A Marked Past

Rated 3.89/5 based on 18 reviews
Lyla Mercer’s life changed the moment her dad was murdered, and again when she heard that she could be next. Forced to move to Salem for safe keeping, Lyla soon discovers her family has a dark history in the small town, and when a glossy black moon appears on the back of her neck she becomes the newest part of that legacy. More

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About Leslie Deaton

Leslie Deaton, is the author of the Mercer Legacy Series A MARKED PAST, A HISTORY RENEWED, and A DESTINY UNFOLDS. A young adult fantasy novel series about Lyla Mercer, a sixteen year old girl whose life changed the moment her dad was murdered, and again when she heard that she could be next. Forced to move to Salem for safe keeping, Lyla discovers her family has a dark history in the town. Whispers and rumors follow her everywhere she goes and her life takes a terrifying turn when she discovers the rumors are true. Her family is marked. Lyla attempts to ignore the danger, pretending to be normal, but when she falls in love with Caleb, the absolute wrong boy, she has to accept her fate and face the threats that surround her. Until now, her father's murderer has managed to keep his true identity a secret, but when Lyla uncovers the truth, nobody is safe, especially her. Amazon.com.


A Marked Past Book Trailer
Lyla Mercer’s life changed the moment her dad was murdered, and again when she heard that she could be next.

Also in Series: The Mercer Legacy

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Review by: CTKs Mimi on June 26, 2013 :
Loved this book!!! Can't wait to read next one. Great story an characters👏👏👏👏👏👏
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Review by: essence on April 10, 2012 :
This book definitely had tremendous potential to be amazing. Just by reading the synopsis I liked it immediately. Witch trials and Salem witches are always an interesting material and make great storylines. I loved the main characters name, Lyla, and not to mention that she has Irish roots, she's a witch and there's some big family history secret going on. Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to my expectations and all that excitement was for nothing.

There were some good things too, for example I really liked the writing for most of the part - I think it was fluent and easy to read. I got confused by the end of the book though, there was so many things going on and Lyla was jumping in and out of the battle and back in, and it wasn't really believable. However, the dialogue was very repetitive for me. Sometimes the characters were just repeating themselves over and over again and each time someone was explaining the whole historic background to someone else, we had to read the whole story over one more time and found out nothing new.

I had a problem connecting to the main character, since I can't help but find her annoying, spoiled and very self-absorbed. It might be just the attitude she has towards world, towards people, life, love, everything. It seems that she can never really relate with others and she always makes quite superficial remarks - like saying that Caleb, her love interest, is hot and then repeating that over and over again, it makes us think that she's into him just because of his looks (all though occasionally she does mention that he's also very nice, smart and so on). And how she judges Hana at first just because she's wearing all black and keeps to herself. Lyla is also always butting in everyone else's business and she always does more damage than good.

When it comes to love connection between Lyla and Caleb, I just didn't feel it. It was all very... I don't even know. She tried to hard and was very obvious about her crush, while there's still a lot of questions about Caleb. He didn't appeared as a strong character, he was just supposed to be perfect and the reader was supposed to accept that. I still think he should be paired up with Hana instead, since there was more chemistry in my opinion.

For all it's worth I loved the character of Sage, I wish there would be more of her. She seemed so down to Earth, strong in her own way and the way she fought against everybody else and doing her own thing, but in the end did what she had to do to protect Hana, her sister. I'm still wondering, though, how old she really is? There are so many unanswered questions all through the storyline. I am curious though to see what will happen in the sequel but this time I won't let my expectations get up again.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Michelle Chew on April 10, 2012 :
**I got this book though Read it & reap it at Goodreads.**

Everything started when Lyla Mercer's dad was involved in an accident and died. Together with her mother, the two of them moved to an old family home in Salem left by her father. She had to leave her friends and boyfriend behind in Chicago and she wasn't very happy with it.

She met her uncle, Nathan, in Salem. Found out that she had a cousin, Hana, on her first day in school and another cousin, Sage, after school. She didn't know she had any other family until then. What a shock!

