them even more awesome to me. This is definitely one of those novels that you recommend to absolutely anyone who likes to read because it has the ability to appeal to all kinds of readers. The cover is beautiful!