What's more intriguing was that Nathan found a mark behind Lyla's neck, a mark of their family, a mark of magic and a proof that she was a witch. Nathan also explained to her their tragic family history which ended up with many deaths and that a certain pastor was still after their lives and hinted that her father been murdered and it was no accident.

Together with Hana, Lyla sought to uncover the mysteries and dangers behind their family and to use their new found powers to protect who they loved. And of course, Lyla just had to take a liking to the accursed pastor's son, Caleb... which made things more complicated...

A Marked Past is an enjoyable book, packed with action (towards the end) and of course, romance. Furthermore, it's about witches! Who could resist it? Certainly not me. Totally unpredictable, the suspense in this book makes you want to know more and left you hanging at the end of the book.

The downsides of this book was that the pace of the story at the beginning of the book was very fast. There was little introduction before her dad ends out dead and then they had to move to Salem. Well, I'm fine with that since it was explained later why they had to move. The next thing was about some of the characters... What happened between Lyla and her boyfriend in Chicago? There wasn't much after she moved and then she was suddenly interested in Caleb. Hmm... OK... I'm fine with that also since Caleb was not bad. And one thing, I felt that I don't really knew Andrew, who was together with Hana in the book. Just these three things which had a potential for improvement.

Overall, A Marked Past is still an interesting and enjoyable book. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book for some closures. Read all about Lyla, why she moved to Salem, how she befriended her own cousin and how they experimented with their powers and to fight off the evil in A Marked Past.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Leanne Goon on April 9, 2012 :
*Received e-book from author for an honest review
**Also posted on Amazon.com under Leanne

A Marked Past is told by the point-of-view of Lyla Mercer, an ordinary teenager, whose life is turned upside down with the tragic death of her father. Her mother moves her back to her father’s ancestral home in Salem, where she learns that her family has a legacy of being chosen (or “marked” in the form of tattoos on their bodies) to hold special powers. Her Uncle Nathan explains that the man who started the Salem Witch Trials, Samuel Parris, is still alive and has devoted himself to eradicating the Mercer family and others with the same witchlike powers, including her father. Lyla must learn to control her new powers and defend her loved ones and herself against Parris before he comes for them.

First, the things I liked about the book. I felt Deaton did a commendable job creating and describing the Mercer family legacy and the centuries-old battle with Parris. I thought that was a unique take in witch-related plots and gave the story palpable tension and suspense. I also loved the character of Hana, Lyla’s cousin, who was more of an outsider at school with her Goth looks and more open with Wiccan beliefs. I admired her courage in the face of a bully and, although vulnerable, still fought for herself and her family.

On the other hand, I didn’t think Lyla was that likeable. She irritated me at times with her moody personality and inconsistencies with her actions. Since she was devoted to protecting her family from Parris and his “minions”, I couldn’t believe her blatantly ignoring several signs of danger, mainly for her own selfish reasons. In addition, I wasn’t engaged in her romance with Caleb, even though I thought Caleb was an interesting character that could have been more developed by Deaton. Lastly, I thought the final scenes involving a confrontation with Parris were a little drawn out and anti-climatic.

Overall, A Marked Past was a well-paced, interesting read with a few flaws. I don’t know if I would continue the series, but I would recommend this book to teen fans of YA paranormal fiction, such as the 13 to Life series by Shannon Delany.
(reviewed 65 days after purchase)
Review by: CS Lune on April 4, 2012 :
When I saw the font for the title, I immediately knew this book wasn't going to be that much of an enjoyment to me. But I had to read it because I was committed to it. So here goes my review:

First off, I'd like to say this book was not completely bad, hence i did not rated it a one. It is more like a 1.5, but since goodreads doesn't support that, I rounded up.

I kinda have a problem with books dealing with witchcraft and magic, especially wiccans, circles, potions and whatnot. I am kinda into the Harry Potter magic stuff, with flying brooms and magic wands. I did not feel attracted by the premise of this book. These witches did not seem witches to me, just teenagers who are tampering with potions and part of a coven. There were some inconsistencies with the story and at some points it did not seem real or believable.

I was annoyed by the entire portion of the Salem Witch trials Deaton incorporated in her story. For me, the true nature of the witch trials lies with "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. Hands down to the playwright. Anyway. I thought it was a bit odd that Deaton did not exposed a lot about Samuel Parris, even though he is the bad guy and wants all the witches dead. I did not understand why it took him so long to kill off the witches? And if Lyla and the Coven already suspected of him, why not finish him before rather than let the book drag on and on with endless descriptions that work as filler?

A quarter through the book and I was already losing my interest. The dullness of the characters are not helping a lot to keep my attention focused either. The only character that I found I liked was Hana, and that might be because she did tried to be the center of attention to the readers, like Lyla tried to be.

Oh, Lyla was another big problem I had. In the beginning, her coldness betrayed her loving personality at the end of the book. Her father died and she says she has to be strong, she doesn't even cry! What the hell! She claims to love her father and yet, I doubt she shed a tear. I was hoping for a more deranged reaction, not a perfectly calmed one. She didn't rebelled that much when her mother decided to move to Salem either.

Ugh. Nathan was another major problem I had. He seemed to unreal, so painfully paternal that his attitude and personality seemed fake. And what's up with Lyla and Caleb's relationship? They've known each other for what, a week? and they are pouring love unto each other and kissing and everything and it's just so dysfunctional.

Caleb was a weak character, I know nothing about him other than he is perfect, has good grades, and wants to be an architect. I was hoping he ended up with Hana because there was more chemistry between them. Lyla was spoiled, self-absorbed, and extremely superficial. One of the many reasons i did not find her very likable. I could not connect with her. Sage and Hana are definitely great characters in this book. Too bad I did not read a lot about them, and what I read was overshadowed by Lyla's character. Why is she so powerful, yet so useless?

Anyway! Wiccans, not something I enjoy. I was hoping the witches, wizards or whatever were stronger and a more enjoyable fight would be produced. But none of that happened sadly.

The problem with the book is that it's unnecessarily long. It just went endlessly on with descriptions and dialogues that seemed out of place and worthless. I was turning the page and a chapter felt like forever to finish.

The premise of this book was not bad. However, it could have been worked better.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
Review by: Heather Boustead on March 31, 2012 :
After Lyla’s father dies in a freak accident her mother moves them to her father’s family home in Salem. Shortly after arriving Lyla’s uncle notices a mark on her neck in the shape of a crescent moon, he tells her that this mark means she will be a goddess among their people, witches. After, he tells Lyla about his family’s history beginning with the Salem witch trials and how they had all been murdered by the same man who is now out to kill Lyla and the rest of her family, dragging her into a four hundred year old battle. All while trying to make it through a new high school and falling in love.
Once I started reading this book I didn’t want to put it down it has fantasy, drama, action, and romance. From watching the relationship between Lyla and her newly discovered cousin Hana form into something akin to sisters or watching her fall madly in love with Caleb the Preacher’s adopted son, the interweaving relationships will keep you involved. If that is not enough for you, you still have a centuries old raving lunatic to deal with. I can’t wait until I am able to read the next book.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
Review by: Elizabeth Gorski on March 30, 2012 :
For Lyla Mercer, life couldn’t possibly get any better. She has a best friend and a boyfriend who love her and a newly secured spot on the Varsity Cheerleading Squad. Yup, life is darn near perfect. Until a freak, car accident murders her father on her “perfect day”. That one tragedy sets into motion a chain of events that Lyla never could have imagined. The question is, is she ready to accept all that she’s about to learn?

When I started to read A Marked Past, written by Leslie Deaton, I was immediately taken with how skillfully she was able to capture not only my attention but my emotions, as well. From the first sentence of chapter one, I was hooked. However, I wasn’t expecting such an emotional roller coaster ride right from the start. I found myself so wrapped up in the plot and the emotions of Lyla’s story that I actually had to put the novel aside for a few days and take a break because reading it was leaving me ‘emotionally raw’. (Yes, I can really be that big a sap.) Sappiness aside, I have never had a novel affect me that quickly.

The only issue I really had with A Marked Past were the frequent typo’s which occasionally made reading the novel a bit more difficult. However, they were honestly more of an annoyance and slightly unprofessional in appearance than anything else. And truly, in the grand scheme of all things novel related if that’s the only complaint I have (and it is!) then there isn’t much to worry about.

Typo’s aside, I was hooked and invested from line one; I couldn’t wait to sit down each night and read on to uncover more of Lyla’s story. While parts of the plot were fairly easy for me to figure out before they were revealed; there were still plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing and on my toes.

I found it to be a quick read. The slower a novel is, the more likely it is to lose my interest and A Marked Past was the perfect speed for me. The plot kept moving pretty quickly only slowing down in a few spots and even in the ‘slow spots’ the story held relevant information concerning plot line or characterization.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed A Marked Past. I know I’ll reread it again in the future, probably numerous times, which I often do with novels I particularly enjoy. I’m already anxious for the next book, A History Renewed: Book Two of The Mercer Legacy, so I can see how the next ‘chapter’ of Lyla’s life unfolds.

If you are a fan of the House of Night series, written by P.C. & Kristin Cast, A Marked Past (The Mercer Legacy) is a good match. Especially if you found the House of Night series to be a bit more ‘R’ than ‘YA’, A Marked Past is definitely a good place to start.

I received a free copy of A Marked Past, written by Leslie Deaton, to read and review.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
Review by: Laurie: Urban Fantasy Review on March 28, 2012 :
I got a copy of A Marked Past from the author for a fair and honest review…so here goes. Lyla is a typical 16 year old from a good home with loving parents, cheerleader, boyfriend the whole shebang until her father is killed and her world falls apart. Her mother moves them from the Chicago suburbs to her father’s family home in Salem. It’s here she learns her family secrets, that her father didn’t die in an accident but was killed by a man hunting her family since the witch trials. Lyla also learns about her own power and she must learn to use it to keep them safe or they are next. All Lyla wants is to live as a normal teen but her family legacy make that impossible.

I have to say I was surprised by how much I liked this book, I started reading and as soon as I saw the word cheerleader I cringed and thought “oh gawd another YA book I am gonna hate…” and if I am honest it did start out that way. The first couple of chapters dragged and I almost gave up reading, until they moved to Salem and you meet Nathan and the rest of Lyla’s family and learn some of the history of their magic and the price the family has had to pay for it.

I actually really liked the character of Lyla, Ms Deaton actually wrote her as a typical teenager. Sometimes whiny, sometimes selfish and sometimes I wanted to smack her but that’s what made it more realistic for me, her relationships with her friends, her family and her boyfriend were what I expected in a 16 year old. After the first couple of chapters the plot moved at a good pace that kept me turning pages to find out what happened next. I liked the world Ms Deaton created where everything wasn’t black and white and the good guys don’t always win. I will grab the next book in this trilogy as soon as it comes out I want to know what what comes next for Lyla and the crew.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 4/5 I really enjoyed it.
(reviewed 50 days after purchase)
Review by: MaryAnn Schroeder on March 27, 2012 :
I was given this book by the author via goodreads group for an honest review.
A Marked Past is a wonderful read! I love the storyline – The book starts with Lyla a teenager in high school, so excited to be part of the cheerleading squad and to tell her dad the good news of making the team, however she never gets to as he died that same day. Her mom is grief stricken and decides to move them to their family home in Salem, MA to start over. Lyla is in a new town, new school and has to make new friends, all while there are rumors about her family. She meets her uncle Nathan and her cousins Hana and Sage, and learns all about her family history including details about her ‘mark’. She no longer has a ‘normal’ teenage life like she had in Chicago. Soon, she learns someone is after her and wants her family dead. Who can she trust, is she strong enough to fight?
This book has witches, magic, history, and even some romance. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
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